Posts with the category “m-note”

A Vital, Relevant Future for the Church // M-Note 7.13.24
by Matt Miofsky on July 13th, 2024
I just returned from Northwest Arkansas where I attended the last of the big United Methodist Conference meetings of the year (it has been a lot). This Jurisdictional Conference is a meeting of the United Methodists in the south-central part of the United States. Typically, it is where we elect new bishops. This year, I was honored to be able to give a short talk to the conference about the future...  Read More
Remember the Gap: Hanging a Flag on the 4th of July // M-Note 7.5.24
by Matt Miofsky on July 5th, 2024
Wednesday, I did something that I have never done. I mounted a flagpole at my house and hung up the American flag in preparation for the 4th of July.  Some of you love the flag. Others of you, not so much. I get it. I had mixed feelings about hanging up the flag. With injustices still pervasive in our country and the broken nature of our politics, there are many who wonder if our country is worth ...  Read More
Why do we talk about Jesus? // M-Note 6.29.22
by Matt Miofsky on June 28th, 2024
Recently someone asked me, “Matt, why do you talk about Jesus so much?” They went on to explain that they usually think more broadly about God. After all, God is universal, encompassing a lot of viewpoints, perspectives, and traditions. But Jesus. He seems so…specific! They confessed to me that they struggle thinking about Jesus, especially equating him with God.They aren’t alone. I think this per...  Read More
Investing in Youth Ministry // M-Note 6.22.24
by Matt Miofsky on June 21st, 2024
Last week, I ran into a retired pastor who recognized me (and I confess, I didn’t recognize her). She remembered me because her church and my childhood church would team up for student mission trips each summer. Way back when I was in high school, I went on several of those trips. We talked, swapped a few memories, and talked about what those trips meant to us. At the end, I thanked her for being ...  Read More
Embracing Sabbath: The Gift of Rest // M-Note 6.15.24
by Matt Miofsky on June 14th, 2024
I just returned from spending time speaking and teaching at the North Georgia Annual Conference of the UMC. They bought every participant there, lay and clergy, a copy of The Methodist Book of Daily Prayer, and then graciously invited me to speak about the importance of sabbath, rest, and having a spiritual healthy rhythm of life. It was a special time to be in the conference where I started my mi...  Read More
Celebrating Ministry Milestones // M-Note 6.7.24
by Matt Miofsky on June 7th, 2024
This weekend is the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (I know, we have a lot of conferences). This is a yearly gathering of all pastors and lay representatives from each of the roughly 600 UMC churches in Missouri. It is a time of worship, learning, conversation, visioning, and celebration. Among those celebrations are two important milestones for staff at The Gathering. Fi...  Read More
Growth Through Transition // M-Note 6.1.24
by Matt Miofsky on June 1st, 2024
It has been a whirlwind month for our family including lots of last shows/games/events, two graduations, figuring out future plans, and celebrating milestones. I know many of you are in the same boat. In fact, I am late with my M-Note, in part, because we are now working on graduation parties. In the midst of it all, I am learning the truth I have often preached, that God is never done with us. Mo...  Read More
My (Hypothetical) Commencement Address // M-Note 5.18.24
by Matt Miofsky on May 18th, 2024
Last weekend Jess and I watched as our oldest son, Caleb, graduated from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Tonight we will get to see our daughter, Carly, graduate from Webster Groves High School. It is a season of transitions, milestones, banquets, ceremonies and parties. We are just trying to keep up and savor every moment of it all. Part of graduating is receiving wisdom. Graduation...  Read More
Announcing The Gathering’s Church Planters Lab//M-Note 5.11.24
by Matt Miofsky on May 11th, 2024
We’ve been quietly working on a project here at The Gathering that I’m so excited to finally share with you. This summer, we will officially launch The Gathering’s Church Planters Lab, by welcoming three amazing pastoral fellows to our staff team.What is the Church Planters Lab?It was conceived as a way for The Gathering to help nurture and develop pastors on a continuous basis. The Lab is in coll...  Read More
Very Good News at the End of General Conference//M-Note 5.4.24
by Matt Miofsky on May 4th, 2024
I just got back from the 2024 General Conference and the news is good, very, very good. I thought I would do the M-Note video style this week, as I share my final update about the results of the conference and what it means for us.Learn more about the news of General Conference.Learn more about the history of the anti-LGBTQ language that we finally removed.Peace,MattP.S. This weekend, we'll begin ...  Read More
