New Year, Next Step

In January of this year, I stepped into a new role at HPCUMC as the Pastor of Mission and Outreach. Over the last year, I have been energized at the opportunity to engage with and serve alongside multiple generations at Hyde Park as we put our faith into action locally, nationally, and globally.

As you step into this next year, I invite you to take the next step in faith if you are not already serving. There are many ways and opportunities to serve in meaningful ways that correspond to your gifts, talents, and passions. Whether you find yourself wanting to focus on relationships, on the front lines, or serve behind the scenes – there is a place for YOU! Serving is a great way to make a big church feel smaller by building relationships with people you serve alongside.

While the list of ways to support ministry goes on and on – here are some highlights of areas that need your support:

  Being a friendly visitor to a home bound member and visit 1-2 times a month

  Take communion to a home bound member – offered 3 times/year

  Be on the program committee to plan speakers, entertainment, and local trips for the 2020-2021 Senior Adult Ministry

  Share the Good News with youth at the Hamilton Juvenile Detention Center on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings – it is offered weekly and can serve monthly

  Prepare and serve a meal to our neighbors at Madisonville Education Center on the 4th Monday of every month

  Tutor a 5th grade student at Rothenberg in writing and reading weekly on Tuesday or Thursday (9:20-10:10a or 1:10-2:00p)

  Be part of the 25th house build for the Shalom Coalition starting in the Spring of 2020 – no experience required and building days are during the week and on Saturdays

If any of these opportunities spark your interest, I would love to have a conversation with you to share more details about how to get connected! Please reach out to me at ksmith@hpcumc.org or on Sunday mornings!

As you step into this new year, perhaps God is calling you to something new!

Pastor Kate

Love Came Down At Christmas!

As we make our final preparations to receive The Christ the classic carol comes to mind: “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love divine; Love was born at Christmas; star and angels gave the sign.”  Preparing to receive such Love, otherwise known as the “Incarnation”, we in the depths of our being sense a stirring in our soul to become incarnational; bathed in love we become love to the world!

The early church father, St. John Chrysostom (born in Antioch 349A.D.) wrote:

“I behold a new and wondrous mystery.  My ears resound to the shepherds’ song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.  The angels sing.  The archangels blend their voice in harmony.  The cherubim hymn their joyful praise.  The seraphim exalt his glory.  All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth . . .  God who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised up.” (Watch For The Light, p. 225-226)

Love came down at Christmas and we “behold a new and wondrous mystery.”  In God’s descending we experience the holy; invited into the flow of creation and God’s acts of new creation!

With anticipation we wait, and with humility we receive, Love came down at Christmas!  I pray that you are able to give yourself over to this holy mystery of incarnation.   Allow yourself to experience God’s love in a new way, become a participant in the flow of God’s love, and in our becoming we become God’s incarnation to the world.

Christmas Blessings,

Pastor Doug

The Light of Christmas

One evening this week we came around the bend on our street and I was dazzled by the lights that were decking the homes and trees of our neighbors.  It was beautiful!

During this season of the year when the days are short and night is long, I find myself longing for light.  When the sun shines, even on cold days, it makes me smile.

As we navigate this season of Advent, I invite you to think about how light helps us.  Lights make walkways safer.  Light can warm us around a fire.  Light helps us find our way home.  Lights help ships navigate into safe harbors.

In the gospel of John, we discover the power of the light of Christ:  “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.   The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:5,9)

You are invited this Sunday:

8:00 am  and 11:00 am:  A Charlie Brown Christmas continues as Snoopy helps us grasp the importance of joy in our lives.  Wesley Choir will sing at 8:00;  Worship@11 will be led by the Praise Band.

9:30 am “The Light of Christmas,” a unique worship experience with The Canterbury Brass, Cathedral Choir hand bells, and fresh theological reflections will help us rejoice in God’s precious gift:  Jesus, the Light of the World.

Rejoicing in the Christ-Child,

Pastor Cathy

Get in The Game

As the Servant Leadership Board prepares to approve our 2020 budget we continue to receive commitments and invite you, if you have not done so, to invest in the mission and ministry of Hyde Park Community by submitting your 2020 commitment.  Your commitment helps HPCUMC appropriately forecast anticipated income.  You can make your commitment online, via the website, or by mailing your commitment card to the church office.  We are grateful for your generosity over this past year that has allowed our ministries at HPC to flourish, and look forward to 2020.  Because you gave in 2019:

  The Senior Adult Ministry offered: “Walking with Paul” a Health and Wellness program; and a Blood Drive resulting in 114 potential lives saved.

  Partnering with MEAC (Madisonville Education and Assistance Center), over 901 unduplicated households were served across all MEAC programs; and 163 households in crisis were served with Emergency Financial Assistance.

  HPC partnering with IHN (Interfaith Hospitality Network) provided 1,820 bed nights and 5,460 meals over the course of a year.

  Summer Impact connected 154 people (13 different groups, from3 different states) in ministry, offering the light of Christ to the most vulnerable.

  We partnered with the Summer Reading Camp and Wesley Chapel Mission Center to improve and enhance the reading abilities of at-risk children in OTR.  The class average is 281% improvement in sounding out words, 15% in reading words and 44% in oral reading fluency. This is in contrast to the 10% summer learning loss for children in under-resourced neighborhoods.

  Our Preschool maintains the highest ranking in the State of Ohio (5 star), with over 97 children participating in the Summer Camp.

  Our Adult Discipleship Ministry, through 5 Sunday morning classes, 4 midweek classes, 10 Bi-weekly Connect Groups and 2 retreats, deepened the relationships of 2,442 lives with God and one another.

  237 children lead by over 100 volunteers learned about and embraced God’s Unfailing Love through Vacation Bible School: “ROAR”.

  The Organ Concert Series begins its Sixteenth season hosting internationally acclaimed concert artists.

  Inspiring worship is offered weekly through music and the spoken word.

We look forward to what God will do through HPCUMC in 2020 as we “bid Welcome” to all God calls beloved, partnering with God in God’s acts of new creation!

Advent blessings,

Pastors Cathy and Doug