Hyde Park Prayer Walk
As we begin to return to our Hyde Park location for indoor worship and other activities, we are mindful of the void our absence from the campus has left in all of our lives. In an attempt to bridge that void, and so many others caused by the pandemic, we are intentionally walking around the perimeter of our campus, either in person, as a group or virtually. The walk stops at specific locations along the way so participants can pray for the sacred space at that place, and for our members and ministries that use that location.
Join our Inaugural Prayer Walk April 20 or 21
Opening Words // Marilou Reed
- Welcome Prayer // Martha Chamberlain
- Wesley Center // Paula Meckley
- Sanctuary // Jim Lake
- Memorial Garden // Karen Crawford
- Knox Hall and Coffee Shop // Amy Maguire
- Traditional Choir and Contemporary Music Rehearsal Rooms // Lucretia Murphy
- Chapel // Susan Northcutt
- Ministry Offices // Joanie Mellen and John Dormois
- Harnish Activities Center // Jennifer Houdeshell
- Open Arms Ministry // Maria Colfer “The Bike Lady”
- Magnolia Building – Youth Ministries // Lisa and Avery Metheny
- DeLeon Block – Prayers for the Future // Nicholas Glover
Opening Words about Prayer
Do our prayers really make a difference? Do they matter? Absolutely! God wants to connect with us and has provided a way. When we pray, God listens. And, God responds. Prayer is powerful because God is powerful!
As we begin to return to gathering together face to face, join your Hyde Park brothers and sisters in taking a prayer walk—physically or virtually. On the walk you will be guided in prayer for every part of our campus, its ministries, and the people involved.
We have been richly blessed in the past and are now poised for new beginnings. God’s continued blessings and direction are vital! Prayer is our compass. Only with the guidance and empowerment of the Spirit can we continue to make God’s love real in and through every aspect of our ministry. Prayer is truly powerful, and so are we with God’s Spirit.
Lord, hear our prayer, just as you heard the voices of the faithful who first met on this site one Sunday morning in 1899. They sang, “I love to tell the story of Jesus and his love…” And for more than a century of growth and change, this Methodist congregation has shared and lived the story of your love. We lift our praise to you for all the saints who came before us, and for the thousands of faith journeys shaped here.
We praise and thank you Lord for bringing us through the most difficult year of many of our lives, through challenges and sorrow, uncertainty and change. The pandemic emptied the campus of nearly all activities and gatherings, and an unnatural stillness enveloped this place. And yet, you were here. You are faithful. We are back.
As we survey the church campus before us, we give thanks for those who have maintained these buildings and grounds, for those who sustained our ministries virtually, and for those who prepared for our return to on-site gatherings.
We pray for those individuals returning after such an extended absence, that any strangeness they feel will melt away in the warmth of your love and the faces of fellow Christ followers here.
We pray also for those visiting this campus for the first time. Open our eyes and hearts to the newcomer and the stranger. Nudge us to reach out with warm welcomes and guiding words at every opportunity. Let us remove any barriers, physical or emotional, that would block their path to you.
Order our steps, Lord. Guide us in this new beginning, to share in new ways the old, old story, of Jesus and his love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
A Prayer for the Wesley Center
The gateway to our church and a place where students, volunteers, parents, and staff can grow in their faith as they continue their spiritual journey.
God, we pray that you would lay your hand over the Wesley Center. This building rejoices with the gleeful sounds of past, present, and future children learning your word. Almighty Creator, with your guidance students will continue to grow steadfast in their knowledge of your life and teaching. May the Holy Spirit fill the classrooms and halls with your love and truth.
Loving Father, please surround the children with peace and comfort as they return to our campus. May our students be blessed with the excitement of seeing familiar faces and reconnecting with their church friends. We pray that students feel afresh the wonder of God.
Oh Lord, we pray for the volunteers and staff who lead our children. Watch over them, guide them and deepen their knowledge and understanding of your word. Be their shield and sword so that they can do your good work.
Father, we also pray for the parents. Give them the strength they need to support their children and to model your love and grace. We pray that God would refresh and rejuvenate their energy so that they can encourage their children to grow into strong courageous Christians.
May Children’s Ministries be a place of hope, comfort, and love for all.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
Eternal God, the call to resume worship in this sanctuary brings to mind the first words of Psalm 122, which are displayed near the sanctuary entrance: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’ ” We are glad once again to go into this house of the Lord!
We are grateful for the opportunity to continue Sunday morning worship in this sanctuary.
We thank you for your real presence as we once again receive bread and cup in this space and kneel before your altar.
We ask your blessing upon the weddings, funerals, baptisms and vacation Bible school gatherings that will happen here again.
Keep us healthy, oh Lord, and make us responsible stewards of this sanctuary.
Guide us and lead us, your unworthy servants, as we continue the worship offered here for decades. Unite the prayers we offer with those of the saints who entrusted this space to us.
May the sermons that are preached, the songs that are sung, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord, our rock and our redeemer.
