Mission• The Gathering is an independent non-affiliated community of believers with Lutheran roots. The Gathering does not seek to support a particular cause or social agenda other than the preaching and teaching of Jesus Christ; nor does it seek to condemn a particular cause or social agenda other than the empty promises of the Evil One. The Gathering exists as a training ground for Discipleship where followers of Christ are nurtured, guided, strengthened, encouraged, and challenged to grow and develop into the disciples God wants them to be. The Gathering is a mission driven (we gather to scatter); transformation focused (we seek open hearts and open minds); Spirit motivated (we are empowered by prayer and guided by discernment); discipleship oriented (we stress the call of the baptized Christian as a never ending learning process). The Gathering believes that the Christian life is a free-willed loving and gracious response to a loving and gracious God:• who makes himself available to us as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit;• who through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, gives us power over sin, death, and the devil;• who gives us His living Word in the Bible as the final authority in matters of life and faith.• The Gathering longs for all those who confess Jesus Christ as their Crucified Lord to be empowered as ministers of the Good News in all aspects of their daily life. What can you do?• In order for The Gathering to become a unique place for personal growth:• it longs for your prayerful and ongoing spiritual support• it longs for your desire to study and learn from God’s Word• it longs for your willingness to fellowship with other believers• it longs for your worshipful participation on a regular basis.• The Gathering therefore commits itself to providing ample opportunities for prayer, Bible Study, worship, and fellowship.
DiscipleshipDiscipleship is the “discipline” of learning to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. He is our teacher (rabbi) we are His students.• The Gathering is committed to being a teaching community! The Gathering is committed to being a teaching community! As disciples in this ever changing world it is important for us to learn how to be “freely responsible servants of Christ.” This whole concept is based on Paul’s words in 1Corinthians 9:19 where he declares: “Although I have been set free by Christ and I am bound to no one, I choose voluntarily to rebind (enslave) myself so that I may serve Him all the more!” Paul then goes on to explain how this approach to ministry allows God to work more effectively through him in a variety of situations. Paul’s approach of being a “freely responsible servant of Christ” is the same approach we choose today as disciples of Christ: although we are set free from the power that sin, death, and the devil have over us, and we are bound to no one, we willingly bind ourselves to Christ as His servants so that God can minister more effectively through us in a variety of situations and circumstances. Currently, The Gathering is seeking a Discipleship Mentor who will monitor the Discipleship Experiences of the People on The Gathering’s Website.
Witness• Being a witness is “living out” one’s call to be a disciple of Jesus in everything you say and do. The Gathering is committed to being a witnessing community! As disciples of Christ we are called to be daily witnesses for the one we call our Crucified Lord. We are called to be witnesses for our Lord and Savior every minute of every day in all that we say and do. This takes a certain type of strength, courage, and wisdom that can only come from our Heavenly Father. Witnessing is not something we do on our own, but something God does through us: anyone can stand with their arms folded, but not everyone can move about with their arms extended in a Cross like manner without Divine assistance; anyone can be a self-seeking jerk, but not everyone can be a self- sacrificing witness for Jesus Christ without Godly help. Currently, The Gathering is seeking a Witness Planner who will monitor the Witnessing Moments of the People on The Gathering’s Website.• Being a witness is “living out” one’s call to be a disciple of Jesus in everything you say and do. The Gathering is committed to being a witnessing community! Stefanie R.• I was raised in a very reformed (the least strict) Jewish home. I only attended Sunday School until I was in third grade. That was the extent of my religious teaching until I left for college and tried to learn more about Judaism and find faith in the Lord. I did not have much success. • Years later, when my children were born, my husband and I discussed their religious upbringing. I said that I wanted them to know the Lord, and know his Love as early as possible, so they would not struggle with faith later in life. He was not raised in a religious family, but believed in Jesus and wanted our children Baptized. Deep in my heart, I knew this was the right thing to do, so we looked for a Church home and had both kids Baptized.We took the kids to Church weekly, and I respectfully said all the prayers, praying to the Father, but leaving off "in your Sons Name" or "in Jesus name" as I was not a believer. But I listened...and I learned...and I opened my heart to the Word of the Lord until one day, I realized that when I said a prayer I pictured Jesus sitting at the Right Hand of the Father. My heart was filled with joy! I met with our Pastor and discussed being