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November 15, 2022 Press release

GOL hosts its first gathering for lay leaders

Last month the Gathering of Leaders offered an unprecedented opportunity to leaders in the church, hosting their first-ever Gathering geared specifically toward Lay Leaders. This gathering was held at Bellwether Farms in Ohio, an idyllic setting for a dynamic group of leaders coming from many contexts.

Donald Romanik, President of the Episcopal Church Foundation said, “The first lay gathering was truly amazing. Participants were enthusiastic, engaged, and hopeful about the future of the church. I know that these committed lay leaders went back to their local ministries renewed and refreshed. ECF is so proud and pleased to partner with GOL on this exciting pilot. I look forward to future lay gatherings and other collaborative opportunities.”

The Gathering was comprised of 27 individuals who are not only among the laity of the church, but who also serve in a wide variety of capacities at many levels in the church.

“Being a part of the lay pilot of Gathering of Leaders was something special. The model of the Gathering of Leaders is so interesting, inviting the Participants to be presenters and letting them share what they want. And the Holy Spirit does the rest. I could not imagine what I was going into but coming out on the other side...It was exactly what I needed. Returning to my ministry contexts, I was refreshed and reinvigorated, and I still feel that way. I am so excited about the lay people in this church. Everyone I met was so faithful. And all are doing things that make this church more of what God intends for it to be. I look forward to staying connected and in ministry with this wider network of both lay and clergy,” said Patrick Kangrga, Interim President of Forma.

Ms. Haley Bankey, Director of the Gathering of Leaders said, “The Gathering of Leaders is committed to leaders of all orders of ministry. We believe that it is the joint works of our faithful clergy as well as active, vibrant, and talented lay leaders - that will realize the mission and future of the Episcopal Church.”

Combined with the success of the Gathering’s first Bi-Vocational Ministry Pilot in September, a new round of gatherings geared toward those who have many vocations and lay leaders is already being planned for 2023.

The purpose of the Gathering of Leaders is to assist in the empowerment, support and development of such leaders. To this end, the Gathering provides a place for leaders to come together without contentiousness and partisanship to share their love of the Christ and of the Church, to empower each other through mutual encouragement, to deepen their skills as transformational leaders, to establish networks which will aid their ministries, and to clarify their understanding of God’s emerging vision for the renewed Episcopal Church.

For more information on The Gathering of Leaders click here.

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