Gifts for Good

Gifts for Good

Spring is an exciting time of year, with Easter leading the way to special events in May and June like Mother’s Day (May 8), Father’s Day (June 19) plus graduations, weddings, and anniversaries. The spirit of Easter teaches us that there is more than one way to give, and that we don’t have to make every gift a tangible present. In that spirit, consider donating through Gifts For Good to honor those on your Springtime gift list.


By giving to missions that our church supports, you are helping people who are struggling – frightened, hungry, hopeless, forgotten. At the same time, you are honoring friends and family by donating in their honor. Click here to find an easy-to-use online donation form showing a menu of over 20 participating missions, or click here for a printable form that can be dropped off at the church office. You’ll receive cards via email for those you are honoring, which describe how the donation in their honor is making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need.



The Original Six-Word Story

The Original Six-Word Story

Dear Easter People,

There is a legend that someone once asked Ernest Hemingway to write a story using only six words. His response? “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Since then, the idea of a “Six-Word Story” has grown in popularity. One article defines it as “a short narrative that can have all of the emotional themes of longer stories—from funny to dramatic, sad to scary …. They have a subject and verb that give the reader a sense of what’s happened and a bit of conflict.”

Scan the internet for examples, and you’ll find lots of gems, from the funny (“Won food fight. Used canned vegetables.”) to the sorrowful (“The smallest coffins are the heaviest.”) to the poignant. (“He died happy, knowing he lived.”)

But did you know that the original six-word story, the most important in history, first coined two-thousand years ago, is in the Bible?

It is a simple, clear narrative that appears fourteen times in the gospels, in Acts, and in Paul’s letters:

“God raised Jesus from the dead.”

That’s it. That was Christianity in a nutshell over the first centuries of the church. When the first Christians gathered in house churches to worship, this was their creed. The resurrection was the central feature of the faith, and this six-word story reminded them that just as Jesus died a real death, he was brought back to real life.

And the most important part of that story is this: Jesus did not raise himself.

To put this six-word story in grammatical terms, Jesus was the direct object, not the subject. God did the raising; Jesus did the receiving. Of course, we can split theological hairs remembering that God the Father and God the Son are one in the same, so that technically, God did in fact rise from the dead.

But let’s not miss this important point: We cannot raise ourselves, either. God does the resurrecting, not us. We cannot rise on our own; we need the power of God to raise us to new life.





That conviction is at the heart of our current worship series, which we began last Sunday. From now through the end of May, we are exploring the spirituality of the acclaimed 12-step program, which has transformed the lives of many people in various kinds of addiction recovery.

But you don’t have to be in recovery to gain immense spiritual benefit from this journey. And this Sunday, we explore Steps 2 and 3, summarized as “God can” and “I will let God”:

  • Step 2: To believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
  • Step 3: To decide to turn our lives and will over to the care of God.

If you haven’t yet done so, pick up a copy of the personal workbook at the Hyde Park office this Sunday or during the week. It includes scripture readings, reflections, and exercises for you to live into each of the steps. Pick up copies to share with a friend, or find a digital copy on our website. We also invite you to take part in one of the small groups, which are currently forming. You can register here.

And of course, don’t miss a Sunday, as we explore each of these steps together, and give praise to the God who is still in the resurrection business. Open your heart and life to being the direct object of God’s resurrecting power, and discover your own six-word story of transformation.

See you Sunday!




Tonight at 7 p.m. in the Harnish Center, the Contemporary Band will be hosting an uplifting “Night of Praise.” Come together and celebrate the great things God is doing at Hyde Park through music and story and experience the joy of being a church family. All the fantastic singers and band members will be there, so come celebrate!



Last November, our Ministry Leadership Council (MLC) chartered a Facilities and Property Task Force to develop a prioritized and time-phased master plan for utilization, improvement and disposition of facilities and real property owned by Hyde Park United Methodist. To read more about their work and the latest updates, click here.


Top Serving Opportunities

Top Serving Opportunities

Are you looking to get connected or even looking for service hours? Here we have a list of our top serving opportunities that  you can get involved in!

Adult Bible Study Facilitator

Serve any day; lead a small group or class for adults; curriculum and training provided.


Children’s Ministries Room Organizer

Do you love to organize? Children’s ministries needs you!


Justice Team: Community Events

Serve on the Community Events Team. We will organize, coordinate, and partner with other organizations to hold events around justice. Email Thad Bereday for more info.


Mission Liaisons Needed!

Mission Liaisons are needed for Feeding Tampa Bay, Metropolitan Ministries and Salvation Army. As a Mission Liaison you’ll serve as the link between our church and our mission partner. You’ll communicate with the partner, pray for them, receive updates and let others know when there are service opportunities or other needs. The schedule and frequency of engagement is up to you.


New Baby Ministry Team

Hyde Park’s Children’s Ministries is looking for team members for the New Baby Ministry. Volunteers will pick up a gift at the church provided by Children’s Ministries for new parents and deliver it to them in the South Tampa area.


Scripture or Prayer Reader for Online Worship

Reading scripture or prayers provided to you, video yourself at home or at the church with staff help; video will be shown during online worship.


Serve at Dunbar Elementary

Hyde Park United Methodist has partnered with Dunbar Elementary. Volunteers are needed for tutoring, help in the garden, visiting with students at lunch, administrative support, or volunteering in the office. Here are some specific needs as the school year comes to a close. 


Serve with Children’s Ministries

Children’s Ministries is only possible with our team of amazing volunteers!

Serving opportunities are available for school-year teams of small group shepherds, greeters and floor coordinators.

If you and/or your youth love kids and are excited to get more involved, Sign Up To Serve.

Not sure what role is best for you? Learn more about serving with Children’s Ministries!


