The congregational meeting held Wednesday, 7:00 PM, in the cafeteria of the Arapahoe Charter School exposed the enormity of the task that lies ahead in the rebuilding of Bethany Christian Church. The group learned the sobering news of the facility being under insured, the condemnation of the John M. Waters Fellowship Hall by the Pamlico County Building Inspector, the necessity of shoring up roof beams in the fellowship hall to make it safe before retrieval of cherished items from that structure can begin, and most desperately, the need for clear communication and coordination of this multi-faceted effort to clean up and begin the rebuilding process.
Good news was in the form of a few donations already received and the offer of help from area churches and the regional office of the Christain Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina.
Reverend Gary Edge opened the meeting reminding the 77 present that while rebuilding would require a major commitment, it would above all else require a “commitment to God.”
Regional Minister, John Richardson, displaying a photo of a fire at a church he once served, using I Kings 19:11-14 as a text, said, “The circumstances were very different for Elijah, but there is also a common point in his story and the story of Bethany Christian Church. After a tragic moment in time, it was not in the raging wind; it was not in the earthquake; it was not in the fire that Elijah discovered God’s presence. Elijah discovered God’s presence in the silence that followed.
“You too, Bethany Christian Church have the same opportunity – to discover anew the presence of God in these days following the fire of June 25, 2007.”
Sara Spaulding, Music Director of Bethany, reported that her husband, Simon, is organizing a benefit music festival for the church that they hope will become an annual event. This was one of several initiatives discussed to rebuild the sanctuary and the life of this congregation.
The need to thank firemen who took time off from work without pay, the need to organize thank-you acknowledgements to all offers and gifts of help, and above all else, the need for clear communication and coordination of rebuilding efforts were discussed. John Beeman, Jr. plans to coordinate a shoring up of the beams in the fellowship hall before people enter to retrieve cherished items. Roger Bennett will coordinate the cleaning of the hand bells, Thursday, June 28, 7:00 PM in the church nursery.
All were reminded to contact Mac Harris, 252-249-9811, Communications Director, for information to distribute to the membership. The communications committee met prior to the congregational meeting and made plans to move forward with all deliberate speed to achieve the goals of the faithful planning process.