Your Kingdom Come

We pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. The reality is that God’s answer to our prayer is dependent upon our willingness to collaborate with God to make it happen. From our children’s ministry to our youth ministry; from our small groups to Sunday School classes; from our shared worship opportunities, and our music ministry, to our prayer and healing ministry, and hospitality ministries; from our outreach opportunities, to our mission partners, and the United Methodist Women, we collaborate with God in extending God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Annually, our Bishop and his Cabinet (the 8 District Superintendents) ask every local church to set “Breakthrough Goals”. The “Breakthrough Goals” provide the framework for developing strategies to achieve the goals set, based on the “Five Fruitful Practices”: Passionate Worship; Radical Hospitality; Intentional Faith Development; Risk-Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity. At the March 9 meeting of the Servant Leadership Board, the 2015 goals for Hyde Park Community United Methodist were set as follows:

 2014 Actual2015 Goal
Passionate Worship
(Average weekly worship attendance)
593625
Radical Hospitality and New Members (Professional of Faith)2332
Baptisms1725
Intentional Faith Development (Avg. number of Small Groups,
Sunday School classes, and Bible Studies)
4852
Avg. attendees in groups/classes303330
Risk-Taking Mission and Service
(Total number members/attendees engaged in local, national, international mission/outreach, and number of people served.
28,65630,000
Extravagant Generosity
(Avg. weekly giving)
1,619,8331,800,000
Apportionments100%100%

Together we make a difference in God’s kingdom, and partner with God in establishing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I look forward to our shared journey; it’s a privilege to serve in ministry with you! See you in Church!

In Christ,
Pastor Doug

Interfaith Hospitality Network at HPCUMC

I, David Peck, chair the Governance Committee for one of HPCUMC’s long-standing mission endeavors: Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN). IHN’s mission is “to provide homeless families with emergency shelter and hospitality through interfaith congregations.” Twenty-eight congregations (Temples, Mosques, Christian and Unitarian) in Greater Cincinnati provide temporary shelter and meals at night during the week. Transportation to and from schools and congregations is provided by IHN. Average temporary housing time at IHN for families is about twenty-seven days. Over 90% do not return to temporary shelters. Finding temporary placement for “families,” including pets, is scarce in our city. There is power in family, as the saying goes, and during the day IHN provides professional case management, addressing securing documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, drivers licenses, monitoring healthcare of all family members, providing self-improvement classes, and other supportive services that allow families to obtain housing and self-sufficiency. The IHN facility at 990 Nassau St. provides laundry, play areas, computers, lockers, showers, pet housing, and classrooms. With overwhelming support through the day facility and much love from congregations, we can help make an unhappy time better!

As many of you know, HPCUMC hosts families for four weeks a year, with our first host week of 2015 wrapping up just a few weeks ago. Sunday night is always the first night of the host week, and the guests usually arrive with some understandable apprehensions: what will this place and people be like; will they be nice; where will we sleep; will I like the food, etc. We try the best we can to make them feel welcome, safe and loved. Here is an excerpt from a letter one of the guests left with me:

“To everyone, volunteers, ministers. Thanks for being there for my family, for feeding us and letting us be able to rest in a warm, safe, clean place. I’m writing cause there are three things I asked your volunteers Mr. Steve, and Mrs. Tracey, for God to help me to stop smoking, a car to be able to transport my kids to school, doctor’s appts and etc. and a nice safe clean home for my kids……Thanks to IHN that blessed us. With our love, Anonymous.” The references to “Mr. Steve” and “Mrs. Tracey” are to Steve and Tracy Payling who graciously served that night with their daughter and several other families from our Childrens’ Ministry.

Kind words of comfort and prayer from total strangers made a difference in this woman’s life; it didn’t cost anything except love and time. We have three more weeks of hosting IHN this year – May 10, August 2, and September 6. We would encourage everyone who has a passion for supporting people in their transition back to permanent housing to join us by donating their time during the week to provide food, spend time with the families in the evenings, serving as the overnight host, etc. If you have interest, contact Sarah Putman at sputman@hpcumc.org or 871-1345.

David Peck and Laura Warren

“Stressed Out? Worried?”

You might be surprised by the results of a recent survey which tracked the top temptations faced by Americans. The people surveyed said they struggled with the following temptations either “often” or “sometimes”:

• Worrying or being anxious—60 percent
• Procrastinating or putting things off—60 percent
• Eating too much—55 percent
• Spending too much time on media—44 percent
• Being lazy—41 percent
• Spending more money than they could afford—35 percent
• Gossiping about others—26 percent
• Being jealous or envious of others—24 percent
• Viewing pornography or sexually explicit material—18 percent
• Abusing alcohol or drugs—11 percent

When asked if they tried to do anything specific to avoid giving in to a temptation, 41 percent said yes and 59 percent said no.
When people were asked why they give in to temptations, the top four reasons were:

• I am not really sure—50 percent
• To escape or get away from “real life”—20 percent
• To feel less pain or loneliness—8 percent
• To satisfy other people’s expectations of me—7 percent

Reported in Todd Hunter, Our Favorite Sins (Thomas Nelson, 2012), pp. 237-245.

