September 14, 2023
Dear Hyde Park Family,
In case you missed worship last Sunday, we introduced our current fall series “Good and Faithful: Life Well Done.” It is a series that explores Christian character, based on a book by Dr. David Gushee titled: Introducing Christian Ethics: Core Convictions for Christians Today. Visit our website for resources that supplement the series each week, including a link to purchase this book.
I had not read a book on Christian Ethics since my seminary days, but I picked it up from a recommendation of a friend, and from the book’s reputation for addressing many controversial, polarizing topics of our day from a Christian perspective.
When I got to chapter 8 in the book, the part that explains five qualities that constitute the moral core for Christian people, I knew I had to explore these five ideas with you in this worship series:
1. Truthfulness. What does it mean to be a truthful person? And how do you hold on to truth in a time when there are such competing and contradictory notions of what is true? We will talk about that this week.
2. Sacredness. What does it mean to live as a sacred child of God, and see others as just as sacred? And how do we preserve the sacred dignity and worth of others, in a time we are just as prone to dehumanize each other? We will explore that theme on September 24.
3. Justice. What does it mean to be a just person? What do we mean by justice, in a world that has vastly different definitions of it, from retribution to redemption to reconciliation? We will explore that idea on World Communion Sunday, October 1.
4. Love. What does it mean to be a loving person? Given the wide spectrum of understandings of love, how can we agree on what it means to act in loving ways toward each other? That will be on October 8.
5. Forgiveness. We will round out our series on October 15 with maybe the hardest question of all: How can we be a forgiving people? Despite the harm that we have done to each other, how can we make forgiveness a central part of our character, and be agents of reconciliation in the world?
Truthfulness, Sacredness, Justice, Love, and Forgiveness. All five of these qualities are found throughout the teachings of Jesus, and together they form a composite sketch of how Jesus would define the virtues and the ethics of the Christian moral life.
And as I mentioned last week, each of the services will include stories, songs, and illustrations from famous musicals. (Last week’s in-person rendition of “Light of the World” from Godspell was a hoot!)
We look forward to what Broadway will bring us this Sunday! See you then!
Grace and Peace,
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
CELEBRATE VICKI WALKER SEPTEMBER 24
The Rev. Vicki Walker has announced her departure from serving on staff at Hyde Park United Methodist. Read more here. Help us celebrate Vicki’s ministry at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. Learn more here, including an invitation to contribute to a love gift for Vicki.