Tuesday, May 12, 2015


May is always a great month at Bethel. Of course, I think every month is great at Bethel. On May 3rd we had our Confirmation Service in which we Confirmed some of our youth. Youth who had been reared in church, in the faith of their parents, and taught and loved. Terry and Susanne Troutt together with staff and mentors brought them along in class. They stood up before God and everybody and professed their faith in Jesus Christ. It’s a big step for these. As I said in my sermon, we have given as much as we can to this point, but this is just a beginning. They will spend the rest of their lives figuring out what it truly means to follow Christ in the world. It is an exciting, and challenging adventure. We layed hands on them as we did in baptism. We renewed their baptism, and confirmed (made them strong) in their faith. May 10 was Mother’s Day, which is special enough, as we give thanks for our mothers. David Smith preached at the traditional 8:45 service; I preached and gave Communion at Spirit Song. Then, at 10:55 service, the children’s ministry (children) led the service and presented the message in their musical which proclaimed that “Something is Fishy”. God is up to something in us and in his world. We are all different creations of God. Wow! Thanks to Dale Fischer and Jana Mathis and their supporting chorus for a remarkable presentation. Then, Dale brought up JP and everybody stood and applauded. What a moment! Miraculous! Next Sunday, May 17, we will honor our high school graduates. This is always a great time of celebration, tears all around. Parents, teachers, family, friends will fill the sanctuary as we bless them on this journey. I will preach on Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked…but whose delight is in the law of the Lord…” It’s about learning to walk in the way that leads to life. I’m still learning. Aren’t you? Come on Sunday to lift up these young people in prayer before God and to bless them in Christ’s name. On May 24, I am delighted to welcome our old friend, Larry Hays, to preach at 10:55 service. He served Bethel as Senior Pastor just prior to me- 1998-2006. He and Sally raised their girls here and we all love them. I am so pleased that he will be in town to do a wedding and I could snag him for this day. Larry is now retired. There are two Vacation Bible Schools in June. One will be for the church’s children, then the youth will join Jana in leading VBS for the Child Enrichment Program children. The first week in June, David and I and our five lay delegates will be in Florence for our SC Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Our District Superintendent, Dr. Paul Harmon will lead the conference in Bible Study each day, and we will worship and pray, and give thanks all week. We will ordain new pastors; we will license new preachers. We will have a memorial service for the ones who have died in the last year: pastors, their spouses, children. And, at the end of the week the Bishop will do what we call “fixing” the appointments of pastors to churches, and other avenues of service. On June 14, at Bethel, David Smith will preach and on that day after the 10:55 service, we will join him in the Fellowship Hall to show our thanks and to give him our gift. If you would like to contribute please write checks to Bethel UMC and make them for David Smith. We are grateful to David for his 13 years of dedicated service to Bethel. We will miss him greatly. On June 24, we will welcome our new Associate pastor, Tod Alexander, whom you have heard about. He and Carmen come with their precious four children to make their place among us. We anticipate great things and times of faith together. See you in Church! Dave NIchols

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