M-Note // 07.20.12 // Rev. Matt Miofsky
Dear Gathering Community,
As I write, I am in Oklahoma City for Jurisdictional Conference, which along with General Conference happens every four years in the United Methodist Church. I know – another conference! The primary purpose of this regional gathering is to elect new bishops. It is a critical task as these are the women and men who oversee the direction and mission of our denomination. Please pray for our greater church that we will pick people of wisdom, faith and effectiveness to lead. For the super-Methodists and those interested, you can follow the news on Twitter with the hashtag #scj12. I will be tweeting (@mmiofsky) and posting to Facebook. I will be back in time for Sunday and look forward to worshipping with you. In preparation for the weekend, here are a few things for you to think about.
Be A Leader: No matter how old you are, where you work, or what your gifts are – you have an opportunity to lead. As a parent we lead our children, as a friend we can lead in our social relationships, and in the workplace we can lead with colleagues, direct reports, even our bosses. This August, I will be attending Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit along with staff and we want to invite you. Because this conference is so applicable not only to our faith but also our professional and personal lives, we are taking as large a group as we can from The Gathering. This two-day event on August 10-11 will feature speakers like Condoleeza Rice, Jim Collins, and Patrick Lencioni. If you work, check with your boss. Several folks have told me that their companies are encouraging them to go (and even paying the small fee). Read more about the Leadership Summit and sign up by using priority code PARTNER and selecting The Gathering as your church to attend the video site with us here locally. It would be great to have you as part of our group and feel free to invite anyone else.
Feeding of the 5,000: This Sunday in worship, we will explore how Jesus and the disciples fed the crowd of 5,000 people. You can read the story in Mark 6.34-44. As you read, pay attention to the back and forth dialogue between the disciples and Jesus. What is their initial request, their assumptions and their hesitations with what is happening? We will talk about this and more on Sunday!
FAQ: You ask. We respond. On July 29, we will begin our Frequently Asked Questions series, when I tackle some of the most difficult questions I get asked throughout the year. We will discuss hard topics like faith and politics, status of other religions, and the relationship between science and religion. Many of these topics are also particularly relevant and of interest to your friends who may not go to church regularly. I hope you will invite them. Our invitational spirit and openness to questions are hallmarks of our church. Help us expand and grow this summer by reaching out and inviting those around you. Share the upcoming series on Facebook and Twitter.
VBS: For the first time, The Gathering has VBS this week. It was so exciting to see all the kids at our Clayton Site. As I sat there taking in the amazing work that our team of adult leaders in kids’ ministry have done, I had to stop and pray. A year ago, in that space, Clayton UMC was making a tough decision to close precisely because of a lack of growth among new and younger generations. They boldly decided to become part of The Gathering. Through hard work, renovations, and the launching of a second site just a year later families were streaming in and out dropping off children of all ages for Vacation Bible School. If you do not believe in resurrection, this is proof. I hope you will join me in thanking God for the work happening in our Kids’ ministry and at the Clayton Site of The Gathering. Thanks to all who have worked so hard in both of these ministries.
Please hold me in your prayers and I look forward to seeing everyone Sunday. I will be at Clayton at 10:45 am and I am especially looking forward to worshipping with all of you that attend that site!