Posts with the category “m-note”

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
17 Memorable Moments at The Gathering // M-Note 9.16.23
by Matt Miofsky on September 15th, 2023
This weekend is The Gathering’s golden birthday. We will turn 17 on September 17th. In honor of this milestone, I thought I would share 17 of my most memorable moments here at The Gathering. 1. The time I had to sit on the floor during an Easter service at Webster because both the sanctuary and overflow room were full.2. The Sunday I preached a message via video from the site of the very first wel...  Read More
The Gathering's Golden Birthday (17 on the 17th) // M-Note 9.8.23
by Matt Miofsky on September 8th, 2023
September 17 is The Gathering’s golden birthday, meaning we’ve been worshiping together for 17 years! I still remember the first worship service in our old McCausland site, on September 17, 2006. There was no air conditioning (brutal), no cross on the wall (we were still building it), and no technology to speak of (someone held a projector on their lap with song lyrics). It was rough around the ed...  Read More
46 Years of Life Lessons // M-Note 9.1.23
by Beth McClure on September 1st, 2023
Today is my 46th birthday and in honor of another trip around the sun, I thought I would share 46 lessons learned thus far in life. Enjoy, and I hope to see you this weekend. 1. Eat dessert first.2. Run towards something, not away.3. When something is hard, you’re on the cusp of a breakthrough.4. Feelings are too fickle to follow.5. The key to happiness is good relationships.6. Don’t take good par...  Read More
What makes CoreGroups special? // M-Note 8.25.23
by Matt Miofsky on August 25th, 2023
For many of us, we come to church each and every week, but still feel like we don’t know anyone. It is hard to connect with people on a Sunday morning. For others of us, we have friends outside of church, but no one to really talk about faith with. Having a group of friends that we can actually get to know and talk about our faith with can be valuable, especially if you have never tried it.  That ...  Read More
What the Bible Says About Gender Identity
by Beth McClure on August 18th, 2023
This Sunday, I will preach a really important message, and I hope you will be in worship to hear it. It matters deeply. I am currently preaching a series called Let’s Talk About… where I asked you about the topics, questions, or issues that you wish a church would address. I received a lot of great answers but none were as frequent as questions about sex, sexual ethic, sexual orientation, and gend...  Read More
"Should I Make My Kids Go to Church?" // M-Note 8.12.23
by Matt Miofsky on August 11th, 2023
I often get emails from parents whose kids suddenly express doubt in God or resistance to going to church. Teenagers often question the faith they were raised in, or even reject it all together. Parents of adult kids will regularly ask me how they can foster faith in their uninterested children and grandchildren. Many of us have a partner or spouse that doesn’t believe in God or has very little in...  Read More
Life Lessons & Moral Dilemmas // M-Note 8.5.23
by Matt Miofsky on August 4th, 2023
Last Sunday night, Dave Merrill (our Executive Pastor) and his family lost their beloved dog, Java. He reflected on the life lessons he learned from Java. It really connected with me, and I bet it will connect with you as well. "On Sunday night, we said one last “good night” to our sweet Java girl. She was with Kara and I for 13 years, and she taught us a number of lessons on life. Here are a few:...  Read More
Let's Talk About... // M-Note 7.28.23
by Matt Miofsky on July 28th, 2023
Are there questions or topics you wish the church would talk about, but that most churches just seem to ignore? Maybe it is a thorny theological question, like war in the Bible or heaven and hell. Maybe it is a hot button social or political issue - there are plenty of those. Maybe it is practical everyday life struggles, like mental health or parenting. Or, maybe it is a question that hits on the...  Read More
We Have the Power to Change // M-Note 7.22.23
by Matt Miofsky on July 21st, 2023
In my message last week , I talked about the hardest part of being a pastor: addressing the past bad experiences people have had of churches or Christians. People see the way many Christians engage others on social media, watch the way Christians are involved in politics, or hear the way certain preachers talk about other people and come away thinking, “I don’t want to look like that!” More person...  Read More
It's Good To Be Back! // M-Note 7.7.23
by Amy Sanders on July 7th, 2023
I’m back! The past few weeks I have been out of the office and not preaching, but this weekend I will be back and starting a new series. I am grateful for some time off, and it was packed with activity. I started the month of June speaking at a conference for pastors in Wisconsin, I took my daughter Carly on some college visits, our family spent time together on a vacation, and I spent about 10 da...  Read More
Early Summer Celebrations // M-Note 6.2.23
by Amy Sanders on June 2nd, 2023
