SUNDAY Outreach Service!

outreach worship service jun 16-01

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Holy Week and Easter at Bethany!

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Lent at Bethany – Getting Ready for Easter

forgive lent 2016-01Wow! It is Lent – starting today! Ash Wednesday begins our 40 day journey to the cross and to an empty tomb. Over these 40 days we will have a lot going on. All these options are meant to provide us with entry points into the holy season of Lent, not to overwhelm our schedules. So, here’s what you need to know. First, the sermons for the next 6 weeks will be on forgiveness. Verla Miller preaches February 14 and Pastor Kelli the remainder of Lent as we explore “Forgive: more than a word.” Pastor Kelli is using The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu to guide the series.

Each day in Lent, Pastor Kelli is offering a Lent Devotional Video in coordination with our Lent Devotional Books “Fellowship of Prayer.” These are available on the church’s facebook page or on the church’s YouTube page.

The House Meetings (gatherings at Pastor Kelli and Nick’s house) are almost filled up! Make sure to sign up at church this Sunday for February 17, March 2 (childcare available) or March 16. These gatherings are designed to open up conversation around one question: What is the biggest pressure on you or your family?

After careful consideration, the Chili Cook-Off is moved back one week to March 6 directly following church. This will mean we add some time to our gathering, eating and celebrating that is normally done at the Community Gathering Lunch (Cabinet and Council Lunch). In combining the two, we hope to include as many people as possible in one event! We will conclude our time together by 2 pm.

Disciples churches in the Tulsa area are working together to rotate events during lent. See the list below of dates where we can celebrate together: We are Family!

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Celebrating 45 Years

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Advent and Christmas at Bethany

Our Series Begins December 3 and concludes January 3. See you in worship on Sundays in person or online at 10:45 am

finding jesus advent 2015

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Nov 29 – BIG DAY!

Gist_harrison_JUNE_2013Dr. Deborah Gist, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent will speak to Bethany and all interested people at 9:30 on Sunday, November 29.

Followed by the Annual Hanging of the Green Service!

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FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER – SUNDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving invite

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November Sermon Series

unnamed nov 2015-01We are focused on unnamed women in the New Testament! See you in Worship in person or online at 10:45 am on Sundays. Pastor Kelli preaching on November 15 about what Paul really has to say about women. November 22 focuses on the women at the church in Rome.

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Creation Care – September Sermon Series

outside creation care sep 2015In September, we will explore our responsibility for creation care. Rev. Melinda Foster of OpenTable Community Cafe in Owasso will preach September 6. Pastor Kelli will preach the rest of the month exploring Creation Care from these points of view: Domination or Dominion?, Earth, Air and Water as Human Rights, and It Was Good, Is it still?

If you’ve ever wondered if the church has a responsibility to care for the earth and what that really looks like, this series is for you.

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August 30, 2015 Outreach Worship – Pastor Kelli’s Reflection

As the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, I’ve reflected on my own experience with the devastation. After the storm, I drove from Fort Worth, where I was in seminary, to Shreveport, where Hirsch Coliseum was a makeshift shelter for those coming in buses from New Orleans and the surrounding areas. My graduation from high school was in the same room that had now become home to hundreds. Inflatable mattresses in rows, parents in zombie-like states, and children playing in the walkways — I can close my eyes and can be transported back there with a simple, deep breath.

While volunteering, we did whatever was needed: organize donated clothing, input information to the Red Cross database, pray with strangers, play with children and get to know their parents. It changed me in ways I am still discovering. Most deeply, it brought to my attention the reality that those in poverty lacked means to get out of the city when the storm came in. This wasn’t some other country. This was my home state, my country. How could this happen? No matter our country, state or neighborhood, we all live in systems of inequity that feel like they are beyond our control. Certainly, they are beyond our control if we were to try to dismantle them alone or all at once. Even worse, sometimes scripture is used to keep us from working against inequity and poverty.

When we hear that Jesus proclaimed that “the poor will always be with you,” (Matt 26) we can often resign ourselves to just taking care of ourselves. Those words can become a way to absolve ourselves of the responsibility to act. Upon closer look, Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 15, where  it is proclaimed that because there are people in poverty, we have a hand open to help always. In Matthew 26, a woman in poverty anoints Jesus and helps him prepare for the cross. In that moment, Jesus’ own poverty is revealed and it is clear that even the most vulnerable among us have the ability to reveal God’s love.

In reading Matthew 26, it is important to know that God does not will people to suffer in poverty. Too often, humanity refuses to engage in the work to upend poverty. As Christians, we proclaim with Jesus that the poor will always be with us because that word of God catapults us into action. Could we say it this way: If there are poor, they ought to be with us; even more, we should be with them?!

Many things happened in the time I sat on the floor playing or talking at Hirsch Coliseum. Friendships developed with a family from Gentilly, a neighborhood in New Orleans. We worked together to find their mama who had ended up in a hospital in Monroe, LA. We made trips to the store together. We laughed and we cried. As it came time for me to head back to Fort Worth, I received a gift from the women of this family: a bud vase, a partially used body spray that made it out of New Orleans in one of the women’s purses, and a $5 bill with a note written on it – Katrina didn’t take it all. With that gift, I felt the oil poured over my head, anointing me to work for justice and always find myself with an open hand to help.

This Sunday, worship will be different. It is my hope that we will find ourselves reminded that we are all anointed to unravel the systems of poverty and racism that keep our culture divided, weaving ourselves together in love. We will not upend systemic poverty in our city in this one Sunday, but by working together we will find the energy to keep making choices that empower us to say poverty, death, and even the cross do not have the last word — God does.

katrina didn't take it all

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