Friday, May 31, 2013

PreK Zoo Trip

PreK class of 2013 visits the Baltimore Zoo for their end of year field trip.  Find us on Facebook.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Parsonage Prep


Thanks to the team that came out on May 18 to get some work done to prepare the parsonage for our new pastor and family!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Access

Listen online or download Sunday messages, and here!
Message from 19 May, Pentecost. Focus on Acts 2.1-21, with Genesis 11.1-9 and Acts 1.1-11.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tornadoes - a response from Rev. Adam Hamilton

Originally published in response to tornadoes in 2011, by Adam Hamilton, pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas [Full article]:

The devastation left in the wake of last Wednesday night’s tornadoes is mind numbing. Mile after mile of homes, businesses, and schools obliterated; over 340 men, women and children whose lives were taken by the storms. This weekend millions of Christians throughout the affected areas will make their way to their churches, if they are still standing, looking for hope, strength and comfort. Many will also come looking for answers to the question, “Why?” I wonder what their pastors and priests will say to them?

Some will hear their pastors preach that God’s ways are mysterious and that “there are some things we just can’t understand.” Others will hear their spiritual shepherds call them to trust that “everything happens for a reason,” and that God’s purposes are being worked out through this terrible devastation, noting that it must be “the will of God.” A few will hear their leaders suggest that the death and destruction is God’s judgment upon the sins of these communities and that this judgment is meant to lead those who survived to repentance.

This kind of preaching is comforting to some, for it offers the assurance that “God is in control” and that the suffering is purposeful. Yet many others will find the assumptions behind these messages not comforting, but unsettling. The underlying idea is that God called forth the tornadoes and intentionally directed them to strike Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and so many other places last Wednesday night. They will wonder how God could intend the death of children, or the destruction of the homes and businesses of people who were their fellow church members.

But there is a different message many pastors will preach this weekend. [Full article]

Excerpted from MinistryMatters.com. Read more:
http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/article/entry/1052/god-and-the-tornadoes#ixzz2UFSWeUIw
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Tornadoes - a response from Bishop Park

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress,
I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 NIV
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Susquehanna Annual Conference:
I greet you in the name of the Risen Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness and Hope of the World!

Once again we have been reminded how quickly life can be altered. In a matter of minutes the residents of the community of Moore, Oklahoma, and surrounding areas felt the devastating power of the tornadoes that hit this area. Homes were destroyed and a number of persons, including school age children, lost their lives. Our hearts break to see such an extensive and total devastation in the wake of one of the most destructive natural disasters.
Many of the first responders, civic leaders, and even the survivors spoke of how the people of this area are people of deep faith. They have experienced this destruction in the past; and they have pledged to rebuild their lives and their communities once again. They will depend upon God and each other as they move forward. We would like them to know that our God cares for them and we care for them.
On behalf of our oneness in Jesus Christ and with all humanity, I call upon the clergy and laity of the Susquehanna Annual Conference to especially include prayers for the residents of Oklahoma and other places where because of extreme weather these destructions have occurred. Please take time in your daily devotional life and in your church services to pray for them. One way that we can also respond as people of faith is to offer monetary gifts. Gifts can be made out to your local church; but please include on the memo line - Disaster Response, United States (#901670). Local congregations can then send a check made payable to the Susquehanna Annual Conference which will then direct the contributions to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).

For your generosity in the past and for your concern for this most recent tragedy, I offer my humble thanks.

In Grace and Peace,

Bishop Jeremiah J. Park

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dogwood

Thanks to Marie, Cecelia, and Aimee for donating our dogwood tree. It bloomed beautifully this spring!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Come and Stay

No audio. Notes only this time:

Psalm 67, John 1.43-51, Acts 16.9-15 (focus, along with Acts 9.16-34)
May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day)
 

On mission – seeking those seeking God
on the Sabbath to the river
Place of prayer vs Synagogue (10 men required, "women gathered")

On mission – faithfulness and the work of God
"The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly" (16.14)
 

On community:
The 3 representative converts of the church in Philippi:
Lydia – Asian, interested in Judaism ("worshiper of God" 16.14), wealthy businesswoman
Slave girl – Greek (or foreigner), extreme poverty
Jailer – Roman official, middle level bureaucrat

Their 3 motivations for seeking Jesus:
Lydia – "intellectual" (listening, curious)
Slave girl – "psychological" (not able to be her own person)
Jailer – "moral" (felt need for salvation)
(Stott, 269-270)

"The head of a Jewish household would use the same prayer every morning, giving thanks that God had not made him a Gentile, a woman, or a slave" (Stott, 269).

Paul was Jewish – yet God used him to gather this particular group of people. Expansion of the mission by inclusion of persons we would prefer to exclude (reprise of theme of Acts 10-11, Peter & Cornelius).
 

On holiness in community and mission:
Abba Macarius and the holy women (Western Asceticism)
Welcome (Hospitality) and Reconciliation
key practices for Bethany’s growth (Mountain Top question)

Resources:John Stott. 1990. The Spirit, the Church and the World: The Message of Acts. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Western Asceticism

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Recital

The reception following the piano recital of Marsha's students. Thanks to all for the wonderful music. The next recital is Saturday May 18 at 2:00 pm (vocal students).

Mother-Child Banquet - 1




Thanks to Bob and the crew for the fantastic meal!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Election

Our municipal primary elections are coming up on May 21. I encourage you to vote - school boards, township supervisors and county officers have a significant impact on our daily lives and we get to help choose our leaders. However the elections turn out, please keep our local, state, and national leadership in your prayers.

