Dear Gathering Georgetown

Dear Gathering Georgetown,

All weekend freshmen have been moving in on the Hilltop. They’ve arrived with all of the exuberance, dreams, and ambitions that they’ve been storing throughout their high school years. Their parents’ cars and their luggage has probably clogged the roadways and the hallways alike. They’re likely really excited and quite loud. They, with almost certainty, have no idea where the Esplanade or Bulldog Alley are located. I’m sure you’ve seen them and perhaps been annoyed by them. Please befriend them! Please come alongside them and love them. Please remember your freshman year struggles and your desire for community. They need upperclassmen to befriend them, show them the ropes, patiently answer their questions, and mentor them.

This morning the Protestant community came together for their annual Protestant Worship Service, and I heard via @jonathandrice that it was packed!

You have no idea what that news did to my heart. It reminded me that there are freshmen on campus now who I won’t get to sit down with over coffee this year. It reminded me that I’m missing my first Welcome Week on a college campus in five years. And it reminded me that The Gathering Georgetown kick off service is happening in just THREE days on the Leavey Esplanade and I won’t be there. I have to admit that I’m a little heartbroken over all of these facts, but I am thrilled that YOU are there and that your impact there will lead to more followers of Christ on Georgetown’s campus!

I will definitely continue to be in touch with you all, but I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much each of you have meant to me. I so appreciate everything that you each have done to serve alongside The Gathering Georgetown – whether that be by tabling during Welcome Week, by leading a small group, by heading to Haiti over spring break, by planning outreach events, or even just helping set up the sound system each week. You have each made an absolutely invaluable contribution toward our mission – reaching the collegiate generation in Washington, DC, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was absolutely my joy to serve with you guys. I think you all already know that leaving The Gathering at Georgetown was the hardest thing that the Lord has ever asked me to do, and while I did so willingly to follow His call, it was still quite painful to leave this ministry. It continues to be difficult that I am not there with you this week as The Gathering Georgetown community kicks off a third full year of ministry on campus. All of that aside, as you enter Welcome Week this year, I cannot express how excited I am about what the Lord has in store for the Hilltop this year. I have such a great anticipation for what the Lord will use our ministry (and the ministries of our friends on the Protestant Council) to accomplish for His kingdom.

I know that there has been quite a bit of transition at The Gathering this summer, both at the staff level and at the student leadership team level, but I not only expect that The Gathering’s ministry will continue; I expect that it will thrive. The Gathering was not my ministry, nor is it yours. It belongs to the Lord. And it is for His purposes and for His glory that we, and now you, strive to reach Georgetown with the message of Jesus Christ!

I want to encourage you to begin to fast and pray for this upcoming academic year. I truly believe that we will see more fruit on campus than ever before, even amidst an enormous amount of change.

I am praying this passage over you this week:

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

(Ephesians 1:15-21 ESV)

Please be praying for your fellow Hoyas, for the incoming freshman class, for the homeless of Georgetown and DC, and for Haiti. Seek and pursue unity. Build biblical community. Live out the message of the Gospel. Share your faith. Love each other well! I have every confidence in you all and even more confidence in the God we serve!

With much love and prayer,

Whitney

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