Plug in to the Power of Real Community

Celebrating Vital Signs

A church is a living, breathing organism with “vital signs.”  Each congregation has unique “DNA” and is equipped by God to bringing healing, hope, and grace to God’s people.  When you get a physical check-up, nurses and doctors will perform a blood pressure check and ask you to open your mouth and say “ah.”  They are checking for vital signs to evaluate your current health.

As we begin our ministry with you, here are a couple of “vital signs” that Doug and I celebrate in the Body of Christ here:

Laity and staff are strong and committed to excellence.  An eagerness to serve Christ faithfully is evident.  We have frequently heard the words from laity and staff often: “Let me know how I can help.”

The Servant Leadership Board is a diverse group of skilled and committed servants who bring outstanding leadership to the wider community.  On June 21, the Servant Leadership Board gathered together at the parsonage for a morning retreat.  Loving, learning, and leading were components of the day.

Loving God and one another:  We spent time in worship, small group reflection, and prayer, focusing on the words of Jesus to His disciples: “I am the vine and you are the branches.  Those who abide in me, and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Learning:  We discussed the expectations and roles for our senior pastors, prioritizing where the senior pastors should focus their time and energy. The articulated focus was to serve primarily as visionary leaders who preach, teach, lead, and equip the Body of Christ.

Leading:  We had a lively conversation around the strengths of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church and hopes and dreams for the future. We also discussed the need for a new chiller for the sanctuary and approved a plan to move forward to remedy the problem.

This Sunday the series “Plug into the Power of Christian Community” concludes with the message “Real Community.”  It is based on Acts 5:1-11.

As we move forward in ministry, please continue to pray for Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. Pray for our congregation to welcome all who seek a deeper walk with God.  Pray for the laity, staff, and pastors to listen for God to direct our path so that we can be effective in ministry to those in our community. May God give us all wisdom, courage, and strength to serve our neighbors in a spirit of joy!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

 

Are You Guys Treasure Hunting?

On a beautiful Tuesday evening in May, a small circle of six people gathered and prayer- walked around the church building and the streets in this church neighborhood. Fresh air, sweet fragrance, and spring flowers seemed to rejoice with us as we blessed our neighbors, walked, talked, and enjoyed each other as we rejoiced in the Lord. Our Prayer Walk turned out to be a time of physical well-being, exercise, and friendship/fellowship. It was more than a spiritual practice. It was fun and joyful seeing neighbors’ colorful gardens and to greet some neighbors, who were sitting on their front porches and working in their front yards.

Suddenly, a lady smiled and asked, “Are you guys treasure hunting?” Someone in our group happily replied, “We are prayer walking, praying and blessing our neighbors!”

After a few moments of silence, all of us thought about the neighbor’s greeting to strangers. Her simple words remained in our hearts as it was singing into our souls. It seemed that the Holy Spirit was asking us, “Why are you doing what you are doing?” “Did you know you are not just walking but treasure hunting for My people?” No one said anything at first, but later we all agreed by saying, “That’s right, Yes, indeed! We are treasure hunting for God’s people. Praying for our neighbors is treasure hunting because they are precious treasures in the sight of God. It doesn’t matter whether our neighbors recognize that or not; we simply ask God to open their hearts so they can see the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ in their lives.

That’s what prayer is, developing a relationship with a loving God and with our neighbors and other believers in Christ. It is not an extra chore, but rather it’s a journey to grow and to bless the church families and friends, people in our neighborhood, city, and nation.

Prayer is plugging into the power of the Holy Spirit for renewal, revival, and transformation!

In order to “treasure hunt” more effectively and powerfully, the Congregational Care Prayer ministry team invites our church family to join one of the prayer gatherings we have launched:

If anyone would like to learn more about prayer and to overcome fear in praying with others, meet us in the Little Theater on Sundays at 9:30-10:30 am

We offer different styles of prayer at the Tuesday Evening Prayer Gathering from 6:307:30 pm in the Sanctuary

1st Tuesday —Prayer Walk

2nd Tuesday–Taize (No service in Summer)

3rd Tuesday- Pray with Scriptures and Songs

4th Tuesday-Contemporary Prayer and Praise

5th Tuesday—Contemplative Prayer

 

Other Prayer Groups are open to all through the week.