General Conference Halftime Report// M-Note 4.27.24
by Matt Miofsky on April 27th, 2024
I am in Charlotte, NC at the United Methodist Church’s long delayed General Conference. This is the legislative body that gathers every 4 years (except for COVID) and decides church law in our denomination. I am one of 6 clergy delegates from Missouri and joining about 750 delegates from all over the world. The last several years have been difficult for our denomination. More conservative churches...  Read More
Shaping the Future at the UMC General Conference // M-Note 4.20.24
by Matt Miofsky on April 19th, 2024
This weekend, I am traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina for the 2024 General Conference of the United Methodist Church. General Conference only happens once every 4 years and it is the only body that can change United Methodist Church law and policies. There will be nearly 900 elected delegates from all over the world coming together for nearly two weeks to make decisions for the future of our d...  Read More
Springtime Reminders: Joy Comes with the Morning // M-Note 4.13.24
by Matt Miofsky on April 13th, 2024
Earlier this week, there was heavy rain overnight. The next morning when I woke up to walk the dogs, there was an incredible vibrance to the spring colors. The grass was bright green, the irises in my front yard were a deep shade of purple. The reds, pinks, and blues of our emerging flowers almost seemed to be lit in neon. The gloomy and windy rainstorm the night before dissipated and was replaced...  Read More
Screen Time: Troubleshooting our Relationship with Technology // M-Note 4.6.24
by Matt Miofsky on April 5th, 2024
The Gathering celebrated Easter this year at The Factory, and I want to thank all of you that were a part of it. We had an incredible morning of worship including an offering that will fund our local mission work including our Literacy Project. This weekend in worship I will celebrate the overall amount, and it is exciting. I am especially grateful to all of you that served and invited others to j...  Read More
It's time for EasterSTL at The Factory // M-Note 3.28.24
by Matt Miofsky on March 28th, 2024
Easter weekend is here! The Gathering will have TWO worship services - 9 and 10:45am - this Sunday, at a brand new venue - The Factory. Here are 10 reasons why you (and your friends/family) won’t want to miss EasterSTL at The Factory:1. You’ll be able to get a family picture and show off your Easter outfits! We will have The Photo Bus St. Louis! Post them to Instagram using #EasterSTL.2. Incredibl...  Read More
Can You Know Joy Without Pain? // M-Note 3.23.24
by Matt Miofsky on March 23rd, 2024
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “without pain you can’t know joy.” The sentiment gets at a philosophical puzzle, namely can we know one feeling or state without experiencing its opposite. For example, we know what warmth is by experiencing that which is cold. We know peace only because we have experienced suffering. We know grace only because we have experienced judgment. You get the idea. Somethin...  Read More
How serving at Easter can really make a difference // M-Note 3.16.24
by Matt Miofsky on March 15th, 2024
I will never forget Easter 2008 at The Gathering. We decided to do something different. Instead of having Easter in our sanctuary, expecting people to come to us. We decided to go to people, and we celebrated Easter in Forest Park under the World’s Fair Pavilion. There were a lot of memorable moments from that day. We almost didn’t have any chairs, we underestimated how windy it would be, so our d...  Read More
Twenty Students Confirmed Last Sunday // M-Note 3.9.24
by Matt Miofsky on March 9th, 2024
Here is a sobering statistic – in 2022 over 70% of United Methodist Churches had no new baptisms, confirmands, or members. That means there were no new babies being welcomed in, no students getting confirmed, and no new people deciding to get baptized or become members. There are lots of reasons for this - cultural disinterest in religion, declining church participation, reluctance to invite frien...  Read More
Updates from Clayton and Easter Invitation // M-Note 3.2.24
by Matt Miofsky on March 2nd, 2024
If you haven’t been to the Clayton site lately, there is A LOT of exciting stuff happening. As one church that meets in three locations – no matter which site you attend – I want to celebrate each of our sites together, especially when good things are happening.Just recently, Ellie Sanazaro joined the Clayton team as the new Gathering Kids Site Leader! She and her family have been attending The Ga...  Read More
Strength in Numbers: Community in Ministry // M-Note 2.24.24
by Matt Miofsky on February 24th, 2024
This week I got to travel to be with pastors from some of the leading United Methodist Churches from around the country. I had the opportunity to speak to the group, learn from so many others, and hang out with creative and innovative leaders. It was good for my soul. Ministry can be isolating work and it has always been important for me to surround myself with people that I can learn from. I thin...  Read More
