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Staff Blog/Pastor Lynn's Shout Outs

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A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn June 3, 2020


Hey Bethel!


Whew! Aren’t you grateful for air conditioners this week? Aren’t you glad we had that open-air service before this heatwave? We’re talking about planning another one on July 5th, encouraging everyone to bring a picnic lunch. What do you think? We’ll let you in on plans as they develop. 


Speaking of our services, it was great to see many of you back inside last Sunday morning. Thanks for your cooperation with the different set-up, entrance & exit processes. We’ve decided to continue meeting with one change, service times will be 9:00 & 11:00 AM for at least the next few Sundays. This will allow more time for sanitizing and dealing with production issues between services. There will be no on-site children’s ministry but the nursery area will be available for parents who need to use it. Please read the additional guidelines below. Lord willing the live stream will be up this Sunday for those unable or concerned about attending services yet. 


The Pastor Search Team continues to meet weekly, interviewing prospective candidates. We’ve just gotten a new stream of resumes, some of which look promising. Just to keep things in perspective, pastor searches generally take 6-9 months. Ours began in February. Please keep this team and process in prayer as we seek Pastor Next for Bethel. As a reminder, this team includes Brian Phares (chair), Casey Hoaglund (elder), Earleen McNare (administrator), Jennifer Thomas, Kurt Carter, and me (coach). 


Several ministry meetings, life groups, and Bible studies are meeting in person again, still following guidelines for Nebraska. It kind of feels like Spring after a long Winter, doesn’t it? 


At the staff meeting on Tuesday, we practiced the Bible study process I suggested last Sunday. We prayed Psalm 119:18, read James 1:22-25 in several translations, responded to the passage in prayer, then discussed things the Lord impressed on us. It was good to spend more time listening before we started talking. Of course, the next step is most vital, “Just Do It!” By the way, if you haven’t reviewed last Sunday’s passage and notes, this would be a good time to do that. Remember, God’s Word isn’t just a mural of past events but a mirror of our lives today. 


With apologies to Jane Austen, my sermon this coming Sunday is entitled, “Pride & Prejudice.” Please read James 2:1-13 in preparation. While the primary focus is within the church, we can’t help noticing the current unrest over racism in our country today. We need to check our own attitudes and pray for true peace in the middle of all this chaos. At the close of the message, we’ll share communion, using specially designed pods for safety. 


The house is quiet and kind of lonely right now, since Susan and her 3 little ones returned to Arvada, taking grandma (Lois) with them. We had a wonderful week together, watching lots of “Bubble Guppies” and “Tom the Tow Truck,” taking in Cody Park with all those animals and playgrounds. Lois worked on various projects while Susan did lots of baking. Toys & boys were everywhere. I became a real “rock” star with 1-year-old Elizabeth on my lap. I’ll drive over Thursday night and bring Lois back on Saturday so we can be with all of you on Sunday. 


I look forward to seeing you then, if not before.


Pastor Lynn



Hello From Your Bethel Office


As Pastor Lynn mentioned above, we will not be offering any children’s ministries at this time, but the nursery will be available for parents if needed for their little ones.


Please click on this link for the CDC’s guidelines governor’s guidelines.


Update on Children's Ministry:


Bethel Kids Families,

Sunday morning ministries will be on break from June until August 2. Starting on August 9, we will resume Sunday morning ministries. There will be changes to the procedure of checking in children.

On Sunday mornings, a Nursery will be available for parent's use during June and July. Please let an usher know if you have used the nursery during service. Starting in August, helpfully, the nursery will be available for normal availability on Sunday mornings.

The kid's summer outreach that was planned has been placed on hold. A new summer outreach has been worked out, one that stays within the CDC guidelines for day camps for kids.

  • For this year's kid's summer outreach one day, "Day camp" is scheduled for different grades.
  • July 28 – A day camp for K & 1st grades
  • July 29 – A day camp for 2nd & 3rd grades
  • July 30 – A day camp for 4th & 5th grades
  • A limit of 30 kids for each day. Kids MUST be registered before. Details on registration to be announced later.
  • The time will be in the morning from 10 am to 11:30 pm

While the children's ministry has had to minister off-site, there have been activities in the classrooms, carpets have been cleaned, and rooms have received a fresh coat of paint. All who minister to Bethel Kids are counting the days until we can meet face to face.

In Christ

Tami Littrell

Director of Children's Ministry



WANTED:

Bethel church is currently in search of a new custodian. This is a part-time position with approximately 20 hrs per week. If interested, please call the office at 532-7040 for more information. 



 Church services at 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. this Sunday

A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn May 27, 2020


Hey Bethel!


Gotta say it...everyone looked great out there in the open air on the lawn last Sunday! After 10 weeks apart it was like a big family reunion. There was a buzz of excitement and anticipation as people connected, even from a safe distance. After a night of pounding rain, the Lord “blew dry” the grass with a stiff Nebraska wind. It was good that we met at 1:00 PM rather than 10:00 AM, right? It seemed like everyone was super-attentive and responsive to the songs, humor, reading, scriptures, prayers, message, updates and instructions. I heard that the FM broadcast was strong & clear for those who stayed in their cars. 


Several people suggested we do that again or even regularly in the summer. What do you think? Maybe we’ll be able to include some loaves & fish next time...or bar-be-que and ice cream. Thanks again to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen including the Production, Property Management, Security, Ushers, Staff, Office, and Worship Teams. If I missed anyone, thank you, too.


Plans are to meet together inside this Sunday, May 31st.  We’ll offer services at 9:00 & 10:45 AM but re-evaluate regularly, starting next week. Times and the number of services could change depending on attendance, seating & sanitizing needs. We will live-stream and record for those who are still unable or reluctant to attend in person. We might even continue the FM broadcast for those who feel safer remaining in their cars. On-site staffed child care and children’s ministries will be suspended at least until July and possibly until September. 


