Our Response to COVID-19

Update (March 16): Starting today we will be reducing our office hours to be from 8:30am to 1:00pm Monday through Friday. Please feel free if you need anything or have an emergency you can call, message, email, or text our staff with anything.

Our Mission:  “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by making Worship a priority, extending an intentional InvitationNurturing Godly friendships, committing to Grow spiritually, and making a difference by Serving others.”

Dear Church Family,

Psalm 41:1 says, “blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.” Following the latest updates from Governor Kemp and Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, our Bishop in the North Georgia Conference, and most of all in following the example of our Lord in caring for those who are most vulnerable, we are canceling church group activities for the next two weeks. Thankfully we are blessed with technology that allows us to worship online together in the midst of this pandemic, and we encourage you to join us online at 9:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 15th and 22nd. Our 8:30 a.m. service will be canceled for these two Sundays. At this time, we plan to resume regular activities on Sunday, March 29th

Please continue to read your email and check the church Facebook page for the latest information. To watch online, go to https://bethlehemfirstumc.org/watch-online/. The needs of the church and our service to our community still remain. We encourage you to continue in your spiritual discipline of giving by supporting the ministries and mission of the church which will carry on long after this pandemic passes. You can mail in your tithes to the church office at 709 Christmas Ave. Bethlehem, GA 30620 or give online at https://bethlehemfirstumc.org/give/.

While it seems that most people who contract the coronavirus might have no major health risks, we are canceling in-person gatherings in an effort to do our part in slowing the spread of the virus, limiting the number of infections, and to help protect those in our community who are most vulnerable. None of us want to be carriers of the disease and unwittingly infect someone who is at risk. After all, the first rule of John Wesley’s General Rules is “do no harm.”

Though we are not meeting together, we are still in prayer for one another. Please continue in your private Bible study and prayers and utilize the many means of communication available to check on one another and care for each other. Your pastors are here for you and available if you are feeling especially anxious. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Remember that the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). We pray for all of those who have been affected by this virus and especially those who have lost loved ones. We pray that God will guide local and national leaders and give them the wisdom they need as they deliberate and make decisions. And we pray that in the midst of this, we will not lose our focus on God, but continue to worship Him and show our love for God and others.

God bless you all,
Frank, Ben, and Megan
The pastors of Bethlehem First UMC

P.S. Here is the list of closings for March 15th-28th, for clarification:

  • All Sunday school classes and all Adult Ministry Groups are canceled, including UMW, Hand and Foot card playing, crochet, and choir practice
  • All senior adult activities are canceled, including STARS and the Travel Club trip to Calloway Gardens
  • The Gateway Gardens worship service is canceled
  • The UMM interest meeting will be rescheduled. Date TBD.
  • Hand bell practice is canceled
  • The Easter Egg Hunt is canceled until further notice. We hope to reschedule it for a later date.
  • All children’s activities are canceled including the nursery
  • All youth activities are canceled including the SLR retreat
  • The confirmation ceremony will be rescheduled to March 29th
  • Fitness center classes and Pickleball are canceled
  • Preschool follows Barrow County School and is canceled
  • All committee meetings and ministry area meetings are canceled
  • All outside group meetings at the church are canceled, including the Red Cross simulation training

Please continuously check your email and the church Facebook page for further updates.