August 31, 2023
Dear Hyde Park Family,
We find ourselves again cleaning up on the other side of a major hurricane. Both the Hyde Park and Portico campuses are fine and never lost power. The same is true of the church parsonage on Davis Islands, despite widespread flooding across our area. All church programming has resumed as normal, including The Portico Café, which has reopened for business.
I pray that you and your loved ones managed the storm safely, and that your homes and belongings suffered no significant damage. If not, our clergy team is available to support you. Please email me, Sally, Vicki, or Justin.
Even as we pray for our own recovery as a congregation, we remember those north of us suffering from far greater damage from the storm, just as we continue to pray for those south of us who continue to rebuild from last year’s storms.
Once we receive formal, specific guidance from our Annual Conference on how our church can respond, we will share it with you. In the meantime, the Conference Disaster Office has set up a call center that receives requests for assistance from persons across the state, regardless of religious affiliation.
The phone number for the Conference Disaster Office is (855) 228-3862, and people can call it for the following purposes:
· Requesting Assistance: People can call requesting aid with tasks like tarping, cleaning flooded homes, debris removal, and chainsaw work.
· Giving Contributions: People can donate funds, supplies, and materials to people in need. Staff at the call center will share what is most needed in which communities.
· Volunteering: People are needed to serve on recovery teams, subject to required training. People are also needed to serve immediately as call center volunteers in Lakeland.
In times of crises, we are blessed to be in connection with United Methodists far and wide. May the reminder that none of us are alone bring us comfort and peace in the days ahead.
Grace and Peace,
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
GUEST PREACHER THIS SUNDAY
We are honored to welcome back the Rev. Gary Mason as our guest preacher this Sunday. He is the Executive Director of Rethinking Conflict, which helps broker peace-building conversations among conflicted communities around the world. Rev. Mason was instrumental in forging the Good Friday Peace Accord, which in 1999 brought an end to the 30-Year War known as “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. He will conclude our worship series “The Jesus Challenge” with a sermon on “Loving Our Enemies.”