Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
Monday Pizza at Jerry’s! Join Us!
(Taken form October 2009 Charge Conference)
Dearest Bethel; It is with love and affection that I sit before you tonight. This is now the beginning of our third year of ministry together and Edgard and I give thanks to God for the ways in which you have supported us, taught us, and learned with us. We have found Bethel to be eager to embrace us and earnestly desiring to serve our Lord and Savior who calls us together and challenges us to move forward in faith. The road has not always been easy nor the journey clear, but I feel that in faith God continues to lead us. As my leadership grows I ask for your continuing measure of support and grace as I too learn how best to be used by God. In all ways, even when I have failed, my intent has been to bring glory and honor to God through this his body. In the times when we have been sure we felt God’s confirmation and blessing, I praise God to have shared this joy with you. Living in faith is not always easy and the kingdom for which we work is always much greater than we can see or imagine. But God is masterful and faithful and just. And we are privileged to be just a piece of all God designs.
There is much ahead for us in the year to come and it is my fervent prayer that together we will seek God’s vision and purpose for us as individuals and for the body of Christ called Bethel. We stand on the edge of possibility and promise. And you have shown yourself to be a body which in prayer and perseverance seeks God’s face. Now, we stand, as a church, a few steps from walking in faith into greater service to this our community, from moving into deeper worship, and from leaving behind our fears and claiming God’s assured purpose of this body of Christ called Bethel. I pray that soon and very soon we will claim with joy all that comes from living in God’s will. So thank you…..and stay tuned….as God continues to lead and teach and convict and change us! Let us continue to work for all the ways that God seeks to use us in the name of Christ. With a faith and a hope and yes, a joy, that comes from the unfailing mercy of God through Christ.
Pastor Jen m
Paul & Joanne
Father God, how can we ever thank you for all you have done for us? Show us how to live with thankfulness in our hearts. May that gratitude spill over and touch others around us. Amen. Dear Bethel; Thank you so very much for your great outpouring Sunday, October 18, 2009, as we celebrated the little known occasion of Pastor Appreciation Month. I did not know such a holiday existed until I received a card in the mail! The cake was beautiful and the flowers just plain made me feel special! Your cards and words of encouragement and affirmation are things I will tuck away for the days when I need a boost. Thank you for honoring what only God does through me and for blessing me with your support and love. May God grant us strength - each of us - to share the ministry which God has given us!
Ephesians 4:1 I am a prisoner who belongs to the Lord. I beg you, live the way people should live who have been called by God.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
Church Announcements Wednesday small group bible/book study continues each Wednesday at 11:30AM at Bethel United Methodist Church, 16101 Swanson Road. Please consider joining the group for lunch and study. The new fall bible study continues each Wednesday evening, at Mt Oak UMC, at 7PM. Mt Oak is located at 14110 Mount Oak Rd, Mitchellville, MD 20721-1208. (301) 249-2230. Pastor Ray and Pastor Jen are co-teaching a small group study on the book of James. For those with children and youth, Mt. Oak’s children's ministry and youth small groups are in session at the same time. We have begun a new Sunday school series called "Does your Church have a prayer?” We will be looking at Jesus' high priestly prayer prayed for the church, the journey to the promised land, and the way God is calling and leading today. This is a very important study and ALL are welcome. If you have never been a part of adult Sunday school, please join us! On Sunday, October 25th, Bethel will be joining Cheltenham UMC's children and youth for their annual corn maze adventure. We will meet at Bethel, at 3:30PM. Everyone 10 years and older is welcome to attend! We will be walking through the corn maze located just north of Bethel on route 301. After the maze, we will have pizza together at a local pizzeria. Pastor Jen continues a Sunday evening bible study on the book of Acts. Study starts at 5PM. Come learn more about the power and history of the early church! Coffee and desserts will be provided. A growing number of Bethel friends gather every Monday afternoon for food and fellowship at Jerry's pizza in the Marlboro Crossing Shopping Center, near the Giant supermarket. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! The gathering starts at 4:30PM. The Bowling Team meets each Monday at 1:30PM at Crofton Lanes in Bowie. The cost is $2 plus shoes. Join the team for lots of bowling fun! Advent celebration service starts Sunday, November 29, 2009 with praise, worship, and Christmas music Bethel and community children will make gingerbread houses at Patuxent School on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 6:30PM. Attend this GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS
with the Marlboro Meadows for caroling , food, crafts, and more!
Santa Claus will be there! Bethel continues to collect food for the Upper Marlboro Food Bank housed at Trinity Episcopal in downtown Upper Marlboro. Food Bank donations may be brought in at any time and deposited in the colorful tubs in Bethel’s fellowship hall. We emphasize the first Sunday of each month. The following opportunities are available for those interested in hands-on support for the food bank: *2nd Saturday of the month @7AM food distribution - carry bags to cars *Thursday before 2nd Saturday @ 7PM set up for distribution *Friday before 2nd Saturday@8AM: pack food bags Bethel will be joining Union United Methodist Church (UMC), Cheltenham UMC, Trinity Episcopal Church, and St. Paul's Moravian Church for an
annual community thanksgiving service. The service will be held 7PM Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at Bethel United Methodist Church. Rev. Donna Nelson will be preaching.
KIDS IN CHURCH A little boy was overheard praying, “Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am.” After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but all I want is to stay with you guys. A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One bright little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”
Father, give us courage to be faithful to Christ in our daily actions. Grant us the courage to stand up and do what is right, not what is easy. Help us to remember that You stand with us even in life’s most frightening moments. For nothing can separate us from Your love. Amen.
2 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; email@example.com
MONTH YEAR OCTOBER 2009
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
Every year people like us pack decorated shoe boxes which are sent to over 90 countries world wide and distributed to needy children, some of whom have never received any gift. Franklin Graham started this process many years ago and has a highly organized procedure for seeing that each shoe box is given out. Christian workers in each country must submit a request for shoe boxes and the custom clearance process begins. They are delivered by air, boat, camel, donkey and any other means of reaching the villages where these children live. But before they are delivered, they must be packed. Bethel has taken part in this ministry for several years and has increased the number of boxes each year. Last year we packed 152 boxes. Can we meet and beat that amount this year? I hope so. You decide whether you want to pack a regular size shoe box for; A girl or a boy What age range? age 2-4; age 5-9; or age 10-14 What decorative wrapping paper will you use to cover the shoe box? (Remember to do the lid separately) Then comes the fun part; you begin to fill the shoe box with all the age-appropriate new items that children love, such as;
crayons, pencils, paper, socks, balls, stuffed animals, dolls, toothbrush and paste, small cars, kazoos, jump ropes, books, sunglasses, ball caps, underwear, shirts, hair accessories, washcloth, soap (in a plastic bag), toys, yo-yos, hard candy (in double plastic bags) NO guns, knives, weapons. NO war-related action figures. NO liquids. NO chocolates The dollar stores are a good source of interesting items and now is a good time to start before the holidays begin.
Once you have filled your regular size shoe box you; Add $7 to cover the cost of shipping Put the lid on add the label “girl” or “boy” Write the age range Secure it with a rubber band, and Bring it to Bethel on November 22, 2009 The reason that I have said regular size shoe box is because the shipping boxes hold 12 shoe boxes. If you pack a larger-size shoe box, the shipping container will not be able to hold the 12 boxes. After we deliver the shoe boxes to the distribution center locally, they are sent to North Carolina and are inspected to be sure that everything in them is appropriate. A language appropriate booklet is then included telling the child about God’s love through Jesus. If you would like to learn more about how these boxes get to all the different locations, Google Operation Christmas Child. http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/ You will find several videos to watch. The link that I included in the mid-week announcements changed to Samaritan’s Purse video so unless you persevered you might not have learned about OCC. I will have brochures for labels in church but again if you want to pay for the shipping of your box, you can go on-line and pay with a credit card (it is labeled EZ Give). https://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/EZ_Give_Donations/#
Print out the appropriate label to add to your shoe box. That way you can even trace where your shoe box is sent. Please see me if you have any questions. Have fun packing your shoe boxes!
Heavenly Father God of all compassion, help us to feel your presence and comfort in times of suffering. For although everyone suffers, believers never have to suffer alone. Father help our children in the many challenges they face today. May the children see God’s love for them as expressed in the giving of the shoeboxes. Amen.
3 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; firstname.lastname@example.org
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
To all the pumpkins in my patch. Happy Fall! Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff--including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see.
God, help me to be a disciple who is not merely a spectator but a player! Teach me to say, “Yes” to God as I find ways to tell others about my Jesus Christ! As I have quiet and humble opportunities to do so, let me be Your servant. And as Jesus showed me by His example, let me always put others ahead of myself. Let me respond to Your call, Lord God, so that I too can be greatly blessed! Indeed, Thy will be done! Amen
4 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; email@example.com
MONTH YEAR OCTOBER 2009
Genesis 39:23 The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him, and the LORD made everything that he did successful.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
The Nanjemoy Mission a Living Waters project! What was the most valuable part of the mission experience for you?
Left to Right: Ms Hattie, Pastor Jen, Bob Hooker, Pastor Donna Nelson, Jessye Miller, Elmo Allen, Mary Carson, Tom Smith, Ron Jones, Gerry Brown, Jaime Polansky, Walt Polansky, Walter Johnson Dear Friends in Christ!
We all feel blessed to have been able to participate in this mission trip and are so thankful for all the behind the scenes persons who fed us, organized us, and solicited food donations on our behalf. We could not have done this without your encouragement. Sincerely yours, The work teams from Cheltenham, Union, Bethel, Clinton, and Living Springs United Methodist Churches
Father, as we wrestle with the struggles of life, please make us keenly aware of your presence and abundant mercy. For no pit is too deep or problem too large for You Father. How comforting it is to know that in whatever “pit” we may find ourselves in—the death of a loved one, health issues, broken relationships, or financial problems—You God are with us and You are able to lift us out. Show us your steadfast love! Amen
5 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
All About Growing Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday about growing older. Ms. Angelou said; 'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.' 'I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.' 'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back..' 'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.' 'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.' 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. '
Nurturing and Fellowship Ministry—Jessye P. Miller, Chair A tri-church health fair is being planned for April 24, 2010 at Bethel as this ministry has agreed to volunteer and offer help. Look for more information as details develop!
