August 7, 2022
2022 All Ontario Camporee
August 1 to 6, 2022
Camp Whispering Pines
Trust in God’s Plan
It was held in Innerkip, Ontario.
Pastor Frank attended as well as several of Bethel’s Cadet Club boys.
July 24, 2022
Summertime…What’s not to love about this time of year? The striking sunrises and warm still evenings, simpler clothing and simpler meals, the chance to garden, go kayaking and hiking, spend hours reading or just sitting watching waves and clouds and stars. Summertime is a time to relax and re-create and reflect, a time to be intentional about taking Sabbath moments and Sabbath days.
And, busy though we all still are, it’s true that there is something about light nights and sunny weather that can lift our spirits, lighten our mood and put us in a more relaxed frame of mind. Out comes the lawnmower, garden furniture and barbecues overflow with people.
With the opportunities longer days afford, summer is a great time to be with family and friends.
It is a good time to be spontaneous – taking those opportunities that naturally come along day to day as we listen for and follow the voice of the Holy Spirit. Opportunities to get to know people, express interest in their lives, show kindness and love in practical ways, eat together, laugh together and share our lives and faith.
It is also good to be intentional – allowing the Holy Spirit to remind us of those who are on their own, or who are coping with the kids over the long school holidays. Remembering those who are new to our church family or the neighbours who have just moved in near us. It’s a good time to renew or deepen our friendships with neighbours, who we often don’t see through the dark winter months. Summer is a time when people are perhaps more open to chat; a good time to have those conversations you have been meaning to have but never got around to. If you are feeling radical, then maybe even rise to the challenge Jesus gave to one surprised dinner host – to think beyond our usual list and invite someone who might not be able to invite you back? (Luke 14:12-14)
Let’s be like Jesus – he loved people and he loved a good party…and still does! Seize the moment – make that invitation! Let’s open the doors – of our hearts, our homes, our diaries and maybe the gates of our gardens, and make this summer one of purposefully investing in relationships. The summer weather may come and go (hoping that it comes in the first place) but relationships are of lasting value.
July 10, 2022
Summertime: We’re here every Sunday!
Excerpts from Pastor David Robers, June 4, 2019
“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy” – or so said George Gershwin when he wrote that classic song from “Porgy & Bess” back in 1934. Summer is indeed a time to which many of us look forward. Students (and parents) anticipate a break from school, and many of us take time for vacations and other breaks from our routines. The age-old question that pastors and church treasurers and other congregational leaders worry about is whether people will also take a break from church.
How can you learn to love if no one else is around?
Can you learn humility if you are living alone?
Is it possible to learn patience, kindness, or gentleness in isolation? Pachomius
We all hope for time to rest and relax during the summer, and many of us will enjoy trips together with family and friends. But don’t forget that we will still gather for worship each and every Sunday this summer. It’s an important time to gather together to worship, to build up one another, to enjoy fellowship as we strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones, and to grow in our faith and in our relationship with God. If you are in town and it’s a Sunday, I hope you will join us as we gather together as a community here at Bethel.
June 26, 2022
Happy Canada Day!
On June 26, 2022 we celebrate Canada Day…
Canada Day is a great day to rejoice and be glad in the gift God has given us. Canada is a good country to live in, a good country to raise children in, to work in, and to minister and serve others in. She is stunning in her beauty, valiant in her history, and well-formed in her founding. We have more religious, expressive, and associational freedom, economic opportunity, and social security than many other countries.
“Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law,” says the opening sentence of our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This foundation is also reflected in three Bible texts etched into our iconic Peace Tower: two from Psalm 72 and one from Proverbs 29.
On the east side of the tower, in the arch over the stained-glass window, is inscribed, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” That statement comes from the first half of Psalm 72:8 and is a prophetic part of the Psalm referring to the reign of Christ. Christ the King shall have dominion from one end of the earth to the other. When Canada was founded in 1867, she was called “The Dominion of Canada,” an allusion to Psalm 72.
