HOPE Nehemiah Action

The Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE) has been a vehicle to unite diverse congregations to improve the quality of life in Hillsborough County by achieving justice and fairness. Their brochure shares Long Range Goals and Major Accomplishments covering Youth, Education Reform, Employment, Healthcare, Crime Prevention, Public Transportation, Housing/Homelessness, and Neighborhood Improvement.

Did you know?

  • 104,540 families in Hillsborough Couty pay more than 1/2 of their income on housing, while 74,530 families struggle with very low incomes
  • 6,500 Hillsborough County residents are in state prison and 3,100 are in the county jail.
  • 30-40% of the people in jail have serious mental illness and 60-80% have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Affordable housing, mental health and criminal justice reform are large issues right here in Hillsborough County. With your help, we can make a large impact on people’s lives and create systemic change. Join with 75 others from Hyde Park United Methodist and our goal of 1,400 attendees from the area, including government representatives. Attend 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 1 at Bible-Based Fellowship Church in north Tampa for Hope Nehemiah Action.

Let us know you are coming. Also, please print the attached ticket and add your contact information.


Homeless Memorial Service 2019

Homeless Memorial Service 2019

Members of The Portico community gathered Monday, Jan. 28 to remember and name the men and women who died on the streets of Tampa in 2018. In song, prayer and silent reflection, those present acknowledged the people in our midst that are sometimes invisible to us.
Here are the names of those who are known to have passed away on Tampa’s streets:
  • Johnny Arrington
  • Philip Bennett
  • Cynthia Blair Porley
  • Gregory Brantley
  • Heutra Carnegie
  • Charles Catterton
  • Levin Coda
  • Jose Colon Martinez
  • Rickie Crace
  • Eduardo Fernandez
  • John Fields
  • Michael Fontana
  • Michael Gentry
  • Gordon Hall
  • Robert “Rebel” Henderson
  • Anthony Hofbauer
  • Ronald Hurst
  • Ronald Jasenec
  • Derrick Johnson
  • Hassan Lewis
  • Darnel Livingston
  • Jonathan Emmanuel Lugo Maldonado
  • Katherine McDaniel
  • Richard Meccariello
  • Forrest Mendelsohn
  • Jeanette Metz
  • Sergio Mier-Sanchez
  • Dean Mone
  • Lionel Moore
  • William Oates
  • Carolina Pugh
  • Leonard Reichelderfer
  • Tracy Rowan
  • Julio Sanchez-Gutierrez
  • Crystal Santiago
  • Scott Sigler
  • Kevin Thompson
  • Daniel Tirko
  • Vanessa Verdavoir
  • Judy Vibbert
  • Michael West
  • Theresa Williams
  • Elizabeth Wilson

Back to School Porch Party July 22

Back to School Porch Party July 22 

Join us this Sunday for our “Back to School” themed potluck dinner. A starter selection of beverages and a main dish of various simmered meats will be provided to get things going. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it will take a community to build these tacos!

Please bring a dish, side or dessert that will complement our taco building extravaganza! The party starts at 5:30 p.m. Sunday July 22.

If you’d like to volunteer or help prepare the main dish, contact Chalette at The Portico by email, Chalette@theportico.org.

Open Invitation to Our Congregation and Our Community

Open Invitation to Our Congregation and Our Community

Hello, fellow Hyde Park members and all of our local community members.


My name is Michelle Schumacher, and I am one of the co-facilitators of The Civil Conversations Project at The Portico Tampa. Please consider this an open invitation to join us at our conversation this Thursday, Oct. 5, 6:30 p.m. at The Portico Cafe.


Our CCP group offers a monthly opportunity to engage in meaningful conversation with others—sometimes with markedly different perspectives and life experiences—on topics and issues that impact our lives.


Our conversations are open to anyone who wishes to participate, walk-ins welcome. The project is inspired by the Civil Conversations Project (www.civilconversationsproject.org) launched by the NPR radio program and podcast On Being. Each month’s discussion focuses on one podcast interview from the project.


