It is with excitement that I write to you today to let you know that I have taken a call to be to be a Church Planter between Hwy 610 and 8 in the East Harris Convocation of the Diocese of Texas. I am so excited to answer this call and see the new journey and ministry that God is leading me to. Of course, this is bittersweet because I will be leaving Houston Canterbury and you all, but I am fully confident that Houston Canterbury will continue to grow, thrive, flourish with the leadership of our Missioner, Rev. Charles Graves and the many student leaders within this incredible community.
Throughout these past two years we have done so much together. We have experienced and gone through changes and growth together. We have created brave spaces for real and authentic conversations in groups like Koinonia and Ladies’ Night. We have co-created incredible worship experiences in The Gathering where it has been my honor to watch many of you grow into your leadership role as preachers, lay ministers, and pastoral mentors to one another. It truly has been an honor and pleasure. I began as a student here in Houston Canterbury and then got the opportunity and blessing to join as your Missioner Associate therefore I am eternally grateful for the experiences I have lived with you all and the people I have been able to meet through this ministry. I will hold all of these tools and memories close to my heart as I start this new ministry as a Church Planter. I ask that you hold me in your prayers during this transition as I will be holding you all in my prayers.
My last day will be at The Gathering on December 1st. There will be a special reception after the service, so you are all invited. Also, please do not hesitate to call, text, email or check in before then. I want to be sure to have a chance to check-in with you all and express how grateful I am in being able to do God’s work together.
Hope to see you soon.
Thank you for these amazing years.
Maria Bautista Vargas is the Missioner Associate for Houston Canterbury, where her focus is developing an Episcopal presence at Texas Southern University and San Jacinto Central. Maria graduated from the University of Houston-Downtown with a B.S. in Psychology in 2018.
Prior to working with Houston Canterbury, Maria was working as a Community Organizer with The Metropolitan Organization (TMO), as well as the Youth Group Coordinator for Epiphany Episcopal Church. Maria was also a teacher assistant at Bethany Methodist Weekday School and a Camp Counselor for City Camp in Philadelphia.
Maria grew up within the Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C. and moved to Houston in 2014, along with her parents, The Rev. Simon and Amarilis Bautista and her siblings Tito, Leaquina and Lily. With two parents from the Dominican Republic, Maria is bilingual in both Spanish and English. She enjoys musical theater, traveling with her fiancé, Fabian and hanging out with her dog Milo and Noelani.