The View from the Ground

When Jesus went into the desert to fast for 40 days, at the end of his time when he was most hungry, thirsty and tired; Satan approached him with a series of offers. One of these offers was to take Jesus to the top of a high mountain to show him all of the Kingdoms below offering them as a prize if only Jesus was willing to fall down and worship him. Of course Jesus responds by quickly and loudly sending Satan away, seeing this offer as the temptation that it was.

In reading this story I always like to think I can easily identify with Jesus. And yet, in reality, sometimes it’s just hard to not believe the lie that we can own all of the kingdoms. That if only we climb high enough, work hard enough, put in the hours and will power; that we can somehow make it on our own.

When we reach these high places of our own making and look around at the “kingdoms” beneath us, it’s easy to feel safe and secure. The problem is that when we build a tower on our own foundation, they tend to collapse pretty quickly. Whether it’s our career, relationships, even spiritual identity. If we’re seeking to get the highest view, eventually we will be brought low.

The irony, however, is that the view from below is far more beautiful than the one from up high. We just need to know what to look for. Instead of trying to master the world and gaze upon a vast array of land and power, when we’re on the ground we get to gaze upon the intricacies of our fellow sisters and brothers. A parent playing with their child, someone helping a neighbor in town, a young couple falling in love. While being brought low may be painful and wreak havoc on our ego, it reminds us that we cannot truly separate ourselves from our fellow people. To succeed in this life is to live in community with one another.

This is the gift I have been given in the last three 1/2 years as pastor of OTR Community Church. Living downtown in Over the Rhine while pastoring a faith community right in the neighborhood has provided a beautifully transformational season where I learned to rely completely upon the people around me. Both Kelly and I have been blessed beyond measure during our time in Over the Rhine and in community with Hyde Park Community UMC.

And now, as God calls us onward to a new stage, we will take the deep life lessons gifted to us over the last few years. God has done miraculous things during our time here and it has been an honor to serve alongside all of you. Thank you all for the gift that has been to be church with you.

Pastor Ian

Haiti 2018: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Body of Christ

The construction team put on their work gloves again while starting  the saws a buzzing and the drills a whirring for their second day of construction in Haiti. The mission—to build student desks for the ninth graders ASAP .

The Faith Academy has operated In Haiti for over eleven years in Haiti and provides education, love and a sturdy meal each day for over four hundred and sixty one students. The school and its support has grown by word of mouth and now there’s an opportunity for the Faith Academy to be in the spotlight on a larger scale while serving the children of Haiti. 

The student desks are a high priority because Faith Academy has been given the privilege and prestige of being a testing site in June for ninth grade students taking their college (high school) entrance exams. 

With privilege comes responsibility and these students need desks to write on for their exams. This is a high stakes test that determines each students future for further education.  With that thought as motivation, the construction team is working hard to meet their goal of 90 desks by weeks end. 

Each day students show their curiosity and gather around the construction team as they labor in the courtyard. The team stops work as the students eat their snack of rice and beans to greet the students and practice their creole. Pastor Doug is known for his silly antics with the kids. 

The construction team is functioning as the “body of Christ “ 1 Corinthians 12:27 as they seek Gods courage, authority, and grace.  Thanks be to God as He helps us to be His body as we seek the courage , authority and grace to touch the lives of our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ as they touch and bless us with their love and openness. 

By Jennifer Keelor

Haiti 2018: Monday, May 21, 2018

Haiti 2018: Monday, May 22, 2018

Supplied by God

Today was the first day that the doors opened for the Haiti Mobile Medical Clinic.  As the team arrived early this morning, the benches were already filled with Haitians waiting for their chance to receive medical attention. The Haitians paid the equivalent of $0.79 in US currency to secure a place in line at the medical clinic. 

During the intake process, members of the medical team gathered pertinent medical history for the top two medical complaints. The patients then moved on to the triage area where a nurse took vitals before seeing one of the four medical doctors. After each patient was examined and given a diagnosis, they then moved to the pharmacy to receive their free medication. 

The medical clinic saw 240 patients today and filled 596 prescriptions. The age range of patients was 6 weeks to 91 years. The medical diagnoses varied from mumps, scabies, fungal and upper respiratory infections, cataracts, to a nontoxic goiter. Medical needs beyond the limitations of a mobile unit were referred to local doctors.

The medical team was in high spirits as they served the Haitian community which showed their appreciation for medical treatment with smiles and a “merci”. The level of service received by these patients would not have been possible without the Haitian interpreters that worked hand in hand with the medical team. 

