A Message from Pastor Dave

As a congregation over the last two months we have had to practice social distancing for our own health and safety, and for others. This has meant we have not been able to gather in fellowship or sit side by side as a community of faith. I praise God for the way you have embraced online worship and the ongoing support of the mission and ministry of HPCUMC.   We are the Body of Christ!

There are two sacraments we practice in the United Methodist Church. They are Baptism and Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper, Eucharist). As a community of faith, through these sacraments, we experience the mystery of God’s grace in its fullest form. We are connected through the power of the Holy Spirit in these sacred moments in worship.  We are the Body of Christ!

Because of the COVID-19 virus we have not had the opportunity to gather in worship to celebrate holy communion as a congregation. Bishop Palmer knows the importance of the rich ritual tradition of the church in sharing this communal meal. Therefore, under this extreme situation, he is giving pastors the authority to consecrate the elements, thus extending the table from the sanctuary worship space into our homes.

The Lord’s Supper reminds us that Jesus Christ is the host and that we participate in Christ’s invitation. We are invited to the table as participates in remembering Jesus ate with his disciples the night before his crucifixion. He broke bread and shared the cup at the table. The bread reminds of us his broken body and the juice reminds us of his shed blood.

In communion God’s mercy, love, and grace is being poured out. We experience his holy presence and the assurance of pardon and forgiveness. When we gather at this table we are “remembering” him, and all those who have gone before us. At the same time, through the Holy Spirit, we are also “re-membered,” or being made whole again individually and communally.   We are the Body of Christ!

This Sunday I also look forward to bringing the final message of our “It Is Well” sermon series. The focus will be on “Wisdom.”

See you soon, live and online!

Blessings,

Pastor Dave

A Letter from Pastors Doug and Cathy

Dear Hyde Park Community and Warehouse Brothers and Sisters:

Greetings in the name of our risen Lord, Jesus Christ!  We pray that this finds you well and safe as you journey through this time of uncertainty.  The mission and ministry of HPCUMC/Warehouse strives to deepen relationships with God and one another.  From our weekly worship together , to the offering of daily devotions; from Children, Youth, and Adult ministries to our Outreach and Mission, we strive to be God’s light, hope and love in a world so easily given over to fear and despair.

All that we do is possible because of your financial investment in the mission and ministry of HPCUMC/Warehouse.  Because you financially support HPCUMC/Warehouse you embody the words of Jesus: “You are the light of the world . . . the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13-14)  Thank you!  We write to provide an update on our financial position, financial plans for the coming months, and offer encouragement as you invest in the mission and ministry of HPCUMC/Warehouse.

Current Status: We ended the first quarter of 2020 in a solid position; although revenue is considerably down compared to our 2020 financial plan, our expenses have been down as well.  Consequently, we ended the 1st quarter in a positive position.  However, as the finance team projects revenue (based on the first quarter) we project we will end the year with a $106,000 deficit.

The Finance Team of the Servant Leadership Board has implemented a “spending freeze” for all non-essentials. In addition, we have applied for the “Payroll Protection Program” grant, which is a part of the legislation Congress passed earlier this month.  If we are approved, we will be able to avoid furloughing staff.  The Finance Team is reviewing our budget to identify other areas to reduce expenses.

Your continued Investment is critical . . . If you have made a financial commitment and are up to date on the commitment, or if you give regularly and have maintained your level of giving to date, thank you. If you have made a financial commitment, or give regularly but find you have not yet financially supported HPCUMC, The Warehouse in 2020, or are behind in your commitment, we encourage you to make support of HPCUMC, The Warehouse a priority.  If you can give above and beyond your commitment and/or planned giving your second mile giving will go a long way in ensuring God’s light and love are shared through HPCUMC/Warehouse throughout 2020.  We encourage you to give in one the following ways:  1. Mail your check to the church, or 2. Go to our website and give on line.

Thank you for your faithfulness in these uncertain days.  It is a privilege to serve in ministry with you!  May our God of resurrection, bless you abundantly with resurrection living!

Though Christ,

Pastor Doug

Living the Serenity Prayer

Reinhold Niebuhr first shared the serenity prayer in a sermon in 1943. Today, it is a beloved prayer around the world and has been embraced by many groups, including Alcoholic Anonymous. His first version placed courage first, but this is the version that most of us know:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

This Sunday we begin a new sermon series on the Serenity Prayer.  In these tough days of navigating COVID-19, it helps to sort out what we cannot change and what we can.  We cannot go back in time and halt this outbreak.  We can, however, make choices on how to respond:  selfishness or generosity, courage or fear, hate or love.

