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Feb. 16, 2017

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Last night was “Ask the Pastor Night,” one of my favorite annual events in the church. It was with Club45, a Wednesday night gathering of our fourth and fifth graders. As was the case last year, I am amazed by the quality of the kids, evidenced by the spiritual maturity they displayed in their questions.

At times, I felt like I was being grilled again by the Board of Ordained Ministry for ordination! And I knew these were not simply questions that their leaders or their parents had them ask me. Their follow up questions to each of my answers were just as deep, and just as sincere.

You can be proud of the work that our children’s ministry staff (Kristin Passath, Melinda Livingston, Melissa Torres, Jennifer Wotsch, Kathy DiRaimo) is doing with your children, along with some incredibly gifted and caring adult volunteers. And I thank you for supporting the church with your prayers and your financial gifts, which makes impactful ministries like this possible.

But I also thought you would benefit from looking at the questions yourself. As you read them, ask yourself: Which of these questions do you wonder about? Are there additional questions related to the Christian faith for which you would like answers?

I would be interested in hearing what you think, and I may devote a future Midweek Message (or a sermon series!) to reflecting on those questions with you. But for now, sit back and be amazed by the questions that these wonderful kids have been wondering:

BIBLE
When and where was the Bible created?
How many people did it take to write the Bible?
Do the Ten Commandments exist and do people follow them?
How did people work together to write the Bible when they were probably far apart?
How would Jesus make animals and people have peace when he returns?
Why didn’t Jesus call for help on the cross?
Why did Jesus not die right away when he got nailed to the cross?
Was there a different money source then (Biblical times) than now?
Would the world have been better off if humans never existed?
What if the Jewish people never existed?
Why is the Bible so long?
How do we know the Bible’s information is correct? What if some of the information in the Bible is not true?
Why did God flood the world except Noah?
Why did people write the Bible?
According to the Bible, when will Revelation happen?
Is it possible to never sin?
In Biblical times, would people get baptized multiple times?
How was the church made?
What were 10 good jobs to have in Biblical times?
Is there any information in the Bible that shouldn’t be there?

GOD
Why did Jesus have to die to forgive our sins? Couldn’t God just forgive us?
Will God destroy the world again?
How old is Hyde Park United Methodist?
Does Jesus/God have only one appearance or many?
Do you ever think about being so small in a universe that is so big?
Is my purpose special to God? How do I know what my purpose is-was I meant to serve?
Did God plan the death of Jesus?
Why were animals created?
Does God really talk with people and answer their prayers?
Can God speak to us out loud so that we can hear it with our ears?

HEAVEN/HELL
How do we get into Heaven when we die?
If there is a person who doesn’t believe in God, but is a good person, do they still go to Heaven?
When a person dies (and goes to Heaven) do they become an angel?
Do bad people go to hell?
Is hell real?
Is there a creature Heaven and Hell (where our pets go)?
Why does God let people die? Why can’t everyone live forever?
Can hell take over heaven? Or can they be in harmony?
Is heaven hot or cold in temperature?
Do Tax collectors go to heaven?
Do people who speed and get a lot of tickets go to hell?

PERSONAL
Can you say the alphabet backwards in under 30 seconds?
Have you ever solved a Rubix cube?
How many times have you hit 10,000 steps?
How many verses have you heard of “Joy to the World”?
What’s your favorite version of “We Three Kings”?
Do you know all the Roman numerals?
Do you read the Bible every night before you go to bed?
Why did you want to be a pastor?
What is your favorite hymn?
What is your favorite color?
I love your rhyming sermons. Can you do them more?
What inspired you to become a pastor?
Is being a pastor hard?
How old were you when you were baptized? Where was it? Were you scared?
What are your hobbies?
Have you ever given up hope?
Do you have to do training to become a pastor?
What is your favorite movie?
How long have you been a pastor?
Do you like the temperature in Tampa?
When and where were you born?
What sports are your favorites?
What is your favorite basketball and football team?
What is your favorite mascot?
What is your favorite music artist?
What is your favorite song?
FSU-Seminoles or UF-Gators? (Seminoles, please!)
Do you like politics?
What is your favorite sport?
What is your favorite food?
Do you wear Kevin Durant’s athletic shoes?

Grace and Peace,

Magrey CC

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

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