Posts with the category “m-note”

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
Unlikely Friends and Partnerships // M-Note 2.5.2021
by Amy Sanders on February 6th, 2021
This morning, I met a friend for coffee. Normally, this sort of thing would happen over Zoom, but he is moving away, so this was my last chance to see him and say goodbye. He and his wife have been instrumental to The Gathering from the very beginning, supporting our ministry with their time, energy, wisdom, and money. From the launch of the church 14 years ago, to the beginning of our safe water ...  Read More
Transitions // M-Note 1.22.2021
by Amy Sanders on January 22nd, 2021
Type your new text here. Gathering,It is a season of transitions. Of course, the most obvious one occurred Wednesday when we transitioned leadership in Washington, D.C. But, our government is not the only thing in transition. With the distribution of a vaccine, there is a sense that we may be at least beginning a transition out of this global pandemic. We are in a new year and a new season of life...  Read More
It's Christmas Eve! // M-Note 12.24.2020
by Amy Sanders on December 24th, 2020
Gathering,It is Christmas Eve, and I am not rushing around. I am not putting on a tie or preparing for 14 services. Instead, I am praying for you, and eager to worship alongside you. I am going to miss seeing you in person, but today there is an incredible opportunity for all of us, wherever we are, to worship together. Most of us have been so consumed with what is happening in our world day to da...  Read More
The Legacy of Jack Harbison // M-Note 12.4.2020
by Amy Sanders on December 18th, 2020
Gathering,Ten years ago, The Gathering had one site, was packed with three services, and was trying to figure out how to continue to welcome new people.  We began exploring the idea of a second site. I was invited by the Clayton United Methodist Church to speak with their leadership team about this idea. It was an intimidating proposal. This church had a long history in downtown Clayton but had re...  Read More
M-Note 11.26.2020 // Thanksgiving Edition
by Amy Sanders on November 26th, 2020
Gathering,Earlier this week, I spoke to a large group of pastors from all across Canada. Originally planned as an in-person event, it turned into a 3 day Zoom conference (#2020). I led them through a conversation about leading change in congregations based on my book Let Go. At one point, the organizer wished me a Happy American Thanksgiving (the Canadians celebrate it earlier in the fall), and th...  Read More
An Attitude of Gratitude // M-Note 11.20.2020
by Amy Sanders on November 20th, 2020
Type your new text here. Gathering,I often say that gratitude is like penicillin for our soul. It helps us overcome a variety of ills. Anger, despondency, self-centeredness, anxiety, isolation, and cynicism can all change as we practice gratitude. But, it is hard to think about thanksgiving in the midst of a year like 2020. As a pandemic continues to rage, affecting nearly every aspect of our live...  Read More
The Power of Generosity // M-Note 11.13.2020
by Amy Sanders on November 13th, 2020
Gathering,This past week, I received tragic news from Mozambique. Reports indicate that insurgents allegedly associated with ISIS have committed ever increasing acts of violence in the northern part of the country. This past week, they reportedly killed at least 50 Mozambicans, many of them young boys. This area of Mozambique is rich with natural resources and therefore valuable to whomever holds ...  Read More
Waiting with Hope // M-Note 11.6.2020
by Amy Sanders on November 6th, 2020
Gathering,We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn't hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don't see, we wait for it with patience. In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don't know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. Roman 8.24-26 As I write this on Friday morning, Americans are...  Read More
How Would Jesus Vote? // M-Note 10.30.2020
by Amy Sanders on October 30th, 2020
Gathering,Two weeks ago today, I voted early for the upcoming election. Even then, I waited nearly an hour in line along with hundreds of other people. I didn’t mind the wait. I consider it a privilege to participate in a democracy through voting. Historically at least, this is a rare right and one that I don’t take lightly. People often speculate how Jesus would vote. They argue over whether or n...  Read More
Intentional, Deliberate, and Disciplined // M-Note 10.23.2020
by Amy Sanders on October 23rd, 2020
Gathering,I have a brother two years younger than me. Growing up we were always close. We would play video games together, basketball, ride bikes, and even box in the front yard (we only had one pair of gloves so I would get the left and he would get the right). While we went to different colleges, we stayed close. After school, he moved in with Jessica and me to live with us for a while before ge...  Read More
A Prayer for Resiliency // M-Note 10.16.2020
by Amy Sanders on October 16th, 2020
Gathering, This morning, I went to Laclede Elementary School where I prayed with teachers, administrators, and staff. As one of our partner schools, they are preparing to receive students on Monday. But, we were there for a more tragic reason, as well. Last week, Doryan Bryant, a smart, resourceful, and gifted student in our literacy project, was shot and killed along with her mother. Her death im...  Read More
Looking Ahead // M-Note 10.9.2020
by Amy Sanders on October 9th, 2020
Gathering,We continue to forge ahead in a year where nothing has been predictable. Since March, The Gathering has been worshiping online due to coronavirus. This summer, I updated the congregation, letting you know that we would worship online through September. I ended that note promising that I would update you this fall! Well, fall is here! I owe you an update. Recently, I’ve had conversations ...  Read More
Getting Your Head On Straight // M-Note 10.2.2020
by Dave Merrill on October 2nd, 2020
Dear Gathering, Last Wednesday, Dave Merrill, Ryan Hebel, and I drove out to the city where I grew up. We visited a few farms for a video project we are working on at the church. In the morning, we arrived at a home that sits high above the Missouri river. Owned by an older couple that I have known since I was a kid, the house dates back to right around the Civil War and is surrounded by barns, a ...  Read More
Vacation Reflections // M-Note 8.7.2020
by Dave Merrill on September 28th, 2020
My trip away didn’t give me any dramatic insights or great awakenings, but I thought I’d share a few things that rose to the top as I spent time with myself, my family, and God. In no particular order:  Read More
Getting Unstuck
by Dave Merrill on September 25th, 2020
When you are stuck, it is hard to get unstuck. Why? Because in life, the very activities that help us get out of a spiritual rut are often the very activities that are hardest to do when we are in the rut.   Read More
Be a Headlight
by Dave Merrill on August 4th, 2020
In 2016, while speaking to a group of journalists at a Pulitzer Prize anniversary event, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis urged the audience to “be a headlight, not a taillight”.  Read More