Introducing the Warehouse… formerly Over-the-Rhine Community Church

The name The Warehouse was a Holy Spirit download. 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) He has created and formed us in His image and after His likeness. (Gen. 1:26)  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for the good works He’s 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.

Multi-Ethnic Martin Luther King, Jr. said that it’s appalling that 11:00 am on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America. That was in 1960 and 59 years later, 86.3% of US churches are still mono-ethnic. This is the deepest divide in our country, city, and unfortunately in the Church and does not reflect the teaching of Jesus. We believe that UNITY in the Body is the prayer that Jesus prayed for (John 17:20-23). In Heaven worshippers from every tribe, language, people and nation whom Jesus has purchased with His precious blood will gather before the throne. (Rev. 7:9; 5:9)

Inter-Generational – The US church also separates by generation, particularly with music (traditional and contemporary) and experiences. Scripture expresses the value that is present in all generations: the strength of the young and the wisdom of the old. (Prov. 20:29) It declares that, “One generation will commend your mighty works to another; they will tell of Your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)

Multi-Class – The work of Jesus and His Apostles did much to close the class and status gaps of the day: ethnic and racial, class and gender. These are still prevalent in our society. The Word humbles and challenges those in positions of power, and dignifies the weak and disenfranchised. There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28) We are blessed when we consider the poor. (Psalm 41:1-3)  Those that are rich in this world have a responsibility to share and do good works. (1 Tim. 6:17-19)

That’s a synopsis of The Warehouse. We believe that God will add to the church daily those who are being saved, (Acts 2:47) and we solicit your prayers for more laborers for this ripe harvest. (Matthew 9:37-8)

-Pastor Sadell Bradley

  

Where Fred Got it Right

Fred Rogers, the star of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, reminded us of the importance of community.  After last week’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we struggle to get our bearings.  News of multiple deaths, injured bodies, and countless victims ripped across lives just as tornadoes tore through the northern edge of Dayton just weeks ago.

Mr. Rogers was a bearer of light and hope.  He was interested in building healthy lives and strong communities.  Some of my favorite quotes of Fred Rogers are below:

“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.  That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors – in our own way, each of us is a giver and a receiver.”

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero.”

“Listening is where love begins:  listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”

Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church is committed to being a loving neighbor to people in need.  Giving ourselves away, we seek to bless those around us.  I celebrate the many ways our faith community extends its love to our neighbors, including:

Summer Jam, August 22, a free concert where we invite our neighbors to come and enjoy music on the church lawn

Free Vacation Bible School each summer, touching more than 300 lives with God’s love

Inter-Faith Hospitality, a ministry where we open our doors to families in need of shelter and food

Stephen Ministers, trained lay-care givers, who listen to people in times of change, grief, and loss

Grief and Loss Seminars, inviting our neighbors to find healing in seasons of pain

I am thankful to call you my neighbor.  Let us hold onto God’s hand and one another’s hands during these troubling times.

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

Thank You for Caring!

We all are aware of the devastation left behind in our local communities from the tornadoes of late May, early June.  Many of the families impacted were low-income families struggling to make ends meet and now find themselves struggling with the despair of a natural disaster.  The West Ohio Conference and our District Superintendent has asked HPCUMC to commit $10,000 to the relief effort (which will be on going for years to come).  In consultation with the chair of our Mission and Outreach Team, it has been agreed to use the Flick Endowment (designated to help people with basic needs) to match dollar for dollar, up to $5,000, to meet the $10,000 challenge.

Your passion for walking alongside the broken hearted, those living under the weight of discouragement, and offering hope in the face of hopelessness has become a real presence to thousands.  Through your generosity, we have answered the call to help with this multi-year recovery.  The true heart and character of Hyde Park Community shines like a beacon of light for those who literally and figuratively found/find themselves walking in darkness.

As of this writing we successfully raised $5,000, and the Flick Endowment Fund matched the $5,000 for a total of $10,000.  Because you gave:

  Water and food were provided to those suddenly left without.

  Temporary housing is provided.

  Restoration and renovation of homes has begun.

  Families are reunited.

  Communities rebuilt.

  Hope fanned from a flicker to a flame.

  People know they are loved.

Thank you for your support for this initiative of restoration.  The body of Christ is alive and well in places we have never been and uplifting people we do not know their names, but have encountered the living Christ!  May God’s blessings abound as we continue to live into God’s call to partner with God in God’s acts of new creation.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

  

Join Us in Welcoming our Brothers and Sisters from Samara, Russia

Over the past five years I have been to Samara, Russia twice.  Both trips were transformative, exceeding my expectations of deepening our relationships with one another, and solidifying our partnership, as together we bring alive the words of Jesus, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

The Samara United Methodist Church Pastors and Laity will be with us July 24 – August 1!  For over 25 years Hyde Park Community UMC has had a relationship with Samara UMC.  Over the years teams from Samara and HPCUMC have visited the US and Russia.  Six of our brothers and sisters from Samara will be with us July 24 – August 1.

