|March 8, 2018
Dear Hyde Park Family,
We are now past the midpoint of our Lenten journey, and our series this Sunday explores what is perhaps the most profound and most difficult uncertainty for us to embrace: the uncertainty of our own mortality. It is a theme that captures the essence of this season of introspection.
Dear friends and family,
A season of change is about to begin…..
We are getting ready to finish up the Kentucky phase of our furlough time. It has been a joy to be near Dana and Diego, as well as many friends and supporters. You all have provided us special moments of “being with” those we love. The next step will be to complete our support raising and shift back into an SIL assignment mode as soon as our funding is met.
Speaking of assignment, we have news on that front as well. While on furlough, Dave has been offered a new role within SIL. This role is to take over the reins of the General Editor of the Ethnologue. If any of you are familiar with this service, it is a unique database of all the world’s languages. It is the largest database of its kind and has been maintained by SIL since 1951.
(Check out this link to learn more about the Ethnologue: www.ethnologue.com)
The Ethnologue provides detailed information on every language in the world, including their dialects, population, regions where they are spoken, and much more. This service is indispensable not just for SIL, but also for any missions agencies, non-profits, governments or universities wanting to work with minority peoples anywhere around the globe. It is an honor to be tapped for this role, and Dave realizes there will be a big learning curve ahead. This new role will of course bring some big changes to the direction our personal ministry will take in the future. The administrative team of the Ethnologue is based in the US, so this role will require us to be stateside for at least 1 or 2 years until Dave has become well established in this new position. This change is bittersweet, as it means that Dave will be giving up his teaching role at Payap, and Julie her teaching position at Grace International School in Chiang Mai. These roles provided us with some of the most fulfilling years of our lives. We will greatly miss both our colleagues and students there.
We go to Dallas for March and April for Dave to receive training in his new position. Before April is over, Julie will be buzzing off to Thailand for one last stint as a substitute high school teacher at Grace, filling in for a teacher who will not be able to finish the semester. Dave will then meet Julie in Chiang Mai in May, when he has a commitment to be present during the thesis defense of one of his Payap linguistics students. Then he’s off to Penang, Malaysia, to present a paper on language shift and identity shift and how that connection affects the future of minority languages around the world. This is a crucial topic for Bible translators to be aware of, as identity factors can also affect whether a Bible translation will be used or not.
We’ll arrive back in Kentucky in June which will become the base for this next phase of our lives. As soon as our support is in place, Dave will then begin his Ethnologue position in earnest. We also need prayer for Julie, who is in the process of determining the best place for her to serve once we settle back into life in the US.
As we noted at the outset of this email, this is going to be a season of significant change for us.
We covet your prayers and friendship through the journey.
Love to each one,
Dave and Julie
Homecoming for UMC Missionary
In celebration of her retirement, Connie DiLeo shared this message about her time as a UMC missionary: “The General Board of Global Ministries requires that their missionaries retire at the age of 70. Since I will turn 70 in June, I will be retired from the GBGM as of June 30th. It seems impossible that 17 years have passed since I left my home church Aldersgate UMC, Seminole, Florida, to follow God’s call to minister to the needs of children and youth in the Dominican Republic. I am sure there has been a time warp somewhere down the line as I still find it hard to believe that so many years have gone by.
I am most grateful to all the amazing churches that adopted me as one of their missionaries and have so faithfully supported me over all this time! Some have come and gone, but most have been with me the entire time. How blessed I am to have met so many new friends from Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and my home state of Florida.
I am so proud to have represented the United Methodist Church in its worldwide ministry. I am very thankful for the work of Community Partners, Inc. (COPA) which does amazing work with the schools in Bombita and La Hoya. I also count it a great privilege to have been used by God to be involved in a new church start in La Hoya. How I love this precious congregation, mostly made up of young adults who have a passion to reach the youth of their village. They will be in my prayers forever.
Please pray with me that the Iglésia Evangélica Dominicana will find the right person to send to this family of believers so they may continue to grow in their faith and in their ministries.”
Click here for more news.
The 9th Annual Women’s Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace provides an opportunity to gather with women of various ages, races, nations, and faiths and celebrate our desire for peace in the world. Through sacred texts and prayers, we are united and together we imagine a world united in love. The service will include sacred prayers and reflections from Sister Anne Dougherty, OSF, Liz Kennedy and guest interfaith clergy.
