LeadHER

Now You See Her

By Cathie Ostapchuk

On October 27, several hundred women from across Canada gathered to experience Gather Rise - Her Hope. Women who came with a voice and a presence to equip and empower by teaching Biblical truth, share their stories, and engage in significant conversations on issues that matter. Women who came seeking to find their voice and be seen by their Creator and women in their nation, and to become visible to themselves.

Now you see her.

The woman who anchors her hope in what is yet unseen. (Romans 8:24)

Now you see her.

The woman who hopes against all hope, when her back is up against a wall, that God will come through for her and be her champion.

Now you see her.

The woman who came looking for a community into which she is invited, accepted, belongs and can share her truth.

Now you see her.

The woman who came wondering if there was a message for her and left closer to Jesus, and with courage to rise another day.

Now you see her.

The woman who came alone seeking a friend and left with sisters.

Now you see her.

The woman who felt she could not find her place, especially with other women, and left in solidarity with those who have been in broken places and have chosen to rise to greater faith in God.

Now you see her.

The woman who is in the church and on the fringe of the church and who has let others silence her voice, who has allowed others to make her invisible and is now realizing that her voice needs to be heard to impact a generation.

Now you see her.

The woman who is ready to take up the training wheels and step into the margins to bring Christ and a hope for a future.

Now you see her.

The woman who is not afraid to develop her gifts in teaching and preaching and equipping the church.

Now you see her.

The woman who understands the time is now and that she is part of the Esther generation in this nation for such a time as this, and that what she brings matters.

Now you see her.

The woman who is prepared to study God’s word daily, meditate on it’s truth and speak and live it to a waiting world.

Now you see her.

Do you see yourself in her?

We gathered to worship, which opened the portals to God’s presence. We felt held there by the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. We experienced the wonder of seeing the bigger narrative of how God is moving across this nation through His daughters. We felt connected, intertwined, interdependent, knit together in a way that made the distance between us in our large country, melt away.

We made life-long friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, on the journey of influencing our nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When you are seen and when you are heard, you realize that God gave you your voice to proclaim truth and to help others find their voice. When we gather the many, we are seen and heard in an amplified way. We find that the truth of all that Jesus has made possible for us opens doors of new opportunity to participate in Kingdom work in ways we could have never imagined. We, like Mary at the tomb, realize we are mandated to go out, an army of evangelists spreading the word of love and grace, because He looked at us in love and asked us to go tell the Good News.

We see you, women of this nation. We see you in your places: isolated, fringe, crowded, urban, rural, in the pew and outside the church walls, and all the places in between. We want you to know that God has seen you first and wants you to know the beauty of becoming family in His presence. He adopted us first.

We model Jesus’ invitation by adopting each other into such a strong and tight sisterhood that when the enemy comes to destroy one of us, he has to answer to all of us. Because we see each other, we fight for each other; we raise each other up.

Now you see her.

The woman who has a mission to accomplish, a purpose to fulfill, and who has gathered in to go out and ride.

Now you see her.

The woman who is unstoppable in the face of every challenge possible and still chooses to stay the path for God’s glory.

Now you see her.

The woman who chooses to hope. The Gather Woman.

Shine brightly, dear one. Bring hope against all hope to your nation. We see you. We love you. We are watching you and championing you on!

Let us gather.


ENCOURAGE THE WOMEN IN YOUR WORLD TO JOIN US AT GATHER RISE ON OCTOBER 27!


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To our Ministry Friends – Pastors, and church leaders and women across Canada:

Gather is a transformational movement of women in Canada.

I can’t express how excited we are to share with you the vision God has called us and Christian women across Canada to: Gather the one, the few and the many for His glory in this great nation in 2018.

Since the Gather movement launched in 2014, almost five thousand women across Canada have raised their hand to say, “I’m in.” We are becoming visible to each other and immersing ourselves in the work of cultivating the fertile soil of the Canadian landscape by creating a robust network online and on the ground.

We have tended to import many of our resources and the voices that grace our platforms with teaching and equipping, from other countries. We are grateful for all of them. We are mindful that we have an abundance of gifting in our nation among this generation of Canadian Christian women. We are aware that many are waiting to be called forth, connected, championed, equipped and mobilized into service in their places, here in Canada.

