April ’24 Enews – Hope & Grief, and hope.


Hope & Grief… and Hope.

I remember learning many years ago, as part of a class on Family Systems, that often change is hard because change means loss. It is hard to change, hard to let old ministries end, always hard to say goodbye to the way things have always been.

A few weeks ago, The Episcopal Church Foundation hosted a Conversation with the Bishops: The Role of the Diocese in the Changing Church. I watched the recording (and you can too, it is linked here) and was impressed, challenged, and so refreshed to hear truth spoken about the church in world that has changed drastically. Bishop Roaf is a GOL board member, and Bishop Prior is a participant of GOL, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Bishop Hunn from the Diocese of the Rio Grande made the excellent point that the church buildings many of us occupy were built for the baby boom. Our population as a United States and as an Episcopal Church had already started to decline in 1969. +Hunn noted that the hundred years before the baby boom the size of churches looked a lot more like today, said +Hunn. He called for a Book of Acts church, rather than a “market place” church.

+Prior wondered what it would be like for the diocese to parish relationship to move from “regulatory” to “resourcing,” how do we change our relationships with one another? And Bishop Phoebe shared an anecdote of a man telling her at a parish visitation that he’d never thought he could come to this church, his neighborhood church, because the sign said “anglo” and everyone knows that anglo means only white. (Sit with that for a moment, please.)

The shared wisdom and experience on that panel shed light, hope, new vision and fresh ideas onto the old ways of being and doing church as Episcopalians. I hope that many of those listening were moved to the “profound change” +Hunn spoke of, a change of heart that desires the flourishing of all and not just the ones who can afford it. At GOL we’ve spent several Gatherings talking about the world as it is now, post pandemic, and in 2024. We’ve talked about new methods of doing church and evangelism, we’ve shared some grief, and we’ve been truthful about what we believe needs to change.

GOL is all about hope. We envision the renewal of the dioceses and congregations of the Episcopal Church through transformational leaders dedicated to the missionary call of Christ and growing the Church in spiritual depth and in numbers as it effectively serves all sorts and conditions of people through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. And if the time is right for you now, we invite to you inquire to join us, and to register for one of our remaining 2024 or just announced 2025 Gatherings listed below.

Alicia Hager

Community & Communications Curator

Continue reading the June Enews