DEATH NOTICE

We learned of the death Sunday of Jesse Paul Blackman, 64, of Bayboro. We extend our prayers and condolences to his family. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. June 30 at Bryant Funeral Home Chapel, the Rev. Roosevelt Stokes officiating. The family will receive friends and family anytime at the home, 508 South Street, Bayboro.

DEATH NOTICE

We learned of the death Sunday of Kenneth Eugene Barrow, Sr., 83, of Grantsboro. We extend our prayers and condolences to his family. A graveside service will be held June 26 at Bridgeton Cemetery, the Rev. Kenneth Dixon officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the home, 1385 Roberts Road, Grantsboro. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Bryant Funeral Home, P. O. Box 99, Alliance 28509.

BETHANY WOMEN HONOR LINDA WATSON

Linda Watson (center) celebrates with her family: (l to r) Melissa Watson, Merri Lynn Minnich, Kelli Bailey, Tiffany Bennett and Katie Bennett.

Linda Watson (center) celebrates with her family: (l to r) Melissa Watson, Merri Lynn Minnich, Kelli Bailey, Tiffany Bennett and Katie Bennett.

Proverbs 11:16 – A gracious woman gets honor.

Last Saturday, June 8th, ladies from Groups 4 and 5 held a surprise luncheon to honor Linda Watson for “being the best preacher’s wife ever.”

During her years with Bethany, she has shared her many gifts and talents with our congregation.  Her compassionate nature, devotion and care for her church family are just a few of the characteristics that make her such an extraordinary woman.

Several of the ladies – Susan Bissette, Pat Stilley, Julia Peterson, Sandra Hardison and Juanita Arrington – took some time to share some of the reasons that they think Linda is so special.

The ladies of the church decorated the Fellowship Hall in a “vintage look” with blue and white checked table cloths, crates of flowers, quilts, old kitchen implements, old fashioned china plates and some outdoor furniture.  They also spent hours in the kitchen fixing vegetable trays, chicken salad, deviled eggs, ham biscuits, fruit in a watermelon bowl and four types of homemade ice cream – banana, vanilla, strawberry and orange sherbet.

Thank you, Linda, for everything that you do!

DEATH NOTICE

We have learned of the death yesterday of Ethan Alexander Shepard, 16 months, of Grantsboro. We offer our prayers and condolences to his family. A private service is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Bryant Funeral Home, P.O. Box 99, Alliance, NC 28509

DEATH NOTICE

We just learned of the death yesterday of Catherine Spain Mason, 85, of Grantsboro. We offer our condolences and prayers to her family. A funeral service will be held at 2 PM June 14, in the Bryant Funeral Home Chapel, the Rev. Mike Roach officiating. Interment will follow immediately in the Sandhill Cemetery. The family will receive friends tonight from 6:30 PM to 8 PM at the funeral home.

IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD YET TO COME, OR NOW?

Editor’s Note: bethanyarapahoe.org normally does not publish “Watson’s Word,” Rev. Watson’s column that appears in The Bethany Beacon each month. But the text of this month’s column is something all of us at Bethany need to consider and understand as we travel down the transformation path.

From “Watson’s Word,” The Bethany Beacon, June, 2013:

I read recently a comment on transformation made by Marcus J.
Borg. Marcus Borg has written a number of books that are both challenging
and illuminating about the kind of spiritual transformation needed for these
times. His comment is one that resonates with me and with what we have
been attempting to do in our church. Borg wrote, “If your church is full of
God, it is likely that your pews will be full of people.” I know he did not mean
this as some sort of magical formula for having a great attendance on Sunday.

There are more than a few reasons why church attendance across
this nation is down and it is not from a lack of dedication and love for God by
people who do faithfully attend. There is however a tendency in the church
to focus on the wrong things, or maybe we should say on inadequate things.
We sometimes place the premium on believing now for the sake of salvation
later. We think of the kingdom of God as something yet to come rather than
a present reality to be lived in this world. We think of God as being transcendent
and up there somewhere rather than as immanent and present among
us. We think of life with God as something that will happen in the future and
not something that God wants to happen right now. All of this leaves us I
believe in a state of weakened conviction and insufficient passion.

Being full of God is about having a relationship with God that is transformational
now. It is to live with the reality of God present, right here and
right now. It is not about meeting requirements for a future life with God in
heaven. It is about a life that begins with God now, transforms life in the present
time, and preserves life for whatever future God has prepared for us.
What does such a life look like when it is full of God? It undoubtedly
will be a life that is passionate about the things that God is passionate about.
It will be a life distinguished by the compassion and love of our Lord. It will
be a life of peace and joy, of confidence and grace, of forgiveness and acceptance—
a life full of God.

It is my firm conviction that a life full of God is where our journey of transformation is leading us. It is a journey that I pray you will make with us.Life in relationship to God is not something to be kept to ourselves. It is too wonderful for that. It is life to share with others. It is the kind of life many look for and do not know where to find it. But if you will come and journey with us, I am confident we will find it together for it is already God’s gift to those who seek him.

HONORING OUR GRADUATES

Graduates were honored Sunday at the church worship service.  Pictured (l to r) Kaley Tijerina, Hannah Cowell and Brenda Hardison.  Not pictured: Jenna Mercer

Graduates were honored Sunday at the church worship service. Pictured (l to r) Kaley Tijerina, Hannah Cowell and Brenda Hardison. Not pictured: Jenna Mercer

Bethany Christian Church honored its graduates Sunday in a ceremony during the church service.  We had a graduate from eighth grade, a graduate from high school and two college graduates.  Each graduate was given a corsage, a handmade cross and a gift to congratulate her on her achievement.

Kaley Tijerina will be graduating from eighth grade at Arapahoe Charter School as her class’ salutatorian on June 6th.  Kaley is planning to attend Pamlico County High School in the fall.

Hannah Cowell will be graduating from Pamlico County High School on June 7th.  Hannah is planning to attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall where she plans to study medicine so she can be a dermatologist.  Over the summer she will be working at Dermatology Associates.

Jenna Mercer graduated from North Carolina State University on May 11th with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science.  Jenna is currently living in Raleigh and is looking for a job.

Brenda Hardison graduated from East Carolina University on May 10th with a Master of Arts degree in Health Education and Promotion.  Brenda plans to continue teaching.