January ’21 Enews – How Was 2020 Like Friends?

(Written as the editor’s letter for the January 2021 GOL E-News. Read the full newsletter here.)

I never in a million years thought I would be writing a letter to hundreds of Episcopal clergy that featured the immortal words of Ross Gellar from Friends — “PIVOT!”


What a year! I have watched as our congregations have pivoted in so many ways; how 2020 challenged our methods, our relationships, and sometimes our faith. I’ve also watched as many communities became strengthened through this shared experience. We’ve pivoted to offer online Bible studies, outdoor worship, virtual gatherings, and the list goes on.

I for one can’t wait to be back to in person events like the August Gathering in Seattle if all goes well, but I am also grateful for the innovation and relationship building that has been going on in the church for the past year.

As we move forward into 2021, it is important that you, our church leaders, take time to care for yourselves while also providing resources, mentoring, and spiritual direction for others. Below are links to a few of those resources that are available to you through GOL, like our next Adaptive Conversations session. You’ll also find information on CPG’s new wellness-focused podcast, and information on the ECF Fellowship Partners Program.  Lastly, as you continue your work on racial healing and justince, I encourage you to visit ECF’s Racial Justice Resources hub. This is a curated collection of resources for engaging and learning on the theme of racial justice, healing, and reconcilation. This resource is also available in Spanish.

As vaccines roll out throughout the country, my prayer is that we pivot back to a more familiar way of being, one where hugs and handshakes abound. I also pray that we continue to care for one another and ourselves, and continue to “strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.”

Haley Bankey

Happy New Year,

Haley Bankey
Executive Director, Gathering of Leaders