Phyllis Bess, Field Seminarian
 
 My name is Phyllis Bess and I am a lifelong Episcopalian from the Diocese of Fort Worth.   You will find me to be deeply passionate about the Episcopal Church and its message of inclusion. 
 
When my father was elected bishop of the Diocese of the Rio Grande in 1971, the only silver lining for a 15 year old moving from Ohio to New Mexico (gulp), was the opportunity to become an acolyte at St. John’s Cathedral in Albuquerque.   At that time, girls were not “allowed” to be acolytes everywhere.  Can you believe it?  Bob Bess was the assistant acolyte director at the Cathedral...and the rest, as they say, is history.  We both graduated from the University of New Mexico, married, and welcomed our son before Bob’s job in the publishing business brought us to north Texas in 1982.  
 
Bob and I have worshipped at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Keller/ Southlake since 1983.  They are the village, much like the St. Elizabeth’s family, who helped us raise our son and daughter and have journeyed with us through much of life.  As they seem to do, the years moved quickly, and somehow our kids grew up and married really nice people and blessed us with 4 beautiful grandchildren.
 
When our daughter was in high school, I returned to the work force at a local public accounting firm.  About 15 tax seasons later, the owner of the company and I discerned a call from God to attend seminary (something I had always wanted to do).  Our hope is to merge financial and business skills with solid scriptural foundations and offer ourselves as consultants for the church in areas such as clergy compensation, stewardship and developing and maintaining healthy work cultures.
 
Pastor Jennifer and I will be seeking ways for me to contribute and learn over the next two years.   I am thrilled, excited and grateful God has brought us together to make this special journey at St. Elizabeth’s.