The Interfaith Prayer for Peace will be held noon – 1 p.m., Friday, March 9, at the Franciscan Center, 3010 N. Perry Ave., Tampa, 33603. Click here for more information.
Dear Lenten Pilgrims,
This Sunday’s worship theme is the uncertainty of worry and anxiety, a topic that I know is of widespread relevance to so many of us.
Every Tuesday, the staff of this church read through each of the prayer concerns you send through your worship connection cards, and we lift up the many other requests that affect our congregation and the wider world.
Clearly, there are many who are dealing with worry and anxiety for a variety of reasons, every day.
In spiritual preparation for this Sunday, I invite you to read a passage that has brought me comfort during times of personal worry. It is written by the great 17th century French bishop Frances de Sales, from a little pamphlet he wrote called “Wise and Loving Counsel.”
Before you read it, here is some quick background on him, and why he had every reason to be anxious.
THE LIFE OF FRANCES DE SALES
de Sales had numerous tough days in the office throughout his ministry. As a missionary to Switzerland, people slammed doors in his face and threw rocks at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he trudged through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, and once had to sleep in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. After three years of evangelizing, his missionary partner departed, leaving him all alone without having made one single convert.
He had every reason to be worried and anxious.
But de Sales did not quit.
Because he could not get a face-to-face audience with people, he wrote his sermons down, reproduced them, and slid them underneath people’s doors. To this day, he is known as the patron saint of journalists because of his voluminous printed material. Slowly, his efforts warmed the hearts of the people of Geneva, and it is said that he returned to France having converted 40,000 of them to Catholicism.
One of those pamphlets was “Wise and Loving Counsel,” from which this excerpt is taken:
WISE AND LOVING COUNSEL
Do not look forward to the mishaps of this life with anxiety, but await them with perfect confidence so that when they do occur, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them. He has kept you up to the present; remain securely in the hand of his providence, and he will help you in all situations. When you cannot walk, he will carry you. Do not think about what will happen tomorrow, for the same eternal Father who takes care of you today will look out for you tomorrow and always. Either he will keep you from evil or he will give you invincible courage to endure it.
Remain in peace; rid your imagination of whatever troubles you.
Belong totally to God. Think of him and he will think of you. He has drawn you to himself so that you may be his; he will take care of you. Do not be afraid, for if little chicks feel perfectly safe when they are under their mother’s wings, how secure should the children of God feel under his paternal protection! So be at peace, since you are one of these children; and let your weary, listless heart rest against the sacred, loving breast of this Savior who, by his providence is a father to his children, and by his gentle, tender love is a mother to them.
First thing in the morning, prepare your heart to be at peace; then take great care throughout the day to call it back to that peace frequently, and, as it were, to again take your heart in your hand. If you happen to do something that you regret, be neither astonished nor upset, but having acknowledged your failing, humble yourself quietly before God and try to regain your gentle composure. Say to yourself: “There, we have made a mistake, but let’s go on now and be more careful.” Every time you fall, do the same.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF WORRY
Take some time reading and re-reading that passage between now and Sunday.
Let it resonate with any part of your life that is filled with unease and uncertainty.
We’ll observe communion at all services, and we’ll learn biblical insights in how to handle worry. Members of the Healing Prayer Team will also be on hand to pray with you as well.
You might also want to join us for a special workshop next Wednesday, March 7, called “Dealing with Worry and Anxiety,” 6:30 p.m. in the Magnolia Building. Dr. Corinne Zimmer will help us name the source of our anxieties and give us practical tips to deal with them in a healthy way.
In the words of de Sales, remain in peace. Belong totally to God. And do not be afraid.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
The Vision Team continues its visioning chats this Sunday, at both 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. These one-hour sessions give you the opportunity to give us direct feedback that will help us clarify and claim God’s exciting future for this church. To reserve a spot at one of these sessions, register here.
Join us March 18 as we prepare breakfast and serve our Open Arms Guests.
Meet at 7:30 a.m. in Wesley Center Room 308 for an important orientation. Serving will take place in the Harnish Activities Center and should wrap up by 9:15 a.m. For kids that are staying, we will take them up to Sunday Morning Live for 9:30 programming. At least one parent is encouraged to come as well!