THE CHRISTMAS BUZZ AT BETHEL
A lot of community-oriented Christmas activities are going on at Bethel, and I am excited by what I am experiencing.
This week our staff observed an annual tradition. We delivered chocolates to our church’s neighbors and thanked them for allowing us to park our cars in front of their houses all year long.
We had some encouraging conversations. As I handed a bag of chocolates to one person, she said, in a joyful, singsong way, “Oh, from the church!” Someone else said that she is Roman Catholic but comes to Bethel about four times per year and always enjoys her visits. Someone else said she came to our community Christmas dinner this year. These are all positive signs that Bethel Church is making its way into the hearts of our neighbors.
At our recent community Christmas dinner we served a record number of people. I sat with several community leaders who are my friends through the Bannerman Partners’ group that meets at Bethel each month. I was deeply impressed by three things this year: 1) How many local (Bannerman) residents came to the dinner, 2) Just how diverse our guests were in terms of ethnicity and socio-economic background, 3) How freely and tactfully Bethelites talked about faith and/or invited guests to church.
The next big community-oriented activity on the calendar is our Christmas Eve service. We anticipate that many who are searching for God will be there. Janet and I have invited our neighbors to come, and I just invited another person today. (I’m quite sure she’ll come!) I am praying that God will make the Gospel come alive to all who attend! --Pastor Tom
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