Saturday, April 19, 2014

I was composing a letter for the month of April and was ready to put the finishing touches on it.  Suddenly I was compelled to hit the delete key . . . and I did!  It was gone.  Panic set in as I wondered why I hit that delete key.  I prayed  in desperation,  as the deadline was today.  Praying I found the answer:  too often we try to fill the space on the document with words and end up with nothing more than filler.  So I shortened it up to keep it simple.

Resurrection Sunday - Easter is a celebration of God’s unprecedented love for YOU.  A love demonstrated through Jesus, God’s Son, paying the ultimate price so that we might find forgiveness of sin.  Jesus gave His life so that YOU might have life!  A gift filled with hope, joy and eternal blessing, all by the grace of God.

Are you celebrating?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3: 16

Let the celebration begin!    He is risen!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Holy Week at Bethany

Walking through Holy Week at Bethany . . . 

Palm Sunday - Matthew 26: 36-46  
     Traditions Worship - 9:00 a.m.
     Sunday School - 10:15 a.m.
     Celebrations Worship - 11:15 a.m.  

Holy Thursday - experiencing and sharing the Last Supper.  Bethany's choir will be singing.
     Service begins at 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday - Hearing the Last Words of Christ from the cross.  Liturgical dance and soloist.
     Service begins at 7:00 p.m.

Holy Saturday - Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. at the Holtzapple Estate.  Call church office for information.

Easter - SonRise Service begins at 6:30 a.m. in the Mt. Rose Cemetary
              Continental Breakfast at the church starting at 7:30 a.m.
              Traditions Worship at 9:00 a.m.    Celebrating the Risen Lord!
              Sunday School at 10:15
              Celebrations Worship at 11:15     Celebrating the Risen Lord!

You are invited to join us as we worship and celebrate!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Holy Week at Bethany

April 13:  Palm Sunday
     Traditions Worship @ 9:00 a.m.
     Celebrations Worship @ 11:15 a.m.
     Sunday School @ 10:15 a.m.

April 17:  Maunday Thursday Service @ 7:00 p.m.
               Experiencing the Last Supper

April 18:  Good Friday Service @ 7:00 p.m.
               Hearing the words of Christ from the cross

April 19:  Children's Egg Hunt @ 10 a.m.
                Contact the church office for details

April 20:  Easter Sunday
                6:30 a.m.  -  SonRise Service at Mt. Rose Cemetery
                7:30 a.m.  -  Continental Breakfast at the Church
                9:00 a.m.  -  Traditions Worship
                10:15 a.m.  -  Sunday School
                11:15 a.m.  -  Celebrations Worship

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring/Easter Bazaar Begins . . .

The Craft Guild have everything ready for the Spring/Easter Bazaar beginning today, March 28 and Saturday, March 29.  You are invited to join them for some good food, cupcakes, candies, and browse through the many craft tables. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. So, come on in and get to know us.  We'd like to get to know you . . . .

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Story Telling Time at BCLC

The children of Bethany Church Learning Center laughed and cheered during story telling time.  With anticipation they entered the empty tomb and celebrated the Easter story.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Friday and Saturday, March 28th and 29th - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

The Bethany Craft Guild will be display their home-made crafts to the community.  You may browse and all crafts will be reasonably priced.
Lunch will be served both days until 2 p.m. and will feature home-made soups & sandwiches.

There will be:
Easter candy, Kitchen towels, hand-made soaps, Dish Cloths, Hand-knits, Wreaths, Floral arrangements, cute Easter crafts and novelties, and much more!

Visit their Website at   

Monday, March 17, 2014

What A Blessing!

On Sunday we were blessed to have Katelyn share with us during the Traditions Worship and the Celebrations Worship.  Katelyn shared her testimony of God's transforming love that has changed her life.  We also were blessed to hear about her mission trips to the Dominican.  We were invited to support her with prayers and financially as she prepares to return to the Dominican on June 11, for 6 weeks.  Below is a picture of Katelyn and Pastor Dennis.

And some new friends . . . 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lenten Supper / Discussion Series Week Two

The table for the Lenten Supper was filled with good food followed by some great discussion on the scripture text for the night, John 20: 1-18.

Everyone enjoyed the meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, stewed tomatoes, and of course some delicious deserts!

Some people just couldn't get enough . . .