As I shared last Sunday, there are a variety of perspectives on this pandemic. Some are taking the precautions more seriously than others. This is another opportunity for us to demonstrate the love of Jesus toward those who see things differently than we do. Remember Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2:3-4: “In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” As a congregation, we’ll ere on the side of caution during this time. Masks won’t be required but distancing & sanitizing is requested from everyone. Please read & heed the guidelines below.


Did you notice the swarm of “Bees” at the Open Air service? I’m not talking about yellow jackets but the 3 words around which we’re developing Bethel’s revised mission statement...Believe, Belong, Become. The elders, pastors, staff, and others are working toward greater clarity and a strategy to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission and to obey His Great Commandment. You’ll be hearing and seeing these words regularly as we lay rails for Bethel’s future ministry. Stay tuned.


This Sunday, we’ll return to our series, “Cutting Edge Christianity...straight talk from James.” Please read James 1:18-27 and see why I’ve entitled this message, “Just Do It!” Outline notes and discussion questions will be available on the website and via email shortly.


Once again, Lois & I (and probably our daughter Susan and her 3) look forward to seeing you on Sunday, if not before.


Pastor Lynn




Hello From Your Bethel Office



Our first step in reopening in-person corporate gatherings was a great success with more than 250 people in attendance!  It was a breath of fresh ‘Open Air’ as many have been eager to worship together again. Thank you to Lyle Minshull for providing the stage, Dwane Cochran and his production crew for the many hours spent getting the sound and video equipment ready, Mark Mendenhall for the FM transmitter (for those who stayed in their cars), Jon Wardyn for leading us with the great choice of worship songs, Steve Neal for mowing the lawn, staking out 6’ social distancing flags, and having the ushers hand out bulletins (gloved and masked), and Pastor Lynn for the great message!

We are planning on meeting this Sunday, May 31, at 9:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. for regular services (in the building!) We will also have the FM transmitter if you prefer to attend in your car. The channel is 89.7. At this time and until further notice, we will not be able to offer nursery, (The nursery will be open if moms need to take their little ones in) Sunday school classes, or children’s church. We hope to be able to offer these again in July (or possibly as late as September). The sanctuary will be set up so families can sit together and have a 6’ space between them and the next family. Remember this is all new to everyone, so please show understanding when ushers are attempting to seat everyone.

Below is a list of Health guidelines set forth by the CDC. Please read these as they are the guidelines we must go by to ensure the safety of everyone.

  Health guidelines

*      maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance between households,

*      encouraging those who are sick or at risk to stay home (see “Who” below),

*      children remaining with their parents/guardians and refraining from gathering with children of other households, and

*      avoiding social gatherings before or after the corporate gathering.

  • We’re also encouraging all of us to behave as if we are asymptomatic carriers – since it can be so difficult at this point to know if we’re infected, this seems to be the loving thing to do right now.
  • Please join us in following these guidelines, and watch for ushers who will be helping us with this, particularly during arrival and departure.

Who

  • We’d love to have as many of us as possible!
  • Per the governor’s guidelines, we’re encouraging you to stay home if you or anyone in your household:

*      is in an at-risk group (elderly, having underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung problems or diabetes, having access to those at risk in nursing institutions),

*      has experienced the onset of any symptoms of respiratory illness (cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, or runny nose) anytime in the past 14 days, or

*      has COVID-19 or may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days (such as through travel).

  • If unsure, please consider attending in your vehicle


We are looking forward to seeing you all here Sunday morning, either at 9:00 or 10:45 a.m. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office 532-7040.  

A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn May 20, 2020


Hey Bethel!


“When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem (Bethel), it was like a dream! We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.” Psalm 126:1-2 (NLT)


Hopefully everyone who joins us for the Open Air service this coming Sunday will feel the same way. It has been 10 long weeks since we’ve been able to meet together on campus, kind of like being exiles in our homes. We won’t be able to physically touch each other yet, but at least we’ll catch glimpses of each other on the lawn or in the parking lot.   Something is a lot better than nothing, right?


The service will be broadcast over an FM station for those who choose to remain in your cars. Please bring chairs, blankets or maybe even small tents. Flags will be posted at appropriate distances and ushers will guide your households to seating areas. You’ll find a fuller list of guidelines below. Please note that the service will start at 1:00 PM. 


It has been encouraging to see several of our ministry teams working together to make this happen. These teams include Property Management, Production, Worship, Security, Ushers, pastors, staff and elders.  Even during the quarantine, many of these teams have been connecting, serving and planning for the future. Lord willing, all of them (over 20 teams) will be fully staffed and functioning well by the time Pastor Next arrives.


At this point, we plan to begin on-campus services on Sunday, May 31st, at 9:00 & 10:45 AM.  These plans are subject to change based on CDC guidelines, attendance, virus containment, and on our ability to provide a safe environment and quality services. We’ll keep you updated. We’re counting on your understanding, patience & cooperation.


The theme and title of Sunday’s message is “Pandemic Perspectives...a biblical briefing.” We’ll look at Covid-19 from several different angles, finding guidance from God’s Word for this unprecedented situation. In addition to the music and message, you’ll hear a little quarantine humor & an inspirational poem written especially for the coronavirus. Pastor Jim Strecker & Elder Mark Mendenhall will also give a brief update on the development of Bethel’s Mission, Vision & Values statements. I know you’ll be encouraged by the progress being made.


Before wrapping this up, I want to thank RN Hayley Jenny, homemaker Laura Deaver & police sergeant Dale Matuszcak for participating in last Sunday’s Zoom interview. All 3 are great examples of Christians living on top of the heap while under the pile during Covid-19. 


This may well be a most unique Memorial Day for all of us. You might consider taking a cemetery walk, remembering those who gave their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy in the United States of America. Lois & I will be hosting our daughter Susan’s family from Colorado this weekend. When they arrive, we don’t expect to practice much social distancing, especially with our grandchildren. What are your plans? Please let me know with a note to lkent49er@aol.com.


