Posts with the category “m-note”

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
You May Not Realize It, But...//M-Note 11.18.2022
by Amy Sanders on November 17th, 2022
Thursday afternoon, I pulled up to The Gathering’s McCausland site expecting it to be empty, so I was surprised to find a group of people unpacking boxes and boxes of books! The books are being prepared for all the students that participate in The Gathering’s Literacy Project. This ministry pairs reading tutors from The Gathering with students in 3 different schools here in St. Louis. The tutors ...  Read More
Check Out This Text Message...//M-Note 11.11.2022
by Amy Sanders on November 11th, 2022
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” -Matthew 5.16 Last weekend after worship, we asked each of you to stop and write a thank you note to first responders, ER staff at Children’s Hospital and Barnes, as well as the police officers of the 2nd District. These are the people who responded and served those involved in the sh...  Read More
Hope in the UMC // M-Note 11.4.2022
by Amy Sanders on November 3rd, 2022
This week, I’ve been in Houston as a delegate at the Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church. This is a regional gathering that’s main purpose is to elect bishops. It is no secret that the UMC is navigating a tumultuous time. Traditionalist pastors and churches are beginning to leave the denomination, many forming a new one (the Global Methodist Church) that will uphold prohibitio...  Read More
Faith Matters // M-Note 10.28.22
by Tyler Curtis on October 27th, 2022
On Monday, a 19-year-old young man broke into the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School with an AR-15 style rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition. He shot and killed a teacher, and sophomore student before being shot and dying at the hospital. Four other students were shot and injured and several others were hurt. Stories like this have become sadly normal in our country, except this one was...  Read More
Reframing our Struggles // M-Note 10.14.22
by Amy Sanders on October 14th, 2022
Recently, a friend told me about an article written by a new local business owner. The young woman started her business right before the pandemic. The first year was not good. A global pandemic, an inability to staff it properly, and an inability to get out and meet people all contributed to the first year of this new business being a huge struggle. The story ended with a few lessons that the woma...  Read More
God is Moving at The Gathering // M-Note 10.7.22
by Amy Sanders on October 7th, 2022
Sometimes in life we get so busy with what we have to do that we neglect to celebrate what we have already done! The same is true in the church. Sunday comes every week, and there is always something new to do. But, it is important to stop and remember what God has done and is doing through our church. Last weekend, The Gathering’s Webster site launched a second worship service because of continue...  Read More
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