Sparrow Fund Provides a Lifeline

Sparrow Fund Provides a Lifeline

If you have ever joined us for Christmas Eve services, you will recall that our collection on that most holy night goes toward the Sparrow Fund. The Sparrow Fund is a discretionary fund established by Hyde Park United Methodist to meet emergency needs of individuals and families. The name of the Sparrow Fund comes from Matthew 10:29-31, which reminds us that God cares for all of us, even the smallest sparrow. The Outreach Department of Hyde Park administers the fund for church members in need and Outreach and Prevention Services at Metropolitan Ministries serves those in our wider community. Hyde Park sends funds to Metropolitan Ministries each month so their qualified staff can help Tampa residents on our behalf.

James Dunbar, Metropolitan Ministries Senior Director of Outreach and Prevention services had this to say about Hyde Park’s support. Metropolitan Ministries has been very blessed to call Hyde Park a foundational partner and a financial community partner since our inception now crossing 50 years. Through the generous gifts from Hyde Park, we are able to alleviate stress and trauma for families struggling in our community with the mission of preventing them from entering into homelessness. The gifts of Hyde Park are used for the very tough cases where families normally don’t qualify for stringent grants or fall through the traditional cracks. The flexibility provided with the tremendous gift allows us to offer assistance to alleviate suffering and guide towards self-sufficiency. The families we serve and the organization are incredibly thankful of our amazing partnership and continued community impacts.

Here is what some of the community members that received help said:

I always feel blessed and happy when I come to Metropolitan Ministries for help because the people who work there are very caring and treat my husband and me with respect and kindness. The items we received helped us make it through the month.Loralee

I believe that the Ministries help promote dignity and self-sufficiency by helping a person any way they can. It gave me hope that I can make it on my own after my husband passed away. I felt lost without him, not knowing what to do. Linda helped.Catherine

Your help came into my life and helped with utilities. I thank them from the bottom of my heart because I needed help the most at this time.William

Your gifts are provide a most-needed lifeline. Thank you, Hyde Park faithful, for making God’s love real in such a tangible way in Tampa Bay!

Graduating Students

Turner Mooney Plant High School
Scotty Mooney University of Florida
Luke Davis Jesuit High School
Samantha Stites Graduating from Plant High School
Ryan Lundahl Sickles High School
Chip Roth Plant High School
Jake Rickert Plant High School
Colin Clark Plant High School
Andrew Finn Robinson High School
Libby Gough Plant High School
Cadence Augustine Busbee Graduating from Plant High School
Klaas W. van de Groep Berkeley Preparatory School
William Aaron Pre-K graduate, Bay Hope Day School
Charles William Patterson III HB Plant High School
Anna Elizabeth Mullins Hillsborough IB High School
Rye Kral Robinson IB
Bella Horiszny TR Robinson High School
Maris Brown Plant High School
Jesse Daniel McCoy Plant High School
Meredith Faye Smith Riverview High School
A Word for Graduates

A Word for Graduates

Dear Hyde Park Family,

We are now in graduation season here in the Tampa Bay area, as we celebrate high school seniors embarking on an exciting and unfolding future. We will be honoring our seniors this Sunday in worship, as well as praying for graduating students at every level of education.

Yesterday I re-read a passage from Jeremiah that I have often turned to in times of transition and unsettledness in my life, which I also commended to Grace and Madelyn during their own recent graduations from high school:

“The Lord proclaims: Stop at the crossroads and look around; ask for the ancient paths. Where is the good way? Then walk in it and find a resting place for yourselves.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Addressing the Israelite exiles, who were at a significant crossroads of change and uncertainty, Jeremiah called them to look for the “ancient paths” and the “good way.” He encouraged them to lean into the values and principles that formed them and were imparted by their ancestors.

In that spirit, I offer these words of guidance to our graduates:

  • Look for the ancient paths. Remember the way integrity and obedience to God. Follow the path charted by all those who entrusted the faith to you, and you will always find “a resting place for yourselves.”
  • Cultivate the qualities of empathy, curiosity, and humility. These three will serve you well as you meet new people, navigate new challenges, and become a better human being.
  • Orient your life toward generosity and compassion toward others and toward yourself. Remember how the most important adults in your life demonstrated those qualities for you.
  • Enjoy the discovery of who you are, and who you are not.

  • Know that a life of independence will mean you can make many of your own choices, which means dealing with your own consequences.
  • Remember that sometimes the most important lessons will only be learned in the hardest of ways. You will succeed at times, and sometimes you will fail. You will gain great knowledge, as well as learn the limits of your understanding. You will sometimes come up short, even if you do all the right things.
  • Remember that you will never be alone. Your family and friends will cheer you on. You have a church that will be praying for you over the months to come and will always be a spiritual home that will welcome you back.
  • Recognize that your parents will be changing, too. They will be navigating a new kind of parenthood, shifting toward becoming more of your mentor, coach, and adviser. Give them grace, as they do the best they can.
  • Most of all, hold on to your faith. God began a good work in you from the moment you were born. As you stay faithful to your spiritual roots, you will discover God’s fruit born in and through you in ways you cannot imagine.

