Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Years of Service in Salem, MA

As of June this year we began celebrating our 10th year living and ministering in Salem, Massachusetts. It has been a wild adventure at times, and we are thankful to the people who have blessed us during this season. The following is a press release which has been sent out, and we would love to have you join us as we do celebration 2.0 on Sunday, July 26th. (We will be doing a celebration in honor of some various aspect of our community life once a month for a number of months.)

The Gathering: Celebrating 10 Years of Service in Salem

On July 26th at 10am The Gathering will be celebrating 10 years of service in the community of Salem. The celebration will occur at the church's 10am Sunday service at The Vault - 217 Essex Street in Salem.

The Gathering began in the summer of 1999 with two families from Southern California. From the first year this new church had established itself as an organization dedicated to serving the city of Salem.

In their first October, they provided free live music on the streets of Salem, began to give away free hot cocoa, and offered free spiritual counsel to visitors and locals alike.

From this simple beginning the outreach of The Gathering has grown to include 40 to 50 hours of live music at The Fountain stage on Essex Street each October, organizing and sponsoring the Annual Salem Halloween Children's Day on the Common, serving up to 10,000 cups of free hot cocoa each October, offering free dream interpretation and spiritual counsel to thousands each year, painting children's faces during the city's 4th of July celebration, serving the crowds during the Christmas Tree Burning each January, supplying sound for community events, and collecting and distributing warm clothing to those in need each winter.

The story of this service has appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, on syndicated radio programs, and across the nation and in the Caribbean in local newspapers.

Pastor Phil Wyman has estimated that The Gathering has contributed $750,000 to the city of Salem and its visitors in the last 10 years in donations, and volunteer labor. "I have been a pastor for 24 years, and I am constantly amazed by the dedication of our church members and the constant hospitality we have extended through them and through our extended Gathering family far and near in service to our community." says Pastor Phil.

The celebration will relive the stories of this service to the community. For more information, you can call The Gathering at 978-744-8444, or e-mail at

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