Vision Process Update
For the past 11 months, a team of 14 people representing our congregation has been hard at work engaging all the members of this church, our staff, our programs, and our missions. We have undertaken this sustained Visioning process knowing we have a special and enduring calling in a dynamic and changing world: to make God’s love real in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, and to all the people we can.
In July and August, the Vision team issued a church-wide survey, and your response was truly amazing. 710 people took part in the survey, a sample that well represents every cross-section of our congregation. We had proportionate representation from those who attend each of our worship services and perspectives from both those who are new to Hyde Park and those who have been here for decades. Survey participants provided literally thousands of written responses to open-ended questions, each of which has been thoughtfully read.
So what’s next in this process? The Vision Team is prayerfully reviewing content from the many Visioning Chats that were held in the spring; meetings with small groups; data looking at attendance, demography and community attitudes; and the survey. The team is synthesizing their findings from these efforts, which will result in recommendations to this church. Those recommendations will be widely shared via town-hall-style gatherings, after which we will all be invited to a church conference to vote on them. Please continue to keep this process in prayer.
Vision Survey Recap
Thank you! 720 people
Vision Chat Recap
It is with deep gratitude that we express our appreciation to everyone who participated in a Vision Chat this spring.
Close to 200 members of our congregation contributed openly and generously in these important conversations as part of our sustained effort to discern how the Spirit intends to use Hyde Park United Methodist– its people, its service and its worship – to make God’s love real and make disciples, both today and in the future. We had congregation-wide open chats as well as focused meetings with specific groups (the youth, previous leadership, choir and JPT,
We had chats open to the entire congregation as well as focused meetings with specific groups, including current and former leaders, our 20s and 30s ministry, our youth, small groups, and the Chancel Choir and Joyful Praise Team, just to name a few.
Together, we explored and wrestled with challenging questions about our high calling as Christ’s church in Tampa, asking
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist deepen its discipleship?
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist extend its reach into the community and the world?
- How can Hyde Park United Methodist adapt to cultural changes?
In response, you shared personal anecdotes, perspectives, meditations, observations, and revelations, all of which are shaping and being incorporated into the next step in our listening phase of this initiative: a congregational survey.
This online survey is being developed now and will be rolled out this summer in June or July. We’ll communicate the survey widely and look forward to deepening this conversation with you.
What are we doing?
- Engaging a sustained effort to discern how the Spirit intends to use Hyde Park – it’s people, its service, and its worship – to make God’s love real (John 21:15-17) and make disciples (Matthew 28:19), both today and in the future
Why are we doing this?
- God is calling Hyde Park UMC to an exciting future: one where we are making God’s love real in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, and to all the people we can
- The world is changing, and people think the world is becoming more separated and more divided.
- Our mission to Make God’s Love Real hasn’t changed. Our goals of sharing the message of God’s grace and forgiveness, bringing healing to our city and the world, and inviting people to follow Jesus are as urgent as ever.
- We can no longer assume the church has the same stature, authoritative voice or appeal as it once did in our culture. The world is changing and Tampa is changing, too.
- Hyde Park UMC can play an important and practical role as repairer and restorer of the divisions we see in the world. (Isaiah 58:12)
What have we done so far?
- Met with leaders of the church’s ministries
- Met with the church’s elected committee leaders
- Met with program staff
- Asked for the congregation’s “headline” visions
- Reviewed data on the demographics and engagement of our church members
- Engaged in focused conversations with nearly 200 church members through Vision Chats
Where are we in the process now?
- Listening mode and further data gathering – with a congregational survey being distributed in July. We’ll communicate the survey widely and look forward to deepening this conversation with you.
What do we need from the people of Hyde Park?
- Be in prayer that our congregation hears and discerns the Spirit’s word to us
- Participate in the upcoming congregational survey