Bethany United Church of Christ

1235 Broad Blvd.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223


330-923-5277​

 Easter 2019

 

Easter 2020

                                                          

Zoom Services at Bethany


Bethany  is hosting worship services on Thursday and Sunday remotely via Zoom.


Thursday remote services will be held at 6:30pm.


Sunday remote worship service will begin every Sunday at 9:30am.


If you wish to participate in our Zoom services, e-mail DeAnne, deanne@bethanyucc.org and she will e-mail you a link and a bulletin so that you can be included in our worship service.


If you are unavailable at that time, a link for a recording of the service will be put on our website or you can go to our youtube channel to view at a convenient time.  


Stay safe!


   Bethany COVID-19 Update - March 14, 2020

A Message from Pastor Kim

Friends - in response to the challenges presented by this pandemic, we have suspended worship and activities in our building until further notice.  We will revisit this decision regularly and resume our normal gatherings as soon as we can do so safely and as responsible citizens.

We do this in order to follow Christ’s instructions to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Experts tell us that it is necessary to slow down the spread of this virus to protect the vulnerable and keep our medical resources from being overwhelmed.  This step gives us a concrete way to do that.

We will do our best to post opportunities for remote worship from Bethany for those who wish to use them.  Watch your church email, Facebook page and this website for further information.

If you need to reach our staff, reach out to them via email and phone as before.  We are all working and available to assist you in whatever way we can.

If you do not fall into the high risk category and would like to volunteer to shop or run errands for someone who does not have family to help them, please let me know:  pastor@bethanyucc.org

If you fall into the high risk category and need some extra assistance - or know of someone who does - please let me know:  pastor@bethanyucc.org

Please pray for all who are suffering and afraid right now; and pray for our medical personnel, scientists, public health specialists and first responders.  Pray for parents with children who will soon be on an extended break, and grown children who are worrying about their parents.  Everyone (everyone!) is challenged by these circumstances so may we bring kindness, compassion and love into our response.

Now is the time for us to do what we can to respond to the suffering and fear around us - and do it from a place of love, strength and wisdom.  We will have to do “church” differently, but we will continue to be the church - Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

With love and blessings,

Kim

Red Cross Blood Drive


We are continuing our community outreach opportunity with the Red Cross with a Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 28.  The Red Cross will be using our Social Hall to hold a blood drive for the community from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Donors should go to this link to sign up to donate as only donors with appointments will be permitted in the drive.


https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=BethanyUCC


All donors will have their temperature taken at the entrance and masks are required of all donors.  Please contact Carolyn B. Hofmann if you have questions about donating or go to https://www.redcrossblood.org/. Please share this opportunity with your friends and family on your social media accounts for their consideration to donate.


For a limited time, the American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies as an additional health service to our donors. This testing may provide critical insight into whether donors may have possibly been exposed to this coronavirus. The Red Cross is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic.


Thanks for helping to spread the word about our blood drive on July 28.


Resources for Exploring Racism, Whiteness, and Privilege

6.29.2020


We will explore the following resources in our conversation Thursday night:

An overview of why it can be hard for white people to discuss racism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdFCRHhygHo


An Uncomfortable Conversation With a Black Man # 4 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSsoVjTgYJ0


Ted Talk on Implicit Bias:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKHSJHkPeLY


A powerful short film from a British perspective of what is NOT taught about Black History:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNfH41-LI4w


From slavery to mass incarceration:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4e_djVSag4


A powerful Ted Talk on being an ally:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQSW5SFBsOg


Article about race and policing by Charles M. Blow (attached below)

Womanist (Black feminist) Worship Service called Beyonce Mass.  This experience has been both celebrated and severely criticised:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t_dSoqdPsU


6.22.2020

The third installment of Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfo1XJDJKSU


Background on the Tulsa Race Massacre: 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhoAGJUDEvc


The film Starbucks used to demonstrate racial bias:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDPTVEqkGa4


An interesting TED talk that explores 3 myths of racism:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CGJDgO4Fs8


A brief clip from the show Blackish that explores despair as related to policing and racism in America:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwcychAm--s


Two articles related to on inequities in policing written by Charles M Blow:  

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/05/opinion/charles-blow-privilege-of-arrest-without-incident.html

https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2020/05/29/charles-m-blow-how-white/


Womanist (Black feminist) Worship Service called Beyonce Mass.  This experience has been both celebrated and severely criticised:  

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t_dSoqdPsU


6.15.2020

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Pt 2:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwiY4i8xWIc


A black woman expresses her rage about the injustice of racism:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llci8MVh8J4


There are many examples online of the Privilege Walk: 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3AMhtHPKNk


A good overview of race awareness for white people:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjHg65JORi8


A good reminder of stereotypes and unconscious bias (thank you, Kathy):  

https://www.reviewjournal.com/life/before-you-call-the-cops-video-by-lva-grad-going-viral-once-again-2043311/amp/


Two articles on how to use our privilege to help address racism:  

https://hbr.org/2018/09/use-your-everyday-privilege-to-help-others

https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/kivel3.pdf


6.8.2020

The Akron/Summit Co Public Library system has excellent resources for exploring racism and white privilege:

https://akronlibrary.overdrive.com/collection/1087163


A good place to begin exploring white privilege is with this article by Peggy Macintosh*.  I invite you to read the article and reflect on the privilege you experience due to being white: 

https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf   


Peggy Macintosh giving a TED talk on Privilege*: 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-BY9UEewHw