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lenten Supper / Discussion Series

Thursday evening marked the beginning of the Lenten Suppers/Discussion Series at Bethany.  Everyone met in the Social Hall at 6:00 p.m. for a wonderful meal consisting of pork and sauerkraut, green bean casserole, and delicious dessert.  Discussion time followed with a clip of a Bible Storyteller bring alive a portion of scripture.  This followed with table discussion on the scripture.

Keeping a watchful eye on the food table . . .

Food for thought!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dr Seuss Week at BCLC

The Learning Center at Bethany is having Dr Seuss week.  Everyone is having fun!  There was lots of laughter and talk of green eggs and ham.

Learning is FUN!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ash Wednesday Service

March 5, 2014 is Ash Wednesday.  Bethany will be having a service at 7:00 p.m. with the imposition of ashes.  During the service there will be three stations consisting of imposition of ashes, Holy Communion, and a station for prayer.  All are invited to join us in the sanctuary.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014

TAIM (Think About It Moment)

Season for Spiritual Inspection

Every year I go to my mechanic to have my car inspected.  The purpose of inspection is for the car to be examined to see if it is functioning properly and safely.  During that inspection the mechanic, my trusted mechanic, carefully checks the many working parts for wear and tear. Many of those parts are not visible unless you take the time to examine very closely.  I appreciate the car inspection, because it gives me a peace of mind to know the car is sound and ready for traveling. 

However, my personal struggle with inspection is I don’t want to hear the results.  Have you been there?  It’s times like that I ask, “Does it have to be fixed now” or, “can it wait?”  There are other times I respond with, “I just fixed that 5 years ago!”  The answer is very predictable,  “If you want to have the inspection sticker placed on the windshield - it will have to be fixed.”  Then I go through this thought process . . . Well, I got to have my car . . . I know my car needs to be inspected . . . I want it to be safe . . . seriously, it’s a no brainer!

Then I ask the inevitable question.  Are you ready for this?  How much will it cost?  You can chuckle with me if you want.  But seriously, does it really matter?  At that point I have to make a choice. 

Our Lenten journey is quite similar to having an inspection on our car.  A time for us to ask Jesus, whom we trust, to closely inspect our spiritual lives.   And with grace, Jesus, will closely examine and find those areas that keep us from living in the fullness of God’s love.  Lent is a time for us to open our hearts to God’s transforming love through prayer and fasting.  To examine our walk of faith by asking: “Is our faith nurtured by the spiritual disciplines that keep us in tune with God?”  Perhaps the words from the psalmist from Psalm 139 should be our prayer.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts,
See if there is any offensive way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139: 23&24

Yes, now the big questions.  “Do I have to do it?”  “How much will it cost?”
That’s between you and Jesus, and your desire to live the fullness of life that God wants for you.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10: 10

Our Lenten journey begins on March 5, 2014, Ash Wednesday.  Are you ready?  May our journey be a time for personal spiritual reflection as we walk with Jesus to the victory of the empty tomb – a “Risen Savior!”    

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Celebrations Worship

Children gather during children's time and Laura shares about faith . . .

During snow days a couple of our children were creative with their time . . .

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Day of Sabbath and Prayer

Staff and Council of Bethany met on February 1st  for a time of spiritual renewal.  Our spiritual leader for the day, Pat, guided us through some quiet reflection and prayer.  We heard about "Chasing the Great White Rabbit" and studied the Scriptures through a practice called Lectio Divina.  It was a rewarding experience of being spiritually and physically fed.
Our leader Pat . . .
Fellowship and study . . .

Glenn and Debbie fed us physically . . .

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maybe this is for You!

Every day I have something from Mountain Wings delivered to my inbox.  Some days it is inspirational, other times it is a quote or food for thought.  Today I found the following in my inbox and wanted to share it with you.  Maybe it is for you too?  Hope this will bless you as it did me!

Warning Light

Today I was driving in my truck up a busy street,
talking out loud to God, as I sometimes do.

I glanced down at my gas gauge for the 10th time only to see
that I was still on empty, and the orange glow of the warning
light was still very much glowing at me.

I had been telling God that I didn't know what to do and that I
was in need of His wisdom.

My car insurance was due yesterday,
my truck payment is 3 months overdue,
my cell phone was turned off,
(I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks so that is a big one
for me).

I am on medical disability for my anxiety, no job and very broke.

I explained to God that something really needed to change,
and that I am at my end and can't do this anymore.

