Welcome to Pastor Ian and Kelly Strickland!

We are excited to welcome Pastor Ian Strickland and his wife Kelly to our church family! Pastor Ian will officially be starting his ministry here on March 1st at our Nast Community location. Pastor Ian and Kelly are both profoundly excited to step into a new ministerial capacity at Hyde Park Community U.M.C and within the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati.

Ian is coming back to his home state of Ohio from Durham, NC, where he has been living for the past five years. Originally living in Durham for seminary at Duke Divinity School where he earned his Master of Divinity, Ian stayed an additional two and a half years as the director of a prison ministry called Project TURN. Project TURN partners with Duke Divinity School to provide graduate level seminary courses inside prison walls. Half of the students in each class are seminary students, the other half are incarcerated students. During his time at Project TURN, Ian gained valuable insight in how to create spaces where two very different and separated groups of people could encounter each other as peers and classmates. The reconciling and dignifying work of Project TURN will continue to form Ian’s ministry as he enters into ministry in Cincinnati.

For the past three and a half years Ian has also been able to serve in a leadership role at a United Methodist church plant in Durham called CityWell. On a practical level, Ian was able to preach, serve on the leadership team, participate in church formation meetings where they began to shape the identity of the church plant, and stay in a mentored relationship with the pastor of the church. On a deeper level, Ian was able to learn important practices for starting a church seeking to be multi-cultural. Similar to Project TURN, CityWell taught Ian that there is a level of intentionality required in developing a church that seeks to dismantle dividing walls among various groups of people. Across socio-economic, racial, age, gender, and other barriers, Ian began developing practices of humility and empathy on a far deeper level than he had experienced before. Ian is excited to carry these practices with him into a pastoral role.

Everyone is invited to attend a reception to welcome Pastor Ian and Kelly Strickland following the 9:30 am service at Nast Community Church on Sunday, March 1st.

Children and Family Ministry Highlight

My name is Laura Tuzun and I started attending HPCUMC 7 ½ years ago when my daughters were 2 and 5 years old. To me, it only made sense that the place to begin my service to the church was the place that would impact my family the most. As a result, I have been a Sunday School teacher for the past 6 years and a regular volunteer at Vacation Bible School.

To me, the Children’s Ministry is the most vital ministry of the church. Of course I am biased since my girls, now ages 9 and 12, are still a part of it. I believe that our children’s ministry is critical to the growth and spiritual development of both our church and our world. These little ones are the seeds that Jesus has planted, and they are just waiting to be nurtured and loved, so that they can grow to be true disciples of Christ. If we do not take care of them how will they ever grow into the adults of tomorrow that will lead our church. It is up to us to guide them in their journey, no one else can do that for us.

One area of the Children’s Ministry that is particularly near and dear to my heart is the special needs ministry. My daughter, Ela, has Down Syndrome and she is just one of several children in our Sunday School program that have special needs and need extra help on Sunday mornings. These children have so much to offer – just like their peers, but they require one-on-one assistance to get the most out of Sunday School. Giving them the one-on-one time that forms relationships and creates successful learning in Sunday School is something that is difficult when many of the Sunday school classes only have one teacher each week and anywhere from 5-15 students. That is why we are constantly looking for adult or youth volunteers to be a special helper to our kids with special needs in Sunday School. Because I knew that my daughters were cared for here at HPC, we made HPC our church home.

As a parent who has been blessed, not only by being a teacher in Sunday School, but also by the other teachers who have taught my own children, I encourage you to get involved in Children’s Ministry. I love every minute that I get to be with these little ones, and I am sure you will.

Laura Tuzun

Youth Sunday

Today our United Methodist Youth Fellowship and Boy Scouts will lead our services, and we will hear meditations from three students throughout the service. Below you can meet those that will be giving the meditations and read about their future plans!

Kyle Brown has been at HPCUMC since 1st grade, and has been a confirmed member since tenth grade. He currently attends Walnut Hills High School, and plans to study engineering in college. Outside of school, he runs both track and field and cross country, and enjoys skiing, playing soccer, and hanging out with friends. He has attended numerous youth group ski trips, attended last year’s missions trip to Lima, and plans to attend this year’s trip to Haiti.

Sarah Krott is a senior at Indian Hill School. She is planning on majoring in Education but is deciding which college she will attend. While in high school she has participated in Latin Club and Certamen, Key Club, National Honor Society, IH Swim Team, ballet, orchestra, Early Childhood Education Internship and tutoring.

Sarah was baptized and confirmed at HPCUMC. She has been active in Youth Group and Bible Study and is on the Youth Group Advisory Committee. She has attended several mission trips and volunteered at VBS and various church activities. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys babysitting, running a lawn care business and traveling. In addition, she likes to spend time with her friends and play with her dog.

