Dear Hyde Park Family,
This Sunday, we join with you and your loved ones in celebrating the fathers and father figures in our lives. May it be a day of remembrance and gratitude for all of you.
In the spirit of a prayer for Mother’s Day I wrote a few years ago, I offer this prayer to guide your thoughts and feelings as we observe this day. I recognize that for some, this is a day of joy and gladness. For others, it brings a sense of grief, regret, and even anger, as a result of past pain or loss.
Whatever this day might bring you, let us lift them to God in prayer together.
A Father’s Day Prayer
God of Power, Provision and Unfailing Love,
We come to you in gratitude, as children before a loving parent whose gifts are always good and perfect. In you we are knit together as one human family, created in your image, and made to love and serve in your likeness. We celebrate how your divine love is reflected in our human expressions of parenthood and family.
We thank you for fathers. We are grateful for the role they play in guiding those entrusted in their care, providing for their needs, and shaping their character and behavior. Grant them strength for their daily tasks, wisdom in the lessons they teach, patience in their shaping of conscience and character, and love in all they do and say.
We thank you for all father figures – grandfathers and uncles, brothers and husbands, teachers and friends, and all those who sacrifice daily for those in their charge. Grant them grace in their speech and their deeds, that others may see you through them.
We remember, O God, that amid our gratitude, this day also brings a restlessness in our spirit, as we acknowledge feelings that are more difficult to name and bear.
For those who mourn the loss of their fathers, especially those for whom this is their first Father’s Day since their loved one’s death, grant your peace and a renewed sense of the resurrection. Fill their emptiness with love, and their future with hope.
For those who are reminded daily of their own biological inability to conceive, those struggling to adopt, and those who have suffered the loss of a child, draw them especially close to your heart. May their process of grief be filled with grace. Surround them with loving community, and reveal to them creative and dynamic ways to leave a legacy beyond their years.
For those whose memories of their fathers elicit pain, suffering and anger, grant your spirit of healing within their hearts. Open new pathways toward forgiveness of self and others, and a persistent work toward reconciliation and wholeness.
Ultimately, we give you thanks for fathers at all stages of life. For new fathers braving the new world of parenthood, for seasoned fathers guiding their children into adulthood, for empty nesters rediscovering who they are, for children of aging parents who must develop new ways to love and care, and for fathers in the twilight of their years, that they might face the unknown with courage and assurance.
In every season of life, we rely on you and your tender, guiding hand through every high and low. May we always come to you with a child-like spirit of wonder, humility, and obedience, that we may fully live into the potential that you have created in us.
For you are our heavenly father and mother to us all, and we give you thanks.
In the name of Jesus, who called you, “Abba, Father,”
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
UPDATED INFORMATION ON POTENTIAL PROPERTY PURCHASE
Click here for the latest, most updated information regarding the possible purchase of the Women’s Center of Hyde Park. There will be a church-wide Information Session at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, June 28, and a Church Conference on at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9. Stay tuned for more details on those two meetings.
In a Midweek Message from July of last year, Pastor Magrey detailed the importance of seeking ways to find Sabbath. Specifically, “many clergy suffer from emotional burnout, workaholism and depression, likely due in part to a reluctance to regularly observe a focused time of spiritual renewal.” Further, “the United Methodist Book of Discipline encourages clergy to have several weeks of spiritual growth and renewal every four years.” Our Staff Parish Relations Committee monitors and supervises various aspects of employment at Hyde Park, including encouraging our pastors to find that time of renewal. Pastor Justin will take this renewal time this summer.
Justin celebrated his 15th anniversary at Hyde Park United Methodist in June. This anniversary is a fitting milestone for him to take a renewal leave starting July 19 through August 30. This is his first extended leave since he started in 2005! His leave will focus on “rest and reconnection.” During his time away, he will visit sacred spaces, including two monasteries, and engage in spiritual practices that grounded him in his call. He will see a spiritual director, do lots of meditation, and discover new sacred places with Caroline and the kids. This time away will facilitate Justin reconnecting with God, family, his identity in Jesus Christ, and will refuel his passion for ministry.
Celebrate VBS spirit from years past
Do you have pictures of your family from past years of VBS at Hyde Park United Methodist? We’d love to share them during service on June 28 for a special virtual edition of our beloved VBS Sing.
VBS memories are often full of themes, games, experiments and music that teaches us Biblical truths and point us to God. How many years do you have VBS memories from? Let’s celebrate past years of VBS through pictures together.
Please send your pictures by noon on June 25.
Join us for the Virtual VBS Spirit Celebration during worship on June 28 and wear a past VBS shirt to Virtual Sunday Morning Live! at 10:15 a.m where we’ll continue the celebration!
