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!
“Anxiety leads to depression, but a good word encourages.” (Proverbs 12:25)
“Some chatter on like a stabbing sword, but a wise tongue heals.” (Proverbs 12:18)
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of sliver.” (Proverbs 25:11)
Last week I shared with you a bit about our family adventure at the Great Wolf Lodge Adventure. If you’ll bear with me, there was one more thought from our time together that I’d like to share. For our weekend together, the13 of us, including five children six years old and younger, shared two large rooms. Near the end of our first day in the water park, three-year-old Aoife was chilled. We wrapped her up tightly in a towel and held her close, convinced she was shivering from all of her time in the water. By bedtime, it was clear she was running a temp. By the next morning she was coughing and she had a runny little nose. The germs were loose! It’s through times like this that we lovingly refer to our grandchildren as our little “germ bombs.” They pick up germs and viruses in school and preschool and then they generously share the germs with their siblings, their parents, and yes, sometimes even their grandparents. By the end of the weekend, Aoife’s brother was running a temp, and through the next ten days or so all of the kids were sick.
It is just one of those facts of life. Germs and viruses and even the common cold can be highly contagious. It was in thinking about this latest episode of shared germs that I was reminded germs and viruses aren’t the only thing that quickly spreads from one to another. This morning, as we began our journey in God’s word together, someone wisely noted how contagious our attitudes are, especially negative attitudes. And then there’s gossip which spreads as fast or faster than germs among preschoolers. All it takes is a little “did you hear what she said?” or “did you hear what he did?” to get it going. It’s worse than a virus infecting others, spreading unkind words, half-truths, and “our version of the truth” spreads and leaving hurt feelings, division, destruction, and disunity. Also highly contagious is anxiety and fear. Have you ever noticed when the news mentions a storm you can almost feel the level of tension and anxiety rise. Folks slip into survival mode. We make less than wise decisions. And it’s not just when a storm is brewing, we can become anxious in a situation or a relationship and instead of being aware of and managing our own anxiety, we quickly rope someone else in, inviting them to “take our side.” In doing so, unfortunately we draw sides, divide people, and the gaps between us grow.
Thankfully it’s not only negative sorts of attitudes and words that are contagious. Laughter, joy, kindness, thankfulness, compassion, peace and forgiveness can be also highly contagious. Oh, these sorts of things take a lot more effort to cultivate but these are the sorts of things that are really worth sharing with one another. I’m reminded of a sampler that used to hang in our home. It said simply, “A joy shared is a joy made double.” It’s actually a Swedish proverb, but it sounds a lot like the Proverbs we are soaking in this month that include the words above about the priceless power of good words, wise words, to encourage and heal.
Germs and viruses, the common cold is a part of life, but when it comes to the sorts of things we choose to share, what will you be intentional about sharing this week?