July 1 Update

Our July 12 re-entry date for in-person worship is rapidly approaching and we’re excited to have people back in the People of Hope (POH) Center for worship! We’re anticipating that this will be a time of joy and thanksgiving.  We’d like to give you a few reminders so that we can make our worship experience as joyful as possible.  

  • The POH Center doors will open at 10AM for our 10:30AM Service.
  • When you enter the POH Center please enter by the POH Center parking lot.  We will exit through the other two doors in the POH Center, unless you have mobility issues. If you have mobility issues one of our ushers will help you exit through the POH parking lot entrance door.
  • Please stop by our “Sanitation Station” to sanitize your hands.
  • Face coverings or masks will be required.  As one of our members said, “I wear a mask to protect you; you wear a mask to protect me.”  Wearing a mask is an act of love.   If you don’t have a mask, we have purchased disposable masks that will be distributed. 
  • If you have more than two people in your party please contact us by Thursday, July 9th at noon to let us know how many people are in your party.  We’ll reserve your seats together.  We’ll have ushers available to help you find your seats.  You can contact us by calling 794-8590 or email us at bbc1817@verizon.net.
  • Please practice social distancing.  Once inside, we’re politely asking folks to take their seats and members of our reentry team will be around to visit with you.  It will be great to catch up with you!
  • If you feel sick, have been sick recently, have any COVID-19 symptoms, or if you have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please enjoy our worship service from the comfort of your home.
  • Finally, we know many of you are not yet ready to return to in-person worship. If you feel uneasy about public gatherings at the present, we want you to be assured we love you and fully understand your need to wait a while before you come back.  For those of you returning on July 12th we look forward to seeing you.  May God bless you and may God bless Bethel Baptist Church. 


May 12 Update

Last week the Governor announced that we may enter Phase 1 of re-opening the state on Friday, May 15th.    According to the Governor, Phase 1 could last, “Two to four weeks or longer.”   It was further announced that during Phase 1 churches may resume in person worship services of up to 50% capacity.   Once that announcement was made our team met to prayerfully evaluate when we could safely reopen Bethel to in-person services.   After much debate, thought and prayer, we have decided to continue to worship virtually during Phase 1.   Stated another way, we will not offer in-person worship services during Phase 1.  

We did not come to this decision lightly and we considered a number of issues.  In wrestling with these issues let me clearly state that our main concern was to make decisions with your health and safety in mind.  Beyond that, let me give you just a couple of issues that impacted our decision:

  • If we reopen at 50% how do we decide who attends and who doesn’t? This led us down the road of looking at offering multiple worship services, which is feasible, but additional services would require additional volunteers.
  • Speaking of volunteers, would our ushers, tellers, music groups and other volunteers feel pressure to attend if we began offering in-person services?
  • What about our children’s ministry? We don’t believe we can offer a nursery or a children’s program and be able to keep children socially distanced. 
  • What about Sunday School? We don’t believe we can offer Sunday School in an environment that would allow adequate social distancing.
  • Lastly, a number of you reached out to us to let us know you’re not ready to begin attending just yet. We understand, respect and thank you for your thoughts. 

These were just a few of the many issues we considered.  During the meeting someone made an important observation:   If we offered an in-person service will it feel like a Bethel worship service?   Part of what makes Bethel special is our love for each other and connectedness to each other.   If we’re at half capacity, sitting six feet apart with masks on, will that feel like worship?   Certainly, we can worship that way and we may need to worship that way in the near future, but for now, we’re being led to take a wait and see approach.   Let’s get through Phase 1 and see what Phase 2 looks like. 

In the meantime, our team will continue to follow CDC and Government guidelines and will keep you informed in the process.   Please pray for us.   We are praying for you.   We’re praying for a cure for Covid-19.   We’re also thankful for all that God is doing through you during this time.   I continue to thank you for your giving and support of Bethel.   We are grateful.  

