M-Note 7.24.2021

Dear Gathering,

I am taking a moment during my time away to write to you. I love my work at the church, so I do not naturally take a lot of time off. But, these last few weeks have given me a chance to rest, connect with my family, and reflect on the incredible work that lies ahead for The Gathering. I have enjoyed the chance to participate in worship and experience how powerful Get Up has been. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to this sermon series based on Pastor Charity’s book, I encourage you to catch up here.
 
As summer progresses, unfortunately, so has COVID, especially as the Delta variant spreads. The science is clear - vaccinations work. But, many people still are not vaccinated, especially in Missouri. If you have not yet gotten vaccinated, I urge you to do so. If you are uncertain, I encourage you to read, research, and talk to your doctor and others that are both knowledgeable and trustworthy. Be careful where you are getting your information, especially online.
 
We know that COVID is an ever-changing reality. Beginning Monday, both St Louis County and St. Louis City will be reissuing a mask mandate for indoor public places. Many of you are wondering what this means for church. This weekend, our current practices will continue to be in place (you can review them here). We require unvaccinated people to wear masks and encourage others to wear a mask if they are more comfortable doing so. Communion servers and those working with children will also be wearing masks. Next week, our leaders (lay and staff) will be reviewing The Gathering’s safety protocols. As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will be evaluating and changing our practices in light of the science and public health requirements. We will communicate any changes next week after we meet.
 
Lastly, beginning in August not only will we be starting a new sermon series on the Book of Revelation called (Fire & Brimstone), but we will also be launching additional service times. Starting August 1, Clayton and McCausland hold worship at both 9 and 10:30 am. Webster will continue to worship at 10 am. All services will include a full Kids Ministry. Not only will this provide more room for us to invite new people and welcome back folks who are ready to worship in-person, but it will also allow all of us more choices for when we worship. And as always, online worship will continue to be available.
 
I miss you all. Thank you for being such an incredible church. As we prepare for a new series and new services in August, I really hope you will invite someone to check out our church. I strongly believe we are on the cusp of a new season at The Gathering. There are so many people who are looking for a new start in their own lives. Jesus is in the business of new starts, so there is no better time than now to invite someone to try out church. I look forward to being back soon. Enjoy your weekend, and I will see you in worship.
 
Peace,

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