Baptized, which was performed on my 31st birthday, as it fell on a Sunday.Every year since, I have felt my Faith grow. I have learned to pray, in my own way, and learned that I do not need to know Bible verses word for word for the Lord to hear my prayers. My journey has grown so immensely in the past few years, that I am often overwhelmed by just how much Love Jesus has for me! I pray very simple prayers (but very often), like the prayer of Jabez. I dont know the actual words, but I ask that the Lord expand my territory. I also pray that I will allow my heart and my eyes to remain open to the Lord. I have to keep an open mind, and open heart and wait to see what new, exciting opportunity He will put in front of me. The Lord never fails, though. I see that now. If my prayer wasnt answered, it is because I wasnt paying attention. I have gone weeks, and months, and the Lord has answered me with a new opportunity - some small - some large - but always a new opportunity, every day that I prayed to hear what he had to tell me. And on a bad day (or week, or month), when I close myself off to him, there is nothing...and I forget how wonderful the Love is. Even when Im surrounded by friends and family, there is a feeling of loneliness and sadness if I am not letting the Lord into my heart.The Lord has Blessed me so many times, and His greatest gift is that of music. I have to share the message with you today, that the Lord shared with me. In 2004, a song popped into my head. At first I had a melody with a few words, and thought maybe it was something I had heard on K-Love. But it wasnt. And each day I would hear it, with this gnawing feeling that as words came with it, I was supposed to write them down. It seemed ridiculous, so I ignored it. It became louder and tugged at my body to get out of bed, or out of the shower, or stop whatever I was doing AND WRITE IT DOWN. So I started to write out the words and the melody line (and even a violin part). There were a few gaps. Finally, there were just a few missing lyrics, but I couldnt figure it out. I asked the Lord to help me finish (since he insisted I start, when I didnt even want to). Of course, I just had to pay attention! The last lyrics were found right where one would expect them, in Pastor Dawsons Sunday morning sermon - and he said what I needed to hear over and over that morning to make sure I didnt miss it. The Lord practically beat me over the head with a brick to get me to write this song - but I did it, and it is to praise and worship Him.This song is my life journey:DevotedWords: Stefanie RembiszewskiMusic: Greg & Stefanie RembiszewskiAs a child I went through days without a clue, as to the meaning and the pur-pose of my life, I took for granted everything I had, and I never saw beyond what was mine Then You touched my heart, and opened my eyes, To the beauty and the pa-ssion of Your Works I don’t know why it took so long to realize, That you are what I needed in my life (Chorus)Oh, Jesus, I’m devoted to you, I’m devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ Oh, Jesus, I’m devoted to you, I have found who you are in my life I’m Devoted, Devoted to You, I’m De-voted to the Lord Jesus Christ I’m Devoted, Devoted to You, for You’ve brought meaning and love to my life. Oh, Jesus (With Music), I’m devoted to you (In Word), I’m de-voted to the Lord Jesus Christ (Thru ev’ry thing that I do) Oh, Jesus (With Music), I’m de-voted to you (In Word), I have found who you are in my life (With faith in all that I do) Violin Interlude(Verse 2)When I wake every morning I thank you, when I close my eyes at night the same. My life is falling in to place now, as I follow a path through Your name. I will not let doubt & unbelief, take over my daily routine. My Faith will not waiver, for I know You’re my Savior, oh Christ, My Lord, My King (Chorus)• Listen to a recording of Devoted now
Prayer• Prayer is the “constant communication” necessary to be a faithful witness for Christ. The Gathering is committed to being a community grounded in prayer!• As disciples of Christ let us affirm these words of wisdom from Billy Graham concerning prayer.• What a privilege is ours…the privilege of prayer!• Just think of it…we have the incredible privilege of approaching the omnipotent God of the universe, “the High an Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15). We can only do this because Jesus Christ has opened the way.• We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving.• We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud.• We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting.• We are to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient.• Pray, believing, in the promise of God’s word that: “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5: 14)
THE STRUCTURE OF THE GATHERING• THE STRUCTURE OF THE GATHERING CHRIST(Our Crucified Lord) THE PEOPLE OF THE GATHERING(Mission Driven) PLANNING TEAMS (Discipleship Oriented) PLANNING TEAM LEADERS(Transformation Focused) THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM(Spirit Motivated) EXPLANATION:• Christ, our crucified Lord, is the head of The Gathering which is…• the mission driven People of God who have ultimate authority by working through…• the discipleship oriented Planning Teams (that seek what’s best for the People of God) will choose…• the Planning Team Leaders that bring forth a transformational focus to…• the Central Planning Team that is motivated by the Holy Spirit to serve on Christ’s behalf!