Join us Sunday morning as we continue the sermon series: “The Radical Way of Jesus.” This Sunday’s topic is “Peace.” Jesus had a lot to teach us about how to handle worry and manage stress in the Sermon on the Mount.

Please invite a friend to join you or someone that might need some tools to help them achieve lasting peace in their lives.

Peace,
Pastor Cathy Johns

Volunteers in Mission

IS GOD CALLING HPCUMC TO SERVE IN A NEW WAY?

Each year for the past nineteen years, the West Ohio Conference has sent six medical mission teams to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico to provide medical treatment to the people living in the community. A full team consists of about 5 MDs/NPs, 5 RNs, a pharmacist, 5 Spanish translators, 2 kitchen coordinators, a spiritual director, a coordinator, and laity to help with registering the patients, interacting with the families/children, praying with families, and “runners” for whatever might be needed. The trip is five days long. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are spent caring for the community, while Wednesday and Sunday are used as travel days. The team stays at First UMC in Mercedes, Texas and crosses the border each day in vans to the clinic at El Buen Pastor Methodist Church and to rural areas outside of Nuevo Progresso.

This July, Pastor Dave and Diane Weaver, who have gone before, will be going as spiritual director and nurse, respectively. There is also an exciting opportunity for 3-5 MD, NP, pharmacists, and/or Spanish translators from HPCUMC to join an experienced team of 20-25 people. By 2017, most of this team will be retiring after 10-15 years of serving. Hyde Park Community UMC has been asked by the conference Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Coordinator to consider coordinating the annual mission trip in the future, which would include coordinating an entire team of people – both those with medical training and those without. One goal of the July 2015 trip will be to discern the appropriate response to the VIM invitation.

We are asking everyone to keep this mission trip in prayer. If you are an MD, NP, pharmacist, or Spanish translator, please ask God for guidance as to your participation this coming July. If you have a heart for missions and/or for Mexico, please ask God for guidance as to your participation in possible future trips. Regardless of your personal call to the mission field, please pray for our church discernment if this is something we would do on an annual basis. If you have any questions, need more detailed information, or are interested in the July 2015 trip or one in the future, please contact Rev. Dave Weaver at dweaver@hpcumc.org or Diane Weaver at dianeweaver@cinci.rr.com. We can both be reached at 871-3041. We will also have a table with brochures and costs in the Welcome Center March 22 and 29.

Dave and Diane Weaver

It’s All About Love!

We are told in the Bible that we are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Jesus reminds us that the greatest commandment is to love God with my all, and love those whom God loves (Matthew 22: 37-40). Love is something received and something shared. It’s all about love!

This Sunday we continue the teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 6:44). The kind of love Jesus speaks of comes only from God. In the Tuesday morning study group I lead, we have encountered the term panenthiest from two different authors (Marcus Borg and Richard Rohr). I have come to appreciate the depth of its meaning: “God is in me, I am in God, and God is in all things.” (Eager to Love, Richard Rohr, page 142). This is not to be confused with “Pantheism” (all things are God – I am a god).

As I have been introduced to Panentheism, I embrace what I have come to know about it. Panentheism is at the core of Biblical teaching, as well as the teaching of the first century church. It is the foundation of Jesus’ teaching: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” If indeed God is in me, and I am in God, and God is in all things, then this includes my enemies, those I hate, those I have deemed unworthy and worth-less.

The question is how? How do I love my enemies, those who seek to destroy me? The answer finds it’s power and meaning in the depth of my relationship with God, the love I have for myself, and, therefore, the depth of love I’m able to extend to those whom God loves. The next time you are irritated by, and/or in conflict with another; when revenge and retaliation toward the one who desires to harm you seems the only option; stop and look at the other and remember: he/she is a beloved child of God!

To love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you is no easy task. Nonetheless, it is possible centered in Jesus Christ! I look forward to seeing you in church. Invite a friend, relative, acquaintance or neighbor to join you.

In Christ,
Pastor Doug

Wesley Education Center for Children and Families

Wesley Education Center for Children and Families (WEC), located in Avondale, is one of the ministry partners of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. In addition to receiving financial donations from the church, it has been supported in multiple ways by the Ruth UMW circle for many years.
Established in 1920, it is the oldest childcare facility of its kind in Cincinnati responding to the needs of poor, young working mothers living in the downtown area of Cincinnati. From its inception, quality early childhood education, optimal opportunities for growth and nutrition, and family support services were important at the center. Today, over forty infants and pre-kindergarten children are served at the center.

