Update From Pastor Cathy and the Worship Task Force

During the Vision Weekend last October several task initiatives were launched to help our congregation maximize our effectiveness in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. One of those initiatives was the formation of the Worship Task Force. It has representation from all of our current worship offerings. This group was charged with evaluating our current worship and recommending worship options that will both reflect our diversity and connect new people to our faith community through worship. We have been evaluating our current worship experiences asking both “Who is here?” and “Who is not here?” as we seek to be faithful to our call to reach people with the love of Christ.

In early summer a proposal will be brought to the Servant Leadership Board from the Worship Task Force. Since December the group has been praying for God’s leading, evaluating all of our current worship services in both of our locations in Hyde Park and Nast Community, making field trips to other churches, and gathering data about our neighbors who live in our community.

The Worship Planning Team, our pastors and staff with worship responsibilities and the Worship Task Force are in full agreement. In order to allow time for God to reveal to us a worship strategy for the next chapter of our life together as a worshipping congregation, we recommend the following:

+Blended Family Worship will be put on hold after March 1. Feedback is being requested of families so that future plans can address their needs.

+Tuesday Evening Prayer Worship will also be put on hold after March 24, with the exception of Taize which will continue on the second Tuesday of the month.

The ultimate goal: To provide worship experiences that draw people to Christ, by reaching new people and meeting the needs of our current individuals and families.

Your prayers for wisdom and strength are appreciated and cherished. Thank you for your support during this exciting time of discovering God’s plans for our future together as a worshipping community of faith.

Pastor Cathy

Shalom Habitat Coalition

Over twenty years ago, our church partnered with Mt. Zion UMC (now New Vision UMC), and founded the Shalom Coalition to work with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity building houses in the Walnut Hills area of Cincinnati. In 2015 we will be building our 20th Habitat house. Our church has provided both volunteers and significant funding for these houses. Our church’s Community Ministries & Global Outreach Ministry Team is recommending that our church makes a one time donation of $25,000 in recognition of this being our 20th Habitat house. At the same time we want to use this significant accomplishment to honor two of our church members:

Bob Edgecomb, who has been involved with the first nineteen of the Shalom Habitat houses. Bob started as a volunteer construction leader for the Shalom Habitat Coalition, but for the majority of these houses he has served as a Construction Manager for Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity. Bob recently retired from that position.

Carolyn Moseley, who is stepping down at the end 2015 after serving as the leader of the Shalom Coalition for over twenty-one years spanning construction of all twenty houses.

Looking back, our church took the leading role as we formed the Shalom Habitat Coalition. For the first four or five houses HPCUMC provided most of the funding ($15,000-$40,000 per house) and also the majority of the volunteers. We had a data base that listed well over 200 volunteers from HPCUMC. As more churches joined the Shalom Coalition our participation dropped off both in funding and volunteers. As we finished the 19th Shalom Coalition in 2014 only a few volunteers were from HPCUMC. An interesting note, in the last twenty years the cost to build a Habitat house has increased from about $50,000 to over $90,000 in 2015.

The Shalom Habitat Coalition is in the process of a reorganization but will continue. There is no doubt that Hyde Park Community UMC will
continue be an active member of this coalition to partner with Habitat for Humanity Greater Cincinnati to build houses for low-income families in Cincinnati. This year we will be appealing to our congregation to help us raise the additional $20,000 for the Shalom Habitat House XX.

Lon Kaylor

Jesus: A Wild and Craaaazzy Guy!

The celebration of Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary brought back memories and smiles. Characters like Rosanne Rosannadanna, played by the late Gilda Radnor, and the Blues Brothers, played by Dan Akyroyd and the late John Belushi, brought laughter into our homes for four decades.

Steve Martin, who holds the record for hosting the most Saturday Night Live shows with 13, brought back fond memories of a “wild and craaazzzy guy!”

Our Lenten journey begins this week with a new sermon series “The Radical Way of Jesus.” The definition of “radical” is intriguing:

+ very new and different from what is traditional or ordinary
+ very basic and important
+ having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the cornerstone of Jesus’ teaching ministry, we discover radical teachings from Jesus, the Christ, who came to teach us how to live. Join us for this powerful Lenten preaching series on Sunday mornings as we explore what Jesus has to say about managing anger, loving our enemies, and replacing worry with peace.

Jesus, a wild and crazy guy, calls us to live a life that go against the grain of our culture. Invite a friend to join you in exploring what it means to follow the radical way of Jesus.

Pastor Cathy Johns

Welcome to Pastor Ian and Kelly Strickland!

