- Josh Anderson
Intimacy With God Changes Everything
Women from across all faith denominations are invited to The Gathering, a special event on January 11 and 12 created for participants to seek God, unite in prayer, and worship as one body of Christ.
Movie sequels and follow-up books can be some of the hardest to produce. Why? Expectations for repeat success are often sky-high and difficult to manage. The same can be said for organizing a second annual event featuring guest speakers, worship music, and spiritual formation. And yet for Becky Herdklotz, Gracie O'Laughlin, Kristine Martin, and Rachel Mills, there was little doubt that they were going to host another gathering for High Country women.
"After seeing the response last year, I have a deeper trust in the Lord that this will work out," Becky said of her ongoing commitment to the event and her co-laborers. "I have more energy and joy than I ever thought possible, and it makes me excited for this year's event."
The large response to the first event encouraged the team to host a second event. But the inspiration to explore intimacy with God, teach on the promises in God’s Word that may not currently be manifesting in a woman’s life, and exploring how to build a deep, personal relationship with God propelled the team forward with divine purpose.
"I want to share with others the intimacy I've experienced with God," Kristine said. "I want women to experience God on a deep relational basis. I want everyone to recognize that the Lord is crazy about all of us personally."
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." – Psalm 91:1
For Gracie, the responsibilities of planning a second annual event were easy to take on separate from the trappings of big numbers and positive feedback. "There has been such grace to do all the things," Gracie said. "I believe God's favor continues to be on this event. It's not difficult. It's such a delight."
One Event. Lasting Impact.
That favor has produced real and meaningful changes in people's lives. "One woman I spoke to last year said she experienced such genuine freedom to feel the presence of the Lord during worship. She felt like she could put her eyes on God instead of worrying about others looking at her and judging her."
Gracie spoke to another woman who was able to ask God to show her His love for the very first time.
Mikayla Brown attended The Gathering last year. This year she's returning to serve on the prayer team. Her words speak to the powerful changes individuals can experience when standing side by side in a unified pursuit of God.
"When I went to The Gathering last summer, it was the most incredible collection of women all coming alongside one another to encourage and empower one another through our God-given identities."
For Mikayla this singular event helped her discover something new about God from the women who gathered around her.
"It was so encouraging to be surrounded by women who were all in different seasons of life, all from different churches and backgrounds, simply coming together as daughters of the King—united by our identities and the High Country. The Gathering helped me grow in recognizing who I am as a daughter of God, and to see how many other women surround me who share in this same identity. When we truly lean in, and press into who we are called to be, the Kingdom spreads like wildfire."
A returning volunteer with The Gathering added, "It was beautiful to see women of all ages and faith backgrounds worshipping together—all focused on Jesus and worshipping Him in their own way."
HARVEST HOUSE PERFORMING ARTS VENUE
247 BOONE HEIGHTS DRIVE, BOONE, NC
January 11, 2019 | 7-9 pm
January 12, 2019 | 8:30am - noon
Doors open 30 minutes prior to event. No childcare provided. Admission is FREE.
New Year. New You.
Becky believes a loving relationship with God starts with deeper intimacy. From that, we can enjoy something far greater than stronger faith. We experience radically transformed lives with Christ at the center of it all.
"What better way to start the new year than by drawing closer to God?" Becky asked. "Intimacy changes everything. Imagine what our lives will look like one year from now if we learn to love God the same transformational way that He loves each of us?"
And while this event is meant to create an intimate space for women to encounter God, there are action items people can take back with them to their families, churches, and communities.
"By the end of Saturday, we hope women walk away with an awareness of who they are because of Christ," Gracie said. "Sometimes that's all it takes, but we have to be reminded."
For Kristine, she is passionate about sharing God's Truth with others. "We don't simply have to survive, we can all thrive in our relationship with the Lord."
Friday and Saturday are focused on teaching, worship and prayer.
Gracie will teach from Psalm 91:1. 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 Harvest House Performing Arts Venue Friday, January 11 from 7-9pm and Saturday, January 12 from 8:30am-noon. Admission is free. Childcare will not be provided. Here's the current schedule:
Friday Evening Session | January 11, 7-9 p.m.
Testimony and teaching from Psalm 91:1—Part 1
Saturday Morning Session | January 12, 8:30a.m.-noon
Teaching and exhortation from Psalm 91:1—Part 2
Q&A with Susan Wilcox
"Everything is so intentional—from the hospitality team planning every snack, to the prayer team arriving early to walk the room in prayer, to the worship team pouring over scripture while picking songs." — The Gathering 2019 Volunteer
For more information about The Gathering, please visit gatheringnc.com.