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GuestStuart Higginbotham

Fr. Stuart Higginbotham, an Episcopal priest in Gainesville, GA, is another one of the thoughtful and inspiring persons I met at the New Contemplative Exchange in Snowmass, CO, last August (2017).  This interview stood out for me because of the very intentional way in which Stuart is bringing a contemplative disposition into his leadership role as pastor and priest at Grace Episcopal Church.  His approach to leadership exemplifies what happens when we work to remove our ego and self-will from daily events, and create more room for the Holy Spirit to work in and through others.  Although he’s speaking about leadership as a pastor, I think there’s some incredible wisdom about leadership that applies to any context - business, parenting, sports, etc.

Here’s how he describes this approach to “pastoral” leadership on his blog, on a Contemplative Reformation:

Fr. Stuart’s doctoral thesis, “The Practice of Christian Mindfulness as an Imaginative Challenge in Parish Ministry,” describes Grace’s work over the past few years to reorient its practice of discipleship and ministry away from the “program-maintenance model” toward a contemplative posture of spiritual imagination, discernment, transfigured awareness, and desire. He is particularly drawn to exploring the ways the Christian contemplative tradition can shape, nurture, and challenge the institutional church.

Fore more information about Stuart, check out the links below:

Elements of a Contemplative Reformation blog www.contemplativereformation.com

Grace Episcopal Church www.gracechurchgainesville.org

Stuart mentions this video by Raimond Panikkar in our interview, so I’m sharing the link here as well… In his words, “It fits so well into the dynamic of congregational work, with a contemplative posture.  I use it a great deal here, with conversations.”  It’s Panikkar’s “The Window”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyDZEs2qKw8

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