Mission and Outreach

Join us in making a difference this Christmas. Historically our congregation has faithfully provided for the various needs of our global partners. Please prayerfully consider giving an extraordinary gift to our Global Outreach Ministry. With your generous support, we will provide leadership training, education for those in poverty, supplies and staffing resources for health needs, as well as training and care for those who need support. Our goal is $60,000 to meet the needs of our partners.

You can make your donation using the envelope provided in your pew and placing it in today’s offering or by mailing it to the church office (1345 Grace Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208). Checks can be written to Hyde Park Community UMC with a note in the memo; Christmas Global Offering.

Your faithfulness in giving above and beyond this Christmas will enhance the lives of children in Haiti, provide a Christ-centered place of worship in Russia and Romania, or help to maintain the health and wellness of Americans who have followed God into full-time missions in Asia Minor. Keep Christ at the center of your Christmas and into the New Year.

In Christ,

Rev. Doug Johns, Co-Senior Pastor

Sarah Putman, Mission & Outreach Ministry Assistant

The Beat Goes On

As we come to a finale of this “long and winding road” of Advent this Sunday, some of you might be thinking, “Don’t stop the music!” If that is your sentiment, know that I stand in solidarity with you – as music is a passion of mine. While I know God can’t give all of the gifts to people – I wish I would have received the gift of music (either singing or playing – I’m not picky) instead of only the gift of appreciating music.

For some people, though, music is something that just “sounds nice, it’s good background noise.” For me, it is so much more! People of the Bible used music as a tool to pray and as an outlet to express the whole spectrum of human emotion. This creative expression helps us emotionally and spiritually, offers us direction, and has the ability to articulate thoughts and feelings all while showing us that we aren’t alone.

This series was based on the premise that God is in all things and we have the ability to find sacred in the ordinary and everyday as we theologically reflect on how songs not traditionally found in “Christian music” can point us to God. This Advent, the Beatles songs acted as a soundtrack for the season leading up to Christmas as we were invited to explore creative ways to connect with God and others.

For those who want the beat to go on and continue to explore faith through music – never fear! The teaching theme for *Summer Impact is “Rock of Ages” as a way to enjoy music, express faith, and find community. There is even a community made playlist of 176 songs that you can access through Spotify:  https://spoti.fi/2UUurt6 or search “Rock of Ages: Summer Impact 2019.” These songs were submitted to the playlist because people have found divine meaning, hope, and love. Are there unexpected songs that have connected you to God?

May you experience God in unexpected places and ways this Christmas season and into 2019 as you open your eyes (and maybe your ears) to what God is trying to show you.

Peace,

Pastor Kate

Summer Impact – http://hydeparkchurch.org/summer-impact/

 

Road Trip!

This time of year, travel increases as people head home to be with family and loved ones. When there are snowstorms, television reporters show us people sleeping in the airports.

Road trips can be a challenge but also a lot of fun.  Pack a few snacks, some good Christmas CD’s, a few bottles of bottled water… and let the fun begin!

Road trips were different two thousand years ago. I invite you to consider a few differences about the road trip that Joseph and Mary took from Nazareth to Bethlehem:

  • Hotels.com reservations would not have been possible
  • There was no running water
  • There were no disposable diapers they could pack to take with them
  • There were no automobiles so Mary, in her third trimester, rode on an animal, probably a donkey, about 80 miles – uphill.

As you prepare for your journeys this December, I invite you to pause and give thanks for those who made journeys that first Christmas:  Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the Wise Men, but especially the journey of God – who chose to journey to earth and come as a child to bless us all with great love.

May God bless all of your road trips this Christmas as you remember those whose  journeys that first Christmas continue to bless you!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy Johns

An Angel’s Announcement

I’m not sure what you think of angels. Are they real? Do they have a halo and wings?

I remember in the mid-1990’s there was CBS supernatural drama television series called, “Touched by An Angel.” The episodes generally revolved around the “cases” of Monica (played by Roma Downey), a young angel recently promoted from the “search and rescue” division, who works under the guidance of Tess (played by Della Reese). Tess is more of a surrogate mother than a mentor. Monica, in one episode, outlines that she started in the choir then annunciations, followed by search and rescue and then case work. Most cases involve a single person or a group of people who are at a crossroads in their life, facing a large problem or tough decision. Monica and Tess bring messages of hope from God and help give them guidance toward making their decision.

Our scripture lesson this Sunday has the angel Gabriel making an appearance to a young teenage girl by the name of Mary. He makes a “divine announcement” that she is pregnant. You talk about a “supernatural birth drama” about to unfold. The scriptures say she was perplexed. Anyone would be if you heard an angel from on high speak these words. She asked the angel Gabriel “how can this be?”

We are in the second week of Advent and into our preaching series titled “Unwrapping Christmas.” We will dig deeper into this story of Mary and the angel found in Luke 1: 26-38. Come and hear how Mary handles this dramatic event in her young life. She does something quite remarkable with this angel announcement. What might we learn from this story?

I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday!

Blessings,

Pastor Dave