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Bethlehem Blogs

July 21, 2021

An Open Letter to the Downtown Campus

Kenny Stokes

Pastor for Church Planting

The Lord is your keeper.—Psalm 121:5

Dear Bethlehem,

Last Sunday was our first gathering for corporate worship since Pastor Jason Meyer announced his resignation. Yet, perhaps strangely, it was a “good” day. I don’t mean that it was easy; it was hard. I dont mean that it was happy; it was sad. It was a good day because I believe that God met us with his kindness in our current context of church life.

Sunday morning, God met us in worship as our songs and prayers were marked by sorrow and hope. And he assured us with a word from Psalm 121, “The Lord is your keeper.” This promise is ours in Christ. Its a promise of hope and help. Without this assurance, we are left on our own. Without this assurance, we are left to our anxieties and fears—both real and imagined. But Bethlehem, we have the promise: “The Lord is your keeper.” 

As I closed the worship service, I asked a question aloud that I had intended rhetorically, “Are we going to be okay?” I was caught by surprise when without hesitation the 9am congregation answered with various voices saying, Yes! Yes! Yes!

The Lord is our keeper, and we move forward in our journey together with our hope in him.

Sunday evening, the Lord met us again. The Sanctuary was at capacity with overflow in the Commons and other rooms for the all-church meeting. The congregation gave a standing ovation to Jason & Cara Meyer as they stepped to the platform. Primarily, they spoke words of love for the church. Jason went on to describe his sense of Christs calling that it was time to leave. Then, Cara spoke from the heart and read from 1 Corinthians 13. Finally, Jason said he wanted to leave with love. When the Meyers departed the Sanctuary, the congregation again rose to their feet with applause—an expression of honor and thanks to Jason & Cara for their 9+ years of ministry at Bethlehem. Pastor Dave Zuleger encouraged us with a meditation on Psalm 23. Pastor Ken Currie gave an overview of recent events. The evening concluded with congregational prayer huddles and worship in song. 

The Lord gave us grace last Sunday. May we rest in the promise that the Lord is our Keeper as we move ahead to the next steps in our journey together.

Kept through faith by the power of God with you, 

Pastor Kenny