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 on an IMAX screen 25 years ago and immediately fell in love with it. Since then, the film has been made available on YouTube, and I recommend it highly.
In essence, the film takes us on two voyages, the first on a macro journey into outer space. It travels a mere forty-two steps from a courtyard in Venice, Italy, to the outermost edge of the visible universe, with each step a power of ten in greater distance.
Then, the film takes us on a corresponding journey inward. Again, within a matter of steps, we travel into the micro world, past the smallest objects visible to the naked eye, into the world of cells, atoms, nuclei, and the edge of the unknown world: quarks and quantum energy.
From Galileo, who first fashioned lenses into the telescope and looked upward, to Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, who first fashioned lenses into the microscope and looked downward, we can see the awesome mystery and majesty of creation, along with the limits of human understanding.
This all reminds me of the words of Psalm 8, which I often think about as the “telescope and microscope psalm.” It first takes us on a macro journey outward:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth! You made your glory higher than heaven! When I look up at your skies, at what your fingers made, the moon and the stars, that you set firmly in place, what are human beings that you think about them; what are human beings that you pay attention to them? (vss. 1, 3,4)
Then, the psalmist takes us on a micro journey downward into the beauty and mysteries of the earth:
You’ve made them only slightly less than divine, crowning them with glory and grandeur. You’ve let them rule over your handiwork, putting everything under their feet—all sheep and all cattle, the wild animals too, the birds in the sky, the fish of the ocean, everything that travels the pathways of the sea. (vss. 5-8)
And the psalm concludes with these beautiful words:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!
I hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we discover the splendor of the heavens and the mysteries of creation. I’ll be referencing the amazing discoveries by the James Webb telescope and the writings of Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Frank Wilczek.
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS ON FEBRUARY 5
And join us a week from Sunday, February 5, for our first ever blessing of the animals at 3pm on the Magnolia parking lot of the Hyde Park campus! We will be observing it in conjunction with Day 5 of our creation series, when God created the plants and animals. You are welcome to bring your pets to a fun, casual, and informal time, where clergy will offer a word of blessing for your pet. This would be a great occasion to bring your human friends (and their furry friends)
We cannot wait to see the beautiful zoo of creatures on that day!
See you Sunday!
BUDGET APPROVED LAST SUNDAY (AND THANK YOU!!)
We give thanks for the work of the Finance Committee, Generosity Team, the Church Conference, and the faithful stewardship of this congregation in approving the 2023 Ministry and Missions Budget last Sunday afternoon. The Finance Committee always feels most comfortable proposing a budget that is 80% underwritten by estimates of giving. Last year, we reached a high-water mark, with a budget that was 85% underwritten by pledges.
This year, thanks to an amazing generosity campaign and your faithfulness, we are moving forward with a budget that is 87% underwritten, with a higher number of total pledges, higher average pledge amount, and higher overall dollar total than last year. We are so grateful to you, and to the Spirit who is moving us into the bright future ahead. Thank you!