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Open Hearts Gathering is committed to following the way of Jesus Christ and the kin(g)dom of God that he proclaimed, especially as outlined in the Love commandments of the Christian Scriptures (Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-38, John 13:34-35, John 15:12-17), to opening our hearts as Jesus did, in the following specific ways:

+ being open to people of all faith traditions, not just Christianity;
+ being open to people of all sexualities – gay, straight, and everyone in-between;
+ being open to people that are vulnerable in our society, especially our immigrant neighbors.

We commit ourselves to participating with these and all of God’s people in our communities, and to helping create a better world where we live.

Mailing address – PO Box 550425, Gastonia, NC 28055-0425.
As of March 2, 2013, we will be led through the Spirit by three Leading Ministers- Steve Knight, Jeremy Whitner, and Rev. Dennis Teall-Fleming. For all things pertaining to OHG, you can still contact Rev. Dennis Teall-Fleming, if and when needed – teallfleming [at] yahoo [dot] com / 704-674-0729 (talk or text)
Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/openheartsgathering

22 Comments
  1. Bob Kennel permalink

    Dennis, excellent website. Thanks for your articles as well. I look forward to meeting some of your good folks before too long although I won’t be able to make the celebration this Saturday night (Dec 18).
    I also love the name “Open Hearts Gathering”. It just sounds like some really good people who care a great deal about God and each other.
    God Bless,
    Bob Kennel
    Disciples’ New Church Development

  2. Starr permalink

    I love it!!!!

  3. Bob Kennel permalink

    Looking forward to Nashville and the General Assembly and to Open Heart Gathering’s participation through Steve Knight. God Bless.

    • dennis permalink

      We’re lookin’ forward to seeing you, Bob! -Pastor -D

  4. Pam Chillemi-Yeager permalink

    Hi Dennis and gang:

    WIsh I had been able to join ys’all last night.
    Wanted to share some info, if you lrrady now, please jsut ignore this.:)

    Charlotte LGBT Pride Festival is drawing nigh. There will be an interfaith service on August 21 at 4pm(is this something the group would like to pariticpate in?
    It kicks off a week of activities culminating big festival in uptown on 8/27 10am-9pm

    If anyone is interested, we will be going around 3pm.

    Blessings,

    Pam

    • dennis permalink

      Pam, please send this to me at my email address, I’ll send it out to everyone else. I know I wouldn’t be able to go, but others may. Thanks for the info.!

      Pax,

      -D

  5. Loretta permalink

    I have just one question for Dennis Teall-Fleming, please. I was doing some research for my son on the NC Marriage Amendment when I came a across an article that I assume you wrote. It was titled “No valid reason for barring two people from entering marriage contract.” I guess my first question is do you believe it’s Biblically right for a same sex person to be together? By your article you do? I believe ALL people are welcome at church! I have been in church since I was 3 yrs old. My dad has been pastoring for about 20 something years. The bible I read says homosexuality is a SIN period. No ifs, ands, or buts. He destroyed a whole city because of homosexuality. As the old saying goes “God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. I know the first thing people say is your being judgmental. What happened to standing on the word. It has become a sad day we live in for our children’s sake. How will they know the truth if pastor’s lie to them?! I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but truly I have said every word with humbleness and love. I’m not saying any of this hurt any one or be mean. God knows my heart. I’m truly so saddened and I wonder how God feels. I guess maybe thats where He said when a nation forgets God they shall be turned into hell. Are we gonna be another Sodom and Gomorrha? Do you not preach against sin? If you do and I’m reading the article wrong, please accept my apologies. If not, will you be responsible for all the souls you have mislead? Scarey thought! Well my prayer is this little letter done some good, my heart says it will be disregarded but felt I had to say something. God’s will be done.

    • dennis permalink

      I do truly appreciate you posting your thoughts and prayers! But yes, obviously we disagree on a lot of things here, and we can disagree in Love. Please be assured that I will continue to stand for God’s Justice for all people in my own ways, and that my ministry will not lead any person or nation into hell. I believe God’s Love is stronger than anything we offer in the world, and that God judges all people on who they are, not on anything they do or don’t do. What God has done through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is a much bigger and stronger reality than that. I hope and pray for the best for you, join us at Open Hearts Gathering anytime for further discussion and worship together!

      • Tabatha permalink

        From your statement above, can you clarify for me the following questions?
        How can we separate who we are from what we do?
        Do you believe the Pauline epistles are a true representation of
        the theological implications of Christ’s death and resurrection?

        Thank you very much for your clarification of your belief(s).

        • dennis permalink

          Tabatha,

          Regarding your first question, there is a deep connection between who we are and what we do. But the Christian tradition seems to be clear about this to me, that God judges us and all things ultimately on our being, not our doing.

