December ’20 Enews – Leadership for What?

(Written as the editor’s letter for the December 2020 GOL E-News. Read the full newsletter here.)

I know not every non-profit leader can say they leave an annual board meeting more energized, creative, and motivated than when they arrived, and for that I count myself lucky.

The Gathering of Leaders’ Board of Directors held its annual meeting this past Friday, and it allowed for me to experience many of the emotions, challenges, and support that our network of clergy feel each time they attend a Gathering. Yes, we dealt with your typical board items (budget, minutes, etc.), but more than anything we dove deep into the very root questions for our network’s existance. Gathering of Leaders for what? Gathering of Leaders for whom? The conversations and leadership from our board this next year is sure to be profound.

Now I offer humble thanks to our board members who are rotating off at the end of this year: Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel, Rt. Rev. Jeff Fisher, and Rev. Ollie Rencher have served the Gathering of Leaders network in many ways over the years and we are grateful for your leadership. Our newest board members Dr. Westina Matthews and Rev. Jimmy Bartz attended their first annual meeting and challenged us to look at our way of ministry in light of the world we’re currently in. Lastly, we can’t wait for Rev. Francisco Garcia to join our board officially in January 2021, deeping the conversation even more.

As an organization dedicated to supporting hope-filled, creative clergy, I encourage you to use all the resources we have to offer. Even those of you who have been invited to Gathering of Leaders, but have not yet had a chance to attend have opportunity to engage with our network.

  • Attend the next Adaptive Conversations session on Dec 16
  • Register for the next Virtual Gathering in April
  • Nominate additional clergy whose voices need to be heard
  • Use our Participant Directory to connect with a colleague
  • Share and post in our network’s Facebook group

This calendar year is winding down, but our liturgical year is just ramping up. I hope that you find time to deeply connect with others, even virtually, as a way to re-energize yourself and your ministry. You are being prayed for daily and loved unconditionally. Thank you for all you do for the church and for the world, and we at GOL are grateful to have a small part to play.

Happy Advent,

Haley Bankey
Executive Director, Gathering of Leaders