Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
 6 April  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). 

April 17, 
After worship

People have asked me about the change of worship time back to 11 a.m. It seems many people are in favor of it. I want to finalize this during the N.O.W. committee meeting April 17, and see if we can start the change on first of May. More announcement to follow. Please call me if you have concerns about 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 
(Matthew 28: 18-20 NRSV) 
At the beginning of the Gospel Jesus us referred to as "Immanuel," God with us; at the end of the Gospel Jesus promised to be with us always, to the end of the age. At Jesus 'birth the wise men, Gentiles, come to pay homage; after his resurrection Jesus sends his disciples into all the nations. During Jesus' temptation the devil offers him the kingdoms of the world-not just their wealth, but by implication their power; at the end he declares that all authority has been given to him on earth and in heaven (Matthew 28:18). At the beginning of his ministry he invites twelve disciples to follow him; now he sends them out to the whole world to invite others to follow him. Throughout the Gospel Jesus taught his followers about the kingdom, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount; now they must teach others to obey everything he has told them.

Jesus' Great Commission calls us who follow Jesus to invite others to do the same. But if we are honest, most of us are a little nervous about talking to others about Jesus. We love the quote, often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, that we should preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words. We're happy to show the gospel to others, but often pray that we won't have to use words.

Yet the kingdom of God on earth only expands as people who are followers of Christ-people like you and me-share their story with others.

I became a Christ follower at age fourteen because a man named Harold Thorson was going door-to-door inviting people to church. I became a Christ follower, because a girl named La Von invited me to youth group and Sunday School. I became a Christ follower, because a pastor and a youth pastor told me what Jesus had taught his disciples and invited me to obey. All these people showed me the gospel, and they knew they also had to use words.

There are people in your life who are not yet Christ followers. Some would consider the Christian faith in you were to tell them what your faith in Jesus means to you. Make a list of people God may be calling you to share your faith with. Pray for them. Invite them to worship with you. Over a cup of coffee, tell them the story of how you came to faith, or the difference Christ has made in your daily life.

Who are the people God wants you to reach out to in his name?
Lord I wish to be your disciple. Help me to follow you faithfully. Use me, I pray, to share with my friend your story, and to invite and encourage him/her to join me as I follow you. Amen. 

Play is renewal... There is a sacredness in not taking life too seriously. Play is saying, "life is a gift, let's enjoy it with friends and family!" Play is appreciating God's interweaving of nature, relationships, rest, and work. Play is allowing our soul to breathe laugh, delight and savor. Play is embodying the rhythm of inflow and outflow: of rest, renewal, and returning back to our responsibilities-by God's grace, recharged!
I must admit, I feel I have hit some doldrums for a few weeks. But starting last week and over the weekend, I felt renewed. Again, I appreciate you all giving me some time to be away with my family and play down by the Oregon Coast.
I encourage you to look forward. To once again see potentials, sparks, possibilities. Let us be energized by the message and power of resurrection hope. After all, it is still Eastertide season!

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Please click here.
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