I have been in Salem, MA pastoring The Gathering since June 1999. Over the years, we have been at the center of creating events, and helping Christian ministers to act like regular people when they come to the city of Salem in October, and now the monthlong outreach has expanded to over a dozen events, and hundreds of people helping to make the events happen, but Salem is just the beginning of festival projects we are creating. This work has taken us to the deserts of Nevada for Burning Man, to the jungles of the Yucatan for the End of the World Rainbow Gathering, and to the UK for the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and other festivals in Wales and England.
These projects have been growing and demanding more and more of my time over the last three years. So, as a church we have decided to send me out to travel in order to create more micro-communities in other festivals, teach Christians how to express themselves in creative and loving ways with the “radical other”, and build interactive prophetic art installations wherever we are allowed to do so.
The Gathering and the work in Salem will continue, but I will begin to travel, share my work through my book Burning Religion, and inspire teams of people to go to strange and wonderful places with messages of hope and love. Salem remains home, and the place I will be regularly returning, but my presence here will be sporadic over the next few years.
Of course, there will be a cost to this transition, and even before this announcement, people have been offering to support this project of “festival micro-church planting.” Over the course of the next few months I will be raising money, raising awareness, and planning an itinerary across the US and UK for 2017.
I will be sending out emails with my writings, my itinerary, and opportunities to join me in weird and wonderful places we will go. If you would like to become a partner in my travels by following the work, praying for our projects, joining us in the projects, or perhaps becoming a “patron of the godly arts,” let me know. I will add you to the mailing list of friends.
You can email me at pastorphil (at) salemgathering.com if you have any questions, and I will be happy to respond.
For each of you who have been friends and supporters over the years – thank you. We are deeply indebted to you.
Blessings to the Extreme!