For this holy house, the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, forever and ever.
Dear Lord, we are blessed by this Memorial Garden where all can find a place of solitude and peace. Let us fondly remember all the Saints that have gone before us – parents, children, other family members, friends, mentors, and leaders of this congregation. During this past year the Memorial Garden has hosted celebrations of life, while at the same time celebrated new beginnings with baptisms around the fountain. May this Garden continue to be a place of honor and remembrance for those who have gone before us and those who will come after us. We are grateful for the persons who made the Memorial Garden a reality, the numerous individuals and the Altar Guild who lovingly maintain and care for this sacred place.
May we look to the future with excitement and anticipation of great things to come as we gather together once again. Let us take time to be still in God’s presence, savor each moment, and find calm in a world of constant change — always knowing we can face uncertainty with perfect peace.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
Knox Hall and Coffee Shop
Loving God, we remember the days when we last gathered together in person with our beloved small groups to deepen our faith and expand our fellowship.
We remember when we walked together through the disciple’s path and made the decision to join the church community.
We remember the sweet aroma of coffee freshly brewing and the sounds of baristas at work as we enjoyed great conversation and connection together.
We are grateful we could still gather in small groups over virtual cups of coffee this past year, but now we pray to you for the future of these spaces; that we may be together, safely again soon in our small group communities and growing closer to each other and you, God, over a cup of coffee and welcoming smiles.
We pray for the small group leaders and new members who have yet to enjoy our spaces in person.
We pray for the volunteers at the Coffee Shop who long to connect with each other again, and to serve others each Sunday morning.
We pray for those who yearn for connection that we can open our arms to each other again soon.
We have each sacrificed so much the last year, and in that loss, we realized again the importance of connection, community, and small groups which are represented within the walls of Knox Hall and the Coffee Shop. We know you will continue to be with us Lord as we move closer to the opening of these spaces, and we pray for your loving guidance along the way. We will rejoice when the day comes to once again meet in person for coffee and conversation!
Amy Kerr Maguire
Traditional Choir and Contemporary Music Rehearsal Rooms
Music has a way of connecting us to God and inspiring us to have a deeper relationship with our Creator and one another. We are grateful for these volunteers who learn, practice and make beautiful music together and then, offer it to the glory of God.
We are grateful that they help us in the congregation to make a joyful noise to God. In this last year, their ministry has not been easy on them. The very act of singing in church was considered “high risk” forcing these faithful volunteers to sing in isolation rather than in community. To see cameras instead of faces. To be recorded rather than “in real life.” But their faithfulness prevailed. This crisis just showed their creativity. Their music still ministered to us and showed us that even in isolation, we are not alone. As these volunteers return to these rehearsal rooms, please sanctify these spaces where they rehearse. Bless them as much as they have blessed us. Bless them to hear their voices soar—together—again.
Laurie Ray Memorial Chapel
Gracious God, thank you for the dawn of this new day and for the stone and mortar that we stand in front of.
This is the Chapel, the Laurie Ray Memorial Chapel.
This is sacred space. A small, intimate space that fills the heart with joy and peace.
This is sacred space. Rising over the altar is a great stained glass window that depicts a beckoning and welcoming Jesus.
This is sacred space. Worship services, held for several years, featured traditional hymns (“Blessed Assurance,” “In the Garden,”) with the tracker organ providing melody and harmony.
This is sacred space. The Apostle’s Creed was recited every Sunday morning. Communion—the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper—was offered at each worship service. (“Take and eat this in remembrance….” “Drink this in remembrance….”)
This is sacred space. The altar rail stands ready to support prayer and supplication.
This will be sacred space. For weddings, funerals, church conferences, covenant groups, Bible studies. For prayer and meditation.
The future calls, Almighty God, and the Chapel answers. Fill it with truth, hope, and grace. All glory is yours, now and forever.
Spirit of the Living God, standing next to the Ministry Offices is a reminder of how many people are required to “make God’s love real” in a large congregation. We pray especially for the senior pastor and administrative staff that labor to provide the many activities that surround worship including Sunday School and small group encounters. We pray for blessings on those of the staff that perform such essential services as the Sunday tech team and other IT activities that occur out of sight. We give thanks for how technology has allowed the message of Hyde Park United Methodist to spread far beyond this congregation and Tampa to cities and states far away.
We pray especially for those of the clerical staff who labor largely unseen but whose important work with communication, calendar organization, and accounting assures the smooth operation of this complex enterprise. For those graphic designers and writers, we give praise for the weekly communications presented in colorful electronic format as well as Sunday service bulletins.
Throughout this most disruptive year, we give thanks for the many ways the electronic medium has facilitated regular worship services as well as many small groups engaged in a variety of caring ministries from Bible study and The Portico discussion groups to online caregiving to families struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Oh God, we long to return to supporting the multiple Caring and Missional Ministries such as healing prayer, Mission Smiles dental service, Dunbar Elementary, mission trips and so many more. Empower us your servants to reengage these many activities with enthusiasm and love. May we be mindful of the body of Christ that this church represents and how so many are bound together in a single mission. Be our guiding light.
