Page 1

Worship Hours 9:15 AM Sunday School for All 10:30 AM Sunday Morning Worship 4:00 PM Sunday Bible Study


Council Leadership at Work 2008 Strengths and Successes 1. Louisiana mission trip helped to rebuild lives and homes destroyed by hurricanes. 2. Bethel had more hands-on experiences to help Upper Marlboro Food Bank. 3. There was wider participation from area children and youth in Vacation Bible School (VBS). The VBS lawn flamingos peaked community interest. 4. The yard sale was an effective opportunity to reach out in the name of Christ. Individuals felt welcomed and have since come back. 5. Caroling in Marlboro Meadows. 6. Prayer-walk at Swanson Road included the community. 7. Tuesday morning prayer group has grown. 8. We were led by God through the conversation around Living Springs. This was a good faith exercise for us. 9. There was growing participation in our small groups that meet mid-day Wednesday, Sunday night, and even with an additional youth group. 10. Bethel embraced Gloria Nelsonâ€&#x;s call into Certified Lay Ministry. 11. Spiritual gifts workshop.


2009 TASKS:

Here’s What Bethel Will Do In The Next 6 Months A. Target Outreach to Marlboro Meadows and Local Community 1. Engage in prayerful targeted outreach to a specific community (Marlboro Meadows), using Bethel to touch, teach, lead, and reach individuals for Christ. 2. Find local mission opportunities for Bethel to support in a hands-on fashion. B. Improve Communications 1. Develop a system of electronic communication. 2. Improve and make better use of the Bethel Bugle. 3. Require more frequent and more detailed ministry team reports so as to engender more communication and more involvement. C. Improve Lay Training and Spiritual Development

1. Develop laity training (ministry team leaders, lay worship participants, and others) with an intentional prayer component. 7. Delve further into elements of spiritual disciplines (via workshops, retreats, and training). D. Improve Grounds and Facilities 1. Improve the appearance of facilities and grounds. 2. Improve current signs.

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Winter 2009

16101 Swanson Road Upper Marlboro, MD 20774 Church Office: 301-627-4515 Fax: 301-627-3793 Email: Winter 2009 Volume 1, Issue 1

Witness & Evangelism Team: Alice B. Canter, Mary Carson, Robin Terry Mazyck, Pat Woods

Bethel Bugle From the Pastor‟s Window Dear Friends

Inside This Issue

1 1 2 3 3 5 5 6 6 7 8 12 13 14

2008 Strengths Successes 2009 Tasks Pastor’s Window Know Your Bethel Come Join Wednesday Study Group Interview with Mary Minnis Calendar of Events Trustee Project Church Council at Work Final 09/11 Goals

Reports from ANEWS Ministry Teams BWC Self-Evaluation Bethel’s Comments

Bible Trivia

I want to take this opportunity to give thanks to God for answered prayers and for the talented people God has placed in our midst. Heather and Eric St Pierre did a wonderful job for many years with the Bugle and now it is clear that the Witness and Evangelism Team will continue the commitment! Team members are Alice B. Canter, Mary Carson, Pat Woods, and team leader Robin Terry Mazyck. Thank you Heather and Eric. It is truly a joy and a privilege to work with Robin, editor of the Bugle. God has blessed us with Robin‟s varied experiences in ministry and her heart and passion for God‟s people. We are all strengthened when we walk the road with those who know the power of God‟s changing love. Robin brings that to us and we praise God for her companionship as we journey together. Friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we take the time to read through these pages, I invite you to give thanks to God for all the ways we can see God‟s spirit at work among us. At times, I believe we are so focused on the next step that we can loose sight of the bigger picture. Step back, reflect and be energized by the power that God is doing in our midst. We are surrounded by signs and wonders of God‟s glory. Let‟s not miss the God sightings in our church as well as in our personal lives! And then as we celebrate the blessing of being God‟s people I invite you to turn your eyes upon Jesus and all that Christ calls us to this Lenten season. Let us not get so immersed in what we have to do or what we hope to do that we miss the chance to sit with Christ. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. Lent is a wonderful time to re-center our hearts and re-focus our lives. Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter is a time that we as Christians make a journey inward, to the heart of our faith, and the core of our relationship with God. Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. Bethel‟s Ash Wednesday, February 25, 2009 service at 7PM is a time in which we as Christians are called to examine our hearts, cry out in our need for repentance and restoration and commit ourselves to spending the next weeks earnestly seeking God in our lives. The remaining weeks of lent are an opportunity for us to sit quietly in the presence of God with renewed awareness, seeking both God‟s leading and God‟s love. But forty days, you might say. Do we really need that much time? Yes, scripture suggests. And indeed, it is not by accident that Lent lasts forty days. The number „forty‟ has profound biblical significance which can in fact point to the purpose and power of this time today. The great flood that covered the earth in Noah‟s time was on the earth for 40 days (Genesis 7:17). The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years. (Exodus 16:35) See PASTOR‟S WNDOW, on page 4


