Posted by: Tom Gaddis | April 20, 2009

Church-going

Yesterday we attended The Gathering Place–a small fellowship in Morro Bay where longtime friends of ours Roger and Lynn Evey are pastors. On the drive home Sue and I reflected on how this church refreshed us:

It was the kind of place that was casual–an everyone-knows-your-name kind of place–where you sit at tables during the service with your steaming hot coffee. We were greeted several times by different people and Roger and Lynn were great hosts who made everyone feel welcomed.

There’s no fellowship in the county (and maybe the world) that has as remarkable a view as The Gathering Place. They rent the upper story of the Embarcadero Grill (801 Embarcadero) that overlooks the Morro Bay waterfront. The panoramic scene spread before us yesterday was drop-dead gorgeous with the bay alive with sailboats, sea lions, and kayakers. It was one of those days where you felt you could gather up an armful of sunshine.

The gathering here was mainly an older group. The younger church members were either out of town or had already attended the Saturday evening service. I’ve always loved older folks. I think it’s because most of them are so easy to talk to, which I discovered as an insecure kid growing up. Maybe the older are easy to talk with because they’re past the need to impress anyone or uphold an image, so they’re real. I felt this fellowship was filled with people like this who easily shared publicly their needs for prayer, as well as some praises for answered prayers. Since I am now eligible for a senior discount at the diner, I found myself right at home.

Roger, on his acoustical 12-string guitar, led us in four songs of worship with the accompaniment of a woman with a strikingly beautiful voice. All of this was done with no microphones, P.A. or with turn-the-volume-down issues. We loved the simplicity and sensed the presence of Jesus in our midst.

Neal Carlson, Roger’s co-pastor, shared a message with us on the post-resurrection text of John 20 where Jesus appears to his disciples after rising from the dead. Neal did an excellent job in making the text relevant to us with his quick wit, humor, handouts, calling for audience participation, and illustrations. Good job Neal! I went away ministered to by the point made of peace before mission. Jesus gives us peace (the word is used three times in these verses) or shalom, a word encompassing our complete well-being in body, soul, spirit, finance and more, before commissioning and sending us into his service. This further unfolded for me what’s wrapped up in this word sabbatical–a time set aside by God to restoring shalom to our lives in preparation for sending us back into the fields of labor for him.

If you are ever in Morro Bay you might want to check in on The Gathering Place and their service times at 805-772-5540.

Tom

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Responses

  1. Well, this makes me want to go there!!! While some are chasing the hype of Jesus there are others chasing the peace huh? I am glad that you are well and that the Lord is relevant to you right where you are at! Love you dad. J. Marshall and fam

  2. I must echo Julie’s response. Perfect.


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