For the first time in 10 weeks it gives me pleasure to say that Lois & I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, at 1:00 PM for our Open Air service, if not before.


Pastor Lynn



Hello From Your Bethel Office!


Yay! We get to meet again! This Sunday we are having an Open-Air Service at 1:00 p.m. on the church lawn and parking lot.

 

·        **CAUTION** If you are a person at risk, or immune-compromised, we advise you to stay in your car for the service. We will have an FM transmitter so you can tune in on your car radio. We will know the channel to tune into on Sunday morning.

·        Please be sure to bring your chairs or blankets

·        If you choose to stay in your cars, you’ll be directed by the ushers on where to park. 

·        Upon your arrival, you can receive a bulletin from one of the Ushers at either entrance. (Sermon notes and song lyrics included)

·        We will have flags marking 10’ spaces to comply with the 6’ social distancing recommendation on the lawn.

·        The restrooms in the main foyer will be open

·        The nursery will not have volunteers working, but mothers can take their children in if necessary

·        There will not be any Children’s Church or Sunday school classes (for kids or adults)



HELP!!!

A message from Jane Littrell (our awesome custodian!) 

To stay within the CDC guidelines, the restrooms will need to be sanitized between each service. We will need 8 people to sign up on a rotating schedule for this summer to help out with this. There will be a training session here at the church on May 26th at 6:00 p.m. and May 30th at 10:00 a.m. 

If you would like to be a part of this group, please contact Jane @308-660-4246 or email jmlittrell.0296@gmail.com



A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn May 13, 2020

Hey Bethel!


To be honest, I’m not a great student of biblical prophecy. While others see scriptures being fulfilled regularly in news headlines, I’ve been reluctant to jump to conclusions or make predictions. There have been many well-meaning Bible teachers who have boldly identified the anti-christ (from Adolph Hitler to John Kennedy to the Pope) or declared with certainty that the rapture was imminent (from the Great Depression to WWII to 9-11). I used to have a book titled, “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Happen in 1988.” A revised version came out in 1989. The primary focus of my life and ministry has been on spiritual growth and building the church before Jesus comes to earth or I go to heaven.


All that being said, it’s hard to ignore parallels between the current pandemic and prophetic scriptures, especially in Revelation. Lois & I watched a compelling message yesterday, which connected a lot of dots. Is the stage being set for a worldwide government, a worldwide church, worldwide economic collapse, and worldwide plagues? Is it mere coincidence that May 14 is the day Israel was declared a nation (1948), Jerusalem was declared the capitol (2018) and Pope Francis called for a gathering of leaders from all the world’s religions (2020)? Could the rapture be close?


I can’t answer those questions with certainty or authority, but there is one scripture that expresses a truth every Christian should heed...


Romans 13:11 (TLB): You know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of the Lord is nearer now than when we first believed.


While still this side of the rapture (so far), let me share some plans for ministry in the immediate future. Please note that all of these are erasable rather than indelible (in pencil vs pen). This coming Sunday we’ll meet virtually once again. Each week seems to experience new production glitches but Dwane Cochran, Pastor Jim Strecker, Jon Wardyn, and others are working hard to correct them. We appreciate your patience and understanding. The message is most fitting, “Living on Top of the Heap when you’re Under the Pile” from James 1:12-18.


Then, on May 24th, we’re planning an Open Air Service on the lawn starting at 1:00 PM. Hopefully, it will be a little warmer and drier by then. We’re asking everyone to bring your lawn chairs and/or blankets and sit in-household groups, staying at least 6 feet away from other groups. Ushers will monitor this. The service will be led from a portable stage and broadcast through an FM station for those who choose to remain in your cars.


At this point, we hope to resume in-house services on May 31 at 9:00 & 10:45 AM. The Worship Center will be configured to maintain distancing. Depending on attendance, we may also set up extra seating with monitors in the Quad and/or the Loft. We won’t provide bulletins or pass offering bags. Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized before and between services. Ushers and greeters will wear masks and gloves. There will be no childcare offered, but parents may use the nursery and other designated safe areas if their children need extra space. Of course, those with symptoms, underlying health issues, and/or advanced ages are encouraged to stay safe at home, participating virtually. Whew! That’s a lot of rules or ‘er guidelines, but it will be worth it to meet in person once again understand any circumstances.


While we’re dealing with the immediate challenges, I want you to know that progress is being made toward Bethel’s future. The Pastor Search Team is meeting weekly and resumes continue to flow in. Interviews are being scheduled, references will be checked, recommendations will be made to the elders, and subsequently to the congregation related to Pastor Next. We just may need to schedule a church-wide prayer meeting in the not-too-distant future to corporately seek the Lord about all this. Who knows, we might even be able to meet in person.


This Saturday, May 16, the elders will meet from 9-Noon to further refine our Mission, Vision & Values statements. Please pray that these will be clear, concise, and compelling guidelines for the future of this dear church.


Please continue reading this edition for further information related to the life & ministry of Bethel. Also, remember to stay connected with each other. If someone crosses your mind, give them a call, write them a note, send them an email or text. Hebrews 10:24-25 isn’t just about coming to church but about being the church.


Hebrews 10:24-25 (TLB):


In response to all He has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.


Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near.


I look forward to connecting you online this coming Sunday and seeing you on May 24th, if not before.


Pastor Lynn



Hello From Your Bethel Office


As Pastor Lynn mentioned above, we will be having an Open Air Service on May 24th @ 1:00 p.m. on the church lawn. Please bring your lawn chairs, & or blankets. Or if you choose to stay in your car, we will have an FM transmitter so you can listen in on your radio. The restrooms will be open, but there will not be nursery/childcare provided. We ask that you read the guidelines set forth by the DHHS as far as social distancing and preventative measures. You can click on the link below for a recent update.


