Queen City Running Club

This week’s Community Highlight is written by Joe Brinkmann, leader of the Queen City Running Club. Queen City Running Club has partnered with HPCUMC using our facility as a starting and ending point for their training while joining us in our serving endeavors including Project 5000 and a shoe drive for MEAC.

With the Flying Pig marathon and it’s other activities going on this weekend, needless to say, it is an exciting time for many active runners and walkers throughout the Hyde Park area.

Maybe some of you have seen us around the church on an occasional Tuesday evening or Saturday morning, either beginning or finishing our workout for the day. For many in our group, this weekend is the culmination of a four-month training process with the completion of either the marathon or half marathon distance our paramount goal.

Fortunately for many of you, the race will be coming right through this community…in fact, literally a block away from the church location on Sunday morning. All race participants appreciate the support you give.

As for where we go after this weekend, we will continue to meet in and around the Hyde Park area, as we are training for the 2015 Hyde Park Blast race on Saturday, June 27. This is a unique community-based 4 mile race that caters to runners and walkers of all levels, as well as including a number of afternoon and evening bike races up-and-down Erie Avenue.

If you have interest in finding out more about us, please go to our website www.queencityrunningclub.com.

Joe Brinkmann

Strength in God

What happens when the bottom drops out of your life? When you experience a great calamity like the loss of your home through a fire or a flood? Or suffer through an unwanted divorce, or worse, the death of a loved one who meant the world to you? What happens when you must undergo lingering, intense personal illness or pain that just won’t go away? Some lose their faith in God when they go through times like these. Others, however, find hope and the strength to endure, often discovering a deeper meaning to life as a result of their strong, deeply spiritual and moral convictions. These brave souls see the proof that God is alive and is compassionate during those terrible times, as God cares for our needs.
All our power and strength comes from God who carries us through all suffering. As Christians we surrender to the strength that God provides and God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. As you read through these scripture passages about strength, be encouraged in that it is not your strength that is needed, but the strength that God willingly supplies. All our strength comes from God.

“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” — Exodus 15:2

“God is my strength and power: and he makes my way perfect.” — 2 Samuel 22:33

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” — Philippians 4:13

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”– Psalms 46:1

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.” — Ephesians 6:10

At times we must wait patiently and remember, “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” –Isaiah 40:31. Lastly, allow the Spirit of God to intercede in prayer on our behalf and God will see us through all our suffering.

Like you, I’ve experienced emotional, physical, and at times, spiritual suffering in my life. But through it all God has responded. God’s strength is greater than my strength. It’s my prayer that God’s strength will be your strength. Because He Lives….We live in his victorious power and resurrection strength that gives us hope both now and forever.

In Christ’s Care,
Dave Weaver

Summer Impact- Shaped by God

Nearly every week Pastor Doug leads us in asking God to, “have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way. You are the Potter, I am the clay.”
This year we will be carrying out these words based on the Potter’s
House in Jeremiah 18 with an all new curriculum written by Pastor Cathy. Youth and adults alike will join together to study Scripture, live within deep thought provoking questions, and experience worship – including a praying with clay worship experience led by Andrea Slone. Summer Impact 2015 is sure to soften and mold hearts, both ours and those we serve, in a very memorable way.

The Summer Impact program at Hyde Park Community UMC in Cincinnati is a program set up to invite youth from all over the country to come join us in making an impact on those living in poverty and homelessness in Cincinnati. Appropriately named, Summer Impact offers six week-long experiences that immerse both ourselves and our friends in building relationships that will leave an impact on the hearts and minds of all involved. Following a pattern of Bible Study, Service, and Celebration, each day has a heartbeat of its own while still having a connecting thread to the week’s events. We work alongside nine city ministry partners ministering to children in a camp setting or literacy setting, adults recovering from sickness while experiencing homelessness, alongside a furniture bank distributing furniture to families who have just obtained permanent housing, as well as many other partners and experiences. Throughout the week we have the opportunity to work with ministry partners and take part in a full range of experiences with them. In the evenings we will gather back together and celebrate all that God has done, is doing and will do in and through us via worship and sharing.

