On this Fifth Sunday of Easter the Gospel Reading from the Lectionary has Jesus using the last of Seven I AM sayings to describe His relationship with the disciples using the symbolism of a vine and its branches. He describes himself as the True Vine and his followers as branches, saying that those who "abide in him and I in them" will bear much fruit. One of the meanings of "abide" is "to put up with" or "to endure"...which is probably not Jesus' intent. Another meaning is "remain with" which is the wording used in most recent translations of the scripture. The promise then is: Those who remain in me and I in them bear much fruit.
Click on the "Bethel United Methodist Church" script above
for links to some Resource material for this service.
We are also having a service at 11:00 this morning in Bethel's sanctuary. An insert to the bulletin, provided by a link above, presents Bethel UMC's policy regarding these gatherings during the time of COVID-19 restrictions.
For those unable to attend the services at the church, a new service will be available here online before 10:00 am each Sunday morning, using the same format as the on-site service. So you may "gather" here for an "Early Service" at 10:00 or the traditional service at 11:00...actually it will be available here at any time all week. We hope that you will find it a refreshing place to come into God's house.
NOTE: Each part of this online service consists of an audio file and, for most, a Link to a pdf file of "projection slides". Click on the symbol to play the audio file under a separate browser tab or in a new window. Then select the "Bethel 05/02/21 Service" browser tab or return to this window to open the Link to the "slides". It is best to stop the playing of one Audio segment and close its tab or window before starting another.
We hope that you will fully participate in the service provided here, taking the time to raise your voice or read along with the hymns and responses, and listening to the recorded messages and songs that have been prepared for you. Realize that, though not meeting face-to-face, you are virtually gathering with many others for this time of worship, celebration and spiritual refreshment.
Thank you for coming. Our prayer will be that we will soon all gather again for worship in Bethel's Sanctuary, but until then we'll be here for you on Sunday morning.
- . Verse - Prelude/Processional - "Sing Alleluia to the Lord"
During normal times...acolytes would bring light to the candles on the altar, followed by the pastor and other worship leaders...today, it simply provides an opening for this time of Worship.
- . Slides - Welcome and Announcements . (06:03)
- Opening Hymn
. Verses - "Holy Ground" . (TFWS 2272)
The hymns in our hymnals that use the word "abide" can be found at the bottom of the Resource page. Perhaps the most familiar is:
. Verses - "Abide With Me" . (UMH 700)
All of these hymns deal with having Christ "abide in me". This one tells how we may "remain with" Him:
. Verses - "Trust and Obey" . (UMH 467)
(Let us know if you have a favorite hymn that you would like to have included in an online service.)
- . Slides - Call to Worship, Apostle's Creed and Gloria Patria . (02:43)
- . OT Scripture Reading: "Psalm 22:25-31" . (03:32)
......consider following along with a favored translation of your own.
- . Slides - Pastor's Thoughts, Prayers and Lord's Prayer . (10:04)
Please continue to include this prayer for the youth among your prayers for Bethel at this time.
- . "Youth" Message: "The Vine" . (11:31)
Though addressed to the "Youth", whom we truly miss seeing on Sundays, this message is for all of us. You may wish to follow the reading of John 15:1-8 in your own Bible.
(The "Church" message on this day, with the same topic, will be on the "Sermons" page of Bethel's web site later this week.)
- . About - Holy Communion (02:29)
We normally use consecrated crackers and grape juice during the service but you may use other elements for the acts of remembrance as you participate. During this time of "social distancing", the church service uses individual packets for communion taken in the pews.
- Closing Hymn:
. Verses - "Soon and Very Soon" . (UMH 706)
- Closing Chorus & Benediction:
. Verse - "Bind Us Together"
Please let us know of any problems you have with or suggestions about this site by sending an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org". If you have any announcements or prayer concerns you would like included next week you may contact Pastor Ralph Wrightstone directly at: 850-591-9785