written by Cathie Ostapchuk
We are barely into the light and lingering days of early summer, and already thinking about the crisp air and gorgeous fall days waiting for us at summer's end.
Are you ready? Are you ready to think about gathering with Christian women from across Canada... as west meets east and north meets south and every place in between is represented in a beautiful Gather of the many, coast to coast, here in the hub of Toronto.
Because we are getting ready for you to come gather here on October 1! So far this year our journey together as Gather Women has taken us from BC to Alberta - and soon we will be in Quebec.
What have we discovered? That every province is unique. That every city and town represented in every region is unique. And that every woman is unique. The stories...oh the stories we have heard! You - amazing Canadian girls - coming with your heartbreak and your stories of courage - coming with a longing to be known, seen and to belong. Coming with your wisdom, your gifting, your leadership, your desire to go and change your worlds one conversation and one relationship at a time. Coming with room in your hearts to invite the one and the few to your circles - to be gathered in to go out. You are gorgeous. You are genuine. You are bold. You are invitational. You are unified not in spite of, but because of your great diversity. That is who you are as women in Canada - the melting pot of the world - the coming together of every nation and every language - all of you Image Bearers. As you Rise, you raise the dignity of every woman around you.
We have met incredible women who are feeling the love and pride for their nation and the joy of gathering as the Canadian sisterhood. We have heard incredible voices on what it means to be Beloved. What it means to be women who are also warriors. What the sisterhood means in terms of acceptance and safety and belonging. What it means to create places to wrestle with identity, to struggle with the law and to claim Grace, after Grace, after Grace. What Abundance in Christ offers us in exchange for scarcity. And how it feels to break bread together and raise our hands in worship together.
It feels amazing to be together. Every province has their own unique vibe. Every province has their own amazing voices. We absolutely cannot wait to be in Quebec together with the women as our languages and cultures intersect and overlap. So different from BC. So different from Alberta. And that is the beauty of Canada. So beautiful. So diverse. Place to place. Face to face.
And so Toronto is calling out to all of us - to come to a place where we all are invited to be present with each other, with God, and with our own hearts. Come from near and far. Come even if you have come to gather before. Bring your friends. Bring the young girls, the seasoned girls. Bring the Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Mennonite girls and all denominations in between and outside of the lines. Let us Gather. The one, the few and the many.
Register for Gather Quebec if you are anywhere nearby on June 11 - we would love to welcome you to the beautiful St. James Montreal! You can register
Save the Date for Gather Rise in Toronto on October 1. Registration will begin soon. We will be looking for volunteers and women to join us in building our local team.
Together we Rise - the one, the few, the many, unified through our diversity, here in this nation for this time in history. How will our Gathering impact our Going Out - back into our churches, communities and decision-making places in our country? How will we share the message of Abundance found in Christ Jesus? How will we Gather in humility, and Gather greatness?
Let us find out. Let us Gather.