Giving Matters: Discovering Faith Through Meditation

Giving Matters: Discovering Faith Through Meditation

Dear Hyde Park Disciples,

From its inception, The Portico campus has presented us with unique opportunities to connect to the spiritual but not religious residents of downtown Tampa. When we began restoring the historic chapel on the downtown campus, we knew that it would be a place for contemplation and meditation. But we couldn’t have foreseen that for one resident across the street this restoration would be a new beginning for her faith.

Silvia Hale has lived in Vista 400, a community for senior adults, since 2011. Located directly across from The Portico, she had a bird’s eye view of the new construction. As soon as the Chapel opened for meditation in 2015, she went. Growing up, Silvia never gave religion or Jesus much thought. She had never attended church. But in that restored Chapel, she found an expression of faith and spirituality that drew her in.

Through the meditations, Silvia met Justin LaRosa. As someone in recovery, Silvia was intrigued by the thought of a pastor who was in recovery too. As they talked more, Silvia shared that she had never been baptized. According to her, “Justin jumped on that!” They began talking about what baptism meant and would mean for Silvia.

In December 2016, while worship was still happening on the second floor of the Admin Building, Silvia was baptized.

Silvia continues to be a vibrant part of the Portico community. She attends Tuesday meditation and the spiritual discussion afterwards. She continues to grow spiritually, “And hopefully it spills out into my everyday life.”
As she reflected on this journey to faith, Silvia said of The Portico, “It’s a wonderful community—I see nothing but good things coming out of this. I see tremendous potential for The Portico.”

You are a part of Silvia’s story too. Your financial generosity and support for all the ministries of Hyde Park United Methodist continue to transform lives and Make God’s Love Real.

Grace and peace,

The Portico Community

Giving Matters: Discovering Faith Through Meditation

Giving Matters: Youth Ministries Summer Update

This summer, our Merge teens have been active in our ministry and made a ton of incredible memories!

They experienced a powerful week at Warren Willis Camp back in June with the theme being “Speak Peace.” They learned how different cultures convey peace through their words. They played a lot of different games and did team building exercises while they grew in their peace and love for the world.

In mid-July we took 18 students and adults to Science In Faith And Technology (SIFAT) in Lineville, Alabama. This trip proves to be an incredibly powerful experience for everyone involved each time we go. The theme this summer was “Bloom” to teach the students not only how to use handcrafted technology to help different cultures with their water supply, building materials and livelihood, but also to Bloom in their own personal faith journeys.

Our last trip was taking 16 high school students and chaperones to Costa Rica. We worked in four different neighborhoods teaching and sharing the love of God. The theme for the week was “Faith, Hope and Love.” The group learned who we should truly put our hope in, and how our dependence on God creates a more fulfilling future.

If it wasn’t for the amazing financial support of this church, many of our students wouldn’t have been able to go. Your support helped them learn and grow in various parts of the worlds this summer.

Giving truly matters when it comes to the spiritual life of our students here at Hyde Park. We are so grateful for the ways in which you make a difference in the lives of our teenagers!

Amazingly His,

Emily Kuche
Director of Youth Ministries

Giving Matters: Discovering Faith Through Meditation

Giving Matters: From Possibility to Reality

June 2019

Dear Hyde Park Disciples,

Your Facilities Team and Board of Trustees loves that the things we do to maintain and improve the property of the church is so that ministry can happen. We help turn possibilities into reality.

Your financial support enables us to proactively maintain all of our property. This is no small thing.

We are forward-thinking here, including the approach we take with our buildings and grounds. In the past year, we have been able to replace items in need with energy-saving and environmentally-friendly options. These new items help save the church money and reduce our impact on the planet.

Knox Hall now has a “cool roof,” which helps prevent heat absorption. It also has been outfitted with Wi-Fi thermostats. These allow us to monitor potential air conditioning problems in real time, and to customize room settings. Lights across our property are being retrofitted with LED bulbs. The Chapel uses all LED bulbs now, is brighter and uses much less electricity.

Air conditioning units in the Wesley Center and Harnish Activities Center have been repaired by our own facilities staff, saving huge expenses that would have been paid to an outside vendor. Many older toilets in the children’s rooms of the Wesley Center have been updated as needed with toilets that use less water.

The parking lot on the Hyde Park campus was recently repaved and sealed. Sidewalks have been pressure washed. These improvements help create a much safer place for drivers and pedestrians.

We are grateful to be part of the possibilities that God brings our way.

Grace and peace,


Rich Howard-Allen
Facilities and Operations Team Leader

Giving Matters April 2017

Giving Matters April 2017

Thank You for Your Faithful Stewardship

Thank you, Hyde Park United Methodist, for your faithful stewardship, which supports ministries like our recent Confirmation class.

We celebrate these kids as they chose the words below to describe what following Jesus means to them:

Giving Matters April 2017

Giving Matters: How Votes and Pledges are Connected

Dear Hyde Park Disciples,

I write this brief note to you today on the eve of the presidential election.  It is our quadrennial opportunity to choose the next president of the United States, a country where we are free to practice our religion of choice.  Whether you are a Democrat or Republican or a member of another party, we are all free to choose how we participate in the election.  But participating is the only way that we can ensure our freedoms continue.

I have heard over the years that some people don’t vote because their vote doesn’t count or matter.  But remember President George W. Bush was elected by 537 votes in Florida and therefore won the Electoral College.  President Obama won North Carolina in 2012 by only 2 voters per precinct.  And this year is expected to be just as close.

So you may be asking yourself, what does any of this have to do with Giving Matters and Hyde Park United Methodist and Stewardship.  Well, when it comes to making your annual pledge, I have heard many say, “My pledge doesn’t matter.”  Just like razor thin margins in presidential elections can change the course of history, your pledge to our church can alter the course of history too.

Your pledge helps us determine how many people we can help in Open Arms.  Your pledge helps us determine how many ways we can teach the children in our congregation how to love God.  Your pledge helps us determine how many unchurched people we can bring to Christ at The Portico campus.

No pledge is too small.  Like each person’s vote, every pledge matters.

Pastor Magrey reminded us about how being both a believer in Jesus Christ and an active member of Hyde Park United Methodist is a freeing experience.

This church has always been one where we are free to give, free to love, free to be involved or free to sit back and observe.  But today, like the politicians are urging you to TURN OUT in the election to ensure their victory, I am asking you to TURN IN your pledge card and ensure God’s victory. We receive God’s grace freely and are invited to participate in what God is doing to transform this world.

Please join me in turning in your pledge for 2017:

  • Pledge online at
  • Place your paper card in the offering plate
  • Mail it into the Ministry Offices

Grace and peace,

Jonathan Brill
Chair, Stewardship Team

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