Dear Hyde Park Family,

Ah, summer.

In Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird, I love the way young Scout describes summer:

“Summer was on the way; Jem and I awaited it with impatience. Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the tree house; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”

I don’t know what summer is for you. Maybe it’s not cots, tree houses and dill, but trips with family, sleep-ins rather than morning scrambles, or catching up on leisure reading.

Still, is it possible that this summer might be, in Scout’s words, your “best season?” At least when it comes to staying connected to God and your church family here at Hyde Park?

Might there be ways, amid your varied summer plans, to deepen your faith, strengthen your connection to others, and make God’s love real?

I’d like to think so, which is why I invite you to consider The Top Five Ways to Feel Connected this Summer:

1. WORSHIP ONLINE

Over the past few months, our terrific team of worship tech volunteers, led by staffer Mat Hotho, has been enhancing our online, live stream viewing experience. If you are away during the summer, join us online, where you can watch the 9:30 and 11 Sanctuary services.

Our two worship series this summer will inform and inspire you to deepen your understanding of the Christian faith and do God’s work of healing and reconciliation in the world. Learn more about our “We Believe” series here, and we can look forward to “No Longer Strangers,” a series on the book of Ephesians in July.

Feel connected, wherever you are, to the community in worship. And as an added bonus, we will be welcoming back the Rev. Roger Scholtz to the Hyde Park pulpit on July 8!

2. VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL

Once again, we are ramping up for a joy-filled, energy-packed week of Vacation Bible School, an absolute highlight of our church year. We will have more than 400 children learning about God’s love, led by hundreds of volunteers.

In fact, we are still looking for about 15-20 adults to serve in some important roles throughout the week, so I invite you to check out our website to find out more. You will get all the training you need next week. All you need is a willing heart and a caring spirit!

3. POINT OF VIEW CONVERSATIONS

The response to our upcoming Point of View Conversations (POV) has been positive and strong. This three-week journey will foster conversations of empathy, understanding, and healthy dialogue in our congregation on matters of LGBTQ inclusion. You can read more about it in my prior Midweek Message.

They take place 6:30-8 p.m. June 13, 20, and 27 at The Portico, and there are still a handful of spots available for you to sign up. Feel connected as we break down barriers and strengthen our relationships.

4. CONGREGATIONAL SURVEY

The next big phase of our visioning process, which you can read about here, is a congregation-wide survey, which we will be sending out in the next few weeks. You will hear more about it soon, and we hope you will take some time over the summer to give their insights on some key questions about God’s direction for our future. Feel connected as we claim our future together.

5. DAILY SCRIPTURE READING

Finally, join us in reading, studying and praying through the Bible using our daily scripture readings. These texts have been carefully selected by our discipleship team to coincide with the themes of our worship series, and will unite us in experiencing the truths of the Bible all throughout the summer.

It is an amazing feeling to remember that the passages you read every day are the very same ones that others in this congregation are reading at the same time. Feel connected through the power of the Scripture.

On behalf of the clergy, staff, and lay leadership of this church, I wish you and yours a blessed summer. May it be your “best season ever!”

Grace and peace,

Magrey

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

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