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!

“A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.’” 

(Isaiah 40: 3,4)

Before we even got to December 1, our staff gathered to celebrate, and to focus on all of the tasks before us in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  As we gathered, I shared with them #Advent Word.  #Advent Word is a simple, global Advent calendar comprised of a single word for each day.  One word to think about, one word to guide our Advent reflection, one word to live with each day as we make our journey to Christmas and anticipate the celebration of Christ coming into the world.  My thinking in offering this simple Advent calendar was that everyone around the table had so many other things to fill their days, the last thing anyone needed was more to read, more to do, more to check off on their to do lists.

Just one word for each day, but even as I distributed the list of words, one word seemed to jump off the page for everyone.  Getting the list, more than one person said, “’Rough,’ what do they mean by ‘rough’?!” I’m writing this on Wednesday, December 12, and guess what the word is for today?  “Rough!”  So I thought I’d take it on the challenge of thinking about, reflecting on, living with the word “rough” for today, so here goes:

Rough as in the opposite of smooth.   (duh!)

But then what does rough look like.  What does rough feel like?  What makes something rough?

Rough as in the stubble of an unshaved beard and rough as in the rubble of an unpaved road.

Rough as in rutted, hard going.

Rough as in the landscape of the wilderness, the sort of terrain where you need to carefully watch your steps.

Rough as in Isaiah’s song (as quoted above).  One way to get ready for the coming of the King is to level out the rough ground. 

Rough as in rough day, rough week, going through a rough patch in life.  Where do I need to be reminded God is with me in the middle of rough times?

Rough as in it’s rough to try to squeeze in all the busyness and activity we try to squeeze into these December days.

Rough as in the clothing of John the Baptizer who chose not to be decked out in designer duds, not slick and polished and smooth, but rough.  He chose to wear rough clothing as a reminder that he was willing to be set apart by God, to be used by God. 

Rough as in raw lumber, ready to be made into anything, waiting, ready to be smoothed, sanded.  Rough as in removing rough edges.

Rough as a coconut, yet on the inside sweet, nourishing and delicious.

Today, #Advent Word offers these thoughts on the word “rough”:  “Luke the Gospel writer, quoting John the Baptizer quoting Isaiah the Prophet, proclaims that the ‘rough ways will be made smooth’ in preparation for the coming of God. This message, passed down through the ages, now comes to us and we are called to the task of making smooth. Harsh words, sharp elbows, and uneven temperaments are challenges to harmonious relationships, human and divine. Refinement is the process of making smooth and we are called to this work by the One who lovingly refines us. Pass it on.”

All of this from just one word! What comes to your mind when you hear the word “rough”?  How might you live with the word “rough” for this day?  What thoughts might you add?  What might “rough” have to do with your Advent journey this year?  Where does the word rough meet you in your life?  In your journey with God?  In preparing for, and setting aside space in your life, for God?    


Pastor Gail