Over the past weekend I attended the Diocesan Convention. I had been a delegate twice before and always enjoyed the process of which the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona, was able to convey new and important messages regarding the vision and goals of the Episcopal Church. Of course, there is always business to take care of; Diocesan elections, Financial reports, voting on Resolutions, special awards, and recognition of new Clergy.
This year Fr. Dan requested I substitute as a delegate replacing one of the Vestry; I was happy to comply due to the energy and the message of past Conventions. The theme was “Soulful Leadership.” The attempt was to remind us of the importance of being “spiritually grounded” in our church work, looking at it not as a duty or obligation but as a rewarding opportunity to grow in faith. Talk about a mouthful and so much to digest. I thought, how is this going to work with the mindset most of us have?
“Soulful” was briefly explained as deep, honest, unpretentious, emotional, relational, grounded, and focused; authentic spiritual leadership. The issue of distractions were addressed; pesky concerns that keep us from our spiritual work of witnessing the transforming power of the Gospel. One workshop in particular highlighted “Empowering Church Staff through Christ-Centered Attitudes.” Principles discussed included: Give people a purpose and shared vision of participation; Communicate widely; Accommodate and manage change; Create a culture of hope; Create a culture of worth; Reward performance; and Express gratitude. All which were then related to scriptural merits. The importance stressed the overall mission of Vestries and Ministries.
Most delightful and engaging was the Keynote Speaker, The Very Rev. Dr. Jeffrey John, Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral in England and a well noted spiritual director.
Once again, a most heartwarming and enlightening experience.
Members of the Vestry ventured over to Chapel Rock in Prescott for a retreat this past weekend. Peri Cline shared these pictures from the weekend. (Click on an individual photo for a closer look.)