We are a gathering of Christians from many backgrounds; catholic, protestant and evangelical. We feel compelled to live out a deep relationship with Christ in a way that is relevant to the society we live in. Our hope isn't to water down the Gospel to please social norms but to live fully in Christ in the midst of our society in a way that reflects our faith that God is at work redeeming people and culture through ordinary people like us.
We stand side by side, men and women, young and less young in order to:
- Use our gifts to reduce the barriers that impede people from knowing Christ
- Encourage each other to become more intimate with God
- Serve Christ
- Serve our community
- Love one another
Our vision stems from Isaiah 62: 10-12
10 Go out! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. 11 The Lord has sent this message to every land: "Tell the people of Israel: Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. 12 They will be called the Holy People and the People Redeemed by the Lord. And Jerusalem will be known as the Desirable Place and the City No Longer Forsaken.
These verses paint compelling images that fuel our resolve.
The first is an image of a loving God leading a people to a permanent relationship with him. God is bringing ordinary people from the four corners of the world into this relationship.
The second is an image of service; people already in relationship with God are called to remove the obstacles that impede others from developing an intimate relationship with God through Christ.
The third is an image of restoration brought to those who have faithfully served God.
We see ourselves as orthodox in beliefs yet flexible in practices and in the forms we use to gather, to serve and to reach out. Finally, our desire is to be responsive to the Spirit of God as we determine our activities, our relationships and the outcomes that we pursue.
What do we do?
We gather together in many ways:
As a large group to collectively celebrate our relationship with God through energizing worship, to take in teaching that deepens our experience of God and changes the way we think and live and to remember the love of Christ for us. In cell groups, which are smaller groups of up to 15 or 20 who band together for special projects, to serve a more specific locality or a more specific segment of the population. In accountability groups of two or more in order to encourage one another to grow deeper in experiencing and applying the love of Christ.
All of these gatherings have a common focus; we want to experience God in our day to day lives in very practical ways; we hope to see God extend his love to our families, friends and neighbours; we want to contribute to God expressing his love to our communities. We gather for collective celebration on the second and fourth Sunday of the month. We gather in cells and accountability groups throughout the week.In all of our gatherings, we focus on 4 Cs:
- Communion; deepening our relationship with God
- Community; building encouraging and supportive relationships with one another
- Commission; carrying the love of God to our families, friends, neighbors, communities and further
- Covenant; engaging in all of the above with intent and accountability to God and to one another
Because we believe we are but one valid expression of the Church of Christ amongst many, we work with other churches to serve, to worship, and to love people in the name of Christ.
Why do we do things that way?
We, of "The Gathering", believe that many people in our communities are interested in exploring a relationship with God, but feel distant from traditional forms of church. We see it as our calling to reach out to them with the love of Christ in a way that is understandable to them.
We realize that "The Gathering" is but one of the many expressions of church that God uses to express His love, yet we feel the need to provide one more access point for those who hunger to know God.