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

09.27.20 “A Powerful Truth about Church”

Mark 4:21-34

Jesus said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Mark 4:21-23

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:

**Sign up THIS WEEK for our upcoming Flu Shot clinic. Our favorite pharmacist is returning on Friday, October 9th starting at 8:30am to offer not only flu shots, but other vaccines as well if you need them (the Shingles shot, TDAP, Tetanus, etc.) but you must SIGN UP AHEAD OF TIME! Please call the church office this week to reserve your spot!**

**The Prayer Team would love your help! We have so many in our church, community and world in need of prayer right now. If you would like to join us, please let Pastor Julie or Bonnie Lutz know!**

**Next Sunday, October 4th, we invite all of those who feel comfortable to join us in Bethel’s Sanctuary at 10:00am for the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. More information on the special measures taken regarding communion will be sent out later this week.**

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 27, 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“All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”
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: “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”
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.

Anthem: “Let Us Love One Another  Enjoy this lovely anthem sung by our Bethel Choir with special accompaniment on the flute by Nancy Burkhalter

Scripture: Today is Week 9 of our year long journey through the Gospel of Mark. 
Pastor Julie is preaching on Mark 4:21-34
We invite you to open your Bibles (or the Bible app on your phone!) at home and read along.

Sermon: A Powerful Truth About Church”  Rev. Julie Songer Belman

Hymn Meditation:  Be Still, My Soul 
Words by Katharina von Schlegel       Translated by Jane Borthwick 
Music by  Jean Sibelius (FINLANDIA)
(Thank you to Marian Scullion for providing our weekly Hymn Meditations!)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide; in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: your God will undertake to guide the future, as in ages past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past, all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Often, in the midst of suffering, people look up and see the face of God.  That was true for Katharina von Schlegel, a Lutheran woman in Germany a century after Luther began the Reformation there.  Movements born in great passion often deteriorate over time as the fires wane and concern for “the way we have always done it” intensifies.  That was true of the Lutheran Church in Germany a century after its founding.

But churches that have gone cold and sterile are ripe for renewal, and that was true of the church in Germany.  Katharina was part of a pietistic movement—an emphasis on personal faith—that brought new life to the old body. The Wesleyan revival in England was taking place during this  same era

Katharina  wrote a number of hymns.  “Be Still My Soul” is the only one that has survived.  Katharina was inspired to write it when she read God’s promise in Psalm 46:10—”Be still and know that I am God”—and the Psalmists assurance, “(The Lord) is with us.  The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:11).

These are promises that never grow old, because suffering is a fact of life.  No one is exempt.  Joseph Parker counsels, “Preach to the suffering, and you will never lack a congregation.  There is a broken heart in every pew.”  People need the hope that they find in Biblical promises like those that they find in the scriptures.  That is as true in the 21st century as it was in the 18th century.

This hymn survived only because of the work of a British woman, Jane Borthwick, who translated it into English a century after Katharina wrote it.  The book of Exodus tells of Aaron and Hur, who supported Moses’ raised arms so that Israel could defeat Amalek (Exodus 17:8ff.).  I like to think of Jane Borthwick as Katharina’s Aaron or Hur.

At some point, Katharina’s words were paired with the tune of “Finlandia” by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius—music that he didn’t compose until 1899-1900.  Sibelius conceived that music as a protest against Russian oppression—and a celebration of Finnish history.  The music is rousing and tempestuous until the final movement, where it calms and becomes “The Finlandia Hymn.”  It is this “Finlandia Hymn” that was paired with Katharina’s poetry to produce this hymn.

God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  The Psalmist promises, “(The Lord) is with us.  The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:11).  Those who believe these words find strength in the faith that undergirds them.  As the prophet says elsewhere,

“Those who wait for (the Lord) will renew their strength.
They will mount up with wings like eagles.
They will run, and not be weary.
They will walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Our meditation this week is from the UMC Discipleship Ministries History of Hymns  (

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.