Hurricane Information and Resources

Hurricane Information and Resources

Relief Efforts



Thank you for the amazing response to the urgent plea for water last weekend for residents of Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian. In less than 24 hours, you donated about 4.5 tons of water, the equivalent of over 1,200 gallons. That water has been delivered down south at a United Methodist Church serving as a distribution site. We have completed that donation drive for now, and we will let you know if additional water is needed. In addition, you have also given over $7,000 and counting in monetary donations. Thank you!


For those still wishing to give, here are a few options:


Urgent Need For Tarps


The Florida UMC Conference Disaster Response Office has since made us aware of a desperate need for roof-quality tarps for local residents. Because tarps are in short supply in local stores, the Conference will be purchasing 1,000 tarps through its connection with a national supplier, and it is asking for financial contributions to help underwrite the purchase. We at Hyde Park United Methodist would like to fund the Conference’s purchase of at least 100 tarps, at a cost of $75 each. If you would like to contribute toward that purchase, please click here.


Other Giving Options


The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is our denomination’s disaster relief agency, and it is already at work coordinating with local response and recovery efforts. All the money you give goes directly to help people in need. To give, click here


The FL UMC Conference Hurricane Ian Fund has been established by Bishop Ken Carter and the Cabinet to assist local congregations who have been significantly impacted by the storm. Money in this fund will help support these churches and their ministry to their community while they are unable to raise support from their weekly offering. To give, click here.


Serving On A Work Team


Let us know if you are willing to serve on a relief and rebuilding work team, once we receive word that conditions are open to receiving such teams. Please click here so we can contact you in the future.


Our Church’s Storm Readiness Plan and Sunday Worship Schedule:

As of Monday, Sept. 26, the church’s Ministry Offices will be closed through Friday, Sept. 30. All small groups and classes that meet on campus are cancelled until next week.

Worship services are still scheduled for 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. All regular programming is resuming.

The Ministry Offices will reopen on Monday, Oct. 3.

Remembering Rich Mullins

Remembering Rich Mullins

Dear Hyde Park Family,

Last Monday was the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of Rich Mullins, one of the greatest contemporary Christian music artists, and songwriter of the soundtrack of my youth. His song “Awesome God” debuted during my senior year in high school and carried me well into college. Its irrepressible melody and psalm-like declaration of praise was a signature song during a formative season of my faith.

More recently, I have been re-listening to many other favorites, including “Hold Me Jesus” and “If I Stand,”which I think is one of the greatest contemporary Christian songs ever written:

So if I stand let me stand on the promise

That you will pull me through

And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace

That first brought me to You

And if I sing let me sing for the joy

That has born in me these songs

And if I weep let it be as a man

Who is longing for his home

His music was unashamedly Christian, proclaiming the salvation of Jesus through the cross, and calling us to deepen our commitment to Christ beyond superficial platitudes. But he was also a bold critic of a certain kind of narrow-minded evangelicalism:

On the twentieth anniversary of Mullins’ death, noted author Shane Claiborne remembered him in this way on his Facebook page. 

He often joked about how surprising it was that so many evangelicals took him seriously. He said things that–even though they came straight from the Gospels– were at odds with what had come to characterize much of evangelicalism in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken… This, I know, will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re wrong. They are not bad, they’re just wrong.”


In preparation for this Sunday, I have been listening again to his song “Sometimes By Step,” which debuted in 1993 and was an immediate hit on the heels of “Awesome God.” It was a declaration of trust in God, step by step:

O God, You are my God

And I will ever praise You

O God, You are my God

And I will ever praise You

And I will seek You in the morning

And I will learn to walk in Your ways

And step by step You’ll lead me

And I will follow You all of my days

It’s a fitting song for you to listen to before this Sunday. We will be continuing our worship series “The Art of Hearing God’s Voice” with the guidance of Proverbs 3:5-6 to trust in God, one step at a time. 

Thank you, Rich, for your life, your music, and your enduring witness to a radically loving, ever-trustworthy God. We miss you.





The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is excited to announce the hiring of two persons on our church program staff. Kim Apthorp continues her work among us as our new Children’s Ministry Coordinator, a new position created to provide strategic oversight of our ministry to children and their families. It concludes a nearly year-long search for a director. And we are glad to welcome Chris Temple as our new Director of Youth Ministries, who will bring years of excitement and energy to the youth and families of our community. Now would be a great time for families of children and youth to re-connect and invite others in the community to join us, and you can learn more on our website. We give thanks to God for filling all of our staff vacancies as we head into an exciting future together.

