Pastor’s Message – September 4, 2019

Healthy Connections

In March of 2017, the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study on the relationship between social media use and depression. Not surprisingly, there were some connections between the two. Social media is supposed to be an outlet for connection, but sometimes we may feel more isolated with excessive social media use.

I love this quotation from Holly Shakya, a professor at the University of California in San Diego, from a National Public Radio interview about these studies:
Where we want to be cautious … is when the sound of a voice or a cup of coffee with a friend is replaced with ‘likes’ on a post.

A few years ago, I realized that I had allowed Facebook and its “likes” to replace face-to-face time with church members, so I made a decision to use that social media outlet only to keep up with friends and family who live far away. When we set up our church’s Facebook page, the goal was not to replace face-to-face interaction but to use the site as an invitation for that interaction. If there’s one place that should fight against our society’s increasing loneliness and isolation, it’s the Church. Here at First UMC of West Point, we can be such a place of healthy connections through the building of relationships.

Our church’s website, Facebook page, and Instagram account, contain snip-its of past events and previews of future events. I would encourage you to bookmark and follow all of these not as a substitute for church but a complement. While you’re at it, bookmark our district’s website for opportunities in the larger Methodist community. Let’s connect healthily and wholly with one another for God’s glory!

Facebook: First UMC of West Point, MS
Instagram: @fumcwestpoint
Starkville District website:

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, September 8, 2019
Jeremiah 18:1-11
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33

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