A New ONE WORD for 2019!

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Written by Cathie Ostapchuk

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you brave and beautiful women of faith – spread out across this beautiful nation!  You did it – you survived another year and to those of you who ended the year strong, thriving and with a thank you on your lips – well done.

The intention to make every day of a New Year count with the best laid plans is a noble one.  If you are like the team at Gather, however, you know that sometimes ‘life happens’, and we have heard  your stories of unexpected pain, loss and sorrow, alongside the stories of hope rekindled and answered prayers.

So we wrestle with letting life play out and trusting God’s sovereignty, as well as making wise and intentional choices to set our steps on an intentional path, looking for ways to use our unique gifts as part of the church, and on mission in our spheres of influence.

Did you choose a word in 2018 to help you with that?  We have found at Gather that our ONE WORD yearly choices have helped keep us focused on the blue ocean God has called us to, and helped us see how God would bring to light all of the facets of a particular word.

This year our word for Gather, and the women of Canada is WONDER.

Don’t you love it!?
 


Psalm 40:5 

Many, Lord my God,

are the wonders you have done,

the things you planned for us.

None can compare with you;

were I to speak and tell of your deeds,

they would be too many to declare.

We want to be caught up in the mystery of the God we serve and dive deeper into knowing Him and making Him know. The wonder of His grace, His love, His provision, His promises, His protection and His purposes for us are too many to count! We are hoping you will join us on this journey of WONDER this year!

What is your word for 2019? We want to help you with reflecting on and choosing a word that will help set you on your way with focus and clarity. Here is a ONE WORD 2019 Guide to help you with that. Do it on your own. Invite some girlfriends for coffee and work through the guide together. Suggest words for each other that you sense would help bring clarity. Listen to God’s voice and ask Him to show you where He wants you to pay attention. He will do it!

Bless you, women of God in this nation in 2019. We can’t wait to set out on this journey in a New Year of WONDER together!

We’d love to hear your words! Send us an email at hello@gatherwomen.com or post your words and why you chose them on our Facebook or Instagram platforms. We can’t wait to hear the ONE WORD that will guide you in the year ahead.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD YOUR ONE WORD GUIDE FOR 2019

Cathie Ostapchuk and
The Gather Women Team


It’s Here! A New Year! A New ONE WORD!

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Written by Cathie Ostapchuk

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you brave and beautiful women of faith – spread out across this beautiful nation!  You did it – you survived another year and to those of you who ended the year strong, thriving and with a thank you on your lips – well done.

The intention to make every day of a New Year count with the best laid plans is a noble one.  If you are like the team at Gather, however, you know that sometimes ‘life happens’, and we have heard  your stories of unexpected pain, loss and sorrow, alongside the stories of hope rekindled and answered prayers.

So we wrestle with letting life play out and trusting God’s sovereignty, as well as making wise and intentional choices to set our steps on an intentional path, looking for ways to use our unique gifts as part of the church, and on mission in our spheres of influence.

Did you choose a word in 2018 to help you with that?  We have found at Gather that our ONE WORD yearly choices have helped keep us focused on the blue ocean God has called us to, and helped us see how God would bring to light all of the facets of a particular word.

This year our word for Gather, and the women of Canada is WONDER.

Don’t you love it!?
 


Psalm 40:5 

Many, Lord my God,

are the wonders you have done,

the things you planned for us.

None can compare with you;

were I to speak and tell of your deeds,

they would be too many to declare.

We want to be caught up in the mystery of the God we serve and dive deeper into knowing Him and making Him know. The wonder of His grace, His love, His provision, His promises, His protection and His purposes for us are too many to count! We are hoping you will join us on this journey of WONDER this year!

What is your word for 2019? We want to help you with reflecting on and choosing a word that will help set you on your way with focus and clarity. Here is a ONE WORD 2019 Guide to help you with that. Do it on your own. Invite some girlfriends for coffee and work through the guide together. Suggest words for each other that you sense would help bring clarity. Listen to God’s voice and ask Him to show you where He wants you to pay attention. He will do it!

Bless you, women of God in this nation in 2019. We can’t wait to set out on this journey in a New Year of WONDER together!