In 2018 we are focused on presence – online and on the ground. We have determined to continue gathering Christian women together from across Canada. We are the second largest country in the world, and our women are spread across this nation. We value generational, geographical, denominational and cultural diversity, and do not assume that women’s stories and experiences are the same province to province. We believe that by gathering, our individual voices rise and collectively, we are better together.

We have been present in Surrey, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Oakville, Ottawa and Montreal, and have experienced incredible regional gatherings. Women hear from gifted bible teachers, worship, and pray together, engage in conversations of our day regarding women in the church and social justice, and are mobilized to go out to immerse themselves in the work of the local church, and become active in their spheres of influence. The goal is to transform the soil between our two feet and we see Canada as soil ripe for harvest. What if women were challenged to find their individual and national voice as disciples of Christ, and agents of transformation for this time in history?

Here is a reminder of WHO WE ARE and WHY WE EXIST:

Gather Women exists to connect, equip and champion women of Canada so that they are empowered and encouraged to influence their world for Jesus Christ.

  • We embrace the truth that centered on Jesus Christ, we are stronger together.

  • We are committed to championing a culture of support from coast to coast to cultivate a unified and diverse network: generationally, denominationally, geographically and culturally.

  • We believe in the value of the local church and the importance of women being gathered in to go back out to their churches and continue to put their faith into action.

  • We uphold the significance of the one, the few and the many. Every voice matters. Every woman matters.

What would it look like if Canadian Christian women were stronger together through a connected infrastructure coast to coast?

We are inviting you - our friends, church pastors and leaders - to encourage the women in your world to gather with us! We fully expect that they will then bring their gifts more fully back to invest in your local church community. Would you join us as we seek to champion a culture of support for each woman in this nation?

We pray your women will join us for Gather Rise in Oakville, ON on October 27, 2018. Click here for registration! Women are coming from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Eastern Provinces to connect with you and equip you! We are making history in Jesus’ name. Let Us Gather!

In His Name, and for His Glory,

Cathie Ostapchuk
Co-Founder and Lead Catalyst
Gather Women

A Thank You

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By Cathie Ostapchuk

In the middle of the hardest days, a ‘thank you’ is the farthest word from my lips. It’s my struggle and it’s your struggle to express gratitude when, in reality, you are not all that grateful. In those moments, in the dark, even your whispered, questioning ‘thank-you God, I think?’ reaches heaven with the speed and accuracy of a well-released arrow from a seasoned archer’s hands. The ‘thank you’s’ that come from good days, good times, good friends, and good opportunities are not worth half their weight in gold compared to your feebly-spoken, faith-filled whispers of gratitude. 

Consider the following: a ‘thank you’ in the suffering; a ‘thank you’ when the ashes have not yet been transformed into beauty; a ‘thank you’ when tears cloud the lens of your perspective; a ‘thank you’ even in the midst of hopelessness, when your heart is hoping against all hope that it can be different. These are the ‘thank-you’s’ of destiny. The ‘thank you in spite of my circumstances’ rather than the ‘thank you because of my circumstances,’ propels you into your future. Your catalyst is the God who sees you and hears your broken thanks. He loved you and loves you and will keep on loving you in the best and worst of times. 

Thank Him for His presence. Thank Him that He has your name inscribed in the palm of His hand. Thank Him that He went to the wall for you.  Thank Him that He went to the cross for you, and He would have walked that road to Calvary, even if you were the only girl on earth.

Thank Him for the goodness and mercy that follows you like a banner. Thank Him that there is no place you will go that He has not gone before you. None of the grateful thanks from your lips needs to be dependent on what shadows you currently fear. Your gratitude can be focused on the One who anoints your head with oil and sets a feast of plenty for you in the presence of your greatest fears. A small, whispered ‘thank you’ multiplies into a horn of plenteous grace that washes over you, from Jesus’ hands.

May He bless you beyond what you can ask or imagine this Thanksgiving, not because of all that is good in your life, but in spite of the brokenness of your life. Your gratitude is based solely on His goodness, not how good things are. 

Our grateful hearts are so fickle. Our Thanksgiving ‘thank you’s’ have us reaching to find the external proof that we need to validate them. Our treasure, however is in jars of clay. We are the jars, and our gratitude is expressed for what we carry in our souls; that is the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. 

Would you join me and say a thank you to God this Canadian Thanksgiving? Whisper it, shout it, write it, declare it – and believe in the dark what God will make possible in the light. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Gather Women! We are so grateful for you!