For all updates, scroll down...
Sunday, March 29 10:15am
Join our livestream by clicking here! Discussion questions for you to talk about with your care group, family, or roommates are:
1.What are God’s standards for worship? How do we fall short in our worship? What is our hope?
2.In what ways does “digital” church fall short of true church? Why can it still be a helpful tool for us at this time? What has God done in and through you as a result of this time of separation from your brothers and sisters in Christ?
3.How can we engage in true worship even if we can’t engage in perfect worship?
4.What are you doing now to prepare yourself for the return of our corporate worship? What are you doing now to prepare yourself for our eternal worship?
Wednesday, March 25 2:15pm
Thank you for your prayers for our elders as they met last night to talk about future decisions.
At this point, the elders see our church continuing to operate on Sundays, as we currently are, for the remainder of the CDC recommended 8 week time period—up to and including May 3. When the shelter in place mandate ends, we will be in a better position to communicate what ministries may be able to meet in person again. This may mean that the farmhouse and counseling center could open up at some point before May 3. However, during this time period, we will continue to:
-close the church building (unless mandates/recommendations change before May 3)
-update our website calendar on events cancelled or pending in March and April-click here.
-live stream on Sunday mornings
-live stream to youth on Wednesdays and starting tonight it will be at 6:30 on BCC’s YouTube channel - www.youtube.com/bethanycommunity
-send parents updates on our children’s ministries and resources for your kids
-communicate options for giving
-care for those in our church who are most vulnerable
-encourage reaching out to the most vulnerable in our neighborhoods
-show care and concern for our church as a whole
-help our county with a collaborative response
-close the Counseling Center and Farmhouse (again, these may open once the "shelter in place" mandate is over. Care groups and Bible studies will be encouraged to meet in person after "shelter in place" is lifted, too)
We also want to announce:
-We hope to have a BCC family meeting on April 5 at 6 PM using Zoom—more details on this soon and technical help will be offered
Thank you for your prayers and for continuing to pursue the unity of the body and care for those in need.
Sunday, March 22 10:30am
Join us live! Click here.
Sermon notes and song lyrics on the BCC app.
Google Play users may have some trouble finding our app this week. We hope to have that fixed by next week!
Friday, March 20 4:30pm
Bethany Community Church Family,
Please keep us posted on your needs. Our church leadership, care group leaders, and others in our church want to come alongside you as you wrestle with the changes going on around us. Please keep us informed of any need you have from job change, to physical health, to counseling needs and more. You can send your need to email@example.com.
In light of the governor’s announcement this afternoon, our office will be open next week, as the Lord wills, on MWF from 9-11am for basic needs of the church to be fulfilled. The best way to reach a staff person may be via email or cell phone. Their information is on Breeze.
We also want to keep you updated on how you can continue to connect with our church family and provide opportunities and ideas for continuing to serve.
1. Connecting with Our Church Family on Sunday:
Care Group Gatherings – Please consider utilizing Google Hangout or Zoom (options to connect digitally) as a way to see and talk with your care group. These outlets can be used for regular contact as well. Consider inviting someone who isn’t in a care group to join your digital conversation!
Not in a Care Group? If you are not in a care group, but would like to connect with others, please contact Blake Gerber at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get you in touch with a group that you know and can connect with.
Below is a link to instructions for starting a Google Hangout:
This service is available to anyone with a Google account and can be accessed on computer, Android, and iPhone & iPad.
START A GOOGLE HANGOUT
Another option for meeting by video is Zoom. This option is available on multiple platforms as well, but there are some limits on the length of meetings for groups of three or more. More info can be found HERE.
These are only suggestions on ones we know and have used. Please feel free to use other sources you may like and already use.
Live Stream – Our livestream will operate like last week. Click on the red button on our homepage or go directly to our YouTube channel.
Option to Utilize the BCC App – If you have not downloaded the BCC app, now is a great time to check it out via the App Store or Google Play Store and search BCC-Wash. By using the app, you can access devotional (sermon) notes, song lyrics, order of service, care group questions, giving options, and our website calendar.
Parents/Guardians of children up through 5th grade – An additional communication will be sent out with available resources/ideas/options for your children.
Giving - Since we are not meeting, here are ways you can continue to Give
2. Opportunities to Continue to Serve:
Caring for the Most Vulnerable - BCC continues to do first contacts to those within our body who are most vulnerable. If you can help with errands, grocery shopping, etc., for those in need, please contact Phil Smith at email@example.com.
In Your Neighborhood - Consider reaching out to the most vulnerable in your neighborhood or apartment complexes--especially those without a family or church family nearby. You can use the card attached (in this email) to drop off at a neighbor.
Building Clean Up Opportunities – This is a great opportunity for your family, maybe even together with another family, to sign up and help continue to clean our church building during construction. We will send additional information next week with dates that are available.
Wednesday, March 18 1:45pm
From Pastor Daniel:
This Friday, the elders are calling the church to a time of prayer and fasting. For more information on what fasting is and isn't, check out the devotional from our Sunday morning time. Remember that fasting is not a tool to force God's hand or earn His favor. Rather, we fast to help us as we recognize this world is not as it should be and as we long for God and His glory. Though going without food for some period of time (a day, one meal, etc.) is what a fast often consists of, there can be many things we deprive ourselves of for a period of time to allow us to spend more focused time praying and longing for God.
Those with underlying medical conditions, such as compromised immune systems, should probably find other ways of directing their thoughts upon God and His grace besides depriving themselves of food for a time. Remember, this is to be a joy and not an obligation. Regardless of how you feel called to participate, we hope you experience joy as you pray for the church and our community.
