June 2022 Newsletter

Pastor's Note

It has been a wonderful season both here at church and out in the world. If your family is anything like ours you have probably spent a lot of time mowing grass and mulching flowerbeds, and leaning into the beauty that Spring affords us here in Western PA. It has also been a great season of worship and preaching here at Bethany. We continue to look forward to seeing you all in church.

As I write this, I am working on completing a sermon series on why  Questions Matter and will be preaching on the Walk to Emmaus from Luke 24 on May 29th.
Starting on Pentecost we will begin a new Series on the mission of the church entitled, “Called and Sent.” Pastor Ellen and I are looking forward to exploring more deeply with you all what being the church in the world looks like in the 21st Century. Spring will soon turn to summer, and we hope that all of you will be getting some time off from work, and school, and maybe get to spend some time out of town and out of doors.

One of my favorite things to do on vacation is read. This is one of those habits that I picked up from my Dad. He would take a bag of books with him to Glen Lake every year and sit out on the beach and read. It is one of those great memories I have from being a child, running past Dad as we headed for yet another swim, and his book in his hand while he sat in a lounge chair.  I will do much the same during my time at the lake this year while nieces and nephews run all around. With that I would like to offer some good reading suggestions for you as you head into the summer reading season yourselves.

Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved, by Kate Bowler
I mentioned this book in Church a week ago. It is a wonderful assessment of faith amid crisis, what that looks like for one individual and what it may have looked like for many of us.

Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal, by Ben Sasse
Ben Sasse is a Senator from Nebraska. No matter your politics this politician hits the nail on the head about why we are so polarized as a nation and offers sound ways to move beyond the noise and hate. A great quote from the book, “More politics won’t solve our politics.”

Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic story by reading it for the first time or reading it
again. The story centers around a group of rabbits who sense something is wrong in their
community and set out on an adventure. It teaches lessons about the dangers of ignorance,
authoritarianism, and the beauty of finding heroes in unlikely places.

Hawaii, by James Michener
Before I visited Hawaii after my Junior year of High School my parents made me read this book. I am forever thankful. The first chapter simply describes the ancient action of volcanoes and how the Islands were formed. The rest of the book tells the stories of people who came to the islands for many reasons, and the impact they had on the place, and how place impacted them.

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, by James K.A. Smith
This incredibly accessible book helps us all understand the fact that we worship what we love, and often our hearts are taught to love rival gods, instead of the one true God in whose image we are created.

The Road to Character, by David Brooks
How is virtue cultivated? Explore the lives of people in history and the ways they became who they were by not only cultivating a sense of what they wanted to do in life but who they were called to be.

That is six books to get started. Some are long, Hawaii, and some are short, but all are worth the read. Let me know what some of your favorite books are and I will try to get to them this summer. I hope it goes without saying that God’s word is always worth diving into. Lastly, if none of these spark your interest read Harry Potter, you simply cannot go wrong with the boy wizard. Have a
great summer!

Love, Pastor Brian

Upcoming Events

Vacation Bible School - June 13th-17th
Go off-road for a Monumental adventure through the colorful canyons and sunbaked trails of the southwest. By exploring God’s awesomeness, kids form a rock-solid faith for the road ahead.
VBS SET UP – Please consider staying after the 10am worship service on Sunday, June 12th, to help set up for VBS.  We have lots of decorating to do and would greatly appreciate your help!

Bethany Presbyterian Annual Golf Outing - June 25th starting at 8:30am
You’re invited to attend Bethany’s annual golf outing at Fort Cherry Cherry Golf Club. Whether you’re a foursome, pair or single player – all are welcome. Please join us for a great day of fellowship and golf. We’re excited to once again offer a modified shotgun start @ 8:30 and scramble format, leaving you much of the afternoon and all evening available!
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