Gather 2021 to Be Held Virtually

Gather 2021, which includes the 135th Annual Meeting, will be held June 23-26 as a virtual event due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision was made by the Executive Board with collective input received from Annual Meeting officers, the chair of Board of Ordered Ministry, president of the Ministerium, chair of the Council of Superintendents, executive minister of Ordered Ministry and Develop Leaders, and President’s Office and Governance team staff.

“With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we continue to shepherd, steward, and pivot well,” said John Wenrich, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church. “I grieve that we will not be able to meet in person, but I remain steadfast that our virtual time together will be engaging and fruitful. As a mosaic of mission friends, we know that our work remains vital in sharing the good news around the world.”

The 2020 Annual Meeting was canceled because of the pandemic. An extra day has been added to the schedule in June in order to address unfinished business from last year.

“A virtual gathering will also make it possible for every church to send their allotted delegates.  This will reduce a justice gap that has existed for many years,” Wenrich added.

The Service of Ordination, Commissioning, and Consecration will be livecast the evening of June 26. Because no service was held in 2020, a total of 107 people are expected to finalize their credentials this year, said Lance Davis, executive minister of Ordered Ministry and Develop Leaders.

Bibles, stoles, and certificates will be mailed to each finalization candidate. They will have hands laid on them by an ordained clergy member of their choice. As necessary, local safety guidelines on social distancing and facial coverings will be followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

Some conferences also are considering sites where candidates can gather while following safety guidelines. Candidates would have a choice to attend there or participate from a site of their choosing. Candidates also may choose to opt out and delay their finalization until 2022, when it is hoped that people can once again gather in person.

Davis and Wenrich will officiate the service. Catherine Gilliard, superintendent of the Southeast Conference, will preach.

The ministerium will hold its meeting June 22-23.

“We hope this new format can gather us in creative ways as well as provide increased access for more voices to shape our faithful discernment across our diverse membership,” said Liz Mosbo VerHage, president of the ministerium. “We’re working to craft options for ongoing education, community building, worship and spiritual formation, confession and lament, as well as discuss business agenda items during our two days together. We want the entire Ministerium to feel invited, seen, and heard.”

For more information, call (800) 910-2442, visit the Gather 2021 website, or email


Gather 2021 Schedule
All times shown are in the Central Time Zone (CST)

Tuesday, June 22

1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.             Ministerium Vocational Development

Wednesday, June 23

10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.        Ministerium Business Meeting
1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.             Ministerium Business Meeting

Thursday, June 24
**Breaks will be 10 minutes

9:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M.         Executive Board Meeting
11:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.        Executive Session Meeting (Elected, Liaisons, & ECC President)
9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.        Technology Live Testing with Delegates
1:00 P.M. – 1:20 P.M.           Business Session: Opening Worship
1:20 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.           Break
1:30 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.           135th Annual Meeting Business: Session I
1:30 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.          Business Session
2:30 P.M. – 2:40 P.M.         Break
2:40 P.M. – 3:40 P.M.         Business Session
3:40 P.M. – 3:50 P.M.         Break
3:50 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.         Business Session
5:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.        Dinner Break
6:00 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.        Thursday PM Worship

Friday, June 25

10:00 A.M – 1:30 P.M.            135th Annual Meeting Business: Session II
10:00 A.M. – 10:20 A.M.        Business Session: AM Worship
10:20 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.        Break
10:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M          Business Session
11:30 A.M. – 11:40 A.M           Break
11:40 A.M – 12:40 P.M            Business Session
12:40 P.M. – 12:50 P.M.          Break
12:50 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.           Business Session
2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.             Lunch Break
3:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.              135th Annual Meeting Business: Session III
3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.            Business Session
4:00 P.M. – 4:10 P.M.             Break
4:10 P.M. – 5:10 P.M.              Business Session
5:10 P.M. – 5:20 P.M.             Break
5:20 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.             Business Session
6:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.             Dinner Break
7:30 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.             Friday PM Worship

Saturday, June 26

10:00 A.M – 1:30 P.M.            135th Annual Meeting Business: Session IV
10:00 A.M. – 10:20 A.M.        Business Session: AM Worship
10:20 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.        Break
10:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M          Business Session
11:30 A.M. – 11:40 A.M           Break
11:40 A.M – 12:40 P.M           Business Session
12:40 P.M. – 12:50 P.M.         Break
12:50 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.           Business Session
2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M.            Lunch Break
3:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.             135th Annual Meeting Business: Session V
3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.           Business Session
4:00 P.M. – 4:10 P.M.           Break
4:10 P.M. – 5:10 P.M.            Business Session
5:10 P.M. – 6:30 P.M.           Dinner Break
7:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.          Saturday PM Worship: Service of Ordination, Commissioning, and Consecration

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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