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The Gathering

The Gathering, coordinated by Avinity, seeks to provide stimulating programming  for those experiencing early- to mid-stage memory loss in a safe and welcoming setting while their caregiver enjoys time for other priorities.  


    • Compassionate volunteers build personal relationships with program participants.
    • Each Gathering session is carefully planned around themed activities that are designed to be socially and cognitively stimulating. The sessions are led by specially trained volunteers in collaboration with licensed staff from Avinity Respite Solutions.
    • Small groups of no more than 9 participants meet two to four times per month on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are hosted at and supported by partnering churches.
    • Participants enjoy a nutritious lunch and activities that nurture the body, soul, and spirit.
    • Prior to enrollment, a caregiver and their loved one experiencing memory loss meet with an Avinity Respite Solutions professional for an assessment and conversation about how The Gathering can meet their needs.
    • Participants pay a sliding scale session fee which is billed monthly.
    • Support groups and resources are available to caregivers of The Gathering participants.



Plan of Care

Stages of Alzheimers / What is appropriate for this program?

To inquire about how to get involved with The Gathering, please contact Mary Casarez at 612.243.4591 or [email protected] or, you can apply to become a volunteer here.



"I've heard Mom really likes it, which is wonderful given that she doesn't usually much care for structured social events like the Gathering.  You must be doing exceptional work."   – Kevin

"Unfortunately my husband passed away, so can't continue in the program, but he thoroughly enjoyed it when he attended and I felt the program was the best; having a volunteer to sit with each participant made all the difference."   – Barb

"Thank you for this program. Best value for my dollar!"   – Phyllis

"I just wanted to share with you that Jim has really enjoyed his time so far at The Gathering! He has enjoyed both the content and especially the people! Thanks!"  – Bonnie

"My mom always looks forward to going to The Gathering at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  She remembers and talks about the lectures and activities they do.  She also raves about the lunches and, most importantly, she enjoys the people she meets there.  Both the volunteers and other participants. I have also been so impressed with the volunteers there.  Truly wonderful and caring people.  We so very much appreciate this program."  – Anja

I’m reaching out to say Chris will no longer be attending this wonderful program.  We have made a decision to place him in FT care and my heart is officially broken.  Thank you so much for the love shown to both of us and for your kind care of my husband.  He is my love story and a gem……this program helped a great deal on this journey, and we are so grateful.  He enjoyed all of you and I know would like to share (if he could) how much he appreciated the generous support.  Thank you.  Thank you.  – Sue


Our very own Marv speaks at the 3/20/23 Alzheimer’s Advocates Rally for Access to Alzheimer’s Treatments in Washington D.C.


August 4, 2022 theme: Cruise Ships


Christmas 2021 - Celebrating the Nutcracker Ballet