You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. –Deuteronomy 6:5

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. –Psalm 16:11

We teach the children, “Jesus Loves Me,” and we sing it during worship. But what about the obverse? Jesus loves us, to be sure. Do we love Jesus? How do we show it? The first verse above tells us that we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” If we love Jesus, we will show it by doing what He asked of us: to tell everyone the Good News; to share His love; and to be like Him. What are the consequences of loving Him? Psalm 16:11 assures us that God makes known to us the path of life; in His presence there is fullness of joy; and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Writing in the beach sand will wash away, but Jesus’ love for us will never wash away. That alone is a good reason to love Jesus and to tell everyone about Him.


Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? –Isaiah 43:18-19.

The sun rising over the Neuse River, dispelling clouds, reminds us that our savior, Jesus Christ, died to take away our sins and give us a fresh start; that He can dispel the clouds in our lives if we accept Him; that He loves us, and that in Him, we have a new beginning.

We pray for you what Robert Burns’ prayer asks:

O Thou who kindly dost provide
For every creature’s want!
We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
For all thy goodness lent.
And, if it please Thee, heavenly Guide,
May never worse be sent;
But, whether granted or denied,
Lord bless us with content.

Happy New Year, and blessings to all!


The youth enacted, and the congregation participated in, ‘Twas the Very First Christmas’ Sunday evening December 10.

After a welcome by Rev. Osgood, Mary (Macy Tyson) and Joseph (Miko Stilley), arrived in Bethlehem as the congregation sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”Because of the tax enrollment, there were no accommodations at inns, but Mary and Joseph were allowed to stay in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

The Jericho Ringers performed “The Friendly Beasts,” as the animals (Ashleigh Deditch, River Morris and Jaden Hochteil) went to the stable to meet the baby Jesus.

Katie Bennett, violinist, performed “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and Rachel (Christine Beeman) told the story of the angels (Diana Harper, Jillian Stilley) appearing before shepherds, telling them the good news of Jesus’ birth. As she related the shepherds’ (Like Bailey, Jordan Bennett) trip to the stable, the congregation sang “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”

The congregation sang, “We Three Kings,” and the innkeeper (John Beeman) told of the wise men’s (Liam McCarthy, Casey Stilley and Marcus Tyson) journey.

The wise men and shepherds kneeled before the new-born King, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, as the congregation sang “Away in a Manger.”

The performance concluded when the cast and congregation together sang “Joy to the World,” and Rev. Osgood offered a closing prayer.

In addition to the performers in the play, Dawn Metts was the pianist, Hanna Metts, Tiffany Bennett and Christine Beeman were the costumers, and Matt Bailey, Parker Watson and Chris Watson built the sets. Thanks go to the CWF women who provided and served the supper before the play and the cookies after the play.



For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. –Isaiah 9:6.

Each year, Bethany’s family comes together for the “hanging of the greens,” to celebrate the advent of the birth of our Lord, and Christmas.

It is a busy evening, with quite a bit to do, and the process seems messy, but the result is a beautifully decorated building. The header photo records part of the process, and shows the activity that lasted through the preliminary meal to the dedication of the decorations to the Glory of Christ.

The best things about the Hanging of the Greens are the fellowship, the fun, the sense of accomplishment, and the pride that comes when we look upon what has been accomplished.

None of the photographs in this story show the wonder of the end result; but if you come to Sunday School and Worship Service during Advent and the Christmas season, you will look in awe at the beauty produced by the Lord, through those who participated in the Hanging of the Greens!



I would like to invite your community/church/organisation (British spelling) to participate in this project. I propose to be a part of your world for a few weeks or more, documenting regular or specific gatherings and learning about your life. This will include some candid, photojournalistic photography. as well as some portraiture for those interested. I invite you to think about specific events that I should cover or people that are making a difference that I should meet and photograph. In this you will contribute in sharing an important message of unity. You will also be able to use some of the digital images as you wish towards the development of your community.

Photo by Mac Harris
Annabelle Henderson (photo by Mac Harris)

I thank you deeply for your interest in my project and look forward to collaborating with you.

Warmest regards,

Annabelle Henderson

The foregoing is part of Annabelle Henderson’s introduction of Closer: Project for a Photographic Social Narrative. Ms Henderson explained her project to the general board November 5, and asked for board approval for Bethany’s participation. The board approved her request.

