Category

Weekly Update

Racist Religion – Not New

Dear Gatherer Friends and Family,

 

The writer of Ecclesiastes famously sighed, “There is nothing new under the sun,” prefaced by a tried-and-true observation: “Whatever has happened—that’s what will happen again” (Eccl. 1:9). Lift the lid on today’s headlines and you’ll find centuries of similar stories. Every day brings another round of resisting our worst impulses in a quest to do what’s best. St. Paul put it plainly: “When I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me” (Rom. 7:21).

Every good idea, it seems, has an evil twin. Yet people often express shock when these vulnerabilities play out in the faith arena. Since church and theology are about God, many seem to think it’s God’s job to keep our work perfect. Yet people of faith are no less vulnerable to hateful ideologies and wicked practices simply because they’re human. When we want to do good, evil is right there, even in faith. Nothing new under the sun.

How did original biblical principles get re-packaged into unbiblical ideologies about race, gender, and identity? How is it that the KKK felt no conflict about carrying crosses? Why do current supremacist cults organize as “churches”? How can so many extremists calling for war and violence end their rallies praying “in Jesus’s name” (as happened on Jan. 6 and earlier this week at the Michigan capitol)?

None of this is new. Today’s white populist movements (in the US and abroad) are frothed in a toxic brew of Christian separatism and primitive tribal culture first seen in Dark Ages Europe. This week, as we continue our November study “Traces,” we’ll look at pre-Christian Europe to learn our present warrior mentality and clannish behavior are directly tied to a past long gone. It’s fascinating to note a lot of we hear today—not only in the public square, but also from many pulpits and religious media outlets—is rooted in primitive tribalism. Nothing new… Swing by this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT to learn more!

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86836386014

Meeting ID: 868 3638 6014

Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using same meeting ID.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

TROUBLE SPOTS

Dear Gather Friends and Family,

 

We open a new study series this Thursday—a monthlong adventure we call “Traces,” as we explore Christianity’s slow movement through Northern Europe. As always, the Three Amigos—Gather’s own mythologist Tony Perez, our resident theologian Dr. Shea Watts, and I—will lead the search for meaning in a history whose importance and intrigue has long got lost in the mist.

Too often Christianity’s spread into the farther regions of Europe is framed simply, as a civilization saga. In church legend, these places are pictured as uncivilized nowheres. But Christianity didn’t spill into a religious void. On arriving in what we now call the Balkans, Prussia, Scandinavia, and the UK, monks and missionaries encountered people with their own sets of deeply imbedded beliefs and reliable faith narratives. Conversion had spiritual benefits, of course, but it also offered advantages that superseded spirituality and faith, since joining the church enabled many far-flung groups to consolidate greater territory and power. (Ask Charlemagne…)

Why should this matter to us? For starters, the Christianization process was not as one-sided as we may imagine. Along the way, certain “primitive” beliefs and practices leached into Christian life. Seasonal rites and customs embraced by pagan religion became liturgical mainstays in Christian worship. Ideologies about nationalism, ethnic supremacy, gender roles, along with distinctive types of mysticism brought new flavors and flaws to the Christian project.

There are reasons why the first Europeans to land in America imagined God as an angry white man, why they believed pinkness endowed them with divine right to murder, enslave, and impoverish people with darker skin, why they conflated evangelism and conquest to establish the bogus “doctrine” of Manifest Destiny. These same impulses explain how current supremacist groups call themselves “Christian,” how many sects persist in denigrating women and denying their freedoms, how violent language has become so common in churches and pulpits that so-called “worship” often sounds more like paranoid ravings about being “at war” and “under attack.”

In October, we’re Zooming across Europe with the missionaries We’ll pay close attention to how Christianity adapted as it spread to new communities and how they introduced ideas and assumptions many presume have been present in Christian texts and theology from the start. (Not so.) Don’t miss this Thursday, at 7:30pm CDT, when we begin our travels in second-century Persia and Greece, where new religion and nationalism collide. I’m very excited about this series and look forward to a lively discussion! See you on Thursday.

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86836386014

Meeting ID: 868 3638 6014

Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using same meeting ID.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

What’s up with Revelation?