I celebrate the ways that Hyde Park Community has chosen to adapt to new ways of loving and blessing others during this difficult season:

How we worship: Gathering online for worship, with amazing musicians, has blessed many people in many states.

Online Communion, May 3. Bishops have given permission for churches to extend the table, receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion in their homes.  During worship on May 3, Rev. Dave Weaver will consecrate the bread and cup (those in your homes and those in the sanctuary).  If you would like to participate, please have your bread and juice ready before connecting to live stream worship on Sunday, May 3 at either 9:30am or 11:00am.

How we Connect:  Classes and small groups are connecting through Zoom meetings. Phone calls from 70 servant volunteers to our church family lifted many hearts.

How we Give: People have faithfully given their offerings online or sent them in the mail to the church.   

How we Serve: More than 80 servant volunteers have distributed over 3,000 meals to children and families in the communities of Hyde Park and State Avenue UMC.

May God fill you with serenity, courage, and wisdom, today and always!

Joy in our Risen Lord,

Pastor Cathy

Resurrection Hope, Resurrection Living . . .

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  This is the proclamation of the women who visited the tomb of Jesus that first Easter morning.  This is the great Easter proclamation of the first century church, and the church of the twenty first century!  It is a proclamation of a current reality and a future hope.  No matter who we are, or the circumstances we face, the dead ends of life, the lost relationship, or the physical and figurative “death” we encounter, death does not have the final say.  God is a God of resurrection.  God makes all things new, re-creating, and calling us to be partners in God’s re-creation!  The resurrection brings hope, today, tomorrow, and forever.  A hope, Paul says, that “will not disappoint us.”

However, from the time of the Epicurean philosophers to the “age of enlightenment”, and continuing in the twenty first century, there are voices that would have us believe that God is not actively involved with God’s creation but has created and left us to our own devices; God is separated from the world, and remains uninvolved with the world.  Therefore, if true, the resurrection of Jesus couldn’t possibly have anything to do with us today.

In his book, Surprised By Hope, Bishop N.T. Wright offers the following:

“”Who, after all, was it who didn’t want the dead to be raised?  Not simply the intellectually timid or the rationalists.  It was, and is, those in power, the social and intellectual tyrants and bullies; the Caesars who would be threatened by a Lord of the world who had defeated the tyrant’s last weapon, death itself; the Herods who would be horrified at the postmortem validation of the true King of the Jews.  And this is the point where believing in the resurrection of Jesus suddenly ceases to be a matter of inquiring about an odd event in the first century and becomes a matter of rediscovering hope in the twenty-first century.  Hope is what you get when you suddenly realize that different worldview is possible, a worldview in which the rich, the powerful, and the unscrupulous do not after all have the last word.  The same worldview shift that is demanded by the resurrection of Jesus is the shift that will enable us to transform the world.” (P.75)

Through the resurrection of Jesus we possess the power of the resurrection today, and resurrection hope tomorrow.  Resurrection hope transforms our worldview, and we become partners in God’s acts of new creation!  Join us by Live Stream for our Easter Celebration.  To God be the glory!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Canoeing the Mountains: Holy Week 2020

In “Canoeing the Mountains,” by Tod Bolsinger,  we read about adaptive leadership.  Explorers Lewis and Clark were seeking a waterway from the east to the Pacific Ocean, journeying by canoe.  What they discovered instead was The Rocky Mountains.  They needed to leave their canoes behind to find new navigational tools for the days ahead.

The Coronavirus has forced all of us to adapt.  It has been a beautiful thing to watch our church family continue to care for one another and our community during this season of social distancing.  Rev. Kate Smith and over 80 servant volunteers from both the church and community have given away 1300 bagged lunches to children and families in need.  Family Ministries and our preschool staff are posting creative online resources. Diane Weaver and servant volunteers are organizing a phone caring ministry. Please contact Diane if you would like to serve. Small groups of musicians have stepped forward to lead worship. Sunday School members are connecting through Zoom meetings.  People are remembering the church with their offerings and attendance, worshipping online and giving their offerings electronically.  Thank you for your faithful prayers, online worship attendance, and financial support; they are life-giving.

You are invited to join us for Holy Week 2020:

Palm Sunday, April 5, online worship at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

(Maundy Thursday Worship with Communion will not be observed this year)

Good Friday, April 10, online worship at 7:30 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 12, online worship at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Thank you in advance, for continuing to support the work of the Church.  Now more than ever, keeping our membership vows makes a huge difference!  Let us continue to lift up Christ through our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.

Remember friends:  God does make all things new!   This storm will pass.  This Holy Week we will remember The Passion and Death of Christ and celebrate His Resurrection.  May God bless you this Holy Week; you remain in our prayers.

Joy in our Risen Lord,

Pastor Cathy