Posts with the category “m-note”

My Mountain Top Moment // M-Note 9.30.22
by Amy Sanders on September 30th, 2022
I often ask people, “What is a mountain top moment you’ve had at The Gathering.” Mountain top moments are those occasions when God breaks through to us in a special or unique way. Last Sunday was a mountain top moment for me. I shared a message about why commitment is important and how committing our lives to Jesus and to a church can transform and change us. At the end of the message, we invited ...  Read More
Commitment // M-Note 9.23.22
by Amy Sanders on September 22nd, 2022
Commitment. What comes to mind when you read that word? Commitment has fallen on hard times in our culture. Most of us see commitment as a loss of freedom. We have a fear of missing out, so we want to keep our options open, reserve the right to change our mind, and take advantage of new opportunities. Commitments might tie us down. In a world full of competing options for our allegiance or attenti...  Read More
M-Note 9.16.22
by Tyler Curtis on September 17th, 2022
Recently, I finished a book about building habits in your life that move you from where you are to where you want to be. The author challenges people to make easy, achievable, repeatable habits in order to grow. The key is to grow a little bit every day. One insight really stuck out to me.  When thinking about a habit, any habit – saving money, running, reading a book, praying – the key is to do i...  Read More
M-Note 8.19.22
by Mike DePope on August 19th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky I’m back! This weekend, I am returning from a 3-month sabbatical. This is the longest I have gone without preaching in my adult life. I am extraordinarily grateful to all of you for the support you offered me during this time. I can’t wait to share more about it with you over the coming weeks and months, but one thing I want to share with you now is that a sabbatical offers perspec...  Read More
M-Note 5.12.22
by Mike DePope on May 12th, 2022
This weekend, I will be finishing our current series No Filter: See the Real You. I have been talking about identity and how we see ourselves. One of the challenges in understanding our identity is the confusion in our world between what you do and who you are. Once very early in my ministry, a mentor invited me to answer a simple, “Who are you?” I responded, “a husband, father, pastor, son, frien...  Read More
M-Note 5.5.22
by Mike DePope on May 5th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky May is always a month of transition and we see those transitions in nature and culture alike. Transition and change are double-edged swords. On the one hand, the uncertainty of these moments can evoke frustration over what may be ending, anxiety over where we go next, and fear for what the future holds. On the other hand these seasons open up potential and possibility. This past we...  Read More
M-Note 4.28.2022
by Mike DePope on April 28th, 2022
A few years ago, I preached a sermon series called Rest. It was all about the importance of the Sabbath – God’s command to rest as a way of staying healthy for the lives that God calls us to live. Recently, I was reminded of that series, especially as I talk to so many colleagues and friends who are burning out in ministry (and other work). After doing some more learning and listening, one of the ...  Read More
M-Note 4.20.2022
by Mike DePope on April 20th, 2022
Thank you to everyone who worshiped with The Gathering this Easter. It was an incredible day to be together, celebrating Christ’s resurrection and talking about the purpose, possibility, and promise it brings to our life. If you missed the message or want to share it with someone that may need it, you can find it here. We had packed sanctuaries with over 2200 people worshiping with us in person an...  Read More
M-Note 4.14.2022
by Mike DePope on April 14th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky It is easy to go through life but somehow feel like you are missing something. It happens when we are working hard but still have the sense that there has to be more. Or when we are doing all the things that are supposed to lead to contentment but still feel unsatisfied. It happens when we have that sinking feeling that even though activities are coming back all around us, there is...  Read More
M-Note 4.1.2022
by Mike DePope on April 1st, 2022
A decade ago, The Gathering was growing rapidly, so we decided to take a leap of faith and try something new. We started a second location in downtown Clayton. We hired a person from within our church to lead it (Matt Fulmer), and about 50 or so people committed to leave the McCausland site to start what would become the Clayton site. This weekend, The Gathering’s Clayton site will celebrate their...  Read More
M-Note 3.24.2022
by Mike DePope on March 24th, 2022
Last week I had the honor of teaching and speaking to a group of Methodist pastors in Arkansas for two days in person! Last Friday and Saturday, I drove Carly and George down to Springfield to watch the Webster Groves boy and girls basketball teams play in the State Tournament. Carly is the varsity boys manager and they won it all! Then this week, I attended a learning event where I got to soak up...  Read More
M-Note 3.20.22
by Mike DePope on March 20th, 2022
When we started The Gathering 16 years ago, our vision was to create a Christian community that is compelling for new generations. Part of this vision was to identify and lift-up a younger generation of leaders for the church. As this vision became reality, The Gathering has been a starting point for so many people to begin their journey of leadership. Consistently developing strong leaders is so ...  Read More
Some Assembly Required
by Mike DePope on March 12th, 2022
by Matt Miofsky Recently, I ordered a couch online. Unlike the stores I went into, this couch wasn’t going to take months to arrive. It was also less expensive, and it came right to my door. Fast, convenient, inexpensive – but there was one catch. It comes in about 20 boxes, and I have to put it all together. It might get shipped for free, but if I want to enjoy it, some assembly is required. Fait...  Read More
