Over-the-Rhine Campus Re-Launch

The Warehouse, our second campus in Over-the-Rhine, under the leadership of Pastor Sherman Bradley and Pastor Sadell Bradley, resumed worship in OTR December 8.  This is a “soft launch” that paves the way to the public launch on Easter Sunday, April 12.

Pastors Sadell and Sherman share that the name The Warehouse was “a Holy Spirit download”.  They state: “A warehouse is a large building where raw materials or manufactured goods may be stored before their export for distribution.  According to Scripture, God is our Manufacturer, the Maker of Heaven and earth. (Psalm 95:6, 121:2)  God has created and formed us in God’s image and after God’s likeness. (Gen. 1:26)  We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for the good works God has prepared for us. (Ephesians 2:10).  The Warehouse will be a place where we will gather as our raw selves and be shaped by the Word of God, in the presence of God, along with a loving community.  We will be equipped and deployed for the LORD’S Kingdom purposes, with leaders going in and out spreading the Gospel in places where it has not been.  (Romans 15:20) . . .  The Warehouse is a multi-ethnic, inter-generational, multi-class community that will thrive in the heart of OTR, but have impact beyond the walls of 1310 Race Street and even beyond Cincinnati.”

The re-launch of a worshiping congregation in the Washington Park neighborhood of OTR is a God lead, spirit-filled, disciple making partnership with God in God’s acts of new creation; and YOU can be a vital part of the success of God’s transforming presence through The Warehouse!

Here’s how you can help:

1.  Pray – Pray for wisdom, and strength for Pastor’s Sadell and Sherman, the Leadership of The Warehouse, and the Leadership of HPCUMC.

2.  Attend Worship – I invite all of us to worship at The Warehouse at least once between now and April 1.  By doing so we each are able to share, from our experience, the beauty of The Warehouse’s mission and mission.  In addition, we seek folks who are able to committee to worshiping at The Warehouse once a month; weekly for the next 3 months; and weekly for the next 6 months.  The Warehouse worship time is 11:00 and typically is an hour and half worship service.

3.  Serve – Pastor’s Sadell and Sherman will form a “Launch Team” which will identify pre-launch opportunities, Easter Sunday Launch opportunities, and post-launch opportunities to serve.  When the opportunities arise, and the spirit leads, sign up to serve.

This is an exciting time in the life of HPCUMC/The Warehouse as together we strive to be a Multi-Ethnic, Inter-Generational, Multi-Class faith Community.  May what we do honor God!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

  

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

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

Thanksgiving Litany: 1 Chronicles 16: 23-34

As we prepare our hearts and minds for Thanksgiving with friends and family I offer the following litany to center on God’s faithfulness, with gratitude.

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!

Share the news of God’s saving work every single day!

Declare God’s glory among the nations;

God’s wondrous works among all people.

For great is the Lord, and worthy of praise!

God is to be revered above all other gods.

For the gods of the nations are merely idols,

but it is God who created the heavens!

Greatness and grandeur surround God,

strength and beauty are in God’s dwelling.

O nations of the world, recognize the Lord!

Recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.

Give to God the glory God deserves!

Bring your offering and come to worship God.

Bow down to the Lord in God’s holy splendor!

Tremble before God, all the earth!

For God set the world firmly in place; it won’t be shaken.

Let the heavens be glad! Let the earth rejoice!

Let the nations say, “The Lord rules!”

Let the sea and everything in it roar!

Let the fields and their crops burst forth in joy!

Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise before the Lord!

For God is coming to establish justice on earth!

Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,

God’s faithful love endures forever.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings, grounded in unconditional love!  See you in church!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Are We Able?

When Jesus was confronted and questioned by the religious elite about which law/commandment was the greatest (there were about 897 individual laws at that point) Jesus proclaims that the entirety of the law is summed up in two, “to love God with your whole heart and your whole soul, and your whole mind (Mark adds strength); and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40) Earlier in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus proclaims in the “sermon on the mount”: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)

The Christ comes to fulfill the law: Love God and love those God loves.  In doing so Christ invites us to follow.  Are we able?  In answering the question one 20th Century theologian invites us to consider, “Remember, as soon as your ‘love’ needs or wants a reward in return, you have backed away from Divine Love, which is why even our common notion of a ‘reward in heaven’ can keep us from the actual love of God or neighbor!  A pure act of love is its own reward, and needs nothing in return.  Love is shown precisely in an eagerness to love.”

