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Dear Hyde Park Family,

With minimal apology to any Chiefs fans out there, what an exciting time for us Buccaneer fans, and for Tampa Bay sports in general!

I’ve lived in this area for most of my life and never thought I would see the day when four – FOUR! – professional sports teams would be in the championship final of their respective sports, all in the same year.

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup, the Rays made it to the World Series, the Rowdies made it to the championship game, and now our Bucs are the first team to ever play a Super Bowl in its home stadium.

We can feel the electricity in the air, and I cannot help as a pastor offering some biblical reflection on what this might mean for us.


In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul equates the church to the human body, in which every person – no matter how seemingly insignificant – has a vital role to play.

Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted.

Imagine, for a moment, how unsuccessful it would be if the Tampa Bay Bucs had nothing but one kind of position player. If the whole team were receivers, where would the running game be? If everyone were a quarterback, who would provide the pass rush?

So it is with the church. You might think yourself to be more inferior than others in the congregation. Maybe you are new to the faith, feel less seasoned, less capable of offering yourself in service to God. But you are a vital part of this team, and working together, we can continue to accomplish great things for Christ.

With all due respect to our professional teams, it’s this one – the people of Hyde Park United Methodist – that is the team I am most proud to be a fan and a part of.

Go team! (And, yes, Go Bucs!)

Grace and Peace,


(P.S. And enjoy the collage of our wonderful church staff, proudly displaying their pewter and red!)