Blessing of the Backpacks

Blessing of the Backpacks

You’re invited to the Blessing of the Backpacks at 9:30 or 11 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 8 in the Sanctuary.

You’ve packed the notebooks and pencils, but what about the prayers of love and peace? Let us help!
Bring your backpack, so that we can pray for joy to surround you in the months ahead.

Students and teachers of all ages and grades are invited to receive a backpack tag and a blessing.

  • Activity bags will be available for kids during services
  • Children and Youth programs kickoff Sunday, Aug. 15
  • Children are welcome in all services
  • Nursery is available (3 and under) at 9:30 and 11 a.m. in the Wesley Center

Questions? Email


We exist to Make God’s love real, teaching people to follow Jesus by loving God and loving all people. You are welcome here.

News From Love INC

News From Love INC

Love INC, our mission partner, exists only to serve its member churches. Mobilizing churches, their members and resources produces volunteers that are Love INC trained to provide a variety of direct services to guests entrusted to our ministry.

Read the July edition of the Love INC newsletter.

Hyde Park’s Justice Ministry

This video series was recorded in 2020, an unprecendented year in so many ways. It provided an opportunity for us to examine racism, injustice and discrimination as we never had before. To gain a better understanding, we listened to the stories of people of color as they experienced these trials. We also listened to white people to better understanding how racism is learned in society. The videos provide a valuable insight into what must change for use to move toward the promise of liberty and justice for all.

Ann Pointer shares a poignant story of her life with a middle school friend. The two of them “got in trouble” and Ann remembers them being equally culpable in making the decision. Upon being discovered, Ann was given an out to place the blame on her friend. She said that to this day, she is haunted by this decision. Ann’s story illustrates how we are all infected by racism and demonstrates the need for us to strive to learn from past mistakes to make a better future for us all.

Anthony White shares an experience from his childhood that resulted in an interaction with the police. What happened and what he learned from it have caused him to caution his children that they might not be able to do what others do because of the color of their skin. He has helped them navigate through the society they live in and remains optimistic that good people outnumber those who fail to see the value in others.

Berton Newbill tells the story of being in the military and being denied the recognition of his rank due to the color of his skin.  His initial reaction was anger because the men causing the problem were not looking at him from a military perspective, but judging him as a person who was not deserving of respect. Later, friends tried to deny his personal experience. Berton says it was even more hurtful that his friends didn’t believe him. Sharing his story allows for a broader conversation so we get to an acknowledgement that these situations exist.

Doretha Edgecomb

John Day

Rick Cabigas

Steve Nunn

News from Shining The Light Ministries

News from Shining The Light Ministries

Shining the Light Ministries, our mission partner in Nicaragua, provides agriculture training and support to low income families in the area around Leon. Their focus is in three areas: Gardens, Poultry and Sewing.

Here is an excerpt from their latest newsletter:

As we all know, this is a very hard time for everyone around the world. Even though the news around us is not the best, we know who we are because we trust in God. He is our help, our supporter, and our healer.

The world is facing a very difficult time physically, politically, mentally, spiritually, and economically because of the pandemic. We have noticed Covid infections increasing in different cities around the country, especially in the city of León. But by the grace of God, we have still been able to serve many communities, churches, and families with the different projects through Shining The Light Ministries and Asociación Brillando La Luz De Cristo En Nicaragua.

Read the complete newsletter

“All In” Worship Series

“All In” Worship Series

Sept. 12: “Love God with All Your Heart”
Psalm 103:1-2

When the Bible refers to a person’s heart, it is not just talking about the muscular organ in our bodies that pumps blood. Kardia is the Greek word for heart and refers to a person’s whole being. In a biblical sense, giving God our heart means allowing God to work in the most private and protected areas of our lives. It also means surrendering to God our honest and raw emotions, both the positive and negative feelings, but also the deeper ones like passion and longing. Ultimately, to trust God with our innermost emotions is to give God the whole of our being.

Sept. 19 – “Love God with All Your Soul”
Luke 12:13-21

The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, which has no contemporary equivalent. When we think about soul, we often think about the part of us that is separate from our bodies, that somehow separates from our bodies when we die and goes up to heaven. But in a broader sense, “soul” refers to the essence of our being, and encompasses our life’s purpose, meaning, and destiny. It is the part that contains our character, integrity, and everything that makes us uniquely us. To love God with our soul means we have perfect alignment of purpose and character, according to the way and will of God.

Sept. 26 – “Love God with All Your Mind”
Romans 12:1-3

Faith and reason are not contradictory. Religion and science, long considered opposites, are actually complementary. As Christians in the Wesleyan tradition, we believe that “reason” is one of three primary ways we interact with and understand the authority of scripture. Loving God with our minds also means allowing room for doubt and questions. Our minds, after all, have a finite capacity in terms of understanding an infinite God. So embracing mystery can be a worshipful acknowledgement of the grandeur and majesty of God.

Oct. 3 – “Love God with All Your Strength”
Colossians 3:23-24

Paul’s letter to the Colossians tells us that whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. Every action, every moment of rest, every initiative we take, ought to be done through the filter of loving God and others. To do otherwise is to miss the mark, and it might even mean sin. The beauty of the Great Commandment is that it understands that none of these four aspects of our being (heart, soul, mind, and strength) can be offered to God in isolation. To give God our whole activity, it requires a matter of the will (mind) and purpose (soul) and passion (heart). God really requires (and deserves) everything we’ve got.

Oct. 10 – “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
Luke 10:25-37

This is simultaneously the easiest and hardest of the Great Commandment. It is one thing to love God, which we can render easier in our minds as simpler to do. But to love someone we can see, with consequences that we can more readily experience, that can be harder. Especially if that person is, in our minds, harder to love. But there is a reason that this is the ultimate conclusion of the Great Commandment. Loving others as ourselves is not only easier, but possible, when we love God with our whole being. It is the fruit that we can bear when our heart, soul, mind, and strength are right with God.

Celebrating VBS

Celebrating VBS

This year’s Vacation Bible School was simply amazing! With planning completed before our campus opened up from the pandemic, our VBS team found creative, innovative ways to produce a great program in a new way. The thing that remained the same was our great group of volunteers and a bunch of enthusiastic kids … and parents! Owing to this scheduling change, more parents were able to participate, and some of our dads able to get fully involved. We had 80 participants supported by 30 volunteers, all of whom were engaged, excited and energetic.

Each year, VBS sets goals for benefiting the local community. This year, the goals were to donate:

  • 233 books to Dunbar Elementary
  • 200 items to Feeding Tampa Bay, and
  • $430 for Metropolitan Ministries

All of these goals were met. We are grateful to our staff and volunteers who found a new way to share the love of Jesus with some of our youngest members. They did amazing work, even bringing a motorized train to the Magnolia Parking Lot for the Kick-off Event! Their response to the new normal of VBS connects to this year’s motto: Jesus’ Power Pulls Us Through!

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