What's your legacy? // M-Note 2.17.24
by Matt Miofsky on February 17th, 2024
Part of our work here at the church is to do funeral services. There is something sobering and powerful about standing up and offering words to celebrate someone’s life. After every funeral I do, I can’t help but think, “What will they say about me?” That might sound strange, but I think it is a question we all wonder about. What will people remember about you? What will they say when they gather ...  Read More
Ashes for Valentine's Day? // M-Note 2.10.24
by Matt Miofsky on February 9th, 2024
This year, Ash Wednesday also happens to be Valentine’s Day. I’ve seen a lot of jokes going around about the irony of celebrating romantic love and mortality all on the same day!On Ash Wednesday, we remember our sin, mortality, and need for forgiveness. Ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance and so we mark our heads to both confess our sin and as a sign of our desire to receive forgiveness. On ...  Read More
More Isn't Always Better // M-Note 2.3.24
by Matt Miofsky on February 3rd, 2024
I think a lot of you know that I have a healthy attachment to my little orange Honda Fit. After famously declaring it dead a couple of years ago (pictured here), I fixed it up and continue to drive it today. I am going on year 17 with this car! But this past month, Jess and I started exploring the thought of getting a new car. We even spent a few nights the past week test driving a few options. I ...  Read More
Slowing Down for God to Show Up // M-Note 1.27.24
by Matt Miofsky on January 27th, 2024
Late last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. where I spoke to pastors and lay leaders of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. It was a packed day where I gave three talks and connected with all sorts of creative leaders. When I got on the plane to travel home late Saturday, I was wiped. When I finally arrived in St. Louis, I shuffled off the plane bleary eyed and did so...  Read More
Together Towards Change...and Healthy Habits // M-Note 1.20.24
by Matt Miofsky on January 19th, 2024
Changing requires new routines. But it is tough to start and maintain a new habit. One way to make it easier is doing it with someone else. This makes a new habit more enjoyable, more social, and builds in some accountability. Most of us find greater motivation for a new habit if we do it with someone else.  The American Society of Training and Development found people are 65 percent more likely t...  Read More
Starting Small, Dreaming Big // M-Note 1.13.24
by Matt Miofsky on January 13th, 2024
Credit: When we want to make a change in our lives we mistakenly believe that we need to take big immediate action in order to get there. But change is usually the result not of sudden and dramatic action, but of small steps. A principle of sustaining change in our lives or in the world is starting small. I have been reflecting on this principle ah...  Read More
Starting & Sustaining Change // M-Note 1.6.24
by Matt Miofsky on January 6th, 2024
As we head into a new year I reviewed my resolutions from last year. One of them was to write a devotional book. I did it! The other I utterly failed to do. Honestly, I never even started it! This highlights something that is true for most of us. It is easy to want to change; it is harder to actually sustain change in our lives. But, God wants us to change not only at the beginning of a new year…e...  Read More
Embracing a Clean Slate // M-Note 12.30.23
by Matt Miofsky on December 29th, 2023
Thank you to all of you who joined The Gathering on Christmas Eve. I loved seeing so many of you in worship. It was a powerful day and night of remembering that God is active and present in so many small things in our lives, not just at Christmas, but all year. I hope that it resonated with you and that you will join us for worship this Sunday and in the New Year. We will have all regular worship ...  Read More
Rediscovering the Essence of Christmas // M-Note 12.22.23
by Matt Miofsky on December 21st, 2023
Christmas Eve is almost here, and I hope you are making plans to join us for worship at The Gathering. Over the course of a year, it is easy to drift from faith. Christmas is a time when God invites us back to what is most important in life. I will be sharing a hopeful message about the ways we can find God in the small things this holiday. As we get ready, I wanted to give you all the essential i...  Read More
Special Services and Surprises: Christmas Week at The Gathering // M-Note 12.16.23
by Matt Miofsky on December 16th, 2023
Even though December 24, is over a week away, Christmas Eve festivities start next week at The Gathering. On Tuesday, December 19, and Saturday, December 23, we will have early Christmas Eve services for those of you who are heading out of town. It will be the same message and music as Christmas Eve (including candlelit Silent Night), just a few days early. It will also be a chance to give to the ...  Read More
The Gift of Service // M-Note 12.9.23