Finally, as I’ve said all along, I continue to believe that we’re going to come through this pandemic stronger as a church and we don’t have to fear an unknown future with a known God.   May God bless you and if you have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us.   I love and miss you all.   In Christ….Todd



April 14 Update

During this Pandemic we can all acknowledge that the some of the unsung heroes are our nurses and doctors.  We reached out to a couple of folks that we know who work at St. Francis Hospital to see if there is any way that we can  be a blessing to them during this time and there are several things we can do.  Lisa Hardy, a Bethel Church member and a nurse at St. Francis, is going to coordinate our efforts to help St. Francis.  I want to thank Lisa for all that she does as a nurse and for her willingness to assist us as we try to help her co-workers.  Before you read on we want you to be please be careful and follow all CDC guidelines should you decide to participate in this effort to help St. Francis.  With that said, here’s how we can help.   

1. Pray for the doctors, nurses, staff and patients of St. Francis.  We can all do this and we hope you’ll pray for these folks daily. 

2. We can send care packages to the nurses and patients.  If you’d like to send a care package simply drop the contents of the package by the church and Lisa will pick them up and deliver them to the hospital.  To make sure we are “socially distanced” please call the church office and let us know you’re coming.  You can leave the care package on the front steps and we will receive it from there.  The hospital has asked for crossword puzzle books, coloring books, or sudoku puzzle books for care packages for their patients.  Patients cannot receive visitors at the this time so something like a puzzle book will help them pass the time.  Care packages for nurses and doctors can include candy and snacks.  

Once again, we do not want you to go out and get items for care packages unless you feel it’s safe to do so.  However, if you’re going out to the grocery store or pharmacy and want to pick up some items for a care package that would be wonderful.  Again, you can drop it by the church and we can box it up and get it to St. Francis.  

3. We can send Hospital workers notes of encouragement.  In our notes we can include Scriptures, prayers and words of appreciation for what they are doing.  The Mailing address is 

St. Francis Hospital
13710 St. Francis Blvd
Midlothian Va, 23114

Please list the department you’d like to receive your note.  You may write to the following departments:  

Emergency Nurses Station 
Labor and Delivery Nurses Station
Mother Infant Unit Nurses Station
ICU Nurses Station
Progressive Critical Care Nurses Station
4th Floor Nurses Station
5th Floor Nurses Station
Cafeteria
Housekeeping
Equipment Distribution
Materials Management
Case Management. 

 

I’m sure each of these departments would love to receive a note from us.  

Let’s all try to do something on this list and “adopt” St. Francis hospital and try to bless the folks that work there.  Let’s show them we value them and they are appreciated.  God bless you all.  



March 31 COVID 19 Update

Message from Todd on Covid 19:

I just want to let you know how much I miss seeing each one of you on Sundays, Wednesdays and other times during the week.  I miss you!  I cannot wait for the church to come together and worship under the same roof again.  I hope that time comes soon.  In the meantime, I’m grateful for the gift of technology that allows us to connect virtually.  Please join us each Sunday at 10:30 am or you can watch the service at a time of your choosing.  Our services can be found here:  https://www.bethelchurchmidlothianva.org/messages/

When we do come back to together, we are planning on CELEBRATING!  Once we return to church we’re going to fire up the grill for some BBQ and an old fashioned “picnic on the grounds.”  I’m looking forward to that and I bet you will as well.

Finally, let’s continue to be a people of prayer and hope.  I truly believe we will come out of this Pandemic stronger and more unified.  Let’s remember the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”  May God bless you and may God bless Bethel Baptist Church.  With love for each of you — Todd



Fully Assured

I’ve come across a word recently that is helping revitalize my walk with Christ. The word is “Abide.”
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Abiding in Christ means being in continual connection with Christ and knowing that we’re dependent upon Christ for any spiritual growth in our lives.
 
