News from Missionaries Dave and Julie Eberhard

Dear family and friends,

Just like our little backyard garden, we are beginning to see fruit from seeds of thoughts and actions from this spring. There always has to be time for planning and preparing, and this spring has been part of that. First, we decided to cancel our trip to Sao Tome, Africa, which we were to do in March/April. The timing just didn’t seem right, especially for Julie who was wanting to find a part time teaching job for the fall. And sure enough, she got some leads which resulted in a 2-day a week position at a local community college teaching remedial math for students trying to get their math scores up to college level. She’s really looking forward to having this interaction with students again, while still giving her time to help (daughter) Dana babysit our grandson Ari twice a week. To keep reading, click here.

Chancel Choir Tours England

Chancel Choir Tours England

Members of Hyde Park’s Chancel Choir will “Follow in the Footsteps of John and Charles Wesley” on a concert tour June 3 – 12. Scheduled appearances are in performances with Isle Choral Singers at St. Andrew’s Church in Epworth (pictured above,) and at Headingley Methodist Church in Leeds, University Church in Oxford, Victoria Methodist Church in Bristol, Bath Abbey in Bath, and Holy Trinity Church in Sloane Square, London. Travel dates are June 3 – 12.

Glean Sweet Corn with Society of St. Andrew

Glean Sweet Corn with Society of St. Andrew

The Society of St. Andrew brings people together to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste, and build caring communities by offering nourishment to hungry neighbors. Locally there are opportunities to glean (gather) food that has been left behind, either from an agricultural operation, food trade show or other event.

Volunteers are needed to help gather a harvest of sweet corn in the Mount Dora area, located northwest of Orlando. The corn will be donated to local food banks.

A partner farm in Mount Dora will allow us to glean. Details of this event will be emailed to you after you register.


  • Wednesday, June 5
  • Saturday, June 8

Work begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 11:30 a.m. on both days.


To sign up, please email Barbara at or Mykevia at Please print, complete and bring this Volunteer Waiver with you.

Azeele Street – Now Open Sunday Mornings

Azeele Street – Now Open Sunday Mornings

Help Reduce Traffic and Increase Safety by entering and exiting the main parking lot from the south (Horatio) or west (Magnolia) entrances.

Remember to use the designated crosswalks.

We are no longer able to close Azeele St. to through traffic.

Midweek Message: Together as One this Summer!

Midweek Message: Together as One this Summer!

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Ah, summer.

Do you know where the word summer came from? It’s from the Old English word sumor, which is derived from the early Germanic word sumer, which in turn came from the early Indo-European word sem.

And here’s the kicker. Do you know what sem meant? It meant “together” or “one.”

At the heart of summer is togetherness. It can and should be a time of creating memories with others and strengthening relationships with them. Whether that means going on vacation with your family, or spending long evenings in the backyard with friends, or heading out to the beach with loved ones, summer gives you a chance to feel like you are not alone.

That should most certainly include your church family. You may have a very busy summer ahead, but here are five practical ways you can stay “together” as “one” with Hyde Park United Methodist over the months ahead.


Have you worshipped online lately? View here. If it’s been a while, you’ll be amazed at how great the quality of the online experience is now. Our terrific worship tech team works very hard to make sure that those who join us remotely feel connected to everything that is happening live. Join us on your computer, tablet or smartphone, wherever you may be.


Our worship team has put together two terrific worship series that are sure to catch your interest. The first is “That’s Not in the Bible!” from June 16 to July 7, which will explore popular sayings that sound biblical but are not actually in the Bible. If you’ve ever heard (or even said) phrases like “Everything happens for a reason” or “God helps those who help themselves,” come join us and hear what the Bible has to say.

Then, we’ll once again offer a series based on recent popular films. It’s called “Faith at the Movies,” from July 14 to August 4. We’ll be exploring truths of the Christian faith as found in the movies “Mary Poppins Returns” (July 14), “The Little Prince” (July 21), “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (July 28), and “Black Panther” (August 4). And if you haven’t seen these films, don’t worry! We’ll be having a special screening for everyone in the Magnolia Building on the Wednesday prior to each Sunday. Both of these series would be great opportunities for you to invite friends to worship.


Once again, we are ramping up for a joy-filled, energy-packed week of Vacation Bible School, this year themed “Roar!” We will have about 400 children learning about God’s love, led by hundreds of volunteers. In fact, we are still looking for about 30 adults to serve in some important roles throughout the week, so I invite you to check out our website to find out more. Even if you’ve never volunteered for VBS, you will get all the training you need to have as much fun as the children themselves. All you need is a willing heart and a caring spirit!


Throughout the upcoming months, scores of people from the church will be participating in various missions and ministry trips around the world. Will you mark these dates in your calendar and say a prayer for these teams as they travel and make God’s love real?

  • June 3-12: Chancel Choir in England visiting and singing at various Wesley heritage sites
  • June 17-22: 4th– 12th Graders at Warren Willis Camp
  • July 14-19: Youth Domestic Mission Experience at SIFAT (Science in Faith And Technology) in Lineville, AL
  • July 21-28: High School Missions Trip to Costa Rica doing VBS for local communities
  • Nov. 10-16: Adult mission trip to Southwest Florida for Hurricane Irma rebuilding. For more information, see the note below.


Finally, join us in reading, studying and praying through the Bible using our daily scripture readings. These texts have been carefully selected by our discipleship team to coincide with the themes of our worship series, and will unite us in experiencing the truths of the Bible all throughout the summer. Feel connected with the congregation as we read the Scriptures together! 

