(Written as the editor’s letter for the October 2021 GOL E-News. Read the full newsletter here.)
Scrolling through my Facebook feed (looking at cat videos!) I came across this jewel of a post from Rev. Ben Maddison:
This is the very essence of Gathering of Leaders! The Great Commission is our founding principle and the reason for coming together for peer learning and support. To encourage and raise up creative, Christ-centered ministers that share the transformative love of Jesus Christ.
I just wrapped up participating in a hybrid Congregational Leadership Initiative for Historically and Predominently Black Churches as part of my work at the Episcopal Church Foundation. After four consecutive days of learning from some of the top minds in the church, and connecting with some amazing clergy and lay leaders in the Black church, I am once again profoundly reminded that the church has never been, nor will it ever be, about a building. People are the Church.
Participant clergy in GOL are hope-filled, creative, entrepreneurial leaders who are dedicated to growth in both numerical impact and spiritual depth of the Episcopal Church. Do we have the right metrics for success? No. Do we know all the ‘right’ ways of doing this work? No. Do we have deep and profound love for Jesus and our neighbors and seek community through Him? YES!
To that end I hope to remind you all of two things:
- Clergy in GOL are eligible to apply for Seminary Reduction Grants through ECF in hopes of relieving some financial burden and to inspire ministry.
- Nominations are open for our new GOL Laity network. Current participants can use this nomination form, and others may email me directly.
As always, I am deeply grateful for the ministries of GOL participants and it is a blessing to be able to support your work. Thanks for all you do and God bless!
Executive Director, Gathering of Leaders