M-Note 7.30.2021

Dear Gathering,

As a parent of three kids, August always marks a shift in seasons. Summertime is still here, but school is around the corner. The heat is wearing on me (especially as I write this), and I am ready for something new. Spiritually, something similar is true. I have been away for a few weeks now, taking a small sabbatical to rest, reflect, and reconnect with God and my family. It was great. I am so glad I did it. Now, I am ready for something new! Collectively, it feels like we are all in that place. It has been a year and a half of COVID, masks, distancing, no masks, vaccinations, and now back to masks. I think we are all ready for something new.
 
If that is you, then here is some good news. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is always doing a new thing. The only problem is that sometimes we aren’t looking for it, we aren’t expecting it, so we don’t see it. The past three months have been so promising at The Gathering. As we have returned to in-person worship, I have met so many of you that are new to The Gathering. Even in the past 18 months, God was connecting new people to our church, and I am grateful for it. Now, I am thrilled to announce that we are launching even more worship times beginning this weekend.
 

Starting Sunday, The Gathering will have two worship services 9 and 10:30am at both our Clayton and McCausland sites. Webster will continue to have one worship service at 10am. This means that we will have more times, more space, more options so that we can safely welcome more people.
 
Coinciding with the launch of a new service, I will begin a new series called Fire & Brimstone: The Book of Revelation. This book has long fascinated Christians and non-believers alike. It is undoubtedly one of the weirdest books of the Bible. What you may not know, is that it is also one of the most hopeful. With a new series and new times, this is a perfect day to invite a friend who may be interested to join you for worship. You can share the new series with a video here. 
 
Before I let you go, in accordance with the new mask mandate from St. Louis City and County, we will once again be requiring everyone to wear a mask in worship beginning this weekend. We will have masks available at the door in case you forget yours. We are hoping this doesn’t last for long. To accomplish that though, we need more people to get vaccinated. If you have not yet gotten the vaccine, I urge you to do so. The vaccines have proven to be safe and highly effective even against the Delta variant of COVID. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the vaccines, so make sure you are consulting reliable sources like your doctor when it comes to the vaccine. I deeply believe that getting vaccinated is not only a responsible and wise choice for your health, but it is a way to love and serve other people, especially the kids and the most vulnerable among us. 100% of The Gathering’s staff is vaccinated, and I am hoping everyone in our church who is eligible will get the vaccine as well.
 
Thank you so much for being the church that you are. I am encouraged by your notes of support, your commitment to our ministry, and your prayers. I can’t wait to begin a new month of worship, a new series, and new worship times. God is indeed doing a new thing at The Gathering. Don’t miss it! Stay cool, and I will see you Sunday.

Peace,

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