I’ll Push You
Speakers: Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck
Fred Smith, President of the Gathering, presents his welcome and introductory address to The Gathering participants, painting the backdrop for the conference and casting vision for the experience to come.
With an introduction by Jason Russell, Micah Bournes – creative writer, poet, songwriter, bluesman and performer, shares thought-provoking poetry regarding, race, personal struggle and humor.
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, introduced by Fred Smith, present an introduction to their film, I’ll Push You, a documentary of the two men and their journey on El Camino de Santiago in Spain. Gray and Skeesuck, whose deep friendship defies the boundaries of disability and difficulty, share their mission and vision for making the film, and their journey in making their vision a reality.
I’ll Push You Q&A
Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck
Q&A takes place after the screening of Skeesuck and Gray’s film, “I’ll Push You”.
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray answer questions from The Gathering participants, dealing with issues of marriage, disability, spiritual discovery and true friendship.”
America and the Souls of the Citizenry
Senator Ben Sasse
Introduction by Dr. Marie Belen of Nebraska.
Senator Ben Sasse, R – Nebraska, shares his thought-provoking views of the American Ideal, cutting to the core of what sets the United States of America apart from other nations. In his address, Senator Sasse peels back the layers of what is truly “American”, and explains how, as a nation, America must move forward to preserve its foundation as it enters a new, uncharted age in its history.
After, Senator Sasse sits down with Michael Gerson, op-ed columnist for the Washington Post, for a question and answer session.
FINISHING WELL: Saul and Jonathan: A Case Study in Finishing Poorly and Finishing Well
Pastor Scott Sauls
This session begins with Micah Bournes, spoken word poet, sharing his provoking works regarding, race, personal struggle and the human experience.
Fernando Ortega, musical guest to the Gathering 2017, leads participants in worship.
Introduction by Peter Greer, president and CEO of HOPE International
Scott Sauls, Bible teacher for the Gathering 2017 and senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN, shares his first message to Gathering participants, entitled “FINISHING WELL: Saul and Jonathan: A Case Study in Finishing Poorly and Finishing Well.” Pastor Sauls unpacks 1 Samuel 18:1-16, explaining the contrasting stories of King Saul, whose pride characterized a poor end to his life, and his son Jonathan, whose life of humble submission and love left a legacy of finishing with strength and dignity.Pastor Sauls challenges participants to truly examine the roots of pride in each of their lives as they strive to finish well.
The Second Mountain: What will you do with the rest of your life?
In this session Gathering participants hear from the acclaimed David Brooks, op-ed columnist for The New York Times since 2003, a commentator on The PBS Newshour, NPR’s All Things Considered and NBC’s Meet the Press.
Brooks, a professor at Yale University, is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and is a The New York Times best-selling author, most recently for The Road to Character.
After a heartfelt introduction from Fred Smith, the president of the Gathering, giving a tribute to the life of Michael Cromartie who introduced the two years ago, Brooks shares with Gathering participants about the phases of life and the search for meaning, purpose and character in every human being.
As he describes the journey from the “first mountain”, where people are ambitiously searching to selfishly feed their ego and make something out of themselves, there is a major turning point. Through some sort of realization, like completing a life goal or reaching some sort of milestone, Brooks describes how people are “knocked off the first mountain,” and then proceed through a valley of personal discovery and onto the “second mountain,” one of defeating the ego and enriching the soul. It is here that, Brooks says, the focus of life shifts from the self and onto others. Brooks challenges listeners as they move throughout life, not to waste the experience of the “second mountain” and to seize opportunities to live life to the full.
FINISHING WELL: Meekness Will Rule the World
Pastor Scott Sauls
First, Jeremy and Krista Carroll, Founders of Latitude – a marketing agency dedicated to help changing the world through effective advertising and marketing strategy – share their personal testimony of how Jesus changed the trajectory of their lives as businesspeople and followers of Christ.
Following, Fernando Ortega, musical guest of the Gathering 2017, leads participants in worship.
Scott Sauls, Bible teacher for the Gathering 2017 and senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN, shares his message, entitled “FINISHING WELL: Meekness Will Rule the World.” Pastor Sauls unpacks Matthew 5:5 and deals with subjects of pride and the world’s futile journey for personal affirmation, as well as the counter cultural characteristic of meekness. Sauls challenges listeners to look at the Gospel and how Jesus Christ lived and led as they strive for meekness in their own lives.
FINISHING WELL: The Self-Forgetful Will Be Remembered Pastor Scott Sauls
First, Fernando Ortega, musical guest of the Gathering 2017, leads participants in worship.
Scott Sauls, Bible teacher for the Gathering 2017 and senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN, shares his final message, entitled “FINISHING WELL: The Self-Forgetful Will Be Remembered.” Pastor Sauls preaches from Matthew 6:1-4 and hits at the heart of humanity’s hunger for happiness. Pastor Sauls delivers a refreshing message of self-forgetfulness, showing how the Gospel frees us from the destructive chasing after man’s approval. Finishing off this session with communion, Pastor Saul encourages Gathering participants and all believers to lay down our need for approval at the cross.