Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Gathering

For the last few months, several young people at our church have hosted a gathering on Saturday evenings aptly called-- "The Gathering."  Tonight I had my second opportunity to attend.  It is quite a unique experience.  Walking into the Gathering, the informal nature of the event is evident, but despite the informality, it is not disorganized.  The attitude is also rather loose and laid back, but certainly not irreverent.

The service is primarily music driven, but we also took the time to vocalize prayer requests and time was spent reading from the Bible and praying.  Usually when you attend a religious service with children their behavior can become an issue and minor disruptions cause great stress, but with the atmosphere in this service the children were not a problem at all.  In fact, they were included in part of the service tonight as the leaders invited them to participate with rythm instruments in one of the songs.

What I most appreciated tonight was the worshipful experience.  Several people gathered, shared a bit of their lives with each other, and worshipped God without the normal distractions of "church."  We didn't have to follow a bulletin or be mindful of the myriad other activities going on in a usual Sunday morning.  I found myself acutely aware of the words.  Words that resonated in my mind through this service.  Words that just don't seem to fit in our world anymore-- faithfulness, mercy, grace, joy, hope.

I applaud the three young adults who have initiated this experience for our community, and hope they find encouragement as they continue.  If you live in this community I would encourage you to join in this experience in March on the 26th and in April on the 30th.  The Gathering meets at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in Earlysville at 4:00.  It is a wonderful time of experiencing God, friendship, music, and coffee.

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