By January 3, 2024Weekly Update

The man looked up and said, “I see people. They look like trees, only they are walking around.” – Mark 8:24


Dear Gatherers,


Clarity takes time. We see this in the story of the blind man who needs two turns to gain his sight. The process is very telling. First, Jesus leads him out of his village and the sensory comforts he relies on. Then Jesus spits on his eyes—yes, that’s right—and lays hands on him. But apparently he needs something more. All he sees are tall people walking around. Then Jesus touches his eyes and he sees.


Gather is going into 2024 much like the man in the story. We’ve been led away from our comfort zones. We’ve experienced the life of Christ and God’s hand on our lives. But we’re still not seeing or hearing clearly. We need God to touch our eyes so we can see more clearly. Our theme for this year is “Radical Vision” as we develop sharper sensory skills to see where God is leading and hear what God is saying. That will require attentive prayer and prayerful intention.


As lead pastor, I want to be fully transparent: 2024 is the make-or-break year for us. Presently we are not sustainable without generous outside support. We’re not being as consistent and reliable as we must be to move ahead wit clarity. This Sunday Pastor K is going to lead us to consider our listening skills in a powerful message drawn from Jesus’s own baptism. In the weeks to come, we’re going to keep asking, “How can we perceive God’s plan for Gather more clearly?”


It’s going to be an amazing adventure. But we’ll need our senses sharpened to trace the path we’re taking—all of us listening and seeing and responding with profound spiritual precision. We can do this. Of that I’m certain.


With blessings and much love,

Pastor Tim