Dear Hyde Park Family,

A few years ago, my younger daughter Madelyn and I were at a local department store when we saw a display of record turntables.

“Wow! What is that?” Her eyes got bug-eyed with wonder.

You may remember these musical fixtures of the 1970s, before cassette tapes, compact discs, and digital music players. Recording artists and music producers distributed the latest albums on vinyl records, complete with liner notes, album artwork, and B side songs.  I grew up listening to my parents’ albums on our giant turntable, which doubled most of the time as a side table in our living room. (Some of these weren’t just musical devices; they were giant pieces of furniture!) They have apparently been making a comeback, as modern electronics companies have resumed making these mainstays of the Baby Boomer and Generation X childhood.

It took me a few minutes to offer Maddy that exact same explanation, to which she said, “Ooooh. I want one!” It’s rare that a father is ever considered to be cool by his daughter, so she was pushing all the right buttons.

With her birthday just a month away, I purchased a brand-new turntable, along with a vinyl record by one of her favorite artists, and eagerly awaited its unveiling. She unwrapped the present, gleefully plugged it in, and watched studiously as I showed her how to make it work (“Turn the power on … raise the needle … set it on the edge of the record … flip this switch to adjust your playback speed …”)

I’ll have to admit that the sound quality of these new machines far exceeds what I remember back in the day. No scratchiness, no white noise, no whir of the turntable. When the opening track of the album started, the noise burst into the room, nearly matching the kind of sound generated by today’s digital devices.

I lost myself in the music for a bit, then I looked over at Madelyn.  She looked appreciative, but pensive. After the first song was half-way over, I asked her, “So, what do you think?”

“It’s good,” she said, puzzled as she studied the various buttons. “So … how do you fast forward or skip to the next track?”

I bit my cheek to suppress the chuckle.  “Well, there is no button to do that, so you have to pick up the needle, guess where the next track is, then manually move the needle over.  And when the album is half-way finished, you have to flip the record over and start over.”



The return of the record turntable is just another sign of how things that are “retro” are back in fashion today. It’s not just evident in the music industry, but we see it in TV and film, fashion, toys, furniture, and many other aspects of pop culture. It’s not just an opportunity for us aging Xers and Boomers to recapture our childhood; a whole new generation of people are receiving a fresh look at a cherished past.

For the next four weeks, we are going to take a trip down memory lane through the Bible, revisiting some of the most cherished passages in the Bible. For many of us, these verses were an embedded part of our faith’s formative years. We have known them since childhood, and they are among the very few parts of the Bible that are still part of the unchurched culture’s vocabulary.

But each Sunday affords us the opportunity to see these old favorites in new ways, discovering novel insights into the texts that we may have not known before.

August 6: “Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd”

August 13: “John 3:16: For God So Loved the World”

August 20: “The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father in Heaven”

August 27: “The Golden Rule: Do Unto Others”

We remember that the Bible is a living document, that can speak a fresh word into our current condition. Regardless of how long or how little you have known these texts, this worship series will give us all a chance to see how timely these timeless verses really are.

Grace and Peace,

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


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