The Planning Teams• The Gathering Team• The Scattering Team• The Support Team• The Training Team• The Intergenerational Team• The Prayer Team• The Spiritual Formation Team
The Gathering Team• is responsible for planning Fellowship Events and Worship Opportunities. It seeks those who have a love and appreciation for the purpose and pleasure of gathering together in whatever shape and form God desires.
The Scattering Team• is responsible for planning Outreach Events and Mission Opportunities. It seeks those who have a sincere desire to see God’s good news going out into the local, national, and international communities.
The Support Team• is responsible for planning Financial Giving and Spiritual Growth Events. It seeks those who have that unique combination of good business sense (practical) and a strong inner faith commitment (spiritual).
The Training Team• is responsible for planning Educational and Discipleship Opportunities. It seeks those interested in furthering the teachings of Jesus in the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life and all age groups.
The Intergenerational Team• is responsible for planning Inter & Generational Events. It seeks those who truly understand the importance of individual and cross generational activities.
The Prayer Team• is responsible for planning and maintaining Prayerful Opportunities. It seeks those who are able to fully comprehend the magnitude and power of prayer.
The Spiritual Formation Team• is responsible for guiding and encouraging the Spiritual Formation of The Gathering: the people, the Pastor, the Team members, the Leaders, etc. It seeks those who are not afraid to challenge themselves and others to be humbly honest about their spiritual progress and identity.
The Central Planning Team• THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM will consist of the Pastorand the Seven Team Leaders; each Team will choose its own Leader through prayerful discernment for a commitment of six months. The Pastor will be a non–voting advisory member of the team. • THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM will choose a Leader, Co-Leader and Financial Planner through prayerful discernment for a commitment of six months. The Leader will be responsible for the running of the Planning Team; the Co-Leader will be there to take the Leaders place in case he or she is not available; the Financial Planner will help oversee the financial matters of The Gathering.• THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM will also have a Recorder appointed by the Leaders for a period of six months (coinciding with the other terms). The Recorder will perform secretarial functions for the Central Planning Team.• THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM will be responsible for maintaining the focus, identity, and purpose of The Gathering by utilizing the combined power of prayerful discernment and a good business sense.• THE CENTRAL PLANNING TEAM will meet after worship (for a half hour) on the last Sunday of each month immediately preceded by the (half hour) meeting of the Planning Teams.
