Intern Introductions

This is our sixth year hosting youth from local and regional churches and providing them opportunities to serve in mission in the city. God has moved in mighty ways in years past and we expect will do so again this year as we serve and focus on studying “The Potter’s House” as found in Jeremiah. Our Summer Impact program would not be possible without the leadership of our Summer Impact Interns! In case you did not get a chance to meet them in worship on June 14th, here is a brief introduction for each of our wonderful interns:

Meet Alex! In her spare time she likes to slide down volcanoes, travel the world, and cuddle puppies (but no cats!). What’s her next adventure? College. She will be a Miami RedHawk in the fall.

Meet Julia! She is a math wizard, professional ice cream server, and animal lover! In her spare time she likes to solve math equations and drink milk. She is in her third year as a Capital University Crusader!

Meet Elizabeth! She is an aspiring scientist and wicked good dancer (don’t challenge her to a dance-off). She tends to be the fashionista of the group. She calls Wittenberg her home for most of the year and she will be entering her second year there this fall.

Meet Sam! His self given persona is Nogman ( he makes people happy by giving them eggnog). He took Beyonce’s advice and “put a ring on it”- he will be getting married this summer! The married couple will be moving to Saint Louis this fall where Sam will be attending seminary!

Meet Emily! In her spare time she likes to drink an exorbitant amount of coffee, read books, and take artsy pics. She is an aspiring world changer, majoring in international studies and economics. She will be entering her second year at Ohio Wesleyan University!

Annual Conference Highlights

The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church held Annual Conference June 7 – 10, on the shores of Lake Erie, Lakeside, Ohio.  Over 1600 Lay and Clergy gathered to worship, approve a budget, hear reports of mission and ministry, and elect delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences (Denominational Conferences held every four years).  As I reflect on our time together, I share with you some of the highlights of this year’s Conference:

Two years ago West Ohio Conference set a goal of 3.5 million dollars for the eradication of Malaria on the continent of Africa (Imagine No Malaria).  At the start of the Conference, West Ohio was short of the goal by a little over $250,000 (includes pledges and cash).  The offering from Tuesday morning worship went to “Imagine No Malaria”, collecting $403,733.

Rev. Dr. Thomas Long, Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, was our teaching pastor, leading us in a refreshing look at the four Gospels.

Bishop Palmer inspired us in worship, under the theme of “Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given”, reminding us we are the Body of Christ, privileged to be a part of God’s redemptive work in the world.

We honored retirees (the retiring class, collectively, had over 700 years of service), ordained, and commissioned clergy.

We Elected 8 Clergy, and 8 Lay representatives to General Conference, and an additional 8 Clergy, and 8 Lay representatives to Jurisdictional Conference.

It was reported that West Ohio Conference led the denomination in Advance Special giving (Missional support given above and beyond apportionment giving), giving $2,568,210 in 2014.

Bishop Palmer read and fixed the appointments of all Clergy.  Cathy, Dave Weaver and I are privileged and honored to return to Hyde Park for another year of ministry.

God continues to refresh, empower, and inspire God’s church.  In God’s grace we partner with God to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven!  See you in Church!

In Christ,
Pastor Doug

Summer Impact 2015

Summer Impact 2015 will be in full swing for six weeks starting on June 21. Our five interns moved into the Peebles House on Friday – they will be formally introduced during worship on June 14th. If you see them, please welcome them!

This will be our 6th year hosting youth from local and regional churches and providing them opportunities to serve in mission in the city. God has moved in mighty ways in years past and we expect He will do so again this year as we serve and focus on studying “The Potter’s House” as found in Jeremiah.

For Summer Impact to be as impactful as it can be, we need your help! We have a particular need for people interested in serving with and continuing our partnership with Wesley Chapel Mission Center. There is a 3 hour day camp every day and our participation in sending volunteers is vital to the success of their camp. If you are interested in serving with Wesley Chapel the time commitment is from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm any weekday between June 22 and July 31. However, we also have needs for people to provide desserts, welcome teams upon arrival, help serve dinners, host the interns for dinner on weekends, and more.

For all volunteer opportunities and to sign up, please visit Call Sarah Putman at (513)979-8162 with questions or for more information.

Sarah Putman

Job Search Focus Group

A marketplace ministry of HPCUMC offering Hope, Help & Healing for the unemployed –serving over 13,000 over 25 years.

Unemployment is tough …it’s an emotional roller coaster …it harms self-esteem …it’s confusing and frustrating

It’s also be a time for self-discovery – for resurrecting dreams – for finding Purposeful Employment.