Today, Pastor Natalia will preach followed by a meal in the refectory.  The congregation is invited to stay after worship to break bread and fellowship.  In addition, you are invited to join us for any and all of the following events:

Monday, July 29, 7:00, Worship at HPCUMC

Tuesday, July 30, 9:00-3:00, Wesley Community Services

Thursday, August 1, 8:30 -2:00, Air Force Museum, Dayton

If you would like more information about joining us for any of the above contact Pastor Kate, Pastor Doug, or Kevin Betts.

May God’s blessings abound, see you in Church!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Love that Descends

He loved her, without a doubt.

Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher of the 19th Century, wrote of a dilemma faced by a king who loved a humble maiden.  He was a great king and could have whatever he wanted.  Foreign states trembled at his power.  Every statesman feared his wrath.  All would send ambassadors to his wedding.

He realized that if he asked the members of his court about following through on marrying this humble woman that they would respond, “Your majesty is about to confer an honor upon the maiden for which she can never be sufficiently grateful her whole life long!”

The dilemma was simple:  Even if she did want to come with him and join him in marriage, he could never be sure that she loved him for himself.  He wrestled and agonized in his mind.

Finally he decided. If she could not come up to his high station in life and be sure to love him freely, he must descend to hers.  He must descend stripped of all royalty and power, for only then would he know that his beloved loved him freely, as equals.

The king made his choice:  he laid aside all his power and privileges and came to her as her equal, for the sole purpose of winning her love.

Thirty-five years ago this Sunday, July 21, I married my best friend, Doug Johns. Every day I thank God for his love, his laughter, and the joy that he brings to my heart and soul.  Words cannot express my gratitude for his presence in my life and in the life of our family.

May God richly bless you and those whom you love.

Your Servant in Christ,

Pastor Cathy

Summer Is Finally Here!

Summer is Finally Here!

School is not in session. Preschoolers through seniors in high school have graduated. What an exciting time of celebration in their accomplishments. And “thank you teachers” too.

It also means summer vacations and family reunions. Travel safely. Take time to enjoy swimming pools, amusement parks, community festivals, and backyard cookouts. Summer is a great time to relax and be renewed.

Our Sunday morning and mid-week classes take a little break in the summer. However, every summer for many years here at Hyde Park Community UMC, Vacation Bible School (VBS) happens. It is a big part of reaching out into our community and opening wide the doors of the church. Dana Calhoun and Pam Pilger and a working team of parents, children and youth have been hard at work for months preparing for this amazing outreach church event.

The next two weeks the Refectory, Sanctuary, Little Theater, Welcome Center and Hallways will be decorated with an African theme. This includes a host of massive animal-like figures, a waterfall, a desert area, wall paintings, jungle music and scenes. The theme is titled “Roar: Life Is Wild, God Is Good!” We will have 150-175 children and volunteers in Vacation Bible School. So, “summer school” will be in session here at Hyde Park Community UMC.

We continue our sermon series theme this week on “Waking to God’s Wonders.” This Sunday we will focus primarily on the “Wonder of Prayer.” During the summer and all seasons of the year we might think of Hyde Park Community UMC being a school or a “House of Prayer.”

If you get a chance after worship this Sunday, I encourage everyone to walk the church and pray. Pray for all the children, parents and volunteers who will be here the next two weeks. Pray VBS will be filled with God’s Spirit and all will experience God’s goodness and grace.

Blessings,

Pastor Dave Weaver

Join Us In Welcoming our Russian Brothers and Sisters

The Samara United Methodist Church Pastors and Laity will be with us July 24 – August 1st!  For over 25 years, Hyde Park Community UMC has had a relationship with Samara UMC.  Over the years, teams from Samara and HPCUMC have visited the U.S. and Russia. Six of our brothers and sisters from Samara will be with us July 24 – August 1.

Mark your calendars! Sunday, July 28th, Pastor Natalia will preach followed by a meal in the refectory.  The congregation is invited to stay after worship to break bread and fellowship with our brothers and sisters from Samara. Meat and drinks will be provided. If you can help, we’re asking folks to bring an appetizer, salad or dessert to share.  A free will offering will be taken in support of UMW (United Methodist Women) missions.

You can RSVP one of three ways:

The HPCUMC website– Go to our website and find the registration link in the scrolling banner.

Friendship Pad in Worship– As you fill out the friendship sheet in worship, write in the comment section: I will attend the July 28 dinner.

Call the church office– Plan now to join us for this wonderful time of fellowship and learning after church on July 28.

In addition you are invited to join us for any and all of the following events:

Thursday, July 25, 6:30 pm, Worship at OTRCC/Summer Impact

Friday, July 26, 10:00 am-4:00 pm, Wesley Chapel Mission Center

Monday, July 29, 7:00 pm, Worship at HPCUMC

Tuesday, July 30, 9:00 am -3:00 pm, Wesley Community Services

Thursday, August 1, 8:30 am -2:00 pm Air Force Museum, Dayton

If you would like more information about joining us for any of the above contact Pastor Kate, Pastor Doug, or Kevin Betts.

Thank you in advance for being a part of showing our guests hospitality.  May God’s blessings abound, see you in Church!

