Bethany Believers Blog
Why is Bethany UCC Special?
Check back here for personal input and stories from the congregation of Bethany UCC and what it means to each of them.
August 31, 2017: We've been so busy with new, exciting things happening at church, this blog has been feeling neglected! With that being said, a new member, Juliet Jones, has been gracious enough to share her story as well.
Juliet began attending services at BUCC in January 2017. Juliet is new to the area and didn't have a community support system in place. She was also looking for a way to get involved with helping those in her new town. Juliet liked the idea of being a member of a church, however, was hesitant on organized religion, having come from a trying experience with her former congregation in which she was no longer welcome. Juliet, like many other members of Bethany, drove past our little church time and time again. The welcoming Easter banner with an invitation for silent reflection on Black Friday enticed Juliet that it may be a good place to start looking. Juliet attended a service and was blown away by the genuinely warm and non-pressuring welcome she received and she's been here ever since! Juliet decided to join our congregation because of the sincerity and truthfulness of the missions it supports. "Bethany doesn't just talk the talk. It tries its best to actually live Jesus' message....I believe Jesus himself would say, 'Yeah, you guys are getting it. And I enjoy your services, too.'"
Juliet's favorite thing about Bethany is Sunday worship itself. She feels that Pastor Naomi's sermons make sense and makes it easier to apply Jesus' teachings into every day life. With her newfound home, Juliet has grown in her faith journey, in possibly a completely different way than she ever thought possible. Juliet feels more of a partnership with her faith, as opposed to being on her own, and has a more intimate, personal relationship with Christ. Juliet also says "if you had told me even a year ago that I would be writing about my relationship with Jesus, I would have written you off as completely bonkers."
Juliet would tell those who are curious about BUCC, that she considers herself a skeptic and if she found it impressive, surely others can give it a try. "What have you got to lose? You don't like it, don't come back. But I'd be willing to bet you will."
We love Juliet for her intelligence, wittiness, and humor. We're so thankful to have her with us!
October 30, 2015: Our next story is from one of our newest members, Diana Taggart. Diana came to Bethany in July of 2014 and became a member in April 2015. She had been searching for three years after her and her husband moved to Lebanon to be close to their granddaughters, to find a church where she felt inspired. Her father who was 90 years young and a World War II Veteran had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, adding another dimension to the search.
Diana was curious about Bethany each time she passed it, for those three years. One thing on Diana's must-have church list, was inclusiveness, and she felt very encouraged that the United Church of Christ was a welcoming faith to all, regardless of lifestyle, race, creed, or background.
The warm, genuine welcome of the people of Bethany UCC convinced Diana to stay. During the next several months, Diana received thoughtful cards, phone calls, and personal caring every week from the compassionate congregation. The people, truly people of Christ, are what defines Bethany UCC for Diana. Her relationship with God and his Son is enhanced as she is humbled by the mission of Bethany. Diana looks forward to the worship, fellowship, and fine music, and to various outreach opportunities for service in the community.
Diana invites anyone who is curious about Bethany UCC to come, meet the congregation, and worship with us this Sunday. We'd be happy to have you!
October 23, 2015: Our first story comes from Barb Ryerson, who has been attending Bethany since 2000. Barb's father passed away in June of 1999 and she was searching for help with her feelings of grief. Barb felt the Lord was urging her home to the church. One of Barb's close friends attended worship and persuaded her to come and gave it a try, and here she is, 15 years later. But why did Barb stay? Because of the people. Barb felt that she was warmly and genuinely welcomed and never felt pressured to stay. She had an immediate connection and felt like she was a part of the congregation right from the start. There are many things she loves about the church, one of which is that the church has become a second family to her. Barb feels the people truly care about one another and lend a hand anytime someone needs help. Barb also says the congregation has a huge heart for the community, by providing service at the Lebanon Food Pantry as well as food for the Christmas Baskets at the holidays to families in need, and through Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) for meals to families there. Barb feels that her relationship with God and Jesus is always evolving and growing and the church helps her, especially through the wonderful music that is provided at services. Barb encourages anyone looking for a warm, personal worship service, relationships with other members, and with Jesus, to come join us!
October 20, 2015: Thank you to everyone who came out and supported Bethany UCC's annual outreach fundraiser at Irons' Fruit Farm on October 10 and 11! We were able to DOUBLE our money raised from last year and it's all because of your help. A lot more people will be able to have a very happy holiday because you so generously purchased food from our booth. May that wonderful feeling of giving propel you to continue to help others! For more info on our outreach programs, to volunteer or donate, please contact the church.