Dear Hyde Park Family,

In the spirit of our current worship series Make a Difference, I want to thank you for all you do to make a difference in and through our church community.

I especially thank you for making worship a priority amid what I know are your very busy lives. In addition to praying, praising, hearing God’s word and responding to God’s call, there are other significant, yet simple ways you can make a difference in the lives of others during worship.

Consider these:

1. Wear your name tag. It may sound trivial, but it communicates that you want to be known, and want to know others. That’s the kind of community we want to be. The better we know each other by name, the more connected we feel to God and one another. And if you need a nametag, stop by the Welcome Center or request one at And speaking of welcoming people …

2. Sit closer to the front. From where I am on most Sundays in the Sanctuary, the view can be pretty comical: super-crowded in the back, and wide-open in the front. I certainly appreciate the tendency to sit back there, but think about the perspective of a first-time guest, seeing a crowd in the back when they first enter. It would be hard to expect them to walk down the long aisles, in public view, just to find a seat. Make a difference, create easier space for visitors, and get a great view for yourself! And once you find your seat …

3. Pass the Pads. Last Sunday, we introduced a new way for you to tell us you’re here in worship. During the announcements, we will invite you to pass the black folders and record three simple bits of information: 1) your name, 2) any changes to your contact info, and 3) your interest in emails from the church you aren’t currently receiving. It’s that simple. Pass the folder to every person in your row, and the ushers will collect them at the end of the announcements.¬†Prayer cards are now in front of you to fill out and place in the offering plate. This new system will help you note those sitting nearby, which will make it easier to …

4. Meet people around you. We are called to overcome the most basic challenge of human behavior: like attracts like. Get to know those around you in worship, even those who may look, talk, think or act differently from you. Connect with those you don’t know, because whether or not they are new to the church, they’re new to you. Let’s live out what it means for us to be a warm-hearted and open-minded church. And in the event that you can’t be with us on Sundays …

5. Worship online. Even if you can’t join us physically, we can remain connected in prayer and worship. Join in prayer, praise, experiencing God’s word and hearing God’s call on us as a church. Just go to to view the 8:30 Chapel, 9:30 a.m. Contemporary, 11 a.m. Traditional and 11 a.m. Magnolia services. It’s that easy. In fact, I know many people who watch live right on their phones when on vacation. You can be a part, while apart!

And see you Sunday!


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

One of the great highlights of our worship year is the privilege of being led by our youth on our annual Youth Sunday. This year, they will point us toward hope in the area of mental illness, which people of all generations wrestle with. Come be inspired by their words of witness, their worship leadership, and their gift of music. You won’t want to miss it.

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