Midweek Message
Week of November 18, 2019
As we come into these days leading up to Thanksgiving, I wanted to share the following devotional with you that was first published on the Proverbs 31 Ministries website.
It especially spoke to me this year, and I hope it blesses your heart and gives you something to ponder on in these coming days...

Where Gratitude Grows Best
“In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP)
I heard the clank of the crash before the clamor of her wail. Following the thrum of sobs to my daughter’s bedroom, I found her sitting in a spray of tiny plastic bricks.
“My plans are ruined,” my 8-year-old whimpered. “What happened?” I asked.
“I was building a castle,” she explained. “But when I reached over to put the princess in the watchtower, I bumped the roof with my elbow, and the whole thing came tumbling down.”

I felt the ache of my daughter’s disappointment as I gazed at those bricks splattered like rainbow polka dots across the floor. But there was nothing I could say to fix her frustration, so I just pulled her onto my lap, and we sat there together in the middle of the mess.

When her sobs finally gave way to quiet sighs, I began to sift through the pieces of the capsized creation. I gathered tiny pink doors and wee plastic windows, tall slender spires and boxy blue bricks. Then, I slowly began to rebuild.

My girl lifted her head and watched me work. Her frown flipped upside down, and she flashed me an expectant grin. “Mom, thanks for making something marvelous out of this mess,” she declared. The blob of blocks I was fastening together didn’t look like a pristine palace or a fabulous fortress. In fact, it didn’t resemble anything marvelous yet. But my daughter’s eyes sparkled with confidence. “How do you know what I’m making?” I prodded with a playful wink. “Oh, I have no idea what you’re making,” my girl admitted with a carefree shrug. “But I know you …”

Her words dangled in the air between us. And my heart lurched with quiet conviction.
My daughter’s gratitude wasn’t based on what she could see; it was rooted in who she knew me to be. Perhaps this is the kind of gratitude Paul had in mind when he penned those challenging words in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — “In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

It’s worth noting Paul doesn’t instruct us to give thanks to God  for  every circumstance. Instead, he urges us to give thanks to God  in  every circumstance.
Paul’s words remind us that gratitude isn’t anchored in ease; it’s anchored in intimacy. The more we know God, the more reasons we have to thank Him.
Gratitude may not be our first response when our circumstances are challenging or disappointing. But when we focus on who God is rather than on what He is doing, we discover that we can give thanks even from the middle of our mess.

We can thank Him for His wisdom even when we don’t see the reason for His ways.
We can thank Him for His faithfulness even when our faith is faltering.
We can thank Him for His peace even when our doubts are raging.

As we become familiar with the bent of God's heart, we learn to trust the work of His hands, even before His work is finished. I don’t know where you are right now, dear friend. Maybe you’re sitting in the midst of plummeted plans or picking up the pieces of your shattered confidence. But wherever you find yourself, I’m certain of this: God is with you. And He is for you. And He’s doing more than your eyes can see.

So fix your gaze on God’s faithfulness, and continue to seek His heart. Because if I know our Savior, He’s making something marvelous in the middle of that mess.

Dear Jesus, You are worthy of my praise even when I don’t understand Your ways. Turn my gaze from my frustrations to Your faithfulness. Shift my sights from my hurt to Your hope. And grow in me a heart of thanksgiving as I seek to know You more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Psalm 106:1, “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (NIV)

You are loved,

Pastor Cathie
Luminaries Order Deadline Extended to December 2
If you were unable to bring your completed pledge cards to worship on Dedication Sunday, you can return your card to the office during the week.
Support Our Youth Group!
PLEASE NOTE: So that gift cards can be purchased for Christmas giving, the deadline for the DECEMBER order is Friday, December 6th .

We are excited to roll out an easy way to help support our youth group as they prepare to attend the Montreat Youth Conference and the Inter-generational Mission Trip this summer!

Through our partnership with SCRIP, church members, family members, and friends can purchase gift cards from over 750 different stores, online retailers, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, cruise lines and more.

Each gift card is purchased at face value, but a percentage of the amount comes back to the youth group from the company. So for example, say you buy a $25 gift card to Eat n' Park. You pay $25, you get a $25 gift card, and the youth group receives $2.25.

You can get gift cards to use for your weekly and regular shopping and use them instead of cash or debit card. For example, if you bought $150 in gift cards from Giant Eagle and used it for your groceries and gas for the week, the youth group would receive $6. Or you can get cards to give as gifts or for your vacations or date nights or all kinds of special occasions- even your trip to Disney!

Here's all you need to do...

  • If you prefer to do your shopping for cards online: Go to shopwithscrip.com and create an account. You'll need our enrollment code (5911E89D65629). You will be asked child's name and group- you can ignore these questions unless you are a parent of one of our youth group members. . Once you are enrolled, your account will be verified and ready to begin ordering. If you go to shopwithscrip.com on your phone, you will receive a prompt that allows you to place a link on your home screen like an app for quick access and ordering.

  • If you prefer to fill out a paper order and let us order the cards for you: Get an order form from the church office, fill it out and return it to the office.

A group order will be placed by the 20th of each month combining all online and paper orders received by the 15th, and we'll have the cards in the office ready for up just a few days later!

