Our first Sunday gathering was three days ago (four, if you include today.) I've received texts, Facebook messages, emails, and more asking, "How'd it go?" Here's a brief summary and some corresponding thoughts.
For our first gathering, about 20 people were together. That may seem low or it may seem high. I'm grateful for that number. It reminds us that there are people who want to be together as Riverstone. It also reminds us that we must interact with people—meet them, know them, invite them, serve them, love them—in order for them to hear about us and want to join us. (That's why I'm excited to be forming our official launch team!)
Our gathering was informal, yet meaningful. We worshiped through music, prayer, preaching, and fellowship. Before we began, people mingled and had conversation. Afterwards, we had coffee and donuts and continued our conversation. People got to know each other a little better and, as we talked, it became clear that this is a special group of people. We're not all the same—my son is only 21 months old and we had senior citizens there as well as folks in nearly every life stage in between. Perhaps that's part of what made it so special—we saw a people who were diverse, at least by age, united in a shared commitment to worship and serve Jesus Christ.
The surroundings also added a unique aspect to our morning. We're meeting in a lunch room. There's a dart board, pool table, foosball table and more. There are vending machines, posters pertaining to work procedures and HR matters for the company. Lunch tables were pushed together so we could set up rows of chairs for our gathering. It didn't look like a church, but it felt like one. It reminded me of the Doris Mae Akers tune, "Sweet Sweet Spirit."
Our music included the chorus of a hymn and some other contemporary songs. We looked at Romans 10:13-15 and what it means to have beautiful feet. That is, feet that take a message of victory somewhere. We have a message of victory to deliver to our community and, as long as we do that, our Sunday gatherings—whether they look like what I just described or continue to evolve and develop—will offer a meaningful opportunity to be filled up, to grow, to encourage one another, and prepare for a week of ministry outside the walls of that lunch room in Manchester, PA.
So, how'd it go? It went very well. It was encouraging and uplifting. I'm excited to form our launch team and continue to meet with this small group on Sunday mornings as we anticipate our official launch later this year. You can be a part of this small group and our launch team, too! Join us Sundays at 9AM for coffee and a snack (or, let's face it, you may just make that snack your breakfast) and worship with us at 9:30AM.