by Whitney Stofflet // May 16th, 2020

“I lift up my eyes to the hills…” Psalm 121

Dear Bethlehem-

Pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem were the first to sing the words of Psalm 121. It expresses both faith in God and unease about the uncertain future. It wasn’t safe. There was a lot to fear. The terrain was beautiful but it also holds the possibility of great danger. The psalm is thousands of years old, and yet, it continues to sing a truth that brings comfort and hope for us today: regardless of the uncertainty of our current context we are secure in God’s hands.

This past week Governor Walz announced some first steps in reopening our state. His order moves us from “stay at home” to “stay safe”.  Please go here for details.

There is still much that is uncertain, but as we’ve been in conversation with Bethlehem’s executive leadership team, we want to be clear about Bethlehem’s plan for the immediate future and our confidence that God is with us.

  • We will continue with livestream services on Sunday at 10:15am and Wednesdays at 7pm. Subscribe!  Participate from the safety of your own home.  Connect for coffee conversations following Sunday worship.  Keep showing up and connecting. Keep inviting others.  Share the link.
  • We will continue to monitor recommendations from scientific and public health experts.  We will not be more aggressive than what the CDC or MNDH recommends for gathering for worship.
  • We will continue to increase Bethlehem’s online presence with opportunities for you to be known, challenged, changed and sent.  When the time is right we’ll work with you to find ways to convene small groups to nurture and strengthen connections with one another.  We are becoming together: sharing in the work of God’s vision for a healed world and our mission still matters.

We continue to be surprised and delighted by the Holy Spirit who inspires us to be church despite the challenges we face.  Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for your love and care for one another.  Thank you for your generosity.  Thank you for your steadfast love and faith in Jesus Christ who promises to make all things new.

With deepest gratitude,

Mary and Ben