Category Archive: Article

  1. Bible Study Class with Kim Brannan. She’s Back!

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    Legendary teacher Kim Brannan’s Bible Study Class is back!

    If you’ve been looking for a meaty and theologically sound understanding of God’s Covenants, this class is for you.  Kim has long been one of HPPC’s most cherished teachers.  Her broad and deep knowledge of scripture, combined with her lazer-sharp insight and fresh analysis, are irresistible.  And it’s all delivered in her brisk, funny, no-nonsense style.

    Her classes are a combination of lecture and interaction, and there’s no such thing as a dumb question or comment. If your idea of a Bible study class is dull and dusty, think again!

    The class is held every Sunday after the 10 am morning worship service, between 11 am – 12 pm, November 7 – December 19 in the Learning Center.

    The Promises of God:  Leaning on the One who Keeps His Word

    The whole concept of “covenant” is foundational to understanding Scripture. Kim is leading the class each week in a study of each of the seven covenants of God to His people throughout history.

    Those covenants include the Adamic Covenant, Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant, Davidic Covenant, New Covenant, and the Everlasting Covenant.

    During these weeks, each new promise of God will reveal to us His character, His love for us, and how He interacts with us right now. Discover how you can trust and lean on the One who keeps his word.


  2. Welcome Back to Sunday Morning Worship!

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    In-person worship services every Sunday morning at 10:00 am.

    We have moved our in person Sunday evening worship service to Sunday mornings! In addition, Virtual Worship Services, Kid’s Church and Morning Jam continue to be offered Online (nursery closed) and virtual CONNECT Sunday School Adult Classes have moved to Wednesday evenings. All small groups will continue to be offered via ZOOM.

    We’ve made changes so arrivals are as fast and touch-free as possible. Download the free Church Center App to your phone. Here are links to the app stores Apple or for an Android phone. After installation, search for Hyde Park Pres and create your personal account.

    Watch this video to see exactly what to do when arriving for worship.

    On arrival: Check in, then show the bar code to the Greeter and your name tags will be printed out. Of course, we are always happy to welcome you without the above procedure.

    • Please wear a mask when you enter from the Swann Avenue entrance (Sanctuary front doors).
    • Hand sanitizer is placed in the entrance; please use it as you enter.
    • Choose a seat from the open pews.
    • Families may sit together but unrelated groups are asked to maintain social distancing.
    • Children are welcome to the services, the nursery and children’s classes are not operating. Individual Worship packets (crayons and coloring sheets) marked with the child’s name are available at the door.
    • Envelopes for offerings and prayer cards are found in the narthex. Place them in the boxes there.
    • There will be no paper copies of hymns or scriptures; they will be projected on the screen.
    • Restrooms in the Orleans hall may be used if needed.
    • Please exit via the Swann Avenue doors.

    We ask that you not attend worship if you are not feeling healthy, are immunocompromised, or are uncomfortable worshiping with others.

    For questions, please email the church office–

    If you are not attending in person don’t worry you can continue to view the virtual worship services online at or join us via livestream!

    For questions, email

  3. In-Person Worship Services Postponed

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    **Updated 7-10-20**

    What will In-Person Worship Service look like at Hyde Park Presbyterian. We have postponed the reopening of the sanctuary for in-person worship due to the rising cases in Hillsborough county. Once we see a decline in cases for a 2 week period we will resume in person worship using specific guidelines for guests for Phase 1.

    Virtual Worship Services, Kid’s Church and Morning Jam will continue to be offered online once we do resume in person worship if you are not ready to attend in person just yet. The Virtual CONNECT class will continue to be offered via zoom at 10:15 am.

    Due to the high risk that many of us face amidst this pandemic, guests will be asked to follow the directions below to protect the community. Cooperation is expected within our church.

    Hyde Park Presbyterian Church has the following guidelines for guests:

    • Enter the Sanctuary through the Swann Avenue doors. The Sanctuary and portion of the hallway on the Orleans side are the only areas of the church accessible at this time. 
    • Please wear a mask.
    • Before entering the Sanctuary, utilize the hand sanitizer found in the entrance, or your own.
    • Find a seat by choosing a pew that is not blocked off.
    • Respect social distancing by sitting at least six feet from other guests. Families may sit together.
    • The nursery and children’s church will not be open. Children are welcome to worship with their family, however no clipboard activity sheets will be provided; please feel free to bring your own.
    • Offering plates will not be passed. Giving Boxes are located in the foyer with envelopes, along with prayer request cards.
    • Bibles and Hymnals, along with all other paper goods have been removed. Scripture and words to songs will be on the large projector screen.
    • After the service, exit the sanctuary through the Swann Avenue doors.
    • If guests need to use the restroom, please utilize the individual restrooms located directly across from the nursery on the Orleans side.
    • Communion will not be served at this point in time.