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Know your Bethel Family By P. Woods, Witness & Evangelism Team Do you know this member of Bethel United Methodist Church? Bethel UMC is her family as well as her biological family. She enjoys praising God and sharing where she saw God this week. She participates in the Sunday Bible Study Group at the Church. Her favorite hymn is “How Great Thou Art”. See GUESS WHO, on page 4

My Dear Love The fruit of silence is prayer Come Joinis faith Our The fruit of prayer Wednesday The fruit of faith is loveStudy Group The fruit of love is service The fruit of service is peace Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Come Join Our Wednesday Study Group By Jan Holmes There has been a small group of people who gather each Wednesday at 11:30AM and enjoy a great lunch together. Barbara Anderson does a wonderful job of coordinating our meals and we each share in the good time. We have been doing this since Rev. Chris was with us. Over that time our group has varied as people‟s schedules allowed and interest ebbed or peaked in relation to what we were studying. Presently we are finishing up with a review and study of The Shack, a bestselling novel by William Young. It has been an enlightening study and we each would recommend that you consider reading this book. BUT now we are moving on and are planning to return to our prior format of using a DVD study that Ray Vander Laan does on the Lenten and Easter seasons. We hope to begin this „new‟ study on Feb. 18th. Some of us have seen this series before but each time we view it we notice or learn a new truth that Ray shares with us. This should take us right up to Easter. So I do want to encourage everyone who is blessed to be at home on Wednesdays and likes to share a great lunch, to come join our group. There is no homework; each session is complete in itself; and no one is the expert. We all share our knowledge and the Holy Spirit‟s leading with one another. I just happen to be the facilitator to keep us on schedule. If you need a ride or have questions please let Barbara Anderson or myself know. I am sure we can find a way to make it possible for you to join us. We hope to see you on any Wednesday that you care to join our small group.

A Sunday School Class looked at TV commercials to see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Email from Phyllis Kerns

God is like BAYER ASPIRIN. He works miracles. God is like A FORD. He's got a better idea. God is like COKE He's the real thing. God is like HALLMARK CARDS He cares enough to send His very best. God is like TIDE. He gets the stains out that others leave behind. God is like GENERAL ELECTRIC. He brings good things to life. God is like SEARS. He has everything. God is like ALKA-SELTZER. Try Him, you'll like Him. God is like SCOTCH TAPE. You can't see Him, but you know He's there. God is like DELTA. He's ready when you are. God is like ALLSTATE. You're in good hands with Him. God is like VO-5 Hair Spray. He holds through all kinds of weather. God is like DIAL SOAP. Aren't you glad you have Him? Don't you wish everybody did? God is like the U.S. POST OFFICE. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from His appointed destination. God is like CHEVROLET. The heart-beat of America. God is like MAXWELL HOUSE. Good to the very last drop. God is like BOUNTY. He is the quicker picker upper. . Can handle the tough jobs . . . and He won't fall apart on you.

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PASTOR‟S WINDOW continued from page 2 Immediately after his baptism, and God‟s confirmation that indeed he was loved, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. And he spent 40 days fasting in the desert, praying to God and facing temptation by Satan. Matthew 4:2 reads: After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" And in each case, these intervals of forty were a time of preparation, a time of prayer, a time of examination and a time of transformation, equipping God‟s people for greater work and ministry once they were fully dependent upon God‟s strength not their own. This Lenten season, it is my desire that we will each focus on our relationship with God so that we may indeed understand that we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Our Lenten focus at Bethel this year is nothing more than “God and I: A Living Relationship” Let us use this time to incubate, to protect and nurture, and deepen our relationship with God. Let us spend forty days allowing this relationship

to come alive. Let us eat of this living bread. And in delving deeper into our relationship with God it is my prayer that we will grow in our dependence upon God and our understanding of the way in which a living relationship with God – an awareness of God‟s presence with us at all times – can profoundly altar what we do, say, and become. You are invited to pick a prayer partner during this season. As you commit yourself to God, I invite you to commit that person to God. Join them in praying together that your relationships with God may grow and Christ may become the rock of your lives and the foundation of this church. There is no greater strength than the strength of Christ. Finally you are encouraged to join me on Wednesday night for a short hour reflection on this living relationship with God. We will explore the way in which living with God can change us, indeed turn all of our life into worship of the One who has created us. Be encouraged and be strengthened as we make this wilderness journey to the heart of God‟s love for us. Join me in the 40 days of preparation so that together we may claim with new joy the power of Easter and Christ‟s resurrection. It continues to be my privilege to journey with you! In the power of Christ‟s love,

Pastor Jen

GUESS WHO continued from page 3 Our member‟s gratitude for her faith is unending. One example of her faith walk is with her son. During his illness mom and son prayed together. Through love and prayer and by the grace of God, her son is doing better.

