“Jesus was a Leadership Genius!”

PARRISH – The Right Reverend Robert (Rob) Wright, Bishop of Atlanta, visited the diocese and presented Leadership as a Spiritual Practice to the College of Presbyters and the Retired Clergy & Spouses and Surviving Spouses gatherings last week at DaySpring.

Addressing head-on the complexity of the pastoral role, Bishop Wright opened by noting the social and emotional sense of loss, not change, but profound loss, that our congregants are experiencing.

“Nothing is the same for our congregations and no one can reach their cruising altitude,” said Bishop Wright. “The way forward is for us to start asking better questions versus trying to provide all the answers.” He went on to say, “Our Holy work is to address tough problems that people would rather avoid.”

Bishop Wright spent two sessions with the College of Presbyters. The morning session challenged their notions of leadership and their roles as priests. During that session, Bishop Wright asked tough questions and encouraged them to peel away “the stuff” and make space for what matters. At lunch, many questions arose asking if Parochial Reports were included in the aforementioned “stuff.” They, of course, were not.

The afternoon session revisited the core values of The Episcopal Church, focusing on the Catechism and ways of prayer. He also addressed the unique balance needed in their roles as priests to develop capabilities within themselves and the capabilities of others to avoid underfunctioning and overfunctioning.

“When we under function, we lose our call to save people,” shared Bishop Wright. “When we over-function we lose the spark of imagination to hear the Holy Spirit.”

Bishop Wright spent the following morning with the Retired Clergy & Spouses and Surviving Spouses as part of their annual luncheon. The group shared how they envisioned God in this time and how there is a synergy in how they envision God and the leadership they can embody.

Following lunch each day, Bishop Doug Scharf provided updates from Diocesan House. On Wednesday, the retired clergy & spouses, and surviving spouses also celebrated Holy Eucharist. Bishop Scharf was Celebrant and Preacher, Archdeacon Michael Kitt served as Deacon and Gospeler and the service included wonderful music by pianist Bill Holt of Christ Episcopal Church and Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton.

Everyone in attendance left reminded of the unchanging principles of Christian maturity, joy, forgiveness, and generosity. Can we get an Amen?

College of Presbyters Photo Gallery

Retired Clergy & Spouses and Surviving Spouses Photo Gallery