Exciting things are happening at the mission site being supported by my congregation. The Gathering Place is 14 miles down the road from our main campus, but the distance is being shortened as we’re working more closely together. One of our associate pastors and leader of The Gathering Place, Pastor Bill Northend, just left to answer a Call to Sonoma, CA. He will be missed, but the Lord always provides. Our SMP vicar, Bob Scott, is going to be continuing his work at the mission. He’ll be carrying on the great relationships that have been established.
What’s especially exciting now is that leaders and members of our sister LCMS congregation in Waterford, St. Stephens, are joining in the effort to support and build The Gathering Place. They’re excited to be involved in this down to earth approach to bring the Gospel into the daily lives of those around the mission. I’m thrilled to see this shared effort because it shows how a common focus on Jesus helps strangers become friends united in a common cause. Our congregations may look quite different from each other. We may approach worship differently. We may have differing views of ministry. BUT, when we keep our “Thumbs Up” to Jesus above all else, He unites us in a sacrificial and unconditional loving relationship with each other. We can then overcome our differences to join in the common cause of drawing others into a saving relationship with Jesus.
Things change. People move. Jesus remains! He keeps us close and draws us into new relationships with those who share our love for Him. I pray that many more in the LCMS and in the Christian church throughout the world can be drawn into a tighter relationship with each other. Together, focused on Jesus, we WILL be used by the Spirit to GATHER many more in HIS PLACE!