Bethany Presbyterian Church Bridgeville, PA Sun, 06 Sep 2015 04:00:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Teaching More Than a Job, It’s a…” Sun, 06 Sep 2015 04:00:35 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 The sun shined…and so did the Son Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:02:11 +0000 Read the rest]]> Last Sunday morning I woke up to rain. About 5 am as I stepped outside, the heavens opened up. First thought: what will we do about the outdoor service and the picnic? All the plans, the work, the anticipation. The watermelon eating contests, the musical specials, the pony rides, and other games. What about those who would be hesitant to come, those who simply would stay home?


The rain and dark and threatening clouds continued through the early part of the morning.  Then the clouds parted and the sun appeared…just in time for folks to be reassured and to pack their chairs and their food to share and head to the park. I do not pretend to control the weather; I simply take it as grace, this gift of sun and blue sky that came to us on Sunday morning.


That was not the only gift of grace that came our way on Sunday. A huge assembly of worshipers of all ages gathered to experience a beautiful ministry of music from the hymns and the songs of praise to the stirring singing of, “Remember Me”, by Hunter Briggs. We heard a vivid and compelling testimony of his coming to Christ by Pastor Robbie and a challenge to all of us to remember our ” God story” and tell it as the Spirit leads us. The Deacons and all their helpers hustled about making sure all was taken care of- including all of us. I saw delightful combinations of people in conversation and activities. I heard singing and laughter and cheering…and lots of compliments on the food, the sermon and worship, and the day as a whole. It was a blessed day. The sun shined on us all…and so did the Son.


Now for this coming Sunday. It is Labor Day weekend, that time when many are away or otherwise occupied. But I am telling you, WORSHIP IS HAPPENING THIS SUNDAY AT BETHANY. God will be praised, the word will be read and proclaimed, and God’s people will gather. Come and join us. The theme will be on the sacred calling of teaching- teaching in the schools and in the church, teaching up front or in mentoring or small groups, driving buses or tutoring or working at the cafeteria. “Teaching: Not Just a Job but a…” On Sunday we will fill in the blank.


Some notes: LOGOS IS COMING. Yes, ministry to children and their families is beginning the first week of October and continues through November- every Tuesday at 5-7pm. As plans continue to develop, we will get word out. Here is what God needs from you: get the word out to families of children from preschool through 5th grade. We want to reach many children with the good news and joy of Jesus, and the best way is through you and us all as we pass the word and invite others. Second, we need help in doing this ministry. If you can help, contact Pastor Robbie or me or Amanda or simply the church office. You are needed. You can help. Try us.


The Rebuilding Pittsburgh mission is happening on Saturday September the 12th. At least ten more people are needed – mostly in basic tasks such as painting and scraping. Brian Bartels from our church is heading this up; but just get word to our office and we will get word to Brian.


Lastly, I want to share a prayer that a church friend found and shared with me. I have been praying it for myself:


“Dear God,

I want to take a minute not to ask You for anything, but simply to thank You for all that I have…

And to offer myself to You in your service.     Amen.”


See you on Sunday,

John H.

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September 2015 Newsletter Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:46:15 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 A Prayer for Students…and All of Us Mon, 24 Aug 2015 18:01:09 +0000 Read the rest]]> Dear Friends,


As we begin the school year this week, here is a prayer for our use:


A Prayer for Students…and All of “Us”


For the opportunity to learn, we thank You Lord…

sort of

We do not like some things about school:

the time it takes, the work involved,

the pressures we feel; but we are thankful

for what happens through school:

that we can grow in mind as well as body.

Bless all who assist us in learning,

teachers and administrators,

custodians and bus drivers,

crossing guards and cafeteria workers,

counselors and all helpers.

Help parents to make their homes

into laboratories of learning.

Enrich teachers and helpers with a

great satisfaction in their task,

that it be not just a job, but a calling.

Bless all who are students.

May they learn much this year;

but may their growing be in wisdom as well as

knowledge, in spirit as well as mind, in heart

as well as body.




See you on Sunday: Services are at 8:15 at Bethany and 10:00 at Chartiers Park followed by the Church Picnic, Modern worship is at 6:00 PM in the Bethany Chapel.


John H.

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Partners in Christ Sun, 23 Aug 2015 04:00:55 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 Glimpses of…Patience Tue, 18 Aug 2015 16:57:42 +0000 Read the rest]]> Wow! It has been a long time since you’ve heard from me in a Glimpses!


That is what happens when I’m away on mission in Africa, recovering from and responding to the trip, working with leaders and helpers as we plan for the fall, preparing sermons, and caring for you as best I can.


Life races by fast. Time gets away from all of us.


Which reminds me of a quality I have noticed in the folks in Malawi: Patience.


One Saturday afternoon we stopped by the Malowbwe Church, one of the three churches in the Chiradzulu Parish (along with six Prayer Houses, or small congregations) As our SUV pulled in after another rugged back-road trip, a wave of people poured out from around the church to greet us – singing, dancing, waving, faces aglow with joy. More folks kept converging from the road, the paths, and the fields around us. It was a resounding welcome.


We greeted, worshiped and sang. I was asked to “give a talk” with Scripture and prayer. We gathered outside for pictures. Then we said our goodbyes.


Oh, and we were about six hours late. They were expecting us around 10:00 AM, we arrived after 4:00 PM. “How did they know we would be late?” I inquired “What did they do?”


“They probably did not know.” was the answer. They may have gotten a message to someone with a cell phone that we were delayed but they did not know how late we would be. Some would have gone back to their homes until they would hear that we were on our way. Others would have stayed for the day until we came, enjoying each other, singing, praying, waiting …patiently.


It was very hard for me to get my heard around that – waiting…patiently…for hours…for a half hour celebration with a visitor from Pittsburgh!


Patience…a lesson for me – with my family, my church, my life, my God. Where do you need the quality of patience? And with whom?


Would you pray for it now…to the One who is eternally, perfectly patient with you?


This Sunday will be a full-bore celebration of our new Malawi Partnership with the Chiraduzulu Church and Parish. We’ll have pictures of the people and places I have been describing. We will sing a wonderful Malawi Praise song – in Chechewa and yes, in English. You’ll even be allowed to dance to the song, African style. We’ll show you. That’s right…dancing in church!


And we will hear from the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:3-11 how we can be the church at it’s very best, including as partners with Chiradzulu.


Come and worship this Sunday* 8:15 or 10:00 AM, for a joyful African-flavored celebration.


Mulunju akudalitseni – God Bless You!


John Hamilton


*The 6:00 PM Modern Service will feature a sermon by Amanda Leavitt, our Youth Director

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“Living in the Warm Heart of Jesus” Sun, 16 Aug 2015 04:00:47 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 “Faith is…a Matter of Feet” Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:35:52 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 Eyes Opened, Hearts Burning Sun, 02 Aug 2015 04:00:52 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0 August 2015 Newsletter Mon, 27 Jul 2015 17:54:29 +0000 Read the rest]]> Read the rest]]> 0