Through the years, Wesley has survived three moves, two major construction projects, four name changes, and constant state licensing and payment changes. The driving force behind its financial longevity has been the continued support of the United Methodist Women worldwide, and especially those who live in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Today, 98% of Wesley’s services are delivered to African American families who fall below the poverty guidelines. Because only 83% of Wesley’s operational budget is covered by client fees, government vouchers and subsidies, and the support of the national UMW, the remaining 17% of the budget must be raised by donations and through an annual fundraiser.

Wesley Education Center for Children and Families will hold its 11th annual “Circle of Care” dinner and silent auction on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at Twin Towers Senior Living Community (5343 Hamilton Avenue) in College Hill. Doors open at 6 pm. Dinner, prepared and donated by Outback Steakhouse, will be served at 7 pm, followed by silent bidding on auction items and a short program. All proceeds go toward Wesley’s operational budget.

How can you help?
1. Attend the dinner and auction! Contact Ann Flanagan (871-9536 or flan55@juno.com) or Peggy McDaniel (oldeagleeye@hotmail.com or 236-9362) for tickets, seating arrangements, cash donations, or more information on donating a silent auction item.
2. Participate in the AmazonSmile, Kroger Community Rewards, or Labels for Education programs.
3. Donate items such as diapers, wipes, and clean clothing into the plastic bin labeled “Wesley Education Center” in the closet opposite our church office.
4. In honor of Wesley’s 95th year, donations of $95 (or more) are being solicited to help Wesley continue to provide quality early childhood education. You may send a check to Wesley Education Center for Children and Families, 525 Hale Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229.

Peggy McDaniel

Ministering with Rothenberg Preparatory Academy

For the past four years, at least forty dedicated HPC mentors have been matched with Rothenberg’s current 4th and 5th grade students. Some of us started working with our students as 2nd graders. The concept is simple—meet with your designated student weekly, on a set day & time (around lunchtime) for 45 minutes in the media center. Each student has a folder with structured reading & math activities.

What actually happens at the table varies from week to week. Sometimes Bill & I have a focused, energetic learner. Some days an angry, apathetic child greets us. Some days not much reading or math is accomplished. The greatest gift we bring to the table as mentors is less about academic results, and more about patience (sometimes lots), compassion and love. Sometimes just showing up, week after week, is the small victory that helps cement a relationship which offers a bond of hope and confidence.

Bill has been coaching basketball for the past five years. Initially the 7th & 8th grades were housed at Rothenberg and boys and girls participated in a CPS league. After the 7th & 8th grade were restructured into the high schools, the focus turned to basketball for the 6th grade boys & girls. The time spent on the court is not about X’s & O’s or wins and losses. It is about the love and honesty you can see and feel in each of these athletes. Goal setting is our top priority (being a team, caring for each other & being a good student-athlete). Every day I coach I am reminded how blessed I am to be a part of their lives. I have been able to follow some of our athletes into high school.

In addition to our weekly partnership with Rothenberg, our partnership includes providing them with Thanksgiving Baskets, Christmas presents for every child in the grades that we mentor in, and giving goodie bags to each student each day as they take their official tests in May. If you are interested in being involved with Rothenberg but unable to commit weekly time to mentoring one on one, consider writing one (or several) personal notes of encouragement that we can include with these testing goodie bags in May – we end up needing about 500 notes in total.

If you have a small amount of time to give, and a heart that can give and receive love from these children of God, then there is room at the table for you. For more information or to volunteer contact Sarah Putman, sputman@hpcumc.org. Notes can be dropped off to the office until the end of April.

Bill and Karen Bruner

Anger Management

True story from the L.A. Times:

Judge tells Public Defender: ‘If you want to fight let’s go out back.’

Last June a brawl broke out in a Florida courtroom. The parties involved were Judge John Murphy and public defender Andrew Weinstock. The argument began as Judge Murphy tried to convince the defense lawyer to waive his client’s rights to a speedy trail, but the defense lawyer was not interested. Things heated up to the point that Judge Murphy said, “You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now. Just sit down.” Weinstock responded, “You know I’m the public defender. I have a right to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client.” The video reveals that the judge asks the defense lawyer to step into the back hallway, saying, “If you want to fight, let’s go out back.” Outside of the view of the cameras the fight broke out.

No video recording is available of the fight, but the sounds of loud thuds and scuffling were obvious. The fight ended when two deputies separated the two men. A reassignment was given to the attorney so that he and the judge would not have future interaction. Judge Murphy voluntarily chose a leave of absence, stating he would seek anger management counseling.

This week we continue our Lenten sermon series: “The Radical Way of Jesus: Anger Management.” This message reveals Jesus’ teachings about responding to difficult people and situations in positive ways. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday; invite a friend to join you!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy