We're Doing Something Big! // M-Note 2.17.23

In just a little over a week, The Gathering is doing something big! We are hosting our first ever nation-wide conference called BEYOND.
During the pandemic, more and more people outside of St. Louis began worshiping and engaging with The Gathering online. Along the way, people all over would email me and say something like, “can we start a site of The Gathering here?!” I started to ask questions to learn what was behind this request. There are churches all over the country. There are good preachers and talented musicians everywhere. What were people resonating with and wanting to experience locally?
From our inception, we believe that the church should be evangelical (in the best sense of the word) and inclusive, passionate about inviting people to follow Jesus and more open with regards to who is welcome in the church. What so many people were telling me is that this kind of church is hard to find. In the last year, there is so much that is dividing the church (and the world). Churches with a similar mindset to ours need a space and time to learn, connect, and refocus on growth and vitality. Because of that, we decided to take a bold step and host our first ever conference called BEYOND.
February 27- 28th over 200 pastors and leaders from 19 states and 5 denominations will gather at our McCausland site for worship, learn from fantastic speakers, connect with one another, and focus on how to be a church that is both inclusive and growing. I am so excited and also a  bit nervous. The Gathering is stepping into a leadership role by hosting this kind of a conversation, and I think it is exactly where God is calling us. 
As we prepare for the conference, I have a few things I want to ask of  you. First, thank you for supporting our vision to begin influencing and resourcing other like-minded churches around the country. Your generosity is what makes this work possible. Second, please pray for our team as we prepare to host people from all over and welcome them to The Gathering. Finally, if you have flexibility in your schedule and a curiosity about the conference, please sign up during it. We need a lot of volunteers to help welcome people and extend hospitality to all our guests. You can check out all the ways to serve, see the available shifts, and sign up here. I would be really grateful if you serve, even if you have never done so before.
I am so proud to be your pastor and of the work that you are doing as a church. I believe God will continue to use our church in greater ways over the next few years. BEYOND is just the beginning!
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