What a joy it is to welcome you to Gadsden Street United Methodist Church! I celebrate our opportunity to connect through the internet. Gadsden Street UMC is a community of faith rooted and grounded in God’s love. Our ongoing response to God’s love is expressed through prayer and worship, growing together in studying and seeking to live out God’s word, and as we serve locally and globally the least, the last and the lost. We are pleased to share our facilities on the corner of Ninth and Gadsden Street, with a Korean Methodist congregation, Lighthouse Private Christian Academy, the Pensacola United Methodist District offices and weekly AA meetings. We also celebrate the opportunity to be active partners in many excellent and effective ministries throughout our community.
On this webpage you’ll find brief descriptions of some of our ongoing ministries. Located across from Granada Square we celebrate every opportunity to connect with our neighbors and our community. In responding to God’s plans and purposes we are continually in the process of cultivating new opportunities to grow in grace and to serve faithfully.
No matter where you may find yourself along the journey of faith, we invite you to come grow with us!
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus has entered on our behalf.”
This sure has been a topsy-turvy week. All of our carefully laid plans were turned upside down with the pending arrival of Hurricane Michael. As with many of you, the early days of the week were spent watching the weather, checking the weather station, and tracking the path of the storm on weather apps. With the storm wobbling this way and that, none of us quite knew what to expect. Before the storm we watched, waited, planned, prepared and prayed.
Even with Hurricane Michael brewing in the Gulf, I was reminded this week that storms come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are of course literal storms bearing strong winds and heavy rains, but in life we also wrestle through all kinds of storms. Some storms seem to pop up out of nowhere, while we track the arrival of other storms on the radar screen of life. Some folks wrestle through emotional storms, while other folks try to keep their heads above water through stormy relationships. Some folks are wrestling with physical storms, storms set off by a diagnosis of cancer or other catastrophic health challenges. Some folks are battered with the waves of the storms of grief, while others keenly know the power of spiritual storms in life. Sometimes all it takes is a word that pierces our hearts to set off a storm, while other storms are the result of being battered over and over again by an ill “wind.”
On Tuesday, as we all prepared for landfall, I read an interesting post on social media from one of our District Superintendents. He began by saying he loves storms. That sounded especially weird, knowing his family and home were in the projected cone of this particular storm. He went on to clarify that he doesn’t love the destruction and the damage caused by storms along the gulf coast, but realistically he notes, “storms are going to happen.” And since storms are going to happen, what he does love is that every storm provides an opportunity to help. Every storm provides a way to reach out in care and concern. Every storm provides an opportunity to make the love of Christ visible and real. Every storm provides an opportunity for the Church to be the Church. In every storm of life, we have the opportunity to connect people with Jesus, the one anchor that holds firm in every storm!
Today, Thursday, our hearts of compassion are stirred for those who have lost so much. We may not be physically able to be a part of a response team, but we all have an opportunity to respond. Through prayer we have the opportunity to uphold those who will begin the process of sifting through the remains of home and life, salvaging what is possible and grieving the losses they have experienced. Through our giving we also have a powerful opportunity to respond. Through our financial gifts we will be a part of offering help and hope, extending love and care for others. This Sunday as we gather for worship, we will receive a special offering for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). In the disaster world our connectional disaster response ministry is known for being among the first in and the last to leave. Recovery from the devastation of recent storms will take a very long time. Every step along the way the Church will have the opportunity to be the Church as we cling to the one anchor, Jesus, holding firm in all of the storms of life.