5/31/2020

Governor Walz has lifted some restrictions for us to gather in person. We are allowed to have 75 people in our Flow. We will continue to have our online service at 9:30 am, followed by at 11 am an in person service in our Flow. Join us where you feel comfortable.

Our online service will be a full and complete service with singing and message. Our in person will be a condense service without singing and a shorter message of the sermon topic from the online service. Since space is limited for in person it will be on a first come first serve basis, so don't be late!

If attending the in person service, please bring:

A. Your own water/coffee (the church will not provide a beverage).

B. Your own bible (electronic or print).

C. If you want to wear a mask, that is fine (bring your own as Bethel will not provide them).

The church building will be available for Flow and Restroom use. Use of Nursery will be only used to change or nurse your baby (not for children to play in)

A. To enter use the south sanctuary door and after exit via the north office door.

B. The doors, including the restroom doors, will be propped open to avoid using the door handle (respect each other’s privacy).

C. Only 2 people in a restroom at a time. After use, you must wash your hands followed by using hand sanitizer (we do not have auto on-off sink controls).

Instructions for when on the church property:

A. When you come or go from Bethel avoid congregating in the Flow, Parking Lot or Lawn.

B. Ushers will usher you to your seat in the Flow, please wait for their assistance so that we can accommodate social distancing.

C. Hand and spray sanitation will be available. Please use it if you touch anything.

D. Cover your nose and mouth if you must sneeze or cough (tissues and wastebaskets will be available).

Who should not come to this service:

A. Individual at heightened risk of serious COVID-19 infections are strongly urged to stay home except for necessary activities and work. If you are feeling ill, stay home.

B. If you are not comfortable being out in a group, either large or small, stay home. This is fine and understandable.

C. If you have had direct contact with a lab confirmed COVID-19 patient in the last 14 days, stay home.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday morning!

May the Peace of the Lord be with each of you,

Bethel Baptist Church Leadership Board


During the COVID-19 virus, the information coming out is changing daily so please check often for updates.

(Updates will also be posted to our Facebook public church page and private BBC Family page, as well as our Faithlife group.

4/8/2020: Governor Walz extends Stay at Home Order through May 4, 2020.

3/31/2020: Mark Johnson, Chair – Bethel Baptist Leadership Board

In this note we will address a few key areas:

Sunday Morning Services

Church Operations and Services that our church is offering during this disruption

Giving

New Prayer Ministry

On behalf of the Bethel Baptist Leadership board I bring you greetings in Jesus name. The Leadership Board wanted to reach out to you, as part of the body of believers, to share information as well as to answer questions and concerns that you have asked.

Sunday Morning

With the Governor's order to stay at home for 2 weeks thru April 10 (MN Exec Order 20-20) and continued the practice of social distancing for 3 more weeks (MN Exec Order 20-18 - ending May 1, 2020 at 5:00 PM) the Bethel Services will resume Sunday May 12, 2020 or later. We so look forward to the day that we can meet again face to face and worship the Lord together

In the meantime, a team of people from our church (Josh Kloster, Tracy McQuown, Darla Ward, Pastor Randy, Mark Johnson) have worked to deliver an online experience to help fill some of the void left from not meeting each week. This has included the short message from Pastor Randy the first week to full online services in the last 2 weeks.  The public Facebook page only has the message but our Faithlife page and our website you will see the whole service. Our plan is to live stream a service and then have that available on the web for later viewing in the coming weeks.

Church Operations

Many of you have voiced concerns about our staff's well-being during these times. We have been able to keep all staff on payroll and all functions of the church continuing. Through the blessing of your continued giving our budget remains on a solid footing and our staff continue to be taken care of. Randy, Harrison, Caryn and John continue to deliver as many services and functions as possible through as many means as possible including some of the following examples:

· Pastor Harrison continues to reach out to the youth group, parents, and other members of our congregation

· John continues maintain and protect our building including keeping the building cleaned and disinfected

· Caryn continues to run the office and be a contact point in the office. She is also providing support for the Faithlife rollout including learning how to use all the new features for our benefit

· Pastor Randy continues his work as a Pastor of our church working to be in contact with many of you by phone, email, blog posts, and any other ways he can to stay in touch. He also has adapted to the new way of delivering his weekly sermons and is looking at new ways to reach out virtually with things like Zoom meetings.

 Giving

As we mentioned in the paragraph above your continued giving continues to be critical to the functioning of our church and our ability to resume all activities in the coming months. Your giving through our online portal Give2Bethel (or by going to bethelmankato.com and clicking GIVE) is encouraged as is mailing checks each week to the church address (Bethel Baptist Church 1250 Monks Ave Mankato, MN 56001). This is a small thing each of us can do to keep Bethel healthy and functioning for the good of our people and the people we minister too.

