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 to live out her ministerial calling. I am glad to note that she will continue to be a part of our congregation as a fellow worshipper and disciple among us.
Her last Sunday will be on Sunday, September 24, when we can look forward to a joyous, albeit emotional, celebration of her ministry among us.
It is impossible to capture in words the impact she has made as a pastor, director of adult discipleship, and leader of our missions and outreach efforts. Her twenty-four years of ministerial service make her the longest-serving clergy in the history of Hyde Park United Methodist.
I hope you’ll join me in thanking Vicki and celebrating all she means to us.
Grace and Peace,
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist
Here is Vicki’s message to us:
Thirty years ago, you welcomed me into the church, and twenty-four years ago, you welcomed me onto the staff. First in adult education, where hundreds of us studied the Bible through Disciple Bible Study. Then, we took Disciple seriously and went “Into the Word, Into the World.”
Together we have discerned God’s call to serve our community in Tampa and beyond. I am proud of our relationships with our neighbors experiencing homelessness, our friends at Dunbar Elementary Medical Magnet School, and our amigos in Cuba and Nicaragua, and places in between. Your commitment to Making God’s Love Real has made my job so easy.
As I have prayed about this season of ministry, I sense God calling me to be more available to spend time with my family in Kentucky and step back from my leadership role at the church. I am not leaving you or the church, just the position. I have also been accepted into a two-year Spiritual Direction training program that begins in September, so I am excited about that.
While I am sad to leave the staff, I am thrilled to still be a part of our church.
Hyde Park, you are always my heart and my home.