Let’s do it!  Let us answer the call to follow Jesus in this way of love. Let us embrace a love for “the other” that reflects how we have been loved by Christ.  Let us embrace a love for our enemies, and those who persecute us, that reflects the unmerited, undeserving love of God.  As we embrace our own belovedness, let us embrace all God has created and calls beloved!  To this end we are in this together; it is a privilege to serve in ministry with you, see you in church.

Through Christ,

Pastors Cathy and Doug Johns

Members and Friends of Hyde Park Community:

Peter writes in his first Epistle: “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you have received.” (1 Peter 4:10) We celebrate how God has been at work through the ministry and mission of Hyde Park Community this past year.  We look forward to 2020 with expectation as we embrace “the manifold grace of God,” and “serve one another with whatever gift each of us have received.”

We invite you to prayerfully consider how you will support the mission and ministry of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church in 2020. Through your commitment we move closer to fulfilling our mission and vision, and in doing so express our gratitude for the “manifold grace of God”.

There are three ways to make your 2020 commitment: Through your REALM account (online); in Worship, Commitment Sunday, October 27; or Mail/drop off your commitment card at the Church office.

We encourage you to join us in committing the “tithe” (10% of your income) in 2020.  If you are unable to commit to tithing, we encourage you to take a percentage step towards a tithe.  If you presently give 2% of your annual income, take a step forward and give 3 or 4%.  We pray with you for God’s guidance as you make your decision to invest in the ministry of Jesus Christ at HPCUMC.

Through Christ,

Pastors Cathy and Doug Johns

Our Invitation

In 1927 the following became the invitation and mission of HPCUMC: “To all who mourn and need comfort – To all who are tired and need rest – To all who are friendless and want  friendship – To all who are lonely and want companionship – To all who are homeless and want sheltering love – To all who pray, and to all who do not, but ought – To all who sin and need a Saviour and to who – so – ever will, this church opens wide its doors, and in the name of Jesus, our Lord, bids WELCOME!”  As a vibrant faith community in 2019 our “Invitation” remains the same and our mission reframed, “To share the love of Jesus to transform Lives, Cincinnati and the World.”

We are grateful for your generosity over this past year that has allowed our ministries at HPC to flourish.  Because you gave:

  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, transforming lives, Cincinnati, and the world!

Through Christ,

Pastors Cathy and Doug

Hyde Park Community Task Force on a Way Forward

The Task Force on a Way Forward has been hard at work listening to, and soliciting individual thoughts, hopes and dreams of the congregation.  On October 3, the Task Force met to work on a recommendation to the October 14th Servant Leadership Board meeting.  Thank you for your participation in this process.  In addition to the listening sessions, and the congregational survey, Hyde Park community sent a delegation of 3 people (Al Painter, Servant Leadership Board Chair, Pastor Cathy Johns, and Pastor Doug Johns) to the Leadership Institute 2019, hosted by The Rev. Adam Hamilton, The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leewood, Kansas.

Over 2,500 United Methodist, from across the USA gathered to worship together, hear proposals forwarded to the 2020 General Conference and had dialogue with the “United Methodist Next” leadership with regard to plans leading up to, and beyond the 2020 General Conference.  Over the course of 3 days, 4 major proposals going to General Conference were discussed:  The UMC Next Plan; The Indianapolis Plan; The Connectional Table Plan; and the N.E.W. Plan (Details of each plan can be found at www.umnews.org).  Speakers included: The Rev. Adam Hamilton, author and columnist David Brooks, and a number of U.M. Bishops.  There was a panel of clergy and laity who presented historical and cultural pressure points the United Methodist Church has faced and overcome: Pre and Post Slavery, The Civil Rights era, the Ordination of Women and Women in leadership.

