WORSHIP SERVICES CANCELLED FOR JANUARY 23, 2022

Due to the icy road conditions, the board has decided to cancel worship services, Sunday School, and other church activities for Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23. At this time, all activities scheduled for Monday will resume as scheduled. Please check back for updates. If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Watson, secretary, at 252-474-6858. The church office is also closed.

SERVE ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE

 

 

What are the first three things that you notice about this picture, Dale?  I asked my husband, just to see what he might say. Dale replied, “I see that they are all holding candles., The women are smiling. And they’re wearing something colorful. It looks like they’re celebrating.”

Bingo!  Way to go, Dale! While he didn’t know the specifics, he accurately described the fact that the Bethany’s Christian Women’s Fellowship installed their 2022 officers in a ceremony, photographed in the narthex, on Sunday, January 16th.  It was a celebration.  Annually, women in the church accept the call to serve the needs of Bethany and our community in general.  “Open our eyes to the needs of the world and fill our hearts with concern for all people.  Guide us that we may truly serve you through Jesus Christ, Our Lord” are words of the opening prayer of a CWF meeting.

The candles we are holding represent sharing Christ’s light, guiding the way. And the “colorful” part of the photo?  Outgoing vice-president, Christine Beeman, presented each officer (outgoing and incoming) with an apron, as a symbol of preparing oneself to serve. Each woman was able to choose her favorite color.

From left to right in the photo:

Shirley Ensley protected in a lovely purple apron is our 2022 President

Polly Surprenant wearing blue is the 2022 Worship Chair

Juanita Arrington donning light blue as she is inducted for a second term as Service.

Janci Cahoon is pretty in pink and will be our Treasurer for 2022; she was Treasurer also during 2021.

Renee Midyette chose the lovely light blue apron and was 2021 Secretary and will be in Service for 2022.

Susan Bissette  is wearing pink and will serve as our 2022 Secretary and again in Service.

Christine Beeman was the 2021 Vice President (acting president) and also served in Service for 2021 and has agreed to be in Service again for the 2022 term.

Tricia Johnston chose purple perhaps to represent the beautiful flowers of Bethany Blossoms that she places to beautify our church.

Not pictured are Melissa Watson – outgoing Worship Chair and incoming Vice President for 2022; Linda Watson who will serve as Missions Chair again in 2022; and (photographer) Jennie Adams, outgoing Service Chair, who chose the wonderful orange apron .

Thank you ladies for your time and energy in 2021 and thank you to all who have agreed to serve in 2022! ——–Jennie Adams

 

DECISIONS

Admittedly, undeniably, it was a dreary morning. The day started cold with a forecast of sleet but as is often the case in our area, ended up being cold, drizzling, rain. It was hard dragging out of bed; only the lure of fresh brewed coffee could persuade me.  As I sipped from my warm mug, I watched the rain pound the slippery deck boards outside of my back door. I debated staying home. There was so much to do at home. Christmas decorations still dotted the living room. The dining table had stacks of Christmas dishes pushed to the back edge of the table, and I needed to put some furniture pieces back in place, but I remembered that we were having a guest minister, and I really did not want to miss church, rain or not. Chris and I dressed rain-worthy and dashed to the car. Two miserable, wet dogs, watched us broodily through the slats of the fence as we backed our SUV out onto the road. Carefully we drove to church. We were immediately uplifted as we greeted a friend who had had a much further distance to drive. We ducked into together. A group of Sunday School goers were gathered in the fellowship hall because their classroom was both too cold  and too small for the crowd. There I see a couple of friends that I have not seen in a while, so I wave a cheerful greeting hoping I am not being too interruptive to the lesson. I find my seat in the sanctuary. It isn’t long before the service begins. The two ministers and elders process into the room and up the aisle. Rev. Bennett is back from a two week trip to Florida, and Rev. Koffenberger has agreed to be our guest minister for a second time. I am thrilled because I missed his first time here in the pulpit. I heard he gave a great sermon, and he certainty gave a wonderful message today. His style was engaging and clear.  Another nice element of the service was when Roger gave the communion message. He sang it!  It was absolutely beautiful. As I sat in the warm sanctuary, surrounded by people braving the weather to worship together, I am glad. I am so glad that I came today. … Melissa Watson

WE WELCOME REV. PENNY ZIEMER

Over the last two months, we have enjoyed multiple ministers on the chancel bringing their own special gifts and talents, including our very own Roger Bennett. It has been an interesting time in our history, and it continues to evolve. December has brought a sparkle to our sanctuary. The worship services have been inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful. I hope you have taken the opportunity to worship with us.

This Sunday Rev. Penny Ziemer will be joining us as guest minister. Chris Watson will assist Rev. Ziemer in the absence of Rev. Roger Bennett.  Rev. Ziemer  will use these scriptures: Genesis 1:1-2; Isaiah 43:18-19; 2 Corinthians 5:17; and John 1:1-9. Her sermon title is “In Every Beginning.”

