WINDSOR, ON – On May 7th The Gathering celebrated its third birthday with a worship service and three baptisms. The house was filled with excitement and praise for what God has done in and through the church in three short years. Pastor Garth Leno preached another installment in the "Endangered Species" series, talking about qualities and characteristics that are in short supply in culture these days.
After the service everyone was invited to the birthday party which was held at Talbot Trail Public School. The public school board gave permission to distribute "Kids' Safety Day" invitations to more than 1,100 students in two nearby schools. A large number of guests from the community, most of whom had heard about the event through the invitations, joined The Gathering members. A myriad of languages could be heard on the playground as children played the games, filled out their "passports," and collected many prizes. There were giveaways for guests who had registered including; a bicycle, a new laptop computer, bicycle helmets, a chiropractic treatment, a spa day, Tim Horton's gift cards, and much more. Pastor Garth leno said, “It was fun giving gifts to our community guests with no strings attached! It created opportunity for more conversations.
Because of the generosity of The Gathering family and friends, a free week of SURGE Sports and Arts Camp was given to five children and others were signed up to be a part of this summer event. Leno says, “Our plan is to build on our friendship with these families, pointing them to the God of hope and salvation.” The SURGE camp will be partnered with a mission team from First Baptist Church, Mt. Juliet, TN.
Many families also took an invitation to the Free Park Event in August where The Gathering will sponsor several days of park games and activities for children SK-Grade 6 in the city-operated park located right next door to the school. College Acres Baptist Church from Wilmington, NC, will be on hand to support that event.
Windsor Fire and Rescue came with a big red fire truck, and they welcomed kids to climb aboard and explore. A local detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police also sent a representative in full uniform in one of the police cruisers. It was a big hit.
A dedicated team of coworkers from The Gathering will follow up with every guest, calling them and delivering door prizes to people who had to leave the park before the draws were made. They also received important contact information to be added to an invitation list for future family events like Harvest Festival and Christmas services.
Leno adds, “We are so grateful to Jesus for opening the door to this community that he has laid on our hearts! We are committed to engaging the Walker Gate neighbourhood this year with several special events, and we are praying that God will go before us by his grace and for his glory!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garth Leno is Senior Pastor at The Gathering in Windsor, ON