    Guests who are not feeling well, are immunocompromised or are not comfortable attending public services yet are asked to continue to view the virtual worship services online at

    For questions, email

  4. Covid-19 Update 3_20

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    Through the Covid 19 Pandemic we will be holding services online.  Each Sunday we will post Rev. James sermon on our website and Facebook and will also send you an emailed link. Sermons will remain available to you as well to view at a later time or date to fit your schedule. Although we are not worshiping in the sanctuary we will still worship on Sundays.  

    The session met this week virtually and we are planning ways for our congregation to stay connected virtually and via phone. If you have any ideas or suggestions or anything you would like to see our church do or be a part of during this time please email or call a session member or staff member.  There is also a worship committee meeting this Sunday at 12:30 if you would like to attend (online). Contact Tony Brannan for login information.

    At this time we have cancelled all group activities and events held at the church including all services and practices through April 15th, and this includes Holy Week and Easter in-person services. We are brainstorming a way to celebrate Easter together and will share details soon. 

    We are monitoring the situation and will let you know as soon as we are comfortable to begin holding in person services again, in accordance with CDC guidelines. The office is closed and staff is working from home. If you need to access the church please contact the office or Rev. James..

    The church also has a ZOOM account for conducting virtual meetings. If you would like to schedule a video meeting for anything please let us know and we will help you get this set up.

  5. What is the meaning behind Advent?

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    The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia.  The season of Advent lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The church, during Advent does two things.

    Look back upon Christ’s coming in celebration.
    Look forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people.

    To balance the two elements of remembrance and anticipation, the first two Sundays in Advent (through December 16th) look forward to Christ’s second coming, and the last two Sundays (December 17th – 24th) look backward to remember Christ’s first coming.

    The most common Advent candle tradition involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different. The four candles traditionally represent:

    Hope: The inspiring and uplifting hope that Christ among us represents
    Peace: Both the Prince of Peace himself and the promise of peace on Earth.
    Joy: The joy the shepherds received at hearing the news of Christ’s birth, or the joy that God brings into our lives.
    Love: Both God’s boundless love for us and our love for one another

    Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, “Christ” candle which can be lit at Christmas to celebrate the purity of Jesus and the joy felt on this day. The bright light from the candles is an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who in Christian faith is seen as the Light of the World. The circular shape of the wreath represents God’s eternity and unity.

    It is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming.  The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent. The season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return.

    Prayer is a wonderful way to help cut away from distractions of the season and open your heart to prepare for the joy and hope of Christ’s birth. Here is a sample prayer to use during the season to focus your heart and mind for the birth of Jesus Christ.

    Advent Prayer

    This Advent, Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
    Fill me with Your presence from the very start.
    As I prepare for the holidays and gifts to be given,
    Remind me of the gift You gave when You sent Your Son from Heaven.
    The first Christmas gift, it was the greatest gift ever.
    You came as a baby born in a manger.
    Wrapped like the gifts I find under my tree,
    Waiting to be opened, to reveal Your love to me.
    Restore to me the wonder that came with Jesus’ birth,
    When He left the riches of Heaven and wrapped Himself in rags of earth.
    Immanuel, God with us, Your presence came that night.
    And angels announced, “Into your darkness, God brings His Light.”
    “Do not be afraid,” they said, to shepherds in the field.
    Speak to my heart today, Lord, and help me to yield.
    Make me like those shepherd boys, obedient to Your call.
    Setting distractions and worries aside, to You I surrender them all.
    Surround me with Your presence, Lord, I long to hear Your voice.
    Clear my mind of countless concerns and all the holiday noise.
    Slow me down this Christmas, let me not be in a rush.
    In the midst of parties and planning, I want to feel Your hush.
    This Christmas, Jesus, come to the manger of my heart.
    Invade my soul like Bethlehem, bringing peace to every part.
    Dwell within and around me, as I unwrap Your presence each day. Keep me close to You, Lord. It’s in Your wonderful Name I pray.
    ~Renee Swope, “The Manger of My Heart” from Proverbs 31 Ministries

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