Our member is Barbara Perry who graciously thanks her Bethel family for their love and support. Ms. Perry‟s greatest gratitude is “My sweet Heavenly Father and His wonderful Son, Jesus”.

When I say good morning I mean to say: G-od O-ffers us His O-utstanding D-evotion to

M-ake us O-bedient & R-eady for a N-ew day with Him. I-nspire others please, and N-ever forget G-od loves you!

Email from Jan Holmes


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Interview with Ms. Minnis! Getting to know her better. By Alice Canter, Witness & Evangelism Team Mary Minnis is originally from Chicago. She was born on the 31st day of December. She is married to William Minnis. They have a son, Khristian and a daughter, Kristie. Mary says she felt "nudged" to join the church at 7 years old. She just marched up the aisle and joined her church. Mary has always had her faith. Though she says it took a backseat during her college years. Mary moved to Washington D.C, then to Maryland. She was looking for a church in the area. She says she was driving past Bethel and her son said, “Let's go there.” So in 1979 she came to Bethel and has been here since. Mary has been the Director of Vacation Bible School for 12-15 years and has worked with the children in Nursery School. She loves being with the children (and adults) as she serves as our Superintendent of Sunday School. I thoroughly enjoyed Some activities she has planned are a talking with Mary and Spaghetti Dinner and coordinating an Egg Hunt with Marlboro Meadows Community welcome the opportunity to get to Development Corporation. know her better. Her hobbies include reading, music, and Bethel is blessed to shopping for others. Mary tells me she have her as a part of loves the family atmosphere at Bethel; the sharing of experiences, helping each other, our congregation. and doing things together as a church. She has participated in an Emmaus Walk which brought her stronger faith and closer to God. She is a Media Specialist with Prince George's County Public Schools. Mary is planning on retiring this year. This will give her more time to devote to her spiritual journey.

Bearing Acts 2 Fruit If Bethel closed tomorrow, who would miss it other than the members? To learn more about an Acts 2 congregation go to Taken from articles in “Interpreter 1/2/2009”


Calendar of Events At Bethel

Date: February 25, 2009 Time: 7:00 PM Lent Began: Ash Wednesday Service --------------------------------Date: Every Wednesday in Lent Time: 11:30 AM Wednesday Lunch Bunch Study Death and Resurrection of the Messiah, video series by Ray Vander Laan Facilitated by Jan Holmes -------------------------------Date: Every Wednesday in Lent Time: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM Lenten Reflection with Pastor Jen God and I; A Living Relationship Using parts of Sylvia Gunter‟s “Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence” ---------------------------------Date: Mondays March 16 and 30, 2009 Time: 7:00 PM A Service of Praise, Prayer, & Word Come together to worship, as we walk together into an intimate relationship with God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. For more information call Gloria Nelson ----------------------------------Date: Saturday March 28, 2009 Time: Day long (Time To Be Announced) Hearing God’s Voice- Workshop Facilitated by Cherry Gail Darnall ----------------------------------Date: Saturday April 4, 2009 Community Wide Easter Egg Extravaganza ----------------------------------Date: Sunday April 5, 2009 Palm Sunday ----------------------------------Date: Thursday April 9, 2009 Holy Thursday Service ----------------------------------Date: Friday April 10, 2009 Good Friday Service ----------------------------------Date: Sunday April 12, 2009 Easter Service of Light: 7AM Easter Worship Service: 10:30 AM

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Winter 2009

Bob Hooker, Board of Trustee Chairman

Trustee Projects Major projects for this year include; Plan permanent lighted sign Secure use & occupancy permit Plan basement remodeling (including carpet tile) Plan energy efficiency measures (insulation above the office)

Church Council at Work By the 2009 Leadership Team Four targeted areas have been identified as our goals for 2009. In each targeted area are specific action plans to lead us in accomplishing each goal. 1. Targeted Outreach: The Evangelism Team and interested Bethel members will be primarily responsible for this goal. Immediately o Begin with prayer for Marlboro Meadows as our targeted outreach (prayer group, prayer list, weekly pastorâ€&#x;s prayer and any other means). o Identify people who know the community, like community leaders and school principals that service the Marlboro Meadows. April 2009 o Brainstorm with community leaders to determine needs that Bethel can help address. o Keep the congregation apprised of the specific needs. June 2009 o Plans should be in place so that we can begin to respond to some of the needs.

2. Communications: Church Bells o Assign Ushers to ring the church bells, announcing the church service. o As the community hears the Bethel church bells, it will call individuals to pray, chime in reverence, ring joyously to mark new beginnings, or to toll in remembrance of loved ones.

