A Word From Our Pastor

A Note from Pastor Candy
Hearing the Oddest Things

A couple of strange things happened recently. I was sitting down in the living room and suddenly there was a loud thump in the back of the house. My suspicions were that a bag with several plastic containers toppled over. Upon investigating, the bag was where it had been previously, unmoved. As I began to look around for what could have fallen, I noticed the iron on the laundry room floor. It is likely that the vibration from the washing machine caused the fall. It seemed strange though, because it has never happened before. But as I reached to pick up the iron, I noticed that the back door was ajar. It seems I forgot to lock it earlier when I took out the trash. If the iron had not fallen, or if I had ignored the sound, I would have gone to bed with the door open all night. I told myself God knocked over the iron to get my attention.

On another occasion, while I was sleeping, I dreamed the oddest thing. I heard a voice tell me that I was pronouncing a name wrong. It is not uncommon for me to mispronounce words or names, but this was the first time I have received corrections in a dream. The name Bethphage is pronounced with two syllables. I wanted to give it three. I said okay and that I would correct it. It just so happens the next day as I am reading scripture, I see this name and I decided to check the pronunciation. The dream had it correct. How odd is that to get such assistance while sleeping? I decided it is just another way God is taking care of me.

I believe God often tries to get our attention but we either ignore God or we do not recognize Him. Re-member the story of Samuel? While sleeping, Samuel hears a voice and thinks it is Eli calling.

The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." Then the Lord said to Samuel, "See, I am about to do something in Isra-el that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle." (1 Samuel 3:8-11)

Just as God spoke to the young boy Samuel, God continues to speak to us today. It may be hard to believe it when so much of life seems to express the absence of God. However, it is very likely we are overlooking God. God is not just present in the amazing, the fantastical, or miraculous. God promises to be with us always. This has to mean God is present even in the ordinary and the ho-hum things of life. Imagine if we were to slow down from our busy routines, we may see, hear and experience God in ways we could have never believed possible.

Hush! God is speaking. Are His servants listening?

Dr. Thacker


Youth Updates

Join us for SUNDAY NIGHT WORSHIP XPRESS (follows the school schedule)!
Normally the Youth meet for Sunday night worship from 5-7 pm (including dinner)! During the summer the schedule pauses for special events (listed below)

Safe Spaces

Recently, with new volunteers on board to help with the Youth of our church, we conducted Safe Sanctuary training. Safe Sanctuary is described by the United Methodist Church as "an overt expression in making congregations safe places where children, youth, and elders may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith." As each of our wonderful volunteers came and shared their thoughts about how we can better protect those who are most vulnerable, I began to think of what it actually means to be safe.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word "safe," though the meaning seems rather simple, there are several connotations. Here are a few:

  1. free from harm or risk : unhurt
  2. secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out
  3. affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty
  4. healthy, sound
  5. not threatening danger : harmless unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction
  6. not likely to take risks : cautious trustworthy, reliable

As a church, Bethel is committed to the safety of our young people. This means that while on our campus our young people are allowed to interact in respectful, healthy, and productive ways.

In recent days, some of our young people have expressed strong feelings about various things going on in our society, namely gun violence. I know it's uncomfortable and these conversations can be tricky. But in spite of the discomfort, created by and in the image of God, our young people, all of us are brothers and sisters in Christ committed to living the Good News. It is important for our young peo-ple to know that they are valued and loved.

They are, after all, the future of our Church.

Here, they are free and protected. We are free and protected. Bethel is a safe space.

If interested, there is an official statement given by the United Methodist Church at http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/gun-violence.

Love.
Peace and Blessings,

Lahronda Little


Youth and Children's Activities
9:45 a.m. - Sunday School
11:00 a.m. - Children's Church – is held after the Children's message in the 11:00am Worship
Service except on first Sunday, everyone stays in the sanctuary for the
celebration of Holy Communion.
4:00 p.m. - Youth Band Practice (WC)
4:30 p.m. - Youth Fellowship (FH)
5:00 p.m. - Youth: Express Worship (LCH)


Children's Minister Updates

Please see Children's updates by clicking here.

Oreo's Blog

Happy April! Happy Spring! Flowers are blooming. Butterflies are flitting around and I can chase them—but I would never hurt them. They are beautiful. Do you know that butterflies are like us? We start out like caterpillars—a little fuzzy and plain, then they go into a cocoon and come out as beautiful butterflies. When we invite Jesus into our heart, we become a new creation or "born again." Maybe you cannot fly, but you are beautiful.

Love, Oreo

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Bethel United Methodist Church  |  245 Fairview Rd  |  Stockbridge, GA 30281  |  770-474-2570