John Dormois and Joanie Mellen
Harnish Activities Center
Lord God of irrepressible life and love,
We honor and thank you for the legacy of worship, service and love that the Harnish Activities Center represents in our hearts and on our campus. So much has knit us together as your people here in this place. We remember the warmth of fellowship meals, small group studies, the Open Arms Ministry, Bible school activities, mission programs, youth events, and church services during the Sanctuary renovation. We remember the laughter of children and youth, the hugs of friends, old and new, and all of the volunteers, ministers and staff who have served so tirelessly through the years in this special place, helping to help make your love real to all who entered.
Now, as the doors of the Harnish Activities Center swing open to welcome our return, we ask your blessing on all the new life, ministry and worship that will take place here. Soon, our contemporary worship service with its energizing, joyful music of praise will make its home here also, no longer tethered to a traditional space, set free to soar and reach new generations with your love and hope as our congregation already devoted to this service welcomes them. As we add this service to ongoing activities, we re-consecrate this space, we rededicate it to you, Lord.
We ask for your continued guidance and grace. We seek to include and welcome into our church family a greater diversity of brothers and sisters in Christ and, also, an emerging, young, “come as you are” population of those who may never have attended church before. Please gift our congregation, Lord, with the courage to change and grow enthusiastically in your name. Your imagination and love are vast and vivid. We know you have plans for us even beyond our dreams. May they be so!
We love and praise you, asking for your blessings as we press forward, strengthened by the common bonds of the past and excited for the future.
In Jesus’ name,
Open Arms Ministry
Dear Holy God,
We look to You for truth and guidance, to bestow humility in direction and confidence in our actions as a church in facing change. We pray to you for each and every area of ministry, the use of resources, the dedication and commitment of servants and those we serve in your name. May your will be done. May the grounds of the church be sanctified. We ask that you protect your church from spiritual attack as a whole and as individuals, so that we may have hope in light of renewal and unity in service to You. We ask you to help us deal with each other in a spirit of understanding and compassion in facing the inevitable challenges that change brings.
We pray specifically for the Open Arms Ministry and the simple vision and passion that Dorothy Lieving had that grew into so much more in terms of service to the poor in the immediate community over the years. May the answers always be made clear and simple though the inspiration of your Spirit.
We love and adore you, Lord, for the faith that lies in our hearts. While never perfected, it has been affirmed by your grace. May we not be fearful, greedy, selfish, or exclusive in our service to you and others as a church. May we live and work amongst and with each other in the community, as different as we all may be, without breaking apart, without mistreatment, rather with respect and acceptance of each other as human beings, unique and individual, flawed and imperfect, but every one of us created in God’s image and worthy of Your love.
It is in the precious name of Jesus these things we pray. Amen
Maria Colfer “The Bike Lady”
Magnolia Building and Youth Ministries
In this building, instill a calling in each youth to want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. A place where they can come, be who they are and never be judged. A place where they respect themselves and one another. A place where kindness and love are spread. A place where all are welcome and know they are valued. Let each child shine and illuminate each other with their light.
When they are feeling stressed, teach them to let your calm wash over them and they will be comforted. When they are feeling anxious, quiet their minds long enough for them to hear your voice and feel your presence.
Praise the Merge Youth Ministries volunteers for their strength, courage, and willingness to share your teachings so that our youth will learn the ways of you. Open their hearts and eyes so they see they are doing the work which you have called them to do.
For the staff members who have dedicated their lives to teaching children and connecting them to you, we are forever grateful. It is through you that they are able to support our youth and strengthen their faith.
Children are the magic that is woven throughout our congregation. It is such a gift to have a relationship with them through you. Let us recognize it, cherish it, and never take it for granted.
Lord, walk with them from the moment they enter the Magnolia Building as sixth graders and every time after until they are graduating seniors. Let this be a constant in their life; a sanctuary where they create a bond to you that lasts the rest of their lives.
Lisa and Avery Metheny
Prayers for our Future: DeLeon Block
“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.” – Hosea 14:9
In this and every season, we pray for your perfect will to enter our hearts, to govern our judgment, and to move our feet. If, in discernment, your words somehow become unclear to us, steady our path; rekindle in us a childlike, obedient spirit; set aflame our spirit. While our congregation responds to the abundant needs of today, help us, oh God, to prepare this place for the fierce urgencies of tomorrow. Help us to bolster the weight of a changing, rapidly expanding urban core desperate for your light. We know not what the future will hold, but we thank you for being the same yesterday, today and forever.
God, we are humbled to be the trustees of your promise. And when the day comes to activate this new space and to make good on your word, we will dedicate it back to you so that all others will see the outward demonstration of our love.
We give thanks for the blessing of this property and for its future use that it might be a blessing to all.
Nicholas Collins Glover