From the Seashore District Office
Photo right: The Rev. Leanne Burris is the pastor of The Bridge, a United Methodist new church start in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The Bridge is a new faith community starting in the Seashore District this year. Pastored by Rev. Leanne Burris, and led by a strong core team of laity, The Bridge's vision is to be the connection between people, God, and community.
The Bridge has worshiped publically twice this spring, with attendance ranging from 100-150 worshipers. But real growth is evidenced by the replication of small groups, which is the primary vehicle we will use to make connections. We multiplied from one to three last month, and we will grow by two more again this months. Our connect groups meet from Long Beach to Ocean Springs, even though we are looking for our public worship space to be centered in D'Iberville. Right now our connect groups focus on learning how to be "real life disciples" as we learn the core values of our new church. Soon we look forward to connect groups that also center on community mission, recovery, and hospitality.
Pictured on the right is a glimpse of our second worship service held at Edgewater Mall (a temporary space) in April. Our core leadership team includes Carrie Rester of Gulfport, MS and Sidney Smith of Gulfport, MS. Rev. Cliff Burris (Diamondhead UMC) was also helping to lead worship. We are so blessed by the pastors and laity of surrounding churches who worship and pray with us; we feel their support as we move through this initial stage of growth. We are so thankful for the individuals who worshiped with us who have no church home--some of whom took communion for the first time that Sunday.
We look forward to walking with the Mississippi Annual Conference as we build a Bridge for the sake of the Kingdom and to the glory of God. We are asking everyone to join us in praying for The Bridge daily at 2:28. Why 2:28? Well, 228 is our area code down here on the beach, and we designate a lot of our happenings using that little prompt. So now it is also our prayer prompt! (#pray228)
If you would like more information about The Bridge, want to know how your church can support The Bridge, or would like to direct a person to our worship services, you can connect with us via Facebook (The Bridge Gulfcoast) or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.