Other Future Projects include; Build concrete ramp with rails Repair lights in the fellowship hall Repair exit lights Snake-proof the churchâ€&#x;s interior and exterior

Electronic Communication March 2009 o Collect community and church member emails o Offer free email addresses and classes to those needing new service and/or email training. o Start email tree to transmit the church bulletin as an alternative distribution source April 2009 o Install a computer in reception area to allow church members free access to the Internet Website Immediately o Complete editing website components o Include non-time sensitive materials on the website o Issue press release to local newspapers and community publications, announcing the new Bethel website. o Announce the website via Meadowlark and other neighborhood papers along with current church events April 2009 o Introduce interactive elements to the website o Start archiving bulletins June 2009 o Learn digital recording techniques for sermons o Upgraded web software to Dreamweaver Bethel Bugle Newsletter o Develop Bethel biographies so as to highlight testimonies, talents, gifts, and interests, etc. o Solicit writers to share responsibility for Bugleâ€&#x;s content. o Collect information for upcoming events, internal activities, and community interests. o Schedule issuance dates for the remaining year


The bells can also announce seasons like Lent, Easter, Christmas, etc.


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CHURCH COUNCIL AT WORK continued from page 6

3. Laity Training: Announce, plan, and schedule training. Include spiritual understanding and biblical passages to undergird. o Ushers: Tom Clagett and Jessye Miller will include comprehensive training for new and seasoned Ushers o Acolytes: Thomas DiSalvo will set standards, goals, and provide training to new and experienced Acolytes o Liturgists: will be expanded and trained by Pastor, Gloria Nelson, Tom Clagett, and Jessye Miller. o Spiritual Gifts Workshop: Part 1 is completed. Part 2 began January 24th with review and introduction. Class schedule for Part 2 is; 4th Saturday in March

2009 TASKS continued from front cover

Future training plans. Planned retreat in March Plan to learn more about fasting in early spring

4. Facilities: Repairs for winter 2009: Replace or upgrade small metal signs on the entryway and roadside. Illuminate signs. Use changeable banners and wooden signs. Repair lights in Fellowship hall. Repair the outside wall of the building by Pastor‟s office. Repair doorbell. Repairs for winter 2010 Repave parking lot and driveway within a year – trustees Paint the fellowship hall and the hallway within a year Install a new ramp on front steps of church **********************************************

The Makings of Goals for 2009-2011 In June, the leadership will meet to review progress on the 2009 goals for the first 6 months. If we are ready, the following tasks will be added to our focus for the rest of the year. E. Develop an intentional evangelistic element to our worship and community outreach. (altar call, opportunity for witnessing). F. Improve projection capabilities and use during worship. G. Develop and use ongoing visioning and evaluation process for all church ministries. H. Improve discipleship of and care for those outside of Bethel‟s core. I. Develop a greater commitment to a specific women‟s ministry. J. Develop a greater commitment to children‟s ministry. K. Target ministry and outreach to younger people (below 60 years of age).

1. Engage in prayerful targeted outreach to specific community (Marlboro Meadows), using Bethel to touch, teach, lead, and reach individuals for Christ 2. Develop an intentional evangelistic element to our worship and community outreach. (altar call, opportunity for witnessing, opening the doors of the church) 3. Find local mission opportunities for Bethel to support in hands on fashion 4. Increase membership of Bethel by 10-15% per year. 5. Develop system of electronic communication. 6. Improve and make better use of Bethel Bugle. 7. Require more frequent and more detailed ministry team reports so as to engender more communication and more involvement. 8. Develop laity training (for ministry team leaders, lay worship participants and others) with intentional prayer component. 9. Delve further into elements of spiritual disciplines. (via workshops, retreats, training) 10. Improve the appearance of our facilities and grounds 11. Improve our current signs. 12. Improve projection capabilities and use during worship. 13. Develop and use ongoing visioning and evaluation process for all church ministries. 14. Improve discipleship of and care for those outside of Bethel‟s core. 15. Develop a greater commitment to a specific women‟s ministry. 16. Develop a greater commitment to children‟s ministry. 17. Target ministry and outreach to younger people (below 60 years of age) ********************************************

God willing, an increase in membership of 10-15% is an anticipated by-product of the 2009 goals.

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Winter 2009

Adoration and Worship Team: Gloria Nelson, Chair

A Report from Nov. 2008 to Dec. 2008 To the Church Council and Bethel UMC, the worship team continues to be in prayer about Worship at Bethel UMC. During Advent, the Pastor, Gloria, Walter, and Dr Patton introduced Bethel to some different style of worship during three Monday night services which seem to have a positive impact on most who attended. Special

thanks to Mary Minnis and Robin Terry Mazyck for their support and to all who attended. Pastor Jen and Sarah Helen Clagett concluded the fourth Monday night Advent service with Christmas music. The Pastor and worship team were also part of the Christmas Eve candle-light service. The worship team meets to select music for the Sunday morning service. The Pastor asks the worship team to be in prayer about ideas she may have for

worship. Whenever time allows the worship team practices for the praise part of the Sunday service (which is not supposed to go over five minutes during Sunday service). Looking to the future, hopefully creative worship design can be actively embraced as the Holy Spirit leads this Church. Bethel, please continue to pray for this team's leading to our one and only God who makes all of this possible.