The question is how do we “abide in Christ?” The answer is in practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditating on scripture, and simply being aware of God’s presence throughout the day. One of my daily spiritual disciplines is to sit in silence for 20 minutes to be with the Lord. This is tough because my mind often races and there are plenty of times that sitting in silence feels more like work than being in the presence of God; I guess that’s one of the reasons they call it a discipline. But if we’re faithful in our spiritual disciplines, I believe God rewards our efforts, if not in the moment, then throughout the day.
 
For example, one morning in late October I read from the book of Colossians and then sat in silence for 20 minutes. I meditated on Colossians 4:12 where Paul encourages us to, “Stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” The words, “fully assured,” jumped off the page and I began to think about and pray for a faith that would be “fully assured.” My point is that during my time of prayer, and in trying to be faithful in my spiritual disciplines, the Lord gave me those words. When the Lord gives you something there is a good chance He not only wants to bless you but He wants to bless others as well.
 
That day I went to see Thom Kagels in the hospital. He had gallbladder surgery and he ran into some complications, specifically there was an infectious abscess in his body that was causing him great pain and the abscess was in a tricky spot. It was near the liver and the doctors weren’t 100% sure how they were going to remove it safely, but Thom desperately needed relief. He said it was the worst pain of his life. So I visited the day before his surgery and prayed for him.
 
During the prayer I got a real sense, a conviction really, that I was supposed to tell Thom about those two words, “Fully Assured.” So I said, “Thom, the Holy Spirit spoke to me during the prayer and wanted me to make sure you take two words with you tomorrow into your surgery. The two words are “Fully Assured” and I believe God wants you to know that all will be well with your surgery and you can be fully assured that the Lord is with you.”
 
Thom took that word to heart and before his surgery he wrote the words “fully assured” on his hands. As they were taking him into surgery a nurse noticed the words and said, “You must be a person of faith. I’m a person of faith. I want you to know I’ll be praying for you during the operation.”
Fully Assured
 
Before they began the surgery they did an ultrasound to locate the abscess and guess what? The abscess had shrunk by 50%! It was so small there was no way to do surgery. The doctor was amazed and they decided to continue to treat it with antibiotics.
 
Cool story right? But there’s more. Brenda and Thom were so overjoyed by what the Lord had done that they started telling folks about being “fully assured.” One of the people they told was their cousin in North Carolina. Her cousin went to her Bible to find it and she ended up reading the whole book of Colossians. She was grateful for the story because she said, “I need to read my Bible more.”
Brenda and Thom Kagels
 
Finally, I went for a Chiropractor appointment and someone was leaving the office as I was coming in. This person said to me, “I heard about the “Fully Assured” story. You should tell it to the Chiropractor.” So I got to tell the story to the Chiropractor and his administrative assistant. This seems to be how the Lord works.
 
When we abide in Christ, blessings flow into our lives and into the lives of others. I had no idea when I read scripture that morning that the Lord would multiply the blessing that was given to me. I continue to learn and be amazed by the fact that God is a multiplier of blessings. So let me encourage you: Take the time and abide in Christ.
Billy Graham once said, “Every day has exactly 1,440 minutes; can’t you find even ten of them to be with your heavenly Father? Doesn’t God deserve the best minutes of your day?” Let’s give Christ the best of our day and abide in him, read scripture, pray, sit in silence and trust that God is at work, then watch. Watch the blessings that flow through your life and into the lives of others. May God bless Thom and Brenda Kagels. May God bless Bethel Church and may we each stand firm in the faith, mature and fully assured. Amen.


New Pictorial Directory

Sign up for your family portrait today! Everyone who participates will receive a complimentary 8×10 professional family portrait, one printed directory, smart phone app, and online directory. All appointments are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so make your appointment today. We need everyone to participate to help make this directory complete. Additional quality family portraits will be offered at competitive prices. Thank you for your participation! Quick Tip for your photos: Please avoid wearing green, as we will be using Green Screen Technology to photograph (Like what they use in action and superhero movies!)  Please click the following link to make an appointment:


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