Dear Hyde Park Family,
I invite you to read to the end of today’s Midweek Message, for the latest information about our guidelines for resuming on-campus ministries, as well as an important announcement about the potential purchase of additional property for the church.
SEVEN THINGS GOD HATES
Before there was David Letterman’s “Top Ten Lists,” and before there were viral, click-bait lists on Buzzfeed.com, there were biblical passages like Proverbs 6:16-19, our daily reading last Monday as part of our year-long Bible Project 2020. And as I shared last week, these Proverbs come to us at just the right time.
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.”
Unlike many other lists in the Bible that focus on holy and righteous spiritual traits, this one describes the shadow of sin within us all, which we would not readily acknowledge but eventually come to light.
So, the simple question today is this: Which of these areas do you need to confront and confess?
1. “Haughty Eyes”
Pride is a stealthy sin. It convinces us that we know more than we think we do, and that our opinions are better than everyone else’s. In this season of a pandemic and racial injustice, we need to practice more curiosity and humility, and much less blustery bravado, in our approach to problems. We don’t know it all.
2. “A Lying Tongue”
I doubt that anyone in this church regularly lies on purpose. We do our best to speak the truth, as we understand it. But in a world driven by interactions on social media, this phrase reminds us to be mindful of where we get our information, to make sure that what we share is factual and from a reputable source. Make fact-checking a regular practice.
3. “Hands that Shed Innocent Blood”
The death of George Floyd is further evidence of systemic injustice and racism built into our communities and our nation. For many of us, the swing of emotions has included grief, anger, worry, and helplessness. For those feeling called to channel those feelings into action, please read about our new Justice Group at the end of this message.
4. “A Heart that Devises Wicked Plans”
In the Bible, the word heart refers to the entirety of one’s being, not just one’s emotions or feelings. This phrase reminds us that we are not merely to do good works; we should do them out of a holy and pure motivation. That requires self-reflection, humility, and a penitent spirit. What’s your motivation?
5. “Feet that Hurry to Run to Evil”
By this point in the passage, we’ve been given a lesson in human anatomy. Eyes, tongue, hands, heart … and now we get to feet. It is our feet that carry us to perform acts of sin. But it’s more than that. The word admonition of hurrying underscores the need for self-control and self-discipline. We cannot escape the emotions we feel. But we can certainly control how we express them.
6. “A Lying Witness Who Testifies Falsely”
And there it is again. Of the seven things that God hates, lying is the only one to appear twice. It’s that important to tell the truth, and it’s that elusive to keep doing so. Being truthful in what we say, how we act, and the sources from which we draw our information – these all require regular, diligent attention.
7. “One Who Sows Discord in a Family”
Often in the Bible, the number seven suggests finality and completion. The fact that this one is the seventh item on the list suggests that this is the most difficult, and most important, quality to maintain.
In such a deeply polarized world, and in a time when our prejudice and institutionalized oppression would tear us further apart from each other, we are ultimately reminded that the greatest way to be part of God’s redemptive work is to participate in reconciliation.
NEW JUSTICE GROUP
To that end, we are grateful for the creation of a new group in the church that focuses on advocacy and awareness of issues of justice in our community. It is simply called our “Justice Group,” and it helps people get involved in three ways: 1) Participate in the Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality, (HOPE) 2) Serve on a team to plan justice-related gatherings in the church, and 3) Engage in learning groups about racial reconciliation and other justice topics.
To learn more about this new group, along with HOPE, there will be an information session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 22. The meeting will last 30-45 minutes and will introduce people to the ministry, its leaders, and how to get involved. To get the zoom link, email Ann Pointer. And for more information, contact Justin LaRosa.
Yes, these continue to be difficult and unsettling days. But the book of Proverbs reminds us that God will give us just enough wise instruction and strength of spirit to be the people we are called to be. It is still good to be the church.
See you Sunday!
GUIDELINES FOR RESUMING ONSITE PROGRAMS AND MINISTRIES
As more establishments begin to resume operation in our community, we want to share with you the general guidelines created by our key lay leaders in determining when and how to gradually resume onsite programs and ministries. Go to our website to read more, including the names of those in our leadership team, important resources for further reading, and an email link to offer your comments and questions.
POTENTIAL PURCHASE OF THE WOMEN’S CLINIC OF HYDE PARK
The Trustees have moved through a due diligence period in evaluating the church’s potential purchase of the Women’s Center of Hyde Park. Leadership teams have created an information summary [PROVIDE LINK] that addresses key questions regarding the possible purchase. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming information sessions, and a possible Church Conference in July in which church members would vote on the sale. For comments or questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.