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The Gathering

'The Gathering' from September is 'Gathering in Groups'

The Gathering is an opportunity for people to meet, in an informal setting, to explore and experience the love of God and what it means to follow Jesus’.

Following the departure of Ian and Mary Roberts for the UK, after three wonderful years of The Gathering, we have lost our home! However, we see this as a positive opportunity to re-assess what we are doing. As a result, and in view of the Covid-19 restrictions, we are now Gathering in Groups. One group of 8 has been formed as a follow-on to the Alpha course and is meeting fortnightly on a Sunday afternoon for a cuppa & cake followed by Bible study and prayer at the home of David & Angela. A second group of 8 is about to be formed.

 

farewell with gratitude

Sept 6th - Our last time at 'Le Mouret'

It was with mixed emotions that we came together for September’s Gathering at Le Mouret – joy at seeing one another again for the first time in many months and sadness that this was our last meeting in the present format. The reason? Ian and Mary Roberts have sold their beautiful house and grounds and are moving back to the UK at the beginning of next month.

We worshipped, reflected on the positive and negative experience of ‘lockdown’, thought about Romans 13:14, listened to Ian and Mary as they shared their reflections on the past three years and then we prayed for them. A further section of our meeting was devoted to the future and we then broke bread.

Because of the current restrictions we were not able to share a cooked lunch but each of us brought our own picnic and 17 of the 20 who attended the meeting stayed on for a further time of fellowship.

thank you cardThis was not the meeting we would have hoped for as our last but it was an opportunity to celebrate our three years and to express our love and appreciation for Ian and Mary.

A card for Ian and Mary:

We invited members to express their thanks to Ian and Mary by emailing messages which we then stuck on a large, concertina style, card with some picture memories. David & Angela and David & Liz presented this to them on 27 September and they were thrilled to receive it.

 

church online

Online weekly worship services - Church Online continues

Please click here to visit Church Online, an online space to keep us connected during this time, sharing worship liturgy resources, videos, prayers, and a blog.

 

Contact

Rev'd David Marshall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 05 62 68 26 71), and Rev'd Angela Marshall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or

David and Liz Evans (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Themes for meetings are generally announced on this website around 10 days before the relevant meeting, so please keep an eye on this page.

 

Meetings

The content and structure of the gatherings will be flexible, reflecting what the Spirit is leading for that particular meeting and who is attending. Each meeting will include a thematic presentation/talk, prayer, worship, Bible reading/study and discussion. In addition there may be times of silence, contemplation, individual prayer ministry and Communion.

 

Our Members

Our members are drawn from the northern and central Gers and southern Lot and Garonne. All are welcome.

 

 

 

News from last year

December Carols by Candlelight

On Sunday, 15th December, at the lovely home of Gareth and Helen Davies and their daughter and son-in-law, Beccy and Pedro Santos, the Gathering held this year’s Carols by Candlelight. 50 of us enjoyed a delightful evening of Christmas Carols and readings, with a thought-provoking talk by Angela Marshall, singing led by her husband David and an invitation (following a video introduction) to come to an Alpha Course in the New Year. Following this, chairs were stacked and we tucked into a mouth-watering buffet and wine, and enjoyed good conversations as guests mingled.

 

September meeting: Prayer Stations focusing on 'Nature'

Sunday found nearly 40 of us sitting, standing or kneeling at 7 Prayer Stations set out around the garden of Le Mouret. These all followed the theme of ‘Nature’ encompassing desert, water, flowers, fruit, birds, thorns and a hill to contemplate.

The first two photographs show a couple of these stations; the ‘birds’ and the ‘fruit’. For the former we were encouraged to think and pray about “Who we dream of seeing entering the Kingdom of God” and writing that person’s or people’s names on ‘the bird’ and hanging it in the tree. For the latter we thought and prayed about our own spiritual fruit and of fruit we would like to bear. We then wrote this on ‘the apple’ and hung it in the vine.

Liz Evans had undertaken most of the art work and together with the bible passage/activity assembled into a guide by Angela they presented a very thought provoking morning. And, as usual, after the time of silent prayer and contemplation, and with the weather still holding up, around 30 of us shared a delicious lunch on the terrace.

 

August at The Gathering: Welcome!