A team of five interns will lead Summer Impact this summer, but we need your help! We have the “experts” in place, but as with any ministry of the church, this can’t be a solo endeavor. Whether you have a heart for missions and serving in the inner city or you just love to sit and have a deep conversation with someone else, whether you love to work with your hands or love conversation over good food, we have a place for you in our mission to provide these opportunities for service in the city as well as inner growth and discipline in the faith.

For more information on this year’s Summer Impact, contact Sarah Putman at 979 8162 or sputman@hpcumc.org or visit our website at www.hydeparkchurch.org/summer-impact. Keep your eyes out for future opportunities for specific ways you can connect and make a Summer Impact!

Sarah Putman

With Glad and Generous Hearts

We read in the second chapter of Acts that the followers of “The Way” (followers of Jesus) met daily in the temple, broke bread together, praised God together, and reached out in concern and service to all people with “glad and generous hearts”! As followers of Jesus Christ in the 21st century, are we able to say the same?

This morning Dr. Brian McClaren, prominent Christian theologian, author, speaker and pastor, will preach at the 9:30 and 11:00 am worship services (Sponsored by The Emerson and Jane Colaw Lectureship Endowment Fund). Dr. McClaren will preach on Acts 2:40-47, sermon titled: “We Make the Road by Walking”.

Because Jesus lives, we live with “glad and generous hearts,” and the alleluias of Easter transform life. As the hymn proclaims; ” Because Jesus lives I can face tomorrow; because he lives all fear is gone! ” Join us this Sunday as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus. Invite a friend, relative, acquaintance or neighbor to join you!

Sharing a Joy . . . I take this opportunity to share with you a joy, in the form of an update. Last year early June, our chiller went down. Over the past ten months the Property Team has performed the due diligence necessary to install a new chiller.

With joy I can report that the work began April 6. The Property Team reports: “Work is progressing well on the Chiller and Electrical Upgrade infrastructure project. The electrical service/infrastructure upgrades are underway . . . Rooftop work for the new air conditioning condenser units is progressing. Components for the new expandable chiller system and piping upgrades are on-site and are being installed by the contractor.” The work should be completed by the fourth week of May. Although the completion date has the potential to take us into the early days of high temperatures and high humidity, I encourage you to join me in praying for patience as the project is completed!

Thank you for your “glad and generous hearts” that have supported this project with your patience, prayers, and your financial gifts. Thank you to the Property Team and their tireless efforts in moving the project forward to completion.

In Christ,
Pastor Doug

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is coming up June 15-19! VBS is a great opportunity to get involved in local outreach – in fact, VBS could be one of the biggest outreaches of Hyde Park Community this year! We are praying that 250 kids will attend VBS. That’s a lot of kids… especially when you think that many will encounter the love of Jesus for the first time at VBS, or make their own faith decision during VBS week. VBS can be just as important to those who give of their time to serve during VBS as it is for the kids attending. Volunteers who help with VBS also build their faith, grow kids’ faith, create church community, nurture relationships and impact the Kingdom of God! Those are great reasons to get involved and serve at VBS this year!

Hyde Park Community UMC as a church can reach out to our neighbors in a BIG way this year for VBS, and to do this, we are going to have VBS in the evenings. Hopefully, this will mean that more children can attend and more adults can volunteer to help with different parts of VBS. Mark your calendars for the week of June 15-19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. We are hoping to reach our neighbors and community with the message of Jesus – using VBS as a way to invite others to experience the life-changing message of the Gospel, our love for one another and the hospitality of this community of faith.
Please pray for VBS and the children who will come. We are asking God for a fun, safe and incredible faith-challenging week as we learn about God’s love and power. Please also consider how you can help make VBS week a success. There are many different ways to help with VBS from preparing and organizing materials beforehand, to decorating, to serving snacks, to leading and teaching kids. The VBS Committee can get you plugged in and ready to serve during VBS week in any capacity. The VBS Committee is Dana Calhoun, Pam Yeung, Elizabeth Hickerson, Gina Siegel, Rebecca Homan and Sara O’Connor. Please talk to anyone on the VBS Committee about how you can help with VBS!

