Pray With Us For A PLACE
An Update on In-Person Worship (Summer & Fall)
Confirmed MACROgathering Dates
- June 6th - 10:30am
- NO MEETING IN JULY
- August 8th - 10:30am
- September 12th - 10:30am
- October 3rd - 10:30am
- November 7th - 10:30am
- December 5th - 10:30am
Discerning a Way Forward
Gathering Midtown Church will be experimenting with a hybrid macro/micro weekend worship model beginning June 6th, 2021.
That's right! We're going to be worshipping indoors and in person once a month starting June 6th. We won't be meeting in July.
One of the realities of being a small church start-up is that we don't have a real estate asset, nor a long-term lease on any physical space. As you know, COVID19 has had an unprecedented impact on how social groups meet indoors in large amounts of people. Nationwide, as churches have re-opened to in-person worship, the average church has seen around 40-50% of their previous attendance show up. For smaller churches, it has created a challenge in stewarding and leveraging limited resources, both in money and volunteers.
In the Fall of 2020, we launched microGATHERINGS, which are basically small groups meeting on the weekend around a worship liturgy facilitated through our YouTube channel. We've seen about 59% of our church engaged with those. They have worked and provided a much-needed way to meet with people when the pandemic was raging. However, there is no substitute for being with the larger gathering during worship.
As vaccinations rise and covid cases drop, and the recent extraordinary change in the CDC mask guidelines for vaccinated people, we're seeing more places open up. That gives us hope and we're excited to slowly re-gather publically as we're able.
We continue to envision what "church" looks like in a post-pandemic world. As we do that, we have deeply thought about our mission and our resources. We miss meeting weekly as a larger community and we think we will at some point, as God leads and provides. But currently, we don't feel that it is wise to invest a massive amount of money in a weekly indoor in-person worship gathering.
In this season we have been reminded that our mission has never been to "fill a building" or "do a worship service". Our mission has always been to love people and lead them to be disciples of Jesus.
In our discernment to see what the future holds, we'd like to run a test and experiment. What if we could worship in a hybrid model? Could we worship all together once a month at a central location, and the other weeks continue to worship in smaller groups? Would orbiting in a gather and then scatter approach work? We're not sure. But we think it's worth a try. Even if it's for a season.
In mid-May, we learned that SAISD recently lifted the restrictions that have kept all school auditoriums closed to the public. Starting June 6th we will begin experimenting with in-person worship gatherings at Hawthorne Academy. Our MACROgatherings will take place once a month (with the exception of July) and we will continue worshiping in microGatherings on the off weekends. We will meet as a larger community on June 6th, August 8th, September 12th, October 3rd, November 7th, and December 5th.
We want to be clear. This is an experiment in an effort to discern God's will. We are a faith family and depend on one another in the Lord. We need your help, your imagination, your insights, and your feedback. This hybrid experiment is a dry erase marker and not a sharpie. Jello, not concrete.
Along the way, we will prayerfully consider how things are panning out with in-person MACROgatherings and microGATHERINGS. We have learned that in a crisis, adaptation and flexibility are superpowers.
We will meet inside Hawthorne Academy located at 115 W Josephine St, San Antonio, TX 78212. The auditorium seats 440 and there are generally about 100 of us. There's lots of room for social distancing naturally.
There will be kids' ministry for ages 4-12 during the sermon portion only and they will return prior to communion.
MACROgatherings start at 10:30am and end at 12:00pm. We encourage you to arrive by 10:15am.
- June 6th
- NO MEETING IN JULY
- August 8th
- September 12th
- October 3rd
- November 7th
- December 5th
Masks & Social Distancing
Gathering Midtown will be following CDC Guidelines for mask-wearing and social distancing. If you've been fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask indoors or social distance. If you have not been vaccinated, we recommend that you wear a mask in our public settings.