Dear Searcher,

Something brought you here just now. Maybe you know what you’re looking for. Maybe you can’t name it. Whatever the reason, something gave you a nudge that landed you here, and for your presence and that nudge, we give thanks.

Maybe you’re searching for a church home. Maybe you’re new to the community. Maybe you just haven’t found one yet that’s a good fit for you or your family. Maybe you’re not sure what makes a church feel like a home, so you’re taking time to explore your options. 

Maybe you’ve found yourself doubting your faith, your beliefs, “the church” you grew up in, or even “the church” in general. Maybe the answers you’ve been given by the church have brought you more questions than before you received them. 

“…faith isn’t about having everything figured out ahead of time; faith is about following the quiet voice of God without having everything figured out ahead of time.”
― Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood

Maybe you feel like you are too broken or unworthy of being in a church, that you have to make things right before you can come. Maybe someone told you that you were. Maybe you’ve been taught or told your “worth” is based on your successes.

“This is what God’s kingdom is like: a bunch of outcasts and oddballs gathered at a table, not because they are rich or worthy or good, but because they are hungry, because they said yes. And there’s always room for more.”
― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church  

Maybe you’ve felt or have been rejected by a church. Maybe you’re afraid you would be rejected. Maybe someone taught you or told you that God couldn’t or wouldn’t love you the way you are.

“But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This isn’t a kingdom for the worthy; it’s a kingdom for the hungry.”
― Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Maybe no church has ever recognized or accepted your unique gifts and talents. Maybe you’re looking for someplace where you’re less “part of the crowd” and more “one of the family”. Maybe you’re looking for someplace where you can participate rather than observe.

 “Stop waiting for someone else to say that you count, that you matter, that you have worth, that you have a voice, a place, that you are called. Don’t you know, darling? The One who knit you together in your mother’s womb is the one singing these words over you, you are chosen.”
― Sarah Bessey, Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women

Maybe Bethel is just what you’ve been looking for. Maybe we need you as much as you need whatever it is you’re seeking. Maybe whatever nudged you to this message was a nudge in the direction you’re supposed to go. 

We’ll be upfront with you. Bethel is a small church. Our current core of active members is less than 25 at the time this message is written. We don’t have “programs”. There’s no worship band, and we don’t have a coffee bar in the entryway. 

But don’t let that fool you. You won’t meet a more loving and welcoming group of people anxious to share their church home with you, and they’re waiting for you with doors and arms wide open.

So come and give us a try. Together, we’ll build that church home you’ve been seeking.

“Set out, pilgrim. Set out into the freedom and the wandering. Find your people. God is much bigger, wilder, more generous, and more wonderful than you imagined.”
― Sarah Bessey, Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith