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Church Ministries


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16 v 3

Secretary's Report

When you review the events in Bethany over the years there are the routine activities of assembly life as well as the unforeseen that take place. There is the wonder of God when we see His hand in blessing. There are also the circumstances that can come in diverse ways that present a challenge to each one of us.

There was sadness with the passing of our sister Jean Harvey in January. In fellowship at Bethany for many years, she is missed by her many friends who greatly valued her care and concern.

Once again I want to thank all who contribute in numerous ways in the Lord's work at Bethany, particularly the unnoticed responsibilities. We are grateful to everyone who serve's the Saviour with time and talent making it possible to put on so many events and activities. It is good to read the reports of what has been happening this year. Malcolm and Anne McGookin along with Liz, Rebecca and Carol have left us. We thank them for their help and involvement with us over many years. We are encouraged by those who come along to the Family Service where they hear the good news of the gospel presented and we need to continue to pray for salvation. There is still an ongoing interest in listening to the recording of the services on CD and in particularly the internet downloads has proved to be a blessing to many once again.

We need to look forward in faith to continue our testimony for the Lord Jesus here at Bethany, to meet the many challenges that we face.

The Emmaus Bible School UK is working to establish Bible Centres across the UK. With Bethany having been involved in the Emmaus work for many years we are currently putting arrangements in place to be recognised as a Bible Centre later this year. This emphasises the importance of Bible teaching for believers so that they are established and encouraged in their faith. This is a key feature at Bethany.

To engage in Evangelism is crucial for every church, doing it effectively is necessary for growth in that church. It is evident that people do not attend to a church service as once was common, it is usually someone who already has contact with church who would come along to a gospel service.

Everything that we do at Bethany is underpinned by prayer therefore it is paramount that we continue to meet for prayer. We know from our study in the Acts of the Apostles that the church met together to pray. If they had need it is clear that we also have that need to pray, may we join together in prayer seeking the help of our God, our sustaining strength thus far.

Andy Wilson
Secretary

Fusion

Acts 1:8 “...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

During the early part of 2011, things were happening at Brediland School where we had 6.30Club which started putting obstacles in the way of the gospel; school lets being cancelled, parent's nights, impromptu meetings from the Headmaster and a proposed major increase in the price of the school lets.

It was during this time that the verse above continually came to us and we felt the Lord telling us that we should be looking at our “Jerusalem”.

We discussed it as leaders and prayed about it and we really felt that the Lord was guiding us to begin a new work from Bethany and specifically targeting the new houses that had been built across the road. We began thinking of names for the club and after many different options we decided on the name "Fusion" and Graham Vassie designed our new logo.

With help from a few friends from Johnstone, we delivered over 250 flyers promoting the new club starting. With each leaflet went a prayer that they would be looked at and that the children would be interested in coming.

Leaders this year were Eunice & Lindsay, Mark Wilson, Wilson and Laura Crawford. Hannah and Naomi have come along and have been encouraged in helping with the various quizzes and games that we do.

We have been able to have things set up in the Centre each week and because of this, we have been able to hold a time of prayer before each night. On the first night we had the club, we were all praying that the children would come and bring the registration form and tear-off with them. While we were still praying, we could hear them at the door waiting to come in. On the first night 18 kids turned up - what a great answer to our prayer and the Lord blessing us. Due to some children moving house and through natural shrinkage of numbers, we ended the session with over 12 regulars coming each week - some running over the road to get in first.

Due to the fact that many of the children had little or no understanding of the bible, we had to start right at the beginning with Creation, Cain & Abel, Noah, Tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - It was great to go over these exciting stories and to see the children eager to find out what happens next. The children have mainly acted out the stories this year and have enjoyed taking these parts up. We covered the main stories of Christmas and Easter during the appropriate seasons.

We were able to speak to the parents while the children were getting their sweets from the Tuck Shop (something new) and it was a great thrill on our Parents Night to have at least one parent for every single child who was there. It was a great end to what has been a fabulous year.

This year, we are planning to have two Summer activity evenings to try and keep a contact with the families involved. This has come about because the children didn't want Fusion to end for the session, they were enjoying it so much. Please pray for this as we plan this new idea.

Prayer points

  • The two Summer events - that we will continue building relationships with both the children and the parents.
  • Planning for next year's programme. Making it exciting and interesting
  • The leaders - as circumstances change and that God will still use us
  • The children would all come back and also bring their friends.

On behalf of the Fusion Club leaders
Eunice & Lindsay Crockett

Incy Wincy Parent and Toddler Group

Our group started last September with 15 ladies and 18 children returning from our previous session.

We were thankful to God too, to seek the return of our 'kitchen assistants' Jennifer and Mari (former members who never left!)

