Gathering Women, Activating Faith
Women from all faith denominations are invited to gather together on June 22 and 23 to seek God, unite in prayer, and worship as one body of Christ.
Meeting regularly with a small group of faithful women this winter, Becky Herdklotz, Gracie O'Laughlin, Kristine Martin, and Rachael Mills felt like something big was stirring in their hearts.
"We sensed God asking us to bring women together, no matter what their faith background is," Gracie remembers. "We don't have to agree on everything doctrinally, but we all agree on Jesus as Lord."
So began the planning of The Gathering, a special event fully inclusive of all faith denominations that was created from a vision to see women in the High Country unite and activate their faith in Jesus more deeply. The purpose for this special event is to create a space for women to collectively seek Him and for Jesus Christ to ignite hearts in a new way that participants might walk more fully understanding God's purpose for their lives.
"To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." – Eph. 3:19
Perhaps even more importantly, this inter-denominational congregation of women is also envisioned to serve as a conduit to local churches.
"By no means is this meant to take away from the local church," Gracie said. "It's just the opposite. By creating a space for worship and teaching, we believe women will be activated in their faith and become even more engaged with faith communities across the High Country."
As they met and asked God for His direction, it didn't take long for this leadership team to quickly realize that this event was not theirs alone.
"Women have been praying for a unifying event like this for decades," Becky said. "There is great positivity and support; women have been wanting this."
Kristine is especially excited about this being an event that has been created and will be provided by local believers.
"We're not bringing in talent from down the mountain," Kristine said. "Women gifted from churches all across the area are sharing their stories, their time, and their calling."
"So many amazing women are already here," Becky added. "They were easy to find and willing to be involved."
Each member of the leadership group has years of professional experience organizing and coordinating large events, so they understand the significant amount of work it takes to host an event like this. And yet even they have been amazed at how easy the work has been up to this point.
"We didn't really start planning this gathering until early February," Gracie said. "We've taken one detail at a time and found every aspect wrapped in favor."
Kristine believes that working with different personalities in love and unity sets a tone of honoring all people and the unique perspectives they have to offer.
"There's something special and even powerful about doing this together," she said. "It's what this gathering is all about."
And they all believe that prayer has been the core.
"The Body of Christ and our commitment to prayer has been essential to the planning process," Gracie said. "We would not have been able to accomplish anything separately."
WATAUGA HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM
300 PIONEER DRIVE, BOONE, NC
June 22, 2018 | 7-9 pm
June 23, 2018 | 9 am - noon
Doors open 30 minutes prior to event. No childcare provided. Admission is FREE.
And while this event is meant to create an intimate space for people to encounter God, there are three specific takeaways for participants:
"By the end of Saturday, we hope women walk away know what God is saying about them, what He is saying about their calling, and how He is activating them into the fullness of involvement, forgiveness, and identity," Gracie said.
Friday and Saturday are focused on teaching, worship and prayer.
Gracie will teach from Ephesians 3:19. Additional speakers throughout the event will share their stories of how understanding God’s great love for them has radically changed their path, allowing a more intimate and personal relationship with our Savior, as well as a more dynamic and activated relationship with others.
Led by Kristine and a talented ensemble of musicians and worshipers from multiple High Country church communities, the worship team comes together with a desire to usher all participants into the presence of a holy, intimate God. Through worship, participants can come to understand God’s great love for His children, while also providing an opportunity for all in attendance to express their love back to our Savior.
Just as seeking God's direction through prayer was essential to the planning of this event, it will be central to creating a portal into the throne room of God. Women will be available to pray with and for anyone. Participants can also make online requests for prayer before the event.
The Gathering will be at Watauga High School Auditorium Friday, June 22 from 7-9pm and Saturday, June 23 from 9am-noon. Admission is free. Childcare will not be provided. Here's the schedule The Gathering:
Friday Evening Session
Testimony and teaching from Ephesians 3:19 - Part 1
Saturday Morning Session
Teaching and exhortation from Ephesians 3:19 - Part 2
When asked if this will be a singular event or if perhaps something even bigger might be coming in the future, Becky, Gracie, and Kristine gave a variety of responses. Another indication that strength can often be found in the embrace of our differences.
"Something is definitely stirring in activating women in the fullness of who God made them to be," Kristine said.
"I don't think this is a singular event," Gracie said. "But I'm just waiting for what's next."
"Honestly I can't see beyond what's next, I just love what's going on now," Becky said. "We are diving into something that people have been praying for and are excited about."
For more information about The Gathering, to send prayer requests, and to see the current schedule, please visit https://www.gatheringnc.com/.