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

Born Again Irish Beach Brings Hope

An Irish beach disappeared in 1984.  At Dooagh Beach, the sand on Achill Island was washed away by storms, leaving only rocks and rock pools. Right around Easter in 2017 a strange tide came and deposited hundreds of the tons of sand where the former beach stretched about 300 meters.

The locals describe the event as “miraculous.”  The renewal of the beach is inspiring.  The local tourism board explained why people are flocking to the resurrected beach:

“We live in a dark world these days so I think that is why there has been so much interest in Dooagh beach since the story broke. For something like our beach to come back gives people hope. It’s a good news story and one where nature has done something benign for a change.  The title of J.J. McNamara’s article says it all:   “‘It gives people hope’: born-again Irish beach captures world’s attention.”

This Advent we will study the ancient themes of a season that early Christians considered a “mini-Lent.”   This Sunday we begin our sermon series, A Charlie Brown Christmas, with the message “Longing for Hope.”  Invite a friend to join you this month for a fun, meaningful walk through Advent, celebrating Jesus, the Christ, in whom we find our hope.   

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Pastor Cathy Johns

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

The Funny Thing about Love

Kim Caasali, a New Zealand native, was a cartoonist who wrote love notes to her future husband in the late sixties.  Her cartoons shed light on what love is all about.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Love is…having your picnic indoors on a rainy day

Love is…accepting that no one is perfect

Love is…someone to get goofy with

Love is…putting some money in his pocket when he’s tapped out

Love is…what overcomes everything

This Sunday, Pastor Sherman Bradley, of our second campus, The Warehouse, will bring a powerful message about what it means to Love God and neighbor.  Sherman is the founder of Consider the Poor, has rich experience in working with people in Over-The-Rhine, including leadership roles with City Gospel Mission.

Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church has partnered with Sherman and Sadell Bradley, our new pastors in Over-The-Rhine, to launch a new multi-ethnic, multi-socio-economic, diverse faith community to reach new people for Christ.  Renovations are currently underway and they hope to have a “soft launch” for worship at “The Warehouse” in late November.  The official public launch is scheduled for Easter 2020.

Your prayers and support of the birthing of this new faith community are appreciated.  We are delighted to see how God will move to transform lives through the Bradleys and this fresh expression of faith through The Warehouse.  Please extend a warm welcome to Sherman as he brings God’s Word to us this weekend.   

Peace,

Pastor Cathy

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

All Saints Day

This Sunday, November 3, we will observe All Saints Day by remembering those of our Hyde Park Church family who have entered eternal life during the past year. The reading of the roll of the departed will be included in the Sacrament of Holy Communion in all three worship services:

At 8:00 am and 11:00 am:  New sermon series: “ Let’s Do It” begins.

This new sermon series examines the Great Commandment found in Mark 12:28-30 that invites us to Love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

9:30:  Fauré Requiem with Cathedral Choir and  13-piece orchestra.

The 9:30 am worship liturgy is interlaced with the presentation of the contemplative Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, sung by the Cathedral Choir and soloists, with chamber orchestra and organ. Among the most revered works in choral literature, the Fauré Requiem in its final form was first performed in Paris in 1893. The sheer  beauty of the music ignores any passage of time and, combined with our worship, will lift our hearts as we celebrate the lives of the faithful departed.

I am looking forward to sharing The Lord’s Day with you,

Pastor Cathy 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

Turtles on the Beach

This week I participated in a spiritual retreat in North Carolina.  The daily rhythm of worship, teaching, silent reflection, and sharing in community are life-giving to my body, mind, and spirit. Nearly each day I was able to walk the beach, sometimes alone and sometimes with a trusted soul-friend.

Earlier this week Jan pointed out something that I had missed. There was a protective fence, stakes and red tape, set up right in the sand, around a deep hole.   It was to protect turtle eggs buried on the beach.

Healthy churches practice the building of hedges or fences around the vulnerable, creating a safe space where those at risk can thrive.  I am thankful today for every Interfaith Hospitality Servant, Stephen minister, children, youth, or adult leader who creates a safe place where members of the community can feel safe. Thank you, Hyde Park Community United Methodist, for your commitment to be a place that protects the vulnerable so life can thrive.

In Christ’s Joy,

Pastor Cathy

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