The Midweek Message

from Senior Pastor Magrey deVega

 

 

 

God’s New Creation

God’s New Creation

Dear Hyde Park Family, So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Last Sunday we kicked off our new worship series “A New Creation,” and I concluded...

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You’ve Gotta See This!

You’ve Gotta See This!

Dear Easter People, Back in 1993, while walking through Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, I saw my first Magic Eye 3D image. Or at least I tried to see it. In case you’d never heard of them, Magic Eye 3D images are computer-generated pictures that on the surface,...

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Mary’s Boy

Mary’s Boy

The Midweek Message is the weekly newsletter of our Senior Pastor, the Rev. Magrey deVega.

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A Personal Word About Race

A Personal Word About Race

Dear Hyde Park Family, In the aftermath of the tragic shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, I offered a pastoral word and prayer earlier this week with which we can join in prayer and concern. A PERSONAL WORD ABOUT RACE A few people have reached out to me to offer their...

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CPR for Your Spirit

CPR for Your Spirit

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, We’ve all heard of CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Many of us have been trained to administer it in an emergency. Some of us may have even needed to receive it in the past. If you’re like me, we often need a different kind of CPR, one to...

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The Meaning of Scars

The Meaning of Scars

Dear Hyde Park Family, First, an important announcement: We are eager to announce that on Sunday, April 11, we will be resuming indoor worship and onsite children’s activities. For now, we will offer a single service at 9:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary, with 30 minutes of...

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The Ultimate Chess Match

The Ultimate Chess Match

In Walter Isaacson’s bestselling book titled Steve Jobs, chronicling the life of the famous founder of the Apple Corporation, he relays a story of when Jobs was a teenager. He had grown up with parents who always desired Jobs to be raised in the Christian faith. So,...

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Ships into Submarines

Ships into Submarines

Dear Hyde Park Family, Today’s Midweek Message contains a final update and word of celebration about our visioning process, a link to an important announcement video sharing some exciting news, the latest update on resuming indoor ministries on campus, and finally, a...

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“Letting Go for Lent”

“Letting Go for Lent”

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, Our Lenten worship series is titled “Cultivating and Letting Go,” in which we will explore each week how to cultivate a different aspect of holy character, and how to let go of characteristics that get in the way. In the spirit of that Lenten...

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“A Valentine’s Day Prayer”

“A Valentine’s Day Prayer”

Dear Hyde Park Family, With Valentine’s Day this Sunday, I wrote this prayer that you might join me in offering to God, seeking blessing on ourselves and those whom we love. Happy Valentine’s Day! A VALENTINE’S DAY PRAYER Eternal and Loving God, In your very being we...

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Go Bucs!

Go Bucs!

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! –...

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As Jesus Taught Us to Pray

As Jesus Taught Us to Pray

Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday, our journey through the Sermon on the Mount takes us to Matthew 6:9-18, and the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. Matthew’s version of the Lord’s prayer is longer than Luke’s version, and in my sermon we will discover why the...

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Faith and Politics … Again

Faith and Politics … Again

Dear Hyde Park Family, At noon today, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as our 46th president. To mark this occasion and to invite you into a spirit of prayerful reflection, the rest of today’s Midweek Message is a near-exact reprint of my message four years ago,...

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A Community of Love and Forgiveness

A Community of Love and Forgiveness

Dear Hyde Park Family, The last time this church did an in-depth worship series on the Sermon on the Mount was February 2002, in the wake of 9/11. Reading through the Beatitudes during that time took on unique meaning in the context of the greatest act of foreign...

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Three Things to Remember

Three Things to Remember

Dear Hyde Park Family, A PASTORAL WORD Before I get to the heart of today’s Midweek Message, I offer a pastoral word in response to the violence we witnessed in the United States Capitol Building yesterday. It was deeply disturbing to our ideals as Americans. It was a...

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New Light into the Dark Chambers

New Light into the Dark Chambers

Christmas Eve, 2020 Dear Hyde Park Family, (Outdoor candle lighting has been canceled Christmas Eve, due to forecast stormy weather; full Christmas Eve schedule of services is here. Please see more at the end of today's message.) From a Sermon on Christmas Eveby...

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Twas the Week Before Christmas

Twas the Week Before Christmas

Dear Advent Pilgrims, We are now just one week away from Christmas Eve, and the joyous celebration of the birth of Jesus. For today’s Midweek Message, I want to share with you the exciting lineup of events and programs that will guide us once again toward Bethlehem....

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Already, Not Yet

Already, Not Yet

Dear Hyde Park Family, If you think about, Advent is a strange season. We spend four weeks waiting for the birth of a child who was born 2,000 years ago. We look forward to the return of a Jesus who we believe is already with us. So, which is it? Celebrating what God...

