These have been unsettling days for our country and our world, and we are likely still months, rather than weeks, from resuming on-campus ministries, which I will discuss more in a moment. But God continues to do amazing things through this church, as many of you continue to be part of its story through your prayers, your efforts, and your financial support.
- Our livestream worship services minister to over 1,200 real-time worshippers every week, and this most recent Easter, we had nearly 3,500 joining us in celebrating the resurrection.
- Our Missions and Outreach ministry continues to serve our homeless guests through Open Arms every week, and has contributed time and support to our partner school at Dunbar Elementary.
- Ministries to children, youth, and adults continue to engage people of all ages online, with creativity and excellence. We have 45 small groups that meet as part of our Bible Project 2020, and our Bible Project podcast now has over 2,700 active listeners and 50,000 unique downloads of our episodes across the country.
- Our clergy team provides daily Facebook Live devotions and midday meditations, and our congregational care team continues to check on those who are homebound and isolated.
- Our Little Dresses sewing ministry has now made over 2,000 masks and distributed them grateful health care workers in our area.
- Our Portico Café now sells its delicious coffee products online, with free local delivery, and has reopened for takeout and outdoor dining.
- And as always, you have been a part of it through your financial support. Because of your faithful generosity, and our staff’s trimming of expenses not currently needed for on-campus programming, we continue to be in stable and steady financial shape, under the weekly oversight of key lay leaders in this church.
God promises to provide us with just enough of what we need. And that faithfulness will continue to lead us, even into a future in which we are not yet certain when we can return to on-campus programming.
Our key lay and staff leaders are in regular conversation with county public health officials, denominational leaders, and professional consultants in discerning a timeline for returning. Even as retail and recreational establishments begin to reopen, our foremost concern with your safety and your comfort – and considering the size of our church – means that we are likely still months, rather than weeks, from resuming on-campus ministries.
Church leaders have now established protocols for monitoring health conditions in our community, deciding when and how to return, and the best practices to put in place when we do. It is likely that returning to campus will not happen all at once, or exactly as it was before. But if there is anything that we have learned about God these last few months, it is that God is making all things new, and our future is as bright as ever.
And I think it’s even more exciting, as we claim the promise of Isaiah 43:19: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!” Because of your prayers, your faithfulness, and your support, you continue to be part of the new thing God is doing. Thank you for all that you continue to do to be the church for such a time as this.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist