“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Homeless, addicted, fearful, or put off by organized religion— many are the reasons individuals on the fringe of society seek out the small and more intimate Sunday Gathering away from the church building.
Although not an official church service, The Gathering meetings are ”Jesus focused” with a message of hope and strength from the Bible, a chance to make prayer requests (often for jobs, housing and relief from traumatic situations) and time for companionship over coffee and a snack and a discussion about topics of concern. Communion is available once a month and baptisms arranged if desired.
Through donations from the Mountain View UMC congregation and local merchants, The Gathering team provides tents, tarps and blankets; bicycles; clothing items; bus passes and laundry mat vouchers. Arrangements might also be made scheduling showers, a trip to the emergency room, or if needed, a visit in jail.
“The most wonderful part,” say volunteers “is how we see Christ reflected through them. How they help each other. How they share —freely giving from what little they have. How they totally accept and do not judge each other. It is just the greatest joy!”