Monday, December 23, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Memories seem to abound as we journey through Advent.  Bethlehem comes alive as we remember how God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for you.  

Our challenge this week is to remember how God's love came to you by the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  May you never forget the depth of God's love for you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Eve Services

All are invited to Bethany's Christmas Eve Services

December 24 at 7:00 p.m.  and at 11:00 p.m.

Come celebrate with us!  Both services will be candlelight services.

TAIM (Think About It Moment)

Believe it or not!  Christmas will soon be here and our celebration of Christ will continue throughout the coming year.  Yes, 2013 is about to open the door to all the uncertainties of the coming new year.  In the past few weeks I’ve been watching and listening as we celebrated Thanksgiving, and then embarked upon our journey through Advent.  The days, the weeks, the hours, seem to be passing by like an ice cube melting on a hot summer day.  Just where have those hot summer days gone?

Smiling, I ask that question in the reality of having to shovel all the snow on Sunday.  Watching the snow fall I had time to reflect upon some of the sights and sounds from the past few weeks.  There seems to be more manger scenes on display than in the years past.  A few of them have the Magi surrounding the cradle and offering their gifts to Jesus.  Should this be?  The understanding is that the Magi’s journey began after the birth of Jesus.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”  Luke 2: 1 NIV

Some say that the baby Jesus is not to be part of the manger scene until Christmas Eve.  Pondering all this I walked into the church office and there on the top of the filing cabinet, waiting for Christmas Eve, were six mangers filled with straw.  Snuggled in the straw was baby Jesus.  They had been set aside, in an out of the way spot, waiting to become part of our Christmas celebration.  Waiting to be . . .
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
Isaiah 9: 6b

Smiling, my thoughts brought forth this question.  How many of us will pack away the nativity; with the shepherds, donkey, sheep, shepherds, Magi, Mary, Joseph and even Jesus, after Christmas?  Placing them safely in a box.  Storing the box in a dark closet, out of sight and out of mind, until Advent begins in 2014.

After reading this many of you are saying, “What’s the point of all these words?”  It comes down to what’s important!  The question is this:  “Where will Jesus be in your life in 2014?”  Will Jesus truly be Immanuel, “God with YOU”, or will you place him on the shelf and look for him when you have a need?  Will Jesus be welcomed in your life every moment or just on special occassions? 

Think about it!  Have a Happy New Year!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Magi Visited Bethany's Advent Luncheon

We had a special report from Bethlehem . . .

                       Zachary the roving reporter provided the questions!

                             Magi shared their wisdom!



















They sang with such style!

Third Sunday of Advent

Finding Bethlehem has been our theme throughout our Advent Journey.  The third Sunday of Advent was filled with snow . . . sunshine . . . and a new challenge for this week.

Challenge:
Finding Bethlehem we discover the awesome power of God's love through Jesus.  Love that empowers us to love as God loves us.   Our challenge this week is to see the mighty presence of love working in the daily routine of life.  Then find ways to share that love with those around us!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Continues

The second Sunday of Advent brought us some snow and a challenge for the week . . . 

When we find Bethlehem we find the freedom Christ gives.  That freedom blossoms to life when Christ sets us free to love.  Our challenge through this week is to ponder how you might "step out" in freedom to serve God and your neighbor? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Bazaar Begins

There are vivid colors everywhere!

Smiling faces and the wonderful smells of home cooking fill the room . . .

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Luncheon - Monday, December 2


Everyone enjoyed the luncheon as we began our walk of finding Bethlehem through Advent.  Today our roving reporter interviewed  Elizabeth.  

Advent 2013 Begins

On Sunday, December 1, we watched with anticipation, as the first candle of the Advent Wreath was lit.  Through this season we are encouraged to find Bethlehem.  That place in the midst of all the busyness of life that we experience that sacred, holy, glorious moment of Immanuel, "God with us".
The challenge for us this week is to identify one way you experience God's loving presence and support in your life! 
 

Friday, November 22, 2013

TAIM (Think About It Moment)

Advent . . . are you ready?     

Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.

Once again it is time for us to embark upon our journey of Advent that begins on December 1, 2013.  Advent is a time for us to celebrate the gift of Christ with anticipation for his second coming.  Here’s the question: Are we ready to experience the sights and sounds of the nativity that surround the birth of Christ? 

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her

firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because

there was no room for them in the inn.”

