Big Tent Worship (sans the tent)

In 1 Corinthians 14:24-26, The Apostle Paul tells us, [If] some unbelieving outsiders walk in on a service where people are speaking out God's truth, the plain words will bring them up against the truth and probe their hearts. Before you know it, they're going to be on their faces before God, recognizing that God is among you. So here's what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. (MSG)

I have been asked, “If we aren’t able to have Summer Fare, why are we having worship outside when there is no tent?” My answer is that, while everyone (me included) will miss Summer Fare terribly this year, unbelievers still need to be respectfully and effectively exposed to The Saving Gospel of Jesus Christ in every way we can. Summer Fare definitely is a huge way we publicly witness to our life of faith to our neighbors and others, as we humbly serve together. And the “Big Tent Worship” that followed has offered opportunities for our neighbors to “drop in” to our worship without the usual “perceived barriers” associated with regular sanctuary-based experiences.

So, offering outdoor worship as a special worship event is a way of reminding our neighbors, whether they drop in during the worship event or not, that Old Bethel is STILL in the business of doing the most important thing God calls us to do: OFFER THEM CHRIST. And friends remember, this is what we do EVERY DAY in EVERY WAY! We offer the world Jesus Christ by sharing the truth of His presence, His love, His power, and His reality in a world far too full of hurt. And perhaps, as people join us, they will take seriously the invitation to join together with us every Sunday morning in-person and on-line as we worship the True Savior of the World. And even if people simply “drive by,” they will be reminded that, as the Bride of Christ, The Church STILL has answers to the deepest questions they will ever have in life, and maybe it’s time they try to discover those answers. God has a plan!

In-person inside, in-person outside, or on-line, please join together this Sunday and every Sunday as we worship the One who makes any of this possible!

TogetherInChrist,

Pastor Rusty <><

UPDATES:

  1. The weather is forecast to be perfect, so grab your bag chairs and come find a place in the front parking lot this Sunday as we worship at 10:00 am. There will be plenty of room for keeping six feet separation, and we’ll have song sheets to sing along with the wonderful gospel group, “Witness.” And don’t forget your mask for when we sing together. (Or as always, we will have masks available for you.) The sun should be at your back and the temperatures comfortable, so wear your shorts, or a jacket, or a hat and come take advantage of this special witness event. This service will also be livestreamed as well as archived on our YouTube channel.

  2. Our church building is able to be open for in-person worship, Preschool, Bible studies and groups because we have made safety and health a priority. Please remember masks are required in all common areas of the church. Not only is this a current State mandate, it is an act of love. Help keep our staff healthy and our doors open by wearing a mask. Church staff and volunteers are thrilled to see people back in the building and we appreciate everyone wearing a mask, keeping their distance and using hand sanitizer.

  3. Reservations remain necessary for in-person Sunday worship. Currently, you may make worship reservations through the month of September (for the entire month or week-by-week) by calling the church office at 317-359-9651 or emailing info@oldbethel.org. Remember your telephone number must be included with your reservation request and reservations are due by 10am each Thursday.

  4. We continue to be blessed by and grateful for the National Guard’s service at the Food Pantry. As we express our gratitude through the hospitality of meals and snacks, we are still in need of Sports Drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc) and single serving cookies. You may deliver your donations to the church Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm. If you order online you may have your donation delivered directly to the church. You may also make a monetary donation, designated “Helping the Helpers” for the purchase of snacks and meals.

  5. The Preschool is in need of gently used little girls and boys short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, shorts, and pants in sizes 2T through 6. Also needed are brand new socks and underwear in sizes 2T through 6. There is a tub in the lobby for your donations. You may contact Preschool Director Shannon Schwoebel at preschool@oldbethel.org or 317-359-9651, ext. 140 with any questions.

  6. We continue to collect items for our community partners at Pleasant Run Elementary School. The school is in need of very specific items – pencils, small individual pencil sharpeners, erasers, pencil boxes or bags, kid size scissors, and glue sticks and the recently added 24-count crayons. Through September, we are collecting these items only. There is a tub in the lobby for your donations. You may contact Nancy Bellinger at 317-375-0711 or nancybellinger@att.net with any questions.

  7. The Message Notes for this Sunday’s sermon are below. Feel free to print them out and bring them and a pen with you to worship. Sunglasses optional.

August 30: Why I Am Here

Nihilism: If there is no God, then life has no _______________.

Good News: _____ am part of God’s plan!

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

The Bible doesn’t spend much time talking about _____ God created the universe, but it spends a lot of time talking about _______.

[God] made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. Isaiah 45:18b (NLT)

“God is the one who made all things, and all things are for His glory. He wanted to have many children share His glory...” Hebrews 2:10 (NCV)

We were created so that God could _______ ___.

“Long before He laid down the earth’s foundation, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love.” Ephesians 1:4 (Mes)

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.” Psalm 139:13-16b (NLT)

God has a ______,a ________,and a _______ for my life.

Such amazing news has three critical implications for my life:

1. My ________ has sanctity.

I am set apart for God’s ___________ ______.

2. My ____________ has dignity.

Real dignity comes from the fact that God considers me valuable enough to ______ _____.

“God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life…He paid for you with the precious life blood of Christ…and He did this for you.” 1 Peter 1:18-20 (NLT)

What matters to God is what direction my feet are headed on ___________________, 2020.

3. My _________ have destiny.

“All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old.” Psalm 139:16b (NCV)

God looks at what I do compared to my _______________.

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