Since January, 4 of our children have gone to nursery but we also have had 5 new starts and a new born. This brings us to the maximum number of 20 children (with 16 adults).

We have a good mix of ages - young mums, grans and middle age foster carers. A few have church background and are eager to talk of 'Sunday School days' long ago. Others take our 'Daily Bread' bible notes. For some, our song/story time is the first experience of hearing bible stories and the gospel!

When a child leaves for nursery it is sad to lose contact with the family. Prayers regarding this have been answered as some previous toddlers now attend 'Fusion'. Another family member also comes to Bethany Buds and is due to go with the Camp this summer.

Please continue to pray for this work - our closing event in June and the new session in September.

Thank you once again for those who support us financially, practically with delicious home baking and with your prayers. It is much appreciated!

Eunice Crockett and Lynn Moss

Sunday School

Sunday school work like any children's work is very different for the leaders in the 21st century that it was for previous generations. How it is planned, prepared and operated is a bit more complex, but we do have in place what is required. It may be different in some aspects however the same truths from the scriptures need to be taught to the children. Those involved in the work this session were Ruth, Mark, Marc, Wilson, Andy, Lynn and Steve.

We aim to explain the scriptures systematically using age suitable materials to support us in the work. Over this session we have used work sheets from BES (Bible Educational Services) known by many as the Postal Sunday school. This resource is free, available online to download and print, for which we are very grateful. In addition we also make use of material from Go Teach. We also appreciate the help from those speakers at the Family Service who give a children's talk that is appreciated not only by the young ones.

It is still the children who are most attracted to the Lord Jesus and the gospel, the most likely people to come along to church. It is encouraging that we still have children coming to church on a Sunday to learn about the Bible and also coming midweek events. You will have noticed in the Family service that the children are listening and retaining what they are learning as well as making an effort to practice what they learn.

We continue to have the special family services at Christmas, Easter and Prizegiving, opportunities that we can use to invite parents, family and friends of the children to come along, to listen to the proclamation of the gospel and hopefully to come to faith in the Lord Jesus. These services present an opening to converse with the people who attend, particularly when having a time of refreshment in the café.

Once again we had a Christmas party for the children as usual in the centre, an event enjoyed by one and all that come along. It is a nice way to celebrate Christmas.

The Sunday school leaders have been encouraging the children, in particular the older group, to have a time of daily devotion. A thought from the Word of God and prayer is necessary for the Christian. We only have short time with the children on a Sunday, so it is important they develop an interest to read the Bible and pray each day of the week.

Do continue in your prayers for all the children and also their family circle that the Holy Spirit will move in their lives that they may come to know the Lord Jesus as Saviour. Pray also for the workers. It is a responsibility requiring vigour as well as zeal from all involved.

A Wilson

Growing Christians 2011 - 2012

Growing Christians Younger Group

Our group has again changed over the last year, the age group ranging from sixteen to twenty one. Some evenings there are six sitting round the table studying the Bible.

By the end of the session the younger group may have completed three Emmaus courses. We completed "What the Bible Teaches" focusing on how we can have a personal relationship with God. Then we spent time studying “Jerusalem's Gates” from Nehemiah thinking of each gate and it spiritual application. At present we are completing "The Servant of God" from Marks Gospel focusing on Jesus' actions, achievements and service to his Father.

The refreshments at the beginning of the session are an important part of the group. At Christmas we have a dinner and look forward to a barbeque at the end of the session, as we enjoyed last year.

Some of the group do not know Christ as Saviour, please pray that what we study will challenge them. Most of the group are Believers; again we ask that you remember them in prayer that they continue to grow in their Christian faith.

Ruth Wilson
Leader

Growing Christians Senior Group

“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word” Psalm 119

Our last report had us starting an Emmaus course of study in the letters of John by William MacDonald. A short book in comparison to our previous one on the battle for the mind.

There are 3 letters of John, the first being the longest. They are practical writings that pull no punches in challenging us to live lives that are worthy of the Name that we bear as Christians. John allows no shades of grey, things are black or white, true or false, right or wrong. Our current age delights in ambiguity, relativism and moral indifference, but John teaches that God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

The study covers Christian Fellowship and tests for fellowship; the tests are there because John's world was full of people who wanted to enter into the church for their own end and advantage or to corrupt and destroy the work of God.

The tests are

  1. The test of obedience
  2. The test of love
  3. The test of doctrine
  4. The test of righteousness

All things that we can apply to ourselves.

After completing John's letters we moved back into the Old Testament to study the book of Jonah, another short study you might think. However it has proven to be long and hard but hopefully profitable. It is an Emmaus course sub-titled “Meeting the God of the second chance.”

