Welcome to Bethany!
Thank you for taking some time out of your day to stop in and check us out!! We are excited that you are here because we know there are hundreds of churches around, and while we all call ourselves Christian, there are definitely some major differences between congregations. It is not only in certain beliefs; there is more. Churches are different in worship style, in programing, and in how they operate. Sometimes, it can get a bit difficult in trying to figure it all out. Therefore, we want to make it simple for you to understand who we are and what we are about, and it all starts with our mission: To be, live as, and make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Being Disciples of Jesus
We believe that Christianity starts with something called “Great Grace.” The Bible teaches us that we begin our lives turned-in on ourselves, that we are basically selfish, and that we want to be in control of our lives and in control of the world. In short, we want to be little gods and create our own versions of heaven. Oftentimes, our lives are extremely stressed because we try so hard to control everything and make the world revolve around us. The reason we are so stressed out is that we are engaged in an impossible task. We will never be able to control things because all things are in the hands of God.
And yet, we continue to try because our hearts are hardened, and we are in rebellion against God. We deserve punishment and death for our hardened hearts, but we believe that instead of punishment, God acted to win and change our hearts. In a tremendous act of love, God sacrificed Himself for us and in the person of Jesus died the death that we deserve. God only asks that we place our trust in Him and not ourselves, and when we place our trust in God through Jesus, instead of ourselves, we experience grace and become disciples.
Like many Christians, we trust that God comes to us in baptism, gives us a new way of being, and makes us children of God.
Living As Disciples of Jesus
Once we become disciples, the question becomes, How do we live our lives in response to that grace? How do we conduct ourselves?
The answer is summarized in the great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The Bible fleshes these actions out in more detail, especially in the writings of the New Testament.
We believe we are called to love God through our worship and celebration. We love our neighbor by engaging in acts of service, fellowship, justice, advocacy, and compassion. We know that we do this imperfectly, but we also do it joyfully because we want to thank God for the Great Grace given to us.
Making Disciples of Jesus
We know that when God’s Great Grace touches our lives, a huge difference is made. There is a sense of peace, hope, and joy that comes over us that is almost indescribable. We know that we are right with God and that God walks with us at every step. We have been commissioned to tell the world about this grace that we have experienced.
We believe Jesus’ instruction to “make disciples of all nations,” calling us to go into the world to those who do not know or understand God’s Great Grace. We help them enter and grow into relationship with their Creator. We believe we are not to impose any relationship on anyone or force any command upon anyone, but we invite everyone to come and see that Christianity is, first and foremost, about what God has done in Jesus Christ and only secondly, what we are supposed to do. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to dig deeper into this website. Listen to sermons. Read our newsletters. Worship with us. Over time, we hope and pray you will become a disciple of Jesus as well