Following God’s Will

Today we often hear the phrase, “We’ve never been at this place before.”  The times in which we live are filled with lots of twists and turns.  Somehow getting from Point A to Point B would be much easier if somehow we had a faithful map and could understand the directions.

Migratory birds in the United States were tagged by the Department of the Interior with metal strips that read:  Wash.  Biol.  Surv. – for Washington Biological Survey.  The tags were changed after they received this letter from a farmer:  “Dear Sirs, I shot one of your crows.  My wife followed the cooking instructions:  washed it, boiled it, and served it.  It was the worst thing we ever ate.”

In times like these we find ourselves standing at intersections that no one would have predicted just nine months ago. Therapists report that both anxiety and depression are taking a toll on people. These are stressful times.

As people of faith, we do have a compass to help us find our way.  God, who is our constant companion and guide, will help direct our path.  Join us this Sunday for Holy Communion as we  worship online:  Traditional Worship at 9:30 and Worship @ 11, our contemporary praise service.  Please have your bread and juice ready at the beginning of the service;.   The Table will be extended.   The bread and cup, both in the sanctuary and in your home, will be blessed.

We look forward to connecting with you as the Body of Christ this Sunday.  Have a blessed weekend!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

Thank you for your Faithfulness!

Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  I pray this finds you well as we continue to navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19.  I hope that you are enjoying these days of early summer.  Thank you for your extravagant generosity in the face of COVID-19, despite our inability to gather face to face as a community!  Your faithful financial support of the ministry and mission of  Hyde Park Community/The Warehouse is a gift that keeps giving in these critical days of uncertainty.  Because you gave . . .

  A daily devotion: “It is Well” is offered by Pastor Cathy, Pastor Doug, Pastor Dave, Pastor Kate, Pastor Pete Rudowski and Pastor Michael Vilardo.  Visit our website, hydeparkchurch.org, to hear a short message of encouragement

  HPCUMC partnered with UMC Foods to distribute meals to children as a way to stand in the gap while schools were closed and children were learning from home.  We provided meals for the Hyde Park/Mt. Lookout/Oakley/Madisonville area, at The Warehouse, our second campus in Over-The-Rhine, and at State Avenue UMC serving the Lower Price Hill neighborhood on the west side of Cincinnati.  We  distributed 8,008 meals, by 124 volunteers.

“Project 5000” bags  (non-perishable food items) were given to MEAC,our partner in Madisonville, along with financial support for their food pantry.

We continue to partner with Inter-Faith Hospitality Network (IHN) finding creative ways to meet the needs of homeless families.

•Both HPC and The Warehouse are able to offer inspiring Live-Stream worship, keeping us connected as a faith community.

•The Warehouse has offered Tuesday Table Talks – a weekly live stream program dealing with life issues compounded by COVID-19.

•We continue to strive to meet the needs of our homebound through weekly contact.

  A ministry to contact members of both HPC and The Warehouse by phone, email, or text keeps us connected.

  Small groups and Sunday School classes are meeting by Zoom.

  The Children’s ministry sends weekly resources to families for their use at home.

  Children/families encouraged our elderly quarantined in retirement centers and at home with cards/pictures.

In these days of unknowing and uncertainty the mission and ministry of HPCUMC continues in life transforming and powerful ways.  Your continued support is essential.  You can give in any of the following ways:  1. Go to our website and give online; 2. Use your bank’s “Bill Pay” feature; 3. Ann Lawson, Director of Finance, can assist you: call and leave a voice mail, or email: alawson@hpcumc.org. In this new reality we find ourselves we are God’s light, love and hope to the world.  Thank you, it is a privilege to serve in ministry with you!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Faith vs. Facts

This summer several brave souls have joined me in an educational adventure.  Our topic for our Zoom class is “Religion and Science:  Pathways to Truth.”  We have had fascinating conversations about the intent of the Bible, intersections between faith and science, evolution, God’s plan for the universe, and other topics that invite us to engage in healthy conversation as people who follow Christ.

One of our presenters, a Methodist minister, theologian and an astrophysicist, shared that the perception that religion and science have been in conflict is a mistake.  Dr. David Wilkinson writes: “Saying that science is about fact, but Christianity is simply about belief, as if as Christians, we throw our brains away and just believe” is a mistake.  Science and religion have been compatible for many centuries yet some continue to push these disciplines into adversarial camps when that was never God’s intent.

