The Midweek Message

from Senior Pastor Magrey deVega

 

 

 

MidWeek Message: BREAKING NEWS: Hometown Man Causes Uproar

Jan. 18, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, HOMETOWN MAN PREACHES; CAUSES UPROAR Mathias Avram, Nazareth Gazette Special Correspondent Nazareth, Galilee - Tensions flared as hometown product Jesus ben-Joseph made his first preaching appearance at the synagogue, offering a...

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MidWeek Message: How Can I Remember My Baptism?

Jan. 11, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, Last year, a worshipper asked this profoundly intriguing question: "Pastor, what does it mean when you say to us, 'Remember your baptism, and be thankful?' What if I don't remember my baptism? Great question. I don't remember my...

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MidWeek Message: Cold…but Happy?

The World Database of Happiness ranks countries based on how happy their citizens are. Based on this analysis, Iceland is determined to rank first. Given the climate, this might seem counterintuitive. In colder places, though, cooperation is mandatory. Everyone must work together for the common good and interdependence is the mother of affection. It ought to be the same for the church. We, after all, are the ones who bid each other “The Lord be with you (and also with you.)” In both examples, there’s a word for this–love.

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Midweek Message: Christmas Comes

Dec. 21, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, "Christmas Comes" By Ann Weems, from Kneeling in Bethlehem Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons. The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem                 or in Times Square,                 for Christmas comes...

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Midweek Message: I Hate To Break It To You, Virginia

(Note - Parental Disclaimer: the following Midweek Message contains material that may be troubling to some children, particularly if they still believe in Santa Claus. Or the Tooth Fairy.) Dec. 14, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, I can't tell you the exact moment when...

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MidWeek Message: When Up is Down and Down is Up

Dec. 7, 2017 Dear Advent Pilgrims, The elevator once broke at my previous church in Cherokee, Iowa. Not only were people stuck inside, but whenever they pressed the "up" button, the elevator went down. And when they pressed the "down" button, the elevator went up....

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Midweek Message: The Wonder of Christmas

Nov. 30, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, "Wonder takes our breath away, and makes room for new breath. That's why they call it breathtaking." - Anne Lamott One of the more provocatively titled books on faith and spirituality over the past several years is Help, Thanks,...

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Midweek Message: Blessings at the Table

Nov. 23, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, As you make your final preparations to gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving, I want to share with you this poem by the poet Joy Harjo. I appreciate her use of the table as a metaphor for what holds us together, as the place...

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Midweek Message: Living in the Moment

Nov. 16, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, The Lord went in front of them in a pillar of cloud by day, to lead them along the way, and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light, so that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 3:21 I have been living with that...

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Midweek Message: Chicken Noodle Ice Tea Soup

Nov. 9, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Kermit the Frog: “Hey Fozzie, whatcha got there?” Fozzie Bear: “This? Well, it’s called a Thermos.” Kermit: “Cool. What’s a Thermos?” Fozzie: “Well, a Thermos keeps hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold.” Kermit: “Interesting. So,...

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Midweek Message: Lessons From The Saints

Nov. 2, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, There, so far as is allowed us, when we are gathered together in exultation and joy, the Lord will enable us to celebrate the birthday of the martyrs, both for the memory of those who have contended, and for the exercise and...

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Midweek Message: Claiming Our Vision

Dear Hyde Park Family, In case you missed it in worship last Sunday, the big announcement in my sermon was that we are starting a year-long visioning process in the church that will clarify the long-term strategic vision for this congregation. I invite you to watch...

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MidWeek Message: Craving Unity

Sept. 28, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Today's Midweek Message is brought to you by Flavor Blasted Xtra Cheddar Goldfish crackers. That's what Madelyn was craving in the car after I picked her up from school yesterday. "That's strange," I said to her. "It's been years...

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Midweek Message: Lessons From Irma

Sept. 21, 2017   Dear Hyde Park Family,   There were a lot of responses to my Midweek Message last week. In both my Midweek and my sermon, I invited us to reflect on what Hurricane Irma has taught us: about ourselves, what we value, what we fear, how we will be better...

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Midweek Message: Calm Amid the Storm

First, a pastoral word. This has been quite a week. Hurricane Irma has been a looming threat for the past several days. For many of us, our nerves are frazzled and our minds are on high alert. Emotions have vacillated between fear for the future and a determination to...

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Midweek Message – Hurricane Harvey: How You Can Help

Dear Hyde Park Family, Today’s Midweek Message is clear and simple: The people of Texas need help, and the United Methodist Church is ready to respond. Our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already actively engaged in providing and coordinating response...

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Midweek Message: Living the Golden Rule

Dear Hyde Park Family, An episode of the classic television series The Honeymooners featured this exchange between the iconic Ralph Kramden and his buddy Ed Norton: Ralph: When she put two potatoes on the table, one big one and one small one, you immediately took the...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for the Start of School

Dear Hyde Park Family, Well the day has finally arrived. I am now officially the father of two high schoolers. Grace is entering her junior year at Plant High School, Madelyn is entering her freshman year at the International Baccalaureate program at Robinson, and I...

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Midweek Message: Five Reminders about God

Dear Hyde Park Family, 5 days. 400 children. 220 volunteers. And one amazing spirit of joy and gladness. That's the numerical summary of our Hyde Park campus this week, as we have been experiencing yet another incredible Vacation Bible School. Themed "Maker Fun...

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Midweek Message: My Summer Reading List, 2017

Dear Hyde Park Family, Sitting at my desk, staring at the stack of books awaiting my eager attention this summer: “Bid Our Jarring Conflicts Cease: A Wesleyan Theology and Praxis of Church Unity” by David Field. My continuing work with “the broad center” of the...

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Midweek Message: A Word That’s Worth a Thousand Pictures

  Dear Hyde Park Family, Noted spiritual author Richard Foster explains a way of experiencing the Scriptures called "Imaginative Reading," in which we employ all our senses to engage its words. In reading the Gospels, for example, Foster writes, "Smell the sea. Hear...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for Pastors

Dear Hyde Park Family, By the time you read this, I will be in Orlando at the latest gathering of the Florida Annual Conference, along with your other clergy, your lay delegates, and about a thousand other United Methodists from around the state. It is always an...

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Midweek Message: Hello Summer!

Dear Hyde Park Family, Hello, summer! Whether you are making plans to get away for a vacation, or looking forward to long days of leisure at home, I trust that this season will afford you and your loved ones a chance to rest and rejuvenate a bit from all your busyness...

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Midweek Message: Staring Up at Heaven

Dear Hyde Park Family, A few weeks ago, my daughters and I spent a few days vacationing at a nearby hotel. Lounging poolside, I noticed a group of older elementary-aged kids, laughing and jabbering as they swam. Then, we all looked up at the sky, and noticed an...

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MidWeek Message: The Long Shadow of Mental Illness

It is an illness that affects about one in five Americans every year: nearly 43 million people. It is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. The World Health Organization estimates that it poses a greater economic and social burden on global market...

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Midweek Message: The Broad Center of the Church

May 11, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Next year, the United Methodist Church will be fifty years old. And it will be in its forty-sixth year debating homosexuality. That is a long time for family members to be at odds. The dispute has only grown more hostile over recent...

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Midweek Message: Comfort in Continuity

May 4, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, This past weekend, I felt like a teenager again. Last Friday night, my daughter Grace and the Plant High School Wind Ensemble performed two selections that immediately transported me back to my high school days. As soon as I heard...

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Midweek Message: Make ’em Laugh!

April 20, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Stop me if you've heard this one... A minister got up before the congregation to deliver the Call to Worship, only to discover a problem with the microphone. He tapped it with his hand, blew into it loudly, knocked it a few times...

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Midweek Message: The Violence of Love

March 30, 2017 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, Last Friday was the 37th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the great Catholic martyr. Romero was one of the most prominent figures for human rights in the 20th century, and spoke on behalf of the poor and the...

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Midweek Message: Is God Mad at Me?

March 24, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, When I was an elementary student at a local Christian school, my classmates and I were all fearful of principal Jack Santhouse. He seemed at least 6-1/2 feet tall, with broad shoulders and sullen eyes, a square jaw, and a sharp...

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Midweek Message: To Grace, on Her Sixteenth Birthday

March 16, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Part of the privilege of having a forum like the Midweek Message is that I get to share whatever is on my mind with a wonderful readership like you. Often the content is spiritual, other times social commentary, and other times...

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Midweek Message: Two Prayers

March 9, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Several years ago, I received a precious gift from my dear friend and lifelong mentor Rev. Dr. Jack Stroman, the senior pastor who nurtured my call into ministry when I was a youth at Pasadena Community Church in St. Petersburg. He...

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Midweek Message: 10 Other Things You Might Give Up for Lent

10 Other Things You Might Give Up for Lent Dear Lenten Pilgrims, A recent online, non-scientific survey [link provided below] by Christianity Today revealed the most popular things people give up for Lent: 1) social networking, 2) chocolate, 3) Twitter, 4) alcohol,...

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Midweek Message: A Guide to Prayer for a Way Forward

Feb. 23, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may." -- John Wesley, "On Catholic Spirit" It is likely no surprise to you that the United...

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Midweek Message: The Faith (and Questions) of a Child

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...

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Midweek Message: A Valentine’s Day Prayer

Feb. 9, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Valentine's Day is one of those commercialized holidays that most folks either observe or ignore. It may be that you have a special someone with whom next Tuesday will be a time of celebration. For others, it may be a melancholy...

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Midweek Message: Fear is not from God

Feb. 2, 2017 Dear Hyde Park Family, Here's a verse I've been praying through this past week. It's from 2 Timothy 1:7, and I invite you to read it. Slowly, closely, and prayerfully: God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound...

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Midweek Message: Sit in the Back, or Help Them Soar?

Dear Hyde Park Family, One of the first churches I served after graduating from seminary was a small, rural congregation in the deep South. I was young and eager to please, and still somewhat oblivious to the realities of ministry in the real world. Within the first...

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Midweek Message: Seeking the Light

Dec. 22, 2016 Dear Hyde Park Family, Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look...

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Midweek Message: Light for Your Longest Night

Dear Hyde Park Family,   Each year, Dec. 21 marks the winter solstice, in which our northern hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the sun.  Winter will officially begin with the longest period of nighttime all year and from then, our daylight will gradually...

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Midweek Message: The Gospel According to Ricky Bobby

Dec. 8, 2016 Dear Advent Pilgrims, It is easy to forget that none of the gospels were written by Currier and Ives. We like to envision that the first manger scene was tranquil and serene, with lowing cattle and twinkling angel light. All was calm, and all was bright....

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Midweek Message: The Hole and the Line

Dec. 1, 2016 Dear Advent Pilgrims, If you ever find yourself inside any of a number of cathedrals in Europe, you would best look up as well as down. Look up, and you may notice a dazzling painting of sun rays, all surrounding a hole in the middle of the ceiling,...

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