Made In Canada...The Rhythm That Shapes Us

by Cathie Ostapchuk

by Cathie Ostapchuk

The ebb and flow of the rivers, lakes and oceans that make up the interior and exterior boundaries of Canada have their own rhythm.  They move forward...either slowly rippling, or beautifully cascading...when the time of day, and season of the year, according to nature's timing, is right.  Some days on a Canadian lake, the only movement is that of the oar in water.   Other days little human effort is needed to move forward because the power is in the momentum of the flow of the water itself - and you get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

This is how it feels to make a movement happen in Canada.  A Gather Women movement.  The way we do it here. The rhythm that shapes us.  Slow and steady...sometimes with a timidity and a stillness to it that it appears we are not really moving.   And other times... one hand is raised, and a woman decides to create a Gather Conversation Circle.  Or east meets west as women Gather in British Columbia, and it is like the ripple picks up energy and a connectedness of purpose surges us all forward.  New ground is gained.  New relationships are forged.  And the vision of Gather Women becomes clearer: to create, gather and raise up a robust network of Canadian Christian women coast to coast - online, and on the ground.  

The temptation is to doubt in the stillness what has been confirmed in the times of momentum.  Is this really happening?  Are we really meant to bring our unique offering to our sphere of influence in Canada?  Are we called to join with other women who are sensing it is no accident that God has planted our feet on this soil for this time in history?  Is it true that we are really better together?  Can we build a community of Christian faith that pushes back against lives of isolation and nurtures clarity of purpose?

I struggle.  I struggle with the "Enoughness" in the quieter moments.  The moments when I wonder who the women are and where the women are who will rise as leaders in this nation.  I echo the voice of many women who have asked the question, "Is who I am and what I bring - really enough?  I ask that question of myself each and every day.  

Leadership is always a creative tension between current reality...a constant checking in to make we are on track...and the vision that pulls us forward. Leadership is making sure we are grounded in a clear and present reality, while also seeing ourselves in the beautiful picture of a 'not yet' realized  of presence and impact in Canada...in ways we have not even dreamed of.

The future calls us to be present to sharing our stories, creating safe communities of belonging, and challenging and resourcing each other with words of life and image-bearing inspiration.  The future calls us to be teachers of the Word, equippers in the life of faith, and coming alongside each other as women called to bear witness to the God of the universe in this time in history.

I wonder if we are building fast enough, in the way that makes sense and pays respect to the diversity of cultures, generations, theology, and geography that defines our Canadian landscape. I wonder how long it will take until we reach the tipping point - and wonder if we are doing everything we can to gather the one, the few and the many.  Are we engaging the creatives, the dreamers, the thinkers, the policy makers and non-profit leaders, church girls, pastors, ministry leaders, and leaders on the homefront and in the marketplace?  Are we getting the message out loud and clear that we gather in to go out?

And then I remember....we are first and foremost God's Beloved.  And then, we are Canadian.  We will grow organically, and true to our personality of a polite, respectful, yet bold movement forward.  One conversation, and one relationship at a time.

We are waiting in expectancy for you to dip your oar in the water and create a ripple.  Is God whispering to you to step in to the Canadian story and create a Gather Circle?  http://www.gatherwomen.com/gather-circles/ 

Will you invite women - ones you know and ones you don't - to gather in a space you have created?  Will you gather in order to engage in Jesus' conversations about belonging and community?   Is God whispering to you about the women in your province, or region?  Will you invite women to Gather Alberta on May 14? http://www.gatherwomen.com/gather-event/ Do you have a desire to be a Gather leader in your sphere of influence?  We want to hear from you.  Do you have a heart for prayer?  Join our prayer team at http://www.gatherwomen.com/join-our-prayer-movement/

There is a rhythm that is made in Canada that shapes us as women who are called to Gather across our land.  We want to add your heartbeat to the beautiful surge of movement already begun. Will you join us?  Let us gather.