Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day of Rest

Had a wonderful day today. Great time in worship, and fabulous "5th Sunday breakfast". In the afternoon, watched a favorite film (The Princess Bride); planted a few flowers (red twig dogwood, dicentra, dutch iris, tulip, daffodil); had pizza; and played soccer. "There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Women of Faith

From the Women of Faith trip (July 31-Aug 1), an inspirational conference and some time to visit the National Cathedral. Thanks to Anna Mae for the pix!

The Ministry of Listening

From Bonhoeffer's Life Together:

Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. . . .

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either . . . . One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Final Home Gathering

Thanks to Vi & Buster for hosting the 11th and final summer home gathering ... with a total of 166 persons attending this season. Thanks to all our leaders and thanks to Gary W. for coordinating.

Three Singers at a Picnic

Thanks to Cindy S. for hosting the United Methodist Women/Men picnic this year ... moved into the garage when the downpour started!

A Transplant's Story (Elaine D.)

Hi. My name is Elaine and I am a Transplant!

When I learned that conference was closing the doors of CrossWalk Community Church, I was devastated to say the least. I had finally found a “home” with a family that I could worship and fellowship with. What was I going to do now?

Then I visited Bethany Church with my hubby. We were given a tour by Dee McNally! First impressions are sometimes wonderful and this was one of them. Dee and I clicked immediately. But besides that, Dee and the others in the group made us feel welcomed. They also opened the door to our new “home”.

Yes, we followed JP; but more importantly, the members of Bethany welcomed us.

Now Bob and I are part of the Bethany congregation and very much a part of the Matthew 28 program.

I don’t know exactly what God has planned for us. But I do know this: We as a congregation have so much to give to the community. This was evident as the CrossWalk congregation was welcomed into this family and we brought with us the not so “normal” by some standards.

Maybe this was the “practice session” for Matthew 28. Be disciples for Christ to all. Christ didn’t choose the “elite” or politically correct people to associate with. He chose the “lost, lonely, sick, rejected”.

This is what Matthew 28 is about: Opening our arms, hearts and minds to those who are looking for a “home”. Reaching out to them, giving them hope and Christian love. Being disciples at work and at play.

We as a congregation need to step up to the plate. To grow, we need to do many things. Some cost us nothing but our time. Some cost the church money. I know times are tough. Many are unemployed and many like myself took a pay cut just to keep our jobs.

I started tithing at the beginning of the year, something I have never done before. When I took the pay cut I wondered how I would be able to continue. God has provided as he always does.

I want Bethany to succeed. I want to see this church grow: For Christ. I want this to be everyone’s desire.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Home Gathering, 8/9

With Dottie S., on her 95th birthday, and Sylvia (Dottie's "birthday sister"), and Bethany's 140th! Wow!

Mysterious Ways

A story from Steph F. Thanks for sharing this with us!

This is a story about my mother, Tina and my stepdad, Ed. This happened earlier this summer.

Ed had a son, Patrick, who was a special needs person. Patrick passed away several years ago due to having a seizure in the shower and drowning. Ed obviously misses Patrick very much and Patrick was about two or three years older than me and I believe he died right before his 30th birthday, but I am not certain. That part really isn’t important, just background.

So Tina and Ed have season passes for Hershey and they were in line for a roller coaster and started talking to the family in line in front of them. The one son was also a special needs child and could not speak. This child was drawn to Ed though and the parents tried to tell the child to stop. Ed explained that if was perfectly fine with him, that he had a special needs son himself. While talking, they got onto the subject of oldies music and Ed informed this family that there was a show in the amphitheatre in a little bit where they cast performed oldies. The father seemed very excited and asked what time.

Fast forward to the oldies show -- the performance was going on and on the other side of the audience from Tina and Ed people were waving the performers to stop. An audience member had gone into cardiac arrest. The performers asked if there was a doctor in the house. The father of the family that Ed and Tina had been speaking to stood up and it turns out he is an anesthesiologist. He performed CPR on the man and did save his life.

Tina saw the doctor’s wife outside the amphitheatre and went to talk to her. She and the two boys were bored with the show so she took them on rides while the father stayed. Had this special needs child not have been so attracted to Ed, the conversation would not have occurred in the line for the coaster, the doctor would not have been there at the oldies show, and that man would have died.

I believe this is a perfect example of how God works in mysterious ways and how everything intertwines.

Judging or Serving?

From Bonhoeffer, Life Together:

Self-justification and judging others go together, as justification by grace and serving others go together.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Youth Room

Thanks to Danny and friends for his Eagle Scout project - repairing the youth room ceiling, a fresh coat of paint (these pics show primer on the walls and the white ceiling, but you should check out the new cool blue walls), and cleaning/clearing of clutter. Almost done! And, well done!


Thanks to Crist and family for hosting! And, we met right across the alley from the home in which Bethany began 140 years ago.