The F Word // M-Note 1.15.2021

Gathering,

In 2021, I started a podcast and radio show called The F Word: Conversations in Faith. I am only three weeks in, but I am having a lot of fun so far! I started this project for a few reasons. First, The Gathering is all about meeting people where they are and inviting them to explore faith. Especially in a world where people cannot come to church, this is a new way for us to reach out to new people. Second, on a personal level, I never want to grow stale in my leadership or complacent in my work. This has been a fun and creative new challenge. Finally, the podcast gives me the chance to talk about topics and have conversations that aren’t always possible or appropriate for a Sunday during worship. That is especially true this week.
 
Last Sunday in worship, I briefly addressed the violence and insurrection in our nation’s capital. But, I have been reflecting a lot lately on the way in which so many Christians have not only supported these sorts of political movements, but in many cases, participated in them. In this week’s episode of The F Word, I decided to explore why Christians have become so identified with one political party in the US. In addition, how can followers of Jesus support speech, policies, tactics, and leaders that seem so…unchristian?
 
Joining me for this conversation is Dr. Marie Griffith, the Director of the John Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Griffith studies evangelical Christians, their participation in partisan politics, and the controversies over gender, sex, and marriage.  The conversation is not only really interesting, but important for all Christians to hear and reflect upon.
 
I hope you will check out and support the new show and podcast. I am partnering with The Big 550 KTRS so you can listen to the show each Sunday afternoon at 3. You can also subscribe to The F Word: Conversations on Faith here or just search the title and my name wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes will drop each Sunday afternoon. I would love it if you would subscribe, give it a listen, and share it with someone that may be interested. And as always, I would love to hear your feedback about it or your ideas for future topics. You can email them to thefword@gatheringnow.org.
 
This weekend at The Gathering, I will be continuing our series Frame of Mind by exploring the question, “What are you focused on?” Science has shown a simple correlation between what we focus on internally and what we experience externally. Our thoughts shape the world that we see and experience. We may not always be able to change our circumstances, but we can change what we focus on! As always, we will worship online live at 8, 9, 10, and 11 or anytime OnDemand. For all the details or to join just head to gatheringnow.org. And don’t forget to invite someone who may need to redirect their focus in the new year.
 
Ok, as I write, the snow is falling. I hope you find some time to go look at it, take a deep breath, and remember that God has brought you this far and will not let you down now! I will see you Sunday.
 
Peace,
Matt

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