Midweek Message: Making Their Story Our Own

Midweek Message: Making Their Story Our Own

Aug. 15, 2019

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Last Sunday, we started a new worship series titled “Hall of Faith,” based on the Bible’s “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. In that sermon,  I reminisced about my visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in 1996, to visit the statue of long-time Tampa Bay Buccaneer Lee Roy Selmon, who was inducted the year before.

His induction speech included all the usual elements. He thanked his teammates, he praised his coaches. But he also did something unusual. He made a lengthy biblical reference to two of his personal biblical heroes, Abraham and Sarah. Here’s what he said:

The God that I believe in and my family believes in works in impossible types of situations. And it reminds me of a story in the Bible about Abraham and Sarah. When God promised them a child and it seemed like that would not occur because of the age of both Abraham and Sarah. But even in that difficult, unlikely situation, they were granted a child. I look at this situation and I feel much like Abraham and Sarah probably felt. They had a son named Isaac and Isaac stands for laughter and joy. I’m sure the community that knew them joined in their joy. I’m happy to see my family here. My mom and brothers and sisters and fans and friends from all over the state of Oklahoma and Tampa Bay here to join me in this very joyful moment. But I realize this is not something that I have done, but God has done for me. He has put a lot of angels in my pathway, in life’s path that has made these types of things happen. – from Lee Roy Selmon’s Hall of Fame page.

Amazing. Right in the middle of his hall of fame speech, with millions of people watching, Lee Roy Selmon not only told the whole story of Abraham and Sarah, he found his story in theirs, and made their story his own.

That’s at the heart of our new worship series. By following the examples of these remarkable men and women in the Bible, we can have a faith that helps us endure through the tough times, keeps our eyes fixed on Jesus, and recognizes all that God has done for us.

So join us this Sunday as we dive deeper into the lives of Abraham and Sarah, and make their story our own.


It is with gratitude and sadness that we share the news that our Director of Communications John Barolo has accepted a position with Hillsborough County Public Schools as the Assist. Dept. Manager for Marketing. This Sunday, Aug. 18 will be his last, and his last day in the office will be Thursday, Aug. 22.

Fifteen years ago, this congregation was blessed with John and Nicole’s arrival. They started attending conneXion, our Friday night worship service that would become a precursor to our 11Magnolia service today, and they quickly became an integral part of this congregation.

John was first hired to be part of our administrative team, then became the Director of Adult Education, then was a member of our Communications team, and ultimately served as our Director of Communications since November, 2016. This diversity of roles and responsibilities has afforded him a broad exposure to many ministries of this church, each of which have been shaped by his insightful guidance. Many in the congregation have benefited greatly from John’s friendship, counsel and commitment to the church’s mission.

John, Nicole, and their children will be missed, and we are grateful for the extraordinary impact he has made among us. The Staff-Parish Relations Committee will oversee a process to ensure that all of John’s responsibilities are covered over the near and long term. Join us this Sunday as we thank John for all he has meant to this church.

Thank you, John!

Grace and Peace,


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

News from The Society of St Andrew, Gleaning Network

Click here for the newsletter.

In this issue:

Finding Hope & Opportunity in a Tough Season (pg. 1) tells the journey of a farmer discovering a surplus to supporting a community

If you have Food to Eat, Thank a Farmer (pg. 2) shares the experience of farmers and explores why they donate their food

What is a Yam Jam? (pg. 3) tells the growth a gleaning event into a seasonal celebration, thanks to you

Recent Donations (pg. 2) made in honor of, and in memory of, some wonderful and inspiring people.

Ways to Support the Mission (pg. 4) includes free spiritual resources, fundraisers, and more

News from Hillsborough House of Hope

Working with our police and sheriff departments is a big part of our values at HHH. Captain Flynn stopped by recently to visit with our residents. Thanks to Captain Flynn and the City of Tampa Police department, the ladies recently received movie cards and were able to get out of the summer heat and see a movie! To keep reading, click here.

News from Shining The Light Ministries

God helps us to set our eyes on JESUS knowing Christ is the only one that allows us to grow spiritually through his glory. In this cycle many people were motivated to put the best effort to contribute to their own well-being. The orchards have been reviewed by Martin Machado agronomist and in each garden receives what they need to have healthy crops All communities have provided the supply of water to plants due to a low rainy season. We are praying for a wet ending of the rainy season until the end of October. Many families are eager to join in the next crop cycle to work hard and get benefits in the garden project. . Empower community is a community that we just started working with, and they have  been able to harvest corn successfully. Dr. Medina and the Group of teenagers are still growing bananas, tomato and chile. To keep reading, click here.

News From Love INC

Love Story – Meet Ben

At age 48, Ben had never had a driver license or held a job and lived with his parents who had both recently passed away. Ben was referred to Love INC by his father’s employer. He was not able to pay rent and was seeking shelter with friends, at Homeless Helping Homeless and the Salvation Army.  Ben lacked a support system but still managed to find employment at Armature Works and is enrolled in the Metropolitan Ministries culinary program to receive a certification to become a chef. Along with his new employment, Ben is now housed and a thriving participant of Portico Workforce Housing Solutions. Through Love INC, Ben has been connected to caring Resource Navigators who have wrapped their arms around him, inviting him to church, encouraging and mentoring him. Love INC has connected Ben to grief counseling, housing, a bike referral, clothing, and spiritual support all of which he is very grateful for!

Join us August 21 from 12:00-1:00 at The Portico Cafe for this monthly informational lunch to learn more about Love INC’s mission and work in Tampa.

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve:

October: Reading ROCKS! Book and Craft Fair in Sulphur Springs
Data Entry Volunteer at The Help Center
Prayer Coordinator
Social Media Volunteer

For more information on any of these volunteer opportunities, please contact Lindsey at lhale@loveinctampa.org.

Children and Youth on the Move!

Sunday, Aug. 18 is the beginning of our new school year for students in our Children’s Ministries and Merge Youth Ministries.

Children’s Ministries will hold “Move Up Sunday,” the official start of the new programming year. It’s also when kids move up to their new small groups in Sunday Morning/Night Live to match with their grade in school. 9:30 and 11 a.m. in the Wesley Center and 5;30 p.m. at The Portico.

Our Merge Youth Ministries is also kicking of their new school year on that day with “Back to School Night” at 5:30 p.m. in the Harnish Activities Center. Parents and students will enjoy a meal together, sharing fellowship and fun! Emily and Mac will review plans for the coming year while highlighting major events. Youth will meet their new small group leaders and all will have the chance to watch challenge videos featuring youth staff, small group leaders and Pastor Magrey!

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