Dear Gather Family and Friends,

 

The Revelation of John is indubitably the most cinematic book in scripture. With most of its content describing a series of visions, its images are gripping, often closer in nature to ancient monster tales than we’d expect from biblical texts. It’s also an exquisitely sophisticated work, toggling between celestial and earthly scenes, crisscrossing through time, evoking numerous legends and metaphors from other texts and first-century events.

 

At its core, the Revelation is a brilliantly constructed, theological treatise on the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. The writer paints pictures that its intended readers—seven severely persecuted churches in modern-day Turkey—can seize on for hope and strength. But let’s get real. That’s not why people obsess over it. John’s visions also appear to open glimpses into a dark, dystopian future filled with omens signaling the sudden return of Jesus, followed by an epic battle to restore justice and peace to a wayward world. With film, video and cable news stoking fertile imaginations, it’s become very popular to focus on the horrors John describes, rather than the hope he conveys. (This take also sells a whole lot of books and movie tickets, turning many doomsday prophets into current-day profiteers.)

 

Did John really mean to scare the wits out of us and launch an End-of-Time guessing game? Might his agenda have been far more fundamental? Because while we can argue interminably about the storyline, there’s no denying the Revelation’s ultimate outcome. In the end, love wins. Since this is the main point of Christian teaching, it makes sense for this strange volume to close the New Testament.

 

Having just re-read it—which can be done in one sitting; it’s not long and a real page-turner—I recalled a song from my youth: The wicked shall cease from troubling / The weary shall be at rest / All of the saints of the ages / Shall sit at his feet and be blessed. That’s the Revelation in a nutshell and that’s where we’re headed, in asking, “What’s up with Revelation?” Join us this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. You’ll find out there’s a whole lot of good news in this text—more than first meets the eye!

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84710869833

Meeting ID: 847 1086 9833

Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

See you this Thursday at 7:30p CDT!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

gatheraop@gmail.com

312.399.3910

WHO’S LISTENING, WHO’S TALKING

Dear Gatherers,

I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had several years ago with a mainline Protestant pastor. “We don’t evangelize,” she said with a stern expression. As a newcomer to the tradition, I was clearly out of my depth. Still, I had to ask, “How does your community grow?” She looked at me through squinty eyes, as if I’d posed a riddle. “That’s a good question,” she said. Then she changed the subject.

With many evangelical Christians painting themselves so far into a right corner, a devout intolerance for evangelism has surfaced among moderate and progressive believers. To avoid identification with cousins who adhere to narrower social and political views, many Christians have decided talking about their beliefs is intrusive or (God forbid!) impolite. Sharing faith with someone who may be seeking a deeper spiritual experience is taboo. Too coercive!

But data keep telling us mainline Protestantism’s resistance to evangelizing is a serious mistake. Numerous studies, including a significant 2020 census by the Public Religion Research Institute, shows early stages of migration toward progressive churches, with mainline non-evangelical Protestants bucking an overall decline among white Americans as the only Christian category currently trending upward. (Churches of color have proven remarkably stable over the past 15 years.)

The numbers confirm what many of us already know anecdotally through experience. Disaffected people are seeking, and finding, homes in more affirming faith communities. But does that suggest we can take it easy and not bother following the command of Christ to spread the word? No! In fact, it substantiates a very real need exists all around us. It’s time to step out of the shadows and start talking about faith, because a lot of folks are listening for our message of unconditional love and social justice, i.e., the kingdom of God exactly as Jesus declared and taught. Open hands, open minds, open hearts—we talk about these things all the time, and in some churches we even sing about them. But do we risk holding too little in our open hands, thinking too small in our open minds, and loving too few in our open hearts simply because we’re afraid to open our mouths? It’s time to break the silence.

What might happen if we overcame our dreads about evangelism? That’s the question we’ll ask this coming Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. Sign on and join the discussion. You’ll be glad you did!

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84710869833

Meeting ID: 847 1086 9833

Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

 

See you this Thursday at 7:30p CDT!

Blessings,

Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

LIVING LETTERS

Hello, Gather friends and family.

 

About a decade ago, the United Church of Christ launched a print and TV campaign with this message: Never put a period where God has placed a comma, reflecting the UCC’s tagline: God is still speaking. Some of us UCC vets may have heard this so often we don’t pay it much mind. But together, the two slogans pack quite a punch.

