FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020

Dear Bethel Family,

Take 5 minutes to watch the video below for a good reminder from this week’s Fighter Verse, as well as encouragement to stay connected and to care well for one another in this time of physical isolation.

I can’t wait until we can all gather together again in person!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020

Dear Bethel Family,

I wanted to share some ministry updates to help keep everyone in the loop. Take 7 minutes to watch the video below. Here’s a summary of what’s covered:

* Devotional thought to live by faith and not by statistics
* Communion – fasting, lamenting, and longing
* Care team update
* Directory for the sake of prayer and staying connected
* Virtual dinner guests 🙂

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

FRIDAY, March 27, 2020

Dear Bethel Family,

I wanted to share some ministry updates to help keep everyone in the loop. Take 10 minutes to watch the video below. Here’s a summary of what’s covered:

* Reminder from Romans 8 – we are SECURE!!!
* Sundays – livestream & worship team
* Community Groups update (including if you’re not yet in one)
* Directory for the sake of prayer and staying connected
* Adult Discipleship curriculum (Sun 9am classes) – last semester wrap up & plan for Apr-Jun
* “Tough Questions” livestream starting next Wed at 7:30pm
* Care team update
* Deacon fund use
* Good Friday “One 4 Wilmington” update
* Video call counseling

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Bethel Family,
 
First off, and foremost, let’s actively focus on the fact that the Lord is absolutely in control. We can and must trust in him with all our heart. For sure, stay up on the news. But you can only read (or listen to) so many COVID-19 updates before you need to go and listen to some good, grace-filled music like this: Psalm 46, or this: Psalm 34. (Maybe one of our ministries of encouragement will be sharing good hope-filled worship music with each other!) After you get done listening to those songs, go for a walk outside and pray for grace to walk by faith through “such a time as this.”
 
Brothers and sisters, we are in the midst of this moment in history, with this crisis, by God’s sovereign appointment. We wouldn’t have chosen it, but he has chosen it for us. Don’t waste your energy raging or griping over governmental failures or personal losses (or wondering about conspiracy theories!). Look up in faith and out in love. How can you care for and encourage someone today?
 
A lot has happened since we communicated last Friday. As a result, we’ve made some additional decisions about how we’ll operate as a church family.
  • Per the state and national guidelines, our cancellation of Sunday 9am classes will be in place for at least 8 weeks. Parents, take advantage of The Gospel Project material Pastor Tyler sent out today that you can use at home with your children.
  • We will not host an on-site Sunday morning service for at least the next 8 weeks. We plan to live stream the full service this Sunday beginning at 10:30am.
  • Given the national guidelines regarding meetings of more than 10 people, and out of loving concern for those at higher risk, we’ve decided to cancel all in person smaller group meetings until further notice. This applies to prayer meeting, women’s Bible study, men’s Bible study, and Community Groups. We are working to move some of these groups to online formats.
  • Speaking of online formats . . . For prayer meeting (Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30pm), we are going to try using Google Hangouts Meet. If you need information about how to join that group, email the church office.
I know there’s tons of information out there, but in case some of you don’t yet understand why social/physical distancing is so important, this video is a helpful summary.
 
A few important sources of information and updates:
  • For state-related information, go HERE to hear from our governor, and HERE for information from the Division of Public Health.
  • For national info from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), go HERE
  • For the World Health Organization (WHO), go HERE
Finally, let’s pray, church. Pray for elderly and high-risk folks who may be particularly anxious in the face of this threat. Pray for medical personnel and hospitals that may soon be in for sustained periods of intense conditions. Pray that the Lord would mercifully enable the development of treatments and a vaccine in record time. Pray that we, as God’s people, will have an informed wisdom and supernatural calm, reaching out with care and love to neighbors and co-workers and friends. Pray for gospel advance and for God to be glorified through it all.
 
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Chris

friday, MARCH 13, 2020

In consideration of the public health concerns related to COVID-19, we will NOT be hosting an on-site service this Sunday, March 15. We are also canceling our 9am classes for the remainder of the month of March.

Please take 10 minutes to watch the video below, where Pastor Chris explains our reasons and motivation for these changes. In the video, he explains the following:

  • We should seek to operate from FAITH and not from FEAR.
  • We are NOT going to “neglect to meet together” (Hebrews 10:25), but we are going to change HOW and WHERE we meet.
  • We will offer a recording this coming Sunday for the next passage in our study through the Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Look for that by early Sunday afternoon.
  • We will continue our smaller group gatherings, such as Prayer Meeting (Wednesday evenings – 6:30-7:30pm), Women’s Bible Study (Thursday evenings – 7-8:30pm), Men’s Bible Study (Friday mornings – 6:10-7am), etc.
  • We are exploring live stream options for next Sunday, March 22, and beyond, and we will provide more information next week.
  • We will also provide additional guidelines and encouragement next week for our Community Group gatherings.
  • We are making all of these changes not out of fear and not out of selfish protectionism, but out of LOVE. We care about the most vulnerable members of our church family and our broader community.
  • We should view this moment as an OPPORTUNITY. In times past, the Church has brightly shined in dark times of plague. So, let’s pray! And let’s pray not only for personal safety and the safety of our family, but also that we will walk forward in fearless love so that others will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven!