Dear Gather Family and Friends,
In her 2008 book The Great Emergence, the late (also great) Phyllis Tickle described the Church’s “500-Year Rummage Sale,” proposing that every five centuries or so the Church enters a period of housekeeping, deciding what should be kept and what should be discarded. History bears her out, too, with the last rummage sale happening 500 years ago with the Protestant Reformation.
Now we’re on the verge of another reformation, and for those who insist things must remain as they have been, the idea can be very frightening because they are observing their preferred way of thinking in its last days. For the rest of us, however, that’s not such a bad thing because the whole Pentecostal concept of a radically cross-cultural, liberating gospel is—has always been—a last days theology. Peter’s Acts 2 sermon nails this: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh” (italics mine).
Many conflate “last days” with “end of time.” Others leap to the Second Coming. But the prophetic idea is closer to Tickle’s rummage sale. A new era is dawning—“the end of the age” is how Jesus put it—when the Holy Spirit shakes everything up. We saw this with the original Pentecost, with the great East-West schism of 1054, and with Luther’s reforms of 1517, when Bibles became printed in every language and people articulated their faith in new ways. Now, 500 years later, we’re seeing the emergence of a new dialect that accentuates unconditional love and open invitation, the ushering in of ecstatically inclusive communities where no one is denied or denigrated. We are witnessing a Third Pentecost.
Pentecost then, now, and in the next move of the Spirit—these are thrilling ideas connected by one core principle: all means all. We’ll spend our next time together looking at what this Third Pentecost is really about and how we participate in it. Our final installment in our Hearts on Fire series happens this Thursday at 7:30pm CDT. We look forward to being together for this great discussion!
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.