We are glad that you are visiting our site! Please have a look around and see for yourself what makes the people that gather in this place a family. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Has anyone ever said to you, “I can read your face like a book?” If so, you probably should refrain from playing cards. They generally mean that whatever is in your heart or on your mind is apparent on your face.
The Apostle Paul wrote something similar to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 3: You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone, revealingthat you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tabletsbut on tablets of human hearts. We have the opportunity to show others Jesus and the impact that Jesus makes in our hearts and lives.
After Easter, we spent our Sunday morning time together talking about how what Jesus did on Good Friday and Easter Sunday changes everything for us and, changes us. Easter changes how we count our days—Sunday begins the week for believers rather than the Sabbath. Easter changes how we see each other, and it changes our stories. We let the Book of Acts lead us through these sermons. Our adult Bible class read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together to understand how the community of believers and how we live and worship and work together is changed by what Jesus has done and continues to do for us.
Now, as we enter the summer months our Sunday messages will listen to the stories of some of the lives that were changed by meeting Jesus. We will start with the disciple Andrew and then meet other disciples, people like Mary and Martha and Mary Magdalene whose names we know and those whose names are not known, like the Woman at the Well. We will listen to how their lives were changed by meeting Jesus and what we can learn from them. The Sunday morning Adult Bible class will also focus on “heroes” of the faith as we meet them in the Bible—not necessarily the same ones we will meet in the sermons. This class will be both Zoom (led by Pastor Jeff Shearier) and in-person (led by Jeff Weiblen). The class will start June 13.
The series will end on Rally Day Sunday, September 12. We will invite members to share their faith stories during the worship service, wrapping up our focus on how Jesus changes us. So, if you think you would like to share your story, let me or Kerry Bauer or Eric Oswald know. There will be more information to come.
Joy in the journey,
Pastor Jeff Shearier
We are seeking donors and volunteers. Blood collection is essential. The American Red Cross is urging donors to give to maintain the blood supply for patients who rely on lifesaving transfusions. Your help is needed to ensure enough blood is on the shelves when every second matters. Pre-screening and
enhanced disinfection will occur. Donors will sign themselves in by tablet and wearing masks are mandatory. This is our “Annual” drive. Bethlehem volunteers Will Provide hospitality and help with registration. Bethlehem will not be providing snacks. Donor info and sign-up is on line at https://www.redcrossblood.org/ sponsor code bethlehemaloha. Registration is open now.
Volunteer information is on line at https://www.redcrossblood.org/content/dam/redcrossblood/sponsor-bulletins/volunteer_bsl_update_03302020.v2.pdf . Our last drive was a success thanks to the support of Bethlehem donors and volunteers, please consider your participation for May. If you know someone who has never donated before? Please encourage them to make an appointment along with you. If you feel you would like to volunteer, contact the office.
Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter Sunday and includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. You are invited to join us here at Bethlehem for our worship services throughout the week either in person in our Worship Center or online . Below, you can find information pertaining to our Holy Week events including links to our services as well as bulletins for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday when they are available. (Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday bulletins will be available on the normal Sunday Worship Service Page).
Why would we refer to a week as being holy? The word “holy” means “set apart.” That’s why we call the Bible “holy.” It isn’t just any book. It is set apart from all other books because it is God’s living Word given to us for our salvation! The same goes for Holy Week. This week is set apart from all other weeks because this is the week in the Church Year when follow Jesus through His final days on earth and hear again of the sacrifice He was willing to make on our behave to pay for our sins with His life and win for us salvation!
The Sunday before Jesus was crucified by the people, they honored and adored Him as their Lord and king with palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna!” We remember this as the beginning of Christ’s bitter walk to the cross.
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people began to praise and honor Him as their king. They believed Him to be a powerful leader who would overthrow the Roman government and restore Israel. When Jesus did not do this as they expected, the people wanted Him crucified. But Jesus revealed Himself as our humble King who came with a much bigger task. He’s a king who came to die for the sins of all people. Wow! What a King!
The Thursday before Jesus was crucified He sat in the Upper Room with His disciples and shared a meal with them, His last before His death and resurrection. It is here that Jesus institutes the sacrament of Holy Communion that we still celebrate today, where God meets us with His true presence in the bread and wine, and offers us forgiveness.
This is also the day that Jesus, the King of the Universe, got down on His knees, and washed His disciples’ feet. By performing this act of humility (which only the lowest of servants would do) Jesus gives us an example of the kind of humility and service we are to show each other and the world.
NOTE: Only the 7:00pm service is Live Streamed.
It seems strange to call the day that Jesus was crucified “good”. It doesn’t feel very good knowing that because of us, Jesus had to go through all of those horrible things and then pay the ultimate price, His very life, up on the cross. But that is exactly why it is good! Jesus, who never sinned, paid the penalty for our sins and made us right with God.
Our Good Friday Services reflect the sobering realization that it was our sins that put Jesus on that cross. The service is dark, and quiet, and somber. We leave the Worship Center without sound, but not without hope! Because we know what happened after three days!
NOTE: Only the 8:00pm Service is Live Streamed
He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Hallelujah! God’s promise to save His people is fulfilled and we celebrate this day, reveling in God’s grace, mercy, and victory over sin, death, and the devil. For not even death can win over our King! We lift our voices together in shouts of “Hallelujah!” to our Redeemer and Lord.
Look! How good and how pleasant it is when brothers truly live
in unity…Indeed, that is where the Lord has decreed a blessing
will be available—eternal life.
These words frame Psalm 133. The verses in between use images from worship and nature to describe the abundance with which our LORD blesses. The ultimate blessing given when God’s people dwell together is eternal life—”the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to
come” summarizes the Apostles Creed.
There are other blessings received as well as God’s people gather together. As we encourage one another, seeing each other from week to week, we assure one another that by God’s grace in Christ we have gotten through another week. In a world with so many voices shouting for our attention, certainly this
voice of reassurance speaks hope. The gift of fellowship with other believers whose focus is on the things above—those things given in Word and the sacraments—is a treasure.
While the online fellowship we experience is certainly valid and valuable—God’s gifts are given through the Word; I wanted to share the invitation with you—as you are able and feel safe—to rejoin us for in-person worship. While some of the protocols are still in place, the limits on the number of Bethlehem family members who can gather on-site are basically the same for a Home Depot or grocery store. I mention those examples as I remember some of the social media posts that suggested we could gather in-person for worship at Home Depot early on in the pandemic. We can welcome 166 people at each worship service, so we certainly have room for you! You don’t need to make a reservation, just come to worship our God together and be together with your Bethlehem family. Celebrate the unity we have in Jesus!
Together, we have joy in the journey,
Pastor Jeff Shearier