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Dear Hyde Park Family,

It is a condition that affects about one in 1 in 5 adults in the United States each year. One in 6 American youth experience this challenge, and it is the most common cause of hospitalizations of people under the age of 45. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and costs an estimated 1 trillion dollars of lost productivity around the world. (click here for more stats)

Yet, it carries a significant social stigma that allows it to remain unacknowledged for countless individuals and families.

Chances are, someone you know and care for is affected by some form of mental illness. It shows no preference for any one demographic or life stage, and casts a long shadow in the homes, schools, and workplaces throughout our communities. You may even be struggling yourself. 

In 1990, Congress assigned the first week in October as an annual observance of issues related to mental health. So, last week, October 2-8 was National Mental Illness Awareness Weekand this past Monday was National Mental Health Day. 


I invite you to take a moment to pray for those affected by some form of mental illness. Work to overcome your own prejudice against people who are suffering, and help stem society’s stigma. Take a moment to reach out in love and concern to loved ones you know who deal with this on a daily basis. Offer them a note of understanding, a compassionate ear, or simply a kind word. 

And if you are one of the millions dealing with mental illness, you need not take this journey alone. Seek out the trusted counsel of a friend or professional and feel the presence of God’s peace in your life. 

I have mentioned numerous times that seeking professional therapy has been the best gift I have given myself for over twenty years. We have some members in our congregation who are wonderful therapists, and you can reach out to one of us clergy to find out more. Or, you may be able to find a therapist the way I found my current one: through the recommendation of a primary care physician and consulting my health insurance provider. 

Together, let’s do the work of the church, and be a beacon of light for those who walk along dark paths.  

Grace and Peace,





Two weeks ago, you all responded to a desperate plea for water for the people across Florida by donating over 1,200 gallons of water! This past week, we shared with you a request by our Conference Disaster Response Office to help underwrite the purchase of roof quality tarps for residents, at a cost of $75 per tarp. They asked us to meet a goal of 100 tarps, and your response has been amazing.

You have donated over $28,000, enough to purchase 386 tarps!

Added to the contributions you have made to both the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Hurricane Ian Fundyou have contributed over $51,000! 

As we await word from the Conference on the next urgent need that we can help meet, you can still give to these funds if you would like. And if you would like to volunteer for a possible work team in the future, contact Vicki Walker.




Join us this Sunday as we continue in our worship series “The Art of Hearing God’s Voice,” when we will explore this interesting and intriguing question: “Does God Speak Through Dreams?” As always, invite a friend to join you, or share the sermon with them on our YouTube page.