May 27, 2018

Hi there, friend! 

Thanks for stopping by again to find out what’s up at Bethel.  I am so glad to chat with you again.

Last Sunday our attendance was down as most churches in America.  It was another “holiday weekend.”  (I am getting to hate holidays!  J)   Speaking of this phenomenon, a survey of Baptist churches showed that the average SS teacher in the 1960’s missed about THREE Sundays per year from their class.  The average SS teacher in the average Baptist church today in 2018 misses between 12-16 SS classes per year.  That is over 25 % of their SS classes.  That is NOT the pupils; that is the teachers!  Why is that happening today?  One of the reasons is how mobile our society is today.  We have instantaneous transportation, smart devices in our homes (not having to stoke the fire anymore), & flexible spending like plastic cash that allows us to enjoy now & pay later.  I am not complaining or criticizing.  This is just the way it is nowadays.  And last Sunday was one of those for sure.

But for those in attendance last Sunday, we had a good day in the Lord.  The choir sang “You Think of Me” accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Emily Blewett & on the cello by Johnathan Burt.  It was delightful & added a real touch of specialty to the song!  The ladies soft, tender opening got our hearts ready.  Then the men added the dynamics to the song that captured our hearts.  And the whole choir touched us by the ending of the song.  Wow!

The offertory was a piano solo by Mr. Jonathan Carpenter, missionary to India!  His piano solo of “Nearer Still Nearer” was outstanding indeed.

I preached from I Peter 2:9-12 on “Who You Are in Christ”.  Anticipating that most of the crowd on that particular day would be believers, I focused on believers from that passage & it was right on too.  Although the attendance was slim, the spirit amongst the people was warm & uplifting.  PTL for those faithful souls.

The evening attendance also reflected the holiday weekend.  But it was worse than usual for an obvious reason.  The VBS workers met in the Fellowship Hall for training during the evening service.  So just the children & non-VBS folks were in the auditorium service.  That required adjustments for the service.  So we had intermittent testimonies & an extended favorites song service.  It made it interesting & enjoyable because we were singing songs that people wanted right then & heard testimonies that were fresh off the vine!  I preached a short devotional type message from Psalm 42:1 on “Panting after God.”  It fit in well with the lightness of the service for that particular night.

So there you have it from Bethel.  One thing I am glad of however is that this weekend is NOT a holiday!  PTL for that.