A Note from Pastor Gayle,
No one was more surprised than I when I discerned that God was calling me to ordained ministry in the UMC in 2004. At the time I was a clinical social worker at the San Francisco VA, where I’d been employed since 1994 upon graduation from UC Berkeley. A career and job I loved, an affordable apartment in SF, freedom to travel when and where I wanted.
My home church was Glide Memorial in San Francisco where I’d been attending since 1998 and I found my way back to God. My journey to seek a deeper relationship with God began there, led me to the Academy for Spiritual Formation (check out this amazing program at the Upper Room website) from 2002-2004. And the rest as they say, is history. And I have never been happier.
New Community UMC is my second appointment, having spent 2008-2016 at the Winnemucca UMC in northeastern Nevada, my first appointment out of my seminary, Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley CA.
Recently I was asked what I’d like to bring to my "New Community." I want to be the bearer of the Good News, that is, the unconditional love of God in all the myriad ways possible. And honestly, this is the foundation I spring from: God’s love is unconditional. I wish to bring manifestations of that unconditional love to this place.
One of the ways we do this is through hospitality in fellowship, the Greek word is ‘koinonia.’ When we do fellowship between human beings, we are answering God’s call’ to bear witness to the fellowship between God and humanity (Karl Barth). I’m all about ‘barrier-breaking hospitality!’
We don’t need to be building walls. We need to be a community that builds bridges, that reaches out to Others of all nations, together; that refuses the divisions of race, class, gender and sexual orientation as legitimate; that works together to unlearn ‘isms.’ Hospitality and fellowship heal brokenness, transform hatred, break down barriers and overcome fear.
There’s a place at the table for everyone. That’s the table Jesus set. One where everyone is welcome to the love of God.
This is my hope and prayer for our community.
We are a reconciling congregation. We invite all to join us in celebrating the Love that Jesus Christ and so many since, have shared with us to bring about a change in the World that we live in.
Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as EVER...you can.