Our Vision Team and Implementation Team worked diligently over the past four years to thoroughly review many aspects of our church, including our worship services. As a result of thoughtful conversations, reflection and prayer, they have made their recommendations for changes to our worship services. Our Ministry Leadership Council has reviewed and approved these recommendations. Staff members and lay leaders were actively involved throughout this process and several of them appear in this “sneak peak” video to share plans for our future worship services. In addition, a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) appear below the video.

Frequently Asked Questions About Worship changes at Hyde Park United Methodist

Why are we changing worship times and spaces?

  • The simple answer is Vision. The leadership of Hyde Park United Methodist started the process four years ago that lead us to this point. It began with the Visioning Team, and ended with the Implementation Team. The process included lots of prayer, discussion and discernment. We also engaged church consultants who spoke to a group of people who attended each worship service.

When will these changes be put in place?

  • When the Ministry Leadership Council Executive team, comprised of each administrative committee chair and corresponding church staff, determine is it safe to resume worship inside our worship spaces.

What are the worship types, times and locations?

  • 9:30 a.m. Contemporary – Harnish Activities Center
  • 11 a.m. Traditional – Sanctuary
  • 9:30 and 11 a.m. – Online service
  • The Portico – Worship services will resume when a critical mass has been reached. The style will depend on the community that is formed. (This will be a missional community).

What will the style and time of the online service be when we resume indoor worship?

  • The online service will continue in the same style it is currently. The times will remain the same as we expect COVID restrictions to inhibit the full use of our indoor space for some time.

How will the worship spaces be different?

  • Contemporary worship in the Harnish Activities Center will look much more modern, a global embodiment model, changing the Altar, utilizing visuals that can’t be done in a structured space like the Sanctuary. It allows for the whole space to be transformed for that specific series or service because components within the space will be more flexible.
  • The Sanctuary will continue to be a traditional worship space, and will receive new screens and projectors to improve media function in that space. Movement of the band’s equipment will allow all other artistic expressions to take place in that space.

Will worship have communion?

  • While Communion is a sacrament that will always be a part of our church, the method and frequency of receiving it may look different from time to time. At this time, we can not state the frequency of indoor Communion service due to COVID. The Executive Team continues to monitor this situation weekly. As we move closer to an indoor service, those restraints will influence the manner and frequency in which we serve Communion.

How will we use the buildings previously used for worship?

  • Hyde Park Chapel – will be used for weddings, funerals, prayer services and special worship services.
  • Hyde Park Magnolia Building – will be used for a variety of events. The Program Executive Group will be evaluating this in consideration of the overall Visioning process.
  • The Portico Community Hall – will continue to be used in the same capacity as we work toward resuming worship services at The Portico location.

What was the worship attendance pre-COVID at 9:30 a.m.?

  • The average for this service in 2019 was 268.

What happens if we max out space at 9:30? (85% of our seating maximum of 500 is 400)

  • Our prayers will have been answered! When this happens, we will duplicate the service at a time based on the needs of the people outside of the church that we are trying to reach.

Why are we moving our largest contemporary service to a different venue?

  • A reimagined and dedicated space will provide growth opportunities for our services with a contemporary style of worship. The Sanctuary is less conducive to many elements used in modern forms of contemporary worship. The Magnolia Building is too small. Creating a reimagined contemporary service in the Harnish Activities Center provides flexibility and more effectively uses our church resources.

Will this mean the music will be super loud?

  • The music will be appropriate for the room and feeling of the service. New audio/visual equipment will be installed to provide greater flexibility for worship production.

Will there be a cross up front?

  • While there will be a cross in the room, placement will be determined by the shape of the room and the worship service.

How will this be different than what I experienced at Easter and Christmas worship in the Harnish Activities Center?

  • The new design and equipment will provide new flexibility in that space. Given that attendance is fluctuating, use of the space will be different.

What happens to The Portico and Magnolia musicians?

  • Both bands have blended into one band during COVID. Our musicians will be utilized on a rotating basis moving forward.

When will The Portico worship start?

  • This will be determined by the growth of missional communities and critical mass.

What style will The Portico worship be?

  • At this time, it is expected to be more of an acoustic service with one musician.

Will Justin LaRosa be the preacher at The Portico worship?

  • We expect Justin to continue serving in that role.

When and where will Open Arms meet?

  • Conversations are continuing between the Program Executive Group and our Open Arms leadership team to determine next steps for this vital ministry.

Will Open Arms be inside or outside?

  • Open Arms will continue to operate outside for the near future, as will our current onsite worship service.

If restaurants are open, why aren’t we serving Open Arms the way we used to?

  • The church isn’t a restaurant, it is a hub for ministry. Our focus continues to be to provide care and support for our guests in a safe environment for them and our volunteers. With continuing changes in the virus and its spread, we are working hard to not contribute to the misery it has caused.

Will the kitchen in the Harnish Activities Center still be used for Open Arms?

  • This will be determined by the day of the week and location of this meal in the future.

Is there a kitchen in the Magnolia Building for Open Arms to use?

  • Not at this time.

When will it be safe for people to eat together at church – homeless or not homeless?

  • The Executive Team has a group of criteria that needs to be met to determine when all ministry activities can begin to take place. They have specific markers they follow on a weekly basis that are provided by Hillsborough County.

Who makes these decisions?

  • Our Ministry Leadership Council Exec Team in conjunction with Program Executive Group.

I heard Open Arms is moving to The Portico. Is it?

  • All possibilities will be discussed. The Program Executive Group in conjunction with the Open Arms leadership will evaluate what is best for the people we are serving along with partnerships we have in place.

What about the clothing closet? Is it moving?

  • All aspects of this ministry are being discussed.

What about the mail if we move to The Portico?

  • All aspects of this ministry are being discussed.

I want to volunteer – how can more people volunteer?

  • As volunteer opportunities become available, they appear on our website. https://hydeparkumc.org/serve/

If you have further questions, please feel free to email questions@hydeparkumc.org. A group of staff and lay leaders, led by our Executive Director Peggy Hisey, will review and respond to questions.





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