It is with great sadness that we report the passing of a longtime member of our church family,

Charles Theodore Jennings, Sr., 14 December 1931 — 12 November 2018

Charles Theodore Jennings, Sr. — Ted to friends and family and Charlie to work colleagues — passed away in the early hours of 12 November 2018. He was born in Centreville, Illinois, to Marvin Edward and Alice (Muir) Jennings.

His wife of 57 years, Dorothy (Lange) Jennings predeceased him in 2014. He is survived by his daughter, Schalene Dagutis and her husband, Pete, of Cohoes, New York; his son, Charles Theodore Jennings, Jr., and his wife, Dawn, of New Bern; his son, John Edward Jennings, and his wife, Celeste, of Anniston, Alabama; and two grandsons, Austin and Bradley Jennings, and six great grandchildren. His brother, Marvin Edward Jennings also survives him. as well as three sisters-in-law, Katherine Lange, Jeanne Lange, and Virginia Lange.

Ted came to the Washington, DC, area in 1941 when his father accepted a job with the federal government. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1952-1954. He attended The Columbia Technical Institute at night, graduating as valedictorian and earning a degree in mechanical engineering in 1959. He and his family moved to Pamlico County in 1978 and attended Bethany Christian Church in Arapahoe. Ted and Dorothy moved to New Bern in 2006.

Ted never met a stranger and will always be remembered for his smile, outgoing personality, and willingness to help others whenever needed. His children will never forget the model he set for how to live a worthwhile life and be a loving, thoughtful spouse.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 17 at 3:00 p.m. at Bethany Christian Church, 8126 NC Highway 306 South, Arapahoe, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, the family asks if you want to remember Ted, please donate to the charity of your choice in his name.


So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

–Psalm 63:2-4

Thank you, Lord, for…

When my day begins with washed-out colors, reflecting the lack of spirit in my soul and the dearth of hope in my heart, I thank you, Lord, for making me aware of your love and the beauty of Your creation. As your sun rises upon this fertile earth and illuminates the beauty around me, and as Your sun saturates the colors of all that appears, brightening the world, my soul is filled with Your Spirit, and my heart pulses with your love. I praise you for Your love, and I bask in Your glory. Forever.


“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. –John 14:23

In The Secret Place: Devotions for Daily Worship, the Nov. 16 devotion, Home Sweet Home,  by Sarah Lyons, she uses John 14:23 as the “thought for the day.” She tells in the devotional of missing a flight, having to sleep in the airport, and catching a flight out the next morning.

Upon arriving home, she stated, “It felt great to be home. There really is no place like home. Jesus creates a home for those who love and obey him. It’s a home where we can feel safe and comfortable. If our earthly home can feel good to us, imagine how great a home with Jesus will be.”

Whether our home is grand or modest, there’s no place like it. The only one better is not to be found in this world; rather, it is the one Jesus prepares for us.



One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” –Luke 8:22-25

Our faith is in Jesus, and we are praying for everyone’s safety as Hurricane Florence heads into land.

If you have not made preparations for the storm, there still is a little time to get ready through today, before storm conditions worsen. It is likely that tornado action can occur, too, so be especially aware of the weather at all times.

If the location of your home is low, get to a shelter or to friends or family who live on higher ground.

Pray for the safety of all in the county, and hope that, on the other side of the storm, we all are safe and have had minimal damage.


Due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, events previously scheduled for this week are cancelled.

Saturday, 15 September, Rev. Torrie Osgood will try to send a One Call Now phone message update regarding the schedule for Sunday and beyond. also will post updates as they become available to us.


Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!  For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. –Psalm 27:7-10

There are people who have been abandoned, not necessarily intentionally. Think of old people who languish in nursing homes; those who are bound to their homes due to their infirmities; those who receive few visits. They are like old abandoned buildings that continue to stand, though no longer serving a useful purpose. Even when those buildings are structurally sound, because their facades show age and deferred maintenance, they are abandoned.

If you visit those in nursing homes, as elders do, you will find that, often, rather than blessing the one you visit, the one you visit blesses you. Elders frequently feel that, after their visits, they have been blessed far beyond what they have provided to those they visit.

Our Lord does not abandon us; He is with us through adversity, and provides us strength. He never forgets us. When our walls lack paint, our doors creak, our windows fail to block rain and cold, and no one seeks our shelter, the Lord becomes our shelter. “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”


The header photo for September depicts labor in the fields.

Speaking to the Ephesians, Paul said, “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

Paul is telling us that work is not just for the sake of those who toil; it has a greater purpose: That by the fruits of our labor, we can help the weak.

What Paul said to the Ephesians directly reflects Jesus’ words in Matthew: “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:34-39)

If it is the will of Jesus that we “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,” (Matthew 28:19,20), where, then, are the laborers, for the harvest is plentiful.


Bethany Communications is holding a photo contest, the theme of which is God’s Glory. The objective is not only to gain some good photographs, but to involve us all in a spiritual experience. As I photograph sunrises, sunsets, flowers, animals and pastoral scenes, I am awed at God’s creation, and for me, it is a way to experience God’s presence and worship Him. If you participate, you may have that experience, too. Get in the spirit!

Between August 27 and September 24, use your phone or camera to take a picture that captures God’s Glory, in nature or in your life. It can be anything you can imagine, like a photo of a new baby, a precious child, a family celebration, a sunrise or sunset, a normal or macro shot of a flower, a farm animal–the opportunities are endless, so charge your phone, put fresh batteries in your camera, and be ready to shoot!

The winning photographs will be selected by the congregation. The photos will be posted for viewing in mid September, and voting will take place beginning September 24 through October 1.

Take your photos between August 27 and September 24. Each person participating may submit three (3) images. We ask that you submit a print that will be posted on a display board, as well as a digital file of the photo that can be used to publish in the Beacon and on Also, we ask that you submit a statement with the photos explaining how they relate to the theme of the contest. Yes, it might be obvious, but please do it. It will help you with the experience.

After the winning photos are determined, everyone, including the winning photographers, will be invited to title the winning images! The winning images will be posted for display at a table set up for submission of title entries.

Photo and Titling Contest rules, details and prizes will be posted on a display in the narthex beginning Sunday, August 27.

So dust off your equipment, plan your shots, take some good photographs, and enter them in the contest, and you’ll have a chance to win some money, have your photo published in the Beacon and on the website, and used on a greeting card for the card ministry. Then, enter the titling contest, write  good titles for the winning photos for a chance to win some (or some more) money!

The communications director and members of the communications committee are ineligible.