Our Church Family
There is nothing more important for a church than to have the sense of being an extended family. Every member and group is an integral part of what keeps the family united and thriving, from each child in Sunday school, through our youth and young adults, all the way up to our senior members that have been with us for 50+ years. We like to think that to be a member of our church is to have many sisters & brothers, grandfathers & grandmothers, aunts & uncles. Please look through our drop-down menu to see the various groups and clubs Bethany has to offer!
A Word from our Pastor
When I meet someone for the first time and they find out I’m a pastor, they are
often puzzled. Often, they follow up with a question. “Is the church still relevant?”
they might ask, or “Isn’t the church dying?” Actually, you don’t need to be a
pastor to have those questions posed in casual conversation. Many of you have
probably heard them – and possibly struggled to frame an answer.
At the end of the story of her coming to faith, in the first chapter of her book,
Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott relates a story her pastor once told. While it
doesn’t directly answer those troublesome questions, it does a really good job of
highlighting what the church at its best can be.
Here’s the story: “When she was about seven, her best friend got lost one day.
The little girl ran up and down the streets of the big town where they lived, but
she couldn’t find a single landmark. She was very frightened. Finally, a
policeman stopped to help her. He put her in the passenger seat of his car, and
they drove around until she finally saw her church. She pointed it out to the
policeman, and then she told him firmly, ‘You can let me out now. This is my
church, and I can always find my way home from here.’”
Lamott concludes, “And that is why I have stayed so close to mine because no
matter how bad I am feeling, how lost or lonely or frightened, when I see the
faces of the people at my church and hear their voices, I can always find my way
Many of us can remember a time when the church played a more prominent,
positive role in our culture – a time when pews were filled on Sunday morning
and programs for young people were well attended. For reasons too complicated
to address in a few paragraphs, that time is probably gone forever.
But the church still has an important role to play in our 21 st Century life. It can be
a place where people – all sorts of people – can always find their way home.
The world has never been in greater need of such a place.
My hope and my prayer is that we can work together to make Bethany a place
like that. If you are looking for a church home where you will be affirmed, no
matter who you are or where you are on your faith journey, come join us.
Grace and Peace to all of you.
Jeff Van Orden