Something Worth Celebrating // M-Note 4.16.2021

April 16, 2021

I am a big believer in celebrating wins in our life. We are often moving so fast that we don’t take time to stop, look around, express gratitude, and celebrate what is good. There is a lot to celebrate at The Gathering right now. On Easter, we celebrated Jesus’ victory over death and the new life that it brings. Last week, The Gathering got to experience the beginning of a new season of ministry with the start of in-person worship. Both are worth celebrating.
 
Easter was a powerful and hopeful day of worship, and I want to thank all of you that were a part of it. I received so many emails from all over the country expressing gratitude for the service. Here is one note from a young woman who now lives in Seattle, WA:
 
I used to attend bar church and the Webster Groves site, which are amazing sites. I just wanted to reach out and thank you for doing an Easter service online, since I am not able to attend in person. I love your church and everything it has to offer. Being far away from my St. Louis home, I’ve really struggled with my faith and finding God’s love but I have been able to try to find that love again through your church. I’m still a work in progress but I really appreciate your words and how you speak on current topics while tying them back to the Bible and faith. Thank you for a wonderful Easter service and helping a struggling Christian with your words.
 
We had nearly 3500 live streams on Easter Sunday alone, and people are continuing to watch it OnDemand every day. This represents thousands of people all over the country (and even the world). Our Easter offering topped $41,000, all of which goes to fund our Literacy Project right here in St. Louis (and it isn’t too late to give). Many people celebrate communion live after worship on ZOOM or by driving up to one of our physical locations. Most of all, we got to witness the resurrected Jesus who continues to move and work even in the midst of a challenging time.
 
Last weekend was another milestone – the beginning of in-person worship at The Gathering. Hundreds gathered across our three physical locations for the first time in over a year. We launched a new series Finding God in the Mess. Two of our pastors (Charity and Adam) got to experience live worship for the first time! Many of you that have been worshiping online got to see one of our sanctuaries for the first time. I cannot express how powerful it was for me to finally get to be with you and preach in a room with people.
 
Just as Christ was raised from the dead to new life, so Jesus continues the work of new birth, new starts, and new life in our time. The Gathering is starting a new chapter and it is beginning right now. I want you to be here for it. This weekend we will continue learning about Elijah in our series Finding God in the Mess. You can join us online or at one of our physical sites. We just ask that you register so we can plan appropriately. There are spots open at all three sites and you can sign up here.
 
Before you go, try something for me. Just as we are celebrating what God is doing in our church, I bet God is doing something in your life as well. It is easy to focus on the stuff that is hard, frustrating, or painful. Stop right now though, and name something worth celebrating. If you are reading this on social media, drop it in the comments. I want to celebrate it with you. Jesus is alive, and your story is not over yet. Greater things are ahead.
 
Peace,
Matt
P.S. I am celebrating that I don’t have to do my taxes for another month! God is indeed good.
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