M-Note 10.1.2021

Nearly 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to interview former U.S. Senator from Missouri, John Danforth for a sermon I was preaching on faith and politics. He had written a book in 2006 on the topic, and during our interview, he lamented that the problem was only getting worse. He shared with me his fear that politicians will continue to politicize Christian values, and Christians will increasingly try to “return the country” to those same values.
 
Here we are a decade later, and he was right. Christians have become more and more enmeshed in partisan politics, and it has not helped us (or the country). Instead of being ambassadors for Christ, Christians are increasingly seen as the mouthpiece of a political party. In frustration, many Christians have gone the opposite direction, reminding people loudly that faith and politics should be kept separate. For me, neither position quite gets to the heart of how Jesus understood the role of faith in politics.
 
This weekend, I am continuing the series Jesus vs. Christianity. Each week, I have been exploring an area of tension between what Jesus teaches and how the church acts. Perhaps nowhere is this tension greater than in the realm of politics. I know this issue is emotionally charged and many of us simply don’t want to hear about it. I feel that. Yet, we all know that this is an issue that is so relevant to the world we live in right now. So this weekend, I hope you will join me for worship, in-person or online, as we talk about Jesus’ views on how faith interacts with politics. You may be surprised at what we learn together! This is also a topic that some of your friends may really be curious to hear. Invite them to come with you or to check it out online.
 
Beginning in two weeks (October 17), The Gathering Clayton Site will change its Sunday morning worship schedule to one service at 10 am. We launched a second service right before the delta variant started spreading and the mask mandate went back into effect. The rise of the new variant predictably impacted in-person attendance. Through the rest of the year, we believe one service at Clayton will allow us to focus on connecting with new people and those of you returning. The good news is new people are visiting our Clayton site each week! As in-person attendance continues to grow, we intend to start two services at Clayton in the new year. Worship at our McCausland site will remain at 9 am and 10:30 am and Webster at 10 am.
 
I can’t wait to worship with all of you this Sunday. Have a great weekend!
 
Peace,
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