Bible Studies• This page contains a summary of our current Bible Studies. Detailed information for a specific weeks lessons may be found on the interactive calendar. You can also send yourself an email reminder to attend a bible study listed below, or get a link to a Google map for directions from the interactive calendar. Wired Word Bible Study: Following Sunday Worship ServicesThe Wired Word Bible Study meets every Sunday morrning except the last Sunday of the month from 10:15-11:00 a.m.at the Fairfield Marriott Inn The Wired Word Bible Study is an adult curriculum that applies selected verses from scripture texts to current events.Sign up for advance copies of each weeks lesson via email nowSunday Eveneing Bible Study: West ChicagoA Bible Study meets every first and third Sunday evening of the month at 7:00 p.m.at the home of:Ray and Laura Bebee 828 Hillview Avenue West Chicago, IL 60185 630-293-3396 Street parking on the north side only. Sometimes we study according to the Lectionary. Sometimes we study a complete biblical book. Sometimes we watch a movie and discuss how things in the movie affect us. This study has been continuous at this location since 2006. Sunday Eveneing Bible Study: Mt. ProspectA Co-ed Bible Study meets every Sunday evening of the month from 7:00-8:30 p.m.at the home of:Christian and Jennifer Wilson 1755 Camp McDonald Road Mt. Prospect, IL 60056 224-567-8130 Discussion: We go over the lessons for Sunday; each week we go over the Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel lessons that were read at worship that same morning.Saturdays July 7th through Labor Day, "All of Paul"BibleStudy Around St. Pauls LettersBeing offered by Vicar Nicole:"We will be gathering by my house at 26358 N. Diamond Lake Road, Mundelein, Illinois to have our bible study on the Lake shore which is just a few footsteps north of my house. We will begin with 1st Corinthians & basically cover and discuss a chapter a week till eventually, we do--"All of Paul." During the Fall months and Winter, we will meet at my home. I am very conveniently located right off the highway just north of route 60. Proposed opening Saturday:July 7th, 2012 3pm to 5pmPlease consider bringing a snack to share as well as a lawn chair if you wish.Anyone who is interested please contact me so I can build up a list and decide to proceed. Send Vicar Nicole an email expressing my interest in this study now!Sign up for a reminder email for the July 7th Bible Study now• In addition to the study opportunities listed above, please be aware of the following:• A Bible study being offered on Tuesday night at 7:00 pm • A Bible study being offered on Thursday night at 7:00 pm • A Bible study being offered on Saturday morning at 9:00 am • Adult Affirmation of Faith (confirmation) on Sunday morning • Youth Affirmation of Faith (confirmation) on Sunday morning • Bible study (Sunday School) for the younger ones
DevotionTo be devoted to Christ is to put Him above all “people, places, and things”. The Gathering is committed to stressing a daily life of devotion!As disciples of Christ our devotion to Him must be all encompassing and without interruption. We express our devotion to the One who gave it all for us, by giving all of ourselves to Him. It is a way of life that worships the One who was born amongst us; lived, died and suffered for us; resurrected and ascended to empower us. Our devotion is to Him and Him alone, nothing and no one should take His place. We strengthen our devotion through worship, prayer, fellowship, and Bible study. We nurture our devotion through acts of daily meditation. For more information, please Google: free daily Christian devotionals. The Gathering exists as a spiritual entity that is discipleship driven, witness motivated, guided by prayer, and most importantly, devoted to Jesus Christ.
Retreats• Weekend retreats are excellent opportunities for spiritual growth! The Gathering will on occasion hold a weekend retreat at the Fairfield Marriot where it meets. It also wants to encourage seeking other weekend retreat opportunities: * Walks to Emmaus * The Great Banquet * Kingdom Weekends * Christ Renews His Parish * Marriage Encounter * Diakonia (two year commitment)
Directions From the North:Take the I-294 S ramp to US-12 W/Indiana/Tri-State SKeep right at the fork, follow signs for Indiana/Tri State Tollway and merge onto I-294 S/Tri-State Tollway (Partial toll road)Take the exit onto I-290 W toward US-20/IL-64/Rockford Take exit 13B to merge onto IL-64 W/E North AveTurn left onto N Columbine AveTurn right onto W North Ave - Destination will be on the rightFrom the West:Take I-88 E Toll roadTake the exit onto I-355 N Toll road toward NW SuburbsTake the IL-64/North Ave exit (Toll)Slight left toward E North AveTurn right onto E North AveTurn right onto W North Ave - Destination will be on the left From the South: Take I-55 to I-355 toward NW Suburbs/SW Suburbs Partial toll roadTake the IL-64/North Ave exit (Toll)Slight left toward E North AveTurn right onto E North AveTurn right onto W North Ave - Destination will be on the lef From the East:Take I-290 WTake exit 13B to merge onto IL-64 W/E North AveTurn left onto N Columbine AveTurn right onto W North Ave - Destination will be on the right