Kids Ministry Expands // M-Note 5.14.2021
by Mike DePope on May 14th, 2021
In 4th grade, I had a Sunday School teacher named Ms. Novak. The church in which I grew up predated the Civil War, and the small upper room that we met in looked like it. Old, a bit spooky, and not much larger than a closet – but every Sunday, Ms. Novak would make it come alive. She taught us stories of scripture but not simply by reading off a page. When we studied Moses on Mt. Sinai, she provide...  Read More
A Day for Mothers // M-Note 5.7.2021
by Mike DePope on May 7th, 2021
Sunday is Mother’s Day, so I thought I would give you a little history on this holiday (one that started, believe it or not, in a Methodist Church!).In 1908, Anna Jarvis coordinated the first Mother’s Day celebration at a local Methodist Church in West Virginia. She originally thought of the idea as a way to honor her own mother who had died a few years earlier. Soon she decided that honoring moth...  Read More
Come Just as You Are // M-Note 4.30.2021
by Mike DePope on April 30th, 2021
Every month, The Gathering hosts NEXT. NEXT is an evening designed to help new people connect to our church and for existing people to take a new step in their faith. It also gives me a chance to share the story of The Gathering, how it started, and most importantly why. I know this story better than anyone, and yet hearing the origin story month after month still inspires me. I need to be reminde...  Read More
Accountability, Not Justice // M-Note 4.23.2021
by Mike DePope on April 23rd, 2021
“This is accountability, not justice” In one form or another, this quote was spoken by many politicians, leaders, and activists following the guilty verdict on Tuesday in the Derek Chauvin trial. The Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison explained by adding, “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration”. This quote captures the tension in what hap...  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
Day 38
by Denee Bowers on April 1st, 2021
Thursday, April1Mark 14:12-72I distinctly remember the last carefree meal I had before the heaviness of COVID hit. After an incredible week in Mozambique, our team from The Gathering took a day to process our experiences on the Island of Mozambique. Though we had seen the headlines declaring a global pandemic, the gravity of the situation and its life-changing implications hadn’t yet settled in. T...  Read More
Day 37
by Denee Bowers on March 31st, 2021
Wednesday, March 31Mark 14:3-11We are getting closer to the cross, friends.In 1999 I preached my first sermon. I did not know the full weight nor joy of being a woman in ministry.  Today I am honored to serve in the line of women who’ve gone before me. Even, this unnamed woman who anoints Jesus. She is unnamed like too many women in scripture, however she performs a meaningful act. Blessing Jesus ...  Read More
Day 36
by Denee Bowers on March 30th, 2021
Tuesday, March 30Luke 21, 22:1-2Have you ever gotten to the end of a long conversation and realized that you could go on for hours more but you’ve unfortunately only got 5 more minutes before you have to walk into the dentist’s office? Maybe that’s a little too specific, but you catch my drift. This happens to me all the time. I get into a good chat or a good meeting, the flow is natural, then all...  Read More
Day 35
by Denee Bowers on March 29th, 2021
Monday, March 29Mark 11:12-19Today we meet “hangry” Jesus. It’s right there in the passage -- Jesus was hungry and got super-frustrated with a fruitless fig tree that wasn’t even in season. (poor fig tree!) Jesus’ case of the hangrys is so bad that his next move is to flip over tables in the temple. We’ve all been there, right? Tired, frustrated, and hungry to such an extent that we just lose it.I...  Read More
The Last Sunday in Lent
by Denee Bowers on March 29th, 2021
Sunday, March 28Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Each day this week we will read a passage of scripture that describes the events of Jesus' final days before his crucifixion. Today, Jesus enters Jerusalem to the waving of palm branches and shouts of blessing. It was surely a high moment for all who were present and the days that follow are an emotional roller coaster.This week's s...  Read More
Day 34
by Denee Bowers on March 27th, 2021
Saturday, March 27Job 42Many moments throughout the course of the past year left me feeling a bit like Job. Everything was so good in 2019. What did we possibly do to deserve COVID-19? I don’t believe that a loving God intentionally led us to experience the wilderness of a global pandemic and subsequent economic decline, the cruel murder of George Floyd or the persistent wildfires in California.Jo...  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
Day 33
by Denee Bowers on March 26th, 2021
Friday, March 26Job 40-41 15 “Look at Behemoth,    which I made just as I made you;    it eats grass like an ox.16 Its strength is in its loins,    and its power in the muscles of its belly.17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;    the sinews of its thighs are knit together.18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,    its limbs like bars of iron.1Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook,    or press d...  Read More
Day 32
by Denee Bowers on March 25th, 2021
Thursday, March 25Job 38-39In the winter of 1999, many things were happening in my life. I was preparing for college graduation and excited for what lay before me. It was a bright time, even with the cold and snow of Ohio winter upon us. Jenn, my bride-to-be, had told me that she would marry me, and that winter glowed even brighter. Two weeks later, I found a lump on her neck. In short time, we fo...  Read More
Day 31
by Denee Bowers on March 24th, 2021
Wednesday, March 24Job 36-37A few years ago, my wife and I went to Zion National Park. We hiked a lot but my favorite hike was the Narrows. The hike consists of hiking in water through slot canyons sometimes over a thousand feet high while the river is twenty to thirty feet wide. It’s breathtaking. I understood rationally how over the course of a thousand years water had carved out these massive c...  Read More
Day 30
by Denee Bowers on March 23rd, 2021
Tuesday, March 23Job 32-33As long as humans live on earth (and probably when they start living on Mars) younger generations will believe themselves smarter than older generations. If you’ve ever thought, heard, or said the phrase “OK, boomer” you know what I’m talking about. There is a specific sort of arrogance that comes with youth, and naturally, we are unable to recognize it in ourselves until...  Read More
Day 29
by Denee Bowers on March 23rd, 2021
Monday, March 22Job 28-29Do you ever just crave wisdom? Like a cold glass of water when you’re thirsty?Friends, information is everywhere and we are not only bombarded by it daily but we can access whatever version of it we are seeking. Add social media to the conversation and it seems to bring information with bonus tangles of opinions and criticism to the table. Opinions are natural, but they ho...  Read More
The Fifth Sunday of Lent
by Denee Bowers on March 23rd, 2021
The Fifth Sunday in LentSunday, March 21If you're anything like me you have a vague sense that Easter is coming, but you haven't thought too much about it. Well, I'm here to let you know that there are only two Sundays left before Easter!This year we will be holding online Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter services. Mark your calendar, invite a friend, and join us at  Read More
Day 28
by Denee Bowers on March 20th, 2021
Saturday, March 20Job 18-19Can I share a little confession with you? Most days I like the way Bildad thinks here. Now, he may go a little overboard with the whole “bad things happen to bad people” message. After all, it’s a little morbid to think that the bad guys are going to have calamity eating their skin and death’s firstborn consuming their limbs (whatever that means!). But the main idea, tha...  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
Day 27
by Denee Bowers on March 19th, 2021
Friday, March 19Job 11-12, 1 Peter 2:21-25Today's words come from Henri Nouwen and his definition of the wounded healer."Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our ...  Read More
Day 26
by Denee Bowers on March 18th, 2021
Thursday, March 18Job 3Have you ever been annoyed with God? God, when I prayed that you would help me find a job, I didn’t mean a job that would require me to move my family across the country…Have you ever been upset with God? God, I know Mimi was 92 years old, but she was still leading a meaningful life -- why did she have to die so suddenly?Have you ever been angry with God?I’ve led a pretty ch...  Read More





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