On the south side of the Peace Tower, is inscribed the opening prayer of Psalm 72, a prayer for the king of the nation: “Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.” The prayer of Psalm 72 is carved as a banner in the sky, a reminder to Parliamentarians as they approach and enter those hallowed halls, to enact the just judgements and righteousness of God for the good of the nation.
And finally, on the side looking toward the going down of the sun, is this proverb from Proverbs 29: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” At the time those words were carved into Parliamentary stone, the vast majority of Canadians would have known the rest of the proverb: “But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Excerpts from REFLECTIONS FROM A CHRISTIAN PATRIOT ON CANADA DAY
JUNE 30, 2020 | ANDRE SCHUTTEN
June 19, 2022
A Sunday to Celebrate Fathers
Today we share this modification of a quote from Amy Young:
To those who celebrated a birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster dads, mentor dads, and spiritual dads – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their fathers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own father – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of fatherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who are single and long to be married and fathering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
And to those who celebrate new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Father’s Day, we walk with you. Fathering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
June 12, 2022
A Sunday to Celebrate
June 12, 2022 is a Sunday when we celebrate the sacrament of baptism on a baby born to a Bethel Family. It is such a privilege to witness this celebration so many times during the year at Bethel as families bring their children to receive the sacrament.
What is Baptism?
The sacrament of baptism reminds and assures us that “as surely as water washes away dirt from the body, so certainly [Christ’s] blood and his Spirit wash away . . . all [our] sins” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. and A. 69). And because “infants as well as adults are in God’s covenant and are his people,” they, “no less than adults, are promised the forgiveness of sin” and thus “by baptism . . . should be received into the Christian church. . . .
What Does the Sacrament of Baptism Mean?
This sacrament is much more than a mere symbol of being united with Christ, or a testimony of one’s personal faith, or the dedication of a child to God. The sacrament of baptism is a sign and seal of God’s promise to claim us as his own, unite us to his Son, wash away our sins, and give us the gift of the Holy Spirit as we embrace these promises by faith.
We are to teach our children that they have been baptized and prayerfully encourage them to affirm the promises of their baptism by professing their faith in Jesus Christ.
All these blessings of baptism become ours through faith. “In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27, NRSV). While our faith is in Christ alone, the Heidelberg Catechism (Q&A 69) teaches that baptism assures us that Christ’s salvation is personally ours.
June 5, 2022
A Sunday to Celebrate
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit
June 5, 2022 is Pentecost Sunday when we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. For Bethel, this coincides with Public Profession of Faith
What is Profession of Faith?
Public Profession of Faith, though not a specific Biblically mandated practice, is nevertheless an especially important milestone by which persons affirm their baptism, express personal trust in Jesus Christ, and indicate their pledge to follow Christ. It marks a time in which a believer is ready for new responsibilities and roles in the life of the church. It also offers the Christian community rich opportunities to express gratitude for the work of God in the lives of His children. The opportunity for public Profession of Faith is a gift, then, both for individuals, and for God’s Church.
Public Profession of Faith “is primarily the personal response of faith to God’s promises made in baptism. In our baptism, God brings us into his covenant family in Jesus Christ, and in Public Profession of Faith we respond by declaring our personal faith and commitment as baptized members in Christ.” (www.crcna.org)
“Here are some thoughts about the additional blessings that come to us by way of profession of faith.
You make a public commitment. Making a public commitment is an important step toward accepting that my identity is found in being baptized into the family of God. Even though I always knew Midland Park was “my church,” it became more real to me when I stood up and said so.
You celebrate with your congregation. Celebrating milestone moments like this with a congregation gives everyone an opportunity to reflect on God’s faithfulness in our lives and in those of the people around us.
You witness to others. Even though I did not make any sort of verbal statement other than “I do,” I was saying that I accepted the promises made to me at my baptism. I knew that others would look at my actions, listen to my words, and expect them to glorify Jesus.
You learn. I continued to learn what it means to be a member of the church. Much of this learning happened before I made profession of faith, but afterward my church continued to invest in me, teaching me what it means to be a young Christian adult.
You serve. In addition to raking leaves and doing other things as a member of the youth group, being placed on a committee was a way for the church to show that they valued my gifts….
