Quarantine Care Kits

Quarantine Care Kits

Let us walk with you during these continued hard times! 


If your child, or a child you know, have been quarantined, please let us know and we will drop off a care kit to brighten their day and help make the most of their time at home.


Sign up here for your at home hero to get a Quarantine Care Kit!


Be strong, all you who put your hope in the LORD. Never give up. (Psalm 31:24


Questions? Contact Kristin!

Embracing What’s To Come

Embracing What’s To Come

I remember being told from day one of parenting, that the years would go by fast. That I should be “numbering my days.” And like all mothers, I accepted the nostalgic platitude, and then went about worrying how I would make it through the next 24 hours—the immediacy of the uncharted days before me feeling more pressing than the far off “some day” when my kids would be independent and self-sufficient.

I have heard all the advice and been offered all the insights. And still, at the time, they didn’t seem quite tangible.

Until now. Now, as we register our oldest for kindergarten, as we are only a few months out from entering a new season, when we are on the brink of big change. Now, I am realizing more than ever, my days really are numbered.

The closer I get to my son starting school, the more I feel like every moment matters and I find myself wondering if I did enough in the years leading to this one. I am tempted to look backwards at how I’ve done so far.

Numbered days have a way of doing that to you.

The passing of time will make us panicky about how much we have left and insecure about the time that’s already passed.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Traditionally, this is a time, like Advent with Christmas, where our days are numbered and leading towards a marked event. Unlike Advent, Lent is more nostalgic, more internally reflective. It too is leading to something, but the road is marked with sacrifice and contemplation.

Lent prompts us to reflect on who we are and what needs to change. It causes us to look backwards and do a self-inventory, to be honest about where we have fallen short, and to be transparent about the parts of us that got the better of us—but shouldn’t have. But if we aren’t careful, Lent can turn into a morose miserable time so focused on what we are giving up, on the ashes of our lives, that we forget Easter is just around the corner.

In the same way, numbering our days in parenting has the potential to trap us in our expectations of who we should have been without looking forward with expectancy to what could be. It keeps us looking backwards with nostalgia rather than forward with willingness. And if we aren’t careful, this can ruin us.

Looking back we can make ourselves miserable thinking, “I should have been more patient, I should have been less frustrated, I should have spent more time playing instead of scolding, helping instead of critiquing. I should have read more, prayed more, played more catch, and just had more fun.”

And although reflection can be good, it cannot be where we stay.

Self-inventory at Lent isn’t the end of the story. Easter is.

Numbered days aren’t the end of our parenting story. Embracing what’s next is.

We aren’t numbering our days in our parenting so we can beat ourselves up about the job we should’ve been doing. We number our days so we can journey forward, hopeful that a God who makes resurrection possible can make something beautiful with what we have left—and what is coming next.

Easter is around the corner on our calendar.

Change is around the corner in our house.

Easter is a celebration of newness. And change can be too.

Yes it’s hard. No, it doesn’t feel like a celebration. The emotion I feel over my oldest starting school six months from now may be more close to irrational than I am comfortable admitting. But I will look at the time I have left not as a sentence, but as an invitation.

An invitation for a new start in a new stage.

Beauty can come from ashes. What happens next can always be better than what’s happened before.

And I know that if I can learn to be present in the days I have left, I am doing the best job at preparing for the days I have coming.

— Sarah Anderson, Contributor – Parent Cue website, ©2020

Connect 4

Connect 4



Connect with God, Friends, Fun and Your Faith.

6:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Zoom

All ages welcome

Each week in Connect 4 we’ll kick off the night with Social Time to share our stories and fellowship. Then we’ll journey through the Discipleship Pathway Points (Serving, Inviting, Giving, Worship, Prayer, Bible Time, and Small Groups) with games, activities and lots of laughter.


Meeting ID: 812 8458 9084

The password for the Zoom calls is the Wesley Center door code.


Questions? Contact Kristin.

Lent Kit Pickup

Lent Kit Pickup


Journey through Lent with a Family Lent Kit from Children’s Ministries.


After the Ash Wednesday service online, come to the Magnolia lot or The Portico Breezeway to pick up a  Family Lent Kit, an in-home resource to prioritize your faith and family this Lenten season.

Wednesday, Feb. 17

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  OR  7 – 8 p.m.


This is a walk-up pick up event. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.


We can’t wait to see you! Questions? Email Kristin



Here’s a listing of weekly gatherings and live worship streaming. Just click on the linked text and your browser will take you to that page or application.

