Lessons about Leadership from Walking Dogs

This summer I became reacquainted with one of my favorite tasks:  training a puppy.  Caspian, our yellow lab rescue puppy joined our family on April 1.  He was named after C.S. Lewis’ fictional prince in the Chronicles of Narnia.  Every prince needs a princess so when our Golden Retriever female puppy joined our family in late August, we named her Zara.  It means “princess” in Hebrew.

Training puppies is a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun!  It is a joy to see them learn new things each day.  They can both sit, stay, shake my hand, come, lay down, and know what to do when I say “treats for good dogs.”  They run as quickly as they can toward me, anxious to receive a small piece of a dog biscuit, a reward for their good behavior.

One thing that is a little tricky is encouraging a new puppy to walk on a leash.  If the puppy does not want to move forward, it simply sits down and looks at you.  What follows is the awkward moment of a stare down.  The puppy looks at you as if to say, “Not happening.  I am not moving.”  At this point you have a few choices:  go and pick up the dog, pull the dog, or encourage the dog to walk where you would like them to go.

The third option is best for dogs and amazingly enough for people.  Most people generally do not like to be picked up or pulled! Henry and Richard Blackaby offer this great definition of spiritual leadership:  “moving people on to God’s agenda.”  They add that the spiritual leaders task is to “move people from where they are to where God wants them to be.”

God may be calling you to a role of servant leadership.  Our Servant Leadership Board has three openings for persons who are highly committed to Hyde Park Community UMC and feel called to the role of servant leader.  It is a three-year commitment.  Applications and criteria for the Servant Leadership Board are available at the Welcome Center and in the church office.  Please submit your application by October 15.

May God richly bless you as you lead those around you, moving people to God’s agenda as you shine brightly for Christ.


Pastor Cathy Johns

HVAC Pipe Replacement to Begin in Refectory

Hyde Park Community is a beautiful, awe inspiring, and historic facility through which ministry extends into the community, our city, nation and world.  Caring for our facilities, The Property Team, of the Servant Leadership Board, has contracted with Peck Hannaford + Briggs to replace the HVAC pipes in the refectory (Phase 1 of 3); and Central Insulation Systems, Inc. (CIS, www.centralinsulation.com) to abate the asbestos that lies in the pathway of the pipe work.

CIS will begin the asbestos abatement on October 1, with an anticipated completion date of October 25.  During this time the Refectory will be closed to the public.  For a building the age of HPC, asbestos abatement is common and safe.

CIS will work on the abatement Monday – Friday, Noon – 8: 30pm, in compliance with all EPA regulations. All ministries and programs will continue, with alternatives/adjustments for those who use the refectory.  In addition, as a second layer of safety, the Property Team is in the process of securing a bid from Sierra Environment Group to have oversight of, and test weekly, the air quality surrounding the refectory.

Upon the completion of the asbestos abatement Peck Hannaford + Briggs will begin the HVAC pipe replacement.  The pipe replacement is expected to take three weeks with an anticipated completion date of November 15.  During this phase of the work the Refectory will be closed to the public.  In addition Peck, Hannaford + Briggs will create 4 zones, installing controls that will allow us to adjust temperature in one zone without effecting another.   

As we begin this work we appreciate your patience and understanding as it relates to the inaccessibility of the refectory.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  May God’s blessings abound as HPCUMC continues to be a transforming presence in our community, nation, and world.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Property Team Projects Update

Hyde Park Community is a beautiful, awe inspiring, and historic facility through which ministry extends into the community, our city, nation and world.  As is the case with all “old homes”, there are maintenance items that can no longer be deferred, and must be addressed.

The Property Team, of the Servant Leadership Board, has been hard at work seeking to address two major projects this year, and we are on the verge of commencing work on both:

1.   Cleaning, repair, and sealing of the exterior stone.  We are in the final stages of reviewing bids from Hart Restoration and Hummel Restoration.

2.  Replacement of the HVAC pipes.  Over the last couple of years, we have been having issues with pipes breaking every time we switched from air conditioning to heat and from heat to air conditioning.  The time has come to replace the HVAC pipes throughout our facilities.  Phase one of this project will be the 1927 portion of the building.  However, prior to the start of the project we will need to remediate asbestos.  We are in the final stages of reviewing the preferred bid from CSI (asbestos abatement), and Peck Hannaford + Briggs for phase one of the pipe replacement.   

Additional projects that will need to be completed in the next 2-3 years include:

1.  Sanctuary Stain Glass Windows.  We have recently been made aware of  two issues with the stain glass in the sanctuary:  the original mortar glaze/caulking is beginning to crack and fall out.  In addition, some of the windows are exhibiting buckling/warping.  We are in the process of firming up quotes from Stain Glass Restoration companies.

2.   HVAC Pipe Replacement, Phase 2 and 3.  The remaining pipes outside of the scope of Phase 1 will be replaced.

This past July we communicated to the congregation the above needs, asking for your financial assistance.  As of September 4th, we have raised $120,069 for the Property Team projects.  Thank You!  Your support of these projects guarantees the viability of Hyde Park Community’s mission and ministry.  If you have been planning to help support this need, we look forward to hearing from you.  If you have yet to make the decision to help, I welcome the opportunity to have conversation with you and answer your questions.  All checks/envelopes need to be clearly marked: Property Team Projects.  It is a privilege to be in ministry with you!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug