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Dear Hyde Park Family,

It is with great joy that the Staff-Parish Relations Committee welcomes back the Rev. Bernie Lieving to our staff, beginning August 1. For many in this church, Bernie is no stranger, having served here as an Associate Pastor from 1994 to 2013. He returns to serve as our Parish Associate, working primarily as part of Rev. Sally Campbell-Evans’ ministry of Congregational Care. He will occasionally participate in worship leadership.

Bernie was born and raised in West Virginia, and grew up in the United Brethren tradition, which led to the Evangelical United Brethren Church, and ultimately, the United Methodist Church in 1968. He reflects a rich part of our spiritual heritage as United Methodists, along with nearly three decades of service as a Chaplain in the United States Army.

After leaving as an Associate Pastor in 2013, Bernie served on the clergy team at Palma Ceia Methodist, and most recently as the interim Senior Pastor at Land O’Lakes United Methodist. In 2015, he married Cindy Lieving, who has been an active part of our church. For 54 years, Bernie was married to Dorothy Lieving, who started our Peanut Butter Buddies program, which eventually became Open Arms, our ministry to unhoused persons.

Bernie has been a formative influence throughout my ministry. As associates together, he mentored and supported me as I “learned the ropes” of ministry at Hyde Park. He modeled the kind of care and compassion for people that helped to hone my own skills. His long tenure among us means that he is now celebrating the college graduations of children that he baptized, who were born to parents that he married! It is a joy to have him back to share ministry together here.

Join me in welcoming the return of this beloved pastor, leader, caregiver, and friend!

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


We continue our worship series “Hard to Believe” with one of the most difficult questions in our faith: “If God is all-powerful and all-loving, why is there suffering and evil in the world?” We will tackle this question and claim some assurances that will comfort us in moments of hardship.


It is with profound grief and sadness that we share the news of the sudden death of Rev. Tanner White, who served Hillsborough United Methodist. Tanner’s pursuit of ministry was rooted in this congregation, and nurtured by our clergy, especially Justin LaRosa, who was one of his covenant group brothers. We shared in the joy of his ordination last Saturday in Lakeland. He died two days later of sudden, natural causes.

It is tragically ironic for some sudden cause of death to cut short a life marked by such survivorhood. He persevered against one challenge after another, in life and ministry. His unyielding relentlessness against adversity and his steadfast trust in God will be part of his legacy.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children, a reeling congregation, and grief-stricken colleagues and friends. We entrust him to God’s eternal love, and pray God’s comfort for all of us.

A memorial service for Tanner will take place in the Hyde Park Sanctuary on Saturday, June 22, at 10:30am.