Midweek Message: “A Special Update and Thank You”

Midweek Message: “A Special Update and Thank You”

These have been unsettling days for our country and our world, and we are likely still months, rather than weeks, from resuming on-campus ministries, which I will discuss more in a moment. But God continues to do amazing things through this church, as many of you continue to be part of its story through your prayers, your efforts, and your financial support.

  • Our livestream worship services minister to over 1,200 real-time worshippers every week, and this most recent Easter, we had nearly 3,500 joining us in celebrating the resurrection.
  • Our Missions and Outreach ministry continues to serve our homeless guests through Open Arms every week, and has contributed time and support to our partner school at Dunbar Elementary.
  • Ministries to children, youth, and adults continue to engage people of all ages online, with creativity and excellence. We have 45 small groups that meet as part of our Bible Project 2020, and our Bible Project podcast now has over 2,700 active listeners and 50,000 unique downloads of our episodes across the country.
  • Our clergy team provides daily Facebook Live devotions and midday meditations, and our congregational care team continues to check on those who are homebound and isolated.
  • Our Little Dresses sewing ministry has now made over 2,000 masks and distributed them grateful health care workers in our area.
  • Our Portico Café now sells its delicious coffee products online, with free local delivery, and has reopened for takeout and outdoor dining.
  • And as always, you have been a part of it through your financial support. Because of your faithful generosity, and our staff’s trimming of expenses not currently needed for on-campus programming, we continue to be in stable and steady financial shape, under the weekly oversight of key lay leaders in this church.

God promises to provide us with just enough of what we need. And that faithfulness will continue to lead us, even into a future in which we are not yet certain when we can return to on-campus programming.

Our key lay and staff leaders are in regular conversation with county public health officials, denominational leaders, and professional consultants in discerning a timeline for returning. Even as retail and recreational establishments begin to reopen, our foremost concern with your safety and your comfort – and considering the size of our church – means that we are likely still months, rather than weeks, from resuming on-campus ministries.

Church leaders have now established protocols for monitoring health conditions in our community, deciding when and how to return, and the best practices to put in place when we do. It is likely that returning to campus will not happen all at once, or exactly as it was before. But if there is anything that we have learned about God these last few months, it is that God is making all things new, and our future is as bright as ever.

And I think it’s even more exciting, as we claim the promise of Isaiah 43:19: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!” Because of your prayers, your faithfulness, and your support, you continue to be part of the new thing God is doing. Thank you for all that you continue to do to be the church for such a time as this.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United  Methodist

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hyde Park Trivia Night June 17

Hyde Park Trivia Night June 17

Do you miss seeing others at Hyde Park United Methodist during this time of social distancing?  We’ve got an exciting opportunity to meet and laugh with others in a fun night of Zoom trivia 6:30 p.m. Wednesday June 17.
 
 
At Hyde Park Trivia Night, we’ll get a chance to connect and have fun together as a congregation. The event will be held via Zoom, a free video-conferencing platform. Attendees will be broken up into teams which will work together to answer general knowledge, pop culture and Bible trivia questions. All ages are welcome at this family-friendly event.
 
You do not have to be a member or even attend Hyde Park United Methodist to join. This is a great opportunity to invite someone to connect with us for the first time.
 
To RSVP and request the Zoom meeting information, contact Nicki Taylor. The deadline is June 10.
Midweek Message: “That’s Enough!”

Midweek Message: “That’s Enough!”

Dear Hyde Park Family,

“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

This verse was part of last Monday’s Bible Project 2020 readings, and is a favorite for many people. I have used it to quiet my spirit when I feel unsettled and to slow down my pace when I am frenzied. There is something about the phrase “be still” that suggests calm serenity, and it has been a useful verse for me throughout this pandemic.

But I recently came across a different way of understanding this psalm, which unlocks a deeper level of meaning and an even more powerful application.

The New Revised Standard Version and New International Versions translate the verse in the familiar way, based largely on the old King James Version. But the Jewish Study Bible, known as the Tanakh Translation, is based on the original Hebrew and translates the scripture with much stronger language: “Desist! Realize that I am God!” Tom Long, in his book The Witness of Preaching, say the tone here is “like a command to stop doing something destructive and prideful.”

And then if you look at the Common English Bible, a translation commissioned by the publishing house of the United Methodist Church, this verse is translated from the Hebrew with even more force:

“That’s enough! Now know that I am God!”

Yes, there may be times during this pandemic when you need the soothing, comforting translation of Psalm 46:10. But sometimes, you need the strong and forceful version, with the kind of tone that Jesus must have used when he silenced the roar of the storm, or ordered the demons to leave, or rebuked the moneychangers.

What is in your life right now to which God can help you say, “That’s enough! Now know who is God!”?

