Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sacred Business

Community Conversation Regarding Our Priorities

The Gathering is a collaborative community where, just as our bell banner symbolizes, each voice is unique and important in making up the whole chorus. As such, we gather as a whole for updates and conversations about the life of the community every fifth Sunday, which is this week. So on this fifth Sunday of January, we will Gather for Sacred Business. The evening will be full of engaging with the Spirit and discussing and deciding things that shape who we are. You are encouraged to participate.

Our offering will affirm our relationship with the United Church of Christ as we give to Our Church's Wider Mission. OCWM is the money given by local congregations throughout the United States to fund the ministries of each Conference and the nation-wide ministries of the UCC. OCWM changes lives by strengthening our ecumenical relationships and global partnerships, by imagining and embodying a better world through prophetic witness and work, and by providing resources and programs to nurture the vitality of UCC congregations.

Recognizing the time issue, we will not have a regular pot-luck. Feel free, however, to bring a snack supper and/or snacks to share. One of the issues we'll discuss is the proposed budget for January 2011-June 2011, which is printed below for your perusal.

Sunday, January 31
5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lars Movie & Sacred Cow Tipping

It's a fun-filled week for The Gathering. This Sunday Harold and Beth Peterson lead us in discussing the movie, Lars and the Real Girl.

A delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet. The more accurate description is something like this: Loving community heals people. Perhaps we should not hope for a life without problems or obstacles but rather see them as opportunities to grow in our capacity to love and be kind. We are all familiar with the thought that it takes a village to raise a child. Lars and the Real Girl makes it clear that it may take an entire community to help heal a troubled soul.
Food theme is anything easily eaten while watching the movie. Our offering will be used for healing in our community, as it will be designated as benevolent funds for needs in The Gathering.

Just days after the movie, The Gathering will offer Sacred Cow Tipping, an evening of irreverant comedy and soulful music
Tuesday, January 25, 7:30 pm
House of FiFi Dubois
123 S. Chadbourne

Get ready for a great night of fun and laughter - and perhaps a bit of discomfort as all kinds of "sacred cows" will be tipping over!

Comedy provided by Alex Rios.
Music provided by Manny Campos.
Laughter & Community provided by The Gathering.

One description of the evening is that it will show the definition of "church event" is more elastic than many think [translated: this will NOT be your father's church event (or Oldsmobile, either)]. This is a great non-threatening "church event" to invite all those people you know who don't do church. It's also a great event to attend if you don't do church. And it'll be a great event to attend if you want an evening of fun, laughter, and community. See you there!

It should be an interesting and entertaining week. Join us!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sacred Cow Tipping: January 25

The House of FiFi DuBois, 123 S. Chadbourne St., will be presenting comedian Alex Rios and musician Manny Campos for "A Night of Sacred Cow Tipping," an evening of irreverent comedy and soulful music, presented by The Gathering UCC at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Campos plays everything from The Beatles to Hendrix to Elton John. Alex Rios was heavily influenced by Bill Hicks, George Carlin and "other things that he'd rather not discuss." The show is free and open to the public.For more information call 325-658-3434.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Together Beloved

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday. Recent events in Tucson, Washington, DC, Sudan, Lebanon, Australia, and across the world call us to engage King's theologically-based notion of Beloved Community.

The Beloved Community was a dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to create a world in which all persons live in peace and harmony. King said:

"Our goal is to create a beloved community, and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives."

"We Are The Beloved Community" is an affirmation of who we are as well as a clarion call to better ourselves, our community, our city, the nation and the world.

If we are to join in the movement in 2011, what can we see that needs work? Where and with whom will we stand? In the spirit of our prophets, the Rabbi Y'shua, and the preacher King, what liberating work shall we join this year?

Our offering will be designated for our local grass-roots effort at creating Beloved Community - West Texas Organizing Strategy. Our pot-luck theme is, of course, Southern soul food.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gathering at the Heart of Compassion

What a treat we have this Sunday! Brenda Maiman and Pat Hines will help us explore compassion using a Joyce Rupp retreat dvd, The Heart of Compassion. The retreat is described as: "Compassion can change a heart, change a life, change a world. Joyce Rupp explores the depths of this vital quality from many dimensions, including science, medicine, theology, spirituality, sociology, and psychology. She invites participants to ponder their personal experiences of compassion and to move deeper into this lived reality, to reenergize their ability to offer loving kindness, and to go forth with a renewed commitment to be a compassionate presence for one's self and for those who are in the midst of pain and struggle." We'll gather to watch about 45 minutes of the dvd and engage in reflective conversation. Our pot-luck theme is food that's good for the heart, and our offering recipient is still being determined.

Sunday, January 9
5:30 pm
618 Locust Street

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

God's Peace

Behold The Light

Behold the Light,
In cold winter sky,
And feel the Love,
Guidance sweet and warm,
Calling all…
As the sun returns once more,
Cherishing Life as evergreen…

Behold the babe,
Whom wise men seek
And angels greet in song,
Swaddled here within each heart…
Spirit’s Child,
Inheriting Truth ever born anew
Within the waking mind…

Be Peace on earth,
God’s Will for man…
And beast,
And sky…
Behold the Light

rcd 12/22/07.

May the light in all things shine upon you. May the gentle warmth of love spread throughout your being, filling your home with love. May spirit's wings lift you to a special place, where you and the divine are one. May these things be yours in the countless present moments of the new year, but especially during times too difficult to bear. Peace, especially to those struggling to find their way.

app 12/24/10

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Gathering in the New Year

Sunday, January 3, 5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street

It'll be a "firecracker" of an evening as we Gather for the first worship service of 2011. Our theme, Epiphany, invites us to examine the places and spaces where we experience the incarnate Sacred Presence. Our offering, designated for Heifer Project, invites us to incarnate Sacred Presence with neighbors near and far. Our pot-luck theme is:

Creative Dishes using Holiday Left-overs (Or, if you're tired of left-overs, no matter how creative, bring whatever you'd like ~ including just yourself!)