Keep Us Close During COVID-19

A Message to our Members – Keeping Us Close During COVID19

Dear members,

We find ourselves in the middle of a very difficult and challenging chapter of our lives, but we have not forgotten the value of togetherness and are branching out into new, innovative ways for everyone to stay connected virtually during this time. We encourage all of our members to help close the gap by staying in tune with us on our digital channels:

Our website: hydeparkumc.org/live
Our Facebook page: facebook.com/hydeparkumc
Our Instagram page: instagram.com/hydeparkumc

Due to health and safety concerns as coronavirus continues to develop daily, we are suspending our gatherings, including worship, for the time being. We will be hosting services online only. We want to impart the message that our faith, our love, our spirituality, and our connection to each other and God is not confined to a building or a place – it’s within us all. Now has never been a better time to reflect and go deeper in our connection with God during this difficult time.

You can join in our virtual prayer at hydeparkumc.org/live, or on our Facebook page. Services online will take place on Sunday mornings at 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Please note that all groups, gatherings, events and classes are suspended until further notice but we encourage you to offer creative solutions for fellowship if you can. We are doing everything we can to be responsible and partake in precautionary measures to help flatten the curve and limit the transmission and exposure of the coronavirus.

“Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.”
Read Psalm 91

Are you sick or in quarantine? We want to make sure that our community remains connected, even when illness or quarantine requires physical separation. Please complete this form so we are aware of your circumstances.

Help Us Build A Virtual Wall

Here’s how: Take a picture of yourself and your loved ones over the next few days, from wherever you are, and post it on social media with these two hashtags: #HydeParkUMC and #FlattenTheCurve. Post it on whatever channels you use: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. This will create a virtual wall board of images of each of us, so that we can pray for each other by face and name. It will also serve as a testament to the world that we are doing our part to stem this disease. And we may even use these photos somehow in worship! So post those photos, starting right now!

News from Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (BMTS), our mission partner, is the largest United Methodist seminary in Europe, and serves students from eight countries who study in three languages: Estonian, Russian and English. Their newsletter is titled PrayerChain and the latest edition was published in February and March, 2020. It begins with a message from Külli Tõniste, Rector. Here’s an excerpt:

FOCUS

Well, March 10, 2020 was an interesting day. On that morning I purchased an airline ticket to Friends of Estonia in Nashville. I was happy that I got an excellent price. But in the same afternoon we saw the global economic markets crash. Next we heard that the entire country of Italy was locked up and now US-European travel has been cut. So I have no idea if I have an occasion to use that ticket. I certainly hope and pray that we all recover quickly from the plague and its many consequences.

Read the newsletter.

Open Arms – Supporting Those in Need

Open Arms – Supporting Those in Need

Effective March 22 and continuing until further notice, our Open Arms Ministry is making significant changes in response to the COVID-19 Epidemic. We will be serving our guests in the main parking lot behind the Harnish Activities Center. Stations will be set up to distribute a bagged lunch (provided by Metropolitan Ministries,) a bottle of water and their mail. Once each guests receives these items, they are encouraged to move on. In response to the guidance for social distancing, we cannot allow guuets to form groups or “hang out.” Whether you participate on our Open Arms team or not, you can support our guests and volunteers in prayer wherever you may be.

Resources:

MERGE Isn’t Going Away!

MERGE Isn’t Going Away!

Hi everyone! We wanted to let you know that Merge isn’t going away, we’re just going somewhere else – the virtual world! Pretty exciting, huh?! So, we wanted to fill you all in on how Merge will look in the coming weeks.
Starting Wednesday, March 18:
  • Confirmation Videos! If you’re a part of confirmation this year, your remaining lessons will be in video format with a quiz to send back to us!
Starting Sunday, March 22:
  • Bible Project Devotions posted to our stories daily and saved in our highlights so that you can follow along with the congregation!
  • 1 p.m. Parent Ministry Zoom call. We want to know what life looks like for you right now, and have a space where parents can connect with each other. If you’d like to be added to this, click here.
  • 2 p.m. Confirmation Instagram Live! If you have any questions about the lesson, this is your chance to ask and talk about what you learned! @mergehpumc
  • 4 p.m. Merge Instagram Live! We want to connect with you all and hear how you’re doing in this crazy time! @mergehpumc
Starting: Wednesday, March 25:
  • Bible Study Videos! A video of our bible study, The Story, will be put on our social media and emailed to our regular bible study group!
Challenges:
  • Send us your own “minute-to-win-it” challenges and Tik Toks for us to share on social media and a chance to win gift cards!
  • Email them to us here!
Special Midweek Message

Special Midweek Message

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Our church is joining the global efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus, protect those most vulnerable to disease, and mitigate undue stress on our medical systems. We have decided to suspend all on-campus programming, including worship and all other activities, until further notice.

Starting Wednesday, the Hyde Park campus will be closed to the public, and our staff will be working remotely. Programs and events at The Portico Campus are also suspended, but The Portico Café remains open for now. For the latest real-time updates and information, visit our website, or email your questions to info@hydeparkumc.org.

As I shared in my sermon last Sunday, this time of uncertainty provides an opportunity for us to both remember and demonstrate what makes Hyde Park United Methodist such a special church. It is not about bricks and mortar, or a full slate of onsite programming or outward appearances alone. Instead, it is your heart and mine, filled with a love for God and others, that serves as a beacon of hope for the world.

In other words, you and I can still demonstrate what is best about being the church, even while we are temporarily apart. Using the seven spiritual practices of our Discipleship Pathway, here are practical ways for you to grow deeper in your faith and wider in your sharing of God’s love:

Worship:

  • Join us online on our website or Facebook Live for live streamed services every Sunday at 9:30 and 11 a.m.
  • Starting Thursday, the clergy team will take turns offering live a brief time of prayer, scripture reading, and reflection every morning, Monday through Friday, on Facebook Live.

Small Groups:

  • We encourage your small group to stay connected and studying together, especially if you are part of the Bible Project. We encourage you to meet via email, Facebook or Zoom conference call.
  • Our Bible Project Facebook page can be a way for you to stay current on the readings and exchange ideas with one another.

Service:

  • Pay attention to the needs of people around you, especially those who are most vulnerable.
  • Be extra kind and patient with others, since they may be just as jittery as you.

Give Generously:

  • Keeping up with your financial contributions will be immensely helpful to the church during these unsteady times. You can give securely through our website.
  • Streamline your giving by setting up automatic electronic funds transfer, removing the need to write a check each week. Sign up with this form.

Read Scripture:

  • It is serendipitous that we are doing The Bible Project 2020 this year, as it gives us a way to be connected to each other through the practice of reading the Scripture every day.
  • Podcasts will continue to be uploaded every Monday morning, and the daily devotional and other resources can be found at bibleproject2020.com.

Invitation:

  • Does someone you know need a word of encouragement or hope? Share with them links to our worship service last Sunday, and invite them to join us online (hydeparkumc.org/live.)

Prayer:

  • Let us know what prayer concerns and pastoral needs you may have. Regulations from various hospitals may prohibit us from being able to visit you in the hospital, but we can pray for you and stay in contact with your family for updates. Share your prayer concerns through our website form.
    Finally, join us in reading and praying the words of Psalm 91 every day for the next 91 days.

Last week, Rev. Kathy Conner invited us and other area churches to join them in this effort. She and other clergy serving in Africa in 2014 during the deadly Ebola outbreak began reading Psalm 91 for 91 days. In the week of the 91st day, the New York Times reported that the Ebola virus was “finished” in the epicenter of Liberia, much to the amazement of health officials.

Now, more than ever, it is good to be the church.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

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

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