Sunday Morning Prayer (7:00 am),

Tuesday Morning Intercessory Prayer (9:00 am),

Prayer Shawl (2nd & 4th Tues. 6:30 pm),

Going Deeper (Wed 10:00 am),

Healing prayer (3rd Sunday at 11:00 am),

Inner City Prayer Walk (June 22 at 6:30 pm),

Email prayer Chain (Daily)

Prayer Wall -Welcome Center (Daily)

Please contact Sue Lee at sljin@hpcumc.org, 979-8186 for more information.

 

The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good fruit (Luke 6:45).

Jesus said not to store up earthy treasures, but to seek the real treasure in life, which is the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:19, 13:44).

In Christ,

Rev. Sue Lee Jin

Pastor of Care and Prayer Ministry

 

Plug In to the Power for Strength!

In Alaska there is a true story about a sled dog named Anna. Anna was a dog whose owner was uncertain that she was big enough or strong enough to serve on her team. As the team of dogs ran across the ice and snow they came across a patch of soft ice. Anna fell into the icy water. She was still connected to the team of dogs, putting all of them at risk. The other dogs began to pull and work together. In the middle of the crisis, Anna dug deep inside of her. She was determined not to give up. Eventually, with the help of the other dogs, she pulled her way out of the frozen lake back onto the ice. Anna shook off the icy water and was ready to run again. Her owner recognized the character and strength in Anna. She told her she was “big enough” and promoted her to lead dog.

This week I invite you to consider the times in your life when you need extra strength and power. What do you depend upon to get you through difficult times? When you face challenges at school, home, or work to whom do you turn?

On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and blessed the community with power, the power of God. As Christians living in the 21st Century, this power is still available to us! God wants to move through us, giving us what we need, so that we can be empowered to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Doug and I thank you for the warm welcome to Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. We look forward to getting to know you and your loved ones and serving Christ with you in the days ahead. May God richly bless you this week!

Peace,
Pastor Cathy Johns

Plug In to the Power!

Luke tells us in the second chapter of Acts about the day God anointed the disciples and all those gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost: the people were “Amazed and Perplexed”.  To this day, our experience of God’s “Holy Spirit anointing” is both “Amazing and Perplexing”!

Because we live in a world that demands an explanation for everything, we’re perplexed when the outpouring of God’s Spirit moves us in ways that cannot be explained.  Because we live in a culture that teaches individualism, and self-reliance, we’re perplexed when we experience the anointing of the Spirit of our living God that moves us to consider the greater good, and embrace the power of community! And yet we stand amazed!  Amazed at the joy that is ours when we allow ourselves to receive what God has to give.  Amazed at the abundant life we possess when God’s spirit moves in and through us.

This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the day God anointed God’s people with His Spirit, and the church was born!  Pentecost, a day of new beginnings and fresh starts; a day of empowerment, clarity, and direction; a day when God’s people were equipped with what they needed in order to go the places God was leading.

As we celebrate the day of Pentecost this Sunday, I’m reminded of God’s words in Isaiah: “See, I am doing a newthing! Now it springs up” (Isaiah 43:19a).   God invites us to “Plug Into His Power”!

It is comforting, to me, that on the day of Pentecost, Cathy and I come to Hyde Park.  These are Amazing and Perplexing times, but make no mistake about it, God is “doing a new thing!  Now it springs up”.

Hyde Park Community UMC has an amazing and storied history.  A history filled with persons, in love with God, willing to receive the outpouring of God’s spirit, and move beyond their comfort zone in order to partner with God to bring God’s kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.  Hyde Park Community UMC has been a community of grace, love and mercy, to the community in which God has placed it; a community amazed by God’s refreshing power!  It’s to this community of faith Cathy and I come, and with joy anticipate making the journey with you.

God has led Hyde Park Community UMC in powerful, and beautiful ways in the past; and God is “doing a new thing; now it springs up” as we move into the future!  Come Holy Spirit come; kindle in us the fire of your love!

In Christ,

Pastor Doug