  • To the feelings of loss and despair that come in waves across your bow, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
  • To the anger that you feel at the false choice we have created, between our nation’s economy and the health of its people, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
  • To the injustice of a society in which the disease impacts a disproportionate number of low-income persons, as well as persons of color, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
  • To the systemic racism that continues to rear its ugly head, most recently in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
  • To the strain in your relationships that have worsened under the anxiety of social distancing and sheltering at home, God can help you say, “That’s enough!”
  • And to the sense that you are all alone to face these feelings all by yourself, God says to you, directly and emphatically, “That’s enough!”

“Now know that I am God!”

GRIEF SHARE TONIGHT
If you would like a safe space to process these feelings, under the tender companionship of our congregational care ministry, then I invite you to a new weekly online gathering starting tonight at 6:30 p.m. The Grief Share Support Group is facilitated by Hyde Park members Gary and Viveca Uremovich. Please complete this registration form to receive Zoom Meeting credentials. For more information, please contact Gary, Viveca or Pastor Sally.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

PORTICO CAFÉ REOPENS FOR TAKEOUT AND OUTDOOR DINING
Beginning Monday, May 18, The Portico Café will be open for takeout and outdoor dining. Visit the website for more information, including its updated menu of food and beverage items. Support the Portico’s efforts to foster conversation, connection, and community change.

Vacation Bible School Update

Vacation Bible School Update

After much prayerful consideration and discussion, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel Rocky Railway Vacation Bible School at Hyde Park United Methodist this summer.

The safety and health of our kids, families, staff and volunteers continues to be our top priority and we did not feel we could safely host VBS this summer given the number. More Info

Thank you to all of you who were already “on board” with us through camper and volunteer registrations. To brighten the mood during this period, you can order the Rocky Railway soundtrack.

While our hearts are saddened because VBS is one of our favorite weeks of the entire year, we are also at peace that God is with us and guiding us. We miss all of you and your smiling faces! Stay safe and remember … Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through!

News from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

News from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

Pat and Melenda Edmiston are missionaries with Wycliffe – Partners in Bible Translation, nondenominational mission organization dedicated to translating the Scriptures and teaching people to read and write in their own language. Pat and Melenda serve in the country of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Here’s an excerpt from their latest newsletter:

Dear Friends at Hyde Park,

We want to thank you for your $875 gift in March. Papua New Guinea is still closed to international travel. Although it has had very few cases of Covid-19, we continue to monitor when it will open its borders again so that Pat can plan his next trip to New Ireland. The Feni and Notsi Madak groups have several books of the New Testament ready to have Pat check and sign off on. Thank you for all your prayers and contributions.

In His Love,
Pat & Mel

Midweek Message: 7 Reminders for Today

Midweek Message: 7 Reminders for Today

Dear Hyde Park Family,

As a follow up to my Midweek Message a few weeks ago in which I offered ten helpful Bible verses for during this pandemic, I offer you these seven beautiful quotes from some of Christian history’s most beloved writers. May they speak to you as we continue to live into these unsettling days.

1. TRUST GOD, EVEN WHEN IT’S HARD

Trust in the dark, trust in the light, trust at night and trust in the morning, and you will find that the faith which may begin by mighty effort, will end sooner or later by becoming the easy and natural habit of the soul. – Hannah Whitall Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life

2. DISCOVER YOUR TRUE WORTH

In solitude we can listen to the voice of him who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could give love to anyone. It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. – Henri J. Nouwen, Out of Solitude

3. BE GRATEFUL TODAY

To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a gift of grace. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. – Thomas Merton, Thoughts on Solitude

4. EMBRACE THE SILENT MOMENTS

For as long as I can remember, I have not feared silence but welcomed it as a source of spiritual deepening. Like other people living in the world, I’ve grown accustomed to the noise in my place of work, to the raucous sounds of the city, to the inner disquiet stirred up by busy thoughts and earnest projects. Silence can be an escape from the functional responsibilities and physical demands of listening and conversing with colleagues, friends, and family members. But it can also be an opening to God. – Susan Annette Muto, Pathways of Spiritual Living

5. FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS

Finally, I want to teach you the way of peace and true liberty. There are four things you must do. First, strive to do another’s will rather than your own. Second, choose always to have less than more. Third, seek the lower places in life, dying to the need to be recognized and important. Fourth, always and in everything desire that the will of God may be completely fulfilled in you. The person who tries this will be treading the frontiers of peace and rest. – Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

6. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Everlasting Father, who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow. He will either shield you from suffering, or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations. – St. Francis de Sales, Prayer for Hope

7. REMEMBER: GOD IS ENOUGH

Let nothing worry you;
Nothing dismay you;
Everything passes;
God does not change.
If you have patience
You can do anything.
Those who have God
Want for nothing;
God alone is enough.
– St. Teresa of Avila, Nada Te Terbe

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

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