Set Design and/or Construction for Contemporary Worship

Assistance needed quarterly.


Sunday Morning Hospitality at Hyde Park

Sundays, 9:30 or 11 a.m., serve on the Hospitality Team at Hyde Park. Serve as an Usher or Greeter. Training provided.


Volunteer Barista at The Portico Cafe

Serve up a daily perk while also giving back to your community!

Serve any day, Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Duties include running the cash register, making coffee and helping with coffee retail sales. Training provided.

Help this social enterprise gain momentum and craft our comeback in downtown Tampa.


To sign up for any of these Top Serving Opportunities click here


Summer Sunday Morning Live

Summer Sunday Morning Live

Summer Sunday Morning Live is almost here! Adult and Youth help needed!
Sundays, June 5 – Aug. 7

During this time, our school year shepherds take a much-deserved break and the only way programming can continue is if parents, guardians and friends step in!

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to touch lives, change hearts and draw kids closer to God!

How many opportunities allow you to make THAT kind of impact? And it’s a great way to experience Sunday Morning Live with your child!

Grab your spouse, partner, older child (rising seventh grader or older) or dear friend and make it extra fun to serve with someone you know!

All lessons and supplies are supplied/prepared for you – you just need a heart for God and a heart for kids!

Click here to sign up for Sundays.


  • May 18 is last night of Wednesday night programming (Hyde Park Kids and Nursery care)
  • May 22 is last Sunday of our regular Sunday Morning Live programming
  • May 29 and July 3 are a Sit-Together Sundays
One Continual Act

One Continual Act

Dear Lenten Pilgrims,


By John Donne, 1572-1631


The whole life of Christ was a continual Passion;

others die martyrs but Christ was born a martyr.

He found a Golgotha, where he was crucified,

even in Bethlehem, where he was born;

for to his tenderness then the straws

were almost as sharp as the thorns after,

and the manger as uneasy at first as the cross at last.

His birth and his death were but one continual act,

and his Christmas day and his Good Friday

are but the evening and morning of the same day.

And as even his birth is his death,

so every action and passage

that manifests Christ to us is his birth,

for Epiphany is manifestation.

On behalf of the staff and lay leadership of Hyde Park United Methodist Church, I wish you and yours a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter. For the full schedule of services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter morning, visit our website.



Facilities and Property Task Force: Congregational Update

Facilities and Property Task Force: Congregational Update

Last November, our Ministry Leadership Council (MLC) chartered a Facilities and Property Task Force to develop a prioritized and time-phased master plan for utilization, improvement and disposition of facilities and real property owned by Hyde Park United Methodist. They were tasked to frame their recommendations in terms of relative priority among three time frames — near term (this year and next), mid term (2-5 years out) and long term (out to 20 years if possible) — and to discern the conditions and trigger points for both the timing and priority for meeting our ministry needs.  We put out a call for volunteers for the Task Force, and our Committee on Lay Leadership accepted task force volunteers and also asked other church members with relevant expertise to join in (task force members are listed below).  The MLC expects a final set of recommendations in June or July.


(in alphabetical order)

Wendy Anastasiou

Mary Britain

Jim Cloar

Rob Foss

Steve Gardner

Kevin Gray

Gary Heckman

Kelly Howard-Allen

John Mathew

Cheryl Parrish


The Task Force first researched previous work on the topic – former master plans, visioning, vision implementation, etc. – to know the current body of discernment regarding facilities.  They then reviewed each ministry area – worship, discipleship, congregational care, the Portico, missions and outreach — of the church and built upon prior work and staff input to draft around two dozen “ministry need statements” that span the near to long term.  They are now looking at the near-, mid- and long-term impacts of each ministry need, and integrating the review by arraying each of the ministry needs by the locations that may provide potential solutions.  Mindful of good stewardship, the preference is to find ministry need solutions that do not require additional facilities.

Task force actions are still “pre-decisional,” but here are some of the big picture issues that are shaping how we undertake this task.

  • Factors driving future facilities requirements at Hyde Park and Portico campuses
    • Transitioning from a pre-COVID to a post-COVID concept of church operations
    • Expected growth in youth and children’s ministries, and Small Blessings Preschool
    • Accommodating emerging ministry needs at the Hyde Park campus, and also at the Portico, especially at Branscomb Hall
  • Near term needs
    • Smoothing competing ministry needs in the Wesley Center and Magnolia Building
    • Outdoor space for Open Arms + Small Blessings + Youth and Children’s Ministries
  • Considerations in the 2-5 year planning horizon and beyond
    • Resolving any competing ministry needs in our current facilities and outlying land parcels
    • Possible further growth in youth/children’s ministries beyond Wesley and Magnolia facility capacities
    • Furtherance of ministry needs at Branscomb Hall and the DeLeon block
    • Accommodating emerging ministry needs on the DeLeon block and outlying parcels, and exploring possible long-term income-producing opportunities that do not cancel out priority ministry needs.

The task force has accrued more than thirty hours of meeting time since last December, along with time spent with the Program Staff, the Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, and the Executive Team of the MLC. On Tuesday, April 5, the entire MLC received a progress report from the task force. The MLC gave approval related to the two pressing/urgent needs listed above: 1) Interior modifications to the Wesley Center, as coordinated by impacted ministry teams, and 2) The concept of an outdoor covered pavilion on the Magnolia block, with details to be determined as the task force completes its work.

This is an exciting time.  You all continue to be generous in supporting the church’s mission, and we who shepherd the use of God’s resources renew our pledge to be excellent stewards of your treasure and your trust.  We are truly blessed here at Hyde Park United Methodist, and we aim to preserve and grow this blessing for God’s glory and for future generations.


For questions please contact


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