We can’t ever put God in a box. Thinking we’ve got God all figured out and know exactly what God wants or plans to do will find us sipping a toxic cocktail of foolishness and arrogance. Scripture repeatedly shows this, both in word and example—none more explicitly than Isaiah 55:8-9, where God flat-out says, “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.”

  1. Got it. But if it’s not all signed, sealed, and delivered in the Bible and tradition, how is God continuing to speak? We’ve not had any reports of booming declarations from the sky. Not even a still small voice whispering from a windy cave. No divine social media presence, either. If God really is still speaking, how’s that supposed to work? A few questions are in order.

Might God speak through us? It could be we’re the living, breathing, walking, talking media that embody God’s word and will and way in the world. That’s a pretty radical idea. But it’s hardly new. Paul told his friends in Corinth, “You are like a letter written by Christ… not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor. 3:3).

What kind of mail are we delivering to the world? When folks open us up, what do they read? How do we become these living letters that spill out good news of unconditional love and grace? That’s the focus of this Thursday’s Bible study. Our virtual pastor, Shea Watts (fresh off his and Kat’s trip to Scotland) will have a lot to share with us on this topic. Don’t miss it!

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84710869833

Meeting ID: 847 1086 9833

Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

See you this Thursday at 7:30p CDT!

 

Blessings,
Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

ARE YOU SATISFIED?

Something to Think About This Week

 

Are you satisfied? Did you impulsively answer, “Of course not. Never!”? As participants in a relentlessly commercialized, competitive, capitalist culture, we’re conditioned to be discontent.

Think of the pressures we’d be rid of if we actually lived as though winning wasn’t everything and our success wasn’t measured by job title, income, looks, popularity, education, address, and innumerable other ways the world assigns worth. You know who succeeds when we get worked up about such things? The people who sell us stuff! Their satisfaction depends on our chronic dissatisfaction. They constantly send us the same message: Contentment is for people who have no ambition or drive. You need more, they insist—and you must spend all your time and energy getting it. What might happen if we turned our competitive drive down and cranked up the contentment meter?

When St. Paul famously wrote, “I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11), he was talking about more than material possessions. In fact, he connected satisfaction with peace of mind, because contentment grows out of how we think. Writing these words from prison, Paul hands us the key to contentment two verses later: “Christ gives me strength,” he says. True satisfaction and peace come when we admit what we have for now is enough, because with Christ there is always more. “I can face anything,” Paul insists. Even with the likelihood of execution staring him in the eye he had the peace of mind to prove it.

 

This Sunday We’re All About Satisfaction

 

So, again: Are we satisfied? Are we at peace? This Sunday’s live worship experience will celebrate satisfaction in joyful music and testimony, sacred word and meal. Join us this Sunday at 5pm CDT at William McKinley Park, at Pershing Road between Damen and Leavitt, near the outdoor basketball courts. All you need is a chair and/or blanket for seating. We’ve got the refreshments covered. The weather outlook is beautiful—almost as beautiful as the contented, peaceful folks who make Gather what it is. And for those who can’t be with us in person, make sure you tune in to the live feed on YouTube!

 

Come for the worship. Stay for the dance. (And bring friends!)

 

I look forward to being together as we Gather in the park!

 

Peace and blessings,

Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

PRESENCE

Dear Gather friends and family, old and new,

Our summer tour of Exodus concludes this week, and I’ll miss hanging out with Moses and his people every Thursday. Watching them wander and learn, mess up and recover has been instructive and inspiring—a regular reminder that a life of trust is not easy. Paul stressed this in his second letter to the Corinthians. “We walk by faith, not by sight,” he reminded them (2 Cor. 5:7). When he wrote those words, he could have been thinking of his ancestral heritage, because that’s what Exodus is about: learning to live freely and moving forward by faith. While that sounds very spiritual, heroic even, it’s still a wacky way to cross a desert without a map or a final destination.

In Exodus, walking by faith tests everybody’s patience. With few exceptions (which are more likely omissions), folks stumble and lose heart. Nobody—not even Moses—keeps it together all the time. Yet they keep going. How do they do it? Why does Moses keep pushing the people farther into the unknown? I’m mystified at how they keep bouncing back after things break down, always moving, walking by faith with no real destination in view.

