Lent is the time of the Christian year when we anticipate Easter. We orient our hearts toward contemplation, contrition, and forgiveness. This year we have many entry points to focus on this Holy season.
Sunday Sermons: Each Sunday we will focus on Words to Treasure in the Heart. Those words will be Beloved, Treasure, Light, Darkness, Raze/Raise, Prepare, Glory, Unexpected. See you Sunday mornings at 10:45 am in person or online!
Gather at the Table: On two Wednesdays, March 4 and 18, we will have (free) dinner and conversation. This is an all ages event where children will work on a service project. Please RSVP to the church office by phone (918.492.1353) or email (churchoffice @ bethanybelieves.com)
Video and Haiku Series: Everyday in Lent except Sundays, Pastor Kelli posts a video devotional on Facebook and YouTube that correlates to our Words to Treasure in the Heart series. Bethany member Mike Cross provides a haiku reflection on the word that you can read on Facebook or Twitter.
Since January, Bethany has engaged in the Jeremiah Project, a process to discover who we are! And, have we ever! We have 4 passions here at Bethany: Community, Hospitality, Outreach and Justice. You will find at the end of this post statements about our 4 passions.
While Pastor Kelli is on maternity leave, we’ll have preachers reflecting on one of our 4 passions. Community Life Groups begin soon. Created based on your input during the Jeremiah visioning process, small groups have been formed to give us opportunities to get to know each other better and to know ourselves better. Leaders have graciously accepted the call to care for each group. Your leader will be in touch with you soon and they are already keeping you in their prayers! They will be there for you, and hope you will let them know if you need them anytime, they will keep you informed of special church news (such as the baby’s arrival). The leaders will also be hosting four gatherings for your group during July, August,and September. These small group events, will be fun and informative; we will learn about each other, learn about ourselves, and continue to explore ways to live our faith withone another. After the summer sessions, your leader will continue to care for you. However, the members in your group may change. Groups may decide to meet based on shared interests, a project, or to mix up so that we can all get to know more people in the church. The possibilities are endless! Anyone can join a community life group, just let the church office know.
Community: Living in the way of Jesus, we are an intergenerational family of faith embracing the value and beauty of each individual. We nurture one another spiritually on our journey from infancy to the far side of maturity. Through experiences of worship, education, and service we grow in relationship with God, with our neighbors, with ourselves, and with all creation.
Hospitality: Living in the way of Jesus, we embody radical hospitality. We build relationships within an environment safe for all, where all means every person. We welcome the stranger and the friend, the child and the teenager, the marginalized and the mainstream, sharing the love of God by affirming individuals for who they are, reflections of God’s presence.
Outreach: Living in the way of Jesus, we partner with the larger community, locally, regionally and globally, to share the abundance of God’s creation in an equitable and sustainable way so that all may thrive.
Justice: Living in the way of Jesus, we are empowered to bring wholeness to a fragmented world. Through education and prayer, we discern what is just and proclaim God’s shalom.
Lent is the Holy time to get ready for Easter. For the six weeks leading up to Easter, we will focus on what it really means to be a Christian today. With all the noise from the media and others who want to tell us what it means to be Christian, it’s time to really dig deep into what God might actually be asking of us when we proclaim our Christian identity. We’ll use videos in worship and have a Wednesday night discussion group based on those videos starting March 12 at 5:45 for 5 weeks. Dinner and childecare provided. Please RSVP to Pastor Kelli.
Ash Wednesday begins it all on March 5 at 7 p.m. See you there!
This time of year, we all reevaluate our schedules and get busy getting busy!
For the month of September we focus our hearts on the gifts of contemplation, what it means to slow down and notice the little things. Our sermon series is based on the world of Richard Rohr. Come discover hidden gifts with us.
As information continues to come in concerning Moore and Shawnee, you may, like me, have an overwhelming urge to do something that matters. Many groups are gathering supplies and heading toward central Oklahoma. I urge us to do what Week of Compassion says: Pray. Pay. Stay.
First, we pray. We pray for the parents who have lost children. We pray for the teachers who shielded children with their very bodies. We pray for the two men in their 70’s that passed away in Shawnee. We pray for communities who are responding to their neighbors with inspiring courage. We pray and express our outrage at such disasters just as the Psalmists did to God. Second, we pay. On Sunday, we will receive a special offering specifically for Week of Compassion’s response to the tornadoes. If you would like to give earlier, please click here to give. Third, we stay. We stay in our own community and acknowledge that at this time we should not be rushing to the store to buy bottled water or gathering used clothes. We stay and wait to hear about what is needed over the next few days. It feels unnatural to stay, because we want to help. But, trained responders are doing important work and the way we help them is by sending money and staying home. There is one important thing you can do in our own community. If you are eligible, give blood with the Red Cross or Oklahoma Blood Institute. Make an appointment and help replenish the supply for our state.
Pray with me: Almighty God, we are too sad for words. We wonder what is good in this world when tragedy strikes. We see images that break our hearts over and over again. Give us strength to see the good news lived out as First Responders do their work and we prepare to respond as needed. Amen.
Love to you each,