About

 

 

 

 

About us 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus welcomes all who would come to him. We hope that you might feel this welcome regardless of your past or present. To help you feel welcomed on a Sunday morning, here are a few common questions related to a first visit:

Have a different question?

We meet for worship and fellowship at 10:30 am every Sunday morning at:

Creekside Elementary School
5321 Ephesus Church Road
Durham, NC 27707

Why worship in an elementary school gym?

Since Fall 2009, we’ve rented the gym, cafeteria, and classrooms at Creekside Elementary School in Southwest Durham. This space, while probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “church” has allowed us to partner with the local school community and devote resources towards our mission in the community, rather than the upkeep of our own facilities. We hope that our worship in a “non-traditional” space helps cultivate an imagination and expectation for all the ways that God meets us in the normal places of our lives.

How are babies and kids involved?

Kids are an important part of the life of the Gathering Church. We take seriously Jesus’ call to let the little children come! On a weekly basis, children of all ages are welcomed in the worship gathering. A nursery is available from 10am throughout the worship gathering. Kids ages 3 and up participate in the first part of our gathering (mostly singing and prayer), and then they’re sent into special age-specific Sunday School classes.

Several times a year, families are invited to participate in Child Dedications to share the blessing, commitment, and responsibility of guiding these little ones in the way of Jesus with the wider church community.

How should I dress?

On any given Sunday there is a wide variety of dress at the Gathering Church, from jeans to sports coats, chances are someone else will be dressed like you are. Dress up. Be comfortable. Come as you are.

What is the music like?

Led by Lee Anderson, our Sunday worship music includes a mix of hymns, contemporary Praise & Worship music, and original songs led by a rotating cast of volunteer musicians from the congregation and some of the Triangle’s most talented local musicians. Our music strives to be Christ-centered, sing-able, and reflective of the immense riches of our area’s folk-music traditions. Check out some of the past music projects produced by the Gathering Church and some of Lee’s current tunes.

Why do we share potluck meals?

The Gathering Church regularly shares in potluck meals together after our worship gatherings. Announced in advance, these meals represent an extension and practical outworking of the weekly welcome we receive around the Communion Table. Potluck meals are also a great way to serve others with your gifts and resources, and to form relationships around the table. Potlucks remind us that God has given us more than enough to share with and receive from each other. Even if you come on a Sunday empty-handed or can’t afford to bring something to share, you are welcomed at the table. There is more than enough!

How does giving work?

We give because we’ve been created in the image of a generous God who graciously gives to us. The Gathering Church is fully reliant on the generous giving of its members. We don’t ask our guests to give anything unless they want. While we don’t pass around an offering plate, there is a lock box available for tithes, offerings, and gifts each week. All financial gifts go towards the operating expense budget and the mission of the Gathering Church. The Gathering Church is a tax-deductible 501c3 church non-profit.

Mission

The Gathering Church is learning how to be present to God, connected to one another, and engaged in loving the world.

Vision

We are becoming a church who finds joy in God and one another.

We want to become more and more aware of God’s presence among us and to help others awaken to the God who knows and loves us all. Instead of busy-ness, distraction, and disconnection, we want God to show us how to be present and attentive to him and to each other.

We are becoming a church who sees and loves others the way Jesus did and does.

We want to have Jesus’s vision for the world. Generally, we don’t see or love like Jesus does. We see a broken status quo; Jesus sees potential for real renewal. We mostly look for people who can serve us; Jesus looks for those he can love and serve, those for whom he even gave his very life.

We are becoming a church who celebrates the breadth of our gifts and creativity to glorify God and bless others.

We want to have a vivid imagination for how God can and will use each of us to contribute with our loves, histories, talents, and interests to the Kingdom of God in our place and time. Everyone has something to add, gifts from God, that can be transformed and grown.

We are becoming a church who participates in God’s renewal of all things.

We want to be a part of the flourishing available for the people, places, and things around us. As Resurrection People, we want to be actively involved in the Holy Spirit’s work of breathing new life into God’s world.

We Believe

The Gathering Church affirms, with the Church throughout the ages, the Apostles’ Creed:

We believe in God the Father:
Almighty Creator of heaven and earth.

We believe in Jesus Christ: God’s only Son, our Lord.
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

We believe in the Holy Spirit: The holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, And the life everlasting.

Amen.

History

In February 2009, twenty-four people met in a home in Chapel Hill to consider the possibility of starting a church that would seek to “love people incredibly well, as Jesus did.” Pastor Mark Acuff, who had experience in campus ministry, planting a church in New England, and teaching at another larger church in the area, called the meeting to explore the need and opportunity.  After meeting, those in attendance committed to spend a month in prayer seeking God’s guidance.

In the coming months, the group continued to regularly assemble for worship and fellowship in another couple’s home. This “gathering” grew and morphed into the first public Worship Gathering on early Easter morning (2009) at the Aqueduct Conference Center. The name, “The Gathering Church” was coined by one of the children of a core family who helped form this church community.

After gathering for worship and weekly potluck in the early evenings at United Church of Christ in Chapel Hill for about six months, the Gathering Church moved to Sunday mornings at Creekside in October 2009.

After celebrating the Gathering Church’s Fifth Anniversary in 2014, a core team of 24 people were sent with support and blessing under the leadership of Chris and Rachel Breslin to plant Oak Church in the Lakewood neighborhood of Durham. The Gathering Church continues to partner with and pray for Oak Church.

You’re invited to be a part of the story that God continues to write for the Gathering Church as he calls ordinary people to participate in his extraordinary mission to bless and renew our community and world.