The skills of this team are supplied by God. He has brought together not only physicians and nurses but interpreters, skilled craftsmen, worship leaders, prayer warriors, and encouragers. These gifts provide the conduit for this team to serve and show God’s love to our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Blog post by Jennifer Keelor

Haiti 2018: Saturday May 19, 2018

Friends in Haiti

Saturday night 

May 19, 2018

Hello Friends,

This is the second day in Haiti for most of our team and first day for a few folks. We have a total of twenty one folks who traveled from Ohio to Haiti. 

We were blessed to be joined on the way to Haiti by Kendra, an experienced Haitian missionary from Columbus. We were grateful for her help as she knew the ropes on getting through the airport!  Importantly, she is now teaching us about Haitian culture and circumstances and Christ’s love. 

We are receiving lots of hospitality from our brothers and sisters in Haiti.  We were greeted at the airport by Greg and Fanfan. We’ve enjoyed plentiful, tasty and nourishing meals, prepared by loving hands and are bonding as a team.

 

We are staying in the home of Greg and Cathie Benson who have been in Haiti for twenty two years and established home and relationships here. They empower and equip others in the name of Christ.  Their leadership as Christian role models is blessing all

Today Karen and Warren led our team in preparing the pharmacy for our mobile medical mission.  They were amazing and steadfast in their leadership and work with sa large and complicated task. Each team member helped with a smile. Cheryl Benson’s hard work to organize, inventory and prepare prepare our arrival laid a good foundation. We took large bottles of vitamins and medications, counted them into individual distribution and labeled them with dosages and details of the medication. The labels were kindly printed by our church team and carried to Haiti in our luggage. We counted hundreds and hundred of pills and some liquids and lotions too.

We are excited to worship God together tomorrow in a Haitian church at the site of the Faith Academy school. The church opened about a year ago and is attracting upwards of 300 folks per week!  

We are delighted to be invited to worship and participate tomorrow. Jim and Joyce put their musical gifts to work today and prepared a few songs in English (and Creole!) that we will share as an offering in church tomorrow.  Alleluia! is one we will sing.

At our home tonight, we shared evening worship which led us to praising God and knowing He strengthens us in Psalm 34:1-10:

Psalm 34:1-10 Common English Bible (CEB)

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth.I praise the Lord— let the suffering listen and rejoice. Magnify the Lord with me! Together let us lift his name up high! I sought the Lord and he answered me.

He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to God will shine; their faces are never ashamed.

This suffering person cried out: the Lord listened and saved him from every trouble.  On every side, the Lord’s messenger protects those who honor God; and he delivers them.

Taste and see how good the Lord is!  The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy!

You who are the Lord’s holy ones, honor him, because those who honor him don’t lack a thing.

Even strong young lions go without and get hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

We responded by sharing the many ways we’d felt God presence and seen Christ in others today.

Next we turned to Ephesians 4:1-10 and reflected on the unity the Holy Spirit has brought to the widening circle here in Haiti:

Ephesians 4 Common English Bible (CEB)

Unity of the body of Christ

4 Therefore, as a prisoner for the Lord, I encourage you to live as people worthy of the call you received from God. 2 Conduct yourselves with all humility, gentleness, and patience. Accept each other with love, 3 and make an effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit with the peace that ties you together. 4 You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.

7 God has given his grace to each one of us measured out by the gift that is given by Christ. 8 That’s why scripture says, When he climbed up to the heights, he captured prisoners, and he gave gifts to people.[a]

9 What does the phrase “he climbed up” mean if it doesn’t mean that he had first gone down into the lower regions, the earth? 10 The one who went down is the same one who climbed up above all the heavens so that he might fill everything.

11 He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers. 12 His purpose was to equip God’s people for the work of serving and building up the body of Christ 13 until we all reach the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son. God’s goal is for us to become mature adults—to be fully grown, measured by the standard of the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we aren’t supposed to be infants any longer who can be tossed and blown around by every wind that comes from teaching with deceitful scheming and the tricks people play to deliberately mislead others. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth with love, let’s grow in every way into Christ, 16 who is the head. The whole body grows from him, as it is joined and held together by all the supporting ligaments. The body makes itself grow in that it builds itself up with love as each one does its part.

We closed tonight in heartfelt prayer for brothers and sisters, Haitian and American, and marveling at the Body of Christ which God creates with us altogether. 

Grace and peace!

2018 Mission Team 

Innies or Outies?

Your body has one: an “inny” or an “outty.”   It is easy to tell.  When you look at your waistline your belly button either goes in or it pops out.

Churches are the same way:  they either face in or they face out.  Remember the rhyme and what you did with your hands: “Here is the church and here is the steeple…open the doors and see all the people?”