Marking faith milestones in the lives of congregants young and old is one way to pause and reflect on God’s work in our lives. Giving young people lots of opportunities to participate actively in worship will allow them to feel a sense of truly belonging to the congregation and the larger church of Christ—and encourage them to make ongoing professions of faith.
- What do you remember about your profession of faith? How was it significant to you?
- How important is it to make a public commitment of one’s faith? How does it help your faith grow?
- What are some ways to encourage our youth to make a profession of faith?
- What other milestones of faith can we identify, encourage, and celebrate with our young Christians?”
If you are interested in publicly professing your faith, feel free to contact Pastor Frank: email@example.com
May 29, 2022
A Sunday to Celebrate GEMS
Each year, a theme is chosen based on a Bible verse or verses.
This year’s theme is Unshakeable.
The theme verse is from Psalm 62:2
“Truly He is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Fortress, I will never be shaken.”
WHAT IS GEMS?
GEMS is the go-to ministry for girls’ spiritual growth, providing real answers to the challenges girls face. We understand the adversity that girls face today and know you’re looking to guide the girls in your life successfully. You’re not alone! GEMS walks alongside moms, mentors, and ministry leaders to equip you to understand today’s problems. With GEMS resources you can provide a safe, welcoming environment to learn about God and remind your girl she’s seen, known, and loved. Through our club programs, one-on-one Bible studies, and girls’ activity kits, girls will find a place to belong and be loved. Through monthly Webinars, weekly Coffee Chats, podcasts, and annual training programs, moms, mentors, and ministry leaders will be equipped to understand and guide their girl through life’s challenges.
This worship service is heavily influenced by that season’s theme. Watch this video to see learn about GEMS….
If you are interested in joining or having your daughter(s) join the program, feel free to contact Pastor Frank: mc4bethel@mc4bethel
May 22, 2022
A Sunday to Celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven
This Sunday evening we celebrate Ascension Day…
“And Jesus sat down on the throne. He is the Lion of Judah who appears like the Lamb who was slain. He is the one who is worshiped by the church. At his feet, every knee will bow. This is our confession. Ascension Day celebrates the truth at the core of the present universe.”
“….the celebration of this day can be a wonderful occasion to shape our identity in Christ. To confess Jesus is Lord is to remind ourselves of this truth we so easily forget in the day to day demands on our lives.
To confess Jesus is Lord also means that when he speaks we need to listen….”
He makes a difference for how we live. “Listening to Jesus, Lord of our lives, is vital to our well-being.
To say “Jesus is Lord” means our hearts and minds get directed to him. Our lives are called to serve the Kingdom. Our hope is in the one who knows our needs as we serve.
So we remember: Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God. Remembering we order our lives accordingly.”
Taken from a POST BY Neil de Koning
May 13, 2022
OUR THEME FOR 2021-2022
A Sunday to Celebrate Cadets
This year’s theme is based on Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This worship service is heavily influenced by that season’s theme. Watch this 2 minute video to learn more about Cadets this year….
If you are interested in joining or having your son(s) join the program, feel free to contact Pastor Frank: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 6, 2022
This weekend we celebrate Mother’s Day. Today we share this quote from Amy Young:
- To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
- To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
- To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
- To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
- To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
- To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
- To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
- To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
- To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
- To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
- To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
- To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be
- To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths
- To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you
- To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
- To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart
- And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
April 29, 2022
This coming Sunday we open the downstairs Fellowship Hall to the sounds of many voices and the smells of delicious soups. Chairs and tables will be set up, waiting patiently while the God’s people have their souls filled with the bread of life and then come down to fill their bodies with the food that God has provided.
We are reminded, as Paul writes in Hebrews 10:23-25, to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
There will be plenty of Soup, buns, coffee, tea and juice for everyone to come and join!
April 19, 2022
Saturday Morning Prayer Walk in Dunnville
For the past four weeks, a few of us have got up early on a Saturday morning to spend some time together in devotion, to brave the elements walking in and around the Town of Dunnville, to enjoy each others’ company, and to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting as we lift our intercessory prayers to our LORD God.