Luke 2: 6&7

Often it seems we’ve lost the character of the nativity setting and have focused on the commercialism of Christmas.  Over the years the bright lights, colorful wrappings, magnificent bows, extravagant gifts, delicious sweets, and the wonderful aroma of hot cider have overshadowed the character found in the stable – a manger filled with the smell of the straw and the animals that call it home.  Don’t forget the weathered wood made from rough-cut boards and wooden posts that have been gnawed on by the tenants over the years.  Listen for the sounds of the birds that gently light on the rafters and sing a melodious tune.  Over in the corner we see the sheep huddled together to stay warm as the donkey rests . . .  having been stripped of its heavy load from the journey.  It is quite a majestic setting for God’s gift to the world! 

“But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy

that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born

to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Luke 2: 10&11

Have you lost the humble, yet majestic setting of the nativity and the birth of Christ?  Come and journey with us as we prepare to stand at the manger and celebrate the good news.  Maybe God’s been calling to you?  Together, we can kneel at the manger to celebrate and rejoice with the shepherds! 

 In Christ’s Love,
 
Pastor Dennis

Sunday, December 1, 2013 Advent Begins    Traditons Service @ 9:00 a.m
                                                                        Celebrations Service @ 11:15 a.m.
 
Advent Luncheons at Bethany:  Mondays—December 2,9,16, 12 noon until 1 p.m.
 
Christmas Eve Service at Bethany – December 24 @ 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Christmas Bazaar is coming!

That's the Bethany Craft Guild members above, hard at work crafting items for their Christmas Bazaar, which is Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., in the Social Hall. You won't want to miss it, so mark your calendars now! Lunch will be served both days until 2 p.m. Bring your family, friends and neighbors for a great selection of crafts at reasonable prices, wonderful food, scrumptious baked goods, candy, hand-knits, jewelry, attic treasures, fun, fellowship and more. There will also be a Secret Santa Shop for kids only where they can shop for their family members, assisted by Santa's helpers! (Prices $1.50 and under.) Visit the Craft Guild's website at BethanyCraftGuild.com for a preview of some of the items that will be available. Below is a jolly snowman made out of old hymn books (designed by Dee). See you on December 6 and 7!


Friday, November 1, 2013

We're Getting Ready for the Fall Fling!

Don't miss our Fall Fling, Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9--8 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, and an all-you-can-eat breakfast for only $3.00 on Saturday from 7:30 until 11 a.m.

We will be preparing the food and goodies the week of the Fling, and our Social Hall and kitchen will resemble the photo above, from last year's Fling prep week. Friday's a la carte menu includes a variety of soups and sandwiches, lasagna, oyster pie, french fries, assorted beverages and home-made cakes. Come join us on November 8 and 9 for some good food, crafts, fellowship and more!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Small Group Fun

This photo was snapped at our Tuesday morning Cottage Bible Study.  The group enjoys a few laughs during their studies. Click on our groups tab to find out about all our small group opportunities. Everyone is welcome.

Just A Vine . . . Or More?

Take a close look at the vine in this photo taken by a member of our congregation. Do you see what our photographer saw?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Think About It Moment "Take AIM"


A few weeks ago I found myself doing something I really don’t like to do – sitting with a group of people waiting to have an x-ray.  I had not expected to be in this waiting room and was glad that I had a book with me to read during this unexpected stop.  After all, why not be diligent with my time!    

Well the conversations were so loud it was impossible to focus on the words.  So I began watching this little girl who was fascinated with the sliding entrance doors.  She watched as the door would suddenly open up and someone would walk through.  Then she noticed the big square button on the wall beside the sliding door.  Curiosity was fueled by temptation to push that button.  Slowly she began to step towards the door, and that huge button, that was shouting . . . PUSH ME!  As she got close to the door,  it would slide open, and she would run back to her chair. 

Then she would start all over as curiosity, fueled by temptation, led to a desire to push that button.   Carefully and slowly she would creep towards the door with an outstretched hand ready to push that button . . . each time the door would open and she would make a mad dash back to her chair.  This happened time after time until my name was finally called for my x-rays.

Have you ever found yourself drawing close to God, to only run away?  It could be during worship, during devotional time, a time of prayer, or even Bible Study.  Often it happens when we are just walking through the beauty of God’s creation that we suddenly sense God’s presence . . . . and like the little girl we are startled by what’s happening. What do you do?  Do you give the time to be in His presence?  Do you run away? 

It happens to all of us. The agenda is so full that we keep going to the next stop on our list.  What might happen if we would just turn away from the busyness of the world and give God our undivided attention?  You know, choose not to run away.

What might happen if we would listen to God’s direction from Psalm 46,
“Be still, and know that I am God!”