As the largest, longest running job search support group in America, JSFG provides weekly advice, resources, connections to employers, and a positive environment for job seekers to find their way.
Advice – Accountability – Achievement

Join us Mondays in The Little Theater.
8:00 am Welcome Orientation for 1st timers
9:00 am Advice, Networking, Speakers, Seminars
11:30 am Workshops: Strengths, Purpose, Resume, Networking, Interviewing, Negotiating, Financial and more…

JSFG graduates have said:
“JSFG is a great group of folks who provide encouragement and tools to help in a process that can be daunting and discouraging”

“I can honestly say I used a piece of everything at some point. From the strength workshops, through the resume writing workshops, to networking, and ending using what I learned in the negotiation workshops”

“This is truly a special group and a blessing to have in Cincinnati. God Bless You!”

“What impressed me was the emphasis on helping others: people from the Job Search Focus Group reached out time and again to help me, encourage me, or give me a lead on a company or a job posting. You can pay someone to help you polish a resume but you can’t pay someone to give a dang about you”

Purposeful Employment contact: Bob Pautke

Haiti Mission Trip October 2 – 9, 2015

How can a Christian Haitian start a school that feeds one nutritious meal per day and educates almost 400 underserved Haitian children in Croix de Bouquets, a suburb of Port au Prince? Meet FanFan Janvier. FanFan was given to an orphanage as a child by his mother because she was not able to support him, a not uncommon situation in Haiti. Fortunately a visiting missionary met FanFan at the orphanage and was moved to sponsor him so he could get an education and learn English. Thirty-five years later, FanFan is still in touch with this wonderful woman and thanks God every day for the commitment she made to him. Education in Haiti is not free. Her generosity inspired FanFan to work to change that.

When we first met FanFan he was working for a mission group as a driver and translator. He had saved his money and used it to buy a plot of land outside Port au Prince. On this land, he built Faith Academy, named after Faith UMC of Elkhart, Indiana who had donated the initial construction funds. That was 2002. First classes started in 2006.
Hyde Park Community UMC started supporting Faith Academy in 2013. These donations are being used to add a second story to Faith Academy. These extra classrooms will allow FanFan to add another 100 students to the school bringing total enrollment to around 400.

FanFan is committed to not denying any child an education. A nominal tuition is charged but it does not cover all the costs and not all children are able to pay. Individuals provide support through the sponsoring of a teacher’s salary or part of it for a school year, about $1,200/yr. He feels this approach provides more stability for the students and the teachers. Funds are also needed for educational materials, desks, and to provide what often is the only nutritious meal a child will receive that day.

John and Vicki Moseley are leading a team to Haiti Oct 2 through 9, 2015. Both have made numerous trips to Haiti. They have a deep commitment to Haiti and to supporting Faith Academy as it embodies Haitians helping Haitians. No special skills are required! Space is limited, let Sarah Putnam at know if you are interested in joining this team. Time will be spent at Faith Academy, we won’t know any specific projects until late summer. A $500 deposit is required by June 24 to secure your place.

John and Vicki Moseley

Queen City Running Club

This week’s Community Highlight is written by Joe Brinkmann, leader of the Queen City Running Club. Queen City Running Club has partnered with HPCUMC using our facility as a starting and ending point for their training while joining us in our serving endeavors including Project 5000 and a shoe drive for MEAC.

With the Flying Pig marathon and it’s other activities going on this weekend, needless to say, it is an exciting time for many active runners and walkers throughout the Hyde Park area.

Maybe some of you have seen us around the church on an occasional Tuesday evening or Saturday morning, either beginning or finishing our workout for the day. For many in our group, this weekend is the culmination of a four-month training process with the completion of either the marathon or half marathon distance our paramount goal.

Fortunately for many of you, the race will be coming right through this community…in fact, literally a block away from the church location on Sunday morning. All race participants appreciate the support you give.

As for where we go after this weekend, we will continue to meet in and around the Hyde Park area, as we are training for the 2015 Hyde Park Blast race on Saturday, June 27. This is a unique community-based 4 mile race that caters to runners and walkers of all levels, as well as including a number of afternoon and evening bike races up-and-down Erie Avenue.