We’d love to hear your words! Send us an email at hello@gatherwomen.com or post your words and why you chose them on our Facebook or Instagram platforms. We can’t wait to hear the ONE WORD that will guide you in the year ahead.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD YOUR ONE WORD GUIDE FOR 2019

Cathie Ostapchuk and
The Gather Women Team


The Holy Pause

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WRITTEN BY: Cathie Ostapchuk

Sometime between the close of Christmas celebrations and the dawn of a New Year comes either a feeling of anticipation for all that awaits, or a sense of dread. We can try to resist, kicking and screaming, the turning of the calendar page that will find us in the start of a new year of days, weeks and months, but change is coming, impervious to our cries for the clock to turn back.

Some of us are looking forward to welcoming a new calendar year, because we innately believe in new beginnings, new resolutions, new goals, and new opportunities to grow spiritually, personally and professionally.

The desire to stay and beg for more time in this current year comes from the realization that we didn’t have enough days to finish what we started, to mend broken relationships, to reflect and process, to heal, to rest, and to make decisions about our future. Where did the year go?

The days between Christmas and January 1 are a gift given as a holy pause and an opportunity to linger, suspended in the wake of all that we have experienced, knowing that there will be a moment when it is time to stand up, look up and move forward.

In music, this holy pause is called a fermata: a sign placed above the last note of a song as an indication to hold that note until the conductor brings the baton down and the music ends before a new melody can begin.

For Gather Women, this fermata carries in it both gratitude for all that God has done in our midst over the last months and holy anticipation of all He wants to do in the year ahead.

Keri, a dear friend of Gather wrote the following reflection on what Gather has meant to her and her next generation daughters, and how it relates to the celebration of Christ in our midst:

At Christmas people gather – as families, as friends, as work colleagues, around meals, for Santa pictures, at malls, at markets – all GOOD reasons to gather!

But God, Jesus who became flesh, loved us enough to enter our world to once and for all, forever and ever, for all of eternity and without end so that we could be GATHERED to Him. What a precious promise. The day when we will all GATHER at His feet and worship in His presence… it is our hope.

That very first Christmas, shepherds and wise men were drawn by angelic announcements and by light to gather. Light... a source of comfort. A source of welcome. A source of safety. A source of hope. Her hope. Your hope. Our hope.

‘Come home when the street lights turn on, we will leave the porch light on’, said most parents in our generation to their children. In Christ, God has given us an eternal porch light, always waiting for us to come home.” 

We want to thank you, daughters of this nation, and His beloved, for being a light in the darkness for many women who live in the shadows, and for those who live in bright lights. For those that already gather and for those who long to gather with their sisters. Thank you for lighting the way for all women to gather. Thank you for taking risks and being light in the darkness of our world. It only takes the smallest flicker of light to dispel the darkness.  

Our holy pause is one of gratitude for all of you seeking hope and bringing hope into your spaces of mission and in your small and large platforms and spheres of influence. God was truly in our midst this past year as the light and voice and presence of women who follow Christ shone brighter and was heard with louder proclamation.

Dagmar Morgan-Sinclair expressed this so beautifully in our Gather Rise Manifesto:

We, who gather as the one, the few, the many 

We, who stand together arms locked, hands folded, 

and knees bent before our Saviour

We, women who dare to be fireworks that bring light to darkness

We, women who Rise like hands in holy worship

We, women who will not settle until all women RISE

Rise with a righteous strength that goes beyond reason

Rise with a love that is beyond fathom

Rise with each other, for each other 

We gather and together we RISE.

As we head into a New Year, we are sensing that God is calling us to go deeper into the mystery of Emmanuel, God with us. We wonder at His mercy. We wonder at His grace – and as the fermata lifts and our new song begins in 2019, we invite you to step into the wonder with us.

Let our lights shine brighter and be the porch light for women wandering in the dark.

May our collective voices reflect the anthem of freedom and grace that only Christ can bring.

May we equip leaders, and those who are to influence the generations to follow.

May we go into the shadows and the fringes to invite women to the table of sisterhood.

May we love justice and act on its behalf, even if, and especially if, it costs us.

May we be catalysts and encouragers in our local churches, serving well, and flourishing alongside men.

May we live our calling in the body of Christ and honour those who are gifted and called to teach and preach the word of God, men and women alike.

We love you, women in this nation – diverse and beautiful, each of you. You have been planted here for this time in history. And we want to move forward with you with joyful and hope-filled anticipation into a new refrain of wonder in the year ahead.

Let us Gather. The one. The few. The many.