Friday, we'll give some thoughts throughout the day on how we can pray and seek the Lord as a church. I hope this is a time of great joy for you.
To view the devotional from this past Sunday, please see the post below from Sunday, March 15, 2020
Goals for our time of prayer and fasting:
Treasure Christ as we yearn for His return!
Display the beauty of Christ in our gospel witness during this time.
Repent of our love for the World as we grow in our love for Christ.
Provide for the physical healing of our community.
Provide for the physical and financial needs of our church.
Free resource download:
Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis
Join us via Facebook Live on Friday for specific times of prayer:
7am with Daniel
12pm with Mike
5:30pm with Ben
Sunday, March 15 10:15am
Livestream link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1n19WuVPLU
Sunday, March 15 10am
BCC desires to serve those within our body who are most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 because of age or medical condition --especially those without family nearby to help. There may be two groups of people who may have the ability to help run errands, get groceries, etc. for that population of our church. The first group is students who are drivers. Although we recognize that online learning and babysitting younger siblings may take some time, we are wondering if students would have a little extra time to serve in this way. Additionally, those who were to attend BCC ministry events that are now postponed or cancelled may have the opportinity to serve. Dr. Jeff Leman will be putting together protocols for this such as making sure the helper is healthy, not going into the home of the vulnerable, dropping groceries on the front porch, etc. We will also be providing a phone script for the helper, so when they call to ask for needs, the receiver will know it is a person from BCC that is trusted. This is a great ministry to do in pairs. For more information on how to serve in this way, contact Phil Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or the church office at 309-508-1755.
We will continue to keep our ears to the ground on ways we can serve the broader context of our communities as well. Partnerships with Emergency Management Agencies in the tri-county area as well as BCC's role in the Tri-County COAD (Community Organizations Active in a Disaster) with inform us of ways to serve as well. In the meantime, we would encourage you to reach out to vulnerable neighbors in need.
Saturday, March 14 6pm
We continue to trust the Lord that His plans are the best plans and none of the circumstances this week are outside of His sovereign, wise, and loving hands.
Below are some updates for you and your household:
1) How to watch the Sunday morning livestream
We are thankful that the livestream we have been doing on YouTube each Sunday can continue to serve the church during this time. There are a number of ways to find it on YouTube:
-The easiest way is to go to www.bethanycommunitychurch.org at 10:30am and click on the red "live now" button on the top of the homepage.
-You can also go to www.bethanycommunitychurch.org, scroll down to the bottom of the homepage, click on the YouTube icon and look for the livestream on BCC's YouTube channel.
If you would like to be connected to a group to watch the livestream, please reply to this email.
2) How to handle your giving to the church
Some have asked how to give during the month of March. Your continued giving to the church during March will enable us to do the ministry God has called us to. You can:
-Put a check in the mail to BCC at 27265 Dutch Lane, Washington, IL 61571.
-Drop a gift off at the Farmhouse during our office hours from 9am-4:30pm.
-Go to your Breeze app and tap the dollar sign icon.
-Go to the BCC app and tap on the Give icon (heart icon) at the bottom of your screen.
-Go directly to giving on Breeze here: https://bethanycommunity.breezechms.com/give/online
***The online giving options above can be used for one time giving or for regular giving.
3) Discussion questions
Here are questions you can use after tomorrow's livestream to discuss with your care group, family, roommates, or others. Remember to reply to this email if you would like to be connected to a group.
-How do we sometimes misunderstand fasting? What is a fasting not? How can fasting be a window into what our soul longs for?
-What were some of the things the fast was for in the Old Testament? How is a fast in the New Testament different from the fast of the Old Testament?
-What do we want God to accomplish in our hearts when we fast and pray? Where are some situations where we might feel called to fast?
-What is our primary goal when we fast? How does a fast help us treasure Christ more? What are some secondary goals we might have as we fast and pray as a church this week?
-How is God going to use this time to proclaim the beauty of Christ to you and through you to others? Are you praying fervently for Christ to use you during this time?
4) Event updates
The baby shower scheduled for Shelby Fehr this Tuesday has been postponed until April 6. Location TBD.
As a reminder, we will follow our typical process of closing our church building when the schools are closed thus cancelling the events held there. Care groups and Bible studies can continue to meet offsite. Counseling appointments can also continue to meet as the Counseling Center and Farmhouse offices will be open for that purpose. Office hours for the farmhouse will continue as normal as of now.
Friday, March 13 9:30pm
The elders met tonight to discuss our church’s response to COVID-19. Since our update this afternoon, the announcement was made about schools closing and that has influenced our response.
We are canceling our onsite Sunday services for the next three Sundays (3/15, 3/22, 3/29). You will be getting information soon about how to gather with your care group, family, or others to view a devotional time at 10:30am on Sunday morning with Pastor Daniel. We hope to incorporate singing and discussion questions in with this video. More information will be sent tomorrow (Saturday) on how to view this as a church family.
If you do not have a group to meet with, please let us know and we will be glad to point you in the right direction. As always if you are sick (even with just a cough or cold) or vulnerable because of age or autoimmune issues, we would encourage you to stay home.
We will also follow our typical process of closing our church building when the schools are closed. Care groups and Bible studies can continue to meet offsite. Counseling appointments can also continue to meet as the Counseling Center and Farmhouse offices will be open for that purpose. Office hours for the farmhouse will continue throughout this two week time.
As always, we would encourage you to continue to trust in the Lord, and seek to point others toward Him in the midst of this challenging time in our country and world.