Monthly Archives

February 2024

The Way of the Wilderness

Dear Gatherers,


The suddenness of Ash Friday always takes me by surprise. The Christmas themes have barely left the air and here we are, thinking about how we will practice a period of self-reflection and spiritual discipline as we prepare ourselves for Holy Week’s grim recollections and Easter’s rejoicing.


Our ancestors in the Black and Pentecostal church had a word for this. They called it “going through:” finding oneself in a demanding place of uncertainty and discomfort, then mustering all the strength and determination you can summon to make it through. On the other side, there was always jubilee as they sang, “How did you feel when you came out the wilderness?”


Although not everyone at Gather may be familiar with the vernacular, I’m sure we all know the feeling. Lent, then, becomes a kind of intentional going-through so that we can relish the joy of coming out (again!). This season, we’re opening ourselves to some new ways of thinking and practicing our faith during Lent—starting with Sunday’s special look at faith ancestors in story and Word (preached by our own Rachael Pierce). If you’ve got an anecdote about one of your faith ancestors—a grandparent, a church member, a nun, a pastor—who taught you how to go through and come out, bring it! Pastor D’Angelo Smith will lead us in a sacred time of storytelling as we take our early steps into the desert.


Also, I’ll host a special Ash Wednesday tabletop gathering at our place on tomorrow evening. If you’d like to attend, please let him know no later than this evening (Tuesday), by emailing your RSVP to


Blessings for a wonderful and lifegiving journey!

Pastor Tim