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The Midweek Message

from Senior Pastor Magrey deVega

 

 

 

Hard To Believe

Hard To Believe

Dear Hyde Park Family, We can freely admit that there are some aspects of the Christian faith that are simply hard to believe. It’s not that we don’t believe them. It’s just hard to fully comprehend them. There is a whole category of essential concepts to the faith...

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Spirit Shower

Spirit Shower

Dear Hyde Park Family, The greatest Pentecost hymn you may never have heard of was written by Dr. Henry More, an 18th century British theologian and philosopher that one contemporary called “the most holy man he ever knew.” Despite his zealous study and prolific...

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General Conference in Review

General Conference in Review

Dear Hyde Park Family, Thank you for the prayers and encouragement over these last two weeks as the General Conference of the United Methodist Church gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina. I felt honored to serve as one of the clergy delegates, along with Clarke...

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Be Still … and Breathe

Be Still … and Breathe

Dear Easter People, We are currently in our worship series “Life’s Highs and Lows,” based on the Psalms. Each week, we explore a different landscape image from a psalm and how it connects to God and the human experience. Last week’s service was about the mountains in...

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A Prayer for General Conference

A Prayer for General Conference

Dear Hyde Park Family, Less than three weeks from now, 862 United Methodist delegates from around the world will gather in Charlotte, North Carolina for the General Conference of the United Methodist Church. It will be the fourteenth time that our denomination has...

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You Remade the World

You Remade the World

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, One of the oldest hymns in our hymnal was written in the year 818 A.D., by a man named Theodulf, the Bishop of Orleans. He was a noted poet who wrote a refrain that would become part of our standard Palm Sunday celebrations: All glory, laud and...

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Be The Donkey

Be The Donkey

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, One of the oldest hymns in our hymnal was written in the year 818 A.D., by a man named Theodulf, the Bishop of Orleans. He was a noted poet who wrote a refrain that would become part of our standard Palm Sunday celebrations: All glory, laud and...

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The Power of Your Words

The Power of Your Words

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, I spent the last several days out of town enjoying Spring Break with my daughters Grace and Maddy. We spent most of our time in Chicago, where Grace is in graduate school for Museum Studies. But last Monday and Tuesday, we made a quick road trip...

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The Collect: A Way to Pray

The Collect: A Way to Pray

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, At the start of the year I began using a book titled Being Here: Prayers for Justice, Curiosity, and Love by Padraig O’Tuama. He is an Irish poet, theologian, and conflict mediator whose writings have been very helpful in my spiritual practices....

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Being and Doing

Being and Doing

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, For the past few days, I have been with my clergy covenant group in Atlanta for one of our bi-annual retreats. It is a gathering I always cherish, connecting with my closest friends in ministry for a time of encouragement, learning, and play....

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God Who Pays Attention

God Who Pays Attention

​Dear Lenten Pilgrims, In my journey of living into “savor” as my key word for Lent, I am sharing a prayer I experienced last weekend that I have found to be very meaningful. Last Saturday, I attended an event in Orlando called “Exploration,” which gathered people...

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My Word for Lent

My Word for Lent

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, Last year, I gave up coffee for Lent. It went as you would expect; I found myself longing for Easter resurrection many times. This year, I’ve decided a different approach. It doesn’t involve giving up something as it does focusing on something....

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Defining Moments

Defining Moments

Dear Hyde Park Family,   What are the defining moments of your life? All of us can point to memories that we consider pivotal in shaping who we are today. Perhaps you think of the day you got married, the birth of a child, or the moment you survived a near-death...

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The State of the Church

The State of the Church

Dear Hyde Park Family, Last Sunday night, we had our annual Leadership Gathering of elected committee members and ministry area volunteers. It was a time of connecting with other leaders in the church, learning about our church’s organizational structure, and...

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The Treasure of True Friendships

The Treasure of True Friendships

Dear Hyde Park Family, Like many of you, I watched the 80s NBC sitcom “The Golden Girls,” about a group of four elderly women who forged a deep and enduring friendship. You might also remember the opening lines of their theme song: Thank you for being a friend. Travel...

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The Year In Review

The Year In Review

Dear Hyde Park Faithful: As we begin a new year of ministry at the church, we want to say, “Thank you!” Because of your generosity and faithfulness, this church made a profound impact in our community and around the world in 2023. On Christmas Eve, 2,500 worshippers...

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The Annunciation (in Rhymed Narration)

The Annunciation (in Rhymed Narration)

Dear Hyde Park Family, We are ten days away from that grand, holy nightWhen we’ll gather for carols and warm candlelight To celebrate Christmas, and Jesus Christ’s birthAnd God’s gift of love given to the whole earth But first there’s this Sunday: Advent Week...

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Let’s Get This Straight

Let’s Get This Straight

Dear Advent Pilgrims, This Sunday our attention turns to John the Baptist, a persistent presence every Advent journey. He meets us, whether we are ready for him or not, to echo the challenge by the prophet Isaiah, the original “voice crying from the wilderness:”...

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An Exciting Year Ahead

An Exciting Year Ahead

Dear Hyde Park Family, With Advent starting this Sunday, it is the official start of the new Christian liturgical year. We look forward to a fresh arrival of Jesus Christ in our lives, and anticipate all that God will be doing in and through this church throughout the...

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A Thanksgiving Blessing

A Thanksgiving Blessing

Dear Hyde Park Family: Rejoice always. Pray continually.Give thanks in every situationbecause this is God’s willfor you in Christ Jesus.(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) As we enter these days of giving thanks with loved ones and friends, consider these words from John...

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An Enneagram Thanksgiving

An Enneagram Thanksgiving

November 16, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Over the past three Wednesday nights, I have had the fun of teaching a class on the Enneagram, a personality type indicator that guides self-discovery, offers awareness of one’s strengths and shadows, and enhances relationships...

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A Penny For a Memory

A Penny For a Memory

November 9, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Years ago, Grace asked me to describe my happiest memories. I told her about the time she and her sister were born, about the day I married their mother, and about the night I was ordained a minister. She agreed that those were...

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Something God Alone Can See

Something God Alone Can See

November 2, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday will be an especially poignant All Saints’ worship service for me. Over the past year, several influential people in my life have died, people who were formative to my Christian journey and my ministerial calling....

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Passion and Compassion

Passion and Compassion

October 19, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Near the start of my ministry 25 years ago, I attended a clergy gathering at the Life Enrichment Center in Leesburg, Florida. The featured speaker was Dr. Paul Chilcote, a professor of Wesley Studies. In that lecture, he spoke...

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Living Sabbath

Living Sabbath

October 5th, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, How noisy is your life?  Bernie Krause is a noted “soundscape artist,” producing albums of sounds found in nature. He has said that in 1968, in order to get one hour of natural sound - no cars, planes, or machines of any kind -...

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God’s Remedy For a Broken World

God’s Remedy For a Broken World

September 28, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, But let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24) Years ago, I had a seminary instructor say that no prospective minister should graduate from seminary without being able to fully...

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Exchanging Burdens

Exchanging Burdens

September 21, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Today is the feast day of St. Matthew, the person traditionally credited as the author of the first gospel. Born into the Hebrew tribe of Levi, Matthew was a tax collector who met Jesus, became his disciple, and wrote an...

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Good and Faithful

Good and Faithful

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...

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Living Theater

Living Theater

September 7, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts." (Shakespeare’s As You Like It) One of the most joyful parts of living in...

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Waffle Day!

Waffle Day!

August 24, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Well, here’s an opening to a Midweek Message that I never thought I’d write: “Happy National Waffle Day!” I normally overlook these kinds of special recognitions, likely manufactured by restaurant and food industries to promote...

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Thank you, Vicki!

Thank you, Vicki!

August 10, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, It is with a sad, but grateful heart that I share the bittersweet news that Rev. Vicki Walker has announced her departure from serving on staff here at Hyde Park United Methodist. As she shares below, she has discerned a new way...

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Let’s Go Cruisin’!

Let’s Go Cruisin’!

June 22, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, I am extending an invitation for you to join me on a very special trip next year. I have been asked by Educational Opportunities to be the guest lecturer on a 10-day cruise exploring the Journeys of the Apostle Paul, from September...

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Abounding in Hope

Abounding in Hope

June 15, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Thank you for your prayers for last week’s gathering of the Florida Annual Conference, themed “Abound in Hope.” It was the 26th one I have attended in my ministry, and, by far, it was the most hope-filled, energizing, and forward...

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A Time of Comfort and Strength

A Time of Comfort and Strength

June 8, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, By the time you read today’s Midweek Message, I will be in Lakeland, Florida for the yearly gathering of the Florida Annual Conference, made up of clergy and lay delegates from every United Methodist congregation in the state. All...

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Leading On Purpose

Leading On Purpose

June 1, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Among my leadership roles beyond the local church is that I serve as the chairperson of the Florida Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for the United Methodist Church. We evaluate and recommend persons to serve as clergy in our...

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Pentecost: Visions and Dreams

Pentecost: Visions and Dreams

May 25, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday, we join with Christians around the world in celebrating Pentecost Day, the birthday of the church, when the Holy Spirit touched the earth and ushered in a fresh experience of God’s presence and power on earth. On that...

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Graduation and Ascension

Graduation and Ascension

May 18, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday is the convergence of two observances, one civic and one liturgical. First, it is Graduation Sunday, in which we will honor the high school seniors in our worship services with a video and a prayer of blessing. It is...

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Why The UMC? Part 3

Why The UMC? Part 3

May 11, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, For this final installment of “Why the UMC?” I offer a few of the many reasons why I continue to be drawn to Wesleyan theology and practice, and why we can be excited to be part of the continuing United Methodist Church. United...

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Why The UMC? Part 2

Why The UMC? Part 2

May 4, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, The United Methodist Church rescued me from a crisis of faith. I was fresh out of high school, in my freshman year of college, when the tightly wound and insulated world of my fundamentalist faith began to unravel. At first, it was a...

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Why The UMC? Part 1

Why The UMC? Part 1

April 27, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Last Monday, I filmed an interview with a clergy colleague who is hosting a series of conversations about the United Methodist Church, and a hopeful vision of its future. If you are interested in watching that interview, let me...

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Love is Kind

Love is Kind

April 20, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Family, Our journey through 1 Corinthians 13 continues this Sunday with an exploration of the phrase “Love is kind.”The lesson of kindness is one that we learned as children, but is one that we tend to ignore today. But even simple acts...

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On Thy Lonely Way

On Thy Lonely Way

April 6, 2023 Dear Passion Week Pilgrims, “Lenten Communion” by Katharine Tynan (1861-1931)   Rest in a friend’s house, Dear, I pray: The way is long to Good Friday, And very chill and grey the way. No crocus with its shining cup, Nor the gold daffodil is up, –...

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Three Timely Prayers

Three Timely Prayers

March 30, 2023 Dear Lenten Pilgrims, The events of these past days can be marked by three powerful and timely prayers, which speak to needs of our world and our hope in God. I invite you to consider them prayerfully. PRAYER 1: “LORD, DELIVER US” The first is by Rear...

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How Jesus Learned Obedience

How Jesus Learned Obedience

March 23, 2023 Dear Hyde Park Fmaily, There are two sacred observances happening within the next ten days whose juxtaposition rarely gets much attention. The first event is this Saturday, March 25, known as Annunciation Day. It is precisely nine months before...

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Christ Ever With Me

Christ Ever With Me

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, as you may know. Like Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day, it is a civic and cultural day rooted in religious history. While many people will be celebrating with all things green (including clothes, shamrocks, and even our...

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A Prayer for International Women’s Day

A Prayer for International Women’s Day

Dear Hyde Park Family, Yesterday was International Women’s Day, which has been commemorated by the United Nations since 1975 and endorsed by our denomination’s United Methodist Women (recently renamed United Women in Faith.) It is a global celebration of women and an...

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The Table Will Be Wide

The Table Will Be Wide

Dear Lenten Pilgrims, My friend Rev. Jan Richardson is one of the coolest clergy colleagues I know. She is a United Methodist minister, an internationally regarded artist, and the director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC, in Winter Park, Florida. Her artwork has been...

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Our Cosmic Voyage

Our Cosmic Voyage

Dear Hyde Park Family, This Sunday I’ll be preaching on the fourth day of creation, when God created the planets, stars, sun, and moon. Prior to Sunday, I would love for you to take 30-minutes to watch a short documentary film titled Cosmic Voyage. I originally saw it...

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What is Your Thin Place?

What is Your Thin Place?

Dear Hyde Park Family, In Celtic spirituality there is a term called “thin places,” where a person experiences the God’s presence more readily than in any other place. Travel writer Eric Weiner describes them as “those rare locales where the distance between heaven...

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The Fragrance of Gratitude

The Fragrance of Gratitude

Dear Hyde Park Family, Are there certain fragrances that evoke strong memories for you?  I was surprised to learn recently that the same part of our brain that processes our sense of smell is the same as where we store our memories. Your olfactory bulb is connected to...

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