M-Note 3.1.22
by Mike DePope on March 1st, 2022
By Matt Miofsky March 1, 2022Gathering, Years ago, I was talking to a young man who told me that he didn’t like church because it sugar-coated life. For him, hope, love, faith – these were all nice ideas but none of them fully took seriously the injustices and hardships of life. Some of us may feel that way. We might look at religion as encouraging a naïve optimism or church people as inauthentica...  Read More
M-Note 2.15.2022
by Mike DePope on February 15th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky Tonight The Gathering is having a Commit Service at 7pm at our Clayton site and online. This is an opportunity to join The Gathering in membership, remember your baptism, or to be baptized for the first time. Many folks will ask me, “Pastor Matt, how do I become an official member of the church?” Tonight is how! I will talk about what commitment in membership means, why I think it ...  Read More
M-Note 2.2.22
by Mike DePope on February 2nd, 2022
By Matt Miofsky Today, snow is in the forecast for St. Louis, a lot of snow. My kids were excited when they called school off early last night. I know many people can work from home or call in. But, my wife is a nurse manager and works in a hospital. So, early this morning I drove her to the hospital to save her the walk from the parking garage. As I was driving home at 40 mph on the interstate, I...  Read More
M-Note 1.26.2022
by Mike DePope on January 26th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky This weekend, I am finishing our series Loving People You Don’t Like. As I was reflecting on this series and how important it has been for me, I began to distill a few of the truths that God is teaching me through it all. Chances are there are some folks in your life right now that are frustrating, annoying, or outright angering you. If that is true, here are 3 truths to reflect on...  Read More
M-Note 1.19.2022
by Mike DePope on January 19th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky The house next door to mine is being torn down to make room for a new one. They are currently digging out and pouring the foundation for the new structure, and it is taking a long time. Every day at 7am there are bulldozers digging, men forming up the new foundation, or concrete trucks backing in to pour. Just this past week, they finally removed the forms to reveal all the fresh c...  Read More
M-Note 1.12.2022
by Mike DePope on January 12th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky Seeing is believing. I think most of us carry around this idea. It is hard to believe in something you can’t quite see or that you don’t have evidence for. The church is sometimes hard to believe in. We literally see churches on every corner, but people struggle to see the church really living into its call. We want to believe the church is a community that welcomes all people, is ...  Read More
M-Note 1.4.2022
by Mike DePope on January 4th, 2022
By Matt Miofsky The beginning of a new year is a natural time to take stock of life, where we are headed, and what changes we might want to make. It is healthy to take time to assess where you are and where you want to be. Of course, we can do this reassessment anytime. God is constantly inviting us to change. Think about the biblical language. Confession is a recognition that something in our lif...  Read More
M-Note 12.21.2021
by Mike DePope on December 21st, 2021
by Matt Miofsky Recently, someone asked me what was more stressful to prepare for: Christmas or Easter? I don’t have a clear answer for that question, but Christmas always feels different. It is the one time of the year that the world seems to turn to the church ready to hear a word of good news. We are that way, as well. As another year draws to a close, it is impossible to sum up all that we hav...  Read More
M-Note 12.14.2021
by Mike DePope on December 14th, 2021
by Matt Miofsky It is a season of Good News, and each weekend we have been talking about how the birth of Jesus is good news for us. Some of the best news of the season for me has been your presence in worship. I have gotten to see so many people back in church for the first time since the pandemic began. If you have yet to make it back, I hope you will worship with me this weekend as I talk about...  Read More
M-Note 12.1.2021
by Mike DePope on December 1st, 2021
by Matt Miofsky It has been said that Christians are not allowed to stop hoping. In a chaotic, uncertain, and sometimes hopeless world, we are called to be confident that God is at work. Hope doesn’t ignore what is hard or gloss over the challenges of life. Rather, hope faces those challenges with the confident expectation that God is working all things together for our good. Hope allows us to fac...  Read More
M-Note 11.23.2021
by Mike DePope on November 23rd, 2021
By Matt Miofsky 1. It helps you be content. Gratitude helps cultivate contentment with what is already present in our life – materially, relationally, and spiritually. We live in a world where we are constantly told that we need more. I find it strange that one day after Thanksgiving, the day we are supposed to show we are grateful for what we have, we are told to go out and buy more! Gratitude fi...  Read More
M-Note 11.16.2021
by Mike DePope on November 16th, 2021
By Matt Miofsky Christmas is a season of good news, and with December right around the corner, I thought it was fitting to remember why Jesus is good news for us. So here are… 5 Reminders of Good News for Today 1. You aren’t aloneOne of the names given to Jesus at his birth is Immanuel or “God with us”. Christmas is a reminder that we are never alone. Worshiping each Sunday with others (in person ...  Read More
M-Note 11.9.2021
by Mike DePope on November 9th, 2021