The writer is O S Hawkins, an American who is quite proud of his country's history and not shy at using it to illustrate the lessons of the book. This has given us plenty of opportunity to discuss not just Jonah but history and politics too. Some very lively conversation has been prompted by this book and I think I can safely say that we have enjoyed it.

According to Emmaus the study book has been much used in prison ministry because it demonstrates that even after our mistakes we are not on the scrap heap as far as God is concerned.

I must mention that Marc Campbell has taken a few of the teaching sessions to give Andy and me a wee break and we are both appreciative of his help.

Grateful thanks can also be given to Ruth and the girls who have provide refreshments, Transport etc.

We would value your prayers for the future and thank you for your help in the past.

Steve and Andy
Leaders

Prayer Chain Report

Another year has come and gone; things have changed but the need for prayer never stops. I sometimes feel the interest has wained as far as prayer goes, every one knows how we need God's help at all times but still try to do everything by ourselves.

The numbers in our prayer group is getting less each year we now number only six. For those faithful prayer partners I give God thanks and thank them all for continued interest.

I have to admit to you all that I myself am finding it more difficult to co-ordinate this on a weekly basis. My eyesight is getting poorer and writing more difficult.

Jim who does all the printing has difficulty in his hands now and is finding it difficult to decipher my scribbles.

We both need a lot of prayer if we are to continue in this small service for the Lord. I am letting you know this now, in case some time soon I have to give up. Meantime I will cast my problem on the Lord and keep trusting.

Girls I ask you to keep praying for our small Church and Fellowship for we certainly need it. Special prayer for our Elders, who do need support and help.

These words are so significant at this particular time for our Church:-

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In he light of His Glory and Grace.


Janette Cunningham
Prayer Chain Co-ordinator
April 2012

Bethany Buds

Another good year at Bethany Buds, we had eight girls again this year. The girls very much enjoyed the craft work organised by Linda and we tried different activities this session. For Example - sequin art We also changed our snacks again this year, we paired the girls and each month the girls made a two course meal. All the girls enjoyed the cooking but weren't too keen an the cleaning up.

Eunice and I made the Christmas dinner for the girls, then finished by a games night on the wii.

Again for our Bible study we looked at Prayer and the importance of reading the bible, trying to encourage the girls the importance of praying. We all had a note book and asked the girls for prayer requests. We also spoke about the previous weeks prayers and the girls saw a lot of answered prayer. At the end of the night the girls took it in turns to close in prayer. This year we also looked at alcohol, drugs and smoking, the girls made posters about what they had learned they are in the café area.

We pray the girls will continue to pray and see their prayers answered during the summer break.

It was good to see many of the parents at the Christmas service where the Bethany Buds were taking part.

Our final night was held in the Crockett house, we had pizza, chicken, pork, fresh fruit salad and birthday cake. We then went outside and played Kirby, back inside we played party games, pass the parcel, change, etc great fun was had by all that night.

Please pray for Bethany Buds as we again look to the Lord for guidance for next year.

  • What subjects will we do?
  • How do we keep it relevant for the girls who come?
  • Topics for the Bible Studies.
  • Pray that the girl's faith would be kept strong and that they would want to continue coming along to Bethany Buds.

Thank you for your support once again.

Eunice Crockett and Linda Vassie

Paisley & District Christian Youth Camp

For the final time the camp went back to Whittaugh Park with Alistair Young as the speaker and we were again able to have around 70 people at camp.

A typical full day at camp involves getting up for breakfast, service, morning activities, lunch, afternoon activities, tea, evening games, devotions and supper. A day at camp is always busy for both campers and leaders however it isn't long in till everyone is packing their bags on Friday morning.

The most important aspect of camp is the services, at which Alistair presented the gospel message clearly to the campers. Stories throughout the week were on the prophet Samuel, and Alistair was helped by the appearance of Jeremy the puppet, which was enjoyed by both campers and leaders.

However the preparation for Camp 2012 has already begun with events such as the Camp New Year party, an evening trip to Lapwing Lodge in May and the Camp Coffee Night in June being organised throughout the year. These evenings are important for campers and parents to get an idea of what Camp is like before it finally begins in July. Your prayers for the camp, both during camp and also throughout the rest of the year when the preparation and planning for camp is being done are much needed and appreciated.

For this year's camp we will be going to Blaithwaite House in Cumbria which is a Christian run centre. Iain Cunningham will be coming as the speaker for the week. Heading to Blaithwaite will provide new challenges for the leaders, after having a routine at Whittaugh; the leaders must now begin again finding out what works best at the new venue. The leaders would again ask you to pray for Iain as he gives God's message to the campers and that God would bless the week at camp and work in the lives of the campers, both by seeing campers saved, while also seeing those who have already been saved, growing spiritually and leaving camp with their faith having been strengthened.

Mark Wilson