The Gathering is a community of faith, not an outreach project of a church. It is a place for those who may not be comfortable entering conventional church doors, but who still desire to be part of a Christian worshipping community.
The mission of The Gathering is to build and nurture a loving and compassionate faith community where the housed and un-housed, churched and unchurched gather together to seek healing, spiritual fulfillment and Christian community, affirming and encouraging the worth and dignity of all, and attending to both pastoral and physical needs of displaced members of the Body of Christ.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The Gathering was born during a sermon by Bishop Stanton when he challenged listeners to get out of their comfort zone and follow Jesus to help the outcast and marginalized.
Arch-Deacon Jim Webb caught the vision for the need of a spiritual gathering place in Dallas, TX, where the housed and un-housed can come together on Sunday to seek healing, spiritual fulfillment and community. A place outside where no one is afraid to enter; where they can be members, or where they can be present without feeling they are making a commitment to something they don’t understand—a place that invites people of all identities to become one as we worship and give thanks to God. He gathered a team of clergy and lay people who came together to say they would provide the necessary arms and legs to make it happen.
What began in December 2012 with five parishioners as an outreach program of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, has become The Gathering, a formal worshipping community in partnership with all the parishes of the Diocese. With an average of 90 people attending Mass and lunch each week, The Gathering brings together the last, the least and the lost, where they are honored, respected, and listened to. The community is supported by other established churches in the metropolitan area who give of their time, talent and treasure to weave the larger community together.
We have had weddings, as well as funerals. We have had confessions and healings. We have helped people get jobs and sent others to rehab. We have made connections for much needed social services. We have sponsored two mission trips. In short, we are church. We just happen to be outdoors.
Since Jim Webb’s passing in the spring of 2014, The Gathering has continued to thrive and experience continued growth with the support of the Bishop and a team of strong leaders, both laity and clergy.
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF DALLAS
Dallas Diocese Parishes
Annunciation, Louisville St. John, Pottsboro
Church of the Transfiguration, Dallas St. Lukes
Epiphany, Richardson St. Marks, Mt. Pleasant
Episcopal School of Dallas St. Marks, Irving
Good Samaritan, Terrell St. Michael and All Angels, Dallas
Good Shepherd, Terrell St. Paul, Waxahachie
Holy Trinity by the Lake, Rockwall St. Pauls, Prosper
Our Merciful Saviour, Kaufman St. Peters, McKinney
St. Andrews, McKinney St. Phillips, Frisco
St. Anne, Desoto St. Thomas, Dallas
St. Christopher, Dallas
St. David's, Garland
HOSA students of South Garland High School
First Presbyterian, Dallas
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Dallas