About Us

Welcome to The Gathering 2017.

Do you know the old story of stone soup? It is a tale of travelers coming to a village with nothing more than an empty cooking pot. Finding the villagers uncomfortable in sharing any of their food, the travelers go to a stream, fill the pot with water, drop a large stone in it, and place it over a fire.

Being curious, one of the townspeople asks what they are doing. The strangers answer, “We are making delicious stone soup, and all it needs is a little garnish to make it taste wonderful.” The curious villager does not mind throwing in a few carrots, and soon others are tossing in other ingredients – seasonings, a bit of meat, vegetables and rice. In time, everyone has put in something. Finally, the stone is removed from the pot, and a fragrant and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by all.

Although the strangers tricked the villagers into sharing their food with them, they transformed not only a pot of water and a stone into something for everyone to enjoy, but changed the people themselves. This is what we do every year in a way. We come together with you and all share our little bits – and create something more delicious than we could ever do on our own.






Fred Smith
President, The Gathering


We give this rule: the good things which we have from God ought to flow from one to another, and become common to all, so that every one of us may, as it were, put on his neighbor, and so behave towards him as if he were himself in his place. Martin Luther

Fred Smith



“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”

Edmund Burke

Hannah Carter

GenNext Director


"Consider what you owe to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once."

Charles Spurgeon

Joel Ghrist

Finance Director


“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

II Corinthians 12:9

Maggie Lechner

Event Director


"Present over perfect. Quality over quantity. Relationship over rushing. People over pressure. Meaning over mania."

Shauna Niequist