Dear Hyde Park Family,

For today’s Midweek Message, I thought we could give you an update on everything that has happened over the past six months, since our Vision Plan was unanimously adopted last December. Read ahead for all the exciting developments as we claim God’s future for this church.

An Update on the Implementation of our Vision Plan

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

God has uniquely equipped Hyde Park United Methodist for an exciting future: one where we are making God’s love real, in which people will be connected into loving community, transformed to be more like Jesus, and equipped to teach others how to live life as God intends.

Claiming that future involves adapting to the challenges of the present. Just like the early church did thousands of years ago, we must tailor our practices to reach an ever-changing population in Tampa and beyond. Our mission is the same; some of the ways we fulfill that mission must be adapted to the times.

To that end, here is a reminder of where we have been over the last two years, and an update on where we are heading:

  • The Vision Team synthesized a year’s worth of information from meetings with hundreds of church members and visitors, staff and lay leaders; through ministry assessments; open-invitation visioning chats with more than 200 participants; and a congregation-wide survey with more than 700 respondents; among other outreach.


  • A long-term strategic Vision plan was voted on and unanimously approved at a Church Conference on Dec. 17, 2018. It sets the foundation for deepening our faith, widening our outreach and uniting together in the love of God (read more). The Vision plan:
      • Names opportunities and challenges we face as we seek to fulfill our mission in a changing culture
      • Identifies facts bearing on the challenges we face
      • Sets the framework and rationale for what, in some cases, need to be major changes in our approach to ministry
      • Makes recommendations for next steps and follow on actions


  • An Implementation Team (7 volunteers and 2 staff) was established by the Committee on Lay Leadership, as part of a decision at the Dec. 17, 2018 Church Conference, to shepherd the process and the work of the lay teams.


  • We began the first phase of implementing the recommendations from our Vision Team in February, 2019, and formed 12 initiative teams.


  • 12 Initiative teams are focusing on each recommendation from the Vision Team: Worship, Communications, Stewardship, The Portico, The Portico Cafe, Organization, Staffing, Connection, Discipleship, Debt / Property, Invitation and Missions. These teams are made up of 77 volunteers and 10 staff.


  • Each team is working on recommendations. Teams are considering a wide range of topics, including ways to enhance our worship services, easy ways for new people to connect with small groups and missions opportunities, better ways to communicate and how to increase our biblical literacy. (Read more about each team’s focus.) Some teams will complete their work this summer, and others will continue working through November.


  • No decisions have been made yet. Proposals will first be reviewed by the Implementation Team. Depending on the nature and scope of the proposal, approval may need to come from the Ministry Leadership Council and, in some cases, by a called church conference. Initiatives will be implemented as the overall timeline develops.


  • Next steps in ministry together will be communicated along the way as things become clearer. Your Hyde Park staff and Implementation Team will share information via our website, bulletin, eNews and email. If you’d like to offer comments or ask questions at any point in the process, you can email the team at

As Proverbs 3:5-6 says, we are trusting God in this process. We believe that God has uniquely equipped this church to be on the leading edge of what it means to share God’s love across a changing landscape, just as generations have done before us.

Grace and Peace,


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

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