Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Bethany Bullet - for the Week of January 24, 2016

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  (I Peter 2:9-10)

This past Sunday following worship we held a congregational information meeting about proposed improvements, changes and enhancements to our facility at Bethany.  It would have been possible for some to think it ironic that we held a meeting about our facility minutes after our children sang in worship, “the church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church it is a people.”

Indeed, the church is a people; not just any people either!  The church is a “chosen people”, a “people called out of darkness”, a “people who’ve received mercy”, a “people who belong to God.”

One of the primary ways we as the “people belonging to God” continue to: grow in the conviction that we are “chosen and holy” because of Jesus, assist each other in “offering praises to God” and equip one another to be the means through which God “calls others from darkness or bestow upon them mercy” is through a ministry that originates at a building. 

The church, people and building alike, exists not only for those who belong to God; it exists just as much for those who are “not a people” but God willing and under God’s blessing shall become “people belonging to God.”  This most often happens through a ministry that welcomes and sends, assembles and propels, gathers and scatters people to and from a building.  

Yes the church is a people.  We, the people of Bethany who belong to God, have a building that belongs to us.  While we don’t have a steeple so to speak, we do have a cross tower.  Our facility is in need of some care.  We have many deferred maintenance issues and a host of things that must be addressed.  We also have the potential to make some changes that, while having minimal overall impact upon the structures, will have major impact upon our ministry.  We also, quite honestly, could use some beautification too. 
All so that we might continue to welcome, assemble and gather both those who are “people belonging to God” and people desiring to be the same.  Once welcomed, assembled and gathered at Bethany, we the “people of God” are equipped and prepared to declare His praises and share His mercy with neighbors and co-workers, community members and strangers alike as we are sent, propelled and scattered from this campus to go to those who are “not yet a people” but who through our ministry might become the “people of God.” 

The link at the end of this Bethany Bullet will take you to pictures of our proposed campus work, which we discussed this past Sunday at our Informational Meeting.  What you will see; and a few things you won’t here as follows:

  • Our entire campus gets a make-over including paint, stucco repair, roof work, replacement of rotted wooden posts, doors, etc. 
  • Our campus has a new entry point as the current brick wall and iron gating between the office building and sanctuary is removed and our green space and cross tower receive up-dating along with a new fence that opens onto Clark.  
  • The office itself is redesigned and re-orientated with both the addition of a new foyer entry area off of Friendship Square and an expanded window area where our reception and office administrator have eyes on our campus.
  • The Parish Lounge is expanded both to the North and the South, a storage area of chairs and tables is added, and the existing restrooms are updated and made ADA compliant.
  • An expanded Narthex presents a dramatic presence and face to our community and more importantly  it enables us to add a cry-room to our worship space, and a welcome area inside to ‘capture’ information from visitors and finally encourage through traffic flow entrance into the life of the community after worship.
  • Once inside the sanctuary everything from pews to paint, flooring to sounds system will be addressed.
  • You’ll notice in Hensley square there is a stair case leading to a balcony.  This is the new entrance to our redesigned youth facility.  Not only will this be more welcoming to our youth and more usable once inside, it will allow all youth to participate.  A hallway is opened from the existing classroom next to the elevator allowing those who need the elevator to go through the hallway to the balcony and into the youth facility.
  • Hensley square, like Friendship square, is beautified becoming space that can be better used for a multitude of purposes and space where people can rest for awhile.   The sacristy too is redesigned to include a service area for coffee and donuts on Sunday and other events during the week for the school that can serve people in either square.
  • If the members of Bethany Lutheran Church at a Voters’ Meeting on Sunday, February 21st at 12:15PM move to approve this project, known currently as the Renaissance Project, we will begin a Capital Funding Campaign.  The entire project is currently estimated to cost between one-and-a-half to two million dollars.

If you have any questions or suggestions about the facility proposal please feel free to ask Pastor Kevin, Gary McDaniel, John Holmquist, Scott Andersen or Lucy Smith.

Click HERE for a link to the document that was discussed at the Informational Meeting.

If you unable to open link, please copy/paste this into your browser to view the link:

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer

* If you would like to hear Sunday’s (1/24/16) sermon again about the Truth that our God is a Here & Now God listen to the pod-cast found on the Bethany website.


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