Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
9 September 2015  

I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online connection on the topic of church and spiritual renewal.  
Every midweek, you will receive a devotion, a prayer, or an essay that are intended to stir up conversations and ideas of how we will proceed on the path of church renewal. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think will be interested in receiving these readings.  You are welcome to respond or make comments, or otherwise just sit back and enjoy your weekly readings and reflections!  
Sept. 13
Invite a friend.
Invite a student.
Invite someone who works in a school.
Invite a family,
...with their kids to bring their school backpacks to church to receive a special prayer and a backpack tag! 



Sept. 20, after worship
Topic: Our Church Mission Statement 


6:00 p.m.  
A bible study on faith and spirituality as John Wesley lived it.
Click HERE to watch promotional video.  


Starts: Sept 13
10:00 a.m.
 A lectionary-based study on our weekly scripture lesson.

Read: Isaiah 40: 25-31
When we were still in Sitka, it was not uncommon to see bald eagles flying around or a flock sitting on our front porch. Eagles, impressive both in size and its fearsome beauty, are more than just tourist attractions. They have long been symbols of royalty and power, and are used in coins, seals, and flags, since ancient times.
Unlike other birds, eagles, according to experts, choose the highest place to build their nests. Its nest can measure from 7-10 feet deep and 7-9 feet wide. For eaglets, it can be a very comfortable home. Later however, mother eagles will go through a process of fledgling (coaxing, enticing, teaching) to motivate the young ones to leave their nest. Instead of landing inside the nest sometimes, mama eagle will land near the nest with its food, inviting her young ones to leave their safe place.
There is even that famous story that circulated in ornithology. That mother eagle will one day tear the big nest apart and with one eaglet at a time, she will push them into the deep cliff. The eaglets will yell, "Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Mom has gone crazy!" But before an eaglet dash into the rocks, mother eagle will dive and rescue her young with her wings. They say that it takes a few fall before an eaglet realize, "mama is teaching me something!" The eaglet will then use her wings and flap them, until she gradually learns the art of eagle-flying.
Leaving a comfortable nest is difficult, and it is not something that we are expected to do on a daily basis. But there are defining moments in life that will challenge us to look beyond our happy nest, so we can live to our potentials and purpose. It is a time when we discover that we have untapped abilities that is waiting to respond to the challenges in front of us. It is when we see "life's fall" as opportunities to see new possibilities, learn new lessons, and eventually strengthen our emotional muscles so we can later fly.
So the next time you see an eagle fly by, be reminded of your own eagle-flying-school called experience, with God as your flying-instructor. And may you be encouraged-- whether you are already flying, or you're just about to leave your nest--that God will always be there, as a mother eagle and as the power beneath your soaring wings.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles... (Isaiah 40;31).

I forgot to mention that the backpack-blessing is not just for kids. They are for everyone who are in school (kids, young people, adults). You are welcome to bring your folders, bags, laptop too. Or if you, or someone you know works in a school setting--teachers, school staff, school admins, you can invite them too, and we will give a special prayer-blessing for all, for this new school year. 
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Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
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