Elena Miyasato is a senior at Walnut Hills High School where she has attended since 7th grade. Elena has been a member of the soccer team for four years and she has earned 3 varsity letters. Off the field, Elena may be found hiking the Appalachian Trail as president of the Backpacking Club. So is also an Indian Culture Club coordinator, a member of the student congress, and the Ultimate Frisbee club at WHHS. Aside from school sports and activities Elena has been a member of UMYF for her entire high school career where she has gone on almost all the groups ski and mission trips..

While she is currently undecided where to attend college, Elena plans to study biomedical engineering. She wants to learn about engineering around the world in order to understand different peoples’ ideas and needs. Elena is looking forward to studying abroad, traveling and wants to continue to play intramural soccer.

This Sunday, at churches nationwide, you’ll see Scouts and Scouters in uniform greeting the congregation, participating in worship services, earning religious awards and conducting service projects to benefit their place of worship. By official BSA designation, Scout Sunday is always the Sunday that falls on or before February 8, Scouting Anniversary Day. Scout Sunday is a chance for faith-based chartered organizations to celebrate and recognize Scouting and for Scout units to show their appreciation for the religious institution that supports their unit. HPCUMC charters Cub Scout Pack 113 and Boy Scout Troop 114. To learn more about scouting at HPCUMC, go to www.hydeparkchurch.org/scouts.

Student Ministry Highlight

The Mission of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church is to share the love of Jesus to transform lives, Cincinnati, and the world. Sometimes the best classroom is not a room with desks and smartboards, but rather immersing oneself in serving others and showing the love of Jesus. The student ministry here at our church has exciting opportunities this summer for students to get out of the classroom and make an impact in our city, our nation, and our world.

In Cincinnati we can serve our neighbors. Many students help with Vacation Bible School. They give time, attention, and love to the children in our church and community. We also have an awesome Summer Impact program where students can interact with our ministry partners all over the city. Summer Impact can be a week long experience or even just a one day opportunity.

In our nation, we realize there are many great needs, and it can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, we can touch lives and offer hope. For our middle school and high school students we are offering a trip to Nashville. We will join other youth groups from around the region at Radius Mission camp. We will worship, play, and serve together.

In our World, we have a team of students who will visit our ministry partners at Faith Academy in Haiti. Haiti is a country stricken with economic poverty, and yet there are incredible men and woman who are offering hope to children and families. We will come alongside them to support and learn from them.

I am a believer that cross-cultural service opportunities, regardless of whether they are across the street or across the globe, are life changing. I am excited to journey with our students this summer. I can only imagine how God will use our students and what He will teach us. If you are a middle school or high school student, go to www.hydeparkcommunity.org/student-missions-2015 for more information on participating.

We desire prayer and financial support from our church family. Will you pray for our teams as they are formed and prepare to go and serve? Please pray that God will prepare our hearts to be compassionate, that God will prepare the fields for our arrival, for team unity, for travel safety, and for flexibility to respond to God’s leading. Could you possibly help financially? Currently we are accepting orders for spring flowers and vegetables. Plan ahead for your gardening and landscaping and place an order and payment by February 22. Order forms are available in the Welcome Center. A portion of the sale will help our students serve in Nashville and Haiti this summer.

Thank you for being a community who has a vision to make an impact in our church, community, and the world.

Ken Miller
Director of Student Ministry

Holy Communion Sunday Prayer

What is on your heart? What wakes you up in the middle of the night?

We come to Christ’s table with thanksgiving and joy for what God has done for us and for his continual invitation to God’s grace, love, peace, joy, healing, and hope. We are united when we come to the table; one with God and one with each other. Unity is good and pleasing in the sight of God. As we take the bread and the cup, we can experience God’s presence in Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.

Experiencing God’s presence can seem a unrealistic dream for those of us currently experiencing suffering. But take heart! Through the research of experts and the words of the scripture, we are reminded that praying with one another leads to answered prayers and healing. In Testing Prayer, Dr. Candi Brown, a scholar who researched and studied answered prayer, mentions that people who have experienced answered prayers more than doubled when they shared their prayers and asked others to pray for them as opposed to “keeping it to themselves.” The words of the Bible remind us that, “If any among us are suffering, they should pray….pray for one another so you may be healed” (James 5:13, 16).

Weary and carrying heavy burdens, we come to Jesus, seeking God in prayer, knowing He will give us rest (Matthew 11:28). On this Holy Communion Sunday, Stephen Ministers and members of our Prayer Team are ready to share God’s love and grace with you in prayer. If you have any prayer concerns or would like to receive a prayer for your loved ones, we are here to pray for you and with you. It is beautiful and powerful when God’s children come together in unity and share our burdens with each other. I believe that’s a sign of healthy church.