Friends, our future is bright because of these rising generations of young people. Born in the shadow of 9/11, raised during a major recession, educated during a global pandemic, and joining in the great social and political challenges of our day, their resilience and determination can give us hope. We pray for them and give thanks for the difference they will make in the world.

Happy Graduation!



Join us this Sunday as we near the conclusion of our worship series Rise: 12 Steps with Jesus. Many of you have shared what a meaningful and helpful series this has been. This Sunday, we will explore Steps 8 and 9, which call us to make amends with others. Download the Rise workbook  and catch up on any services that you missed on our YouTube page.


Making God’s Love Real through Scholarships

Faithful church members have chosen to leave a lasting legacy of education by contributing to the scholarship permanent endowment fund of Hyde Park United Methodist. This year, our Scholarship Committee had the joy of awarding scholarship money to 18 students who will be attending 15 different institutions of higher learning this fall. All these students send their sincere thanks to Hyde Park United Methodist. Here is just a sample of some of the expressions of gratitude from the students we support.

Wow. I cannot say thank you enough to Hyde Park and the generous donors who have allowed this scholarship to be possible. I am speechless and overwhelmingly grateful! I have been offered admission to UVA and will pursue my PhD in Theology in hopes of continuing to serve the United Methodist Church as a professor! Please tell the pastors and the committee that I am so grateful for this scholarship. It will make such a difference in my life. Alexandra

I wanted to thank you and the scholarship committee for awarding me a scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year. I am eternally grateful for the support I have received from the Church both financially and spiritually. Taylor

I am deeply honored and humbled to receive financial support from Hyde Park UMC for my education. God is truly good, and I cannot fully express into words my appreciation. God bless you! Austin

Thank you Carolyn and Rev. Vicki for sharing such exciting news. Giving thanks to the Lord for this blessing and to Hyde Park UMC for helping me throughout this journey. Zulma

Thank you so much for the great news! I am so incredibly grateful for Hyde Park’s generosity and all of your hard work to organize this. This is such amazing news for me! I feel so thankful and blessed. Meredith

Thank you so much for this incredibly generous scholarship award. I am so grateful for the trust, encouragement, and support that Hyde Park has given me over the years as well as going into this next year. I sincerely appreciate it and cannot thank you enough. Grace

Thank you Hyde Park! The more you invest, the more we can invest in our students. You can learn more about our Endowment Fund here or by reaching out to Meagan Kempton.

There Once was a Journey

There Once was a Journey


Dear Hyde Park Family,

Happy National Limerick Day!

I know; today’s observance was likely not on your calendar. It wasn’t on mine, either, until I randomly checked this website yesterday. In case you’re wondering, today is also International Nurses Day, National Odometer Day, and National Nutty Fudge Day.

So, to commemorate this weird convergence of celebrations, let me offer you this greeting:

When too many brownies immerse us,

And hospital care is disbursed us,

           With their cheery smile

           Going the extra mile

We give thanks for the work of our nurses!

Okay, I didn’t say I was good at writing limericks.

Maybe you could give it a try, and share with me anything fun and creative you come up with. In the meantime, as part of our current series Rise: 12 Steps with Jesus, I thought I would try writing a limerick for each of the steps we have covered so far:


Our sins feel like they will devour us,

They can even seem to overpower us.

           So, we must take a flier,

           On a Power that’s Higher,

And admit, against sin, we are powerless.


A Power that’s Higher? How can it be?

That amid all of my life’s inanity,

           I’ve come to perceive

           That I must believe

That God can restore me to sanity.


So instead of being a pretender,

And being a sin self-defender,

           I’ll give God my will

           And promise God still

To turn over my life in surrender.


With all my resentments and fears,

That I’ve carried on down through the years,

           I’ll write them all down,

           Do a thorough breakdown

In an inventory that’s plain and clear.


But I won’t keep this list to myself,

Tucked and hidden on some dusty shelf.

           This list, I won’t hide;

           In someone, I’ll confide.

Confession can bring hope, in itself.

Join us this Sunday as we continue our journey by exploring Steps 6 and 7, and discover new life one step at a time!


Grace and Peace,

The Rev. Magrey deVega

Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist


Starting Friday, June 3, Horizon Church (a United Methodist congregation) will be worshipping in our Magnolia building on Friday evenings for the next several months. Horizon will be moving to a permanent location off Gandy Blvd. later in 2022. Click here to watch a special announcement video featuring me and Horizon co-pastors Erica and Chris Allen. This is an opportunity for us to live out our core value of being Connection-Committed, and displaying the value of our United Methodist connectional system.





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