We are excited to welcome Pastor Ian Strickland and his wife Kelly to our church family! Pastor Ian will officially be starting his ministry here on March 1st at our Nast Community location. Pastor Ian and Kelly are both profoundly excited to step into a new ministerial capacity at Hyde Park Community U.M.C and within the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati.

Ian is coming back to his home state of Ohio from Durham, NC, where he has been living for the past five years. Originally living in Durham for seminary at Duke Divinity School where he earned his Master of Divinity, Ian stayed an additional two and a half years as the director of a prison ministry called Project TURN. Project TURN partners with Duke Divinity School to provide graduate level seminary courses inside prison walls. Half of the students in each class are seminary students, the other half are incarcerated students. During his time at Project TURN, Ian gained valuable insight in how to create spaces where two very different and separated groups of people could encounter each other as peers and classmates. The reconciling and dignifying work of Project TURN will continue to form Ian’s ministry as he enters into ministry in Cincinnati.

For the past three and a half years Ian has also been able to serve in a leadership role at a United Methodist church plant in Durham called CityWell. On a practical level, Ian was able to preach, serve on the leadership team, participate in church formation meetings where they began to shape the identity of the church plant, and stay in a mentored relationship with the pastor of the church. On a deeper level, Ian was able to learn important practices for starting a church seeking to be multi-cultural. Similar to Project TURN, CityWell taught Ian that there is a level of intentionality required in developing a church that seeks to dismantle dividing walls among various groups of people. Across socio-economic, racial, age, gender, and other barriers, Ian began developing practices of humility and empathy on a far deeper level than he had experienced before. Ian is excited to carry these practices with him into a pastoral role.

Everyone is invited to attend a reception to welcome Pastor Ian and Kelly Strickland following the 9:30 am service at Nast Community Church on Sunday, March 1st.

Loved With an Everlasting Love!

The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is about relationships, God’s relationship with humanity, and humanity’s relationship with God. Foundational to embracing, maintaining, and sustaining this relationship is love. The unconditional, no strings attached, self-giving love of Jesus is not only our example, but also our calling as followers of “The Way”!

This weekend we celebrate “Valentine’s Day”, a day commemorating a Bishop’s love for God, and God’s people, costing him his life. As we take this opportunity to express our love for those we love, I encourage us to also take this opportunity to remember God’s never ending, and all encompassing love for you and me, and Jesus’ call to love those God loves.

Proverbs teaches, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgression.” (Proverbs 10:12). Paul reminds us, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Jesus says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another”(John 13:34-35). Love is how we partner with God to bring God’s kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven”.

Chuck Swindoll in Wisdom for the Way reminds us of “The ABCs of Love”:
“I Accept you as you are; I Believe you are valuable; I Care when you hurt; I Desire only what is best for you; I Erase all offenses . . .. There is nothing shallow about authentic love. Nor is it a magic wand we whip out and wave over a problem with a whoosh, hoping all the pain will go away. Real love has staying power. . . . It refuses to look for ways to run away. . . . While the world around us gives the opposite counsel, love stands firm.” (p.19)

This is the everlasting love of God we are loved with; and the way of love we are called to live. I look forward to seeing you in church as we embrace God’s everlasting love. Invite a friend, relative, acquaintance, or neighbor to join you.

In Christ,
Pastor Doug

Children and Family Ministry Highlight

My name is Laura Tuzun and I started attending HPCUMC 7 ½ years ago when my daughters were 2 and 5 years old. To me, it only made sense that the place to begin my service to the church was the place that would impact my family the most. As a result, I have been a Sunday School teacher for the past 6 years and a regular volunteer at Vacation Bible School.

To me, the Children’s Ministry is the most vital ministry of the church. Of course I am biased since my girls, now ages 9 and 12, are still a part of it. I believe that our children’s ministry is critical to the growth and spiritual development of both our church and our world. These little ones are the seeds that Jesus has planted, and they are just waiting to be nurtured and loved, so that they can grow to be true disciples of Christ. If we do not take care of them how will they ever grow into the adults of tomorrow that will lead our church. It is up to us to guide them in their journey, no one else can do that for us.

One area of the Children’s Ministry that is particularly near and dear to my heart is the special needs ministry. My daughter, Ela, has Down Syndrome and she is just one of several children in our Sunday School program that have special needs and need extra help on Sunday mornings. These children have so much to offer – just like their peers, but they require one-on-one assistance to get the most out of Sunday School. Giving them the one-on-one time that forms relationships and creates successful learning in Sunday School is something that is difficult when many of the Sunday school classes only have one teacher each week and anywhere from 5-15 students. That is why we are constantly looking for adult or youth volunteers to be a special helper to our kids with special needs in Sunday School. Because I knew that my daughters were cared for here at HPC, we made HPC our church home.

