Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coming Up: Last Weekend of Halloween Outreach in Salem, MA

Update on happenings at The Gathering
October 26th, Two-Thousand Eleven in the year of our Lord.

The last four weekends we have held outreach events at The Gathering. Hundreds of people have experienced gracious words of blessing, and received interpretations to dreams. Teams of "prophets" have spoken words over them. This is Halloween in Salem. Our small church has become a major player in setting the tone of Halloween events in the city because of our location, and because of the fact that the city has graciously allowed us to use the fountain on Essex Street to help set a tone of fun and blessing.

Free Hot Cocoa has been active and serving up cups by the thousands on the weekend. Fair Trade Cocoa has been served as a message about the necessity of breaking away from slave dependent sources. We were able to serve out of biodegradable cups for the first few days, but the cost has been prohibitive for doing this throughout the whole of the season. The costs for serving free hot cocoa have increased almost four-fold since choosing the fair trade method, but we are committed to the purpose and its important message. Deep, deep thanks to Carrie Erwin and Paul Drake for making this cocoa service run smoothly. You rock like organic beans.

The Fountain Stage is now moving into its fourth week of music on the streets of Salem. Christine Cooper the Welsh Celtic Fiddle Champion, and storyteller was on the stage and performed from The Vault. She is now a favorite of some locals. Aradhna was here for a weekend concert and brought Christina worship music in Hindi, and some of the best musicianship we've seen here. Paul Duffy, Sarah Van Wyk and others brought us good music over the last few weekends on the Fountain Stage.

Dream Interpretation and Spiritual Readings were happening over the last three weekends. We saw some physical healings when people were prayed for. Gracious words of encouragement brought tears of joy to many people. Many were encouraged in their search for God and truth. This is what the heart of our investment into the Halloween season of Salem is about. It is our desire to impact as many of the 500,000 people who visit Salem in October as we can. The only way to do such a thing year after year is to make sure that Christians are embedded into the fabric of events like this, and that we learn to work with leaders of the events in ways which are beneficial to the event itself, and sensitive to the culture around us. John Harding from the Northshore Bridge Church and Carlos Zeisel from The Gathering will continue to help lead these outreach projects.

This last weekend friends will be joining us from around the US. Allen Henninger is here now from LA. Dennis Huxley is returning. More friends from Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, California, and Texas are coming as well.

College groups from Boston are joining us for outreach, and will walk the streets dressed as monks offering free blessings. The last two years, these events have greatly blessed hundreds of people. A Youth With a Mission Team has asked to work with us this year, and Pastor Phil will be training them in how to minister in unique environments like Salem, MA with large numbers of Witches and other types of Neo-Pagans.

April Alario has been attending a school of ministry at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and will be coming home to lead all night prayer as well. If you are interested in joining the all night prayer contact us and let us know.

Please join us in prayer for this last week of outreach as we seek to serve people from Friday through Halloween Day (Monday).

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