VBS is FREE this year and registration is now open! Register your kids at https://www.groupvbspro.com/vbs/ez/hpcumc.

Invite your friends to come to VBS, too! Spread the word about this awesome week of friends, games, crafts, snacks, songs and fun – learning about how God provides, comforts, heals, forgives and loves us forever.

Sara O’Connor
Director of Children and Family Ministry

Bridge over Troubled Water

Visitors to the Grand Canyon all find themselves saying the same thing: “This is really big!” The towering walls of the canyon separated by several miles take our breath away. One of the seven wonders of the world, the canyon is about 227 miles long, 18 miles wide, and is 5,000 miles deep.

Have there been times when you felt separated from God, as if God were standing on one side of the Grand Canyon and miles and miles divided you?

This Sunday’s scripture from Romans 8:31-39 proclaims “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How is that possible? Human beings are capable of doing awful things to one another! Paul explains that nothing in all creation, not life, not death, not things from the past, not things in the present, not principalities (territories) or powers, nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God through our Risen Christ.

Jesus, who is the Christ, God’s Son, came to us to teach us to love God and one another and to set us free from sin and death. He laid down His very body, to reveal the depth of God’s love for us. Jesus’ body closed the gap that we created between us and God and makes a bridge that unites us with our loving God, who longs to be in an intimate relationship with us.

Simon and Garfunkel released a song in January 1970 that is a timeless classic. The refrain gives us a wonderful picture of theology, a glimpse of God’s relationship with humanity:

“Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.”

“Because He Lives,” our new sermon series continues this weekend. Celebrate the joy that we experience because of the relationship we have with God through our Risen Christ. No matter how sad or broken you feel, know that God loves you and will never let you go. Come and walk across the bridge to God. God is waiting and eager to welcome you home.
Joy in our Risen Lord,

Pastor Cathy

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a real problem; hacked servers of medical providers, insurance companies, and major retail stores have put thousands at risk.  Social Security numbers in the wrong hands will negatively affect our identity, as well as potentially destroy life as we know it.  However, identity theft is not limited to the physical world but extends to our spiritual identities as well.

We are created in God’s image, male and female God created us, and God said we are “very good”.  We are children of God; God is our God and we are God’s people.  However, possessing free will we often find ourselves chasing life’s diversions, consequently experiencing “spiritual” identity theft.

The good news is that God, through Jesus Christ, provides a way back, offers restoration, and restores my true identity, not because of what I have done, but what God does for/in me!  Chuck Swindoll in his book, Wisdom for the Way writes:

God has entrusted to us a great deal. . . .  God is trusting in us to trust in God.  Yet God knows our fears as well, otherwise God wouldn’t assure us so often of God’s purposes and God’s presence.

We feel hurt and alone – God assures us God cares.  We feel angry and resentful – God provides wisdom and strength.  We feel ashamed – God promises to supply all our needs.  Our God is uniquely and ultimately trustworthy! (page 256)

Through the resurrection, Jesus’ victory is our victory.  Because He lives, my identity is redeemed!  Trusting in the “Spirit of our living God” we find God trustworthy.   Today we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our identity in Him, because He lives. Invite a friend, relative, acquaintance or neighbor to join you!

In Christ,

Pastor Doug

Why do we “like” each other?

Why Do We “Like” Each Other?

Cell phones, tablets, the internet, GPS,  social media, hashtags, handles, tweets, computers,  smart watches, smart phones, smart cars, iEverything!  It’s amazing that one could ever find time to call a loved one or visit a friend with all of these distractions around us.  We see all of this technological convergence and the “connection” that it gives us to the rest of the world and yet it is becoming more and more common for two people to sit next to each other on a bus, staring at a screen, without ever knowing the other is present.

