top of page

As if the pandemic wasn't enough... the horrific events in Afghanistan, the devastating storms, fires, water shortages... and we have our own concerns for family and friends who are needing healing of body, mind, and spirit.

Are we doing enough? Are we trying to do too much? Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do. But one thing I do know - when we are together my burden is lighter. When I know others are praying for me my spirit is encouraged.

And here we are, September 11th... a reminder of the effects of evil, a reminder of fear and uncertainty, a reminder of frailty... But it is also a reminder of resilience, a reminder of strength, a reminder of how powerful and beautiful it is when neighbor helps neighbor.

During our evacuation time I found a torn butterfly wing. As I spent a few moments in silence and prayer I thought of all the times I have felt torn and vulnerable. This was my reflection, "Life is not always kind. Life is not always fair. When your world seems torn apart do your best to leave pieces of beauty and hope."

St. Paul wasn't laying a guilt trip on anyone when he reminded the congregation not to stop gathering together - there is LIFE and HOPE and JOY when we gather together! So join us this Sunday at 10AM as we reflect, pray, praise, and rejuvenate our spirits.

44 views0 comments

Yesterday we welcomed Michelle and Yeniffer as members of GUMC and baptized their son! They were introduced to our church through our Preschool (GUMP) and we are so grateful that they are now a part of our family! Let us never underestimate the gift of hospitality! To feel welcomed in the midst of so much uncertainty and division speaks volumes of how the people called Gretna UMC are focused on sharing the love of Jesus!

How appropriate that this Sunday we will begin our new Sermon Series from the book of James, "Be Doers of the Word." Even in the midst of a pandemic and so much devastation and unrest, our leadership is moving us forward in opportunities to deepen relationships, while making a difference in the lives around us.

Beginning September 5th a Pastor’s Class - A Disciple’s Path - will be offered during the Impact Hour (9:00-9:45) for those interested in learning about membership and Methodism. To sign up or receive more information, please let us know. And don't forget - each Sunday - we have Children, Youth & Young Adults, and two more adult classes that are also offered during the Impact Hour!

A Disciple's Path will also be offered online each Wednesday evening - beginning September 8th from 6:00-7:00. Please let me know if you are interested!


Pastor Jo

5 views0 comments

When we moved to Fort Walton Beach we quickly found a church to call “home.” The only negative about the church was that the pastor was a Crimson Tide fan.

We attended Sunday school and worship, and I joined the choir. But, after several months the grief I was carrying filled my bones with weariness. I dropped out of choir, walked my son to his Sunday school class, and I sat in my car until time for worship.

After several weeks the choir director "gently" confronted my lack of commitment. He was taken back when my explanation turned into sobs. I tried my best to describe my spiritual exhaustion but I quickly realized an explanation wasn't necessary. He simply responded, "I'm so sorry. I had no idea."

I’ll never forget the tension of the moment - judgment and grace, confession and forgiveness. He didn't know - because instead of sharing my grief I simply withdrew. Who knew how refreshing a box of Kleenex and a simply prayer could be!

My grief still lingered but I knew I had a church family to walk with me. And, I was reminded that Jesus was with me every step of the way.

This past Sunday we shared our disappointment in King Solomon. So much for the wisdom of Solomon!

And then again, I wonder what we might learn if we had the opportunity to hear his perspective? Let us never forget the power of a listening heart… and a box of Kleenex… and a prayer.

9 views0 comments
bottom of page