Gather Rise

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

Why I am Choosing to Gather

Written by Helen Burns

Almost two years ago, I began to hear the whispers of a small group of women who met in Toronto on a Saturday morning with hearts inclined to listen to God’s heart about gathering the women of Canada (this is the wonder of Facebook posts). I think it would be accurate to say that I burst in on that conversation and boldly put my hand up from British Columbia and said, “Me too – I want to be a part of this! Can I join you in this?”

For years I have been privileged to experience what God is doing throughout the world with His daughters. I have loved being a part of every gathering, yet my heart longed to see my Canadian sisterhood come together in strength and unity. I know our nation is vast and our population is small comparatively, but I have discovered our hearts and longings are the same. I believe this is also the heart of our Father, God.    

We live in a world that is hostile toward our Christian values and beliefs, seeking to isolate us and divide us, but there is power in coming together. In fact, God longs for His daughters to come together in stunning unity:

“Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention.” Phil 2:2 (AMP)

So here we are two years later and momentum is growing. This year, we gathered regionally in Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal, and we are about to have our first national GATHER RISE event on Saturday, October 1st in Toronto— and my expectation is off the charts. A dream is coming true and we want you there. This will be historic and there are some moments you just do not want to miss out on.

I would so love to see you in Toronto at the lovely Winter Gardens on October 1st! Come, bring the amazing women in your world and let us gather in this space where you are celebrated, seen, safe and loved already. I can hardly wait to see your gorgeous face!

Helen xo

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  Helen Burns has been married to her high-school sweetheart John for over 40 years. She passionately loves being a Mom and  Oma  to her family. She has been a pastor at Relate Church in the Vancouver area for the past 30 years and travels extensively around the world speaking primarily on the subject of relationships, marriage, and family. She is a television host and has authored several books. She loves to read and cook, and looks forward to seeing many more beautiful places in this big beautiful world. But more than anything Helen longs to explore more of her beloved Canada and her beautiful people.

Helen Burns has been married to her high-school sweetheart John for over 40 years. She passionately loves being a Mom and Oma to her family. She has been a pastor at Relate Church in the Vancouver area for the past 30 years and travels extensively around the world speaking primarily on the subject of relationships, marriage, and family. She is a television host and has authored several books. She loves to read and cook, and looks forward to seeing many more beautiful places in this big beautiful world. But more than anything Helen longs to explore more of her beloved Canada and her beautiful people.