Monday, Feb. 22

  • Hyde Park and The Portico’s Ministry Offices open // Safety Protocols Observed

Tuesday, Feb. 23

  • Hyde Park and The Portico’s Ministry Offices open // Safety Protocols Observed
  • 12:15 p.m. // Midday Meditation (Facebook)
  • 5:30 p.m. // Merge Youth Council Live Devos (Merge Instagram)
  • 6:30 p.m. // Seeking Redemption: Connecting Faith to Justice (Details)
  • Children’s Ministries // Talk About It Tuesday! (Facebook)

Wednesday, Feb. 24

  • Hyde Park and The Portico’s Ministry Offices open // Safety Protocols Observed
  • 6:30 p.m. // Merge Games Night (Zoom Meeting ID 432 313 460)
  • 6:30 p.m. // Children’s Ministries Game Time (Zoom)

Thursday, Feb. 25

  • Hyde Park and The Portico’s Ministry Offices open // Safety Protocols Observed
  • 12:15 p.m. // Midday Meditation (Facebook)

Friday, Feb. 26

  • Hyde Park and The Portico’s Ministry Offices open // Safety Protocols Observed

Saturday, Feb. 27

  • No events or activities scheduled

Sunday, Feb. 28

  • 9:30 a.m. // Online Worship (Website)
  • 9:30 a.m. // Onsite Worship (RSVP) – Safety Protocols Observed
  • 10:15 a.m. // Children’s Ministries – Virtual Sunday Morning Live (Zoom)
  • 11 a.m. // Online Worship (Website)
  • 11 a.m. // Picture Bible Giveaway – Ministry Offices tent, Hyde Park location
  • 5:30 p.m. // MERGE Family Movie Night – Magnolia parking lot (Details)
God and Family Series

God and Family Series

The first thing to know is that the entire program is based on…Pizza!


Beginning in March, we are planning to host a six-week series for students in grades four and five. Meetings are scheduled to take place under the tent on the Hyde Park Campus and be one hour in length.


The God and Family curriculum is designed to help youth understand the importance of family and God’s role in a healthy family. Each week there will be an “At Home” activity to do as a family.


Meeting time and day will be determined on what works best for the majority who sign up, so please complete this interest form.


The goals of this program are::

  • To provide an opportunity for young people and families to explore their faith together
  • To learn six ways of strengthening families through faith
  • To help families grow in God’s love
  • To memorize the Ten Commandments
  • To have fun together as we grow in our faith and relationships with each other


Children will compare families and “pizza.” The six steps for making pizza will give students a concrete, “hands-on” model on which to build their understanding of God’s love for their families. They will make a pizza as they study how families can grow together in God’s love, and they will choose “family projects” to be done with their family at home.


Outline Preview


Joshua’s Family Will Serve God – Joshua 24:14-15

Crust-Foundation – We are God’s Family

Every pizza needs a crust or foundation. Families need foundations, too. Students will read passages from Deuteronomy and Matthew to learn how families need to build their foundations on God and on God’s love.

Sauce – Family Heritage, Spiritual Heritage

Every pizza has sauce (which has simmered over time). Like the sauce, a family’s heritage grows over time. A family’s heritage, especially its Christian heritage, is an important part of its identity. Students will learn about Ruth (how she came to faith through marriage) and Jesus (how he was brought up in the faith from infancy on) and realize that even though our faith journeys may differ, our faith in Christ is the same.

Toppings – Our Talents and Gifts Strengthen Our Families

The toppings on a pizza make each pizza unique. Like the toppings, the individual members of a family bring unique gifts and talents that strengthen and make their family special. Students will read about Moses and Aaron, two brothers with very different gifts, and Timothy, a young man with the gift of faith. Students will be challenged to name their own gifts and the special gifts in each member of their family.

Cheese – In God’s Family We’re Loved No Matter What! Because We’re Loved, We Follow Rules

The cheese on a pizza covers everything and holds it together. Families need to be held together, too. Christian rules and guidelines can help families relate to each other and live together as God’s family. Students will study Jesus lost in the temple and the parable of the prodigal son and discuss WHY we need rules. They will then be required to memorize the Ten Commandments.

Bake – Being in God’s Family Helps Us When Things Are Tough

When pizza comes out of a hot oven, it’s better than ever! Families can be like pizza: by relying on God, families can come through the heat of tough times and be even stronger. Students will study Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and Paul and Silas in prison, and be challenged to name the “faith tools” that can help their families in tough times.

Eat, Share, Enjoy! – In God’s Family, We Share as a Response to God’s Love

Pizza tastes good: it nourishes our bodies and satisfies our hunger. Pizza is fun to share: everybody loves a pizza party. Families are like pizza: they need to provide spiritual nourishment for family members, and they need to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those around them. Students will read about the feeding of the five thousand and the Great Commission to learn the importance of sharing God’s love with other people.

This program is open to all fourth and fifth graders and we encourage your child to invite a friend to come along with them! Fill out this interest form to get started.

If you have any questions, please email Kristin Passath


This program is also officially recognized by the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire USA, Girl Scouts of the USA and the American Heritage Girls as the religious awards program for youth in our church and youth in those organizations are particularly encouraged to attend. In addition to participating in the meetings and completing family projects, youth are required to share what they have learned with the pastor before they are eligible for the award.

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