by Matt Miofsky The Gathering has always been a church that is OPEN to new ministries that reach new people - to a future that looks different than our present. We could continue to do what we are currently doing, but we believe God is calling us to make specific investments in ministries focusing on new generations, invitation of new people, innovation, and care and transformation. I explained ea...  Read More
M-Note 11.3.2021
by Mike DePope on November 3rd, 2021
by Matt Miofsky The author of Ecclesiastes writes, Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn't easily snap. (Eccl. 4.12) Tradition teaches that these words were written by King Solomon after a lifetime of learning lessons the hard way. One of those lessons is that isolation can kill us. We need other people – for strength, support, healing, and gr...  Read More
M-Note 10.26.2021
by Mike DePope on October 26th, 2021
Have You Arrived ❓  Saturday, my daughter Carly turned 16. For this milestone birthday, we celebrated by taking her and 5 friends out to a special dinner. We ate, laughed, blew out candles, and enjoyed cookie cake and ice cream. Reflecting that night, I couldn’t believe she was already 16. I remember when she was born, when she took her first steps, and when I could carry her on my shoulders. Now ...  Read More
M-Note 10.16.2021
by Mike DePope on October 15th, 2021
When’s the last time you felt God revealing something new, big or exciting to you? Often we miss out on the new things of God because we’ve allowed our heart to become calloused. Check out these 7 Signs You Might Have a Hard Heart 7 Signs your heart has hardened (and how to turn it around). 1.     You are on autopilot We all get there. Things in our life become so routine that we do them without r...  Read More
M-Note 10.8,2021
by Mike DePope on October 8th, 2021
Do you believe that God can do miracles in your life?This is a hard question for me. At a deep level, I want to believe this. I do believe it. But day-to-day, it is really hard to remain open to the idea that God can do the impossible.I bet this is true for a lot of you. As time passes, it is harder to stay open to new possibilities. In life, the more experiences we stack up, the more we begin to ...  Read More
M-Note 10.1.2021
by Mike DePope on October 1st, 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 increasing...  Read More
A Little Grace Goes A Long Way // M-Note 5.21.21
by Amy Sanders on May 21st, 2021
This past week has felt strange for me. With new CDC guidelines, every place I go I am wondering what I should be doing. In most settings, I have been wearing my mask, partly out of habit, and partly out of a sense of hospitality to those around me. It isn’t always clear what to do in each setting I am in. All of us are going through this right now. Trying to figure out what we should do, what we ...  Read More
COVID Protocol Update // M-Note 5.18.21
by Amy Sanders on May 18th, 2021
Last week, the CDC released updated guidelines for fully-vaccinated people which no longer require masks or social distancing (except in certain situations). This was prompted by evolving scientific evidence that fully-vaccinated people are at minimal risk of infection or transmission of the virus. In response to this news, St. Louis City and County also dropped local mask and social distancing re...  Read More
Something Worth Celebrating // M-Note 4.16.2021
by Mike DePope on April 16th, 2021
April 16, 2021I 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...  Read More
New Beginnings // M-Note 4.10.2021
by Dave Merrill on April 10th, 2021
Easter always has me thinking about beginnings and endings. You’ve heard the now cliché, “when one door closes another one opens”. It may be overused, but it is the essence of Easter. That the death of something can lead to something powerfully new. Jesus put it this way: I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears...  Read More
Good Friday // M-Note 4.2.2021
by Amy Sanders on April 2nd, 2021
God can wring life from even the darkest tomb. It is strange to call a day when Jesus died good. But, today is Good Friday. Why? Because through Jesus’ unjust suffering and death, God began a work of forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption for all of us. Easter stands as the ultimate example of God’s power. Jesus’ resurrection declares to the creation that while death is real, it isn’t final. ...  Read More
Approaching Holy Week // M-Note 3.26.2021
by Amy Sanders on March 26th, 2021
“Jesus’ death is not the end of the story; it is the beginning” This past week, my family left town for a few days to spend some time together. It was restorative for me and a gift to be outdoors and away from our phones for awhile. But the world didn’t stop. During that time our country was rocked by two separate mass shootings, one in Atlanta, GA and the other in Boulder, CO. Each shooting had i...  Read More
Something New // M-Note 3.19.2021
by Amy Sanders on March 19th, 2021
“We aren’t returning to something old, we are beginning something new” On April 11th (the Sunday after Easter), The Gathering will be launching in-person worship at each of our three physical sites. For all of us that grew to love the rhythm of weekly worship with other people, this is significant. We will have the opportunity to see other people, worship with live music, pray in the sanctuary, pa...  Read More
Hope Is A Good Thing // M-Note 3.12.2021
by Amy Sanders on March 12th, 2021
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing.” In case you don’t recognize it, it’s a line from Shawshank Redemption. It is one of those movies that anytime I see it on tv, I have to stop and just watch. I recently introduced it to George, my youngest. I’ve seen it 100 times, but he had never heard of it. The line above is one that Andy shares with his friend Red. They are both in prison, probably ...  Read More
Easter Announcement // M-Note 2.27.2021
by Amy Sanders on March 4th, 2021
“The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.” Those words were written by a English author and historian Thomas Fuller. I don’t know what was happening in his life or his world, at the time, but those words resonate with me. Especially now.  Read More