For our August meeting we decided to start with breakfast; fresh croissants, orange juice and coffee together, au plein air. Following that, we gathered in the shade of the abri, extended by the gazebo.

Our meeting was led by Mary Roberts, on the theme 'Signposts', where she was exploring how God has designed us to reflect His nature to others. As always, our time together included some beautiful worship, and prayer, and ended with Communion celebrated by Rev'd David and Rev'd Angela Marshall. Following the meeting, we shared a glass of wine and nibbles, and enjoyed the shade and fellowship.

 

The Gathering Easter Day

easterRev'd Angela Marshall writes: ‘If you had invited us to come to a church service today (Easter) we would never have accepted.’ But they did accept an invitation to a home by people who had befriended them and whom they trusted and they were bowled over by what they found as they entered in to the joy and meaning of the occasion. We met at La Taste, where we have held our Carols by Candlelight evenings.

Easter is not a sentimental or comfortable message to explain as Christmas is. It was a challenge to think how to talk about sin and forgiveness, what it meant that Jesus died for us and what was accomplished through the cross and resurrection, and its meaning for us today. A lot of prayer had gone into our preparation.

We spent time sharing the message of Easter through word, song, readings and testimony and then had an hour for apéro and conversation as the tables were set up for lunch. At the table we began the meal by breaking bread together; we passed round the bread and wine explaining that they could just pass it on to the next person if they wished. It was a very special moment and everyone seemed very comfortable. We then enjoyed lamb, pommes dauphinoise and vegetables. I can only speak for my table, but the conversation was open about the message and how they were understanding ‘church’ very differently, not like the church they remembered or imagined. This was real and it impacted their lives. One person said to me ‘You are all so joyful and welcoming’ and was clearly touched.

People just didn’t want to go home and it was after 5pm before the last left and then we had to clear up! Our team were exhausted but full of excitement. For me, this has to have been one of the most meaningful Easter Days I've experienced. This is the heart of our vision for The Gathering, to draw others in who would never step into a church or who have been wounded by an experience in the past. Our challenge is how we build on this.

 

 

2018 News

September meeting: Prayer Stations with the 'I am' sayings

This Gathering was yet another wonderful meeting outside, in glorious sunshine. David and Angela Marshall led us through a moving time of silent contemplation, having positioned interactive Prayer Stations around the garden and in some of the outbuildings using the theme of the ‘I am’ sayings of Jesus. Liz Evans had undertaken most of the art work and together with Angela’s prayer guide they presented a very engaging series of stations.

Everyone seemed to really get involved in the exercise and there was encouraging feedback from the morning; people finding it profound and inspiring; really bringing alive these passages of Scripture. As usual we shared a delicious lunch, with tempting contributions from Gathering members.

 

August meeting: 'Living Renewal'

For our August meeting we decided because of the large number wanting to come, including small children, to start with Breakfast together, en plein air. Following that, we gathered in the shade of the abri, the capacity of which has been extended by purchasing an excellent gazebo. Our meeting was led by Mary Roberts, on the theme ‘Living Renewal’. This followed on from our July Gathering, when we discussed the importance of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. As always, our time together included some beautiful worship, and prayer, and ended with Communion celebrated by David and Angela Marshall.

Following the meeting, we shared apero and nibbles, and, as always it was a very happy time of fellowship.

 

First Gathering en plein air

Life in Abundance

The sun shone brightly from a beautiful blue sky as The Gathering met once again at Le Mouret. The meeting was held outside, in the combined shade of the abri and the recently purchased gazebo, which enabled all of us to sit comfortably and coolly; there were 31 attending for this meeting.

Angela Marshall led us in an exploration of ‘Life in Abundance’ and the importance of the Holy Spirit. There were opportunities for discussion, reflection and prayer with everyone, even visitors and newcomers, happy to participate. We were led in worship by David Marshall and Liz Evans; and we finished with a beautiful, quiet sharing of Communion.

Along with our newcomers we were very glad to welcome our chaplain, Tony Lomas, who attended for the first time. Afterwards, we sat down to a most enjoyable lunch together on the now shady terrace with opportunity to chat and share.