DHHS Guidelines


If you missed the last sermon (May 10th), you can go to our website bethelnp.org and click on JOIN US LIVE (Get Started), then click on Join us on FaceBook for May 10th.


Because of guidelines changing, we are by faith planning our Family Adventure Nights (FKA - VBS) for July 13-17. Please continue to pray that we will be able to go forward. If you are interested in helping please contact Tami @ 520-1743 or email tlittrell@bethelnp.org


If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 532-7040. The church office is now open Mon-Thurs 9-4, and Fri 9-12:00.

We look forward to seeing everyone again, soon!



A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn May 6, 2020

 

Hey Bethel!

 

At most of our elders and staff meetings, we start by checking in with each other, just to see what’s happened in our personal lives since the last meeting. After all these weeks in quarantine, I’d like to check in with you in the following areas.

* How’s your physical health? Are you getting some exercise, battling any symptoms, eating & sleeping okay? What are you doing to improve it?

* What about your general attitude toward life? Would those around you describe it as positive or negative, serious or winsome? Are you laughing much? What has encouraged you recently?

* How would you describe the state of your primary relationships? Do those you live with see the fruit of the Spirit blossoming in you? How are you staying in touch with family & friends? Who have you encouraged today?

* What about your spiritual condition? What are you hearing from the Lord in His Word? What are you sharing with the Lord in prayer? Is your primary focus on present circumstances or on your true hope? (Colossians 3:1-4).

* 3 John 3Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

 

I am personally encouraged by the creativity and energy of churches & leaders around the country, even right here in North Platte. Last night I participated in a Zoom conference with 20 interim pastors serving churches from coast to coast. Most of them shared progress in their ministries, not just in spite of COVID-19 but because of it. More people are tuning into media services than have been physically attending in the past. There are increased acts of kindness and care within their congregations and communities. Christians are focusing less on personal preferences, the things that divide us, and more on spiritual priorities, the things that unite us. The pain, suffering, destruction, and death from this pandemic are clearly the work of sin & Satan. But against all this darkness, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shines even more brightly, right? Are you seeing it?

 

Well, I’ve done a little more preaching in this edition than usual but hopefully, it has been helpful. Let’s move on to a few things that are happening around Bethel.

 

The elders will meet tonight (Wednesday) to discuss, among other things, our re-opening strategy. Right now the plan is to gather in person on Sunday, May 24th, for an Open Air Service on the lawn. We’ll try to secure a stage, PA system, FM transmitter, and seating plan to minimize risks. Great minds must think alike because I see that the Berean Church has scheduled an outdoor service for May 16th and other churches have already used the FM broadcast idea. Don’t you just love it?

 

We’ll take a break from the current series in James to observe Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.  Lois will join me in presenting a message I call “Professional Motherhood.” Read Exodus 2:1-10 and you’ll see why that title fits. Mothers, invite your family and family invite your mothers to tune in at 10:00 AM or whenever you choose to watch the recording. You can check out YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom, to see which one works best for you this week. All the production bugs should be worked out by the time we’re able to re-gather in person.

 

If you didn’t see the Ministry Highlights Reel on Sunday’s broadcast, click on this link (here) and be encouraged. You’ll also see other pictures on progress around Bethel below so keep reading and scrolling.

 

Lois & I look forward to connecting with you this Sunday via the internet and in-person on May 24th, if not before.

 

Pastor Lynn

 

Hello From Your Bethel Office!

 

It is Graduation time…sort of. As you know, the pandemic has jumbled graduation and our ability as a church and community to celebrate our graduates. Bethel Church has a long history of honoring our graduates who are part of our Bethel family and we desire to continue! Not every graduate who is part of the Bethel family engages in the student ministry. Therefore, we need your help. Please call the office (308-532-7040) or email pastor Jim (jim@bethelnp.org), or Kim (kcarter@bethelnp.org) to ensure that we honor your 2020 graduate!

We would love to recognize our SENIORS here at Bethel! Please send a baby picture & a senior picture to kcarter@bethelnp.org These kids have worked so hard the last 13 years of their lives and deserve some recognition for their accomplishments. Deadline to submit photos is May 13th.

 

For some Ministry Highlights click here  https://youtu.be/u_EGMIDajQo

Over the last few months, we have had people step up and volunteer to paint the entire inside of the church, mow the church lawns, rip carpet off of the stage and recarpet it, replace filters, fix plumbing issues and countless other little projects. To say thank you does not seem like enough, but THANK YOU!!!

 

 

 

 





A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn April 29, 2020

Hey Bethel!

 

It was encouraging to see my entire computer screen filled with the faces & voices of Bethel’s ministry team leaders at last night’s (Tuesday) “Huddle”. All 24 of our ministries were represented, along with the staff and elders. As part of a “roll call,” each one shared what they enjoyed most about their ministries. Then, I laid out details on purposes and plans for future huddles. Together, these people form what I consider our lay (volunteer) staff. The pastors and elders want to do everything possible to encourage, equip, and empower those who lead in ministries at Bethel. The Ministry Team Leaders Huddles are designed to help do that. If you’re interested, click on this link Huddle Description for a fuller explanation.

 

I realize many of us are feeling kind of zoomed out with all these virtual meetings from work, school, family, friends, and church. When this is over, we may never want to watch “The Brady Bunch” or “Hollywood Squares” again (not that I ever did much before). On the other hand, we may find ourselves using this amazing technology more frequently as another avenue of connection & communication in the future. When Paul was imprisoned for the gospel, he had to rely on letters sent and received from occasional visitors from various churches. The church has survived and even thrived through periods of persecution and separation down through the ages. If you’re wary of COVID-19 news, social distancing, hand washing, quarantine, FaceBook, YouTube, and Zoom, be encouraged by this...

