The Midweek Message

from Senior Pastor Magrey deVega

 

 

 

Midweek Message: “For the Love of Nicaragua”

Dear Hyde Park Family, Among the myriad of local and global concerns that may be filling your prayers nowadays, I ask you to include one with whom this church has personal connections. Over the past several months, the nation of Nicaragua has been seized by violence,...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for Those Facing Storms

Dear Hyde Park Family, We all remember what we were feeling a year ago. As Hurricane Irma barreled toward us, we felt the wearying combination of dread, fatigue and agonizing waiting. Those who evacuated wondered what kind of home they would return to. Those who...

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Top Ten Traps for Taming the Tongue

Dear Hyde Park Tongue Tamers, This Sunday, our journey through the book of James takes us to the most vivid and practical section in the entire letter: How to tame your tongue (James 3:1-12). It is also a text for which I wrote a sermon that will be broadcast next...

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Midweek Message – 4 Tips for a Balanced Life

Dear Hyde Park Family, When I read James 2 in preparation for this Sunday’s sermon, in which James tells us to show no favoritism based on people’s outward appearance, I immediately thought about Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.” You know the story. Our...

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Midweek Message: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Dear Hyde Park Family, During one of my private devotionals this past week, I came across a story about Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb after 1,000 unsuccessful attempts. An interviewer asked him, “Mr. Edison, how did you feel after failing 1,000 times?” I...

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Midweek Message: Love Covers All

Dear Hyde Park Family, How about some good news for a change? For those who experienced worship last Sunday, you heard me conclude my sermon with the powerful story of Ken Parker, a participant in last year’s gathering of white supremacists in...

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Midweek Message: The MAD That You Feel

Dear Hyde Park Family, Like many of you, I was heavily influenced at a young age by Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, a television show experiencing renewed nostalgia thanks to the recent documentary about Fred Rogers’ life. (My favorite film of 2018 so far.) One of my...

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Midweek Message: The Ten Books I Read This Summer

Dear Hyde Park Family, With the start of school just around the corner, I hope that you and yours have had a full, enriching summer break. Perhaps that has included diving into a good book or two. For today's Midweek Message, I thought I would share the ten books I...

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Midweek Message: Adventure Yourself!

Dear Hyde Park Family, Be sure to read the end of today's Midweek Message for an important word about our upcoming congregational survey, and the way you can participate in the next critical phase of our Vision Team's work. SHIPWRECKED! First, I wish I could fully...

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Midweek Message: A Prayer for Pastors in the Year Ahead

Dear Hyde Park Family, Last week was the gathering in Lakeland of the Florida Annual Conference, comprised of clergy and laity from around the state. One of the highlights is always the service of licensing, commissioning and ordination, in which we celebrate persons...

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Midweek Message: More Than Mumbo Jumbo

Dear Hyde Park Family, On many Sundays, when we gather to worship, we affirm our faith using the words of the Apostles' Creed. It takes less than a minute to recite - forty seconds, by my watch - followed quickly with a time to greet those around us, then sit down to...

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Midweek Message: Commence with Empathy

Dear Hyde Park Family, We are in full swing of graduation ceremonies across the country and our community, which carries with it a new slate of commencement addresses that capture our attention. There is typically no set formula for what makes a good commencement...

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Midweek Message: “Spirit Shower”

Dear Hyde Park Family, You’ll want to be sure to read the end of today’s Midweek Message for a word of update and gratitude regarding our church’s visioning process. For now here’s a quick word about Pentecost, my favorite high holy day of the entire Christian year.  ...

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Midweek Message: Go Clean Your Room!

Dear Hyde Park Family, Let me be the first one - and likely the only one - to wish you and yours a "Happy National Clean Up Your Room Day." That's right. It's a day wholly designated to encourage people to clean up their rooms. I have no idea about the origins or...

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Midweek Message: Duck Hunter Shoots Angel

Dear Hyde Park Family, It's hard to explain to you what the play Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is about without giving away all the fun. The title alone should be enough to suggest that if you watch the production at The Portico on April 27-28, you will walk away thinking...

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Midweek Message: Hey, What’s So Funny?

Dear Easter People, Think about the last time you laughed heartily at a joke, a story, or something you witnessed. What made it funny? Was it the timing? The surprise? The absurdity? And do you think that what you found funny was equally hysterical to others? Those...

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Midweek Message: A Poem for Holy Week

March 29, 2018 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, from The Crucified by Kahlil Gibran Oh, crucified Jesus, who art looking sorrowfully from Mount Calvary at the sad procession of the Ages, and hearing the clamor of the dark nations, and understanding the dreams of Eternity: Thou...

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Midweek Message: Start What You Finish

March 22, 2018 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, That's an odd twist on an old cliché, but it's good advice for any of us who are too quick to jump to Easter without moving through the Holy Week. Our stores may be stocked with chocolate bunnies and shrink-wrapped baskets, but...

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Midweek Message: Short People

March 15, 2018 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, I was four years old when Randy Newman's song Short People first hit the airwaves in 1977. You may remember it for its catchy hook and prejudicial premise: Short people got no reason Short people got no reason Short people got no...

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Midweek Message: The Greatest Uncertainty of All

March 8, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, We are now past the midpoint of our Lenten journey, and our series this Sunday explores what is perhaps the most profound and most difficult uncertainty for us to embrace: the uncertainty of our own mortality. It is a theme that...

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Midweek Message: Worried? Read This

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, This Sunday's worship theme is the uncertainty of worry and anxiety, a topic that I know is of widespread relevance to so many of us. Every Tuesday, the staff of this church read through each of the prayer concerns you send through your worship...

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Midweek Message: When the Youth Shall Lead Us

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, Last fall, Grace joined the leadership team of our Merge youth group, and was asked to serve as its Communications Connector. It meant that she became responsible for writing a brief, weekly column in the youth e-news. She calls it her "Mini...

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Midweek Message: Just Me and My Shadow

Feb. 15, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, The last thing the girls and I did in Iowa before returning to Florida in 2015 was to perform in the Cherokee Community Theater's production of J.M. Barrie's classic children's tale Peter Pan. Grace was a Native American girl,...

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Midweek Message: Ready to Embrace the Uncertain?

Feb. 1, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, Imagine this Valentine's Day spending a romantic evening with that special someone. You look into the other person's eyes, with a loving, winsome smile, and whisper tenderly to them: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you...

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Midweek Message: The World is Changing; Our Task Has Not

Jan. 25, 2018 Dear Hyde Park Family, The church leadership book Canoeing the Mountain suggests that the church is well-equipped to minister to a world that no longer exists. The world before us little resembles the world behind us. One can no longer assume that the...

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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

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 prepared, and how...

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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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