As the school year winds down, I wanted to share some news about The Gathering’s Literacy Project.The Gathering wants to make a difference not just inside our church but more so in our community. One way we do that is through our Literacy Project, partnering with local schools to provide reading support for students, as well as support for teachers, staff, and the communities those schools serve.E...  Read More
Two Magic Words // M-Note 5.26.23
by Amy Sanders on May 26th, 2023
One summer when I was around 10 years old, I was playing with some friends outside. There was a tree in our front yard that produced an inedible fruit that was a perfect size to throw. So one day, we decided to start plucking the fruit and throwing it at each other. Soon we discovered that when this fruit hit the ground, it splattered everywhere. We shifted course and started throwing this fruit o...  Read More
How Grownups Get It Wrong // M-Note 5.19.23
by Amy Sanders on May 19th, 2023
One day, Jesus’ disciples got into an argument over who among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. It is a silly sounding debate and yet not unlike our world today. We still jockey for position, want to be seen as important, compare ourselves to other people, and imagine that there is some universal human ranking system that we want to score well on. We measure our relative importa...  Read More
Creating Margin // M-Note 5.5.23
by Amy Sanders on May 5th, 2023
God calls us to live with margin in our lives. Margin is the gap between our load and our limit. The principle of margin applies to all aspects of our lives. Financial margin means not spending everything we make but instead saving some money. Margin in our time means not booking or scheduling every minute of the day. Relational margin means not over promising too many people in our life that we a...  Read More
Do More Of This To Avoid Burnout // M-Note 4.28.23
by Amy Sanders on April 28th, 2023
God practiced Sabbath, a weekly rhythm of 6 days of work and 1 day of rest. God gives this rhythm of life to us as a gift and commands us to keep it. We are not created for 24/7 work, but instead we are made to rest. Burnout so often happens when we do not live as we were created to live. But, recently a friend confessed to me, “Matt, if we aren’t supposed to do anything on the Sabbath, then what ...  Read More
Intersection of Policies & Prayers // M-Note 4.22.23
by Amy Sanders on April 21st, 2023
This week, I talked with some friends who are part of The Gathering. They shared how difficult the past week has been. They have a young-adult kid who currently receives medical care for gender dysphoria. This spring, legislation has been moving through the Missouri state congress that would bar minors who experience gender dysphoria or identify as trans from receiving similar healthcare. The Miss...  Read More
Feeling Burned Out? // M-Note 4.14.23
by Amy Sanders on April 14th, 2023
God’s desire is that we create lives that we don’t want to escape from. And yet many of us have a weekly rhythm of life that wears us down and tires us out. In the past year 77% of people in the U.S. report experiencing burnout – at work, at home, and in their relationships. Burnout is not a medical diagnosis but is popularly used to describe a general state of exhaustion – emotionally, mentally, ...  Read More
Gathering Easter Top 10 List // M-Note 4.6.23
by Amy Sanders on April 6th, 2023
Easter weekend is here! Yesterday, we started loading in and preparing the Stifel Theatre for Easter worship. Remember, we will only have ONE worship service this Sunday, all together at Stifel Theatre (formerly Peabody Opera House). Doors open at 9:45AM, worship begins at 10:30AM. If your Easter plans are still undecided, or if you need some details to convince family or friends to join you, here...  Read More
You Can't Miss This Part // M-Note 4.1.23
by Amy Sanders on March 31st, 2023
My youngest is an emerging movie lover, so in the evenings we often settle in to watch the latest on his list. I have found that the older I get, the longer movies seem to be, so it is easy for me to get distracted while watching. My son will regularly get annoyed by this, and warn me at key moments, “Dad, you have to watch this part. If you miss it, you won’t understand the movie.” We know what t...  Read More
The Power of Easter and Invitation // M-Note 3.24.23
by Tyler Curtis on March 24th, 2023
This week, I was introduced to someone who told me that they had been to The Gathering a handful of times. I asked them how they heard about the church, and they told me that years ago, a friend invited them to our Easter worship service. The experience still stuck with them years later. For many at The Gathering, Easter was your introduction to our church. Someone invited you, and it made an impr...  Read More
The Most Important Sunday of the Year // M-Note 3.17.23
by Amy Sanders on March 17th, 2023
Easter is the summit and source of our faith. We believe that Jesus is alive and is therefore at work in our life to help us, guide us, forgive us, and save us. This is good news, and on Easter Sunday, we want as many people to hear that good news as possible. There are so many people we know that are looking for forgiveness, strength for seasons of struggle, new direction in life, and most of all...  Read More
