Gifts for Good

Gifts for Good

Consider carving out a portion of your gift budget for Gifts For Good – gifts that impact those in need in honor of those you love.

Make a Donation: A Gift For Good

These unique gifts serve a dual purpose:

  •  When you choose to donate to missions that our church supports, you are sending love, compassion, hope and practical assistance to those hurting in our community and around the world.
  • At the same time, you are choosing a special gift for friends, family members, or colleagues. We will provide you with Gifts For Good cards for you to give as presents in honor of people on your list. Each card will describe how lives are changed through the work of the mission you supported.

Learn more about these missions in the Serve section of our website or click here for a pdf of the missions directory.

Download our printable Gifts For Good order form or place your order online.

You can also visit The Gifts For Good Market at The Portico Cafe, 1001 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, 813.222.2299.
There you will find art, apparel and one-of-a-kind handmade items for sale by our mission partners and local artists who support our missions. Proceeds from sales benefit the mission selling the item.

Purchase a Calendar to Benefit Missions

Another way to support Missions and Outreach Ministries at Hyde Park United Methodist is to purchase beautiful 2022 calendars created by church member, Pat Kelly. Calendars will be mailed to you. See calendar images below. Purchase a calendar using the printable Gifts For Good order form or place your order online. Calendars are also available at the Gifts For Good Market at The Portico Cafe.

Wall Calendar: $16 – Each monthly photograph has a description and location.

Desktop Calendar: $8 – The 5”x 5.5” plastic holder unfolds to display the calendar on a desktop or wall. It holds 12 pages, each with a monthly calendar and a photo. The back of each page has the photo’s description and location where the photo was taken.








Four Tips for a Blessed Advent

Four Tips for a Blessed Advent

Dear Advent Pilgrims,

In last Sunday’s sermon I shared some of the best guidance I’ve ever received about having a blessed Advent. It came from a book I read years ago titled, “Unplug the Christmas Machine.” It offers people practical advice on how to keeps your eyes focused on God, and on the things that matter the most.

Here are those four tips again, and I invite you to consider them as an individual and as a family this Advent:

  1. Focus on Quality Time.

Be intentional about having relaxed and loving time with the family. This is hard to do when things get crazy and busy, but it is the best gift you can give each other. Quality, relaxed, loving time.

  1. Put Gift Giving in Perspective.

Teach your kids to have a realistic expectation about gifts. Don’t send them the message that the price of the gift equals the level at which you love them or appreciate them, and don’t think your value as a parent is gauged by your ability to please them, surprise them, or fill them with joy with the gifts you give them.           

  1. Pace Yourself.

Advent is four weeks long. Spread out the responsibilities as best you can, and don’t feel like you need to do it all. Plan things out. Don’t let the stress of gift buying, party hosting, decorating, or traveling all be condensed into one short period of the month.          

  1. Create Family Traditions.

Remember that when the toys are all played with, the clothes are out of style and outgrown, and the food is all eaten, that down the road, the most enduring things with your family will be the memories, the traditions, and the rituals that will mark them and shape them. So, establish fun, creative, and meaningful family traditions.

That of course includes joining us for worship every Sunday during Advent, either online or in person. And join us for a full slate of worship services the week of Christmas, including a live Interactive Nativity on December 19, Blue Christmas on December 21, a Water Works Christmas service on December 23, and four worship services on the Hyde Park campus on December 24, along with worship online throughout the day. For details on each service, visit our website.

See you on the road to Bethlehem!



We share the exciting news that The Bible Project 2020 has been picked up by Abingdon Press for publication! We are honored to share this resource to help congregations around the world learn to read the Bible without fear or frustration. It has been rebranded as The Bible Year: A Journey Through Scripture in 365 Days.” It features a daily devotional, a leader’s guide, a guide for pastors, and weekly videos.

Half the proceeds will support the Missions and Ministries Budget of our church. So, if you found last year’s journey through the Bible meaningful, would you take a moment to submit a rating or review on Amazon? That will help the publishing house promote the material for congregations around the world.

Praise for Abe Brown Ministries

Praise for Abe Brown Ministries

Abe Brown Ministries’, one of Hyde Park’s mission partners, works to break cycles of incarceration by helping renew the minds of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated citizens, motivating them to change their behaviors and achieve purposeful lives as a compassionate demonstration of the Love of Jesus Christ.

