Did you know you can catch up on sermons you missed? Pastor LuAnn allows us to record the sermons and share them online. This is a great way to get to know our worship style and hear the messages we are blessed with every week. If you are on a slower internet connection, you can download the sermons as well so you don’t have to worry about buffering when streaming the audio.
Catch up on the last sermon series, Living New Life in Christ.
What is it like to worship at Bethany UMC? How is that different than listening online?
Listening to a sermon is a form of active listening whether online or in person. The worship experience on Sunday serves more purpose than just getting these words into our brains, we have to receive them into our hearts. We hope you will come and see what it is like to worship with a community of believers. Come and see what it is like to prepare your body, mind, soul and heart for worship and then to receive God’s Word in such a way that you want to spring into action putting it to good use in your own life and the larger community. However, if you are unable to join us, I hope that listening to the sermon online is a blessing to you. When I miss a Sunday service and listen online, I try to still go through the steps of preparation, prayer, and scripture reading before listening. You’ll find links to all of the associated Scriptures on the sermons pages along with the audio to make this easy.
When you arrive at our church building, you will most likely park in the large parking lot at the rear of the building. If you are handicapped or have difficulty getting around, pull right up by the sanctuary doors under the covered area. One of the doormen or doorwomen will assist you and even park your car if needed. There are also some handicap spots right up front. However, if you are able-bodied, there is a large parking lot with plenty of spaces at the rear of the building. The main entrance from this lot enters our building in the Sunday School hallway. Walk down this hallway and turn left into the main hallway. The Fellowship Hall (aka Roller Skating Rink) is on your left (2 sets of swinging doors) and bathrooms on your right. Continue down this hallway to our greeting and gathering area. Turn right and you’ll find people milling about in this area as well as a coat room for winter months. The main sanctuary entrance will then be on your left.
Greeters are at the main door of the sanctuary to shake your hand. Feel free to tell them its your first visit, they’ll help show you around. Then, there are ushers with bulletins available to show you to your seat, help you with hearing assistance if needed. If you’d prefer, you can head up the stairs and sit in the balcony. It’s a different perspective on the service and can be really neat.
If you arrive early, you’ll see members carry the Light to the altar. Then, the worship service begins with music as people enter the sanctuary and find a seat. Every worshipper prepares differently. Many say a quiet prayer from their seat. You are invited to come to pray at the altar as well. The pastor welcomes us and makes any vital church announcements.
Then, a worship leader helps with the Call to Worship as the congregants answer the call. We sing during the service. We share our prayers with the congregation or offer them up silently. We say the Lord’s Prayer. The worship leader reads the scriptures for the day (you can find these on the sermon pages as well, to read ahead of time or to read as you prepare your heart when listening to the online sermon). The ushers collect an offering. We give from a thankful heart, not because we are compelled or forced. If you are unable to put anything in the plate, please don’t let that keep you from coming to worship.
After the offering, we generally say a prayer in unison and sing a hymn before Pastor LuAnn delivers the sermon. Children are most welcome in our sanctuary, though we do offer a nursery for the youngest if their parents choose that route. Pastor LuAnn will keep right on preaching through any manner of crying, yelling, or fussing your kids might do. Please don’t let a teething baby, or the terrible twos keep you from coming to worship, bring the little children to Jesus. But, if as a parent, you want to have your own peace for worship, feel free to bring the youngest to the nursery where our members will look after them during the service.
We take Communion on the first Sunday of the month and on certain holy days. We have various types of music. Much is traditional, but we also feature contemporary music quite often. The music team always seems to find the perfect pieces to complement our worship whether from Christian radio or our United Methodist hymnal.
After worship service, we often have fellowship hour in the big hall in the center of our building. All are invited to stay for that. Sometimes we have luncheons to benefit various mission projects. Everyone is welcome to stay for fellowship. This is a great time to get to know others in the church in a casual atmosphere. A helping hand is always appreciated and I’ve found that no matter where I go, a great way to make fast friends is to stick around for dish duty. 🙂
If you are nervous about coming to worship at Bethany UMC, I offer myself as a friendly face in the crowd. I usually sit on the left hand side of the sanctuary about 10 rows or so from the front. Look for me and feel free to take a seat next to me and my niece and nephew. If you’d like to meet up before service, feel free to leave a comment here or send me an email. You’ll find me during Sunday School (at 9am) in the prayer room as well.
Written by: Elizabeth Whiting (Webmaster)