          This is said very well throughout Paul’s letters, which I do believe represent the theological implications of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. What God has done through Jesus is of ultimate importance, and brings salvation and healing (the double meaning of the Greek word Paul and other Christian authors use, soteria) to all creation. I agree with what Paul says, that this is a gift God gives, and has nothing to do with anyone’s actions. God has done this because of who we are, and what all of creation is (the kosmos, that usually gets feebly translated as “world” (cf. John 3:16-17, et. al.), but is much more expansive than that, referring to all of creation, “the heavens and the earth”)- created good by God, Loved into being and fulness by God- not because of anything any part of the created order might believe or accomplish. No better said by Paul than at the heart of Romans, chapters 5 through 8. I would look to those texts as foundational to my own beliefs.

          I hope that helps! God’s blessings to you!

      • God’s love is only strong when we realize that we are vile sinners and we need a righteousness that we cannot muster from within ourselves.This is freely given to those who place their faith in Christ. For this is the love of God, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. We are then imputed with an alien righteousness that is not our own but
        Christ’s.

        Remember- Loving people will not save you from the wrath of God; only faith in Christ. Love all you can but until you cling to Christ for an alien righteousness you will simply be a “good lover” who goes to Hell.

    • I agree!

  6. Jennifer permalink

    Do you believe the Bible or not? Too many people are afraid to take a stand for what they believe in out of fear of ruffling feathers. If you avoid talking about sin in your church, and people go home every week feeling great about their service and no regret for the sins they commit, in my opinion you aren’t doing your job. I fear for a “man of God” who will condemn another “man of God”. I pray for you and your congregation.

    • dennis permalink

      Jennifer,

      No, I do not believe in the Bible. I believe in God, and as a Christian I believe in Jesus as the Son of God, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. From those beliefs, everything else about me follows. I fail many times to “do my job” as a Christian minister, but I don’t believe those failings have much to do with what I might say about sin, in our community or anywhere else. I tend to think it has more to do with what I do for “the least of these” as described by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46.
      As for criticizing another “man of God”, I’m assuming you’re referring to my criticism of Pastor Worley from his May 13 sermon at Providence Baptist Church in Maiden, NC. If you haven’t heard what he said, I encourage you to do so- http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/22/video-of-north-carolina-pastors-plan-to-get-rid-of-gays-goes-viral/. And if you still think I shouldn’t condemn such hate speech, well, there’s nothing else really to say. Pastor Worley’s comments have no place in a Christian pulpit, and are not based on anything even remotely biblical, Christian, or of God and Jesus in any way. I believe I have every right to condemn him for such abusive rhetoric, as does any other human being.
      I’ll pray for you, too, and for whatever community you live your faith walk within. Thanks for your prayers for me and Open Hearts Gathering, we can use them! Come worship with us anytime! God’s Peace to you!

      • If you don’t believe in the Bible then don’t use the Bible.

  7. Patrick permalink

    Thank you to Pastor Teall-Fleming for preaching true Christian values of love and acceptance and standing up against the bigotry and hate of Pastor Worley. I am a proud Christian as well, and I know in my heart that God loves peace, acceptance, and those who fight for justice just as Pastor Teall-Fleming has done speaking out against the hateful speech of Pastor Worley. I know that the words that Pastor Worley spewed from his pulpit are not representative of God, Jesus, and his love for this world. He will be in my prayers along with all those in this world who continue to hold onto bigotry and hate.

    • dennis permalink

      Thank you Patrick! Yes, the best thing we can do right now is to pray for Pastor Worley, that God will bring healing and insight into his life. He’s gotta be hurtin’ right now, and I hope God can open his heart to the better ways of Her Love and Justice. So, when this kind of ugliness visits your neck of the woods, I will count on you to stand up to it, too! God’s Peace to you!

    • It sounds to me like Progressive Christianity fails to realize Christ is also a righteous judge Sounds to me like Progressive Christianity does not like the whole counsel of God and likes to create their on version. Sounds to me like this might be false teaching.

      For all who read this blog and have that feeling that something does not mesh with Holy Writ run! Find a church that upholds the whole counsel of God and doesn’t hide behind a disillusioned reality. Christinaity is not a fantasy world. It is black and white. Flee the weird sappy fluff that Open Hearts Gathering proclaims. Run to the agony of the cross and stay there. That is the message of the Gospel. Anything else is man- made fluff.

      • Tabatha permalink

        I completely agree with you!

        Praise the Lord! Amen and amen!

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  1. Join Open Hearts Gathering in Gastonia February 4 for Interfaith Harmony Week! | Gaston Interfaith Center

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