Blessings,

Melissa Watson

REMOVAL OF CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

It is time to remove all of our lovely Christmas decorations. We will meet at the church on Wednesday at 1:00 pm. Please come if you can. Thankyou everyone for the lovely poinsettias that have graced our sanctuary this advent and Christmas season. They can now be taken home with you. Come by the church anytime this week to get yours. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE 2021

Outside, while waiting for the service to begin, the air is warm and still, yet it feels like Christmas. There is an expectation of something really special about to occur. People gather in the darkness, unknown at first, but as the doors are opened, and we approach the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, I see that I know most of those gathering. There are some new faces though. People seeking the golden light that only worship provides. We welcome them as family too. As we enter the sanctuary, beautiful music greets us, moving us in a way that is beyond words. There is a soft beginning to the service. It sneeks up on us, quietly. The Christ candle is finally lit; the advent wreath is now complete, and the flames cast light and shadows in waves. Then we are transported by the lights, the laughter, the music, the beauty. Roger is dynamic tonight, providing the scripture reading by memory, and in a dramatic style that lets you know that this is important. It isn’t a conversation; it is the inspired word of God. We all sit up a little straighter on the pews. The well known and loved scripture, Luke 2:8-14,  echoing in our thoughts, but really, more a part of us than a thought. As we near the end of the service, the elders move into place beside the Lord’s Table. These men lead our hearts to the place it needs to be to accept the gravity of what we are about to do. Their prayers and our prayers are uplifted and unite on the table. This service celebrates the birth of our savior, and it mourns the physical death of our Lord. But as Christians, we know that our Lord is the victor over death. He is the Light that abolishes the darkness. After we partake of the Lord’s Table, we stand and weave our way around the exterior walls of the darkened sanctuary, singing Silent Night. Soon our neighbor tips his candle towards us; The Light is passed. We sing and hold up our lit candles, chasing away the darkness. What a wonderful service. May you have a blessed and joyous Christmas. ….Melissa Watson

photos provided by Meredith Beeman

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT – LOVE

Sunday, December 19, was the fourth Sunday in Advent, and Jennie Adams lit the candles in the advent wreath adding the candle of Love. Rev. Bob Brooks provided the congregation with a message on love and joy. This was Pastor Bob’s first visit to Bethany, and he commented on the beauty of our sanctuary causing me to look around and see it from a fresher perspective.  Garlands of greens adorn the edges of our chancel and our beautiful creche graces the center of the chancel. Bright red poinsettias form a cheery backdrop, lovingly provided in honor and memory of our loved ones by our congregation. A giant Christmas tree twinkles in the narthex at the entry of our sanctuary. My heart is warmed. I think back to 2007 when I stood across the street, fighting back tears, and watched smoke and flame consume our previous church building,  My husband at my side and our son Parker, very young then, running around us during the sad and stressful time.  I thought about the feelings of loss and disappointment and concern that we would never again have a place to worship. It took a long time to rebuild, but we did. Many hours went into the planning of the rebuild and much prayer, but here it is. We will forever be grateful to all the donations that we received from so many.

Parker and I were changing the sign out front Monday to announce the upcoming Christmas Eve Service. It was cold and blustery. We walked arm and arm back to the main building. Parker drew a deep breath and said,, “I love this place.” My heart swelled. Yeah. That is the beauty of this church….the love. The love from others, the love for each other, the love for our church, and the love of and for our God. It is a beautiful place Pastor Bob. Thanks for reminding me.

…Melissa Watson

THE JERICHO RINGERS

Chris Watson, Janci Cahoon, and James Hardison are in the holiday spirit during bell choir practice Wednesday! The bell choir, better known as The Jericho Ringers, is very busy during the Christmas Season. In existence since the 1980s, our bell choir has had many

 different members and a few different directors, but Roger Bennett has been the director for the longest amount of time. Roger has had the bell choir playing in many different venues, and when Covid had all singing choirs out of commission, the bells were in high demand playing special music for the church most Sundays. Christmas time is our favorite time to ring. We will play December 26. If you are interested in joining our bell choir, please see Roger Bennett.

 

photo credit:  James Hardison

 

CWF CHRISTMAS PARTY 2021


The ladies of the church gathered on December 17th, at 6:30 pm to
celebrate Christmas and enjoy each other’s company. We met in the
Fellowship Hall with nine in attendance. Christmas music filled the air
from a CD player Janci immediately set up. The ladies were all in good
spirits with chatter about the season, and the food we were looking
forward to sharing. Christine welcomed everyone and blessed the food.
We filled our plates with turkey and dressing, sandwiches, fruits,
cheeses, crackers, nuts, cakes, cookies and more. Our conversations
became lively with memories of the old days, which followed with lots
of laughter. Juanita surprised us with a beautiful handmade ornament
to add to our own tree. Thank you, Juanita!
A special thanks to Barbara Benton who was able to be with us. She
expressed her appreciation for supporting her during her time of need.
We missed those that were not with us but look forward to seeing you
next year. Merry Christmas everyone! ……..Susan H Bissette