First of all, what a great turnout for dinner. It’s just great to have great food and visit with so many. I love watching the body enjoy their time together. Special thanks to Garey and Lisa Baxter and our entire Kitchen crew — great job! As a note, don’t forget to sign up for Wednesday dinner if you plan on attending.
Our first official The Gathering was just great. The schedule was slightly adjusted due to the called church conference (to approve those serving in committees, on council, as deacons, and messengers to a few annual meetings). We still shared reading through the Birthday list (to remind us regularly of the body). We prayed together as a group and in small groups at the end. We shared in worship, led so well by our band – they are faithful in their desire to shepherd the body with the more contemporary approach we use on Wednesdays (good job, guys!). Finally, COFFEE! Well, it was the fellowship that was sweet. In fact, it’s obvious we’re going to have to watch ourselves because our fellowship lasted longer than planned — gotta get those kids!
The sweetness of the fellowship was evident in our singing (you could hear the people sing); in our small group prayer time (it will be a bit longer); and in that time after all was finished. Just seeing people connect and encourage one another was sweet (hey, and I don’t use “sweet” too much so it must have been something — if you have a little “Napoleon Dynamite” in your head that word will make you giggle).
A couple of testimonies about last night were pretty telling to me. One guy in his 30’s shared how much the whole night meant to he and his wife after having such a difficult day. Once they were home together, sharing in their mutual experiences at church left them built up. Another woman in her… (okay, don’t go there) shared how meaningful the time was because of the sweetness of fellowship, even reminding her of why she originally came to UBC years ago as a collegiate.
I praise God for His provision and presence last night. As it pleases Him, may He bless our time and bring many into this time with the body.