The rest of this can be found at

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bishop's Retreat for Clergy of Susquehanna Conference

The past few days Jean and I traveled to Double Tree Resort in Lancaster for a time of renewal and Continuing Education with colleagues from the Susquehanna Conference.  The snow was steadily falling and the air was cold . . . but there was a lot of  warmth, laughter, and fellowship inside.

There was over 200 of us gathered together.  If you look closely you might see Pastor Dennis and Jean in the center of the picture . . . 

Our session teacher / leader was Tracy Radosevic, a well know Bible storyteller . . .

We did have some fun on Tuesday evening at 9:00 for a time of karaoke with our Bishop . . .

You might say we all got into the singing . . .

Our first session on Monday evening closed with Communion.  Look closely at the name tag and you will see Pastor JP receiving the "Bread of Life" . . .

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy New Year!

It's a new year and it seems the days are passing by so quickly.  I was pondering what I might share at this time.  Maybe some encouragement at the beginning of this new year?  Perhaps some spiritual reflection on a portion of Scripture?  Perhaps even a prayer?  As I prayed I thought of an old Irish song that was translated into English in 1905 by Mary E. Byrne.  The words I've carried in my heart since a child growing up in the church.  May the words of the first verse  be an inspiration to you as they are for me.

Be Thou My Vision (United Methodist Hymnal)

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Memories seem to abound as we journey through Advent.  Bethlehem comes alive as we remember how God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for you.  

Our challenge this week is to remember how God's love came to you by the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  May you never forget the depth of God's love for you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Eve Services

All are invited to Bethany's Christmas Eve Services

December 24 at 7:00 p.m.  and at 11:00 p.m.

Come celebrate with us!  Both services will be candlelight services.

TAIM (Think About It Moment)

Believe it or not!  Christmas will soon be here and our celebration of Christ will continue throughout the coming year.  Yes, 2013 is about to open the door to all the uncertainties of the coming new year.  In the past few weeks I’ve been watching and listening as we celebrated Thanksgiving, and then embarked upon our journey through Advent.  The days, the weeks, the hours, seem to be passing by like an ice cube melting on a hot summer day.  Just where have those hot summer days gone?

Smiling, I ask that question in the reality of having to shovel all the snow on Sunday.  Watching the snow fall I had time to reflect upon some of the sights and sounds from the past few weeks.  There seems to be more manger scenes on display than in the years past.  A few of them have the Magi surrounding the cradle and offering their gifts to Jesus.  Should this be?  The understanding is that the Magi’s journey began after the birth of Jesus.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”  Luke 2: 1 NIV

Some say that the baby Jesus is not to be part of the manger scene until Christmas Eve.  Pondering all this I walked into the church office and there on the top of the filing cabinet, waiting for Christmas Eve, were six mangers filled with straw.  Snuggled in the straw was baby Jesus.  They had been set aside, in an out of the way spot, waiting to become part of our Christmas celebration.  Waiting to be . . .
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
Isaiah 9: 6b

Smiling, my thoughts brought forth this question.  How many of us will pack away the nativity; with the shepherds, donkey, sheep, shepherds, Magi, Mary, Joseph and even Jesus, after Christmas?  Placing them safely in a box.  Storing the box in a dark closet, out of sight and out of mind, until Advent begins in 2014.

After reading this many of you are saying, “What’s the point of all these words?”  It comes down to what’s important!  The question is this:  “Where will Jesus be in your life in 2014?”  Will Jesus truly be Immanuel, “God with YOU”, or will you place him on the shelf and look for him when you have a need?  Will Jesus be welcomed in your life every moment or just on special occassions? 

Think about it!  Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Magi Visited Bethany's Advent Luncheon

We had a special report from Bethlehem . . .

                       Zachary the roving reporter provided the questions!

                             Magi shared their wisdom!

They sang with such style!

Third Sunday of Advent

Finding Bethlehem has been our theme throughout our Advent Journey.  The third Sunday of Advent was filled with snow . . . sunshine . . . and a new challenge for this week.

Finding Bethlehem we discover the awesome power of God's love through Jesus.  Love that empowers us to love as God loves us.   Our challenge this week is to see the mighty presence of love working in the daily routine of life.  Then find ways to share that love with those around us!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Continues

The second Sunday of Advent brought us some snow and a challenge for the week . . . 

When we find Bethlehem we find the freedom Christ gives.  That freedom blossoms to life when Christ sets us free to love.  Our challenge through this week is to ponder how you might "step out" in freedom to serve God and your neighbor?