We CCP’ers do not seek to change anyone’s values or beliefs. Rather, we seek to broaden each of our perspectives by discussing topics that are emotionally charged with dignity, grace, and mutual respect. Building on what Pastor Candace Lewis said this past Sunday, we seek to move away from the black and white perspectives each of us might have regarding any given issue and to instead find the colors in between black and white that emerge when we intentionally sit in communion together at the conversation table to hear and learn from one another.


What does a CCP conversation look like? Listening respectfully, even when we disagree. Keeping our voices at conversational tones rather than raised levels. Talking one at a time rather than over each other. Speaking from and honoring each of our own experiences, rather than telling anyone that their experiences are wrong…or that they, themselves, are wrong.


Although he’s never been to one of our meetings, I think UMC Bishop Ken Carter captured our intent well in his statement two Sundays ago when he said, “Conversation is the currency of change. When we speak with someone, when we listen to them, when they listen to us, we often find that our perspectives change.”


That doesn’t mean we believe or vote differently. It might mean, though, that we start to learn to yell a little less, to listen and to empathize a little more, and maybe even to find our way forward in compromise by focusing on the points we do agree on.


For example, this Thurs., Oct. 5, our podcast topic of https://onbeing.org/programs/jim-daly-gabe-lyons-the-next-christians/ includes examples of folks from different backgrounds and beliefs who become willing to listen to each other and, from there, to move forward together by focusing on what they agree on. Coincidentally, this month’s podcast specifically speaks to the question posed by Magrey in his Midweek Message last week of “How do we achieve full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church, while still honoring our covenantal bonds with each other?”


So please consider this an open invitation to join us 6:30-8 p.m. this Thursday, Oct. 5. For those who might not yet have had dinner, or who could use a caffeine pick-me-up, the Portico Cafe will be open until 7 p.m.


Thanks very much for your time and consideration, and we look forward to seeing you Thursday evening.



Michelle Schumacher


Civil Conversations Project Continues Aug. 2

Civil Conversations Project Continues Aug. 2

We expected last night’s attendance at The Civil Conversations Project to be one of our smaller meetings due to the July 4th holiday.

It was one of our largest groups of attendees to date.

We expected to be able to hear the pre-selected “On Being” podcast segments meant to guide our discussion.

Multiple technological issues resulted in our instead building our discussion far more around each attendee’s philosophies and experiences.

We expected that, following The Portico Café’s 7 p.m. closing time, our discussion would take place in an environment of peace and quiet.

A fierce thunderstorm and The Portico’s (10-minute false) fire alarm meant altering our expectations yet again.

We persevered. Quiet was restored. The conversation carried on. And the voices of both new and regular attendees were heard.

While we all agreed on a major overarching point or two regarding “The Evolution of the Science – Religion Debate,” we each had different perspectives and experiences to offer with regard to our individual beliefs. This included sharing on and noting the impact each of our own upbringings, work, and life experiences has had on how we think today.

We listened to, heard, and learned from each other with dignity, grace, and mutual respect.

It was a wholly imperfect, yet perfectly made, evening.

The Civil Conversations Project continues 6:30 – 8 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 2. in The Portico Cafe meeting room. The podcast we will be discussing can be accessed here. All are welcome to join us with or without listening in advance.

For more information, please contact Michelle Schumacher (813.363.3970).

Porch Party Potluck at The Portico campus – 6:30 p.m. June 25

Porch Party Potluck at The Portico campus – 6:30 p.m. June 25

Join us at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25 for our monthly Porch Party potluck. This event is a relaxed gathering of community friends, guests and neighbors.

Let’s celebrate a nostalgic references to American culture and designs inspired by patriotic hues and cuisine as American as apple pie. Prepare an All-American dish that you love and share in this celebration of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Our Porch Parties are community potlucks. A starter selection of beverages and main dishes will be provided to get things going.

Bring a friend, bring a dish (homemade or store-bought) , bring an appetite for good food and conversation.

Volunteer opportunities available. Call 813.254.5139 for more info.

All are welcome. All are loved.

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