The Conference helped to bring clarity for the 2,500 attendees (including this Pastor) regarding a healthy, vibrant, and vital path forward as the church (both the UMC and HPC) strives to be faithful to God’s call to partner with God in God’s acts of New Creation and Resurrection Living. I invite, and encourage, you to go to www.sharechurch.com , click on “Leadership Institute 2019” and listen to Adam Hamilton’s opening remarks (Wednesday evening), and David Brooks (Thursday afternoon).

As we strive to chart a path forward that is welcoming, inclusive, and diverse I invite you to pray for wisdom as we strive to mirror to the world God’s love; loving as we have been loved. As we live into God’s preferred future, additional resources available to you can be found at the following:  llumc.org/umscholars.  May God’s blessings abound as we participate in bringing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

  

HVAC Pipe Replacement to Begin in Refectory

Hyde Park Community is a beautiful, awe inspiring, and historic facility through which ministry extends into the community, our city, nation and world.  Caring for our facilities, The Property Team, of the Servant Leadership Board, has contracted with Peck Hannaford + Briggs to replace the HVAC pipes in the refectory (Phase 1 of 3); and Central Insulation Systems, Inc. (CIS, www.centralinsulation.com) to abate the asbestos that lies in the pathway of the pipe work.

CIS will begin the asbestos abatement on October 1, with an anticipated completion date of October 25.  During this time the Refectory will be closed to the public.  For a building the age of HPC, asbestos abatement is common and safe.

CIS will work on the abatement Monday – Friday, Noon – 8: 30pm, in compliance with all EPA regulations. All ministries and programs will continue, with alternatives/adjustments for those who use the refectory.  In addition, as a second layer of safety, the Property Team is in the process of securing a bid from Sierra Environment Group to have oversight of, and test weekly, the air quality surrounding the refectory.

Upon the completion of the asbestos abatement Peck Hannaford + Briggs will begin the HVAC pipe replacement.  The pipe replacement is expected to take three weeks with an anticipated completion date of November 15.  During this phase of the work the Refectory will be closed to the public.  In addition Peck, Hannaford + Briggs will create 4 zones, installing controls that will allow us to adjust temperature in one zone without effecting another.   

As we begin this work we appreciate your patience and understanding as it relates to the inaccessibility of the refectory.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  May God’s blessings abound as HPCUMC continues to be a transforming presence in our community, nation, and world.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Property Team Projects Update

Hyde Park Community is a beautiful, awe inspiring, and historic facility through which ministry extends into the community, our city, nation and world.  As is the case with all “old homes”, there are maintenance items that can no longer be deferred, and must be addressed.

The Property Team, of the Servant Leadership Board, has been hard at work seeking to address two major projects this year, and we are on the verge of commencing work on both:

1.   Cleaning, repair, and sealing of the exterior stone.  We are in the final stages of reviewing bids from Hart Restoration and Hummel Restoration.

2.  Replacement of the HVAC pipes.  Over the last couple of years, we have been having issues with pipes breaking every time we switched from air conditioning to heat and from heat to air conditioning.  The time has come to replace the HVAC pipes throughout our facilities.  Phase one of this project will be the 1927 portion of the building.  However, prior to the start of the project we will need to remediate asbestos.  We are in the final stages of reviewing the preferred bid from CSI (asbestos abatement), and Peck Hannaford + Briggs for phase one of the pipe replacement.   

Additional projects that will need to be completed in the next 2-3 years include:

1.  Sanctuary Stain Glass Windows.  We have recently been made aware of  two issues with the stain glass in the sanctuary:  the original mortar glaze/caulking is beginning to crack and fall out.  In addition, some of the windows are exhibiting buckling/warping.  We are in the process of firming up quotes from Stain Glass Restoration companies.

2.   HVAC Pipe Replacement, Phase 2 and 3.  The remaining pipes outside of the scope of Phase 1 will be replaced.

This past July we communicated to the congregation the above needs, asking for your financial assistance.  As of September 4th, we have raised $120,069 for the Property Team projects.  Thank You!  Your support of these projects guarantees the viability of Hyde Park Community’s mission and ministry.  If you have been planning to help support this need, we look forward to hearing from you.  If you have yet to make the decision to help, I welcome the opportunity to have conversation with you and answer your questions.  All checks/envelopes need to be clearly marked: Property Team Projects.  It is a privilege to be in ministry with you!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug