Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
 30 March  2016   

I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online spiritual connection.
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 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!  


The Filipino pastors are collecting unused mugs or travel mugs that has the word Washington or Oregon in it. These will be included in the welcome bags for the 50 General Conference delegates that are coming from the Philippines. If you want to donate mugs give them to Louie or me. 

With Dr. Patti Robbins
After the Lenten Season, Patti will be offering a meditation class. Details, including descriptions, time, and small cost will be announced later.
(I'm personally looking forward to this). 

May 10-20
Oregon Convention Center
Join me in praying for the delegates, bishops, clergy, laity, congregations, and small groups across the denomination into a spiritual preparation for the 2016 General Conference. 
For more information in praying for the GC, click here.

 Adam Hamilton 
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking to each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him (Luke 24:13-16 NRSV).

We've all walked on the road to Emmaus. Our road may have led to the unemployment line or the hospital, to the courtroom or the cemetery. One way or another, we've all walked on a journey where our hopes and dreams have been crushed, and sorrow seems to be our only friend.
Jesus came as a stranger to Cleopas and his friend. He listened as they told him, not realizing who he was, about the events surrounding the crucifixion.

Today, Jesus routinely sends us to be his representatives, as strangers on someone else's road to Emmaus. And sometimes he sends others to us on our own road to Emmaus. Whatever our role, the key is to pay attention.

A man I know was checking into a hotel when a woman entered the lobby, upset and clearly struggling. She needed a place to stay for the night but had no way of paying and could only promise that she was being wired money the next day. She ran out to her car to get proof for the manager that she would be able to pay her the next day. While she was gone, my friend paid for the woman's room and quickly scratched out a note to her: "I felt God wanted me to pay for your lodging tonight. I believe he wants you to know that He hasn't forgotten you." My friend became the woman's stranger on the road to Emmaus.

A woman I know stopped in a church restroom during worship, only to find another woman there in tears. The two of them never met before, but the other woman's face was twisted with grief. My friend could tell that the woman needed someone to care for her, and she paused to minister to the woman. This was the road to Emmaus, and she would be the presence of Christ for this sorrowful woman.

As a follower of Christ, you have the opportunity to represent him. Pay attention to the strangers you meet. It may be that the Lord wants to use you to offer comfort and hope to those in need as they travel along the road to Emmaus.

Lord, teach me to pay attention to the strangers around me. Use me to encourage, comfort, and care for the stranger in need. Amen. 

From the Pastor...
As most of you know, I will be gone this coming weekend (April 1-4). I will do some writing in the next two days, then take my family to Oregon over the weekend. Rev. Barbara Brown will cover for me this Sunday. If you have any pastoral emergency, please call her (918-815-0482). Or you can also call me so I can contact her (please see my contact info below).
I also want to spend this time in reflecting on the question, "Where do our church go from here?" Early this week, the Spirit has been stirring my heart to consider some intentional steps toward further renewal. Please join us in praying and discerning our journey forward.
Lastly, I've been asked this question many times recently, "Can we now change the worship time back to 11:00 a.m.?" Before making a decision, I want to hear from you. Then let's finalize it with a short meeting after worship one Sunday this April (Date, TBA).
Thank you for giving me a break to spend some time with my family.

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Visit our website for other church info, and you can listen to sermons:
Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
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Sitka United Methodist Church | 303 Kimsham Street | 1104 Edgecumbe Drive | Sitka | AK | 99835