To get sample ballots and find your polling place, check out the York County Voting and Elections website.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cinco de Mayo


For the Cinco de Mayo holiday - which fell on a Sunday this year - we invited Agustin and Leili to sing for us! Thanks so much!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Power Praise

Listen online or download Sunday messages, and here!

Psalm 97, 2 Chronicles 20, Acts 16.16-34 (focus)
May 5, 2013, Notes only

 
Earthquake
at conference office; shaking, from the foundation
Praise shakes the foundations of this world and sets us on solid ground

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

 
Facing conflict
Praise prepares us to meet conflict with integrity and grace
Why does Paul do this? (address the possessed woman)
"For many days"
 
John Wesley and the Moravians in the Atlantic storm
Praise sets us apart and attracts others to Jesus
 

We do not praise for our own benefit. We praise because our hearts overflow with gratitude and joy – no matter the circumstance.

The Fling - 2



Great smiles for the entire event! Thanks again!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Baptism!

This past Sunday, May 5, in the Traditions service! Congrats!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Just one of our fine gentlemen on the walk to prevent violence against women!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What God Has Made Clean

Listen online or download Sunday messages, and here!

Today’s focus passage completes a story that began with chapter 10. It picks up after the story from last week – Peter raising Tabitha in the town of Joppa at the end of Acts 9. And, it echoes some themes from the week before that – Saul met by Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus, and the visionary call of a reluctant Ananias to pray over Saul, also in Acts 9.

Remember the old joke: Pete and Repeat sat on a fence. Pete fell off. Who was left?

No, this has nothing to do with the Simon Peter in our story. But it does have to do with the structure of the story. It is repetition repetition repetition. The story of Cornelius’ vision is told three times, the vision of Peter is told twice, the events at Cornelius’ home are told twice. First, the story is told to the reader – Cornelius’ vision, Peter’s vision, Peter meets Cornelius (and hears Cornelius tell about his vision), Peter preaches, the people receive the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues, and he offers water baptism. Second, the story is reported to the Jewish leadership of the church in Jerusalem – Peter’s vision first this time; then Cornelius’; the preaching, Spirit, and baptism.

Pete and Repeat. Why? Because without this story, or something like it, we would not be here. Period. Cornelius was the first disciple of Jesus Christ – filled with the Spirit, baptized with water – who was not a Jew or a convert to Judaism.

Expansion of the mission: Paired visions in Acts
Saul & Ananias
Peter & Cornelius
The mission expands by inclusion of persons we prefer to exclude
 

Reluctance of the missionary: "Simon son of Jonah" (Matthew 16.17; Robert W. Wall, JSNT, 29)
Jonah and Simon Peter as reluctant missionaries
Joppa – Jonah leaves for Tarshish, Simon sees his vision
3 ... 3 days and nights in the fish, 3 fold vision
Both: Going where we do not want to go

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Freedom House Women's Center

One of the mission and ministry partners of the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church in Williamsport, supported by our Shares of Ministry, from The Link newspaper of our conference, written by Rev. Anne Runnels.
 
Freedom House Women’s Center is a ministry to single women who have become homeless due to a variety of reasons. They are located in the city of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and have been in operation since April, 2011. They house four women at a time, and the women remain at the house for a term of three months to a year.

Some women come to Freedom House whose lives have been damaged through drug or alcohol use; some come due to financial hardships; and others come due to familial problems. All of the women are taught about faith in Jesus Christ and how depending on God helps get Christians through difficult times. The women attend church and Bible study weekly, and are taught Christian principles on how to live life and trust God for what they need. The concept of cause and effect is learned, and the women are taught how to respond to each situation rather than to react.


Freedom House believes that in order for people to change they must be willing to change their habits. The house provides a safe, spiritual, loving environment in which they can help the women who come to them to change. During this time of emotional and behavioral instability, security and support is provided. Each woman is guided to set both short-term and long-term goals.

With persistence and a Christ-like attitude, Freedom House believes it can offer the opportunity for each woman to grow and develop in a positive direction.
 
My name is Crystal. I came to Freedom House Women’s Center six months ago after being released from jail. There have been many changes to my life since then. I have found that faith in Jesus Christ gives me a new way of looking at life. I am now working a job I like, attending Bible study and church each week, and am studying to become a member of Nisbet United Methodist Church. I have learned to respond to situations in a way that is positive. Freedom House Women’s Center has given me an opportunity to learn about faith, a Christian way of thinking, and a new way of living in faith. My faith has become the most important thing in my life. I am thankful the Freedom House was there for me.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pastor Dennis and Jean visit!


"P.D." and Jean McCleary visited with us in both of our services this past Sunday. We are excited and blessed to have them coming to us to lead our ministry beginning July 1.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Apple Dumplings for the Spring Fling


The Fling is 8-8 on Friday and 7:30 to 11:30 on Saturday. Great food, wonderful people, fun crafts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New members!



 
This past Sunday: Clair and Shirley with Dick, their presenter; Laura with Robin; Joel & Abby with Jana; and Barry with Pastor JP. Please be sure to congratulate these persons for making these vows of discipleship with Bethany Church!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Imagine No Malaria

We'll be receiving an offering for Imagine No Malaria on Mother's Day - Share the Love, Save a Life.  Please plan ahead to be part of this important and life changing mission.