 

* Galatians 6:9-10 (GNT): Let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.  So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.

 

The Pastor Search Team met (virtually, of course) on Monday night and interviewed two potential Lead Pastor candidates. Both conversations went very well so we’re planning a second round next Monday, this time including their wives. Additional resumes are coming in regularly and we’re filtering each one through our preferred pastor profile. Our hope is to meet with the most promising candidates in person, pandemic permitting. 

 

The staff & elders discussed and decided to plan an open-air service on Sunday, May 24 (Memorial Day weekend), for all who want to attend. As some restrictions in Nebraska are relaxed, we will invite everyone to bring their own lawn chairs, arranged to observe social distancing. We’re also looking into the possibility of using an FM radio transmitter so people could tune in from their cars in the parking lot for further protection from weather and viral germs. We’re all kind of excited about the idea. What do you think? You can tell me by replying to lkent49er@aol.com.

 

We’ll continue the “Cutting Edge Christianity...straight talk from James” series on Sunday with a message I call “A Trouble-Shooting Guide,” James 1:5-12. Developing discussion questions is now standard operating procedure, and these will be available after the sermon on our website.  Pastor Jim will lead us through the Lord’s Supper and also present a “Highlights Reel” which was shown at the Tuesday night Huddle. I know you’ll be encouraged by pictures of life & ministry around Bethel during the pandemic.

 

We realize there are still production issues with our Sunday service broadcast and are working to correct them. This week I’ll record from a make-shift studio in the loft, which should improve sound and lighting problems. I really appreciate your understanding and patience.

 

While it has been great to connect with many of you via Zoom meetings and gatherings like Village Prayer Fellowships, I look forward to connecting in person (from a safe distance) on May 24, Lord willing.

 

Pastor Lynn

 

 

Hello From Your Bethel Office!

As Pastor Lynn mentioned above, we are planning on having an open-air church service on May 24, here on the Bethel lawn and parking lot. You can either join us on the lawn, (please bring your own lawn chairs) or remain in your car. We hope to have an FM transmitter for those in their cars. Social distancing will be observed if deemed necessary.

 

We would love to recognize our SENIORS here at Bethel! Please send a senior picture to kcarter@bethelnp.org These kids have worked so hard the last 13 years of their lives and deserve some recognition for their accomplishments. 

 

We realize our audio/video production of the services hasn’t been “Hollywood” quality, but please be patient as we are working through all the technical issues. There is a lot that goes into mixing and filming that most of us do not understand. 

 

Thank you so much to those who have continued to tithe either online or by mailing it in. Below you will see Bethel’s Weekly Giving Report for April 26 (this is usually on the back of your bulletin). 

 

April 26, 2020

Given this week                    $10,818.00

Total for Month & year     $43,190.85

Total Expenses to date     $41,099.78

Budget needed year to date $52,099.08

 

Please respond to this ShoutOut if you have any questions, prayer requests, comments, or concerns! We are here! Praying we can all be together again soon!!!



A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn April 22, 2020

 Hey Bethel!

 

Happy Earth Day! For those who may not be comfortable with all the political implications, let me remind you of this...

 

* Psalm 24:1 (CEV): “The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord. The world and its people belong to Him.”

 

I enjoyed walking through Cody Park yesterday (Tuesday) and remembering that the Lord created all those beautiful animals, the trees and river. Of course the new heavens & earth will be even more spectacular as described in Revelation 21-22

 

Speaking of that, you’re all invited to join us in the second scheduled Village Prayer Fellowship, tomorrow night (Thursday) at 7:00 PM. We’ll send out a Zoom invitation. In addition to sharing & prayer, we’ll also discuss questions related to last Sunday’s message, “Is it Reasonable to Believe in Heaven & Hell? Go to our website or click this link Heaven & Hell Q's to read them prior to our meeting. One way for us to stay connected is to talk about the same things. I can’t wait to see you on my screen then.

 

The Pastor Search Team met Monday night to review and rate several resumes from potential candidates. Initial contact has been made with 4 of these and 2 zoom interviews are being scheduled for next Monday night. New resumes are coming in regularly. I’m impressed by the caliber of some of these candidates. I’m also impressed with the diligence and discernment of our team. For some who are wondering about the interview process during covid-19, we’ll continue to connect virtually until things open up for in-person interviews. I just heard that the famous Moody Church in Chicago, called a new lead pastor, using social media. It can be done.

 

I want to thank Andrew & Megan Gamble for spearheading Bethel’s food drive for the Salvation Army last Friday. This is something they initiated but worked with and through Jack Price and the Missions Team. Thanks to everyone who helped and to those who brought food.

 

After further consideration, consultation and prayer, I’ve decided to preach a different sermon series than originally scheduled. This Sunday (April 26) we’ll start a series titled, “Cutting Edge Christianity...straight talk from James.” Those of you who are familiar with this book know how practical it is. The first message is titled “Singing the Blues in a Major Key.” You can read James 1:1-4 to prepare. As a matter of fact, you could read all 5 chapters in one sitting to get an overview of issues which Jesus’ brother addressed. 

 

Some have asked if and when I might preach from the Worship Center behind the podium rather than from my desk at home. The fact is that due to my age and type 2 diabetes, I’m in a higher risk category for the coronavirus. Fortunately Lois & I are healthy and symptom-free, but want to be wise in maintaining social distance. I hope you understand. Just like all of you, I look forward to being back in circulation once again.

 

Be sure to keep reading this edition for further information related to the life & ministry of Bethel during these days. 

 

Lois & I look forward to connecting with you online at the Village Prayer Fellowship on Thursday night at 7:00 PM and for worship on Sunday at 10:00 AM.

 

Pastor Lynn

 

Hello From Your Bethel Office

 

ShoutOut to Megan & Andrew Gamble who spearheaded this Food Drive. Along with the help of Jack Price and others the Salvation Army Drive-up Food Drive was a huge success! What a blessing to those in our community who are desperately needing our help right now.

We want to thank all who prayed for, gave towards, and helped in any way with the food drive for the Salvation Army last Friday, April 17! We were able to gather 1 pickup full and 3 vehicles full of donations to support the food pantry! They were so thankful to receive the donations! We give the glory to God for providing through His people and pray what was given blesses those around us in a way that they see the loving hand of our Father in heaven in their lives!

 

Thank you to all who worked so hard giving our stage a fresh new look! Your efforts do not go unnoticed! We appreciate each one of you for giving up your time and all the hard work you put in to making Bethel a beautiful place to worship! Thank You!!!!





A Shout Out From Pastor Lynn April 15, 2020

Hey Bethel!

 

Happy Tax Day...sort of. You know the world is changing when even the IRS offers grace, at least until July 15.  Lois & I just made a very generous contribution so others can get a refund. Isn’t that nice of us? You’re welcome! 

 

What was your Easter weekend like? Never thought I’d be sitting in the living room with my wife watching me preach. In the afternoon, I watched a special stage production from Sight & Sound Theaters, simply entitled “Jesus.” One part that resonated was when Jesus embraced and healed a leper. Remember that those with this disease were required by law to practice social distancing and quarantine, actually shouting “Unclean!” to keep others away. Aren’t you glad to Jesus is immune to covid-19? Aren’t you glad He doesn’t practice social distancing? Aren’t you glad He still embraces, encourages and heals? Have you felt His touch in some way during this lockdown? I’d love to hear about it. Please talk to me by emailing lkent49er@aol.com

 

It was encouraging to see the number of “hits” during both the Good Friday & Easter Sunday services.  We’re reaching many more people right now than when we meet in person. What is true of our virtual services can and should be true of our personal ministries as we connect with even more people these days. Read Paul’s words in...

 

* 2 Timothy 2:9 (GW): I have even been put into prison like a criminal. However, God’s word is not imprisoned.

 

The Pastor Search Team met last night (Tuesday) to review several more resumes. They will be making initial contact with 3 of these men to discern their interest and schedule interviews if possible. One of the things we’re able to observe is how they are leading their current churches through this unprecedented pandemic. Please pray for and encourage the work of this fine team, which includes Brian Phares, Casey Hoaglund, Earleen McNare, Jen Thomas, Kurt Carter and me. 

 

The elders will meet tomorrow night (Thursday). We’ll continue our discussion on Larry Osborne’s book, Sticky Teams, and pray for all of you. Of course there will be much to consider about our ministry during and after covid-19. Special focus will be given to developing our ministry teams, small groups network, financial realities & strategies. I’ve heard that the difference between optimists and pessimists is this: Pessimists see the problems in every opportunity while Optimists see the opportunities in every problem. Pray that your elders will continue to be men of wisdom, faith and courage during this unprecedented time in world history. 

 

This Sunday we’ll complete the current sermon series with a message entitled “Is it Reasonable to Believe in Heaven & Hell?” We might call this the endgame as we consider the ultimate outcomes. It’s important to understand what the Bible says and why it is reasonable to believe it. Hopefully, some of our Easter guests will return to hear and consider their own lives in light of eternity. Please tune in at 10:00 AM this coming Sunday and encourage others to do so as well. Just send them to our website, bethnp.org for viewing options.

 

I am considering another virtual Village Fellowship meeting next week for all who are available. Maybe we’ll include those sermon discussion questions as part of that gathering. What do you think? Would Wednesday or Thursday night around 7:00 PM work for you? Let’s stay connected!

 

Please continue reading below for additional opportunities for life & ministry during the pandemic including...

* Bethel’s participation in filling the Salvation Army’s food pantry this coming Friday, April 17.

* Engaging in a virtual “Walk for Life” being organized by the Women’s Resource Center.

* Exploring your giving options to Bethel while we’re not meeting in person.

 

Lois & I are glad to be right here in North Platte, with Bethel church during this incredible season. We miss you all and look forward to connecting with you, one way or the other, in the days ahead.

 

Pastor Lynn

 

 

Greetings From Your Bethel Office

It is encouraging to see the number of you joining us for services, via YouTube, Facebook, and Zoom! It is definitely a learning experience for most of us not so techy people! By the time this COVID-19 is past us, we will all be a little more tech savvy to say the least.

If you are still wondering how you give your tithing, here are several ways to do so:

  • Recurring giving through your bank.It’s easy and safe.
  • Set up giving through our bethel website.Go to bethelnp.org and click on GIVING- you can either give as a one time offering, or you can set up recurring giving.
  • Mail your offering to: Bethel Church 2700 W Philip Ave North Platte 69101 (please be sure to use your offering envelope)
  • Drop it off at the church – during regular business hours 9-4 M-Thr, 9-12 Fri (at this time we are not physically at the church, but hopefully soon!)

If you have any questions, please call the office 532-7040

Here’s a ShoutOut from Julie Fletcher for the Women’s Resource Center – Walk For Life

The Women's Resource Center in North Platte will be hosting a VIRTUAL Walk for Life to raise funds to continue their mission of empowering individuals to make life choices by protecting the life of the unborn, offering emotional support and practical assistance to those with unplanned pregnancies, advocating for healthy and moral relationships, and ministering the Good News of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

The VIRTUAL walk means rather than gathering as a large group to walk on a specific date, walkers are encouraged to register at www.friendsofwrc.com or by calling (308) 534-1440 and then walk on their own ANYTIME before May 3, 2020. Once registered, walkers recruit sponsor pledges for donations. With $50 in pledges, a walker earns a Walk for Life T-shirt. There are additional prizes for adult and child walkers with the most pledges. Create a "team" of up to 4 walkers to be eligible for team prizes as well.  If you are unable to walk but would like to make a donation, you may do so at the above website address/phone number. For further questions, contact Julie Fletcher at (308) 368-5520.