This Sunday we will conclude our series “Working on our Core” with the message “Walking by Faith.”  With all the challenges that we face today, including battling a global pandemic, finding a path where all people are respected equally, and a polarized country, we will connect with one another to celebrate the steadfast love of God.  We invite you to connect with us to discover that being a person of faith does not mean checking our brains at the door, but something much deeper.  The practical and positive outcomes of walking by faith are life-changing and result in deep, abiding joy.

I look forward to connecting with you this Sunday.  Please join us at 9:30 am, connecting with us on our website: hydeparkchurch.org or our Facebook page.  Have a blessed week!

Peace,

Cathy

Amazed By Grace

Grace is about much more than just how we come to Christ. We can do nothing in him or for him that doesn’t ultimately come from His grace. Let us simply reflect on how amazing God’s grace is toward us. Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” In fact, grace brings 10 great benefits to our lives:

  We’re saved by grace. The only way to heaven is through the doorway of grace. You can’t earn it. You can’t work for it. You can’t buy it (Ephesians 2:8-9).

  We’re forgiven by grace. Though we don’t deserve it, God wipes our slate clean by God’s grace (Isaiah 43:25).

  We’re sustained by grace. God will never ask you to do anything God doesn’t give you the ability and the power to do. That power and ability is called grace (Philippians 2:13).

  We’re healed by grace. God heals our broken hearts and binds up our wounds even though we don’t deserve it (Psalm 147:3).

  We’re liberated by grace. Our relationship with Jesus isn’t a bunch of chores to do. Instead it’s about resting in what the Lord has already done. If your Christian life is not a life of resting in Christ, you’re moving into legalism (Matthew 11:28-30).

  We’re given talents by grace. God has given each of us the ability to do something well, and we’re to use those abilities for God (Romans 12:6).

  We’re used by grace. God uses us to fulfill God’s purposes in this world, not because of anything we’ve done but simply through God’s grace (Ephesians 3:7).

  We’re kept saved by grace. We cannot lose our salvation because it’s a gift of God. If you could earn it, then you could lose it the moment you stopped earning it (Jude 1:24).

  We’re transformed by grace. Through God’s grace, God makes us new through the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).

  We’re matured by grace. God’s work of making us more like Jesus happens not because we’ve earned it or by our own effort but by the grace of God (2 Peter 3:18).

God’s grace is real and powerful in our lives. All we have to do is open our hearts and receive it!

Through Christ,

Pastor Sherman

Co-Pastor, The Warehouse

Keeping You Safe

Dear Beloved of HPCUMC and The Warehouse:

Grace and peace to you through the risen Christ!  As we reflect upon the journey we’ve made together over the past three months we are grateful for your faithfulness to the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself”; and the New Commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Dr. Daniel Chin writes, “During this pandemic, love for ourselves is expressed in the ways we protect ourselves from getting infected.  In the same way, love for our neighbor is expressed in the ways we protect them from getting infected.”  We are honored to be able to live in solidarity with your commitment to your health, and the health and wellbeing of the community at large.  As we continue to navigate the waters of COVID-19, your resiliency and fortitude is inspiring.

As our nation continues to “re-open”, and Ohio, specifically, re-evaluates re-opening guidelines for public gatherings, the HPCUMC Task Force on COVID-19 has recommended “Guidelines for Moving Forward” to the Servant Leadership Board.  The guidelines are based on our values of hospitality, welcoming environment for all people, and safety.  In addition, the guidelines are based on the knowledge gathered from the 370 surveys we received, as well as state, local, and federal guidelines currently in place.

To review the guidelines adopted by the Servant Leadership Board please visit our website: hydeparkchurch.org  and click on: “Guidelines Moving Forward: Keeping You Safe.”

Thank you for your patience and perseverance as together we navigate our way through our current reality.  We will strive to keep you informed well in advance of changes to the guidelines as they come.  Over the past 3 months you have proven, once again, what an amazing faith community we have.  We look forward to the day we can give a hug, and/or shake hands.  Until then the church is still open as we offer God’s light and love to the world through our mission and ministry!  Stay healthy, safe and blessed!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug