How to Help Your Kids and Teens Deal with Anxiety

How to Help Your Kids and Teens Deal with Anxiety

How is everyone doing in your house? No, really! How is the worry and anxiety level in your home this week?

Do you know what the most common mental concern is in the United States is? It is Anxiety Disorder. It effects 40 million adults. It also is the most common mental struggle for children and teens. Nearly 32% of adolescents have suffered from serious anxiety at some point.

According to statistics and studies, if you have a child or teen in your home, there is a 1 in 3 chance they are struggling with some form of anxiety. Thanks to phones and social media, teen anxiety disorder is on the rise. It is not surprising, but that does not mean we as Christians need to brush it off as lack of faith or spiritual weakness either.

We want to offer you some helpful, loving advice and guidance. We do not want to ignore this growing problem that may be also impacting your family. We want to encourage you to take the time with our child to talk about how they are feeling. Find out what is stressing them or what might be bringing on worry before it turns into something more.

Not every feeling of anxiety and worry is sin or evil. We know that there are many things that can affect your children and their feelings of anxiety. We do have a powerful God with powerful promises. As you pray over your child this week, whether they are struggling with anxiety or not, consider a few of these verses.

  • Luke 12:22-26: May my child not be worried or anxious about the superficial things of this world.
  • Psalm 27:1: God, allow my child to realize that they can run to you in moments of anxiety and you will protect them.
  • Psalm 118:6-7: Guide my child as they go through their day today. Allow them to not worry about what other people say, think, or do.
  • Philippians 4:6-7: Lord, give my child peace in their heart and their mind.

Watch this great video resource as soon as you can. We hope this helps you and gives you a bit of time to reflect on your child/children’s mental, emotional and spiritual health. Take the time today or this week to sit down face-to-face as a family and check in on each other’s worries and anxiety levels.

We are available to talk, pray, or just listen to you and/or your child. Helping a child or teen with anxiety is a challenge Click here for age-appropriate resource for your child or teen for tips and practical ways you can help. If you are seeking professional advice or help, please also let us know. We would love to suggest some local adolescent professionals in our area. We are praying for you! Let us know how we can pray specifically for you and your family.

We Miss You, Need You – and Your Blood!

We Miss You, Need You – and Your Blood!

There’s no doubt, moving our church community online has had many far-reaching consequences. In addition to missing the chance to worship and fellowship together, we also miss opportunities to serve together. While all of our serving opportunities can be impactful, few have the impact of donating blood.

We have learned new ways to do so many things, including giving blood to those who need it, often desperately. While the Big Red Bus won’t be back at Hyde Park until we are, One Blood, our mission partner, has a variety of donation centers and mobile locations near you. It’s as easy as visiting their website and searching by ZIP code. Appointments are required. You’ll receive a cool T-shirt, a test to determine whether you have the COVID-19 antibodies, and the knowledge that you made a difference in someone’s life. Questions? Email Tracey Arehart, mission liaison.


Open Arms Cards and Letters

Open Arms Cards and Letters

Each Sunday morning, a small group of Open Arms volunteers gathers in the church parking lot to serve to-go lunches and deliver mail to our homeless community even while the campus is closed. With this service, the invaluable personal connections that are an important part of the Open Arms ministry are limited due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

Let’s show our Open Arms friends they are remembered and cared for – and continue to support this ministry even while on-campus activities are suspended by writing cards of encouragement.

We invite the church congregation to Make God’s Love Real by writing cards/letters of encouragement, drawing pictures (kids) for our Open Arms friends. These will be distributed on Sunday mornings at the Open Arms mail table for any guest who would like to receive this correspondence. The letters should be generic and not addressed to any specific individual; they will be distributed randomly.

Please mail to Hyde Park United Methodist, in care of Open Arms Letters Ministry, 500 W. Platt Street, Tampa, FL 33606. We recommend sending the cards in bulk, include an encouraging note or Scripture and sign your first name, and exclude your address from the individual envelopes.

Questions? Email Melissa Johnson

News from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

News from Missionaries Pat and Melenda Edmiston

Pat and Melenda Edmiston are missionaries with Wycliffe – Partners in Bible Translation, nondenominational mission organization dedicated to translating the Scriptures and teaching people to read and write in their own language. Pat and Melenda serve in the country of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Here’s an excerpt from their latest newsletter:

Travel Update
Pat’s trip back to PNG is still on hold as both Australia and Papua New Guinea continue to restrict the entry of international travelers. PNG will reassess its travel ban on July 31. They have only had eight reported cases of Covid-19 and 0 deaths so far. Pray that we will have wisdom in making any travel plans if the ban is lifted.

