Dear Gather Friends and Family,
Under a blue street sign that bears the name “Azusa,” in a boisterous LA neighborhood just northeast of downtown, a smaller square brown sign reads, “AZUSA ST. MISSION. Site of the Azusa St. Revival from 1906-1931. Cradle of the Worldwide Pentecostal Movement.” Like Peter and the other disciples in the Upper Room, Azusa marks a fresh outpouring of the Spirit that says, “This is that” which Joel spoke of. What birthed the Early Church movement in first century Jerusalem is what ushered in the rebirth of Pentecostalism in 20th century America.
There was a longing in the US for this movement to be one that would bring together the social and the spiritual, so that the injustices of racism and gender oppression would be overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit in this “New Jerusalem.” After a few short years, the movement stalled. However, from Azusa Street, Pentecostalism has spread and continues to spread worldwide. It is the fastest growing part of Christianity globally, especially, in the Global South. It seems the Spirit continues to speak, to move, and to create fresh moments of being reborn.
But there are important lessons to be learned along the way. The success stories are many, along with many cautionary tales of how trying to “catch lightning in a bottle” and attempting to harness the unpredictable—ungovernable—power of the Holy Spirit can become a self-defeating project. And all of this is important for those of us who are convinced the Spirit is moving in fresh ways, taking our faith into new and uncharted waters. What can we learn from our past to equip us to meet the demands God is placing on us in our own time?
Join our study Thursday night at 7:30p CDT as we trace the Pentecostal movement in the US from the spirituals of the enslaved, to the revivals of the Great Awakenings, and finally to Azusa Street. The Spirit is marked by movement; it is her modus operandi. May we feel and be moved by her presence!
Peace and blessings,
Join Zoom Study here:
Meeting ID: 850 8603 2936
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.
PS: And plan now to join us for our three-year anniversary celebration and Pentecost worship experience this Sunday at 5p CDT on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCldChQ-w8vS1vkbSDyyxLOQ.
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.