Our prayer team is privileged to pray with you today. It is our desire to be faithful, living out in action the words from James and Matthew, we are not merely trying to be or appear more spiritual. Faithfulness is about action – on the part of those seeking the Lord, and on those willing to join alongside those needing healing in prayer. All prayers are confidential. May the Holy Spirit stir our hearts and minds with courage as we come to receive God’s grace through the ministry team. Amen.

Rev. SueLee Jin

Walk To Emmaus

As you begin the New Year, prayerfully consider attending an Emmaus Walk in 2015!

The Emmaus story is found in the Gospel of Luke (24: 13-35). It’s an awesome story of two disciples or friends walking along the road sharing their hearts’ deepest concerns about the death of Christ. An unknown stranger comes along who explains the scriptures as they walked. At the end of a long day the stranger took bread, blessed, broke and shared it with the two disciples. Their eyes were then opened and they recognized the risen Christ and then rushed back to Jerusalem to share the good news with others.

Through the years several hundred Hyde Park church members have experienced the Walk to Emmaus. When you attend you’ll come to a fuller understanding of God’s grace and will experience it in Christian community. Emmaus is a discipleship model that transforms lives for God’s kingdom work in the world.

Who should go? Members of a local church who desire to strengthen their spiritual lives or experience renewal. Someone searching for unanswered questions about their faith. A person who is willing to dedicate their everyday life to God and understands that being a Christian involves responsibility.

What happens on Emmaus? It is a three-day short course on Christianity where you will enjoy singing, learning, laughing, worshipping, reflecting, praying, participate in small table groups, and daily celebrate Holy Communion. The discussions are around a number of talks by laity and clergy on the theme of God’s grace and experienced in Christian love through the Emmaus community.

What happens after Emmaus? Everyone is encouraged to become more engaged in ministry in their local church and become more active as a disciple of Christ in their everyday life. To nurture this process of discipleship persons can become involved in a small group for accountability.

Each person considering to attend the Walk to Emmaus needs to have a sponsor. These are persons who have already attended a walk and are willing to support you as a friend on your walk with Christ. The next Men’s Walk is February 19-22 and the next Women’s Walk is March 19-22.

For more information about Emmaus or seeking to find an Emmaus sponsor, please contact Sharon Michaelson at 761-5571 or at moegge@fuse.net.

It is my hope you will prayerfully consider attending the Walk to Emmaus in the New Year. It might be a natural next step on your spiritual journey. Just maybe you will recognize the risen Christ anew in 2015!

In Christ’s Love,
Dave Weaver

Job Search Focus Group: Hope, Help & Healing for the Unemployed

Unemployment is tough…it’s an emotional roller coaster …it harms self-esteem…it’s confusing and frustrating. It’s also a time for self-discovery – for resurrecting dreams – for finding Purposeful Employment.

Advice – Accountability – Achievement
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.
JSFG Graduate Testimonies
“I can honestly say I used a piece of everything at some point. From the Strength Finder workshops, through the resume writing workshops, to networking, and ending using what I learned in the negotiation workshops.”

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

“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.”

Join us Mondays @ Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.
8:00 am Welcome Orientation for 1st timers.
9:00 am Advice, Networking, Speakers, Seminars.
11:30 am Workshops: Strengths, Resume, Networking, Interviewing, Negotiating, Financial and more.

For additional information go to the JSFG website,
www.JobSearchFocusGroup.com.

Bob Pautke

The Parlor Group

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.

Most 12-Step meetings start or end with the Serenity Prayer. Learning to ACCEPT myself for whom I was/am and to ACCEPT “people, places and things exactly as they are” was key to finding the necessary strength and courage to face my own alcoholism. I had to become comfortable with “I am Mary and I am an alcoholic.” It was a very difficult concept to embrace, but essential to sustaining sobriety.

When I moved here in 2008, I was dialoguing with one of my AA peers about our mutual spiritual stagnation. She elected to go back to meetings; I decided to return to Church. I also became a part of the Parlor Group.

Anyone’s journey to sobriety and serenity is not easy; it takes willingness and courage – and requires work. It is, however, a true example of “when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear.” I am very grateful for the people who have been part of my recovery. Although I have been sober for more than 25 years, much of it has been involved, as stated in Alcoholics Anonymous’ BIG BOOK, participating in a spiritual fellowship, that together, “trudges” the happy road to destiny. Sobriety, like spirituality, requires ongoing effort. AA’s eleventh step states “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

The Parlor Group initially explored the relationship between 12-step programs and the Bible. A 12-step Bible Study Guide was developed; the curriculum is inclusive for any faith and/or any 12-step program. The Parlor Group also evolved into a core group duplicating the anonymity and confidentiality practiced in any of the 12-step programs. The format of listening and “thank you for sharing” provides a safe environment to provide and/or receive spiritual strength and support.