 

To read previous news from 2017, click here

 

2017 News

News from 2017

December 22nd Carols and Mulled Wine

carols by candlelightThe Gathering rounded off the year with a special time of celebration, singing Carols at the home of Gareth and Helen Davies, and their daughter and son-in-law, Pedro and Rebecca Santos. Led by Rev'd David and Rev'd Angela we enjoyed both traditional and new carols, and a clever and amusing Nativity video made by schoolchildren in Auckland, New Zealand (An Unexpected Christmas).

Attended by friends and neighbours, as well as regular Gathering members, we completed the event with mulled wine, sausage rolls and mince pies.

 

Wayne Jacobsen comes to October 29th meeting

wayne jacobsenThe Gathering was thrilled to welcome well-known American Christian author and speaker, Wayne Jacobsen (see www.lifestream.org) to its recent meeting.

Wayne, who was touring France and Belgium, agreed to include us in his itinerary but as he was elsewhere in November, we had to move our ‘November’ meeting to Sunday, 29th October to accommodate him. But it was not an opportunity we wanted to miss.

After 20 years of pastoring churches in the US, Wayne has found himself in the role of encouraging and inspiring Christians around the globe who find themselves outside mainstream institutional models of church. He believes strongly that relationships and connectedness, as modelled by Jesus, are the basis of a growing and vibrant life of faith and action.

He spoke on the theme of “Living Loved”, helping us to understand the Father’s deep love for us and how we can live in that. It is clear that, sadly, so many of us have the perception of God as distant and demanding, whose standards we can never meet. However, living our lives fully knowing that He Loves Me (the title of one of Wayne’s best known and loved books) transforms and empowers us as His children.

You may well have read ‘The Shack’, which Wayne co-wrote, but you may not be familiar with some of his other titles such as ‘Finding Church’ and ‘In Season’ – If you are not, they are all well worth reading.

After the meeting most of the participants stayed on for a very enjoyable and relaxed lunch at Le Mouret with Wayne and a delightful Belgian couple, Gert and Katia Daeren, who were his drivers, organisers and travel companions for the trip.

Wayne is an engaging, knowledgeable and intelligent communicator. We all felt blessed and fortunate that he kindly agreed to drop in for the weekend and share his journey with us.

 

September double baptism!!

Our September Gathering was a very special one, held at the new home of Gareth and Helen Davies, and their daughter and son-in-law, Pedro and Rebecca Santos. Over 40 of us were privileged to witness the baptism of Oli and Tilly Santos. We then completed the event with a delicious open-air lunch. The baptism was a wonderful and moving occasion, and a brilliant witness to the friends and neighbours they had invited. Such an inspiring time of love, worship and celebration.

 

July meeting: croissants, coffee, and transformation

The Gathering is now 6 months old! It was 18 months ago that the eight of us - Ian & Mary, David & Angela, David & Liz and Gareth & Helen - started meeting privately together for prayer and fellowship and listening to God to discern what he wanted us to do in this place. After discussing it with Tony Lomas, and with his blessing, we held our first Gathering on 5 February.

The meetings are led as a team of eight. We all have different gifts to share whether for leading the meeting; teaching any children/young people present ; providing prayer and hospitality or the always essential administration. After coffee, we get together to follow the day’s theme; amongst those we have looked at to date are the prodigal son, forgiveness, grace, transformation and a lectio divina on the Holy Spirit. We finish by having lunch together, provided by the eight of us.

the gatheringFor our July meeting we met at the home of David and Angela Marshall, Hameau de Manieu, Condom, on their newly re-furbished terrace where we began with a breakfast of coffee and croissants before looking at our theme of ‘Transformation: the parable of the frog’. (If this theme intrigues you, contact David to find out more!).

Each occasion is carefully planned, prepared and prayed over but there is no fixed formula that we follow each time, although each meeting generally incorporates teaching, sharing, worship in song and prayer We have been very encouraged by the trust that has built up between us enabling people to freely share their joys as well as their struggles or difficulties. To date our number has varied from 16 to 20.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contacts

Priest with the Responsibility for the Sector of Condom:
Rev'd Tony Lomas - 06 72 31 72 87 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leaders to Contact:

Rev'd David Marshall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), and Rev'd Angela Marshall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or

David and Liz Evans (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)