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This Summer at Bethany

trajan a future with hope rectangleSince 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.

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Lent at Bethany

Lent 2014Lent 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!

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All Welcome!

tgiving inviteAll are invited to the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on November 24, 2013. See you around the dinner table!

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Back to it

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.

hidden gifts sermon series image

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How to Respond to the Tornado Tragedies

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,

Kelli

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Holy Week at Bethany

We gather Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. for Maundy Thursday worship. It is a time of reflection, music and communion.

We gather Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. for Good Friday worship. It is a time, of music, reflection and participation in the last day of Jesus.

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WORSHIP ONLINE

Bethany is updating our ability to connect with people. We are now live streaming worship every Sunday at 10:45 a.m. **Please Note that the time on Livestream.com is Eastern Time. It will show one hour ahead.**

Click here to worship with us! http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2393151

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Ash Wednesday at Bethany

This year, our Ash Wednesday Services will be at Noon and 7 p.m.

February 13, 2013

The noon service will be small, intimate and focused on prayer.

The 7 p.m. service will gather the community of faith in song, reflection and prayer.

 

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The season of Advent

The season of Advent brings to us a rare opportunity: WAITING.

As a child, I remember getting catalogs in the mail. Occasionally, my mom would order something on my behalf. We had to mail the form in with payment and wait weeks for it to be processed and sent. Now, I regularly order items from Amazon and get them within 3 days. My ability to wait grows smaller every day.

In college, as the internet grew and became the go to place for information, it was common to ask a question and get the answer in a matter of minutes with those dial-up modems. Today, I can usually find it in 10-15 seconds with a simple search on my phone. My ability to wait grows smaller every day.

There are far too few opportunities in life to learn this important skill: waiting. A once normal element of life has gone away in a world with 24 hour stores and lightning fast internet connections.

Advent and Christmas are a holy time, preparing for the coming of Jesus. We rightly focus on the celebration of Jesus’ birth, on Mary and Joseph, and remembering the first Christmas so long ago. Jesus brings to us great joy and life filled with God’s love. The power of God is not limited to the moments we celebrate Christmas. The time of Advent brings us opportunity to see God as well. We learn how to wait. We learn how to wait for what we already know is coming.

It’s easy to jump straight to Christmas. Waiting during Advent allows us to focus on the blessings of paying attention to what is before us in the moment. God is already doing work in our lives and we wait to see the next moment of that evidence. It’s not only in the manger we find God’s work in our lives. It is there before us every day, waiting for us to notice.

We know Jesus is coming. May we wait and see through the stable to know the work of God on each day between now and Christmas.

 

Kelli

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