Every November Bethel Youth retreats to Camp Nakamun for a weekend of Holy-Spirit-refreshment. Our theme last weekend was “Riding the Wave.” We talked about our amazing God who is on a Mission to reconcile all of creation to Himself. Through the work of Jesus, history is heading in the direction of the Kingdom of God in all of its fullness. It is like a giant wave that cannot be stopped! As God’s people we learn to ride that Wave.
Teenagers today are under more pressure than ever before. Though not yet adults, they find themselves becoming burnt out earlier and earlier because of the many things society is throwing at them. This last weekend I heard from many of our youth how they look forward to this special time with God and their friends each year to unwind.
Out of all of the retreats I have been on with our youth group this one stands out. A couple highlights come to mind: First, every student and youth leader took a spiritual gifts inventory and then took workshops to learn about how to operate in their giftings. It was incredible to hear stories of how our teenagers are using their God-given talents and abilities to serve the world and the church. Second, all of us were rocked by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit during times of prayer. It was a beautiful sight on Saturday night to see students experiencing forgiveness, being healed of hurts, and feeling the joy of God’s Spirit.
God is pouring out His Spirit on Bethel on everyone regardless of age or background. What an exciting time to be part of this community!
- Pastor Ryan
It is our stated goal to become a vibrant church of prayer. In hot pursuit of that dream we have made prayer a staple of how we do church. Each ministry and team in the church has adopted a prayer strategy to guide them in praying for their ministry area. We offer prayer ministry after worship services. We are currently developing a healing prayer ministry (as described in last week’s Pastor’s Corner). We have a well-attended gathering each Wednesday morning at 6:30 am to pray for the church and world, and many members, including myself, make intercession for the church a priority.
Because we are so serious about our goal, we have created a special volunteer role to help us achieve it. Joanne Rozendaal has been assigned to be our “Coordinator of Prayer Ministries.” In this capacity Joanne will fan the flame of prayer in the church, give assistance to teams and ministries who want to further enhance their prayer strategies, coordinate prayer efforts among groups, offer training for prayer-ministers, and develop the healing prayer ministry.
Ultimately, prayer is the responsibility and privilege of each of us. Bethel will become vibrant in prayer to the extent that the flame of prayer is burning in each of us and in each of our families. We are not assigning the responsibility of prayer to Joanne. We are just inviting her to be a spark that helps set fires and a fan that nurtures fires already burning. --Pastor Tom
An exciting new initiative is just getting underway at Bethel. It is called the Healing Prayer Ministry. It promises to be a source of hope, encouragement, and restoration for many.
“Healing prayer” means that one, two, or several people gather to listen carefully to a person who is facing a challenge in their life. The prayer minister (or group) prays very specifically for that person based on what they have heard them say, as well as what they believe the Spirit of God is saying to them about the problem. Prayers are often accompanied with laying on of hands.
I have known of many people who have been helped by this kind of ministry. Issues of fear or hurt or unforgiveness that have lodged in their hearts, making life difficult for them and inhibiting their growth in the faith, have been removed. Like a log jam coming unstuck, these people experience God setting them free, allowing His rejuvenating power to flow through them.
Joanne Rozendaal is heading up the ministry. Shelly Billiald, Kevin Magnes, Curt Rozendaal, Elaine Vandermuelen, and Jeannie Visser, are joining her once a month to pray for the ministry. Plans are being made to train these and other prospective prayer-ministers. Their goal is to have a night in the week where people can come for prayer and to set up other sessions of healing prayer by appointment. Sessions will take place in the prayer room—the windowed room just off the church foyer.
Stay tuned for further details as this exciting ministry continues to unfold!
The Growing in Community 40-day journey is over. So, what is the next step for everyone who joined a small group for this initiative? Here is some great news: A majority of the people who signed on for Growing in Community have decided to continue the journey of life with their small group!
Here are the specifics: Of the ten new groups that were formed as part of the Growing in Community initiative, six will be going on with all or most of their members. Three groups are in the process of discerning their future and will make a decision within the next week or so. One group, experienced a “failure to launch” but its members are still eager to make a go of small group life. They will either go on together as a group or join other groups.
We also received some unexpected good news. A group of people who were not together for the 40-day journey are forming a new group along with other believers (non Bethelites) from their region. This means that 11 new small groups in all may potentially be formed by the end of the year.
Since one of our goals as a church is to be a “church of small groups” with the vast majority of its members connected to one another through small groups, this represents a significant answer to prayer. Knowing that it is God, most of all, who wants us to be knit together in community, I believe we can confidently say that we have just witnessed a wave of the Holy Spirit move through Bethel Church. My prayer is that we will continue to grow deeper in our relationships to other, as we experience Christ powerfully working in our midst. –Pastor Tom
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