An excellent TED talk by Sue Borrego on White Privilege*:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlRxqC0Sze4


This is an excellent introduction to the experience of African

Americans by Emmanuel Ancho https://twitter.com/themanacho/status/1267609472589090816 s=12&fbclid=IwAR21IQP7ZEgWssgmk9Z9IVmjwK8rzJZ9mCF-CwkhzW03DF7vuybxja6rxqQ


A short video that introduces us to the "talk" that African American parents have to have with their children*:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqJ-psD9vJw


A powerful musical reflection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SQSFkRj1Pg&feature=youtu.be&goal=0_adeffecd19-f9d139daa7-71391847&mc_cid=f9d139daa7&mc_eid=090019cff6



For Families:  Here is an excellent resource for children and their families for discussing racism 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vHymutysWU&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2cSP_eenRYVbGPHIEebpN6CK-qK9pfXOSAOVLKpcaXq_fIiJipAoZqll0&app=desktop





Visit our You Tube Channel


We now have a youtube channel where you can view our weekly worship services, special music selections and a children's section.


Click on the button below to be directed to our youtube channel.


A place for

Faith, Friendship, Family



Spring 2020   

Worship Schedule  

begins at 9:30 am

via Zoom


Send an e-mail to deanne@bethanyucc.org by Friday at noon  if you wish to receive the link to view using Zoom.

Thoughts from Kim

America is on fire - our home is on fire.  If you had an electrical problem in your home that caused it to burst into flames, you would not throw gasoline on the flames and wonder why they did not go out.  Nor would you put the flames out and rebuild your house without first correcting the electrical problem that started the fire!  No - you would make sure everyone was safe, put out the fire, identify and correct the problem and then rebuild the house.


To those who are in leadership and are throwing gasoline on the fire - stop!

To those who are taking advantage of this fire for selfish reasons - stop!

To those who are saying this is not our problem or our house that is burning - yes it is!

To those who want to put the fire out and rebuild the house without addressing the cause of the fire - no, not again!

To those who have been living in a burning house for a long time - we hear you!

To those who want to understand what started the fire and be part of the solution - listen!


Let us listen to the voices of our Black and Brown neighbors who have a very different experience of living in America than we who are White do.  We may be neighbors - we may share this house that we call America - but our experience of it is very different.  The easy response to this tragedy is to blame a few bad actors who are taking advantage of this trauma for self gain and thus be distracted from dealing with the underlying systemic issues that are at the heart and soul of the message repeated again and again by the peaceful protestors and their allies as they take to the streets to call America to awareness and repentance.


And repent we must.  The systemic racism that supported the enslavement of a race of people so that a prosperous America could be built for those who shared the race of the slave masters did not go away with the conclusion of the Civil War, or the Emancipation Proclamation, or the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s.  It is still part of the fabric of our society and is reflected in everything from health care outcomes in the COVID-19 pandemic to lethal experiences with law enforcement officers.  And while we as individuals, as churches, and as a denomination have condemned the systems and structures that perpetuate racism, we have not done so as a nation - nor have we participated in a process of restorative justice.  So like the electrical fire that keeps reignating every time the power is turned back on, America burns once again.  


Let's not repeat history.  It is time to acknowledge and address the underlying problem.  


We begin by listening.  The problems facing nonwhite neighbors are real and deserve our full attention.

We continue by learning.  We take the time to become self aware and learn how we benefit from systemic racism and

                                              perpetuate the problem.

We repent.  We allow ourselves to be sorry for how we have (often unintentionally) benefitted from this unjust system.

We make restitution.  We join those who have been injured by helping to fix what is broken.

We weave the threads of a new story - a story of equality and justice in America.  We rebuild community - together.


This restorative justice model of listening, learning, repenting (taking responsibility), making restitution, and working together to rebuild community has been used in a variety of settings from apartheid in South Africa to the juvenile justice system in America to foster healing and responsible/just change.  My prayer is that our beloved nation will see this tragedy as an invitation to restorative justice.  When that happens, the Kingdom (Realm)  of God will truly be in our midst.


Please help me to build this community right now - right here at Bethany.  Each one of us has a part to play in building the Kingdom or Realm of God.  To do this, we will start with the first steps:


1.  Listen - listen carefully to the voices speaking of oppression in America.  Take note of what you are hearing - and ponder it.

2.  Learn about how we benefit from systemic racism - often without knowing it.  One option for learning is to read the article I provide each week in the Daily Connections (under the heading Resources for Exploring Racism, Whiteness and Privilege)

3.  Join me on Zoom on Thursdays at 7:30 pm to discuss the reading for the week - and to build a community awake to the reality of systemic racism in America.  We will have a time to share and reflect, and a time to pray.


In time, we will know what steps to take to move through repentance, restitution and rebuilding.  For now - first steps.


I have hope that people of good will can learn and grow together - that with God's help, our nation can weave together the threads of pain and injustice into a new cloth of strength and beauty.  In the words of this week's scripture passage from Isaiah:


You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
 rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
 restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
 make the community livable again.



America's best days can indeed be ahead - but only if we do the work to heal and restore our nation.  Please join me in this work.


With love, pain and hope,

Kim