What is Worship? Do you view worship as a burdensome activity? If you do, your worship has little to do with God. You have yet to know what it means to appreciate the most helpful, patient, kind, loving, honorable, valuable, creative, imaginative, amazing, exciting, powerful, and awe-inspiring Person in the universe! Much of what we call worship today is not really worship at all. Let us explore what the Word of God says about worship. Man was made to worship. He can‟t help but worship. All that remains is to see to whom or to what he gives his worship. But what is worship? The word worship comes from an old English word that contains the ideas of honor and worth. When we worship God, we are honoring Him. When we worship God, we are recognizing His inexpressible and indescribable infinite value. Like the angels in heaven, all true worshipers say, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power:…,” (Rev. 4:11). True worship not only recognizes the worthiness of God, it rejoices in it. The Old and New Testaments have a number of words that are translated, “worship.” The Hebrew word used most often in reference to worship means to bow down - to do homage (Gen. 18:2). The most prominent Greek term for worship conveys the idea of showing reverence or bowing down to God (John. 4:21-24). A second Greek word means to serve - to minister (Mt. 4:10). Worship then, involves both our attitude and our actions. Worship is the attitude of reverence and adoration, as well as the action of humble and loving service to the God who is worthy. We cannot worship God in the way that He seeks if we don‟t know what we are doing. We need to understand the essential principles of worship and then put them into practice. We will explore the dynamics of the kind of worship that God is looking for in our next article. Information for this article came from RBC Ministries.


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Nurture and Fellowship Team: Jessye Miller, Chair

Goals set for 2009: February- Bowling March-Games April-Bowling May-TBA June-Bowling

Fun and Fellowship Activities

July-TBA August-Bowling September-TBA October-Bowling November-TBA December-Celebration

Due to budget constraints there will be a $10.00 fee for bowling with the excess maintained for Christmas celebration. Every other month will be reserved for an activity other than bowling, so the interests of other congregants can be met. Kitchen supplies for fellowship will continue to be provided. These will be cups, plates, bowls, cutlery and napkins only. A new group has been formed to be known as the FISH group (Friends in Service and Hospitality). The purpose is to provide food, where needed, to the sick and shut-in and bereaved families. Jan Holmes will be the coordinator of this group. Several members of the team have volunteered to assist, but others will be needed so that the help can be passed around. If anyone hears of a need in the church, please notify Jan, Pastor Jen or me. Coordinators for the various activities under this ministry are: Phyllis Kerns-Prayer Tree; Pat Woods-Fun and Fellowship Sandra Holland-Card Ministry; Mary Minnis-Lay Visitation Barbara Anderson-Training, Expansion of Membership and Exhortation. For any of these areas to be effective and truly nurturing, we need the help of the congregation, so if you have a need or know of a member who has one, please let someone on the team know about it. We thank you for your assistance. Other team members are Mollv O'Neil. Gordon Piscacek.

Roberta Strine and Claudette Braswell.

Self-Evaluation of Ministry Team: How is your team living into the ANEWs purpose of Bethel? What activities, events, programs fall under the responsibility of your ministry team? The Nurturing & Fellowship Ministry Team cares about people and their relationship to God. Its purpose is to care for, encourage, train, feed, educate, and promote the development of those who are a part of the Bethel fellowship, as well as others. This is done through the after-worship church fellowship, Tuesday Prayer, Sunday and Wednesday Bible Study Groups, the


"Boomer" Bible study, card ministry (for visitors, birthdays, sympathy, get well, absentee), Prayer Tree, Fun and Fellowship Days, Food Bank and Pastoral Visitations. Leadership: Where have you personally felt most energized or fed by God in your leadership? I have enjoyed leading the Fun and Fellowship events because these bring people together on a social level and is also an outreach activity to the community. We get an opportunity to interact with each other in an informal, relaxed way which really helps us to know each other better. It has taken a while for these activities to take off, but we seem to have hit upon a couple that they really like, judging by the numbers and the increasing

participation (bowling and square dancing) What is God teaching you through this leadership opportunity? God is teaching me to be patient, listen, and try different activities if you want to reach people. Many times things will appeal to you and are good ideas, but they may not be what is wanted or needed. You must listen and hear what others are saying to you. Where is God calling you to grow? God is calling me to grow in patience, tolerance, and understanding.

See NUTURE EVAL, on page 10

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Winter 2009

NUTURE EVAL continued from page 9 What kinds of supports or what kinds of people do you need around you as a leader? I need people who will do whatever is necessary to get a job done, who are willing to try new ideas and do things differently, and who are not close-minded. I find that argumentative people are not very pleasant to work with, especially if their arguments are not constructive or presented in a thought provoking way. Where do you feel God has been supporting, energizing, or using the work of your team?

