All About Bethany Lutheran
Bethany Lutheran offers traditional and contemporary worship services. We have programs for all ages. Our programs include: Sunday School, food pantry, Parish Nurse ministry, Bible study, puppet ministry and community events. We also have music programs for all ages (choral, handbells, handchimes, instrumental). In addition, as part of our ministry outreach program we offer Christian based music and movement classes for children ages 6 months to age 7+, including a home school music class.
Our mission is to know Christ and to make Christ
The Bethany Lutheran Sunday School Association celebrates 135 years in 2021!
known through Word and Deed.
It was founded in 1886 by members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading.
The congregation was organized in 1897!
We will celebrate our 125th anniversary in 2022!
The building was constructed in 1923!
The Sunday School wing was added in 1963!
Food Pantry Ministry began in 1999!
Outreach Family Music Class Program started in 2002!
Welcome Pastor Bruce!
On Sunday January 24, 2021, the congregation voted unanimously to Call Pastor Bruce to Bethany. Pastor Bruce will officially begin on February 1st, although his ministry with Bethany has already begun! Pastor Bruce has been serving as our supply Pastor during the month of January. Pastor Bruce has already become involved with our Food Pantry ministry, meeting with our staff, worship planning, helping to organize an outreach project for Mary's Shelter and Opportunity House and sharing his excitement and encouragement to reach out to the community. We pray for God's continued blessings and guidance for Pastor Bruce and our congregation as we begin a new adventure together!
Summer 2020 - COVID-19: Returning to Worship with Pleases, Thank you's, Understanding, Blessings, Faith!
First and foremost is that no one is an expert on the virus. There are many opinions, some on facts, some on sensationalized news, some politically charged, many have personal experience. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, that said everyone is also responsible for their own health. Bethany is not a place to judge, we are here to find a way that we can worship together. Some will feel that the guidelines are too strict; others may feel that they don’t go far enough. Based on the CDC guidelines Bethany Council has come up with guidelines for worship, and guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting common areas after/ between worship. CDC guidelines are not complicated. Protect yourselves and others, stay home if you are ill or in compromised health, clean and disinfect surfaces that are used by the public.
When we return for worship we ask that:
YOU STAY HOME IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL. Please call if you’d like to speak to the pastor or another staff or council member, we will gladly take time to speak with anyone.
YOU STAY HOME IF YOU ARE IN COMPROMISED HEALTH. This is your call, we won’t be stopping people at the door. You know your own health better than anyone, the risk is yours alone. We can clean, and we can ask people to follow protocols to help keep you healthy, but no procedure is 100% infallible.
YOU USE ONLY THE FRONT DOOR OR THE RAMP DOOR TO ENTER OR EXIT PLEASE REFRAIN FROM USING THE BACK DOOR BY THE OFFICE
YOU WEAR A FACE MASK/SCARF/COVERING. This does not need to be a surgical mask. A scarf, bandanna, home-made mask etc. are acceptable coverings. The church has a few on hand. This is to protect others! You may think you don’t need a mask, but the person 6 feet away from you may need you to be wearing it. As the CDC says, you may be carrying the virus and not know it. Important to keep your masks clean, and do all you can to keep your hands away from your face. As per the CDC Guidelines.
MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING: Please maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others. We miss all of you, we miss talking with you and hearing how you are all doing. Unfortunately this is not the time to be standing in the back of church before or after to catch up. Ask for a phone number, call people during the week from the safety of your home. If there is something you’d like us to share with the congregation about yourself or your family, or a prayer request please call the office 610-3757163 and leave Janice a message. Send a note to the church Bethany Lutheran Church 336 Franklin St. West Reading, PA 19611. We would enjoy hearing uplifting family stories, or be glad to pray with you.
BRING TISSUES and use them, and take them home with you to dispose of them.
USE HANDSANITZER: the church will have hand sanitizer available, but if you have your own personal bottle, you know you are the only one that has used/touched it.
NO SUNDAY SCHOOL: If you would like to reach out to Stacie with ideas, or best wishes for the kids of Bethany please feel free to do so.
PICK A SEAT. During the summer we are going to try using the overflow room with mobile air conditioners. The room will be setup to maintain social distancing. Families will be able to group chairs together. When we get back to the sanctuary, hopefully in the fall, we will have pews taped off. WHY, because you need to be 6 feet apart, and preferably not directly behind someone. Please honor this seating arrangement. You may sit with people you live with, but we ask that you don’t sit with others. Again, someone may be carrying the virus and not be aware. Stay in your area.
THE SERVICE. We will be altering the service to be more mindful of the spread of the virus. We will not be ‘Passing the Peace’, at least not in our normal fashion. No hand shaking, no leaving your seat, no conversation between individuals.
OFFERING: there will be no “taking of the offering” the offering plate will be at the back of the sanctuary for you to place your offering. We are thankful for your stewardship. You can also mail in your offering to the church office. As stated in a previous letter, payroll, utilities, insurances still need to be paid even though the church is not open to the public. We understand this is a difficult time emotionally and economically, and we greatly appreciate your continued blessings, prayers for Bethany.
MUSIC: Our worship services will include instrumental music in different ways for now. Since the coronavirus can be spread through droplets that are propelled into the air through coughing, sneezing, talking and even singing which can propel droplets even further into the air, we are following professional recommendations to not include singing for worship services. Instrumental Gathering Music will start about 10 minutes before the worship service begins. Please use this time to gather safely and quietly in your seats to prepare for worship.
If you would like a copy of the complete guidelines, please contact the church office.
A note about worship music and rehearsals during the pandemic
The COVID-19 virus can be spread by droplets being projected into the air through talking, coughing, sneezing, and even singing and playing wind/brass instruments. Singing and playing wind/brass instruments can project droplets even further into the air. Following professional recommendations, until it’s safe again for public singing and playing wind/brass instruments, our worship services will not include singing and no in-person rehearsals will be held.
Music is an important part of our worship life. Our worship services will continue to include instrumental music (non-wind/brass instruments) in different ways. Instrumental Gathering music will begin about 10 minutes before our worship services. Please use this time to gather safely and quietly as we prepare for worship. We WILL sing praises together to God again!