Or listen to the words of who encouraged us with the following words from Matthew 11: 28,
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

What do you do when God opens the door?

Think about it!   Pastor Dennis

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Members October 13, 2013

The Bethany Family Grows!
 
 
 
 

                                                                  We are family!

               God is #1 . . .


 


 
 




Monday, October 7, 2013

Wonderful Day for Block Party

The Block Party at Bethany was Saturday October 5.  Forty plus children enjoyed the bounce house, prize walk, bobbing for apples, spin art, pumpkin painting, candy scramble, and some good food.  Everything was free for the children as they all received school kits.  It was a beautiful day with a lot of laughter and smiles.  Check out the pictures and get ready for 2014!

Preparing for the prize walk . . .
 
1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 4 . . . 5 out of 8!
 
Taking a break . . .
 
 
Happy Feet :)  - Can you guess who?
 
The Mutants make music!

 
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Save The Date--October 5

That's the Date of our annual Community Block Party, 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., on the church parking lot. Bring the kids and their friends. Everything is free for children age 12 and under! Food, games, bounce house, ball walk, prizes, live music, and much more. Each child (age 12 and under) receives a free school kit, too! This is a rain or shine event. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the event will be held indoors. So be sure to mark your calendars so you don't miss our Block Party! Call the church office for more information:  843-2992.

Children's Coin Drive

Throughout the month of August there was a lot of noise during the Traditions and Celebrations Worship services. You really couldn't miss the sound of the coins clanging into the tin cans as the children went through the congregation with smiles and laughter. People were dropping (some were throwing) coins into the cans as the sound filled the Sanctuary and Gathering Place with the joy of giving. What a wonderful sound it was, and the children collected a total of $373.30 for their mission project. The money collected will be going to support the United Methodist Children's Home in Mechanicsburg. Thank you to everyone! May God bless the children who will benefit from this donation. Pictured above you can see the tin cans and the wheelbarrow in which the coins were collected. The wheelbarrow needs some repair work from its load of coins!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Compassion in Action Update

On my blog from June 10, I posted, Compassion in Action.  The story was about my friend, Katelyn,who would be going to the Dominican Republic in July.  She has returned and I wanted to share a video of some of her time there.  It tells a little of the story of Katherin, one of the girls who attends the school every year. 
Check out the following to hear of Katherin's story and to experience some of the children from the school.  What a blessing! 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88v2faji3Vs

Monday, July 29, 2013

YARD SALE ON SATURDAY!

Don't forget to check out our Yard Sale this coming Saturday, August 3, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the church parking lot. Spaces have been rented to outside vendors, too. Our Learning Center stand will have lots of children's items. So come on out and join the fun. You never know what you will find at a yard sale!

Quilts of Valor at Bethany


The sanctuary at Bethany was filled with color on Sunday morning, July 28.  A volunteer group from Southern York County, Pennsylvania, and Northern Harford County, MD, called Quilts of Valor brought 8 quilts to be prayed over during the Traditions worship at 9:00 a.m.  The Mission of the Quilts of Valor foundation is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts of valor.  The eight quilts were stitched with love and to be sent on Monday to wounded service members.  Two of the quilts were going to the VA Medical Center in Canadaiqua, NY.  The remaining six quilts were  being sent to Bagram, Afghanistan.  Veterans from the church family held the quilts as they were prayed over.  May God's love flow with healing, hope and joy to the wounded who receive! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hear Ye, Hear Ye . . .

                                       Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

That's Godwin in the photo above, who helped at the Fun Fair during VBS week. Bethany's Everywhere Fun Fair Vacation Bible School was a HUGE success!!! God's world came together during Bible school week; and 55 children, 14 youth, and 25 adults had a blast. Although the week was blazing hot, God provided air conditioning, indoor space, and fabulous snacks which kept us cool. MANY THANKS go out to the multiple people who helped to make the week happen--parents and grandparents who brought their children, set up and tear down folks, teachers and helpers, those praying, and our stations leaders. Most of all, what a BLESSING to be able to bring Jesus to the children. Thank you all!!! We also gathered 408 water bottles, which will be donated to Mission Central, the mission warehouse affiliate of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. Plans for next year have already began, so mark your calendars...July 14-18, 2014...Bible School week! We hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

VBS: Being Neighbors

Very Cool!!!!!!
Together as Neighbors
You want me to wear Purple?
 
 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

VBS Day Two: Neighbors are Giving

 
Be a neighbor . . . be giving!
 
Listen . . .
Did you hear something?