This is an exciting and so easy way that we can all help support our youth group! First orders are due October 15! Thank you for your support!
Sponsor a Hymnal (or a few)
Our new hymnals will soon be in use! You can help provide for these great new additions to our worship by sponsoring one or more hymnals in honor or in memory of someone who has been special in your life. Print the sponsorship form by clicking on the image to the left and return it to the church office.

A nameplate will be included in they hymnals you sponsor honoring those you honor with your donation. You can indicate how you would like the nameplate to be worded on the sponsorship form.

in this newsletter to send to a friend or post to your social media and invite others to join us for upcoming worship and special events! Just right click on any image and select copy, or save as picture...
Calling all Crafters and Semi-Crafters! 
Many of our Chrismon ornaments, which were so lovingly made by church members, a long time ago, are in need of repair.
Some simply need a new wire loop added to them, some need a full restringing of beads.
If you would be willing to take one or more ornaments home and give them some TLC
see Pastor Cathie! 
Sunday School Offerings This Fall
Preschool and Elementary
9:30 am
Lower Learning Center

Children meet in age level groups (PreK-Grade 2; and Grades 3-5) This year we are using the Whirl curriculum from Sparkhouse. One of the goals of Whirl is to connect kids to church life. Each week, kids and leaders start their time together by identifying where they are in the church year and watching an animated video to set up the lesson. Next, they dive into the Bible story, respond to the scripture lesson with creative leaflet activities, and circle up to review the lesson and pray before being sent out. 

Youth (Middle & High School)
9:30 am
Youth Room

This fall, our youth will be studying the book, YOUnique. Based on Biblical teaching, students will explore their personality type, find out what their Love Language is, learn what their top spiritual gifts are, come to accept the way the God created them- body and soul, hear about the best gift God offers (transformation from the inside out), grasp simple ways to invite God's power into the daily lives, identify God's voice and learn to discern it for themselves, dream about their future, create a bucket list, identify desirable character traits, and set practical goals for the future. 
Women's Sunday School
9:30 am
McMillan Room

This year, the focus will be on prayer- attitudes, postures, approaches, purposes, and more. All women are invited to join this group and enjoy the caring fellowship, the thoughtful discussions, and the laughter that is shared each week.

Men's Small Group
9:15 am
Quilters Room

All men are invited to join this time of reflection, discussion, and fellowship together. This year the men will be focusing on encounters with Jesus that are recorded throughout the gospels, and seeking to discover how they speak to the way we are invited to meet Jesus in our own lives. Come a little early for fellowship at 9:15 and the lesson begins at 9:30.
Did you miss a sermon?
Past sermons are now available to listen to on our website!!  
Recordings include music, prayers and other parts of the worship service, too!

This Week
at Bethel Presbyterian
Wednesday, November 20
10:00 am Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Thursday, November 21
6:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal
7:45 pm Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, November 24
9:30 am Sunday Schools and Small Groups
10:30 am Worship
11:30 am Fellowship Hour
3:00 pm Festival of the Greens

Monday, November 25
7:00 pm BASIC Study
7:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal

Tuesday, November 26
10:00 am Quilters Group
4:00 pm Staff Program Coordination Meeting
7:00 pm Mission Committee Meeting

Wednesday, November 27
10:00 am Wednesday Morning Bible Study

Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29
church office, preschool and childcare closed

Sunday, December 1
9:30 am Sunday Schools and Small Groups
10:30 am Worship (Advent 1) with Celebration of the Lord's Supper
11:30 am Fellowship Hour and Packing Stockings for Soldiers Angels

Monday, December 2
1:00 pm Membership Committee
7:00 pm BASIC Study
7:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal

Tuesday, December 3
10:00 am Quilters Meeting
7:00 pm Supportive Services Committee Meeting

Wednesday, December 4
11:00 am Naomi Circle
7:00 pm Advent Study

Thursday, December 5
1:00 pm Pittsburgh Presbytery Meeting at John McMillan
6:30 pm Bell Choir Rehearsal
7:45 pm Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Nov 24 Hanging the Greens and Potluck

Dec 1 Stocking Packing for Veterans

Dec 8 Christmas-Palooza

Dec 24 Christmas Eve Services

19  Ann Reid
19  Kaitlyn Hunter
23  Daniel Smith
24  Marissa Virgin
26  Rebecca Smith 
27  Greg Smith
28  Vivienne Devey
29  Bettyjean Gamble
29  Jeanne H. Dingel

2 Emily Daschbach
6 Ann Lindsay
6 Holly Palumbo
7 Elma Black
8 Patricia Burford
8 Mary Lou Englert
8 Caden McKinley
8 Logan Virgin
9 Taylor Anderson
9 Danielle La Torre
10 Aaron Kloc
10 Margaret Valentine
11 Art Brandenburg
11 Scotty Webler
11 Bette Wetzel
12 Beth Mundsinger
14 Alan Crump
15 Russ Lautenschlager
17 Luke Zeiler
19 Amelia Palumbo
21 Gabriella Doring
25 Susan Davin
25 Carol McDonald
25 Jennifer Sinatra
25 Jill Sinatra
26 Martha Van Horn
29 Cory Kossan
31 Joshua Adomaitis

412-835-0405    www.bethelpresby.org