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!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
(II Corinthians 5: 17)
Do you ever feel like God might be trying to teach you something? In a whole bunch of ways over the last seven weeks I feel like God is inviting me to grow in patience. These seven weeks have provided plenty of challenges, all stretching my patience muscles. Living with a cast. Learning to do many things much slower and more awkwardly with the use of only one hand. Living with little ones. The challenges of Annual Conference for which there is no quick fix. Patience with the process of healing. (My doctor reminds me I did a really good job breaking my wrist and it will take time for all those little pieces to be knit back together.) All of this, and plenty more, have served to highlight my need to grow in patience.
Lacking patience isn’t really a big surprise. After all I/we live in an instant society. We have a hard time waiting for anything. We have a hard time waiting for the light to turn green. We have a hard time waiting for the car in front of us to move. We have a hard time waiting in line at Walmart or Publix. We have a hard time waiting in the doctor’s office. We’ve learned to expect everything in an instant, even though we know many good things, maybe all things that really matter, take time.
Among the Bible studies I’ve taught through the years is one with the title, “If Experience Is Such A Good Teacher, Why Do I Keep Repeating the Course?” I find myself repeating the “patience curriculum” over and over again! However, when God teaches us a lesson, God who is all goodness, truth, and beauty, the lesson is always for good- our own good and the good of the world. We are all in the process of being made perfect in love by the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.
One of the first lessons in the school of patience, is learning to be patient with ourselves. Recently I’ve learned studies show when we beat ourselves up over the mistakes we make, we actually slow down or short circuit being able to grow in the midst of challenges. While in the school of patience I can choose to make time and space for the Holy Spirit to work by paying attention to the means of grace. For me that means staying in tune with worship, not just when we’re all together on Sunday mornings, but spending time in awe, wonder, gratitude and worship each and every day. Thankfully, I can remain connected to the power of God through prayer. Not just my own daily times of prayer, but seeking out opportunities to unite my voice with others in prayer. A big one for me is tuning in to the voice of God by reading and reflecting on God’s word. Coming each day to God’s Word expecting to hear a word for my life. For me fasting is another one of those means of grace that opens the door for remembering how hungry I really am for the goodness of God. And serving others is not only a way to bless others but a way in which I am richly blessed. These are the sorts of things I can do as I seek to learn the lessons of patience and continue to grow in grace.
Not only do we learn to be patient with ourselves, but we are challenged to learn to be patient with one another. It’s so easy to get irritated or frustrated with the faults and failures of others, but just like us others are in the ongoing process of growing into the potential and possibilities of being the people God made them to be. In the school of patience, the challenge is not only to see people as they are, but to be able to imagine and celebrate the people they are becoming by God’s grace. (II Corinthians 5:17).
Living in the school of patience I’m also reminded of God’s amazing patience. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. (The LORD) is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:8,9). After all each time we pray the Lord’s prayer together, we say “thy kingdom come….” We pray for God’s timing in all things and that calls for patience with ourselves and with one another!