Many of the activities under the Nurturing Ministry were already in place and very effective. However, I would like to see more growth in the Group Bible Studies and the Tuesday Prayer. Where do you feel like there is deadwood in your ministry? In the groups listed there is no deadwood. They just need to be strengthened by more participants. How did your ministry team meet the needs of the congregation this past year? What can you do to better meet those needs? The Ministry Team met the needs of the congregation by making these various activities available. To improve on this, we need more participants.

Equipping and Discipleship Team: Mary Minnis, Chair

Self-Evaluation of Ministry Team: equipping, nurturing, and teaching our young to live a Christ-centered life How is your team living into the ANEWs purpose of Bethel? What activities, events, programs fall under the responsibility of your ministry team? Our team is equipping, nurturing, and teaching our young to live a Christ-centered life in today‟s world. To be a disciple for Christ in today‟s world is important. Leadership: Where have you personally felt most energized or fed by God in your leadership? What events have you most enjoyed leading? Vacation Bible School has been a blessing to see the children learning, interacting, and taking God‟s message into their daily lives. What is God teaching you through this leadership opportunity? God is teaching me wherever He puts me that I can make a difference. When I follow his leadership and guidance. God is teaching me to step out of my comfort zone and let Him direct my life. Where is God calling you to grow? God is calling me to grow even beyond where He has placed me. He has been preparing me for another role that He wants me to assume. I have to have faith that when I am ready for the task, He will direct me to where I need to be. What kinds of supports or what kinds of people do you need around you as a leader? I need faithful workers who will help whatever the job may be. I need those who help in providing support as well as share in the work to be done. Where do you feel God has been supporting, energizing, or using the work of your team? God has provided willing workers who have energized our team and kept us going even when our directions seemed a little confusing. He has always sent one of his angels to inspire and encourage us to keep trying. Where do you feel like there is deadwood in your ministry? I feel that the deadwood is found in our attitudes. Many feel that they have nothing


to give to our ministry. Many feel that since they have done it before, there is no need to try it. How did your ministry team meet the needs of the congregation this past year? What can you do to better meet those needs? Our ministry team provided teaching and learning experiences for our youth. We tried to provide a God centered learning environment which provided tools for them to live from day to day. We can continue to provide experiences for the youth to help them live as Christians in the world. How can your team reach out to the community in the name of Christ? Our team can continue to reach out to Marlboro Meadows and try to get them to work with us. We can reach out to other churches (Living Springs, Union, etc.) to join together in Christ and bring God‟s message to children beyond our church. If you could do/plan anything what is the biggest dream, purpose God has given you for this work? My biggest dream is that our youth can unite with other youth in the community and spread God‟s Word to more children who do not have God in their lives.

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Witness and Evangelism Team: Robin Terry Mazyck, Chair

Advent at Bethel Christmas at Bethel was especially wonderful for me and my family as we celebrated Advent for the very first time! My sisters, father, brother, and friends journeyed from the north to participate in Bethel‟s praise, worship, and Advent workshop services held on each Monday night. Several days later, my two grandsons, neice, and neighbor came for a little Saturday afternoon delight – Gingerbread House Construction!!!! We were all covered with various forms of SUGAR, candy, cookies and goodies. My children were overjoyed as they ate their way through every type of confection, licking the excess glue-icing off various body parts. As all of the children finally completed their tiny treasures and prepared to take them home, my sister and I marvelled at the creativity and original thought that each child put into their work. Even I had icing in my hair and glasses, under my nails, and probably under my toes. Yes, it was messy but we had such great fun as Pastor and her family demonstrated this fine art technique! I have not laughed that much in such a long time. So we took our little houses and our little sticky children home where they nibbled away at their houses until they were no more!

Finally, Christmas arrived. My heart was ready - ready to receive the Christ child. I would not have missed it for anything! My Christmas arrived and I was filled with the joy and peace that comes with spending the holiday with family. My family, Bethel United Methodist Church.

Service and Mission Team: Julie Tsamoutales, Chair Bethel is actively engaged in many ways to serve the community. The following organizations have been identified as ways to put Bethel‟s passion into action! Local missions to serve in 2009 include Young Life of PG County Upper Marlboro, the Upper Marlboro Food Bank, Community Support Systems, and the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry. Our Baltimore-Washington Conference missionary service will be directed to help the Baltimore-Washington Conference Hope Fund, Kathleen Masters - United Methodist Missionary, Rev. Chung Suk Song - United Methodist Missionary, and the NM Carroll United Methodist Church Home. Bethel‟s international mission services will be directed to the Sierra Leone School and the Voice of the Martyrs. Team members are Julie Tsamoutales – Chair, Pastor Jen, Jan Holmes, Patsy Barton, Gloria Nelson, Alice Canter, and Sarah Helen Clagett.


