It is with great joy that Gathering of Leaders is moving to an open inquiry process through which creative, faithful, and hope-filled Episcopal leaders (both lay and ordained) can request to join the network! The Gathering of Leaders envisions the renewal of dioceses and congregations in The Episcopal Church through transformational leaders dedicated to the missionary call of Christ. GOL offers small, in-person Gatherings across the United States several times per year, and a robust digital community for resourcing, peer networking, support and camaraderie. Relationships, peer-learning, and diversity of thought are key to the GOL experience and the open inquiry process will serve to broaden the voices connected to the network.
The Gathering of Leaders emerged from meetings held in 2005 and 2006 between retired Bishops Claude Payne and Duncan Gray III, and other leaders, to discuss a missionary vision for The Episcopal Church. The inaugural Gathering was held in 2006 in Arizona. Over the last 15 years The Gathering of Leaders has continued to hold in-person Gatherings, 3 day retreats that center around peer learning, networking and community building all in a posture of hope for the Church we serve. Each event is limited to 40 persons to encourage collegiality and relationship building.
Each year a committee chooses a theme for Gatherings, with Racial Reconciliation & Discipleship in the Missionary Church being the theme for the last Gathering in 2023, and Mission in the New Reality the chosen theme for 2024. The Gathering of Leaders believes that the church has changed since the early days of the Covid 19 pandemic and seeks to come alongside and gather church leaders of all orders to vision the church in this new reality, as well as to provide support and community. In 2022 The Gathering of Leaders, in partnership with the Episcopal Church Foundation, formed intentional Lay Leader and Bivocational networks to widen the network and to enhance, encourage and build up leaders in all orders of ministry in The Episcopal Church.
Originally The Gathering of Leaders grew through a peer-nomination system which served well in those early, grass-roots stages of the network. The GOL Board of Directors is excited to open the network to interested individuals who seek to engage in peer-learning towards mission and evangelism, believing that doing so will further the work of our ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Hope-filled and creative clergy and lay leaders are invited to learn more about The Gathering of Leaders and inquire to join. Six Gatherings are scheduled for 2024 and The Gathering of Leaders hopes to include many new leaders at these events.