If you have interest in finding out more about us, please go to our website

Joe Brinkmann

Summer Impact- Shaped by God

Nearly every week Pastor Doug leads us in asking God to, “have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way. You are the Potter, I am the clay.”
This year we will be carrying out these words based on the Potter’s
House in Jeremiah 18 with an all new curriculum written by Pastor Cathy. Youth and adults alike will join together to study Scripture, live within deep thought provoking questions, and experience worship – including a praying with clay worship experience led by Andrea Slone. Summer Impact 2015 is sure to soften and mold hearts, both ours and those we serve, in a very memorable way.

The Summer Impact program at Hyde Park Community UMC in Cincinnati is a program set up to invite youth from all over the country to come join us in making an impact on those living in poverty and homelessness in Cincinnati. Appropriately named, Summer Impact offers six week-long experiences that immerse both ourselves and our friends in building relationships that will leave an impact on the hearts and minds of all involved. Following a pattern of Bible Study, Service, and Celebration, each day has a heartbeat of its own while still having a connecting thread to the week’s events. We work alongside nine city ministry partners ministering to children in a camp setting or literacy setting, adults recovering from sickness while experiencing homelessness, alongside a furniture bank distributing furniture to families who have just obtained permanent housing, as well as many other partners and experiences. Throughout the week we have the opportunity to work with ministry partners and take part in a full range of experiences with them. In the evenings we will gather back together and celebrate all that God has done, is doing and will do in and through us via worship and sharing.

A team of five interns will lead Summer Impact this summer, but we need your help! We have the “experts” in place, but as with any ministry of the church, this can’t be a solo endeavor. Whether you have a heart for missions and serving in the inner city or you just love to sit and have a deep conversation with someone else, whether you love to work with your hands or love conversation over good food, we have a place for you in our mission to provide these opportunities for service in the city as well as inner growth and discipline in the faith.

For more information on this year’s Summer Impact, contact Sarah Putman at 979 8162 or or visit our website at Keep your eyes out for future opportunities for specific ways you can connect and make a Summer Impact!

Sarah Putman

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is coming up June 15-19! VBS is a great opportunity to get involved in local outreach – in fact, VBS could be one of the biggest outreaches of Hyde Park Community this year! We are praying that 250 kids will attend VBS. That’s a lot of kids… especially when you think that many will encounter the love of Jesus for the first time at VBS, or make their own faith decision during VBS week. VBS can be just as important to those who give of their time to serve during VBS as it is for the kids attending. Volunteers who help with VBS also build their faith, grow kids’ faith, create church community, nurture relationships and impact the Kingdom of God! Those are great reasons to get involved and serve at VBS this year!

Hyde Park Community UMC as a church can reach out to our neighbors in a BIG way this year for VBS, and to do this, we are going to have VBS in the evenings. Hopefully, this will mean that more children can attend and more adults can volunteer to help with different parts of VBS. Mark your calendars for the week of June 15-19, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. We are hoping to reach our neighbors and community with the message of Jesus – using VBS as a way to invite others to experience the life-changing message of the Gospel, our love for one another and the hospitality of this community of faith.
Please pray for VBS and the children who will come. We are asking God for a fun, safe and incredible faith-challenging week as we learn about God’s love and power. Please also consider how you can help make VBS week a success. There are many different ways to help with VBS from preparing and organizing materials beforehand, to decorating, to serving snacks, to leading and teaching kids. The VBS Committee can get you plugged in and ready to serve during VBS week in any capacity. The VBS Committee is Dana Calhoun, Pam Yeung, Elizabeth Hickerson, Gina Siegel, Rebecca Homan and Sara O’Connor. Please talk to anyone on the VBS Committee about how you can help with VBS!

VBS is FREE this year and registration is now open! Register your kids at

Invite your friends to come to VBS, too! Spread the word about this awesome week of friends, games, crafts, snacks, songs and fun – learning about how God provides, comforts, heals, forgives and loves us forever.

Sara O’Connor
Director of Children and Family Ministry

Why do we “like” each other?

Why Do We “Like” Each Other?

Cell phones, tablets, the internet, GPS,  social media, hashtags, handles, tweets, computers,  smart watches, smart phones, smart cars, iEverything!  It’s amazing that one could ever find time to call a loved one or visit a friend with all of these distractions around us.  We see all of this technological convergence and the “connection” that it gives us to the rest of the world and yet it is becoming more and more common for two people to sit next to each other on a bus, staring at a screen, without ever knowing the other is present.