With the rapid changes that seem to happen overnight, it is hard to wrap one’s mind around all of the technology available to us these days.  One particular part of this new world that I find interesting is social media.  While there are countless social media platforms to choose from, the idea behind them is simple; using a device of your choice you can be a part of an online service that allows you to “connect, like, and share” with one million of your closest friends.  One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook, which now has over 500 million users, over half of which use the site from their mobile phone.  In seeing this staggering number of users, I constantly find myself wondering how we in the church can use these technologies for ministry.  I also wonder if I myself “like” the idea of being able to connect with 500 million people.

I think of all of the wonderful letters that Paul wrote to help form the early church and wonder if he would have “liked” to use social media in his ministry.  This idea of a “like” in the world of Facebook is simple.  A Facebook user is able to click a “like” button when another user submits something to the site.  This something can be a picture, link, an invitation to an event, or even a simple summary of how the person’s day went in text.  So what does a “like” in this digital sense really mean?  On the surface, a “like” just seems to be a way to derive a metric from public opinion as it is an interaction between two people or entities where one shows interest in another’s content.  I don’t think that Paul would have been very interested in this sort of big data digital patronage.  But what if a “like” is more that just showing others which books you read or products you buy?

Take our church Facebook page for example.  Have  you tried giving us a “like”?  It takes less time than reading this paragraph.  When someone from our congregation or someone outside our walls visits our church Facebook page they can find the same sort of information about our church that you can find in News and Happenings and on our church website.  This provides another, more trendy way for people to see whats going on in the life of the church.  If they then decide to “like” us, they will then get a notice anytime the church posts an update.  This is key.  With the click of a computer mouse or the tap of a finger on a smart phone, someone who has never been in our walls can be connected to a stream of all the wonderful things that we are doing here in our Hyde Park Community.  I think that Paul would have “liked” this tool for communication.  What a way to share the Good News of Jesus to transform lives, Cincinnati, and the World!

While these new technologies are sometimes daunting and confusing, I am excited to see all of the ways that they will help our church to connect and grow with those around us.  I am also excited to see how these tools will help draw our community closer together and to God.  I hope that you will start to “like” it too!

Regards,

Kyle Tieman
Director of Communication and Multi-Media

Easter: The Rest of the Story

Paul Harvey became famous for his column, “The Rest of the Story.” Harvey became well-loved for his clever stories which helped us get a new perspective on the news and life. For over 50 years he shared amazing stories with people across our nation.

For some Easter is simply a day when we gather to hunt for chocolate eggs to fill our Easter baskets. For some Easter is a day to go to the mandatory “Easter Family Brunch.” For others it is a day to celebrate a day that changed everything.

Easter is the foundation of Christianity. Dr. Leander Keck puts it well:

“Without Easter, there is no Christian faith.”

Easter is the day when we celebrate a God who defeated sin and death and offers us new life through Jesus Christ. New chapters of life open up to us because of Easter!

“The rest of the story” is about a journey of healing and wholeness, celebrating our victory over sin and death because Christ rose from the dead. We join the chorus through the centuries celebrating the great news: Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

At Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church we invite you to be a part of our faith community, a group of people that are committed to walking together, praying for one another, and supporting each other in Christian love. Here are a few ways that you can deepen your walk with God and get acquainted here:

  • Sign up for a new “Because He Lives” Connect Group. These small groups gather in homes and will use a brand new resource written by some of our Hyde Park Community clergy. Please contact Dave Weaver: dweaver@hpcumc.org or 979-8184.
  • Attend the First Friday Nighters Event: Friday, April 10. You are invited to come for a catered meal ($10) ; Brian Geist will share his journey on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Visit our website to see all that we offer for children, youth, adult, mission, and music ministries: www.hpcumc.org.

You are invited to be a part of the rest of the story of Easter: We would love to have you join us in the adventure!

Joy in our Risen Lord,

Pastor Cathy