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    “Connecting To The Covenant” – Three Part Membership Class

    Sunday mornings 8:30 am – 9:30 am September 26, October 3, and October 10 Room #4 Come and learn about our church’s vision and values, our history, and about our denomination.
    1. Hi All - we're pushing the boundaries a bit on capacity and need to increase our seating. Here is an 80 chair set up that we could do with 2-4 helpers coming in around 9:00-ish on Sunday. Can I get some help with this from some of you who don't already have a Sunday service task to do? It'll take about 20 minutes.
      1. If you still need people for this Josh and I can be there
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      Church Potluck and Pictionary

      Gather for Potluck and Pictionary, Saturday, Sept. 25 from 6-8pm at the Gathering House. We will share a meal and play a big game of Pictionary. Bring a dish to share: last name A-H-main dish, I-O-side dish, P-Z-dessert.
      1. We're still looking for a couple of people who can help Tonia on Thursday Sept 16th prepare for an evening event. We will need you 1:00-7:00 but probably not the whole time. Afternoon room set up and prepare charcuterie platters and evening breakdown and clean up. Congresswoman Rogers and Mayor Woodward are among the speakers. If you can help contact: Tonia@gatheringhouse.org
        1. I will be in Pennsylvania! Sorry I couldn’t make it! I will pray for a great outcome!
      2. Tomorrow’s message from Acts 2: A Healthy Church. We will talk about four activities the early church devoted themselves to, and then look at the six incredible results that followed.
        1. Was definitely on line. Great message.- Bill
        2. Great message! So excited to see what God is and is about to do with the Gathering House. Fun to be part of what's happening!
      3. Getting ready for the September meeting of the Spokane Homeless Coalition to start 9:30 am check it out live stream. https://www.YouTube.com/watch?v=bJJfePld0_8
        1. When you all get a chance - please upload a photo (and not an avatar) to your profile so we can all make it a touch easier to put faces and names together when we meet up on Sundays and at events. Thanks a bunch.
          1. Where do we upload it to? Thanks
        2. God With Us Posted on August 31, 2021  By Greg Yee, Superintendent, PacNWC Before coming to the PacNWC, I served as the associate superintendent of our sister conference to the south. What I don’t think many of you know, though, is that while working with the conference, I also helped plant a second-generation ministry at our Mien Covenant Church in South Sacramento.  Think of the Mien People like the Hmong (think gold medalist Sunisa Lee). Both people groups are mostly from Laos. And both were U.S. allies during the Vietnam War. I recently read that the Hmong had a 10x casualty rate compared to U.S. soldiers.  It was at Mien Cov that I began to hear stories about friends and family members that were connected to or worked directly with the U.S. during the war. As the war came to an abrupt end, the Mien were not evacuated. Many had to embark on a treacherous journey that included running from the Communists at night, surviving minefields and not easily crossing the border. The Mien found their way to refugee camps in Chengmai, Thailand (we have Cov missionaries there today!). There they were processed by U.N. workers that prepared them for their journey to the U.S. For whatever reason some U.N. workers decided to put June 15th for many people’s date of birth. They call this their “camp birthday”! One memory that sticks out from my time at Mien Cov was at a funeral of an elder male member. At the service I was surprised to see several of the elder men in the church in army fatigues (see picture). I was told they had served in Vietnam. But here they were not officially recognized as veterans. There were no special military rites offered. As it was back in Laos, they only had each other. I imagined the bitterness they might have felt because they were left behind after we pulled out. It was emotionally confusing to me personally. These men shared something so deep that only they could understand. There was pride. There was silence and a disturbing aloneness. These normally very simple unassuming men were definitely a hardened display of resilience. As I sat with so many conflicted feelings, I thanked God for these men and their service. I thanked God for helping them, and what family members survived, get to Thailand safely. As I grieved their losses and trauma, I thanked God for the missionaries that cared for them in the camps and connected them to resources in faith communities here in the States. Today I thank God for how a Mien elder in South Sacramento reached out to a Covenant pastor at Valley Hi Covenant Church which eventually led to the birth and flourishing of Mien Covenant Church. I thank God for the season I had with their young adults and youth, bringing students to CHIC 2012, and seeing young families raise a new generation of Christ followers.    God’s people going into messy and dangerous places to be the presence of Christ. God’s people sacrificing and helping provide for real needs and connecting people to community. God’s people sharing the gospel in word and deed. Mien Covenant Church is one beautiful redemptive story out of the horrific suffering and tragedies of war.  