As I write this update for February, we have reached one year of COVID in BC. I considered getting a large cake with many candles for us all to blow out and then share but decided against it. Instead of sharing cake, I thought that sharing the opening of 2 Corinthians would be more appropriate for the season:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ~2 Cor. 1:3
As the church, we are the people of God filled with the actual presence of God, meaning God is present with me as I write this and you as you read this. From Paul’s words here I have two simple encouragements for us as a church:
1. Continue to Praise God. Worship transforms our perspective so that we see the world in light of who God is, and not the other way around. Continue to take moments in the day and a day in the week to worship God, to be reminded of His promises and character. As 2 Corinthians reminds us, God is faithful to bring comfort in all our troubles. How have you seen God bring comfort in the past year, and what comfort are you trusting God to bring?
2. Continue to Encourage Each Other. We should not be “dead ends” of God’s comfort! Rather, the comfort God pours into our lives should overflow into the lives of others, whether through phone calls, walks, letters, or Zoom calls. As God encourages you, how are you encouraging others throughout the week? Which of your relationships are developing “deep roots and good fruit?”
Someday soon we all will be together, though perhaps not as soon as we’d like. When we are, we will eat cake and worship God together. Until then, God is still God and we are still the church. God’s character has not changed and our charge has not changed. Let us continue to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith,” so that we may “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
In person Services: We will continue to suspend all In-Person services until the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. However, we are connecting weekly at 10 AM on Zoom for 30 minutes. It’s not the same as in person, but we would love to see you there!
We have started a Zoom Kids Church gathering every other week. Please pray that the Bethel children will build connection with each other and develop faith in Jesus.
Online Services: We invite everyone who can, to join us for our online services which are available on our website at bethelmc.ca.
Sermon Series: Ash Wednesday marked a shift in our sermon series. We will be spending a few weeks looking at repentance and its connection to rest.
February 28 The Rest of Fasting
March 7 The Rest of Us
March 14 Repenting of Our Plans
March 21 Repenting of What We Trust
March 28 I Have Been Crucified with Christ (Palm Sunday)
April 1 Maundy Thursday Service
April 2 Good Friday Service
April 4 Easter Sunday Service
As a church we want to edify, support and encourage one another.
During COVID, one of the ways we can do this, as stated by the Provincial Health Officer, is going for a walk, and so the Outreach committee is inviting our congregation to meet outside together in order to pray for one another, our church, and our community. You can meet at the church building, outside your home, or at a park - you can pray together anywhere you can walk together!
If you are interested in participating in a prayer walk, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office and we will connect you with the Outreach committee. We will help to organize different pairings of people who can walk and prayer together. If you already have a walking partner from church let us know and we will include you in the prayer walking group.
Update regarding the Berhe Family (refugee family sponsored by Bethel in 2016)
We are very excited to share with you that on January 31, 2021 Fiseha Berhe’s wife Hana was able to come to Canada to be reunited with Fiseha after 5 years of separation. It has taken a lot of work regarding immigration issues and we are so grateful to God for answering the many prayers on their behalf.
Note: We send out a weekly bulletin via e-mail that contains congregational updates, announcements, and prayer requests. If you are on the list, please take a moment each week to review it. If you would like to be added to the mailing list, please let the church office know!
Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for March 7 at 1 pm via Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent out via our weekly bulletin/newsletter on Friday, March 5.
If you would like to be part of the meeting but don’t have a computer or haven’t used Zoom, we would like to try to help you with that. Please call the church office as soon as possible so that we can work on a solution.
-Our condolences to John Redekop and family. Elsie Redekop passed away on February 7 and we pray that God will comfort her family and friends as they grieve.
-Jake Sawatsky has been diagnosed with diabetes and Jake and Linda would very much appreciate our prayers as they navigate this new phase of their life. His pancreas shut down and he spent six days in the hospital as they stabilized his blood sugar. He’s glad to be home but doesn’t look forward to self injecting insulin.
-Henry Redekop is very weak as the cancer progresses. He and Joyce would be very grateful for our prayers.
-Leni Epp is in the hospital undergoing treatment and tests as she recovers from a stroke. Please continue to pray for her.
Please keep the eight students listed below in your prayers this season. They have a substantial need for Jesus in their lives (school and home). All of these students are bright, creative, and very loved by their leaders. These eight face greater challenges than most and we would be very thankful if you would pray for them diligently
Youth 1: This youth has expressed interest in Jesus. She has witnessed harmful treatment towards people by Christians. Please pray that she is surrounded by people who reflect the character of Jesus well; that she encounters the Holy Spirit and knows the love of God.
Youth 2: This youth has expressed feeling overwhelming amounts of anxiety and depression. Her home life is stressful, and she's neglected most of the time. She struggles with self-harm and substances. Please pray for Jesus' healing in her life and that she would know how much she is seen and loved by Jesus.
Youth 3: Please pray that this student’s curiosity for Jesus grows and that they accept Jesus into their heart.
Youth 4: This student has explained that they have struggled with depression and loneliness. Please pray for peace that surpasses all understanding for this student and that they are surround with the love of God.
Youth5: This youth battles an eating disorder and loneliness within the household. Please pray that this student sees themself as God does. Please pray that they receive strength and grace from God when in those difficult moments.
Youth 6: This student struggles with self-harm and an eating disorder. They are often isolated and left alone. Please pray that Jesus comforts them and gives them peace. Pray that they will come to know Jesus as their savior and lean on Him during the pain that they face.
Youth 7: This youth has a history of violence in different forms. They struggle to see their worth and motivation in life. Pray that they know that their worth is in Christ and that they will encounter the Holy Spirit.
Youth 8: This youth is facing a lot of bullying in school and because of that, has severe anxiety. Please pray that they know the peace of God and that they would feel His presence during school days.