The Evening Service is BACK!!! // M-Note 3.10.23
by Amy Sanders on March 10th, 2023
This weekend, evening worship is back at The Gathering! Sunday,  March 12th The Gathering will have a Pop-up evening worship service at 6:30pm at Work & Leisure in Midtown St. Louis. These Pop-Up worship services will be happening monthly and are part of the preparation for a new site The Gathering intends to start in Midtown this fall. As we shared during our OPEN initiative, The Gathering wants ...  Read More
Celebrating BEYOND // M-Note 3.3.2023
by Amy Sanders on March 3rd, 2023
Earlier this week, The Gathering hosted our first BEYOND Conference. Nearly 250 pastors and leaders from 19 states and 5 denominations gathered at our McCausland site to connect, learn, collaborate, and envision a better future for the church. While the leaders are diverse, we hold in common a desire for the church to be passionate about Jesus and inclusive. A church that takes the Bible seriously...  Read More
We're Doing Something Big! // M-Note 2.17.23
by Amy Sanders on February 17th, 2023
In just a little over a week, The Gathering is doing something big! We are hosting our first ever nation-wide conference called BEYOND. During the pandemic, more and more people outside of St. Louis began worshiping and engaging with The Gathering online. Along the way, people all over would email me and say something like, “can we start a site of The Gathering here?!” I started to ask questions t...  Read More
Something To Try This Weekend // M-Note 2.10.23
by Amy Sanders on February 10th, 2023
Recently, I had a friend tell me all about a new restaurant they went to here in St. Louis. Reservations are hard to get, but they were lucky enough to get in. They loved it and made sure I knew how good it was. At the end of the conversation they casually said, “you really should check it out.” If you read a really good book, it is natural to tell people about it. You may even end it by saying, “...  Read More
God is Leading Us Forward // M-Note 2.3.23
by Tyler Curtis on February 3rd, 2023
Often our biggest challenge isn’t that we don’t know what to do, but that we are afraid to do it. Fear so often gets in the way of listening to the voice of God in our lives. But Jesus is the one who assures us that we do not have to be afraid because he has our back. He goes with us. His power is available to us.  Read More
Not Everything is a Sign // M-Note 1.20.23
by Amy Sanders on January 20th, 2023
This week, a friend of mine called to talk through a tough decision. This person was offered a job in a new city. There was a long list of pros and cons to saying yes, and the person really wanted to make a God-led decision. As we talked about it, the person confessed. It isn’t always easy to tell what is the Holy Spirit and what is just me! Over the years, one of the top questions I receive is ab...  Read More
This Invitation Was 15 Years In The Making // M-Note 1.13.23
by Amy Sanders on January 13th, 2023
Last Sunday after our last worship service, a woman came up to me and reintroduced herself. We knew each other way back during my first couple of years of ministry. Since I didn’t have an office when I started The Gathering, I would often default to Starbucks as my makeshift office. At the time, she was a barista there. Over the course of those early years of the church, I got to know her and the ...  Read More
Looking Ahead to 2023 // M-Note 12.30.22
by Amy Sanders on December 30th, 2022
Recently I was reading about the philosophical concept of being and becoming. To put it simply: all of us can value who we are presently, even as we desire to become someone new. I love thinking about this as we close one year and get ready to start a new year. It is a good time to reflect and be grateful for who we are and how we have grown. The past year has been up and down, full of blessings a...  Read More
So, A Pastor Walks Into Uncle Bills...//M-Note 12.16.22
by Amy Sanders on December 16th, 2022
Every year I take The Gathering staff to a Catholic church in south St. Louis that has an incredible stained glass window depicting the birth of Jesus. We went last week, and per tradition, we set aside time to pray both individually and as a group. We pray for our church, our staff, our families, and all of the (12) Christmas Eve services! We pray for our friends in Mozambique and for the generos...  Read More
A Better Way to Prepare for Christmas // M-Note 12.3.22
by Amy Sanders on December 2nd, 2022
Advent (the season leading up to Christmas Day) comes from a Latin word that means “to come”. It has traditionally been a time of waiting, preparations, and intentional anticipation of Jesus. Most of us are familiar with Advent from the calendars that help us count down the days until Christmas. But counting down isn’t the only way to prepare. We hang lights, decorate trees, make lists, buy gifts,...  Read More
You Need to Start Practicing This//M-Note 11.24.22
by Amy Sanders on November 23rd, 2022
Recently in a message, I said that 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 and to focus on what we have instead of what we don't, what ...  Read More