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Radically Relevant, Modern Methodism at The Gathering

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The Gathering_HSThe Gathering, an opportunity that Rev. Lance Marshall describes as “radically relevant, modern Methodism,” is growing fast with record attendance of more than 200 people. After only a year, this worship offering has already outgrown its space — twice. That’s why we decided to add another service in this same unique format.

The 9:30 am service is still in Wesley Hall, and the new 11:00 am service takes place at the Justin Building, another space that was designed with interaction and hospitality in mind. Lance says that this space will support The Gathering’s existing focus on community as well as provide a few new extras (like fresh cinnamon rolls). “This is a perfect opportunity for you to invite a friend to attend The Gathering with you,” Lance encourages. “When they do, they will experience a community of people who love God, love church, and love each other.”

This totally different First Church Sunday morning offering led by Lance is a casual and relevant opportunity for prayer, study, topical exploration, and high-spirited connection free from typical worship or Sunday School structures. What is it that makes The Gathering so unique? Here’s what some of our regular attendees had to say about it.

haley-manulikI love to learn. In fact, I yearn for it. Especially at church. I find myself wanting to know more and more about our Creator — about His sacrifice and love for all people. About the miracles He performed and is performing. About how to live my life to glorify Him and spread His love. About how to be a “little Christ.” I love learning it all. I want to be taught the depths of the Bible. I don’t want to skim the surface anymore, which is what brought me to The Gathering. Lance digs deep. Teaching is such a gift, isn’t it? A good teacher challenges us and makes us grow. A good teacher wants us to learn because they, themselves, have a passion for whatever they are teaching. We’ve all had that teacher that we connected with at one point or another. For me, in my current faith journey, Lance is that teacher. He makes us think about how to be a Christian always, not just on Sunday mornings. He is eager to teach and people are drawn to him. Lance has a passion for Christ so teaching about Him comes easily. The Gathering is simply a comfortable space for that teaching to take place. It is casual. It is modern. It is warm. But above all, it is a place of learning about The Lord. And that is what I love.

— Haley Manulik

abbie-shippThe Gathering brings together the best parts of a church service, a Sunday School, and a Bible study in a new form of worship like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Best of all The Gathering is led by Lance Marshall, an enthusiastic, humble, creative leader whom we believe represents the future of FUMCFW. 

Lance’s greatest gift is the ability to breathe new life into scripture, making it relevant to our everyday modern lives. Complex topics like the book of Revelation or the importance of money are explained in thought-provoking, inspiring, and impactful ways. He also provides historical context to scripture, which illustrates how the Bible continues to provide guidance in the time of the internet and social media.  

The Gathering is low-key, come-as-you-are, and all-inclusive. Want to come in jeans? Do it. Want to meet new people? Join the party near the door. Dealing with challenges in your life? Grab a coffee and a pastry, and someone will smile warmly and welcome you to a safe place. 

For our family, The Gathering came at a time when we needed something new. And by the number of other people who come back each week, it’s obvious that Lance has his finger on the pulse of a new and fresh kind of worship. Come to The Gathering and feel the inclusion . . . feel the love . . . feel the inspiration. Feel God at work in Fort Worth.

 — Brad & Abbie Shipp 

If you’d like to experience The Gathering for yourself, come join this First Church community on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in Wesley Hall or at 11:00 am in the Justin Youth Building to see what The Gathering could add to your faith journey.

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