December 29, 2014


A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

December 29, 2014

“One of God’s glorious gifts to mankind is to bestow upon him the dawn of a new year. New opportunities and challenges are before him. A chance to try again, to make another endeavor to successfully accomplish the ambitions which were perhaps cast aside with discouragement in the year past. Life is full of beginnings. As one stands at the gate and with doubtful hand draws aside the curtain and peers into the unknown, he begins today by taking his first step across the threshold of the new year. It is already a beautiful year because it is another year of Our Lord.”
C. E. Cowman

Upcoming Activities

A new church year begins this Thursday and that means opportunities for fellowship!  One of the more significant January fellowship activities is our January Bible Study which meets each Sunday evening during the Discipleship Training time (5 p.m.).  The 2015 study is on Deuteronomy and you are greatly encouraged to come and be a part of our time together.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

WE REACHED OUR GOAL of $1300, in fact, we surpassed it!  Our final tally will be announced next Sunday in our worship service.

Thank you to everyone who gave.  You are truly a generous people!

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee brought their recommendations for the various church positions to the church for approval at our December business meeting and they were approved.  The new officers, teachers, and committee members begin their work with the new calendar year.  Thank you to the committee for their diligent work.

Though the most difficult task that committee faces each year is complete until late 2015, there remain a few positions still open which means the committee has not ceased their efforts.  On the table in the foyer is a list of all volunteers and the positions they hold for next year plus which positions remain vacant.  Please take a sheet and pray about the open positions!


As noted earlier, the new committees begin work on Thursday.  Your first order of business per our bylaws is to meet.  Here is the section from our present Constitution and Bylaws:

Committee Officers.
a. The first order of business at the first meeting of each committee following elections is to select committee officers.
b. Committee officers shall consist of a chairperson and a secretary unless otherwise designated.
c. Chairperson: Shall preside over and direct the meetings; shall ensure that the business at hand is discussed in an orderly and Christian way; and shall ensure that proper and necessary recommendations and actions are taken by the committee
d. Secretary: Shall prepare and maintain all committee records, including minutes of each meeting.  Shall have available to the board of directors the minutes of each meeting
The committee shall report the selection of its officers at the next church business meeting.
So, to those on committees, thank you for serving!  Now, get together and elect your officers!

Proposed Changes

At the December business meeting, the Nominating Committee presented several proposed changes to our bylaws.  These were moved and seconded and, per our bylaws, will be voted on at our January business meeting.  You are encouraged to pick up a copy of these proposed changes (many having to do with committees) from the table in the foyer.  If you need an electronic copy, please request one from Sandy Brandel.

Also, last spring a committee was formed to consider modifying our Constitution to adopt the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message in lieu of the 1963 statement.  The committee studied the 2000 version and is recommending the church amend our Constitution to indicate the 2000 version is our statement of faith.  If you would like a copy of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, see the pastor on Sunday and he will give you one.  Or, if you are online, you can read the statement at .

“In nature, we see God above us.   
In a convicted conscience, we see God against us.   
in the GOSPEL,  
we see ‘God with us’.”

Pastor’s Postscript

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

These words were among the last ones ever written by the Apostle Paul.  He wrote them to Timothy, one of his converts, mission partner, and, at the time of their writing, the pastor of the church at Ephesus.  I suspect most pastors view Paul’s charge to Timothy as also a charge to them.  I know I do!

Since coming to Bethesda in the fall of 2009, I have ministered with a specific plan in mind.  This plan has been based on what I believed the Lord wanted done both inside and outside our church.

For the past couple of months I have reflected on my first five years as your pastor.  First, I assessed those things I believed the Lord wanted accomplished from that plan over this period of time.  Some of them have been accomplished and some have not.  Next I sought His direction concerning the future of our church for this year, five years, and ten years out. Then I spent the last week putting pen to paper and documenting some specific plans for our church over the next ten years.

I am sharing these plans with our deacons at our January 7th  Deacons’ meeting.  After receiving their feedback, I will share my thoughts with the entire church, possibly as early as the January 14th business meeting.

Ultimately our goal at Bethesda is to glorify our God in everything we do!  There is so much more we can do together!

Happy New Year and may Christ richly bless you in 2015!

Pastor Bruce

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