Over the nearly 50 year history of Bethany, we have developed a distinct identity including with 4 areas of passion, Community, Hospitality, Outreach and Justice. We believe that our effort to focus on our strengths and passions make a real difference in the world. Come experience our gifts and check out more of what we believe below.
Bethany’s Ministry Passions:
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.
What is an “Open and Affirming Congregation”?
Recognizing the unconditional acceptance of Jesus the Christ, Bethany Christian Church affirms that all people – regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability – are welcome to share fully in the life of our congregation. All members who qualify according to the requirements of our constitution and bylaws are eligible to hold the elected offices of elder, deacon, officer and trustee.
Bethany Christian Church is recognized by PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and by GLAD Alliance (Gay and Lesbian Affirming Disciples) as an Open and Affirming congregation. We are also recognized locally by Oklahomans for Equality.
What are Bethany’s basic beliefs?
Baptism: Baptism is the community’s moment to affirm what God is doing through Jesus in someone’s life. It is that person’s acknowledgement to the body of faith that he or she is committing to the Christian life. We baptize persons old enough to make their own confession of faith. Baptism for us is by immersion in water. We also accept transfers from members of congregations of other Christian groups without any requirement for rebaptism
Bible: We believe that the Bible is a guide for Christian living and faith. It reveals God’s purpose of reconciliation through Jesus the Christ.
Christ: We confess that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God and we proclaim him Lord and Savior.
Communion/The Lord’s Supper: Communion is the remembrance of Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. He shared bread and wine with them. He shared love and friendship with them. We celebrate this last meal every Sunday and on special occasions. All people are welcome to participate.
God: We believe that God is revealed specially through Jesus Christ, and experienced in a variety of ways.
Inclusive Ministry: We believe that all members are part of the priesthood of believers and share responsibility for the life and work of the church. Our purpose is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live in faithful response to the will and purpose of God as revealed through God’s Son, and as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are an inclusive congregation, welcoming all and making use of inclusive language and images in our teaching and worship.
Membership: Membership is in this congregation and the church universal. We invite all people who want to make Bethany their faith community to be a part by committing their time, talents, service and worship.
Unity: Unity is the harmony of all Christians in the love of Christ. Doctrines and human differences should not be allowed to divide believers from one another.
What is a “Shalom” Congregation?
After careful study, Bethany decided to become a “Shalom congregation” among the Disciples of Christ. That has made it a unique congregation of Christians seeking to be a peaceful people devoted to bringing God’s peace and justice whenever possible. Members say that being a Shalom Congregation influences every aspect of this church.