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 10:30am.
If you wish to participate in our Zoom services, e-mail DeAnne, firstname.lastname@example.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 to be viewed at a convenient time.
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: email@example.com
If you fall into the high risk category and need some extra assistance - or know of someone who does - please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.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
A place for
Faith, Friendship, Family
begins at 10:30 am
Send an e-mail to email@example.com by Friday at 3 pm if you wish to receive the link to view using Zoom.
Click on the button below to view the worship service at Bethany.
I don't usually write mid-week. But I write this on Wednesday evening as our nation surpasses over 100,000 dead due to COVID-19. Studies show that these deaths in the US disproportionately affect African Americans. And if that were not enough (and it is), there are the horrifying images of George Floyd's death Monday night as well as ongoing coverage of Ahmaud Arbery's death in February (lost to the news cycle until recently) and the stomach churning video of a white woman weaponizing race and threatening a black man who is bird watching in Central Park.
Death - so much death
How do we take this all in? How do we process this - respond to this - engage with this? It is hard on so many levels because these problems are so BIG. And BIG THINGS, like climate change, or the dangers inherent in doing ordinary things when you are African American (like jogging or bird watching), or 100,000 fellow citizens dead - are hard to wrap our heads around. It is easier to distract ourselves, look away and pretend that nothing has changed.
I confess that when I'm faced with something BIG and OVERWHELMING I'm tempted to look away and distract myself with something lovely - like the birds in my backyard. But those things can easily become permanent distractions that keep me from dealing with the painful reality that needs to be addressed. And when we ignore things that are BIG - especially loss like with COVID-19 and sin as deep as systemic racism - the situation never changes. And change is desperately needed!
I share this reflection from Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners:
As we pass the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus, we're using the hashtag #Lament100k to urge people to pause — to lament. Of course, the sentiment falls short. As a friend said to me, we can’t abbreviate all these lives; we have to try to feel all one hundred thousand of them.
One hundred thousand neighbors, friends, and family is 500 plane crashes with 200 passengers on board each one (there have only been 33 airplane crashes with 200 or more fatalities in world history), 33 times the number of deaths on 9/11, two sold-out baseball stadiums, 25 filled National Cathedrals, nearly the number of U.S. soldiers killed in World War I, and almost 15 times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. If a COVID-19 memorial were built today and no one else in the U.S. died from the virus, it would need to be almost twice the length of the Vietnam War Memorial wall to fit the names of all those our nation has lost.
One hundred thousand people, neighbors, friends, and family — grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, even children — are now all dead from COVID-19.
It is a marker we must not pass by quickly or easily. We must stop. We must weep. We must mourn. We must honor. And we must lament, which is to feel and bear great grief and sorrow, and reflect upon it.
(Read more of Jim's article at https://sojo.net/articles/lament-day-mourn)
Jim Wallis and Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders throughout America are calling for all faith communities to take time during their worship this weekend to mourn and lament, and have asked that Monday, June 1st be designated a National Day of Mourning and Lament. Wherever safe and possible, Interfaith gatherings are encouraged so that people can remember that this tragedy transcends individual faith communities and reflects one large community - humanity. Arranging such gatherings during this pandemic is challenging; if I become aware of any virtual gatherings I will see that you get the links.
This Sunday, May 31st at 6 pm the UCC is providing a unique opportunity to explore the reality of systemic racism and how the Christian church can respond to bring about transformation. The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery - a live viewing of Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr’s cinematic sermon preached at Trinity UCC Sunday, May 17th. Immediately following the live video a panel discussion with four respected thought leaders, racial justice advocates, and UCC pastors will discuss the impact of historical and present day acts of racism and violence towards African Americans and how the Christian Church can be actively involved in dismantling racism. For additional information and to register for the event, click on this link:
Looking away never solves a problem. To the best of our ability and inner resources (which I know are strained during this incredible time of disorientation and disruption) I encourage us to take note of the events of this most difficult time and mark them in ways that we and our loved ones will find meaningful. May we seek ways to be part of the solution, starting in simple ways:
1. Begin to learn about systems and structures that perpetuate racism in America and become aware of how we may be perpetuating racism - often unknowingly. Explore how our white identity and the privilege associated with it helps to perpetuate racism. Don't turn away - lean in to awareness. Systemic racism is a national tragedy.
2. Take time to mourn this enormous loss of life from COVID-19 - so many dead in such a short period of time. This, too, is a national tragedy.
3. Wash our hands often.
4. Observe physical distancing (at least 6') while remaining socially engaged. Avoid crowds.
5. Wear a mask to protect others when outside of our home - love your neighbor as yourself.
6. And remember to build in balance and resilience by doing those things that bring us joy (but not solely as a way to distract or numb out), and
7. Be God's hands and feet - bringing love and healing into our world.
We will get through this together - but the only way through is through, with eyes wide open. Please know that I am here should you wish to talk about any of these things, or should you wish some resources for exploring any of these difficult topics.