Salvation Army Drive-up Food Drive at Bethel Church (parking lot)

FOOD DRIVE FOR NORTH PLATTE SALVATION ARMY                                                    

Hi Bethel Church! As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the daily lives of many of us, more and more people in our community are facing food insecurity. As the a part of the Church, we have a tremendous opportunity to support our community by hosting a food drive to benefit the North Platte Salvation Army. They are in need of donations and we would like to invite you to prayerfully consider helping them as they seek to serve North Platte in the way God has called them! We will be hosting a food drive in the parking lot of Bethel Church on FRIDAY April, 17 from 1-6pm. It will be a drive-up and drop off event. You can drive up, open your trunk, and we will take out the items you wish to donate while practicing safe social distancing! They are in need of whatever you can bring. Some especially helpful items right now are peanut butter and dried pasta. If you have any questions please contact Andrew and Megan Gamble at 308-530-3237 or Jack Price at 308-530-8786.  

Mark 16:29-31 Jesus answered, "The most important is," Hear, O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all our strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

 

Please respond to this ShoutOut with any questions, concerns or comments. We would really like to hear how you all are doing! We miss you!





A Shout Out from Pastor Lynn April 8th, 2020

Hey Bethel!

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s (Tuesday) Village Prayer Fellowship. It was great to see the computer screen filled with smiling faces and voices (Brady Bunch or Hollywood Squares style), that haven’t connected for far too long. We shared some of the things we miss most and even what we are enjoying about this strange season. We also told some stories of life during covid-19. Of course we prayed...for those who are ill, vulnerable, first responders, health care workers, those who are losing jobs or have reduced income and our government officials. I shared this anonymous prayer, written especially for the pandemic. Maybe you would like to use it as a guide for your own prayer time today. 

 

* May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

* May we who have no risk factors remember those who are most vulnerable.

* May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

* May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.

* May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

* May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

* May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

* As fear grips our country let us choose love. 

* During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of care and kindness to our neighbors.

 

While we didn’t sing during the Fellowship, scores of meaningful scriptures were read, which was like music for the soul. One passage emerged that could have been written specifically for those under quarantine or a shelter-in-place order.

 

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.  Psalm 91:1-2 (NLT)

 

If there’s interest, we could schedule another VPF (Village Prayer Fellowship). Please let me know if you would like us to do that (lkent49er@aol.com).

 

Something we haven’t discussed much so far is Bethel’s giving during this pandemic. As you can imagine, income is down significantly for a number of reasons. Since we haven’t met together for several weeks, no offering bags have been passed. Some have less income due to lost hours and jobs...or the threat of those things. Others of us aren’t feeling any financial pressure yet. Expenses may actually be lower since we’re not going as many places or doing as many things i.e. eating out, taking vacations etc. If you must give less, we certainly understand. If you can maintain your current level or give more, please do that. Bethel’s fixed expenses, especially staff salaries, continue even when we’re not meeting or working on campus. We’ve included a brief financial update below. Please remember the encouragement and promise Paul made to the impoverished Philippian church...

 

* Philippians 4:18-19 (JBP): Your generosity is like a lovely fragrance, a sacrifice that pleases the very heart of God. My God will supply all that you need from His glorious resources in Christ Jesus. 

 

This may well be the most unique Holy Week we’ve ever experienced. Without the usual pageantry, production and props, we may actually celebrate more like the early church did under persecution. Please tune in to our Good Friday & Easter Sunday services Invite & encourage others to join us online from our website, bethelnp.org, Facebook or YouTube. I believe the music & messages will speak to both seekers and saints. 

 

* Good Friday, April 10: “The Seeker, the Sinner and the Savior” @ 7:00 PM.

* Easter Sunday, April 12: “Is it Reasonable to Believe in the Resurrection?” @ 10:00 AM.

 

Please continue reading below for further information and instructions related to the life & ministry of Bethel during covid-19. Also, please shout back to lkent49er@aol.com or the Bethel office office@bethelnp.org, letting us know you’re reading all this and are still together with us, okay?

 

Lois & I look forward to seeing all of you after the quarantine, but connecting virtually many times before that.

 

Pastor Lynn

 

PS:  The Lord is risen, indeed!

 

Greetings From Your Bethel Office

 

Thank you for joining us last Sunday for service via (Zoom, Facebook & YouTube). The reason there were glitches during the service was due to the volume of people using the internet to watch church services throughout our area. It was nothing on our end. Dwane works tirelessly trying to get the technical aspects in working order. Please be patient and continue to watch and worship with us online. We pray all technical issues will be resolved for this coming Good Friday @7:00 p.m. & Easter Sunday @10:00 a.m. services.

 

Below is a financial summary (usually in the bulletin) of our weekly giving report. As Pastor Lynn mentioned above, there are a lot of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it's the loss of a job, cut hours or having to stay home with kids because schools are closed as well as daycares, financially things are tight. If you aren't affectedas much by the pandemic as some are, and you are a regular giver, there are still ways to give other than in church. You can give online at bethelnp.org and click on Giving. You can do a one time giving, or set it up for recurring giving. You can also send it in by mail to our Bethel address, 2700 W Philip Ave.

 

Weekly Giving Report as of April 5, 2020

Given this month $10,929.85

Given YTD            $10,929.85

Expenditures (Apr 2019-Mar 2020) $603,406.07

 

 

ShoutOut from Tami Littrell

The role of AWANA Director for this coming Fall is open. Will you pray with me for God’s leading to the next AWANA Director. The job description and requirements are available upon request, along with an application. Contact me, Tami Littrell, at tlittrell@bethelnp.org or call the office at 532-7040. Applications will be available from now until May 1, and they will need to be turned in by May 15.