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Midweek Message: A Song for Thanksgiving

Midweek Message: A Song for Thanksgiving

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...

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Midweek Message: A New View

Midweek Message: A New View

Dear Hyde Park Family, For today’s Midweek Message, I’m delighted to hand the message over to our Executive Director Peggy Hisey, who has an exciting report to share with us. Peggy came to us at the beginning of the year, with none of us knowing then what kind of year...

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Midweek Message: What is Still True … Again

Midweek Message: What is Still True … Again

Dear Hyde Park family, “We are now in the wake of one of the most captivating, bewildering presidential elections of our lifetime.” That was the opening sentence of my Midweek Message from Nov. 10, 2016, following the election of President Donald Trump four years ago....

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Midweek Message: “As the Votes are Being Counted”

Midweek Message: “As the Votes are Being Counted”

Dear Hyde Park Family, At the time of this writing, we are still waiting for vote tallies from the general election. As your thoughts race and your emotions run high, I offer you some pastoral words of guidance and comfort. Remember that the first thing God did to...

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Midweek Message: “To Those Who Have Come Before”

Midweek Message: “To Those Who Have Come Before”

Dear Hyde Park Family, I have been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s latest album Letters to You since its release last Friday. It was recorded live with his legendary E-Street Band in less than a week, in what Springsteen has called “one of the greatest recording...

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Midweek Message: Our Amazing Ancestors

Midweek Message: Our Amazing Ancestors

Two years ago, geneticist Yaniv Erlich announced a major breakthrough in genomic studies. His team at Columbia University set a record for the largest family tree ever created, made up of 13 million people, spanning 11 generations, going back 600 years. Using...

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Three Simple Rules for Voting

Three Simple Rules for Voting

Dear Hyde Park Family, We are now nineteen days from the general election, and along with encouraging you to practice your civic duty to vote, I offer you some words of wisdom from John Wesley. In October 1774, John Wesley was preaching in some small English towns...

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Midweek Message: What Do You Believe?

Midweek Message: What Do You Believe?

Dear Hyde Park Family, “I believe, therefore I am.” - Eberhard Jungel, German theologian Not long ago I found an online message board in which people were asked to complete the sentence, “I believe...” Many of the responses were profound. Some were pretty hilarious. I...

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Midweek Message: Can We Talk?

Midweek Message: Can We Talk?

Dear Hyde Park Family, So, did you watch survive the first presidential debate? People may have disagreements about political ideologies and policies, but perhaps we can all agree that this debate was the single worst political spectacle we have ever seen. For me, it...

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Midweek Message: “Seeds of Hope”

Midweek Message: “Seeds of Hope”

Dear Hyde Park Family, A modern-day parable of hope, straight out of recent news headlines: Last summer, a woman named Dr. Elaine Soloway harvested 111 dates from a date tree, then she sampled one. She said it had a “honey or caramel aftertaste.” Nothing really...

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Hyde Park: Innovations

Hyde Park: Innovations

Dear Hyde Park Family, This week’s special Midweek Message comes in the form of this video update from me! Please watch the video below and go to hydeparkumc.org/innovations to find out more. Grace and peace, Magrey The Rev. Magrey deVegaSenior Pastor, Hyde Park...

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Midweek Message: On the Eve of 9/11

Midweek Message: On the Eve of 9/11

Dear Hyde Park Family, Do you remember where you were on Monday, Sept. 10, 2001? No? Me neither. The day was largely forgettable, and the news headlines were mostly unremarkable. Michael Jackson rang the opening bell on Wall Street. Disgraced Senator Gary Condit was...

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Midweek Message: Signs of the End Times?

Midweek Message: Signs of the End Times?

Dear Hyde Park Family, Okay, 2020. Let’s recap what you’ve brought us so far, shall we? A global pandemic has infected over 25 million people and killed nearly 900,000 around the world. We’ve had a series of jarring reminders of the ongoing presence of systemic racism...

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Midweek Message: Come, Lord Jesus!

Midweek Message: Come, Lord Jesus!

Dear Hyde Park Family, First, I invite you to pause for a moment and offer this prayer with me, for the people of Texas, Louisiana and all those affected by Hurricane Laura: God of Power and Provision, our hearts are joined in prayer for the people facing the ferocity...

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Midweek Message: Not Multiple Choice

Midweek Message: Not Multiple Choice

Dear Hyde Park Family, He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 Our journey through the Old Testament concludes with one of the best-known...

