While the seasons of earthWhile the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 ESV) and the seasons of lifeTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)—change, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 ESV).

The seasons of earth change and constantly surprise us with hurricanes, heat waves and periods of extreme cold, along with the pleasant weather we expect in each season. The seasons of life are no different: Whether in our youth we find a new love or experience an illness , or in our mature years enjoy our retirement or lose a loved one, life is always changing. We will experience good and bad. But with the changes of the earth and the changes in our lives, there is stability in Christ, for He is unchanging. If you are looking for an anchor in your life, follow Jesus!



We are sad to report the death of one our church family, Gene Thomas Stilley. We express our condolences to his family, we share their grief and we pray for the Lord to comfort them. His obituary, as printed in the New Bern Sun Journal, is printed below.

Gene Thomas Stilley

ARAPAHOE – Gene Thomas Stilley of Arapahoe, NC died suddenly September 28, 2019. A native of New Bern, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduation from New Bern High School in 1971. After his military service, he continued his work as a Helicopter Mechanic at Cherry Point Marine Corp Air Station until his retirement in 2008. His retirement was filled with his unique gift of taxidermy, residential construction, and special time with his family, children, and grandchildren. He attended Bethany Christian Church for many years. He was preceded in death by his son, Jeremy Gene Stilley. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Pat Polzin Stilley; daughter, Emily Harper and husband Eric Harper; daughter-in-law, Marie Stilley; grandchildren, Casey Harper, Miko Stilley, Diana Harper, Jilly Stilley, and Davis Harper, all of Arapahoe; parents, L. Graham and Lovie Thomas Stilley of New Bern; brothers, Richard Stilley and wife Cathy of Roswell, GA; Dennis Stilley and wife Kriston of Rockmart, GA; and Gary Stilley and wife Kim of New Bern; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Sue and Mike Manning of Arapahoe. A celebration of his life will be Saturday, October 5, 2019 at Bethany Christian Church, Arapahoe, NC with the Rev. Franklin Osgood and the Rev. Merritt Watson officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service starting at 2 p.m. with the service to follow at 4 p.m. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Bethany Christian Church, 8126 NC Hwy. 306, Arapahoe, NC 28510.


CWF Group 5 and BethCom are putting on a yard sale Saturday, 14 Sep, from 7 AM to noon. Furniture, household and miscellaneous items, as well as books and pocketbooks will be available.

Also, muffins, juice and coffee will be available for purchase! So come early, have your coffee and a muffin for breakfast, and find good deals!

Click here for the poster.


For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling— if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked.  For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. —2 Corinthians 5:1-5

We all have experienced moving into a home—unloading boxes, taking off our shoes so as not to scratch the floor. Most of us have places to live that we call “home.” Most of them are comfortable and familiar to us, and we feel “at home” in them.

But we all are travelers and what we think of as our homes really are just rest stops along the way. As believers in Jesus Christ, we travel through this life toward our real home, with Him. When we arrive, there will be no boxes to unload and unpack, no shoes to take off and probably no floors to scratch. But we will know, at last, that we are Home, Sweet Home!



The Communications Committee is holding two photo contests in 2018. The first concluded June 30, and the winners are announced in the August issue of The Beacon.

Photo by Mac Harris

Contest No. 2 began July 1 and runs until December 31. For Contest No. 2, contestants may submit two (2) images only, so pick your best ones! The theme for the contest is Rooted in Christ.

Contestants my submit digital images to jenniekadams@gmail.com, or 5″ x 7″ prints to the church office, placed in the communications inbox.

Qualifying images will be those that depict the theme and were taken between July 1 and December 31, 2018.

Beginning Sunday, August 5, contestants in Contest No. 1 (January 1 – June 30, 2018) are asked to sign release forms so their photographs can be published as background for the weekly devotional, A Light for Your Path, and as background for other Bethany publications and displays. Any reproduction of a contestant’s image(s) will be afforded proper attribution. Those submitting images for Contest No. 2 also will be asked to sign release forms.



Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. –Colossians 2:6-9

August definitely is a hot, summer month. Yet, near the end of August we begin to see the first signs of fall, signaling the last quarter of the year. If we relate a calendar year to life, we understand that, for most of us, the part of our lives approaching is shorter than the part that has passed.

So it is imperative that we make sure our lives are rooted in Christ. In the Book of Job, Job, talking about humans and death, says, [unlike man] there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. (Job 14:7-9).

In Job’s time, Christ had not come to give us the ability to be like a tree that lives again “at the scent of water.” Jesus made it possible to be like a tree, so that we can be revived and nourished by His Living Water. If our roots are in the world, when “[they] grow old in the earth,” they wither and die. But if our roots are in Christ, His Living Water is accessible to us, and will save us.

“Rooted in Christ” also is the theme for the August A Light for Your Path devotionals.


The runoff vote to decide the winning photograph among the four 1st-place and the four 2nd-place photos is complete, the votes have been counted and the election certified!

Do you want to know who won? If so, be sure to read the August issue of The Bethany Beacon!


The Communications Photo Contest voting that ended July 22 resulted in a 4-way tie for 1st place, and a 4-way tie for 2nd place.

Consequently, a tiebreaker re-vote is necessary. The tiebreaker re-vote will begin Sunday, July 29, and end Sunday, August 5.

All are urged to vote again for your favorite 1st-place and 2nd-place photos! The four tied 1st-place and four tied 2nd-place photos will be displayed on a table in the fellowship hall from July 29 until August 5. They also are displayed below.

1st-place tied images:


















2nd-place tied images:




Image by Ethandun Publishing

Last Sunday (July 22) at 7 PM, a number of folks, despite  impending rain, came to the pavilion to enjoy ripejuicy watermelons.

A downpour occurred about 7:20 PM. The pavilion would have provided sufficient shelter had not a strong wind accompanying the rain blown it under the pavilion roof to the dismay of the watermelon consumers.

Fortunately, after a few minutes the rain and wind subsided, and the festivity carried on. No one left hungry, though perhaps a bit damp.

–Photos by Communications


The North Carolina Baroque Orchestra (NCBO) will present a concert, Fiori del barocco (Flowers of the Baroque) at Bethany, Thursday, August 2, at 7 PM.

This marks the second year that NCBO has played in concert at Bethany. The concert presented August 4, 2017, was standing room only.

Composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco, Antonio Vivaldi and others will be featured in the performance. The orchestra will play on period instruments.

The concert is by donation only. Suggested donation is $15 general; $10 students and seniors; kids free.

NCBO is presenting the concert while on retreat at Camp Caroline, where it conducts an in-house workshop to grow the orchestra’s musical bonds and artistry. The concert is a way for the orchestra to highlight its endeavors during the retreat to celebrate its accomplishments and to share the music with the Eastern North Carolina community.

The orchestra was formed by sisters Frances Blaker, artistic director, and Barbara Blaker Krumdieck, executive director, along with musical collaborators, to provide opportunities for musicians and vocalists interested in exploring baroque performance practice in a baroque chamber orchestra setting.

NCBO allows musicians in North Carolina and the surrounding area an opportunity to work with highly experienced experts in the field. Conductor Frances Blaker is a world-renowned expert in baroque performance practice, in addition to being a virtuoso instrumentalist.