This week the program staff of our congregation studied a church that boldly states:  We strive to be a relentlessly outwardly focused church to reach people for Jesus Christ. Through wonderful ministries of hospitality, discipleship, and mission, Church of the Resurrection, a new United Methodist Church plant in 1990, has grown to 20,000 people.

What’s the secret sauce?  They align their resources:  people, their building, programs, ministries, and finances to accomplish their mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

This week you are invited to the first of two Town Hall Meetings offered in the next several weeks.  You will hear about the exciting plan for our building, the result of several years of work from many church leaders at Hyde Park Community United Methodist.  You will hear how our building can be restored, renovated, and also open up new, fresh space to welcome new people into our faith community.

You are invited on Wednesday evening, May 23, at 7:00 pm or Thursday, May 24 at 10:30 am for an exciting presentation. These town hall meetings will be offered through June. In late summer or early fall, church members will have the opportunity to officially vote to move forward with a capital campaign.

This is a congregation that is grounded in faith and growing to serve; I am excited to be a part of it!  I hope you will come to a Town Hall Meeting soon to hear about where God may be leading us!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

Confirmation Sunday

Hyde Park Community is steeped in tradition. One of the most celebrated traditions in the life of the church is Confirmation Sunday. Not only is it a celebration for the youth and their families, it is a joyous occasion for the church family as well. We have the opportunity to welcome new members in the life of the church and affirm their profession of faith in Jesus for themselves.

The word “confirmation” literally means “to make firm.” Confirmation seeks to make firm that which has gone before. It is closely linked to, and dependent on, what has taken place in the youth’s life already, including God’s prevenient grace, the sacrament of baptism, and the Christian nurture of the family with the support of the faith community. It is also an anticipatory occasion of what is to come-acting as an important marker (not graduation) along their spiritual journeys as the Holy Spirit strengthens the youth in his or her lifelong discipleship of Jesus.

Our journey in the Christian faith is not intended to be a solo venture and the youth did not travel this part of the journey alone. Faithful leaders walked alongside them this year to encourage and challenge each student. Please join me in thanking co-leader Chuck Brandt and small group leaders Mackenzie Fahey, Gretchen and Paul Lisi, Al Painter, and Abby Warren.

Confirmation Sunday is not just for the youth and their families! Church family, this Sunday we have the privilege to honor and encourage the young people’s commitment to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ and to renew our commitment to do the same!

Congratulations to the Confirmation Class of 2018!

Veronica Grace Bigger

Cara Elizabeth Coy

Samantha Ellen Ellis

Sam Gneuhs

Ryan Meador

Aimee Joy Payling

Audrey Elizabeth Potter

Trevor Benjamin Stith

Bennett Taylor Turan

Noah John Vanags

Amanda M. Yeung

Emily M. Yeung

DO JUSTICE, LOVE KINDNESS, and WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD

When the Prophet Micah proclaims “Do Justice”, Micah is not talking about “retributive” justice; but the “justice” of God: “Distributive Justice, and Restorative Righteousness.”  Recently HPCUMC launched a Justice Ministry.  I offer the following from the Leadership Team, and invite you to participate.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

What Can I DO?

Justice Ministry Update

HPCUMC’s Justice Ministry is working hard with the AMOS Project to gather signatures for the Safe and Healthy Ohio Ballot Initiative.  This amendment will reduce mass incarceration and overburdened jails by reducing penalties for non-violent drug offenses and redirect resources toward mental health, drug treatment, rehabilitation and victims’ rights programs.  HPCUMC has committed to supply 750 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.  Here is how YOU can help:

Make sure you have signed the petition.  You will find an opportunity in the Welcome Center if you haven’t already!

Help us collect signatures.  To get an official petition book and instructions see Jill Colaw between services in the Welcome Center or contact her: jillcolaw@yahoo.com, or 513-265-1110.

Volunteer to take a shift at the Board of Elections May 8th.  The following is a link that will make it easy to sign up and let them know you can take a two hour shift: www.surveymonkey.com/r/5ZP8663

What Else Can I Do?

Vote on May 8!

If you’d like to be added to the Justice Ministry distribution list contact Janice Kummer: janicekumer@gmail.com or 513-439-2253.  We periodically send emails with opportunities to serve.

Make Knowledge and awareness a priority!  Social justice was Jesus’ mission and we are called as the body of Christ to work toward that end.  The Justice ministry has several exciting programs we will offer in the coming months.

We invite you to join us and “Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”

HPCUMC Justice Ministry Leadership Team

Jill/David Colaw, Janice/Stan Kummer, Joyce Miyasato, Jan Seymour, Cathie Shick