Easter Announcement // M-Note 2.27.2021

“The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.”

Those words were written by a English author and historian Thomas Fuller. I don’t know what was happening in his life or his world, at the time, but those words resonate with me. Especially now.
The past year has held its fair share of death. In a literal sense, we have lost over 500,000 people to COVID. But symbolically, we have been surrounded by darkness. Many of us have struggled emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually. Not being able to worship together in person has only added to the sense of disconnection. In some ways it seems like life continues to be dark, maybe darker than it was before. But dawn is coming!

Easter is a month away. It is going to be a new day in our lives and at The Gathering. Easter will be a powerful online worship experience that will include music, testimony, a message of hope, and a chance to participate in communion live with others through Zoom.  We will be sharing more details about Easter Online, but you will be able to watch it and share it just like a normal Sunday worship service.

While we were trying to have an in-person option, county restrictions on large gatherings did not make it feasible or wise for us. While I would have loved to worship with you in person, I am excited about our online Easter experience, not only because it will be a much needed and hopeful celebration of the risen Jesus, but it is also the beginning of a new season for The Gathering. The Sunday following Easter (April 11th), The Gathering will relaunch in-person worship at all three of our sites. We will start with a 9am worship option at all locations. We will have a registration system to ensure safe capacity, along with new protocols to make sure we can gather safely together. You can read all about our preparations and safety protocols here. I know that for so many of us, we need this return and can’t wait to be able to worship alongside other people. Online worship will remain a robust and meaningful option going forward, as well.

For now, I hope that you are praying for our church and our world during this season. As Easter grows closer, may it remind us of the new day that is dawning for all of us. I want you to start reaching out to people in your life that need a word of hope. Invite them to Easter. Not just that, invite them to join us as we come back to in-person worship the weekend after. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a new beginning in our life, something I know that I need!

Tomorrow, we are continuing a new series Testify. We will explore the story of Jesus’ last days through the eyes of those who were there with him, and this week I will focus on Pontius Pilate. You can read his story here. I can’t wait to see you there, and remember, dawn is coming!
P.S. It isn’t too late to sign up for our daily Lenten devotional, delivered right to your email or available on our app. If you haven’t listened, last week’s episode of my podcast The F Word: Conversations on Faith is all about being burned by the church. It is a must listen for any of you that have, or know someone who has, been hurt by the church or struggle with the way Christians treat others. Find it or subscribe here.
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