Service Schedule

Sundays 

Traditional Service 8:00 am

Sunday School 9:15 am (adult and children's options available)

Contemporary Blend 10:30 am (child care available)

Junior Church (K-5th Grade) 10:30 am

BYM Sr (8th thru 12th grade) - 6:00 pm

 

Wednesdays

Choir Practice 6:30 pm

Prayer Meeting 7:30 pm

Kidz Klub (age 4 thru 4th grade) - 6:30 pm

BYM Jr (5th thru 8th grade) - 6:30 pm

Men's and Ladies' Bible Studies - 6:30 pm

Directions

We are located at 155 Reedsville Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

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If you need to contact us, please call our office at (570) 739-2241. For office hours, click here.

Wet Cement Theology

 A blog from Jeff Byerly at Bethesda EC Church

The world doesn't need another know-it-all theologian. My goal is simply to search the Scriptures, analyze current theological dicussions, respond to the events of the global, national, and local communities in which I live, and share my life incarnationally in order to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. As I do this please realize that I am wrong from time-to-time and more often than I think. :-) I am also naturally skeptical and often doubt convictions that are held tightly by many others. I invite you to dialogue with me in this same spirit--to explore how Jesus intersects with our world and to keep our sanity as we view this world from his kingdom perspective. 

I'm baaa-aa-aack!

Posted by Jeff Byerly on Friday, July 1, 2016 @ 11:27 AM

Today a new adventure begins for me as the newly appointed Ministerial Development Associate for the Evangelical Congregational Church. In this newly created position, I will oversee the process that helps applicants for pastoral and non-pastoral ministry reach their full potential toward maturity and/or ordination. In preparation for this, I have just completed twenty-five years of ministry, and have served for over ten years on the National Conference Relations Committee, which has prepared me to understand the nuances of the credentialing process. I would never have believed this was my path in my younger days.

As I begin this new adventure, I thought that I would resurrect my blog journal, Wet Cement Theology. I am currently on vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This week, I have been reading The Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (1943) and Resident Aliens by Hauerwas and Willimon (1989). I am finding much to love from these books. As I have been reading Resident Aliens, I have found a kindred spirit that has shaped much of our ministry at Bethesda Church over the past 16-1/2 years -- Healing Community. I found chapters 3 & 4 particularly affirming. In them, Hauerwas and Willimon describe the church as a colony -- not in a physical sense, but in a relational sense: "The church exists today as resident aliens, an adventurous colony in a society of unbelief. As a society of unbelief, Western culture is devoid of a sense of journey, of adventure, because it lacks belief in much more than the cultivation of an ever-shrinking horizon of self-preservation and self-expression. ... Therefore, to speak of the church as a colony is to speak of the colony not as a place, a fortified position, be it theological or geographical. The colony is a people on the move, like Jesus’ first disciples, breathlessly trying to keep up with Jesus. It is an adventure with many unknowns, internal arguments over which turn to take in the road, conversations along the way, visits to strange places, introductions and farewells, and much looking back and taking stock."

I found beautiful reflections as they described the church's focus for redemptive community within her walls that does more than denounce the external societal evils, but rather provides hope and support within the colony of church life.  Yes, this is healing community! As I think of the young couples preparing to give birth to newborns in the coming months, most of them will be first-time parents. We, as a congregation, will provide for, nurture, support, and defend these little ones, for we are a community founded on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And so we will baptize these blessed ones into the greater blessing of the Church.

I have also enjoyed their emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount as the central focus of community life -- I had come to this realization about a decade ago, and every time I revisit the text in Matthew 5-7 I am reminded that Jesus reveals the results of life in the kingdom, which is a reflection of God’s own dealings with us. Over the next weeks and months I hope to reflect on this life found in the colony called church.

Blessings to one and all. Now back to sun, sand, and waves!

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