Knowing, Loving, Serving…
So the World Will Know Christ’s Love

09.20.20 “Be the Good Soil”

Mark 4:1-20

Dear Bethel,

Join us in worship this week as we continue our year-long journey through the Gospel of Mark! You may find today’s worship service on YouTube and posted to our Bethel UMC Facebook page. Links to our Facebook page, YouTube channel and an order of worship are shared below. 

Bethel’s Facebook page:

Bethel’s YouTube channel:

It is our JOY in worship today to celebrate with the United Methodist Women as they present the 2020 Woman of the Year Award to Mary Ann Weir. Congratulations to Mary Ann, and tremendous praise and gratitude to all the faithful women who serve our community!

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our most recent Parking Lot Mission Drive last Sunday. We raised $25 and collected over 220 pounds of food for Harvest Hope Food Bank. Awesome! Wow!

If you would like to receive a DVD of our worship service please email a request to Sheryl at  We would be happy to send you one!

If you are in need, please do not hesitate to let us know. Both Sheryl and Pastor Julie are working in the church office Monday through Thursday. The telephone number to the church office is (803) 787-3058 and the church office email is

Pastor Julie and Pastor Reggie may be reached directly on their personal cell phones at any time.
Julie Belman: (803) 319-6169
Reggie Rowell: (843) 697-6967

May the Peace of Christ surround you today, and always,
Pastor Julie 

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Sunday Worship at Home
Bethel UMC Columbia | Rev. Julie Songer Belman
September 20, 2020

Preparation:  Find a spot in your home for yourself/your family to engage in worship. Include your Bible, a candle, and a lighter or matches (or battery operated candle or low wattage table lamp), if possible. You might consider a small cross as well.

Welcome: Thank you for joining us! We pray you will be blessed by your time of worship with us today.

Prelude“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”
While Bill plays the prelude, we invite you to light or turn on the candle/lamp to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in your worship. Take a deep breath and give thanks for God’s presence. 

Offertory:  “Still, Still With Thee”
Your continued support of God’s ongoing work at Bethel UMC is sincerely appreciated. Contributions to the mission of Bethel {Knowing, Loving, Serving: so the world may experience Christ’s Love!} may be made by mailing a check to 4600 Daniel Drive, Columbia SC 29206, or giving online at:  You may also contact your bank to have them draft a check on your behalf.

Pastoral Prayer:  Please join with Pastor Reggie as he prays today. Pray for yourself, your family, your church community, your city, your state, your country, our world. Pray for the global health situation, particularly for those who are sick, those who are lonely, those who are gripped by fear, those who are facing financial hardship, those without safe shelter, those who are hungry, our healthcare workers, our leaders in every realm. Give thanks, once again, for God’s faithfulness and seek God’s guidance for ways to offer love and grace in the world right now.

The Lord’s Prayer:  Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.

United Methodist Women Moment:  UMW President Nancy Burkhalter presents the 2020 Woman of the Year award to Mrs. Mary Ann Weir. Congratulations, Mary Ann, and God Bless you for your faithful service!

Anthem: “Worship the King of Kings”  Enjoy this lovely anthem sung by our Bethel Choir.

Scripture: Today is Week 8 of our year long journey through the Gospel of Mark.  Pastor Julie is preaching on Mark 4:1-20. We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon:Be The Good Soil!”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman

Hymn Meditation:  Take Time to Be Holy by William Longstaff     
Music by George Stebbins
(Thank you to Marian Scullion for providing our weekly Hymn Meditations!)

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; abide in him always, and feed on his word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak, forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; spend much time in secret with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let him be thy guide, and run not before him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord, and, looking to Jesus, still trust in his word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul, each thought and each motive beneath his control.
Thus led by his spirit to fountains of love, thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

The man who wrote the words to “Take Time to Be Holy” was neither a pastor nor a songwriter.  William Longstaff was an English businessman —a Christian layman who took his faith seriously.

Hearing a sermon on the text, “Be ye holy, for I am holy,” Longstaff was inspired to write a poem, “Take Time to Be Holy.”  Being a good businessman, Longstaff had a practical mind.  That is reflected in this hymn, which offers many practical suggestions for becoming holy.

— He says, “Take time to be holy,” which reflects his understanding that holiness, like every virtue, requires time and attention to develop it.

— He says, “Speak oft with the Lord,” reflecting his personal experience that prayer deepens faith.

— He says, “Take time to be holy, Be calm in your soul; Each thought and each motive, Beneath His control,” telling us that we can face adversity calmly if we look to Christ for guidance.

Longstaff managed to get his poem published in a Christian newspaper, but that was the end of it—or so it seemed.  But as it turned out, George Stebbins, a Christian musician, had seen the poem and had clipped and filed it.  Years later, needing a hymn on the subject of holy living, he remembered the poem and set it to music.  It has been a favorite now for more than a century.

I don’t know whether Longstaff ever knew that Stebbins had set his poem to music.  I don’t know that he ever heard it sung.  I know only that he felt called to write the poem—and that God did the rest.  When we do something good—something for God—we might never know the full measure of good that we have accomplished.  We can only know that God will take what we offer, great or small, and make of it a treasure.

Copyright 2006, Richard Niell Donovan from Sermon Writer (

Benediction:  Say these words aloud:  
Go now in peace, In the name of the Creator, the Holy One who resides with you always, AMEN.

Go in Peace:  Check on someone you love today.