The Bosque Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico was the venue for the first GOL gathering for the new decade. The Bosque Center was designed to be a place for “Spiritual Renewal.” On many levels this was the ideal place for the Gathering of Leaders as we gathered intentionally focused on the theme: “Money & Mission – The Practice of Stewardship in the Missionary Church.” There in that spiritual setting, we were invited not only to examine the challenges of money but to see its benefits as we, the stewards of the God’s Kingdom, engage in mission and ministry. In the serene and soothing setting of the center, among other questions, we were also asked to explore how we can “reclaim the compelling, sacrificial spirituality of money that Jesus proclaimed.” From Bishop Gray’s presentation to the insightful table discussions, the entire experience was unequivocally compelling and thought-provoking.
In addition to the presentations, discussions, and worship sessions, I came away with renewed realization apropos to my ministry as a priest and leader of my current congregation. At this my second Gathering, I was reminded that stewardship is more than just a singular aspect of Christian life and living. In its totality, stewardship is really the entirety of the Christian life and existence.
Furthermore, the Gathering of Leaders was not only an opportunity to revisit and to engage in conversation about delicate and difficult current topics and issues of pressing importance, but it was also a great opportunity for respite time and self-introspection of my leadership style and success. This I greatly appreciated! However, above all, I had the opportunity to meet with fellow clergy from across the Episcopal Church, to develop and, hopefully, to strengthen, and to sustain new relationships. Long live GOL!
The Rev. Sheldon Hamblin
Rector, St. Paul’s Church in the Village of Flatbush