In her explanation of the project, Ms Henderson wrote, “I aim to show real connexion (British spelling) and the resemblances that I trust live within us all, regardless of our beliefs, race, gender or sexual orientation. In times where our society seems in critical need of renewed solidarity and faith–in all its forms–I hope that this idea will be met with a positive response and encourage more people to seek the strength of the human spirit.”

During her time at Bethany, Ms Henderson has been, and will be, doing some candid photo-shooting of meetings and events, as well as some portrait photography. She will be in the county this week, and she will return in the spring.

Ms Henderson shared with Bethany Communications several of her images taken at the All Saints Sunday worship service.

The project is in its beginning stage, and will not be completed for some time. As we participate, however, we look forward to the project completion. So as Ms Henderson works at her project within our community and at Bethany, please welcome her and aid her in Christian fellowship.

Learn more about Ms Henderson here.



Photo taken at Hardison Farms by Communications






Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Since Thanksgiving is in November, the header photo for November refers to giving thanks “in all circumstances.” When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, they found a New World, but difficult circumstances. When they realized that the colony would survive, they gave thanks to the Lord. Our times may be difficult in other ways, but we, too, thank the Lord for our blessings, and “give thanks in all circumstances!”


The Communications Photo Title Contest ended Sunday, 22 October. The Communications Committee has reviewed the entries and voted, and the winner has been selected based on the quality of the three titles submitted for the first and second place winning photos.

Communications Committee members voted on the entries submitted in a blind review, in which a number was assigned to each entry and the names of those entering were withheld. Members voted for a number, and the name of the contestant was unknown to all but the communications director, who was not allowed to vote.

A letter has been mailed to the winner, and the winner and winning titles will be announced in the November edition of The Bethany Beacon.

A prize of $20.00 will be awarded with a certificate during the 12 November worship service. In addition, the title will be written on the winning photo, which will be framed and hung in the fellowship hall. In addition, the winning titles will be written on the three winning images that will be used by the Bethany Card Ministry.

The Communications Committee thanks those who entered the God’s Glory photo contest, and the God’s Glory photo title contest, and looks forward to more activities in the future.


Linda Watson trims a bush. (Photo by Jennie Adams)

Around twelve Bethany members were on hand at 9 AM Saturday, October 14, to prepare the building and grounds for Homecoming, October 15.

The weather cooperated well. The sky was cloudy, and though there was a light sprinkle just before 9 AM, it stopped quickly, leaving the ground dry and the temperature bearable.

Johnny Cahoon and John Beeman spread pine straw. (Photo by Jennie Adams)

The workers outside trimmed trees and bushes, spread new pine straw in the borders and around bushes, changed the message on the sign and planted new flowers in the planter below it, and performed other touch-up details.

Inside, there were floors to be vacuumed, pews to be dusted, and baseboards to be cleaned, among other things. But all was done in about four hours. Homecoming morning, volunteers will be drafted to set up tables in the pavilion, and all will be ready for an enjoyable Homecoming dinner.


Communications Director Mac Harris presents award certificates and prizes to Christy Beach and Hannah Metts. (Photo by Emily Harper)

Communications Photo Contest second-place tie winners Christy Beach and Hannah Metts received their award certificates and cash prizes during the worship service October 8. First-place winner James Hardison, who is recovering from surgery and was not able to be at the service, received his certificate and prize privately.

The Communications Photo Contest theme was “God’s Glory,” and photos submitted had to be taken between August 27 and September 24, and had to in some way depict God’s Glory.

Now, in Part 2 of the contest, the congregation may write four-word-phrase-or-sentence titles for the three winning photos. Entry forms for Part 2 are in the narthex, and the winning photographs and Part 2 rules are posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway. There is a ballot box in the narthex for the submission of entries. The Communications Committee will judge the submissions and determine the winner; consequently, members of the committee may not participate in the contest. The photographers who won, however, may take part in the titling contest.

Entries for the titling part of the contest must be in the ballot box by the end of the day Sunday, October 22. The winner will be announced in the November edition of The Bethany Beacon.

Show us your literary genius: Get an entry form and submit your titles!