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The Ultimate Blasphemy

The Ultimate Blasphemy

Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday our journey through the Bible makes a familiar stop at the story of Jonah. It’s a fun story that many of us have known since childhood, and has an endearing, “Aesop’s fable” kind of quality to it. It’s no wonder when the producers of...

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My Favorite Old Testament Book

My Favorite Old Testament Book

Dear Hyde Park Family, I have fond memories of a church member named Mary Carter during my years as an associate pastor here. She was a grand and spunky Southern gem from South Carolina and a member of our Altar Guild. The candles that we light on All Saints’ Sunday...

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Midweek Message: A Father’s Day Prayer

Midweek Message: A Father’s Day Prayer

This is the weekly newsletter from our senior pastor, the Rev. Magrey deVega. In this edition, Magrey considers the relationships we have with our fathers and offers a prayer for us all.

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Midweek Message: Seven Things God Hates

Midweek Message: Seven Things God Hates

Dear Hyde Park Family, I invite you to read to the end of today’s Midweek Message, for the latest information about our guidelines for resuming on-campus ministries, as well as an important announcement about the potential purchase of additional property for the...

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Midweek Message: Wisdom for Difficult Days

Midweek Message: Wisdom for Difficult Days

Dear Hyde Park Family, These have been very difficult days, on top of very difficult weeks. We join lamenting the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, along with Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the countless other African Americans and persons of color who...

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Midweek Message: “Spirit Shower”

Midweek Message: “Spirit Shower”

Dear Hyde Park Family, The greatest Pentecost hymn you’ve never heard of was written by Dr. Henry More, an 18th century British theologian that one contemporary called “the most holy man he ever knew.” One of his poems caught the attention of a young Anglican preacher...

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Midweek Message: “A Special Update and Thank You”

Midweek Message: “A Special Update and Thank You”

These have been unsettling days for our country and our world, and we are likely still months, rather than weeks, from resuming on-campus ministries, which I will discuss more in a moment. But God continues to do amazing things through this church, as many of you...

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Midweek Message: “That’s Enough!”

Midweek Message: “That’s Enough!”

Dear Hyde Park Family, “Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 This verse was part of last Monday’s Bible Project 2020 readings, and is a favorite for many people. I have used it to quiet my spirit when I feel unsettled and to slow down my pace when I am...

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Midweek Message: 7 Reminders for Today

Midweek Message: 7 Reminders for Today

Dear Hyde Park Family, As a follow up to my Midweek Message a few weeks ago in which I offered ten helpful Bible verses for during this pandemic, I offer you these seven beautiful quotes from some of Christian history’s most beloved writers. May they speak to you as...

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Midweek: We are Grateful for You!

Midweek: We are Grateful for You!

Dear Hyde Park Family,   Last Sunday across the state of Florida, United Methodist churches announced pastoral changes in their congregations. We shared that Sally, Vicki, Justin and I would be returning for another year, for which we are grateful. We also shared the...

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Midweek Message: 10 Passages to Pass the Time

Midweek Message: 10 Passages to Pass the Time

Dear Hyde Park Family, In case you need a reminder, today is Thursday. These days and weeks just seem to linger and blur together, don’t they? So, for today’s Midweek Message, I offer you a simple set of ten biblical principles that you can claim and adopt into your...

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Midweek Message: Because He Lives

Midweek Message: Because He Lives

Dear Hyde Park Family, Christ is risen! Alleluia! I trust you and yours had a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter Sunday, and thank you for joining for our services last week. More than 5,000 persons joined us in experiencing the joy of the resurrection on Easter,...

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Midweek Message: A Special Easter Word Hunt!

Midweek Message: A Special Easter Word Hunt!

Dear Hyde Park Family, One of traditions we often observe this time of year is a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt. Gathering with extended family and friends in a backyard to hide, search and open those little multi-colored treasures has been a fun ritual for...

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Midweek Message: Creativity in a Time of Crisis

Midweek Message: Creativity in a Time of Crisis

Dear Hyde Park Family, We continue to be in prayer for you and your loved ones, along with all those affected by the coronavirus. We pray for our health care workers, first responders and government officials as they face this global pandemic. And we pray for workers,...

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Special Midweek Message

Special Midweek Message

Dear Hyde Park Family, Our church is joining the global efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus, protect those most vulnerable to disease, and mitigate undue stress on our medical systems. We have decided to suspend all on-campus programming, including worship...

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Midweek Message: Being Transcends Appearance

Midweek Message: Being Transcends Appearance

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, In William Paul Young’s bestselling book The Shack, Jesus has a lengthy conversation with the main character Mack, who admitted to Jesus that he was not quite as handsome as he had imagined him to be. “I just thought you’d be better-looking,” he...

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