At the writing of this, the last evacuation flight out of Afghanistan just took off, leaving thousands of people stranded including Americans. I’ve felt grief and a sense of helplessness as I’ve followed the news. We are reminded again of the incredibly broken world we live in and the limitations of our human ways. We are reminded to stay vigilant in prayer: intercession, lament, and thanksgiving.  Praise the Lord, for he has shown me the wonders of his unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.  (Psalms 31:21-22 read the whole chapter!) Through all of the chaos and immense tragedy, I see beams of light as I know we have several Covenanters serving at World Relief and are on the front lines of receiving refugees. I know many of you are partnering with other agencies like Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services.  I see beams of light in this vast darkness as I hear how churches and families are stepping out as resource people, host families, and volunteers. I know many of you are taking up special offerings and sending financial support to agencies. I heard one story of a Covenant business owner who has two Afghan employees. He has been desperately contacting congressional leaders and anybody he can find to help his coworkers get their families to safety. Light overcoming seemingly suffocating darkness… We pray for safety and peace. We pray for miracles. We pray for redemptive pathways from the horrors of our longest war ever. We pray for safe passage through borders and minefields. We pray for God’s mercy and provision. We pray for people to know Christ and his presence through the Holy Spirit.  Those Mien elders reminded me of the deep pain and loss that accompanies war. They also continue to remind me of God’s real presence and work in our lives. Let us confess anew today our faith in the Lord. May the Lord renew our strength and fortify our souls for this journey. And may the Lord prod us to join him in his ongoing work in this world and in people’s lives.  Eternal Friend,  grant me an ease to breathe deeply of this moment,          this light,                     this miracle of now. Beneath the din and fury          of great movements                     and harsh news                               and urgent crises, make me attentive still          to good news,          to small occasions,                     and the grace of what is possible                               for me to be,                                         to do,                                                   to give,                                                              to receive, that I may miss neither my neighbor’s gift          nor my enemy’s need. Precious Lord, grant me a sense of humor          that adds perspective to compassion, gratitude          that adds persistence to courage, quietness of spirit          that adds irrepressibility to hope, openness of mind          that adds surprise to joy; that with gladness of heart I may link arm and aim with the One who saw signs of your kingdom          in salt and yeast,                     pearls and seeds,                               travelers and tax collectors,                                         sowers and harlots,                                                   foreigners and fisherman, and who opens my eyes with these signs          and my ears with a summons                     to follow to something more                               of justice and joy. “I Need to Breathe Deeply” (A Book of Prayers, Arthur A.R. Nelson)
          1. Its TUESDAY - come on down to the Farmer's Market 4:00-8:00 pm. I'll be hanging out and ready to just talk over a cup of coffee!!
            1. In yesterday's message Bethany Seipp spoke about going through process steps to get to forgiveness. Here is that outline - The Enright Process Model. It's great stuff. Remember: Not all answers to our lives will be quick or easy, but they will be fruitful if we can stay in the will of God. ENRIGHT FORGIVENESS PROCESS MODEL PRELIMINARIES -      Who hurt you? -      How deeply were you hurt? -      On what specific incident will you focus? -      What was said? How did you respond? PHASE I—UNCOVERING YOUR ANGER -      How have you avoided dealing with anger? -      Have you faced your anger? -      Are you afraid to expose your shame or guilt? -      Has your anger affected your health? -      Have you been obsessed about the injury or the offender? -      Do you compare your situation with that of the offender? -      Has the injury caused a permanent change in your life? -      Has the injury changed your worldview? PHASE 2—DECIDING TO FORGIVE -      Decide that what you have been doing hasn’t worked. -      Be willing to begin the forgiveness process. -      Decide to forgive. PHASE 3—WORKING ON FORGIVENESS -      Work toward understanding. -      Work toward compassion. -      Accept the pain. -      Give the offender a gift (empathy, compassion, etc…) PHASE 4—DISCOVERY AND RELEASE FROM EMOTIONAL PRISON -      Discover the meaning of suffering. -      Discover your need for forgiveness. -      Discover that you are not alone. -      Discover the purpose of your life. -      Discover the freedom of forgiveness. ©R. Enright (2001). Forgiveness Is a Choice. Washington, D.C.: APA Books