Larry’s Success Story

At the age of eight, Larry moved with his family from Rochester, New York to Apopka, Florida. It was there in Apopka that his troubles started. He and his six siblings were raised by their single mother, and he found himself spending a lot of time with older guys in his neighborhood. Initially, he hung out with them to play pool, but it later progressed to selling marijuana with them. By 7th grade, he started skipping school so that he could sell drugs on the corner to make quick money. Larry then dropped out of school and found himself involved with a crew of guys who would burglarize homes and steal cars. After 9th grade, he returned to high school so that he could play basketball and run track. Even then, he continued burglarizing homes and was arrested twice, but let go with no consequences. By the age of 18, his actions finally caught up with him when he was arrested after his fingerprints were connected to two burglaries. Larry was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years, and was released on March 9, 2021 after serving 38 years in prison.

Read More about Larry’s story


Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary News

Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary (BMTS), our mission partner, is the largest United Methodist seminary in Europe, and serves students from eight countries who study in three languages: Estonian, Russian and English. Their newsletter is titled Prayerchain, it begins with a message from Külli Tõniste, Rector. Here’s an excerpt:


Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving and beginning of Advent season!

November began with a new wave of virus and Estonia being red on the world map of infections. Tensions were high as the government added restrictions. Thankfully, by end of the month the numbers showed improvement. And just as we rejoiced about the relief, there is news about a new variant of concern called “omicron”. Clearly, the world is not the place of hope. God is.

In a recent meeting I asked my co-workers what they are most grateful for.

Here is what was on the top of the list:

– That our students have been healthy.

– It is joyful to get to know our first year students.

– Grateful for our faculty and team who are helping one another.

– Grateful that technology works and classes are taught in a new hybrid fashion.

– Grateful for all the supporters around the world are praying for us.

– grateful that as Christians we always have hope.

Also the seminary accreditation process is going well. We will get the final decision by March, but what we heard from the committee’s preliminary feedback on November 24th has been uplifting: Keep doing the good work! Seminary has made progress in the last three years despite the challenges with the virus. God is our source of hope and strength! We are tired, from the efforts of this semester, but so very very thankful!

Read their newsletter

On Being Grateful for Everything

On Being Grateful for Everything

Dear Hyde Park Family,


 On Being Grateful for Everything

By Henri Nouwen

(from Bread for the Journey)


To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy,

But to be grateful for all of our lives—

the good as well as the bad,

the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow,

the successes as well as the failures,

the rewards as well as the rejections—

that requires hard spiritual work.

Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say “thank you” to all that has brought us to the present moment.

As long as we keep dividing our lives between

events and people we would like to remember

and those we would rather forget,

we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.

Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.

On behalf of the staff and lay leadership of Hyde Park United Methodist, I wish you and yours a blessed time of remembrance and gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!

Grace and Peace,




Join us this Sunday as we once again begin our journey toward Christmas and welcome Jesus anew into our lives. Our series theme is “All the Good,” and focuses on practical ways to experience the hope, peace, joy, and love of Advent. For more information, visit our website.


Thank you to the many, many of you who have enabled us to get off to a strong start in receiving our estimates of giving for 2022. If you have not yet done so, please fill out your estimate by clicking here. Your estimates of giving are the only way our Finance Committee has to accurately plan for all the ministries and programs God is calling us to do next year. Thank you!
Interactive Nativity

Interactive Nativity

4 and 6 p.m. Dec. 19.

Outdoor Sanctuary Courtyard.


RSVP here.


Experience the Nativity in a new way with an immersive, 30-minute retelling of the Christmas story.

The stage will be set with live animals and carolers, ready for you, the audience, to complete the cast of characters.

After the story has been told, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as you craft and create through the Nativity Marketplace and visit with the live animals.



How does this work?

  • Upon arriving, children (of all ages) will select a costume from the Children’s Team.
  • The costume will have a corresponding picture (Angel, Shepherd, Sheep, King).
  • During the story, when that picture is held up, whoever selected that character will move to the stage area and follow the character lead holding the character picture sign to participate in the storytelling.
  • Everyone is invited to sing along with the carols as well.


Volunteer roles (youth or adults):

    • Character Leads
    • Live Animal Leads
    • Marketplace Hosts
    • Hot Chocolate Servers
    • Parkers
    • Greeters
    • Set up/Clean up

If you’d like to serve at this event, let us know!


Important Information:

  • Both time slots will receive an identical experience. Sign up for whichever one best fits your schedule!
  • This is a fully outdoor event. Bathrooms will be available in Knox Hall.
  • Bring lawn chairs for your family.
  • In the event of rain, we will move into the Sanctuary, sans live animals.


Please let us know you’re coming so we can be best prepared. RSVP here.


Questions? Contact Melissa.

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