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

A Time to Be Silent

In the book of Ecclesiastes we read that there is a time for every purpose under heaven.  Included in the list is: “a time to be silent and a time to speak.”   

Here are a few of my favorite quotes on listening:

“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich

“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” Dalai Lama

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Winston Churchill

In February of 2019, General Conference voted to tighten the ban on gay clergy and same-sex unions.  For some, the vote brought a time of relief and joy; for some, the vote brought disappointment and pain.  The global United Methodist Church has wrestled with questions of human sexuality since 1972.  It seems that attempts to bring unity are struggling; divisions seem to grow deeper between United Methodists who hold different biblical and theological perspectives.

Beginning on July 7, the HPC Way Forward Task Force, chaired by Dr. Al Painter, will hold six listening sessions.  Gathered around tables, church members will be invited to listen respectfully to the responses of others without judgment or comment.   People will be asked to share their thoughts and feelings after the vote in February as well as their thoughts regarding the response of Hyde Park Community UMC.  People will also be invited to speak of their hopes for the future.  All views and perspectives are welcomed and valued.  The Task Force will record all comments without identifying the speaker, seeking to understand our congregation as we stand at this intersection.   Laity will lead the gatherings; clergy will participate in the de-brief meetings following each listening session.

Please read the Listening Session article that is included in this issue of News and Happenings for more details.  Dates for the six sessions are listed. You are invited to join the Task Force for these holy conversations.

Thank you, in advance, for having both the courage to speak up and the courage to listen.

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

Our Life Together

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Known as the “Great Commission”, these words become for all who follow Jesus our pathway of “discipleship”.

Notice the key components of the discipleship pathway: 1. “Go”- Leave that which is comfortable.  2. “Baptize” – Enter the flow of the Trinity, the incarnation of God’s love, where we are reminded we are a child of God, beloved by God.  3. “Teach” – What we’ve been commanded; what are we commanded? “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn. 13:34-35)

As Hyde Park Community/Over the Rhine Community United Methodist Church, one church, two locations, we strive to be a faith community on this “discipleship pathway”.  Therefore, I take this opportunity to update you on three important happenings in our life together.

Samara United Methodist Church Visit. For over 25 years Hyde Park Community UMC has had a relationship with Samara UMC.  Over the years teams from Samara and HPCUMC have visited the US and Russia.  From July 24 – August 1st, six of our brothers and sisters from Samara will be with us.  Details are in process, look for more information in the near future. Mark your calendar: Sunday, July 28, Pastor Natalia will preach followed by a meal in the refectory.  Plan to join us for this wonderful time of fellowship and learning after church on July 28th.

HPCUMC Way Forward Listening Sessions. In this issue of News and Happenings you will find an article about the Listening Sessions our Way Forward Task Force will be holding. We need to hear from you as our beloved faith community charts a path forward, fulfilling the Great Commission.

Over The Rhine Community Church. The Servant Leadership Board has been in conversation with the Lead Team of OTRCC to determine the best path forward for fulfilling the Great Commission.  As of July 1, Zak McIntyre, will no longer be with us as the pastor of OTRCC.  The Servant Leadership Board will develop a time-line for the months ahead, and currently is in conversation with a clergy couple regarding the possibilities of bringing leadership to our second campus faith community.

HPCUMC fully embraces our partnership with God in God’s acts of new creation. There will be more information shared about the above in the days to come, until then if you would like to discuss any of the above please drop by my office.

Through Christ,

Pastor Doug

Why God Made Puppies

On April 1, I was introduced to three puppies (from a litter of 12) that were seized from their owners in court because of neglect.  A rescue organization had pre-approved me and I was invited to come and meet these three puppies at a dog park in Newtown.  As I sat on the floor getting to know them, one of the puppies kept coming over to sit on my lap.  I anticipated adopting a female, but there was something about this male puppy; he seemed very loving and affectionate.   

The woman who was assisting the rescue organization asked me to pose for an “adoption day” photo.  Several minutes later I was driving away with a puppy on my lap.  He looked up at me with his caring brown eyes and seemed so incredibly happy.

I chose to name the puppy “Caspian,” after Prince Caspian of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Prince Caspian was once a refugee who summoned the kings and queens back to Narnia to restore the land and save the people.

As I played with Caspian I noticed something change in me:  I was laughing more.  His love and energy started to bless me in a way that is hard to explain.  A few days later I saw a bumper sticker on a car with a paw print.  It read: “Who rescued who?”

Caspian, the lab/golden mix puppy, may not realize it, but God has been working through him to rescue me.  When I am tempted to take things too seriously, Caspian wags his whole body, not just his tail, and makes me smile!  When life feels “heavy,” managing some of the challenges that come my way, both personally and as a United Methodist pastor in this season of “unknowns,” Caspian’s presence delivers unbridled joy and I find myself laughing out loud.  This bouncing, happy puppy is indeed a conduit for the joy of the Lord!  Nehemiah was right:  “The joy of the Lord is my strength!”

Our God, who created this wonderful world and all creatures within it, wants us to be filled with love, joy, and peace.  May we open ourselves to all the ways that God wants to shower us with blessings!

Peace,

Pastor Cathy