Letter from Pastor Doug

In anticipation of Holy Week…

March 25, 2021

Dear members and friends of Bethany,

Grace and peace to you from Jesus Christ. For the past five Sundays of Lent, we have rehearsed the gospel of Mark’s telling of Jesus’ last 24 hours. Now as we move into Holy Week, we will continue our walk in the dark and step with Jesus toward the cross. I invite you to make space for God this next week; make it a holy week.

Please visit our Lent page on our website. This Sunday, we join the crowds with our branches and shouts of “Hosanna,” greeting the King who rides in on a donkey. Then early next week, come and physically pray in the sanctuary at our special Holy Week Prayer Stations on Monday through Wednesday, mornings and evenings: register here. Join the Tuesday Lunch Break Prayer time at noon.

On April 1st at 6:30pm on Zoom, enter the upper room with Jesus to share Passover, witness the story of the foot washing, and hear again the commandment of Maundy (mandate) Thursday to “Love one another.” The following evening at 7:00pm on Zoom, come to the cross and sing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” in our joint Good Friday Prayer Gathering with Emerald City Bible Fellowship. On Holy Saturday, I invite you to sit and wait in the tomb. And then, awaken to the light on Easter as we join in Zoom worship at 10:00am. If you haven’t watched The Vine grow – our lawn art installation – come by the campus to gaze or walk under it, remembering Lent is the season to be grafted into Christ’s Vine. Give space for God to work with you this Holy Week.

Just as The Vine blossoms with flowers on Easter, we are reminded of the turn of seasons into spring. Our country and our state are beginning to open up, and more and more people are being vaccinated. I want to invite you to pray for Bethany’s leaders as we begin to ponder what it will look like to open up safely for worship on our campus. I have formed an Open Up Safely team to advise our worship elder and staff as we start to plan toward slowly turning the dial to different phases of on-campus worship. As you know, we at Bethany have been taking a very cautious posture in this pandemic; that will continue. You’ll be receiving a survey in a few weeks as we want to hear your input. Right now, however, I want you to pray for us in this season of discernment, analysis and planning.

In the peace of Christ,

Doug Kelly, Head of Staff Pastor