“Growing the Family of God…”
Through our Preschool.
Through Ministry Opportunities that Bring Community Members into our Community.
Through Ministry Opportunities that Take Bethlehem Members out into our Community.
Through Ministry Opportunities that Build our Community at Bethlehem.
“…through relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Perhaps, you saw this slide—especially with the purple coloring—Sunday, September 9 during our Sixtieth Anniversary celebration service. Pastor Dinger shared memories he had of ways that God had shown His power in the past here at Bethlehem—we even heard about God’s power in the founding of our congregation from our founding pastor, Ronald Dommer, and heard the promise of God’s blessing in our present as Pastor Braem spoke the Benediction. This slide was part of our hope for the future.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food;
I was thirsty and you gave me drink;
I was a stranger and you welcomed me….”
On Sunday, September 16, we heard about how God is blessing our Preschool. Pastor Brandt—over a year ago—suggested that we find out what we’re already doing that the Lord is blessing. We heard the story of how the preschool board wrestled with the projected enrollment in August, wondering if we’d have enough children to fill two classes of four-year-olds and two classes of three-year-olds. We didn’t really have the numbers in hand to support that hope. Yet, when school opened we had two full classes of four-year-olds (with a waiting list!) and just a few students short of two full classes of three-year-olds. God seems to be blessing our efforts as we try to be co-workers with Him in growing the family of God.
You can read elsewhere in this newsletter about some things that our Service Team is doing to meet the second focus in our hopes for the future. One of the proposals to provide ministry opportunities that bring community members into our community involves entering into a relationship with an organization in Hillsboro called “Family Promise.” We invited a speaker from this organization to speak at our July 1 Voters Meeting and you’ll have further opportunities to learn from some presentations during the Bible class hour in October and an informational meeting on October 28 following the worship services.
Family Promise helps families achieve lasting independence by providing shelter, meals and support to redress the underlying causes of homelessness. Basically, a couple of times a year, we would invite three families chosen by Family Promise to shelter in our building, giving each family a room in which to sleep each night for a week. We have opportunity to bless them with an evening meal each night and fellowship with them before the curfew. Bethlehem members would then act as hosts for the night—spending the night to help the families make themselves at home.
I think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 when I consider this opportunity: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me….” Please plan to come October 28 and find out more information and learn how you might help.
Joy in the journey,
Pastor Jeff Shearier