You May Not Realize It, But...//M-Note 11.18.2022

Thursday afternoon, I pulled up to The Gathering’s McCausland site expecting it to be empty, so I was surprised to find a group of people unpacking boxes and boxes of books!
The books are being prepared for all the students that participate in The Gathering’s Literacy Project. This ministry pairs reading tutors from The Gathering with students in 3 different schools here in St. Louis. The tutors commit 1 hour every week to work one-on-one with students in the classroom. Over the course of the year, not only are we finding that the work builds reading skills for these students, but lasting relationships are formed. The tutors and students get to know each other well over the course of the year. They learn about one another’s family, share interests and passions, and support each other during difficult seasons. This partnership is a visible and tangible way of expressing the heart of Jesus’ good news – that none of us face life alone.
The Literacy Project also has a program called My Own Library, which provides books for the students to take home each month. By giving students age-appropriate, representative books, each family begins forming a collection of books at home to encourage ongoing reading. The books are not only new, but deal with current issues that are relevant to the lives of the students reading them. The group of volunteers that I happened upon at the McCausland Site were packing up these books in time to send them home with students before the Thanksgiving break.
As I write about (and eavesdrop on) those volunteers, I am reminded of all the ministry that happens in and through churches like ours every day. The Literacy Project and My Own Library, like so many other ministries, are fully funded by our church. That means every time you give, you are participating in this ministry, whether you know it or not! Your commitment to The Gathering impacts the lives of people that you may never meet. This is the power of generosity.

Another Literacy Project program, The Giving Tree, wraps up this weekend. It allows The Gathering to bless the teachers and staff at each of our partner schools who work so hard to take care of their students. If you already signed up, be sure to bring your gift to worship. If not, I’m told there are a few more teachers that need gifts.
If you are interested in learning more about serving in the Literacy Project, contact our director Beth McClure. Thank you for being part of this church. Thank you for serving, worshiping, inviting others, and giving. I am grateful for what God is doing in and through you to remind people that we do not face life alone.
P.S. This weekend, we are concluding our series OPEN. There will be an invitation for anyone who has not yet committed to financially support The Gathering to do so. We will provide cards in worship for you to make a commitment, but you can also find the card and fill it out online, or in The Gathering app. I hope everyone who calls The Gathering home will choose to support our ministry in the year to come.  
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