Dear Hyde Park Family,
In this week of giving thanks to God, I offer you the lyrics of a new song by one of my favorite artists. It is titled “The Thanksgiving Song,” by Ben Rector. If you’d like to listen to the song and watch the clever music video, you can see it here.
The Thanksgiving Song
Lined with leaves turned brown
Making my way
Back into my hometown
Funny how this all looks different, but it feels the same
Like how life never stops changing but some things never change
So fill your plate and fill your drink
And fill this house with family
The kind of love that all these years can’t wash away
Cause the older that I get I see that life is short and bittersweet
Raise a glass to this Thanksgiving Day
Watching families grow
The old kid’s table all have kids of their own
Starting to see my grandfather in my nephew’s eyes
Mom still can’t talk about him and not almost cry
So fill your plate and fill your drink
Put your dishes in the kitchen sink
And let the leftover year just wash away
Cause we made it through I do believe the longest year in history
Thank God that it’s Thanksgiving Day
On behalf of the clergy, staff and lay leadership of Hyde Park United Methodist, I wish you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving Day, with many glimpses of gratitude over the days and months ahead. And we look forward to beginning our Advent journey, titled “Living Christmas,” this Sunday, Nov. 29.
Blessings to you and yours!
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
PASTORAL WORD AND PRAYER
In Witness against Systemic Racism
May 31, 2020
“EVERY PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO BREATHE”
A Statement Shared by Magrey deVega during worship on May 31, 2020
We acknowledge yet another tragic act of violence committed against a person of color in this country. The victim’s name was George Floyd. We speak aloud his name because his life mattered. We speak his name because the evil of systemic racism continues to poison our society, and we confess our complicity in allowing it to persist. We speak his name, because it’s not enough to not be racist; we must also be anti-racism. We speak his name, because on a day when we hear the words of Psalm 150 and Acts 2, when God says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” and when the Holy Spirit descends like the breath of the wind, we affirm that black and brown lives matter, and that every person has the right to breathe.
On this Pentecost Sunday, when we celebrate the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we remember our baptismal vows require us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves. This is our calling. May it be so.
A PRAYER OF CONFESSION AND JUSTICE
God of Pentecost,
You send us your Holy Spirit, who “helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” We struggle for words in the wake of more evidence of how broken we are by injustice and inequality. You give voice to our sighs in the form of names – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd – and countless others.
Forgive us, Lord, for failing to hear their voices unless their stories were video recorded.
Forgive us, Lord, for the prejudice that is in our own hearts, and the failure to stand up to racial bias and white supremacy where we see it.
Forgive us, Lord, for the racism in our economic, political, and social systems which poisons our communities and inhibits human flourishing, and our complicity in allowing it to persist.
Forgive us, Lord, for being more inclined to speak over and through our differences with others, rather than listening and leaning into them.
As we see the anger spilling into our streets and rising into the air, stifle our temptation to silence the voices of the unheard. Grant protection to all your people in public demonstrations across the country and let the messages of lament and the calls for justice linger long after the dust settles.
God, we pray that in the wake of such heartbreak, a new dawn will rise. One in which each of us take action as individuals, as communities, and as your church. Break down the walls in our hearts and in our own ignorance, that we may break down the walls among the oppressed. Show us all the ways, both private and public, to confront racism and eradicate its presence on this earth.
May your compassion and mercy guide and empower us, for the living of these days.
In Jesus’ name,
Note: Photo courtesy of the Rev. Anita Mays.
For the first time ever, Hyde Park United Methodist Church is going to read the Bible as a congregation, from cover to cover. And we are going to watch how the Holy Spirit unleashes a fresh wave of insight, transformation and possibility in us and in this church as we take this journey together.
Starting Jan. 1, we will begin with Genesis 1. And we will follow the same daily reading plan for all 365 days until we get to the end of Revelation at the end of the year.
There is no better way for you to learn to live your story as God intends it than for you to find yourself in the stories in this book. Did you know there’s between 600 to 800 stories in this book? And each one is an invitation for you to learn how to live your own story.
You don’t have to wait until Jan. 1 to start reading the Bible, of course. You can start with the daily Scripture readings that are listed in your sermon insert this morning (and on the website.) And I’ve also put together an insert that you might consider tucking in your Bible and keeping handy for reference. I’ve written a quick guide of Scriptures to read when facing certain challenges and situations. It’s available on our website.
For the complete run-down on this great program, visit Bible Project 2020.