As a parent who has been blessed, not only by being a teacher in Sunday School, but also by the other teachers who have taught my own children, I encourage you to get involved in Children’s Ministry. I love every minute that I get to be with these little ones, and I am sure you will.

Laura Tuzun

Youth Sunday

Today our United Methodist Youth Fellowship and Boy Scouts will lead our services, and we will hear meditations from three students throughout the service. Below you can meet those that will be giving the meditations and read about their future plans!

Kyle Brown has been at HPCUMC since 1st grade, and has been a confirmed member since tenth grade. He currently attends Walnut Hills High School, and plans to study engineering in college. Outside of school, he runs both track and field and cross country, and enjoys skiing, playing soccer, and hanging out with friends. He has attended numerous youth group ski trips, attended last year’s missions trip to Lima, and plans to attend this year’s trip to Haiti.

Sarah Krott is a senior at Indian Hill School. She is planning on majoring in Education but is deciding which college she will attend. While in high school she has participated in Latin Club and Certamen, Key Club, National Honor Society, IH Swim Team, ballet, orchestra, Early Childhood Education Internship and tutoring.

Sarah was baptized and confirmed at HPCUMC. She has been active in Youth Group and Bible Study and is on the Youth Group Advisory Committee. She has attended several mission trips and volunteered at VBS and various church activities. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys babysitting, running a lawn care business and traveling. In addition, she likes to spend time with her friends and play with her dog.

Elena Miyasato is a senior at Walnut Hills High School where she has attended since 7th grade. Elena has been a member of the soccer team for four years and she has earned 3 varsity letters. Off the field, Elena may be found hiking the Appalachian Trail as president of the Backpacking Club. So is also an Indian Culture Club coordinator, a member of the student congress, and the Ultimate Frisbee club at WHHS. Aside from school sports and activities Elena has been a member of UMYF for her entire high school career where she has gone on almost all the groups ski and mission trips..

While she is currently undecided where to attend college, Elena plans to study biomedical engineering. She wants to learn about engineering around the world in order to understand different peoples’ ideas and needs. Elena is looking forward to studying abroad, traveling and wants to continue to play intramural soccer.

This Sunday, at churches nationwide, you’ll see Scouts and Scouters in uniform greeting the congregation, participating in worship services, earning religious awards and conducting service projects to benefit their place of worship. By official BSA designation, Scout Sunday is always the Sunday that falls on or before February 8, Scouting Anniversary Day. Scout Sunday is a chance for faith-based chartered organizations to celebrate and recognize Scouting and for Scout units to show their appreciation for the religious institution that supports their unit. HPCUMC charters Cub Scout Pack 113 and Boy Scout Troop 114. To learn more about scouting at HPCUMC, go to www.hydeparkchurch.org/scouts.

Student Ministry Highlight

The Mission of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church is to share the love of Jesus to transform lives, Cincinnati, and the world. Sometimes the best classroom is not a room with desks and smartboards, but rather immersing oneself in serving others and showing the love of Jesus. The student ministry here at our church has exciting opportunities this summer for students to get out of the classroom and make an impact in our city, our nation, and our world.

In Cincinnati we can serve our neighbors. Many students help with Vacation Bible School. They give time, attention, and love to the children in our church and community. We also have an awesome Summer Impact program where students can interact with our ministry partners all over the city. Summer Impact can be a week long experience or even just a one day opportunity.

In our nation, we realize there are many great needs, and it can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, we can touch lives and offer hope. For our middle school and high school students we are offering a trip to Nashville. We will join other youth groups from around the region at Radius Mission camp. We will worship, play, and serve together.

In our World, we have a team of students who will visit our ministry partners at Faith Academy in Haiti. Haiti is a country stricken with economic poverty, and yet there are incredible men and woman who are offering hope to children and families. We will come alongside them to support and learn from them.

I am a believer that cross-cultural service opportunities, regardless of whether they are across the street or across the globe, are life changing. I am excited to journey with our students this summer. I can only imagine how God will use our students and what He will teach us. If you are a middle school or high school student, go to www.hydeparkcommunity.org/student-missions-2015 for more information on participating.

We desire prayer and financial support from our church family. Will you pray for our teams as they are formed and prepare to go and serve? Please pray that God will prepare our hearts to be compassionate, that God will prepare the fields for our arrival, for team unity, for travel safety, and for flexibility to respond to God’s leading. Could you possibly help financially? Currently we are accepting orders for spring flowers and vegetables. Plan ahead for your gardening and landscaping and place an order and payment by February 22. Order forms are available in the Welcome Center. A portion of the sale will help our students serve in Nashville and Haiti this summer.

Thank you for being a community who has a vision to make an impact in our church, community, and the world.

Ken Miller
Director of Student Ministry