With the rapid changes that seem to happen overnight, it is hard to wrap one’s mind around all of the technology available to us these days.  One particular part of this new world that I find interesting is social media.  While there are countless social media platforms to choose from, the idea behind them is simple; using a device of your choice you can be a part of an online service that allows you to “connect, like, and share” with one million of your closest friends.  One of the most popular social media platforms is Facebook, which now has over 500 million users, over half of which use the site from their mobile phone.  In seeing this staggering number of users, I constantly find myself wondering how we in the church can use these technologies for ministry.  I also wonder if I myself “like” the idea of being able to connect with 500 million people.

I think of all of the wonderful letters that Paul wrote to help form the early church and wonder if he would have “liked” to use social media in his ministry.  This idea of a “like” in the world of Facebook is simple.  A Facebook user is able to click a “like” button when another user submits something to the site.  This something can be a picture, link, an invitation to an event, or even a simple summary of how the person’s day went in text.  So what does a “like” in this digital sense really mean?  On the surface, a “like” just seems to be a way to derive a metric from public opinion as it is an interaction between two people or entities where one shows interest in another’s content.  I don’t think that Paul would have been very interested in this sort of big data digital patronage.  But what if a “like” is more that just showing others which books you read or products you buy?

Take our church Facebook page for example.  Have  you tried giving us a “like”?  It takes less time than reading this paragraph.  When someone from our congregation or someone outside our walls visits our church Facebook page they can find the same sort of information about our church that you can find in News and Happenings and on our church website.  This provides another, more trendy way for people to see whats going on in the life of the church.  If they then decide to “like” us, they will then get a notice anytime the church posts an update.  This is key.  With the click of a computer mouse or the tap of a finger on a smart phone, someone who has never been in our walls can be connected to a stream of all the wonderful things that we are doing here in our Hyde Park Community.  I think that Paul would have “liked” this tool for communication.  What a way to share the Good News of Jesus to transform lives, Cincinnati, and the World!

While these new technologies are sometimes daunting and confusing, I am excited to see all of the ways that they will help our church to connect and grow with those around us.  I am also excited to see how these tools will help draw our community closer together and to God.  I hope that you will start to “like” it too!


Kyle Tieman
Director of Communication and Multi-Media

Interfaith Hospitality Network at HPCUMC

I, David Peck, chair the Governance Committee for one of HPCUMC’s long-standing mission endeavors: Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN). IHN’s mission is “to provide homeless families with emergency shelter and hospitality through interfaith congregations.” Twenty-eight congregations (Temples, Mosques, Christian and Unitarian) in Greater Cincinnati provide temporary shelter and meals at night during the week. Transportation to and from schools and congregations is provided by IHN. Average temporary housing time at IHN for families is about twenty-seven days. Over 90% do not return to temporary shelters. Finding temporary placement for “families,” including pets, is scarce in our city. There is power in family, as the saying goes, and during the day IHN provides professional case management, addressing securing documents such as social security cards, birth certificates, drivers licenses, monitoring healthcare of all family members, providing self-improvement classes, and other supportive services that allow families to obtain housing and self-sufficiency. The IHN facility at 990 Nassau St. provides laundry, play areas, computers, lockers, showers, pet housing, and classrooms. With overwhelming support through the day facility and much love from congregations, we can help make an unhappy time better!

As many of you know, HPCUMC hosts families for four weeks a year, with our first host week of 2015 wrapping up just a few weeks ago. Sunday night is always the first night of the host week, and the guests usually arrive with some understandable apprehensions: what will this place and people be like; will they be nice; where will we sleep; will I like the food, etc. We try the best we can to make them feel welcome, safe and loved. Here is an excerpt from a letter one of the guests left with me:

“To everyone, volunteers, ministers. Thanks for being there for my family, for feeding us and letting us be able to rest in a warm, safe, clean place. I’m writing cause there are three things I asked your volunteers Mr. Steve, and Mrs. Tracey, for God to help me to stop smoking, a car to be able to transport my kids to school, doctor’s appts and etc. and a nice safe clean home for my kids……Thanks to IHN that blessed us. With our love, Anonymous.” The references to “Mr. Steve” and “Mrs. Tracey” are to Steve and Tracy Payling who graciously served that night with their daughter and several other families from our Childrens’ Ministry.

Kind words of comfort and prayer from total strangers made a difference in this woman’s life; it didn’t cost anything except love and time. We have three more weeks of hosting IHN this year – May 10, August 2, and September 6. We would encourage everyone who has a passion for supporting people in their transition back to permanent housing to join us by donating their time during the week to provide food, spend time with the families in the evenings, serving as the overnight host, etc. If you have interest, contact Sarah Putman at or 871-1345.

David Peck and Laura Warren