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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 my sermon with a story about a man named Rodney. I’ve changed his name here, but he’s given me permission to share his story with you.

Rodney is one of the many people around the country who have discovered Hyde Park United Methodist since we began our new online worship platform at the start of the pandemic. When he sent the following email a few weeks ago, it simply blew me away.

I came across Hyde Park UMC’s ‘Making God’s Love Real’ recordings in a very intense search for meaning in the early months of 2020. I’ve been a very tough atheist for most of my life, but I’ve also dealt with very strong feelings of depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, which have made me somewhat of a nihilist. 2019 was really damaging for me, but last year was full of healing and progress, in which you and HPUMC played a very big role.

I now consider myself a Christian and know I will make it through my hardest patches in the future thanks to the faith you sparked in me, as I’ve done this year. But I also still think rationality and science are the way to solve most problems in this world, therapy and medication are very powerful tools, and inequality across racial, cultural and gender lines is real. And the reason I can now break this apparent dichotomy is the listening of your teachings.

You do a great service to this world by helping articulate the complementary nature of science and religion with such a humane approach.

I remain forever thankful to you and Hyde Park’s United Methodist Church, and hope someday I can give back at least a fraction of the love I’ve received thanks to your worship services.

Since sending me that email, Rodney has told me that he hasn’t missed a service with us online, and that he is now getting involved in a local faith community near where he lives.

I think that deserves an Amen!


Stories like Rodney’s remind us of why we do what we do as a church. God is at work in and through us, bringing healing to the hurting and hope to the heartbroken. And when you support this church, through your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, you are part of the new creation that God is making for people like Rodney all around the world.

Thank you for your support, encouragement, and generosity as we continue to live through this season of change, and into the amazing future God has for this church.

Grace and Peace,


The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist