Youth Attend Confirmation Retreat

Youth Attend Confirmation Retreat

Members of this year’s Confirmation Class attended a conference-wide retreat at Warren Willis Camp Feb. 15-17. In addition to time spent studying their course material, confirmands attended services led by a praise band from FSU’s Wesley Foundation. They also worked through some team-building exercises and spent some free time in the ever-popular gaga ball pits.

Help Dunbar Elementary Teachers

Dunbar Elementary Magnet school is a Title 1 elementary school roughly two miles from our Hyde Park campus. As part of an initiative of the Florida Conference, Hyde Park United Methodist has partnered with Dunbar to provide support to the students and staff at the school.

The following grades are requesting classroom help:

  • Ms. Alexander and Ms. Hungerford – Kindergarten
  • Ms. Williams- 2nd Grade
  • Ms. James and Ms. Burke – 4th Grade

If you would like more information or are interested in helping out, please contact Kathy Avant, by email or phone, 813.928.3333 or Vicki Walker, by email or phone, 813.253.5388 ext. 223.

If you haven’t already:
1. Please take a moment to review and complete this form to let us know more about your interests and availability:

2. Complete your background screening for the Hillsborough County school system. This can be completed online and is required for only the current school year. Complete the Form

3. Complete the Hyde Park United Methodist Background Check Info Form.

Help With Annual Homeless Point-In-Time Count

The annual Homeless Point-In-Time Count in Hillsborough County will take place on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Hyde Park United Methodist serves as the downtown deployment site for the count.

The Count is coordinated by the Tampa/Hillsborough County Continuum of Care (CoC), led by the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative in conjunction with community partners. The data, collected through a short survey and observation during the Homeless Count, provides a Point-In-Time (PIT) ‘snapshot’ as to what the homeless population in our community looks like during a single, 24-hour period. The purpose of the count is to help community planners better understand, through demographic information, who is homeless, why, and for how long.

Want to help? Volunteer here.

Pastoral Statement Concerning the Rev. Kim Uchimura

I would like to take a moment to share an important pastoral word with you. As you may know, one of the hallmarks of the United Methodist Church is that our clergy are part of an itinerant system, which means that we are subject to pastoral moves that enable us to serve the communities and churches where we are most needed.

Yesterday, I received word that Bishop Carter, District Superintendent Candace Lewis and the Cabinet have reappointed the Rev. Kim Uchimura to serve Temple Terrace United Methodist starting today as the interim pastor. She is at that church this morning to be introduced to them, drawing to a close her nearly three years of ministry as a pastor in this church. We give thanks for what she has contributed to make God’s love real among us.

I would assure you that such sudden pastoral moves are highly unusual in our system. But I think it is a testament to Kim’s pastoral care gifts that make her well suited for that congregation as they go through a significant transition.

I’ve been assured that we will have a Sunday in the very near future when we will have Kim back among us to celebrate her and thank her for her ministry here. In the meantime, we pray God’s blessing upon her and the congregation she will now serve.

The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
Feb. 17, 2019

Glimpses of Grace

Glimpses of Grace

Have you ever experienced being burnt out? Felt as though you are stuck in a perpetual loop of tension and pressure? No matter what age, a person is burdened by being overworked. As a high school senior, I have a healthy understanding of such a situation. I was recently working on multiple essays for school, and the exhaustion of writing one piece after another made me feel as though I was unable to write anything of value or craft an original thought. I’m sure that the same predicament has come up in everyone’s life before, and I want to let you know that you are not alone. Feeling distressed or overworked is natural; however, it is important that as Christians to remind ourselves that not only do we have the support everyone in our church community, we also have the support of a loving and caring God, and through that continual support we can overcome any feelings of being “burnt out.”

Grace deVega

Midweek Message: A Pastoral Word for the General Conference

Midweek Message: A Pastoral Word for the General Conference

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day when we celebrate human love, I invite you to take some time to remember with prayerful love our United Methodist Church, as it prepares for an important gathering in about ten days.

From Feb. 23-26, 862 delegates from throughout the global denomination will be working to find unity in the nearly fifty-year old debate over same-sex weddings and the ordination of LGBTQ persons.

You might choose to read the full statement I have written to orient you to the debate and offer my theological reflections on how God can help us through the stalemate this denomination finds itself in. It also contains links to many resources, including those by our own Bishop Carter, for you to learn about what is at stake. Hyde Park’s Rev. Vicki Walker will be among the Florida delegation as an alternate delegate, and we pray for all our delegations and presiding bishops as they do this tense but holy work.

This all coincides with this Sunday’s worship services, where we will spend time on the third area of focus of our Vision Plan: Unite. We will hear Paul’s challenge to the Ephesian church to “preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,” and seek ways to model for a divided world how we might be at peace with one another, while seeking justice for the oppressed and preserving our traditions.

I invite you to pray for the upcoming General Conference over the next several days, perhaps using this prayer as your guide. Again, a fuller theological reflection of the basis for the prayer is found in the link above:


Holy Triune God, in whom there is no distinction or division,

We come to you in a time of great debate and discernment in our denomination, acknowledging our brokenness and longing for your Spirit. We have constructed systems of winners and losers, with the result of dehumanizing one another.

Free us from such constricted thinking, and open us up to the mystery of the Trinity, which models a way forward past our limitations. Help us find a way to seek justice and equality for gay and lesbian persons, to affirm our covenantal bonds with one another and to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 We pray for the work of the special General Conference. Grant wisdom to our delegates in balancing behavior, belief and belonging. May the work of justice be done with kindness and motivated out of humility, reminding us that we all need one another for the work of the kingdom.

 Empower them to be at peace with one another as they listen, speak and discern. Bless the bishops as they preside over the proceedings. Soften those who are cynical, empower the fearful and enable the General Conference to seek and claim the exciting future you desire of the United Methodist Church.

 Bless our congregation, reminding us of the holy work to which you have called us, to Make Your Love Real by loving you and loving all people. Rekindle in us a deeper commitment to Christ and a firmer grounding in the scriptures, that we might be open to all persons and perspectives, no matter what happens in St. Louis.

 We entrust our future into your hands, O great God, Three-in-One. We choose the way of justice, kindness and humility. We choose not to fear. We choose power, love and sound minds. And we choose right beliefs, loving practices, and holy unity throughout your church.

 In the name of Jesus Christ,


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

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