Written by Cathie Ostapchuk, Lead Catalyst, Gather Women
If there was a small and intimate gathering with the Queen, or Adelle, and you were personally given an invitation, would you accept?
There is a small yet significant yearning in each of us to want to be in the same room as celebrity and be singled out and known. Most of us would immediately say yes to a private audience with someone we admire, or would even settle for gathering with thousands of others in an arena just to see a glimpse even from afar of that great one.
We have opportunities every day to be in the presence of stars, through following them online or buying concert or conference tickets to join the admiring fans in person.
We also have opportunities every day to resist the addiction to celebrity and become completely free of any need to be in the presence of greatness.
We, who are Daughters of the King, already live in the presence of Greatness Himself, every single day of our lives. Scott Sauls (scottsauls.com), author of Befriend, reminds us, that in Jesus, “we have been affectionately named and are so secure in our Father’s love, that we are free to choose where we show up and with whom. The love of God, when taken hold of, frees us from any need to be noticed, to make a name for ourselves, to find significant through achievement and advancement or from having access to fame and fortune. We already have these gifts and these blessings in abundance—in infinite supply—from the Father who is not blind to our value but who sees us and loves us dearly.”
This leaves us to relate to each other as valued, fellow representatives of the Image of God.
Scott encourages us with these words:
“Once we begin to fear God—that is, once we start ascribing supreme significance to his presence with us and his gladness over us versus all of the more fragile and fading pronouncements coming from other lesser, fragile and finite voices, once he becomes the one and only Star in our eyes—we’ll be free to look outside of ourselves and to start loving and serving. Jesus is the true Star of whom all other “stars” are merely a fading shadow. [In 100 years from now, there will be no Drake, and there will be no Adelle.] But there will still be Jesus. On the cross, Jesus the Famous One lost his spotlight, and with it the Father’s blessing. In exchange he received a curse, so that we, who have all our lives lived beneath a curse, could receive the Father’s blessing—coupled with the roaring applause of a great cloud of witnesses, from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Because, even though our stars will all fade and fall someday, Jesus is the Star who will continue to rise, both now and forever, as the one who rose from the grave and is making all things new.”
We are in Winnipeg, because staying in our lane at Gather Women means gathering the one, the few, the many in every beautiful space across Canada. We have chosen relationship and presence in real time over filling arenas and creating a culture of celebrity. We are raising the voice and presence of Canadian Christian women – those already visible – and those that are invisible. We get in cars and hop on planes to come to you where you are. We collaborate with a local church that graciously opens its doors to every woman that would respond to the invitation to come and find their place at the table. Once we know you we want to keep you close!
We don’t gather around celebrities. We gather to hear Canadian women who have an excellent message and a gift for sharing Biblical truth, and around women who are just brave enough to share their story. That is why we have come to Winnipeg. Not to fill an arena, but to gather to forge deep and lasting relationships with God, ourselves, and others.
Will our ‘lane’ change in the months ahead? Only God knows. We want to stay true to our calling to build relationship with women across Canada and for that we need to forge new ground and show up. We can’t be driven by measuring numbers. We are called to gather women to teach Biblical truth, remind them of their value to God, and encourage them to go and share the life-giving message of the gospel, 10 at a time, or 1,000 at a time.
We are taking some time over the summer to build our roots deeper so we can be present with you on social media, through our blog, and through launching connecting groups on Facebook, Gather Circles, and providing leadership development through mentoring and coaching. We want to build our local teams in each province who begin gathering.
If you share our heart, will you join us? We need you! We need volunteers in the areas of communication, social media, photography, video, fundraising and curriculum development, and church outreach. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel you want to help us cultivate the soil of this nation and forge robust connection between amazing women coast to coast.
We want to be present with you so that you know you are part of something bigger that God is doing in Canada – and that there is a sisterhood rising for this time in our nation. Our first priority, for all of us, is to be Present with God.
Isaiah, reminds us of the Father’s permanent presence and applause and blessing—with hopeful, healing words:
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.
Let Us Gather.