Posts with the category “m-note”

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
Christmas Eve Service Pro-Tips//M-Note 12.22.22
by Amy Sanders on December 22nd, 2022
Dear Gathering,Christmas Eve is almost here, and I hope you are making plans to join us for worship. Over the course of the 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 power of light shining in the dark. I know that there are a lot of people in our lives who need good news this h...  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
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