Dear Advent Pilgrims, 

We are about to round the corner and come down the home stretch of our journey through Advent. Be sure to check out our website for descriptions of all the exciting events happening next week, starting with this Sunday:

  • Family Christmas Service: Sunday, December 18, 5:30pm in the Sanctuary
  • Blue Christmas Service: Wednesday, December 21, 7pm in the Hyde Park Chapel
  • Christmas at Water Works Park: Friday, December 23, 6:30pm
  • Christmas Eve: Saturday, December 24, Contemporary at 3:30 and 5pm (Harnish Center), and Traditional at 4, 5:30, & 11pm (Sanctuary). Online starting at 12pm.
  • Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25, 10:00am in the Hyde Park Sanctuary (note there will only be one service that morning.)
  • Christmas Day Community Meal: Sunday, December 25, 11am in The Portico Community Hall.

On Christmas Eve, we expect thousands of people to join us for worship at our various services, and we need a good number of volunteers to greet visitors from the moment they arrive. It will only take an hour or so of your time, and you can sign up here for a time slot that is convenient for you. Thank you!


We conclude our worship series this Sunday by exploring the Advent hymn “Come, Thou Almighty King”(even though there is some dispute as to whether the hymn belongs in Advent, which I will discuss in the sermon.)

The following insights come from Dr. Michael Dougherty, our Director of Traditional Music, who gives us some historical, biblical, and musical perspective on the hymn:

“Come, Thou Almighty King” is a well-loved and triumphal hymn that, despite its popularity, is of unknown authorship. It first appeared in George Whitfield’s “Collection of Hymns for Social Worship” in 1757. Whitfield was a contemporary of John and Charles Wesley, and, an interesting historical note, he rewrote the first line of Charles Wesley’s hymn “Hark, how all the welking rings” to “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Most would probably agree, that was a good choice!

“Come, Thou Almighty King” is not a straightforward Advent hymn. Rather, it is an extended doxology. In its strictest sense, a doxology requires praise to the three parts of the Trinity, and this hymn complies.

  • The first verse addresses the Godhead “Come thou almighty King.”
  • The second verse addresses Jesus who came as the Word who dwelt among us “Come, thou incarnate Word.”
  • The third verse address the Holy Spirit “Come, holy comforter.”
  • The final verse sums up the previous three and makes the doxology clear “To thee, great One in Three.”

What makes this hymn appropriate for Advent is the “not-yetness” of the of the text as we await the coming of Christ and the ultimate fulfilment of the promise:

“Thy sovereign majesty may we in glory see, and to eternity love and adore.”

See you Sunday!






The Florida Annual Conference has shared word of the death of Rev. Billy Pickett on December 12, 2022.Billy served as senior pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist Church from 1977 to 1985. His Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, December 17 at Belle Isle Community Church (formerly Pine Castle UMC) at 731 Fairlane Ave. in Orlando. The visitation is from 9:30-11 a.m., with the service following at 11:30 a.m. The service also will be live streamed on the Facebook page of Belle Isle Community Church.




We continue to be off to a strong start to our estimates of giving for 2023, with still a way to go before the Finance Committee can adequately make funding plans for an exciting year ahead. If you haven’t filled out an estimate, please do so here, and thank you to those who have!

We also ask that you help us finish the year strong with your end-of-year contributions for 2022. It has been an amazing year, and thank you for being a part of it! For your contributions to count toward your 2022 giving statement, they need to be postmarked by December 31, 2022.



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