There’s no doubt, moving our church community online has had many far-reaching consequences. In addition to missing the chance to worship and fellowship together, we also miss opportunities to serve together. While all of our serving opportunities can be impactful, few have the impact of donating blood.
We have learned new ways to do so many things, including giving blood to those who need it, often desperately. While the Big Red Bus won’t be back at Hyde Park until we are, One Blood, our mission partner, has a variety of donation centers and mobile locations near you. It’s as easy as visiting their website and searching by ZIP code. Appointments are required. You’ll receive a cool T-shirt, a test to determine whether you have the COVID-19 antibodies, and the knowledge that you made a difference in someone’s life. Questions? Email Tracey Arehart, mission liaison.
Each Sunday morning, a small group of Open Arms volunteers gathers in the church parking lot to serve to-go lunches and deliver mail to our homeless community even while the campus is closed. With this service, the invaluable personal connections that are an important part of the Open Arms ministry are limited due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
Let’s show our Open Arms friends they are remembered and cared for – and continue to support this ministry even while on-campus activities are suspended by writing cards of encouragement.
We invite the church congregation to Make God’s Love Real by writing cards/letters of encouragement, drawing pictures (kids) for our Open Arms friends. These will be distributed on Sunday mornings at the Open Arms mail table for any guest who would like to receive this correspondence. The letters should be generic and not addressed to any specific individual; they will be distributed randomly.
Please mail to Hyde Park United Methodist, in care of Open Arms Letters Ministry, 500 W. Platt Street, Tampa, FL 33606. We recommend sending the cards in bulk, include an encouraging note or Scripture and sign your first name, and exclude your address from the individual envelopes.
Questions? Email Melissa Johnson
Pat and Melenda Edmiston are missionaries with Wycliffe – Partners in Bible Translation, nondenominational mission organization dedicated to translating the Scriptures and teaching people to read and write in their own language. Pat and Melenda serve in the country of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Here’s an excerpt from their latest newsletter:
Pat’s trip back to PNG is still on hold as both Australia and Papua New Guinea continue to restrict the entry of international travelers. PNG will reassess its travel ban on July 31. They have only had eight reported cases of Covid-19 and 0 deaths so far. Pray that we will have wisdom in making any travel plans if the ban is lifted.
Melenda’s Mom passed away in May
Margaret Jane Casselberry, 95, of Casselberry, passed away on May 24, 2020. A graduate of Winter Park High School, she began her journalism career on the staff of the school newspaper and yearbook and writing a Girl Scout column for the Winter Park Herald. While majoring in art at Rollins College, Jane was encouraged to write by her English professor Nina Oliver Dean, a syndicated columnist. During World War II, she was a volunteer with the American Red Cross. In 1944, she married her high school sweetheart Leonard Casselberry at the Beaufort, South Carolina Naval Air Station where he was stationed.
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Heifer International, a mission partner of Hyde Park United Methodist, is based in Little Rock, Arkansas but has a global reach. Founded in 1944, their mission is as relevant today as it was in the beginning. According to their mission statement, “We work to end hunger and poverty in partnership with the communities we serve. Our programs support entrepreneurs around the world, creating lasting change from the ground up.”
Their June newsletter relates how they have helped farmers respond to COVID-19, bring new life to Nepal and helped beekeepers in Mexico. Read these stories and more.
Recently, parents and students at Dunbar Elementary returned to the school to return their laptops before summer break. When they arrived, they received an unexpected gift of generosity from a stranger. The video tells the rest of the story.