Melenda’s Mom passed away in May
Margaret Jane Casselberry, 95, of Casselberry, passed away on May 24, 2020. A graduate of Winter Park High School, she began her journalism career on the staff of the school newspaper and yearbook and writing a Girl Scout column for the Winter Park Herald. While majoring in art at Rollins College, Jane was encouraged to write by her English professor Nina Oliver Dean, a syndicated columnist. During World War II, she was a volunteer with the American Red Cross. In 1944, she married her high school sweetheart Leonard Casselberry at the Beaufort, South Carolina Naval Air Station where he was stationed.

To keep reading, click here.

My Favorite Old Testament Book

My Favorite Old Testament Book

Dear Hyde Park Family,

I have fond memories of a church member named Mary Carter during my years as an associate pastor here. She was a grand and spunky Southern gem from South Carolina and a member of our Altar Guild. The candles that we light on All Saints’ Sunday were purchased under her direction, and I think about her every time I see them.

Mary and I shared a special connection in our love for the book of Ecclesiastes. We talked about how the book is often misperceived as hopelessly nihilistic, rather than a realistic, relevant, and authentic portrayal of the complexities of the human condition. We agreed that, in each other, we had found a rare, mutual admiration for the book.

One time she came to my office, gift in hand, wanting to talk more about Ecclesiastes. She gave me a beautifully bound, antiquarian copy of a collection of poems called The Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam. “This,” she said, “is one of my favorite books. And it’s just like Ecclesiastes.” She had spent months locating a copy for me. I treasure it to this day.

Kayyam was an eleventh-century Persian astrologer, philosopher, scientist, and poet at heart. The Rubaiyat is his most famous collection of poetry, and his reflections on the pursuit of happiness, and his exploration of wisdom and love to make sense of the world seem to be lifted from the pages of Ecclesiastes itself:

On the Pursuit of Happiness (and Mary’s Love for Good Wine!)

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will make a test of pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But again, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, ‘It is mad,’ and of pleasure, ‘What use is it?’ I searched with my mind how to cheer my body with wine – my mind still guiding me with wisdom – and how to lay hold on folly, until I might see what was good for mortals to do under heaven during the few days of their life.”

Rubaiyat XXXIX:
How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

On the Nature of Time and Eternity (and My Favorite Passage in Ecclesiastes)

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13: “God has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.”

Rubaiyat XXXVII:
Ah, fill the Cup: – what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

On the Finiteness of Life

Ecclesiastes 3:19-20: “For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.”

Rubaiyat XXIV:
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and – sans End!


What Mary and I appreciated most about Ecclesiastes is that it challenges us to engage spiritual matters beyond pious platitudes and rote religious formulas. The Teacher of Ecclesiastes serves as our immersion journalist, digging deeply into issues of life and death, hope and despair, promise and pain. What results is a narrative that creates space and freedom for you to face your own skepticism, and perhaps even your cynicism. And it might even suggest to you that the only way to find ultimate meaning and purpose in God is to stretch yourself to the limits of your own humanity.

For all of these reasons, Ecclesiastes is my favorite book in the Old Testament.

I look forward to sharing more insights with you this Sunday, as part of our year through the Bible, and I hope you will join us. Until then, I’ll raise a glass to Mary Carter, giving thanks for the way she modeled how to “eat and drink and take pleasure in all her toil.”

Grace and Peace,


This Sunday at 12:15 p.m., there will be an Information Session regarding the potential purchase of the Women’s Center of Hyde Park. It will be an opportunity to hear information about the purchase and to ask questions. Register for the Zoom link.
For those with limited internet capability, there will also be a limited number of seats available in Knox Hall Room 150 to view the online session and to offer questions. You must be well and must submit an RSVP to attend.
A Church Conference has also been scheduled for Thursday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m., to vote on the purchase. For the latest information, click here.
The Midweek Message will take its customary hiatus during the month of July and will resume in August. Please stay in touch with our website and the weekly eHyde Park newsletter for the latest updates and developments regarding church programming.


News from Heifer International – June 2020

News from Heifer International – June 2020

Heifer International, a mission partner of Hyde Park United Methodist, is based in Little Rock, Arkansas but has a global reach. Founded in 1944, their mission is as relevant today as it was in the beginning. According to their mission statement, “We work to end hunger and poverty in partnership with the communities we serve. Our programs support entrepreneurs around the world, creating lasting change from the ground up.”

Their June newsletter relates how they have helped farmers respond to COVID-19, bring new life to Nepal and helped beekeepers in Mexico.  Read these stories and more.

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