Administrative Council Identifies wonderful Outreach Progress! Chairperson, Jessye Miller acknowledged many of Bethel’s recently completed outreach projects. They include Vacation Bible School and Saturday Festival; installation of new ramp, evangelism workshop, Bowie StreetReach, leader’s retreat, Monday bowling, baseball games, Nanjemoy mission, school backpack projects, Tom Smith’s cleanup, Sight & Sound trip, and the spiritual gifts training.
Equipping Discipleship Ministry Plans Their New Program Year This year’s VBS was reviewed for strengths and weaknesses. The team’s recommendations include adding an evangelism component to vacation bible school next year. The team also reviewed the Safe Sanctuary Agreement as Chairperson, Mary G. Minnis completed a training workshop to meet compliance requirements. This year, Harvest Fest will be led by Bethel’s youth. Bethel and community children will make gingerbread houses at Patuxent School on Monday, December 7, 2009 at 6:30PM. Attend this GINGERBREAD CHRISTMAS with the Marlboro Meadows for caroling , food, crafts, and more! Santa Claus will be there!
Remember the Duck? There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. They gave him a slingshot to play with in the woods. He practiced, but he could never hit his targets. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back, he saw Grandma's prized duck. On impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the woodpile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day, Grandma said, “Sally, let's wash the dishes”. But Sally said, “Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen”. Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?” So Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, “I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper.” Sally just smiled and said, “Well, that's all right, because Johnny told me he wanted to help.” She whispered again, “Remember the duck?” So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help. After several days of Johnny doing both Sally’s chores , he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma gave him a hug and said, “Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window, and I saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.”
Heavenly Father, we desire your peace and your love in our hearts. May we be open before You as You fill us with Your love. Lord God, help us to move closer to You. Let us taste and see that You are good! We want to know You. To know You is the beginning of a relationship with You. Amen
6 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; email@example.com
Deuteronomy 30:19 I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
A Personal Testimony!
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
by Alice B. Canter
Meet Gordon Piscacek: Gordon was born on December 18, in Washington D.C. His parents moved their family to Prince George’s county when he was about six years old. Gordon has a sister, two nieces, and a grand niece. Gordon served four years in the Air Force. After his discharge from the military, he worked with the Federal government for thirty-six years. Eight of those years were with the US Postal Service. Twenty-eight ears were with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Gordon Piscacek Gordon has been a lifelong Methodist. Looking for a church closer to home, Gordon chose Bethel about fifteen years ago. He loves the family feeling here at Bethel; the warmth, the friendships, the caring for each other. He has been on an Emmaus Walk and describes it as “quite an experience”. Not only is he a member, he is also Bethel’s treasurer; serves in the choir, and serves as Bethel’s Lay Member of Annual Conference. Gordon is a thoughtful and caring man. His hobbies are baseball (Orioles, of course) and the railroads. He likes to go on train trips and visiting the rail museums. He loves anything to do with trains. I have enjoyed sitting down with Gordon and getting to know him. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it. Postscript: “I always had a strong belief in God. But, it was on my weekend Walk to Emmaus where I met him up close and personal, and it finally sunk into my thick head that God cares for me and loves me because Jesus paid the penalty for my sins. Then, about six years ago I grew even closer and stronger to God. I was involved in a horrible accident and could have lost everything, everything I had. I gave myself and the problem completely to God and asked him to carry me through and I told him I would accept whatever the outcome turned out to be. God carried me. I had penalties, but I am around today with clothes on my back, food to eat, and a place to live because of trust and faith in God.”
Abba Father, remind us each day to share the good news of the life you offer to all of us. By your spirit, guide us to those who need the lifeline of your saving love. Have us to remember that Christ built a good reputation. Teach us to follow His marvelous steps with upright behavior and character that honors Christ, our Lord and Savior. We pray that our daily life will reflect His character so that others may be drawn to Christ. Amen
7 Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; firstname.lastname@example.org
Luke 11:8 God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.
VOL 2 ISSUE 1
The Bible According to Kids In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night. Samson was a strong man who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slew the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in Bible times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. Then the three Wise Guys from the east arrived and found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an Immaculate Contraption. St. John, the blacksmith, dumped water on his head. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says do one to others before they do one to you. VOL # ISSUE # It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance. The people who followed Jesus were called the 12 decibles. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached the holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
Dear Father God, help us to keep praying and to keep reaching out in love to those around us. Teach us to be persistent and bold when praying for friends and family. Help us Lord to never, never, never give up. We will be faithful to keep praying. Amen
Bethel United Methodist Church 16101 Swanson RD; Upper Marlboro, MD 20774; Office: 301 627-4515; email@example.com