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Winter 2009

Baltimore-Washington Conference (BWC) Congregation Self-Evaluation 2007/2008 Congregation Evaluation Results - by Bethel Church Leadership and Pastor As we carry out the mission of the Church to make disciples for the transformation of the world, we must continually evaluate our faithfulness, fruitfulness, and effectiveness. Evaluation is a shared ministry involving the pastor/deacon and congregation, initiated for the purpose of: 1) Identifying and building on strengths that will further enhance discipleship in the congregation and the community; 2) Identifying behaviors or attitudes that are detrimental to building discipleship in the congregation and the community; 3) Affirming the gifts and graces of the pastor/deacon and congregation; 4) Clarifying expectations; 5) Identifying areas limiting discipleship growth and development; and 6) Setting priorities for ministry. So, how did we do? The following are the results of Bethel Leadership Council‟s self-evaluation. Bethel was examined in three ways.

1.Bethel’s own 2007-2008 objectives. Did we meet them? Council members voted;  Need Improvement - 8  Meets Expectations – 1

2.Did the congregation’s work make disciples and cause growth? Council members voted: Celebrates: Vital worship which encourages, inspires, and challenges the people of God.  Meets Expectations: 8  Needs Improvement: 1


Connects: Ministries which engage newcomers and members in relationships with one another and with Jesus Christ as discipleship is deepened. Council members voted;  Meets Expectations: 8  Needs Improvement: 1 Develops: Opportunities for learning and growing as disciples through spiritual practices, Sunday School, Bible studies, and small groups. Council members voted;  Meets Expectations: 7  Needs Improvement: 2 Serves: Ministries which meet the missional needs of the community and the world. Council members voted;  Exceeds Expectations: 4  Meets Expectations: 3  Needs Improvement: 1 Shares: Personal stories of faith and evidences of God at work expressed by the pastor and laity to reach others for Jesus Christ. Council members voted;  Exceeds Expectations: 2  Meets Expectations: 7  Needs Improvement: 2

3.Did the congregation practice and improve skills essential for ministry? The council reflected on how the congregation functioned in each of the following skill areas.  Sunday School/Bible Studies/Small Groups  Laity involved in worship Leadership/planning Financial stewardship development  Conflict resolution  Communication  Hospitality  Connection with the culture of the community  Training lay leadership  Working through change  Organizational structure  Vision/mission development and use to guide the church's ministries

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Specifically, What are Bethel‟s Comments? These Council comments were taken from the evaluation sheets and can be used to lead us towards future goals. Discipleship does not seem to be as strong as study. Are we teaching people to be disciples? Do we need to rethink the newsletter since it is so hard to get articles for it? Why not email newsletter? How often? Why not formulate at website? Robin Mazyck has started a draft. We need to improve communication between leadership and congregation. Can we do email newsletter and paper? Our church has some large cultural differences. We did not have the leadership retreat that was set as a goal. How can we help people better serve out of their areas of gifts? Perhaps we need to do some short term training in various areas? There is still a group of individuals who do not participate in the church beyond Sunday morning. How can we get them more involved? We need to turn our objectives into attainable goals. Objectives listed for 2007 were very vague. We need to concentrate on areas in UM other than the Meadows and Swanson Rd. We were not successful in getting new members from Swanson. Our only outreach to Swanson road was when we did the prayer walk after the house break-ins. We still need to pursue the outdoor sign. We need to motivate membership to engage in local evangelism. We need to have target events for outreach into neighboring communities. I have seen some growth in membership this past year but it is absolutely unclear to me what needs to be done to reach the 100 person marker identified by the conference as recommended for churches with full time pastors. The relationship with Swanson Road and the surrounding areas needs to be improved. Marlboro Meadows needs more work as well. The evangelism objectives in general need improvement. We need to work on acquiring and installing a new sign once the U&O permit is resolved. Do we need to be more focused on a specific community or area? Do we follow up after VBS, for example? Do we have something for children and youth to return to beyond VBS? Understanding the dynamics of African American community in Marlboro Meadows – and communities connection to other churches Do we reach out to those unchurched? We need to continue to be prudent and faithful with our finances – encouraging tithes and other gifts. We need to make sure we continue to care for the given membership. I think some sort of youth/young adult retreat similar to the confirmation retreat would be extremely beneficial to have on an annual basis. We have met expectations in this area with the use of Praise and worship music that inspires. Efforts are being made to make worship more vital. The praise period is new and hopefully it encourages the congregation. In time, I think it will improve. Worship services are inspiring and challenging. Our worship is truly a blended style – open to new styles of worship while we also use the traditional hymns. Openness to different communion styles. Can we start ringing the bell as we start worship services – essentially calling the community to worship?

