Pastors Update (5/15/2020):

Bethany will NOT yet hold Sunday services on site – we are still not allowed. Many of you heard this past week that the governor is partially reopening the state and that includes the churches. You may hear that other churches are opening this weekend – even United Methodist Churches.  For Bethany to re-open three things must happen. 1. The Governor allows it. 2. The County allows it. 3. The Bishop and District Superintendent allows it.

Let me step through this briefly so that you know where we are.

  1. The Governor has partially re-opened the state. He has said that churches are allowed to have outdoor services (under certain guidelines) and indoor services up to 50% of the capacity of the sanctuary (following certain guidelines). So, the governor has granted limited permission in the first of three steps we need to re-open. However . . .

 

  1. Many Maryland Counties are moving towards re-opening today. Calvin Ball shared that Howard County is doing only a VERY limited opening. Churches may meet with 10 people or less and it is encouraged that it happen outdoors. At that level of attenance it means that Bethany must remain closed. Click HERE for the announcement.

 

  1. The Bishop has two requirements before any church opens. 1. The local government re-opens the county. 2. The church has developed an extensive plan based upon guidelines they released in the last two weeks. Click HERE to see the outline of things for which they are looking.

 

We are working on the plan the conference is asking for and will have a draft completed by the end of next week. The protocals we have been given and the guidelines we are being asked to develop are extensive and strict. Our plan at this point in time is to begin with an outdoor service. However, until all of the conditions above are met, we are not able to open at all. We will keep you updated as best we can. The Bishop has emphasized that keeping people safe is our top priority. We will continue to stream our services and keep you updated on when and under what conditions we can re-open.

 

Keep us in prayer!!  Pastor Andrew

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

IS BETHANY GATHERING THIS SUNDAY?

No. For Bethany to re-open three things must happen. 1. The Governor allows it. 2. The County allows it. 3. The Bishop and District Superintendent allows it. Therefore, all church activities and outside group activities including worship services remain cancelled.  

Live streaming of the 9am & 11am worship services will continue on Sunday mornings on our Facebook page as well as on our YouTube page.  Livestream links will also be found on the homepage of our website.

ARE BETHANY BUILDINGS OPEN ON WEEKDAYS?

No. If you need to reach the office please do so between 10AM and 2PM Monday through Friday at 410 465 2919 or email the Office Administrator. You can also reach Pastor Andrew Cooney by calling 304 582 8889.  Over the next two weeks, we’ll decide on what to do beyond that time frame as the situation unfolds.  

WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN PEOPLE TAKE TO PROTECT THEMSELVES?

We encourage everyone to take certain steps to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, flu, and other illnesses, including:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available;
  • Not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick;
  • Staying home if you are sick;
  • Covering your cough or sneeze;
  • Disinfecting objects and surfaces regularly.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS IS BETHANY TAKING TO MAKE THE PREMISES AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE?

Bethany is taking extra cleaning precautions at this time. This includes:
  • Wiping down all common area touchpoints (e.g., doors, light switches, countertops, etc.) throughout the day with an EPA certified disinfectant.
  • Placing hand sanitizers in common areas throughout the buildings.
  • Performing added in-depth cleaning of our facilities on a regular basis. These deep cleans will likely involve closing Bethany buildings on certain weekdays, and we will include all information about scheduled closures on this webpage (see above under, “Are Bethany buildings open on weekdays?”).
HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.

The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States and the Agency charged with monitoring the outbreak. They will update this status regularly on their website. You can also find more information from reputable organizations HERE.

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

There are some practical ways you can help. Trust in God. Pray – for your friends, those who are sick around the world, health care providers, researchers, and government officials. Look for way to make a difference – be a source of peace, help, and love. Watch your words – what you say and how you say it matters. Stay in touch – call others, watch our worship online, continue to give. We are trying to bless you and others and your gifts matter. You can give online, through the new Church Center app on your phone, on your computer by going to our website*, or by mail. It’s Lent – reflect on the brevity of life and the good news of Jesus.
 
I hope this brings clarity. Please let us know if you have questions or concerns.
Pastor Andrew
 
*Click on your account in top right corner of page to access giving and other activities.
 
(Information on this page was used or adapted from McLean Bible Church and New Life Community Church)