Where and how does it end? Most people assume Exodus finishes in the Promised Land. Not so. They’re still in the wilderness with only two years of their 40-year journey under their belts. And that’s fine, because there’s a more relevant and exciting idea on the loose in Exodus, a more powerful and enduring promise in play—more than real estate or national identity or marking borders. The story ends exactly as it should, given how the action begins. It all starts when God pledges faithfulness to Moses. From the flames of a fiery bush God declares, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12). And here’s how the story wraps: “The Lord’s glorious presence filled the dwelling” (Ex. 40:34). Bookends!

The message of Exodus—its theme as high school lit teachers would put it—is really about living in the present, trusting the divine promise of presence, and accepting we are never alone. This is not always easy to do. Indeed, if we look to Moses and Co. as our example, it takes years. Allowing God to be present is hard because it means we have to let God be God. And we don’t like that. We want to see where we’re going. We want to predict what’s next. We want to manage every minute. Yet the past year has taught we can’t see the future, we can’t manage every detail. We’re pretty much always walking by faith and not by sight as it is. So why don’t we take God up on the promise of presence? It takes a lot of practice. Years. But since we’re in the desert anyway…

Join us this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT as we spend time reflecting on our own summer journey through Exodus.

See you this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82424012625
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

 

Peace,

Pastor Tim

 

PS: Make sure you join us this Sunday at 5pm CDT for our monthly YouTube worship. We have a special guest musician and lots of wonderful features to strengthen and encourage us on our own journey. You can access the service via our YouTube channel:

Click Here

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

The Self-Invited Guest

Dear Gatherers,

 

Depending on your appetite for detail, the Tabernacle chapters of Exodus either: 1) make your inner Bible nerd giddy with pleasure, or 2) give you brain cramps. Or maybe a little of both. Aside from the infamously tedious genealogies (“so-and-so begat such-and-such”), Exodus 25-31 is one of the most challenging expanses of scripture because it’s almost entirely focused on fabrication. Build this. Sew that. Make this.

 

Yet every now and then, to keep us emotionally invested, God reminds us what’s behind all the design and décor: “I will be at home among the Israelites, and I will be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could make a home among them. I am the Lord their God” (Ex. 29:45-46).

 

Back in June, when we began this journey with Moses and his followers, we talked about how this greatest coming-out story ever told was, at its core, a freedom saga. We affirmed that God liberates Israel from Egypt because God defends the poor and frees the captive and welcomes the outcast. (That’s why we do the same, btw, as children of this God.) Amid the carpentry and construction, swatches and needlework, we find a very clear reason why God lifts the downtrodden and mends the brokenhearted and heals wounded souls. I brought them out so I could make a home among them.

 

God wants to live with us! That’s what all of this is about. God wants to live with us—all of us, regardless how we identify or what anyone else thinks. That secret’s been there all along, and once we uncover that truth, we can only say, let’s get busy and get this place ready. God’s moving in!

 

Of course, God’s not going to live just any kind of way. This week we’ll look at all the fashion and ritual demands he makes on his hosts. But the ask is nothing compared to the brilliance of securing a divine address among ex-slaves in recovery and outcasts from the fringes and homeless folks tramping around in the desert. How cool is that? Join us as we put the finishing touches on the tabernacle and say a heartfelt thank you to the Self-Invited Guest of Honor who keeps company with us by choice.

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82424012625
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

 

See you this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. And if you’re in the Chicago area plan now to be with us for live worship, popping up this Sunday (8/15) at Thee Beauty Bar, 810 E. 43rd Street, Bronzeville at 5pm CDT. We have a surprise special guest artist scheduled to join us, along with our own amazing house music worship team. Come for the worship. Stay for the dance.

 

Peace,
Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

From Privacy to Presence

Dear Gather Friends and Family,

The rapid privatization of spirituality intrigues me. In the last century, we’ve hurdled from regarding faith as a communal experience to “personal salvation” (which answers the annoying question “What’s in it for me?”) to a new approach in which religion seems best kept as a tightly guarded private affair.

