Dear Hyde Park Family,
With Advent starting this Sunday, it is the official start of the new Christian liturgical year. We look forward to a fresh arrival of Jesus Christ in our lives, and anticipate all that God will be doing in and through this church throughout the upcoming year.
So, in that spirit of anticipation, today’s Midweek Message is a sneak peek into an exciting year of worship in 2024:
2024 Worship Series
You are Not Alone: Spiritual Insights for Creating Community
January 7 to February 11
We crave connection with one another, along with healthy, life-giving relationships that enable us to live fully as God intends it. This series will explore various kinds of human connection and discover spiritual insights for helping us have healthier friendships and families, and a stronger social fabric.
January 7 “You are Not Alone” Genesis 2:15-25
January 14 “Baptized into Community” Mark 4:1-11
January 21 “Stronger Families” Ephesians 5:21-33
January 28 “Stronger Friendships” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
February 4 “A Stronger Social Fabric” Romans 12:9-21
In the Shadow of the Cross: Joining Jesus on the Road to Calvary
February 14 to March 24
Lent is a time of introspection and obedience. Each Sunday, we will center on various aspects of our lives that we should surrender to God, and exchange them for the cross. We will remember that Jesus not only died on the cross in our place, he showed us how to take up the cross and die to ourselves, so that we can experience the new life and transformation of Easter.
February 14 Ashes to Ashes Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
February 18 How to Be Temptation Tough Mark 1:9-15
February 25 Losing Life to Gain It Mark 8:31-38
March 3 The Tables Have (Over)turned John 2:13-22
March 10 Preferring to Stay in the Dark John 3:14-21
March 17 What Goes Down Will Come Up John 12:20-33
March 24 From Hosanna to Crucify Him Mark 11:1-11
March 31 Easter Sunday: From Death to Life! Mark 16:1-8
Life’s Highs and Lows: Navigating the Landscapes of the Soul
April 7 to May 12
From one day to the next, even one moment to the next, it can feel like going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. It is no surprise that the Bible is filled with numerous landscape images that depict the varieties of human experience. This series explores the various biblical settings that describe aspects of being human, and encourages us to trust in God and seek the companionship of others along the way.
April 7 Mountains: Moments of Celebration Psalm 121
April 14 Valleys: Seasons of Loss and Grief Psalm 23
April 21 Deserts: Times of Loneliness and Anxiety Psalm 107:1-9
April 28 Skies: Times of Hope and Promise 1 Kings 18:42-46
May 5 Rivers: Places of Refreshment and Renewal Psalm 1
May 12 Roads: Strength for the Journey Ahead Psalm 119:27-40
May 19 The Power of the Spirit (Pentecost Sunday) Acts 2:1-15
Hard to Believe: Essential But Challenging Aspects of the Faith
May 26 to June 23
The Christian faith is filled with many wondrous propositions, each of which stretch our thinking and remind us that God is beyond our ability to fully comprehend them. At the same time, these ideas can be so challenging that they prompt moments of skepticism, and even disbelief. Each of these Sundays explores a different, central aspect of the Christian faith and unpacks it using the resources of Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason, enabling us to embrace these essential tenets with a refreshed ability to believe.
May 26 The Trinity: How Can Three Equal One?
June 2 Human and Divine: How Could Jesus Be Both?
June 9 Qualities of God: All Present, Knowing, and Powerful?
June 16 Suffering and Evil: The Impossible Chess Match
June 23 Prayer: What Good Does it Do?
Voices of Inspiration: Great Lives that Light Our Way
June 30 to August 4
The history of the church is filled with luminaries of the faith, who reveal aspects of holy living that strengthen and encourage us. Each Sunday we will not just remember the story of their lives; we will lean into their example, and explore how we can carry on their legacy through the way we live.
June 30 Dietrich Bonhoeffer
July 7 Mother Theresa
July 14 Howard Thurman
July 21 Mahalia Jackson
July 28 Mary McLeod Bethune
August 4 Oscar Romero
Branching Out: Our Place in the Faith Family Tree
August 11 to 25
As United Methodists, we recognize that we are part of a grander connection throughout the world, with people of faith beyond United Methodism and Christianity. This series explores “where we fit” in the family tree of Christian denominations, how we relate to people of other religions, and even our posture of humble witness and profession with people who are irreligious or formerly religious.
August 11 The Catholic Spirit: Our Relationship with Other Denominations
August 18 Outside Christianity: Our Relationship with Other Faith Traditions
August 25 Out on a Limb: Our Relationship with Non-Believers
Foundations for the Future: Celebrating Our 125th Anniversary
September 1 to 15
In 1899, a group of 30 people from First Methodist in Tampa crossed the Hillsborough River to begin meeting in a two-room schoolhouse at the corner of Platt and Magnolia. 125 years later, we are living into a legacy that has proclaimed the good news of Jesus and built the kingdom of God for generations. This three-part worship series celebrates the grace of God and the history of our church, and points us toward an exciting future for generations to come.
September 1 The Church’s One Foundation
September 8 Making God’s Leave Real: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
September 15 I Love to Tell the Story: Our 125th Anniversary Celebration
Built to Last: Becoming the Church God Intends
September 22 to October 27
A natural and important follow-up to our 125th Anniversary Celebration is a season of recommitment to grow deeper as disciples, widen our reach to others, and be united in mission to love God and love all. This five-part series reviews the five-fold membership vow that declares our support to God’s mission in our church.
September 22 Prayers
September 29 Presence
October 6 Gifts
October 13 Service (Missions Celebration Sunday)
October 20 Witness/Invitation
October 27 Commitment Sunday
Not the End of the World: Hope in Jesus During Difficult Times
These scriptures invite us all to ask where God is when things go wrong. In a world caught up in a negative news cycle, the texts that speak to hopelessness, fear, and even the close of history can teach us much about remaining faithful in difficult times. This series will help us remain hopeful, even when the headlines seem out of control.
November 3 The Work of Waiting Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
November 10 Skipping to the End 2 Thess. 2:1-5, 13-17
November 17 Full Disclosure Luke 21:5-19
November 24 Proving Who You Are Luke 23:33-43
The Christmas Letters: An Advent Invitation from the Epistles
December 3 to 24
This Advent we will explore aspects of the incarnation of Jesus through scriptures from Romans, Colossians, Philippians, and 1 John, along with the birth narratives in the gospels. The series will be based on my upcoming book of the same title, to be published by Abingdon Press.
December 1 Good News: Hope for Salvation Romans 1:1-6
December 8 Love Incarnate: The Word of Life Reveale 1 John 3-4
December 15 Fully Human: Joy in Humility Philippians 2:1-11
December 22 Fully Divine: Peace through Christ Colossians 2:6-15
December 24 God’s Downward Mobility Luke 2:1-20
Next year promises to be filled with excitement, joy, and wisdom. I am eager to take this journey with you in 2024!
Grace and Peace,
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
UPCOMING ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS EVENTS
Visit our website to check out the full calendar of Advent and Christmas events this month, including inspiring concerts over the next ten days by the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, the Tampa Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, the Florida Wind Band, and the Lumina Youth Choir. You can also learn about our donation drive to provide boxes of breakfast cereal to ECHO of Brandon, one of our missions partners.
ESTIMATE OF GIVING UPDATE
We are off to a very strong start in our estimates of giving for next year. We are ahead of the pace of last year, with a long way to go before our Finance Committee can finalize the 2024 budget this January. To submit an estimate quickly and securely, visit our website.