Our devotional guides have been Andrew Kuyvenhoven and Louis Tamminga – both pastors and writers who have a Reformed perspective on life. We huddled together under the roof of the market building or near the flagpole. We listened to God’s Word and began with a prayer.
The weather has been typical for spring – it has shifted between snow and rain, cold and not as cold, cloudy and sunny. The market building has anchored our walks through town. One week we walked east to the Canadian Reformed Church through a bitter wind. We prayed for the unity of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Town of Dunnville. We walked back and enjoyed a coffee and a few Timbits. All totaled, we took about 9200 steps, had a good conversation about the history of the various properties on the east side of Dunnville and broke even on the calories because of our stop at Tim Horton’s.
Another week, we walked north from the market centre through the many subdivisions and streets of the area. We picked up some cans along the way — always looking for an opportunity to recycle and spruce up the streets where we can. We prayed for the children and families of our town wherever and however they received their education. We asked our Good Shepherd – Jesus Christ – to lead us in the way everlasting. It was a sunny Saturday and we took about 8800 steps that morning.
Another weekend, we took a turn to the south. From the market centre, we walked across the bridge into the hamlet of Byng. We walked through the spaces and places, turning this way and that, and said ‘good morning’ to a couple of dogs who may or may not have been happy to see us. We took a slight turn into the Conservation Authority and agreed that we would return again to this place. While in Byng, we felt God’s Spirit urging us to pray for our government in Canada, Ontario and Haldimand County. We didn’t complain; we just placed our governance in God’s hands. Our walk was surprisingly shorter than the last two – we took about 7500 steps and may have burned off about 500 calories each.
We will not be having a walk this coming Saturday (April 23), but continue again next Saturday, (April 30). It is good to begin the day with devotions. It is good to walk and talk with each other. It is good to listen to the LORD … and it is good to support our local Christian School as we start out there, so we can enjoy a wonderful breakfast upon completion of our walk.
Hope to see you soon —
April 1, 2022
The Fellowship Hall filled up with life and laughter following the morning service this past Sunday as we shared in food and fellowship at our Soup Sunday. Soup Sundays are Sundays that are looked forward to and we are so happy to have begun them once again.
Each Soup Sunday is carefully planned and organized by a faithful group of volunteers who coordinate a variety of soups to be made and prepare buns to go alongside the soup. Following the morning worship service, the entire congregation is invited to join in the Fellowship Hall for Soup and Fellowship.
We are looking forward to the next Soup Sunday…keep posted for details!
March 19, 2022:
If you were a duck, this morning would have been a perfect day. A few of us weathered the rain and went for a prayer walk beginning at the Dunnville Market, west along the Grand River waterfront, skimming past the Grandview Lodge, touching the Bethel Christian Reformed Church, walking east along the old rail-line, standing in the front entrance of Grace Reformed Church, walking along the old rail-line once again, making our way downtown to the Dunnville Youth Impact Centre, and then returning to the safety of our dry vehicles parked next to the market pavilion. Our devotions were based upon Romans 9: 2: “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven in his devotional book ‘Daylight,’ reminded us of how the sorrow of God and the sorrow of Christ were reflected in the life of Paul. We were reminded that the call to follow Christ will sometimes bring us suffering. When the Holy Spirit moves into our lives, we will share in the sorrow of God just as we share in the love of God. This is so true, isn’t it?
We prayed for our stewardship of God’s Creation, the people of Grandview Lodge, our Bethel Church community and the relationship with our sister church – Grace Reformed, the staff, the students and the board of the Dunnville Youth Impact Centre and finally for the well-being of our Town of Dunnville. We walked in the rain and were warmed by each other’s presence. We took about 7,400 steps this morning and burned up about 600 calories.
Next week, LORD willing, we’ll walk east from the Market along North Shore Drive, then north on Ramsey, then east on Broad Street to the Canadian Reformed Church and then back again to the market pavilion. If we feel up to it, we might even indulge ourselves in a refreshment at TIm Horton’s along the way.
Everyone is welcome to join us at 7:30 am Saturday … come snow, rain or shine.