In particularly the addition of the middle age bible study this past year was beneficial and reached a group that had previously had limited opportunities. The sponsorship of new members and the welcome for new members has meant a lot. Sunday morning fellowship after church. Fellowship hour might be limited to coffee and cookies instead of full food spread Bowling has been the most successful in bringing members together. Have tried games and square dancing and baseball game. The congregation connects well with visitors at the fellowship hour. We need more intentional follow up by designated members. Ushers need to be trained in all areas but particularly in recognizing and greeting first time visitors. Are there outreach and nurture elements that are part of our fellowship hour? Is this a way for some people to use their spiritual gifts? Adult Sunday school is regular within a core group of 8-10 adults. Sunday PM bible study and Wednesday group both with core group of less than 10. Thursday study group is not functioning now. Middle age study group is new. The bible studies and small groups bring people closer to God‟s word. Opportunities abound. Almost every member and some non-members are involved in bible study and/or small group. We now have new members who first were a part of a small group. Bethel does a wonderful job in world outreach to Sierra Leone, including the barrels to Sierra Leone barrels. 10% of Bethel‟s budget is tithed to local and regional causes. Apportionments are paid on time

. See BETHEL‟S COMMENTS, on page 14

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Winter 2009

BETHELâ€&#x;S COMMENTS continued from page13 We should be doing more hands on service. We need improvement in this area. I feel most of our present service is monetary. We need more church wide accountability for missions. Serve more local missions. The food bank donations and Christmas shoebox ministries are good. The new Iberia Mission project was outstanding. Could we possibly do more than what we do now? Are we global and monetary but not as local and hands on? Sunday morning sharing is great but if someone misses a service where they share, the testimony is lost totally. Web or newsletter would really close the gap to some degree. The testimonies from members of the congregation have shown how God is at work. Bethel has God sighting time at the beginning of the service. This allows all to witness to how God is at work. Need member envelopes for giving.

Bible Trivia (Cross Answers on last page!! A.

What did Rahab do to put a marking on her home saving it from destruction?

1) she put blood on the door posts 2) she tied a scarlet cord to her window 3) she covered her door with purple fabric 4) she painted a cross on the wall of the house B.

According to a proverb who is like a deep ditch and a narrow well?

1) a foolish man 2) a prostitute and an unfaithful wife 3) a spoiled child 4) a wise man C.

Where in scripture are these words found?: "... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks:‌"

1) Genesis 2) 1 Kings 3) Isaiah 4) Revelation D.

Who was the first to preach the gospel to the Gentiles?

1) Paul 2) Jesus 3) Peter 4) Philip E.

Jesus demonstrated that he was truly alive after his resurrection by many infallible proofs for how many days before his ascension?

1) 30 2) 40 3) 14 4) 70 F.

Who was `a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers`?

1) Moses 2) Jesus 3) Abraham 4) Adam G. In what `dwelleth no good thing`?

1) Love 2) Peace 3) The flesh 4) Faith H.

What was the final obstacle the children of Israel had to face before entering the promised land?

1) famine 2) the Jordan River 3) an enemy army 4) a plague from God I.

Who did Paul say had erred from the truth, for these two claimed that the resurrection had passed?

1) Hymenaeus & Philetus 2) Alexander & Rufus 3) Hymenaeus & Alexander 4) Rufus & Philetus


J. K.

. . . . . . . . . .Who . was. called . `a. ringleader . . .of the. sect . of. the. . . . Nazarenes`? 1) Paul 2) Peter 3) James


April Joanne Johnson 3 Kristie Minnis 8 Betty Smith 12 Eric St. Pierre 13 Jim Braswell 17 Frank DiSalvo, Sr. 19 Carlyne Tapscott-Holland 19 Gloria Nelson 25 Edna Pavol 27 Frank Holland 30

March Eric Smothers 3 Iris Hinckley 5 Claudie Braswell 7 Dave Hinckley 10 Patsy Barton 17

May Frances Case Luckie Fieri Laverne Weeks Donnie Strine Clark Holmes

7 13 14 23 31

June Kristian Minnis 2 Adell Pope 3 Julie Tsamoutales 6 Bob Hooker 14 Thomas DiSalvo 15 Hasani Green 18 Elmer Smith 22 Mary Johnson 27

Can you identify all four Bethel UMC members? Send answers to

On The Lighter Side:

Email from Mike Krakosky

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Montana and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, “I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.” The old rancher says, “Okay, but do not go in that field over there” as he points out the location. The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the farmer. “See this badge? T his badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish...on any land. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand?” The old rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores. A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased close behind by the rancher's prize bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer and it seems likely that he'll get "horned" before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified. The old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs...... “Your badge! Show him your badge!”

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Winter 2009


A. 2) she tied a scarlet cord to her window See: Joshua 2:18 B. 2) a prostitute and an unfaithful wife See: Proverbs 23:27 C. 3) Isaiah

See: Isaiah 2:4

D. 3) Peter

See: Acts 15:7

E. 2) 40 See: Acts 1:3 F. 2) Jesus See: Romans 15:8 G. 3) The flesh See: Romans 7:18 H. 2) the Jordan River See: Deuteronomy 3:28 I.

1) Hymenaeus & Philetus See: 2 Timothy 2:17-18

See Robin if there are any challenges to the answers! (

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16101 Swanson Road Upper Marlboro, MD 20774


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Bethel United Methodist Church Publication. This outreach tool is designed to spread the good news to fellow christians and to those who se...

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