For Everything a Season

For Everything a Season

Dear Hyde Park Family,

At the outset of a meeting last Tuesday of the Committee on Lay Leadership, I read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which contains the iconic “For everything there is a season” passage. Then I read a lovely poem by Laura Grace Weldon titled, Compost Happens.” It’s from a wonderful collection of poems I read over the weekend titled How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, which you can purchase through our church’s Amazon page

I think you’ll see the connections between these two readings, along with whatever you might be carrying today. Blessings to us all as we watch, with patience, the transformative love of God in our lives and in the world.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NRSV)


For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill and a time to heal;

a time to break down and a time to build up;

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek and a time to lose;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;

a time to tear and a time to sew;

a time to keep silent and a time to speak;

a time to love and a time to hate;

a time for war and a time for peace.



“Compost Happens”

Laura Grace Weldon


Nature teaches nothing is lost.

It’s transmuted.


Spread between rows of beans,

last year’s rusty leaves tamp down weeds.

Coffee grounds and banana peels

foster rose blooms. Bread crumbs

scattered for birds become song.

Leftovers offered to chickens come back

as eggs, yolks sunrise orange.

Broccoli stems and bruised apples

fed to cows return as milk steaming in the pail,

as patties steaming in the pasture.


Surely our shame and sorrow

also return, composted by years

into something generative as wisdom.


Grace and Peace,





Join us in person or online as we continue our worship series, “The Art of Hearing God’s Voice.” I’ll be sharing three principles through the acronym “S.O.S.” that will help you sense God’s presence in the midst of life’s challenges. Be sure to invite a friend, or share our service with others through our YouTube channel

Church Conference October 6

Church Conference October 6

We are having our annual Church Conference at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 6, in the Magnolia Building downstairs. It will include a vote on 2023 leadership nominations and adjustments to membership rolls. Every church member is a voting member and welcome to attend. A January 2023 Church Conference will be held to approve clergy salaries and budgets after 2023 estimates of giving have been received by the Finance Committee.



The Art of Hearing God’s Voice

The Art of Hearing God’s Voice

Dear Hyde Park Family,

“Can you hear me now?”

You may remember that famous line from the advertising campaign for Verizon Wireless. It began on January 14, 2002, when nearly half of all Americans owned a cell phone. The ad assured Verizon subscribers that their cell coverage was so comprehensive that they could hear the other person’s voice from virtually anywhere in the country, at any time.

Think about the first time you ever owned and used a portable phone. Remember the remarkable feeling of being able to hear someone’s voice on the other end, wherever you happened to be? Remember the freedom and awe it was to feel connected at any time?

Now, let’s take it to a spiritual level. Wouldn’t it be nice if God’s voice worked that way, too? To hear a clear, audible voice from God telling us what we are to do, who we are to be, and what we are to say? Let’s admit that we are a bit jealous of some of our biblical ancestors, who apparently were able to hear God’s voice, clear as day.

  • Abraham heard God say, “Pick up your family and move.” And he did.
  • Moses heard God say in a burning bush, “Deliver my people.” So, he did, too.
  • Elijah heard God say in a still, small voice, “You’re not alone.” And he wasn’t.

Wouldn’t picking a job, selecting a mate, deciding on house, even choosing what outfit to wear be a whole lot easier if we could hear God say to us, audibly,

  • “Pursue this degree instead of that one. I have plans for you.”
  • Or, “Go to the coffee shop at 5pm. The person I want you to marry is there.”
  • Or, “I want you to live in that townhouse. The one by the water. Put in an offer.”

The truth is, the spiritual life is not at all like picking up a cell phone and hearing God pick up on the other side. Instead, following Jesus is built on faith, and the practices that help us stretch, grow, and mature. In that way, learning how to listen for God’s voice is just as important as what we hear God say. It is that regular flexing and developing of those spiritual muscles that help us grow in our faith, and live life as God intends.

That is what our new worship series is all about. It’s called “The Art of Hearing God’s Voice,” and it is an exploration of how to develop the spiritual practices that allow us to listen to God, and join with others in the journey.

Starting this Sunday, we’ll discover answers to important questions such as,

  • How can you hear God’s voice?
  • How do you discern God’s will for your life?
  • What do you do when God seems silent or absent?
  • Does God speak through your dreams?
  • How can we listen for God together?

And if you haven’t yet signed up to be a part of a small group studying a book titled “Called” by Susan Robb, it is not too late to do so starting this week, and you can sign up here. It’s principles and stories will be a helpful companion to our worship series.

Join us this Sunday for worship, in person or online, and be sure to invite a friend whom you think would benefit from this important and timely series. So that together, we can answer the question,

“Yes, God, we can hear you now.”

Grace and Peace,




Thank you to the many of you who have stepped up to nearly fill all our volunteer positions in children and youth ministry. We learned this week that of the 30 volunteers we need to fully staff our 9:30 Sunday morning children’s ministries we only have three more opportunities to serve! They are also planning to resume programming at 11am starting Sunday, October 2, and they only need three more volunteers for that hour. In addition, our youth program is celebrating the hiring of our new Director of Youth Ministries who starts next Monday, and you can be a part of the exciting team that is working with our teens. To volunteer for children’s ministries, contact Kim Apthorp and to volunteer for youth ministries, contact Katherine Cosmas.

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