 New Prayer Ministry  

A new ministry of prayer is taking shape! It is called Pray4You and will try to incorporate the best of what has been done before at Bethel with some new and exciting ideas. If you would like prayer for yourself or for others please email a note to Pray4You@bethelmankato.com or send a note to the church office (1250 Monks Ave Mankato, MN 56001) including an Attention: Pray4You. A growing number of your fellow Bethel believers will then reach out in prayer for you and then follow it up with a personal note confirming that prayer and other words of encouragement. Please include your address in each request for prayer.

Here are some practical steps that to consider during this season…

1.Check on one or more seniors or people who may at higher risk. See if you can run an errand for them or just offer some simple conversation.

2. Help our community to stay in touch with their friends and church through the phone calls, notes mailed or emailed, internet and electronic media.

3. Express gratitude to our health professionals and public safety personnel who are facing added stress and risk because of their jobs.

4. Continue to invest in our local economy such as:

a. Shop local, whether it’s online, offline, on Instagram, etc.

b. Buy gift cards (it’ll give your favorite coffee shop much-needed cash flow)

c. Order delivery and touchless take-out

d. Write positive Yelp and Google reviews for those businesses making extra efforts.

e. Tip extra

5. Stay in touch with us via the church website and email and Faithlife

6. Sign up for online giving

a. our online portal Give2Bethel

b. mailing checks each week to the church address (checks save the credit card service charge)


As of 3/29/2020: President Trump announces extending Federal stay-at-home guidelines until April 30th.

As of 3/25/2020: Gov. Walz Orders Issues Stay at Home Order for Minnesotans from March 27, 2020 to April 10, 2020. Directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside their home beyond essential needs.

As of 3/15/2020: Gov. Walz Orders Closure Of Public Schools Across State Starting Wednesday. In light of this new update, ALL Wednesday evening activities at Bethel have been suspended until April 1st. Please continue to check updates!

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2020/03/15/coronavirus-in-minnesota-gov-walz-orders-closure-of-public-schools-across-state-starting-wednesday/?fbclid=IwAR2j6X1Itq-QcU9HUF5sssQpOmTjNJ_gFiNsJhA3fDf21dZyf7Xfwb--N80


As of 3/14/2020:

Below is an announcement from Interim Pastor Randy O'Brien:

Hi Bethel Church and visitors,


We are coming to you with a notice that we will not be holding public worship services for the next three weeks (March 15, 22 and 29).


This is in response to the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Office of the Governor. Although we are not required to suspend our meetings, it seems the wise thing to do and shows love for our community. We are acting in concert with other churches and organizations around out state, the nation, and the world.


During this time smaller gatherings of people who are not at higher levels of risk will continue. Mid-week activities such as community groups, youth and children’s Wednesday evening activities will continue unless it becomes wise to suspend those as well. Our senior lunch on Wednesday seems prudent to postpone.


We respond not out of fear, but love. Love for our neighbors is demonstrated by solidarity with our community by limiting exposure to one another along with other safe practices outlined by our government and health organizations. We love them enough to not put them at risk. Be wise.


At Bethel we have increased disinfecting of surfaces and placed additional precautions in place. Our church building has never been cleaner! Your participation will help by frequent hand washing, eliminating hugs and handshakes, and disinfecting surfaces after use for the time being. Thanks for your help on that. The most important consideration is to stay at home if you feel sick or have symptoms of infection.


Here are some practical steps that we’d very much like you to consider during this season…


1. Check on one or more seniors or people who may at higher risk. See if you can run an errand for them or just offer some simple conversation.

2. Help our community to stay in touch with their friends and church through the internet and electronic media. (I [Randy] will spend some time with my mom this afternoon setting up an apple TV so that she and her friends can watch their own church from her living room.)

3. Express gratitude and to our health professionals and public safety personnel who are facing added stress and risk because of their jobs.

4. Continue to invest in our local economy.

5. Resist fear-based racism in your thoughts and conversations about the virus. As one Italian grandmother said so well on a video I caught this week, the virus will pass through, but the way we treat people will linger long afterwards.

6. Stay in touch with us via the church website and email. Sign up for online giving by clicking the "Give" tab on the website header.


I’ll post a short message tomorrow on our website. Check it out during the time you’d normally worship. Feel free to share the link with other friends who may be at home like you.


At a time when we are told to be socially distant, I believe that we will discover new ways to reach out to one another through other means. This might actually be a time when our relationships deepen. When have you last had an extended period of time when you can pick up the phone and connect with your loved ones?


You are constantly in our prayers.


Peace to you and those you love,

Randy O’Brien (interim pastor) and Mark Johnson (chair of the leadership board)


Additionally:

We value our Sunday worship services and our education instruction and Connect2 time. These are a vital part of the body of Christ. We still want to connect during this time even if, for a time, it's not face to face. This a GREAT time to sign up at Faithlife.com (Bethel Baptist Mankato, MN), as we will be sending out the latest updates there, as well, where you can devote time to a Bible study, utilize the Logos Bible software, or watch a documentary or movie with your family via Faithlife TV. You're encouraged to post a prayer request or favorite Bible verse on Faithlife. Let's stay connected with our BBC family! As mentioned, don't forget, you can still give your weekly tithe by clicking on the Give tab on our website.