by Matt Miofsky on December 8th, 2023
Last January, a woman that was relatively new to The Gathering caught me on a Sunday morning to tell me how meaningful it was for her to serve at one of our Christmas Eve services. She was hesitant to do so at first. It required some extra time, a bit of extra effort, and the rearranging of a few plans – but she said it ended up being the most powerful part of her Christmas. In particular, she got...  Read More
The Gift of Invitation // M-Note 12.1.23
by Matt Miofsky on December 1st, 2023
Though I had grown up in church, when I went to college I fell away from going to worship. Like a lot of people, life got busy. School was rigorous, football required a lot, and any free time I used to hang out with friends. Then two guys from the football team invited me to check out a bible study they attended. The truth is I wouldn’t have gone on my own, but since they invited me, I gave it a t...  Read More
4 Ideas to Make Gratitude a Daily Practice // M-Note 11.23.23
by Matt Miofsky on November 22nd, 2023
Gratitude is like penicillin for the soul. Gratitude is linked to everything from better sleep to lower blood pressure, stronger relationships to better self-esteem. Creating a habit of giving thanks literally and spiritually improves your life. I think that is why God so often reminds us to be thankful. It is hard sometimes to focus on what we have instead of what we don't, what is here instead o...  Read More
Tis the Season (of change) // M-Note 11.18.23
by Matt Miofsky on November 17th, 2023
Seasons of transition are also seasons of opportunity. I have always believed that. When things change in our lives, even when those changes are hard and unwelcome, there is always an opportunity – to learn, to grow, or to change. This week marks a transition in the rhythm of the year. Fall will stubbornly give way to winter. We are moving out of normal time and into the holiday season, complete w...  Read More
Spreading Holiday Cheer: A Call to Serve and Make a Difference // M-Note 11.11.23
by Matt Miofsky on November 11th, 2023
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, with Christmas just around the corner, and one of the questions I get asked a lot this time of year is - how can I help others who don’t have a place to go for the holidays or might need a little assistance making the season special for their families?Well, I have a few answers to share…Inexcelsis, which serves with the unhoused and who we’ve often worked ...  Read More
The Methodist Book of Daily Prayer // M-Note 11.4.23
by Matt Miofsky on November 4th, 2023
I am thrilled to announce that next week my newest book, The Methodist Book of Daily Prayer, will be released! I’ll confess something...I really want everyone to get a copy. Let me explain why. I write books, but I am not a good self-promoter. I always feel weird saying, “Look at my new book, please buy it.” That is part of what an author must do, but it isn’t my thing. But this book is different....  Read More
Ready or Not, Here Come the Holidays // M-Note 10.27.23
by Beth McClure on October 27th, 2023
Halloween is Tuesday, which I see as the kickoff of a rush of holidays. Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Christmas. It all comes rushing at us. This season is fun for many of us - time with family, fun traditions, and an opportunity to connect with friends. But it also comes with struggle for many of us. Grief, strained relationships, over packed schedules, and seasonal depression can all complicate t...  Read More
Reflections from Mozambique // M-Note 10.21.23
by Beth McClure on October 21st, 2023
Last weekend, I, along with five others from The Gathering, returned from a trip to Mozambique. Thanks to all of you who prayed for us and followed our journey online. It was the first time we’d been able to return since the pandemic, and there was a lot for us to catch up on.Over a decade ago, The Gathering began a partnership with the United Methodist Church in Mozambique to provide wells for cl...  Read More
My First Bible & A New Director of Kids Ministry // M-Note 10.6.23
by Beth McClure on October 6th, 2023
I still remember receiving my first Bible in church. We were called up on the stage, the pastor said something (I don’t remember what), and then they handed me a brand new Bible. When I got home, I took a red marker and wrote my name really large on the inside just to make sure everyone knew it was mine. I still have it on my bookshelf today, as does my wife Jess.I think some people believe readin...  Read More
Making a Difference Beyond St. Louis // M-Note 9.30.23
by Beth McClure on September 30th, 2023
Yesterday, I, along with many of our staff, returned from the Leadership Institute, a large United Methodist conference hosted each year by Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. This year, more than 1000 leaders from around the country gathered to worship, learn, and connect with one another.I had the opportunity to teach two sessions of a workshop entitled "Burnout: Sabbath, Rest, and Spirit...  Read More