On behalf of the clergy, staff, and lay leadership of this church, I wish you and yours a blessed summer, as we stay together as one!

Grace and Peace,


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

If you are interested in learning more about the trip this November to Southwest Florida to help in the rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Irma, there is a planning meeting from 6–7:30 p.m. Monday, June 24 in Knox Hall Room 150. Sign up here.

News from the Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary


Dear friends,

Miracle! This is the word that the first rector Andrus Norak used to describe the seminary on April 20th, 1995. The birth of the seminary was indeed a miracle. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union when there was no building, almost no faculty, not even a phone, yet our seminary was born. There was a heavenly spark and there were people who were ready to be kindled! The fire keeps burning even today.

On this 25th anniversary we remembered and thanked these individuals for their part in founding the seminary: Wes and Joy Griffin, Olav Pärnamets, Eddie Fox (received by Kimberly Reisman), Asbury Theological Seminary (received by Tom Tumblin), Üllas Tankler, Toomas Pajusoo, and Bishop Hans Växby. They burned themselves and ignited others. They started something that has lasted 25 years!

We also recognized the following for their remarkable leadership to keep seminary burning brightly: Bishop Christian Alsted, Mary Ann Smith, Andrus Norak (posthumously), Lii Lilleoja and Meeli Tankler.

There are many others who deserve our deepest gratitude including all of our former and current employees as well as trustees. Please know we appreciate what you did, are doing, and continue to do for this miracle we call the seminary!


We celebrated on the day that Methodists know as John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience. The day when he felt his heart “strangely warmed”.

The passage which set the theme for our birthday was 2 Tim 1:6. This text is about rekindling the fire, or as in some bible translations about fanning the flame to make it burn brighter. To have fire we need 1) burning material 2) spark 3) air. Any element missing and we have no fire.

The beginning words I used at the celebration were: “Whatever else happens today, the most important thing is that we connect.”  Our goal was to connect and rekindle the fire. We tried to connect to our alumni, to our former and current workers and, to our partners. We really made an effort to reach every graduate. We could not reach everyone yet, but we will keep on trying.

Not all material is ready to take fire. Are you the kind of material that is ready? Ready to be used to give warmth, light, energy. Are you ready to be used by God for working miracles? Perhaps you were ready at some time, but you got distracted. I urge you to come and reconnect!

The spark is the Holy Spirit. God’s heavenly fire that lit up the apostles who set the whole world on fire. In order to ignite, we must be next to something that is burning! This is why we must come together! To help each other burn brighter, burn warmer, burn continuously!

Air is something that we need to keep burning. Air moves, we must stir the fire to keep it going. Let the Holy Spirit move and work in and through us. Let it guide us. God is likely to do something new in the next 25 years.

John Wesley said:

“Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”

My invitation on this day is: would you also catch fire? The future of this school is in our hands. Our faithfulness today is what determines the outcome for the next 25 years. Would you let Christ burn brightly in you giving warmth, light and energy to others?


The students had a chance to worship with our trustees this week. Mai Unt lead worship and Riho Kurg gave a testimony and Randy Frye preached. Thank you for leading and for inspiring us. I am glad that so many attended the birthday celebrations – yes, you need to be told the old stories of signs and wonders. Many of you were not even born in 1994.

Today it is your seminary. We do not just offer old stories, but also something new. We have a new logo and we also have a new song: Curt McKee wrote a song “We Go” especially for our seminary.


Superintendent Robert Tserenkov, who is also a part of BMTS leadership and faculty, celebrated his 40th birthday on May 20th. Happy Birthday! May God bless you for many years to come.

Taavi Hollman became a grandfather for the first time. His grandson Saamuel was born on May 4th. Parents Eliisabet and Mihkel are doing well.

Meeli and Üllas Tankler published a new homiletics handbook “Sõnast sõnumiks” (From the Word into a Message). This was a historic occasion since the last homiletics handbook was published in Estonian Methodist Church by Martin Prikask in 1914.

Thank you, team and friends who helped to make our anniversary special.

There were about 170 guests at BMTS anniversary gathering including about one third of our alumni.


BMTS has 236 graduates. This event brought togehter about a third of our alumni. The alumni formed BMTS alumni organization and elected a leadership committee. Their challenge is to reach every graduate during the birthday year.

We recognized our graduate Külliki Evartov for her faithful long time financial support. We feel that she has set an example for others to follow in investing in the future of the seminary.


On seminary anniversary 15 people made their commitment to support seminary with a monthly donation. THANK YOU!

We are praying that during the birthday year we find 50 supporters who donate monthly. If we wish our seminary to be doing well next 25 years we need to build a strong support base.

We will keep you posted how we are progressing. Please consider supporting us regularly.

Our goal is 50 regular supporters this year!


BMTS partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary goes back to the very beginnings of our school. BMTS founders Wes and Joy Griffin were ATS grads, our first guest faculty came from ATS, and all our rectors are ATS alumni. For this ATS received a special recognition.

We are pleased to announce that at the evening worship service ATS and BMTS signed a new Memorandum of Understanding. We are grateful to president Timothy Tennent and ATS leadership for making this happen on our special birthday and for Tom Tumblin for attending the celebrations. God bless ATS for their missional engagement in this part of the world!


Donations to BMTS can be made through the Advance using website

To find us search for Europe, Education, Estonia, Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary Scholarships

Advance # 15021B

Or use this link:

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