Dear Hyde Park Family,

We continue to be in prayer for you and your loved ones, along with all those affected by the coronavirus. We pray for our health care workers, first responders and government officials as they face this global pandemic. And we pray for workers, business owners and families who are facing financial hardship.

It is in times like these that a church like ours is called to be a beacon of love and an assurance of hope for our community and the world. Here are the many ways that you are part of Hyde Park United Methodist’s efforts to make God’s love real near and far.

  • Our livestream worship services have hundreds joining us in real time, with thousands reached afterwards via social media;
  • Our Open Arms ministry continues in a modified format, balancing the safety of those involved with the serving of meals to our homeless guests. 165 persons were quickly served a bag lunch and bottle of water and dismissed last Sunday using the wide space of the Magnolia parking lot;
  • Children’s Ministries has a “Church at Home” page on our website that will be updated weekly with Bible lessons, videos and ways to connect with your church family. Join the Children’s Ministries Facebook group for lots of weekly fun engagement with Children’s Ministries. And visit our Resources page on the website for helpful tips and articles for parents;
  • Our Bible Project 2020 continues to connect our congregation in a common journey, with 36 of our small groups still meeting regularly in some digital format;
  • Our clergy team broadcasts a brief time of prayer, Scripture reading, and reflection at 9 a.m. weekday mornings on the Hyde Park’s Facebook page, reaching hundreds every day. The Rev. Justin LaRosa is also hosting a time of meditation and prayer at 12:15 p.m. weekdays on The Portico’s Facebook page;
  • Our Little Dresses sewing ministry has partnered with JoAnn Fabrics and is making face masks for health care professionals;
  • Our congregational care ministry has blossomed from 2 to 35 volunteer callers, checking on elderly members who are homebound and isolated;
  • Our New Member Class has been meeting online, and we look forward to receiving them into membership on April 5;
  • Our Merge youth ministry now gathers on Sunday nights through Instagram Live, supports our families through a Parent Ministry Zoom call, and continues Confirmation classes via video conference calls;
  • Our Small Blessings preschool teachers are sharing “virtual circle time” videos for its classes of children, engaging them in a time of playful conversation and learning;
  • Our previously scheduled Seder dinner will continue in an online format, with Rabbi Nathan Farb of Congregation Schaarai Zedek teaching us about this important Jewish observance;
  • A team of lay leaders, including the chairpersons of our major committees, now meets weekly to monitor the church’s financial situation with a vigilant and non-anxious spirit. We are also grateful for the ongoing guidance of our stewardship consultant from Horizons Stewardship.

The history of the church is filled with numerous moments when God summons a spirit of innovation and creativity to respond to significant crises. Adapting our ministries amid the whirlwind of these last two weeks has felt like trying to convert a sailboat into a submarine, but it is happening, by the grace of God.

Thank you for continuing to be part of God’s amazing story, through your prayers and support of Hyde Park United Methodist. We are called to be the church in such a time as this, and God will see us through.

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

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

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