The Tower Notes are out for March 2016! If you would like to receive the church newsletter by email, please sign up at the bottom of any page on the website. Keep up to date on all the happenings around Bethany UMC and download your copy of the tower notes today. There are many opportunities this month for you to connect with the community and build new relationships. We are still working through the Real Love ~ Relationship Matters series during Lent, the season of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection at Easter. What a wonderful time to build relationships amongst the community! Consider coming to one of the Sunday Lenten programs and enjoying a meal with others followed by a different program each week. See the calendar for details and directions to each of the locations around the community. It’s an awesome opportunity to meet folks from each of the area United Methodist churches. The program on March 13th will be right here at Bethany UMC. We gather for a light meal in the fellowship hall at 5pm followed by the Easter cantata at 6pm. Don’t be put off by the unfamiliar word, cantata, your (not very musical) webmaster has been attending worship at Bethany UMC and knew it was musical, but wasn’t sure what it meant. According to google it is “a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir.” I attended a few years ago and so I can tell you in layman’s terms, it is a combined choir from several area churches singing their way through a message or theme with accompaniment, different songs, sounds, soloists and grouping of singers, and in short terms, it is really beautiful. God loves it when we worship Him through music and you will certainly be able to feel the spirit moving during this program. In addition, all in the community are invited to witness the Living Last Supper on March 24th (the Thursday before Easter). This is a dramatization of the disciples thoughts during the last supper before Jesus’ crucifixion. This is similar to a play, but with a series of monologues with each disciple telling his story. During Holy week (and really all of Lent), we travel to the cross and then to the resurrection with Jesus, renewing our faith, and receiving the gift anew each year. The church also keeps a prayer vigil for 24 hours from the close of the Living Last Supper through Good Friday. If you want to be a keeper of an hour during the vigil, contact the church office. Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is always a celebration in the church. The Lord is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Come & Worship at 10:30am on Easter Sunday morning. Also, allow the youth to prepare your family’s breakfast on Easter morning. You can come before worship (starting at 9am) and enjoy a great breakfast. It is an excellent way to meet a few people, enjoy a meal and not have to worry about dishes on a busy morning! Attire on Easter Sunday is just like any other sunday. We are a fairly casual church generally. On Easter morning, many will wear a new dress or nice suit and lots of parents take this opportunity to dress up the little ones for spring pictures. However, you are encouraged to come as you are. Do not feel that you have to have a fancy dress or hat to come to church on Easter. Your webmaster, Elizabeth, will probably be in jeans and a blouse. I’ve been reading about movements from some Christians across the country to use the “new dress money “for charitable purposes instead and I was moved to take that new dress money and send it to Family Promise of Genesee County instead. If you want to do the same, sound off in the comments! There is much more to see and do and get involved with at Bethany UMC. I normally write these posts more objectively, but I wanted you to know that you are welcome here with this body of Christ during this Easter season (and always!). I’ll be greeting at church on Sunday, March 6th, and would love to meet you! You don’t have to have it all together to come to church. On Sundays, sometimes I feel like I’m carrying around so much baggage from the week. I sit in the pew and say a silent prayer and mentally visualize dropping my baggage at the cross. Then, I allow myself to be renewed and regenerated as I’m surrounded by other believers in worship. God didn’t intend for us to do this “life” alone. I tried that for a long time and I would love to talk to you about how being with other believers has helped me to grow and stretch in so many ways. Come & see what it is like to be a part of a community of believers. The Lord wants to walk beside you and help to ease your burdens. He also wants you to find others to walk with on this journey. Come with your questions, come with your doubts, come with your struggles and be surrounded by the love of Christ. Hope to see you in worship! ~ This post reflects the views and opinions of your webmaster, Elizabeth Whiting. I’m happy to talk with you, sit with you, share a cookie after worship with you. Oh, and I can usually be found serving tables, delivering drinks and conversation during the Easter breakfast, so I hope to see you there! This is me and my niece and nephew, if you see me around, say hello!
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