 

AWANA Parents: Cubbies, Sparks, and T&Ts can still work on their book to complete it. If you need a leader to contact you, email me at tlittrell@bethelnp.org. You can also join NP Bethel AWANA club Facebook page for weekly updates.

Sunday morning Bethel Kids: 1st through 5th teachers are working on Zoom class time. Zoom is new for many of us; please hang in with us on this adventure. PreK and K: watch for videos from Mr. Craig and Miss Alyssa. Bethel Kids has a group page on Facebook, if you are part of Bethel Kids and have not received an invitation to join, please contact me at tlittrell@bethelnp.org.

 

We encourage you to respond to this ShoutOut and let us know how you're doing and if we can do anything for you! We love to hear stories of how God is using you in this time!





A Shout Out from Pastor Lynn April, 1st, 2020

Hey Bethel!

 

Happy Atheist’s Day!  We read in Psalm 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.” Sorry if that’s kind of snarky, but I couldn’t resist on this first day of April. As we studied a couple of weeks ago, evidences for the existence of God are overwhelming. We never needed to be reminded of this and share it with others more than we do today. A more positive passage for April 1, 2020, is found in Job 28:28 (NLT): “This is what He says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”

 

As a communicator, I’m always thinking of analogies. For me, this quarantine is like being on vacation with nowhere to go; taking sick days while feeling just fine; being retired but still having all the work responsibilities. Any analogies come to your mind? I’d love to hear them. Send them to lkent49er@aol.com.

 

Thanks to all of you who Zoomed into the Annual Meeting last Sunday.  Brian Phares, elder, and congregational chairman reports that there was a quorum and that all motions passed with a commanding majority vote. You approved elders Loren Berger & Casey Hoaglund to serve another term, the 2020-21 budget and changes in the constitution & bylaws. 

 

The Worship Arts Leadership Team, led by Jon Wardyn, will meet virtually this afternoon (Wednesday), to finalize plans for our Palm Sunday, Good Friday & Easter services. These will be available online at 10:00 AM on those Sundays and 7:00 PM next Friday night, April 10th. Just go to our website, bethelnp.org, and click on the appropriate card. You can also find us on Facebook and YouTube. Believe it or not, this quarantine is actually opening up greater avenues to spread the gospel through social media. People who are not part of Bethel or any church are tuning in. Please invite those you know to join us online. Our current situation can be compared to Paul, while imprisoned for preaching, and yet the gospel spread further and faster than ever. In Philippians 1:17-18 he wrote, “I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way...Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

 

On this Palm Sunday, we’ll continue the current series with a message entitled, “Is it Reasonable to Believe in Jesus Christ?”  You can click here Sermon Notes for the sermon outline. Discussion questions will be provided early next week. While we may include a communion time on Sunday, we’ll definitely observe it as part of the Good Friday service. You can simply get any kind of fruit juice and bread (cracker) to share with those in your home. By the way, this has great biblical precedence as the believers met in their homes, rather than in church buildings, to break bread.

 

The Pastor Search Team meeting tonight (Wednesday) to complete 3 profiles (congregation, community & candidate), which will then be added to Bethel’s website. We’ve already received several resumes through the EFCA. We’re also networking with several seminaries for potential candidates. This is usually a 6-9 month process, under the best conditions. Pray with us for the Lord’s provision of Pastor Next for Bethel in His time.

 

I want to reiterate the importance of connection & communication during these days of separation. There are some classes, small groups and ministry teams that are meeting virtually, taking advantage of social media like and Facebook.  Please let us hear back from you! Even a short note lets us know how you’re doing and what’s happening. 

We’ll start distributing the Shout Out! and other communication on our website, as well as via email. 

 

Here’s a little test in 2-way communication. I’d like to experiment with a virtual prayer meeting and sermon discussion sometime soon. If we did this, would you participate?  If so, what time of day or night would work best for you?  Shout back and let me know at lkent49er@aol.com. If you need help setting up Zoom or some other media, please contact the office. They can connect you with someone who will help you get better connected. 

Who knows, I may write back or even do another video message before long? Please let me hear from you too, OK? 

I look forward to connecting with you on Sunday, if not before.

Pastor Lynn

 

Hello From Your Bethel Office

On Sunday we will once again have our service Live-streamed on our Bethel Facebook page as well as YouTube and Zoom at 10:00 a.m.  

Just go to bethelnp.org and click on Join Us Live (Get Started). Scroll down and select where you would like to view from. If you have any questions or problems please call Kim 520-4640.


ShoutOut from Tami Littrell  

Last Sunday, Pastor Lynn interviewed Andrew & Megan Gamble with regards to the call to missions. Because of the time and energy involved, Andrew will be stepping down as AWANA Director at the end of this AWANA year. The role of AWANA Director for this coming Fall is open. Will you pray with me for God’s leading to the next AWANA Director. The job description and requirements are available upon request, along with an application. Contact me, Tami Littrell, at tlittrell@bethelnp.org or call the office at 532-7040. Applications will be available from now until May 1, and they will need to be turned in by May 15.

AWANA Parents: Cubbies, Sparks, and T&Ts can still work on their book to complete it. If you need a leader to contact you, email me at tlittrell@bethelnp.org. You can also join NP Bethel AWANA club Facebook page for weekly updates.

 

Sunday morning Bethel Kids: 1st through 5th teachers are working on Zoom class time. Zoom is new for many of us; please hang in with us on this adventure. PreK and K: watch for videos from Mr. Craig and Miss Alyssa. Bethel Kids has a group page on Facebook, if you are part of Bethel Kids and have not received an invitation to join, please contact me at tlittrell@bethelnp.org.

            

 Ty Daniel Deaver


Welcome to the Bethel Family, Ty! 

19 inches long and 7 pounds. Born on Sunday, March 29 to Laura and Jerry Deaver. (Big brothers Leo and Henry think he is pretty fine.)