And yet we don’t think twice about self-disclosing all sorts of private information: what makes us feel amused, anxious, amorous, angry, alienated, what we ate and drank last night (pics please!), where we were, who we were with, and so on. Many of us make big consumer choices based on what our purchases may suggest to complete strangers, sometimes vaunting our ability to access places and goods others only dream of. We hear a lot of talk about transparency, which never seems to be available where it’s needed most but always shows up when discretion may be the better choice. We’re inundated with TMI—so much posture in so many posts. But faith? Well, that’s private.

I once asked someone about their faith, and they pulled out the default “higher power” reply. Fair enough. Then I got real curious and asked, “How do you experience your ‘higher power’?” Which (you guessed it) summoned a list of practices: “I meditate. I pray. I spend time in nature. I recite daily affirmations.” All good. But when I asked, “How is this power present in your life?” it felt like I was prying because, well, that’s private.

The ancient Israelites and, later, their rabbis routinely spoke of God as “The Presence.” This was the God who self-identifies as the verb I Will Be, whose name is so awesome it’s never spoken aloud. Such a God sounds perfect for private-belief predilections. Yet the Exodus account goes the opposite way. Once the Israelites seal their love covenant with God, their faith launches a brashly public project of constructing a fancy moveable dwelling for their higher power—which borders on insanity, if you think about it, considering they’re out in the desert relying on daily manna drops to survive. Why would they take on such a task? Because they wanted to visibly demonstrate God was active and present in their life together.

At first, this week’s study chapters (Exodus 25-27) read like a tedious HGTV to-do list: make this out of this, use these fabrics and patterns, accent with these touches. What’s behind it all? A compulsion to attend to the Presence that binds them together. That’s what we’ll look at this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. Make sure you’re with us!

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82424012625
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

 

Peace,
Pastor Tim

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.

SEALED WITH A MEAL

Dear Gatherers,

 

I sometimes wonder how many of us engage in our tradition’s ancient rites, never considering where they come from. How many assume we know the story—and very likely do—but never wonder if there might a story behind the story? Nearly every Christian can trace the Eucharistic rite back to Jesus’s farewell dinner with his friends. At Gather, we recreate and reflect on this event every time we worship together. “Do this in remembrance of me.” And many of us get the connection with Passover, as the Gospels make clear.

Yet Jesus’s use of a dinner to seal the recollection of his life and death belong to an even broader covenantal tradition. We witness this in Exodus 24, the focus of this Thursday’s study. Moses receives the list of 10 divine expectations in chapter 20. The ethical demands on the community are spelled out in the “Book of the Covenant” (Ex. 21-23). All that’s needed is the people’s assent to abide by these principles for the deal will be struck.

Once they agree, Moses, Aaron, Aaron’s sons, and 70 elders head back up the mountain to confirm their willingness to comply. Coming as close as they can to the Divine Presence, we read this: “God didn’t harm the Israelite leaders, though they looked at God, and they ate and drank” (Ex. 24:11). With apologies for the Seussical echoes, the deal gets sealed with a meal.

We hear loud echoes of covenantal language at the Last Supper. Calling the bread his body, Jesus self-identifies as the well-being sacrifice at the center of this common meal. (The disciples get it; their ears are sharply attuned to sacrificial metaphor, based on deep religious experience.) Jesus calls the wine a “new covenant.”

This goes back to Mt. Sinai, where God’s promise of acceptance and the community’s commitment to ethical living are joined in treaty.

While we envision the Last Supper during Communion, could Jesus and his friends be remembering a much older meal on a mountain meadow? If so, how does that enrich our understanding of Communion? We’ll dig into this on Thursday at 7:30pm CDT, along with many other intriguing—and seldom discussed—aspects of what happens on Sinai. Don’t miss the latest in our summer series, Exodus: The Greatest Coming Out Story Ever Told.

 

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82424012625
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.

 

See you this Thursday!

 

Peace,
Pastor Tim

 

PS: If you’ve not been able yet to enjoy last Sunday’s YouTube worship, do your best. Actual service time is under an hour and there are a lot of refreshing (and unusual) moments packed into that short time! https://youtu.be/kySlnrvzlO8

We need your help!

As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!

Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea

As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.