In January 2015, the Parlor Group will continue to meet every Friday Night. However, the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month will be focused on “Grief,” utilizing Julie Yarbrough’s book entitled Beyond the Broken Heart.
It is very apropos that the Parlor Group aligns itself with “grief.” When one elects to become sober from any substance or practice, it is “losing” a very important part of their existence. Although the loss of a loved one is physically different, the use of a spiritual foundation and “accepting the loss” is something that can be shared.

Currently, I am the only group member that has an issue with alcohol. The 12-steps and acceptance are a spiritual framework that can enhance anyone’s daily life. These meetings have been and are always open to anyone.
For more information contact Lisa Rabinowitz at 979-8192 or Mary Meish at 375-2327 or mmeisch12@msn.com.

Mary Meisch

Stephen Ministry

Very soon after my husband Neil and I became members of this church, I learned about a ministry in which lay people could be trained to provide a warm space for listening to and caring for another person during a time of personal crisis or upheaval.

That program, called Stephen Ministry, appealed to me for several reasons. I was a counselor and a mediator, but this volunteer opportunity was different. The requirements were a commitment to training and supervision, an ability to listen without judgment, and regular visits with a care receiver until he/she felt ready to move ahead independently. Confidentiality is valued above all.

An oft-heard phrase to describe the program is that God is the Cure Giver, Stephen Ministers are the Care Givers who assist pastors in congregational care.

Over the years I have experienced stressful periods and indecision about how to respond in ways that would help healing, for myself and the others involved. Even as I prayed for answers I also received encouragement in sharing my situation with another whose faith and Christian practices I respected. Together we experienced God’s love.

Stephen Ministers do not provide answers. They are trained over several months on how to provide a safe place in which two people listen together to God’s direction. In that setting the care receiver no longer needs to feel isolated or fearful. I have been blessed as a Stephen Minister to know young mothers, midlife career changers, and women facing health issues that constrain their daily lives. Each pairing has been a privilege beyond measure. God has been at the center of every meeting.

Stephen Ministers have experienced many of the daily challenges that can seem overwhelming. We are privileged to be called to walk with another through a difficult time, providing comfort and consistent care.
If you would like to know more about this ministry, please contact Bonnie Stowell at twinklingb@yahoo.com or Rev. Dave Weaver at dweaver@hpcumc.org.

Sarah Thorburn

Madisonville Education and Assistance Center

MEAC provides vital assistance to people who reside in Madisonville (45227 zip code) and surrounding communities (45226, 45208, 45209 zip codes). Through the support of our sponsors, donors and volunteers, MEAC offers a variety of programs focused on families and individuals within our service area.

MEAC has numerous programming set up to meet the needs of its clients. MEAC’s Programs are:
Basic Material Needs: Choice Food Pantry, Household Items, Clothing, Community Meals
Financial Assistance: Rent, Utilities, Birth Certificates, Bus Tickets
Education: Money Talk$ Financial Program, Early and Adult Literacy Programs, Getting Ahead self-sufficiency Program
Connections: Application Assistance for Public Benefits (through Ohio Benefit Bank), Referrals
Holiday Programs: Thanksgiving Baskets, Happy Holiday Shop, Santa’s Secret Workshop, Holiday Parties

MEAC’s Mission is to offer help and hope to our neighbors in crisis by meeting their basic needs and providing education that enables them to navigate their way out of poverty.

Through the generosity of our donors and volunteers in 2013, MEAC was able to provide:
3,495 families (almost 7,200 people) with food from our Choice Food Pantry
3,263 people (1,222 children) warm, home-cooked dinners through our Monday Night Community Dinner meal program
2,863 people with clothing and household items from our MEAC Boutique
328 families with a Thanksgiving meal
190 individual with financial assistance
85 children with early literacy education

Every year, MEAC has been able to reach more families through new and growing programs. In 2014, MEAC, in partnership with The Literacy Network, launched a new Basic Reading Program for adults. These specialized classes teach basic reading skills free of charge to people with profound reading difficulties.

MEAC would love for you to be a part of the work that they are doing! You may get involved by donating, volunteering and staying connected. If you are interested in helping or would like more information, please contact Sarah Putman at sputman@hpcumc.org or 871-1345.

Carolyn Moseley