M-Note // 07.06.12 // Rev. Matt Miofsky
Dear Gathering Community,
I hope that you had a great 4th of July. Since the holiday was midweek, and I am starting a new series this weekend, I really didn’t get a chance to address Independence Day in church. There are a lot of themes inherent in our national celebration that are worthy of theological reflection. This week I spent some time thinking about what all this freedom is for? Here is what I mean. I had a seminary professor once who challenged me by saying, “Matt, it is not enough to be saved from something, you have to be saved for something.” In other words, freedom is great, but the real question becomes, “what are you going to do with it?” Compared with past cultures and many people around the world, most of us have unprecedented freedom and flexibility in our lives. Money, education, health, support, and security all afford us a unique freedom to hear God and respond in ways others could only dream about. Yet I am often frivolous with my time, wasting the opportunity I have on pointless pursuits. I have freedom; my challenge is what I am I going to do with it. You have a lot of freedom in your life. You may not think so. You may feel as if your time is crunched, your budget is tight and your life circumstances are constricting. But I urge you to see the great possibility that exists in your life, and then figure out what you are going to do with it.
Decisions, Decisions: This weekend I start a new series on decision-making. Everyday we make hundreds of decisions, most of them small. Taken together though, our decisions shape our lives. As Christians, many of us want to make God-directed decisions, but have no idea what that means or how to gain clarity on what God desires for our life. In this series, I am going to talk about a tool that helps us make good, God-directed decisions and gain clarity on what to do in difficult situations. If you know someone going through a time of transition, or struggles with a difficult life decision, I urge you to reach out to them and invite them to join you. You can prepare for this weekend’s sermon by reading Proverbs 16:1-3.
Membership: We are constantly striving to make it easier for people to connect with our church and deepen their faith through our ministries. This summer, we have worked hard to revamp our membership process. Many of you have been attending The Gathering for a while, and are wondering what the next step is. Others of you may have written membership off as unnecessary. Beginning July 15, we will launch a two-week membership class. It will run every month and is an excellent way to learn more about The Gathering’s unique mission, vision and approach to following Christ. Whether you know you want to be a member, or are just curious to learn more, I urge you to join me for this opportunity. For more information, just check out our website.
Sermon Archives: We just finished our Imagine series on the Parables of Jesus. Many folks are traveling throughout the summer so I want to remind you that all sermons and past series are online in our sermon archive. The archives are a great way to stay connected even when you travel. Even more than that, you can now find past series an listen to them. If you are struggling with a particular question or are looking for a midweek devotion, listening to past messages can be a great resource. Many new people also begin their relationship with our church online. Consider sharing a past series with a friend as a way of introducing them to our church.
Start Serving: As we grow and begin new sites, we also need new people serving during worship. We have teams of people that greet, make coffee, run audio/visual and work with our kids. If you are not currently serving, please consider it. It is a great way to meet others and begin contributing to the growth of our church. We help people learn necessary skills and you are on a team serving alongside others. If you are interested in working with our kids, contact Leslie Damann, our new Family Ministry Director, and contact Ryan Hebel if you are interested in helping with greeting or worship.
I hope you have a great weekend. Stay cool and I will see you on Sunday.