*We have a Bible Discovery Resource page for you & your family to use. Please click HERE to go the Bible Discovery Resource page of this website.
Small Discipleship Gatherings
Martin Luther once said, “This life is not righteousness but growth in righteousness; not health but healing; not being but becoming; not rest but exercise; we are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished, but it is going on; this is not the end, but it is the road.”
As our faith family travels down this road together, we know that “Forming Spiritually” and “Connecting Deeply” are part of a joyful journey. For years Small Discipleship Gatherings have been a vehicle for fellow disciples of Jesus to gather in homes, spend time in the Word and live out the faith together. A Small Discipleship Gathering is a community that consists of 6 or more individuals meeting in a home, led by members who gather regularly. They may share a meal together or stand shoulder to shoulder in service, but they always meet for mutual consolation, Christian fellowship and Spiritual Development and Growth so that they may give God all the Glory (Soli Deo Gloria).
Some of the gathering communities rotate location in various member homes, some rotate leadership for their gathering topics and studies; others meet in the same place (usually) and have the same leader (generally).
At Bethany, we have many current Small Discipleship Gatherings that have been meeting for years, a few for decades. Though many took a pause during the height of the pandemic, many are starting to return to gathering.
When God’s people gather together for prayer, conversation, examination and application of the Word and support for one another great things happen.
- If you would like to be a part of a group
- If you would like to host (co-host) a group
- If you would like to lead (co-lead) a group
- OR if you are already part of a group that would welcome additional members
ONLINE SIGN UP for those interested in Small Discipleship Gatherings: http://www.bethanylutheran.org/small-discipleship-gatherings/
WE WILL ALSO HAVE AN INFORMATION TABLE ON SUNDAYS IN FRIENDSHIP SQUARE.
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Invitation to a Journey
Here is your invitation to join us for “Invitation to a Journey.” This year the leaders of Bethany, The Gathering and Holy Cross will be working through some books through which we pray the Lord will strengthen us in our individual spirituality as children of God, our communal identity as Lutherans and our activity with the community as the hands of Jesus Christ. This invitation is not exclusively for elected leaders however, and if you’d like to join us in our readings, we invite you to get a copy of “Invitation to a Journey” by M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.
Then, put Sunday, September 19 OR Sunday, September 26 at 9:05-9:20AM on your calendar and join us for a few brief moments describing the Biblical account that marks Personal Spirituality, Communal Identity and Activity in the Community as core components of the believer’s life in a post-churched world. Our reading will begin in October with a weekly video review by one of our pastors, a “half-time” zoom to share and reflect, and a completion in person gathering to dig into and apply that which we have learned.
Invitation to Journey Reading Schedule:
- Week 1 - October 4 - The Prologue and Chapter 1 "The Process", pages 15-30
- Week 2 - October 11 - Chapter 2 "Being Formed", pages 31-40
- Week 3 - October 18 - Chapter 3 "The Image of Christ", pages 41-47
- Week 4 - October 24 - Chapter 4 "For the Sake of Others", pages 48-54
- November 1st - ZOOM Discussion Event, there will be an AM and PM option. Zoom link is forthcoming.
- Week 5 - November 1 - Chapters 5, 6 & 7 "The Vehicle: Personal Piety", pages 59-88
- Week 6 - November 8 - Chapters 8 & 9 "Classics", pages 93-138
- Week 7 - November 15 - Chapters 10 & 11 "Nature and Inner Dynamics", pages 139-164
- Week 8 - November 22 - Chapters 12 & 13 "Corporate and Social Spirituality", pages 167-196
- December 4 (8:00-9:30AM) - Big Group Gathering Event - Location details to come.
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SUNDAY Morning, Afternoon & Evening:
In Person Bible Discovery has BEGUN: In the letter to the Hebrews we read, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together… but encouraging one another, all the more.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) The study of God’s Word is an important discipline in the life of all believers and a core component of our spiritual formation as followers of Jesus. While the pandemic disrupted our regular Sunday morning spiritual formation opportunities, it is time once again to “stir one another to love and good works.” Please join us in person for a 50-minute session on the lessons of the day every Sunday morning. You have TWO opportunities for study EVERY Sunday…WE BEGAN AUGUST 1st:
- (First Opportunity) Join us at 8:30AM at Bethany Lutheran, Long Beach in the Parish Lounge.
- (Second Opportunity) The same teacher will head over to Holy Cross, Cypress and lead the class at 9:45AM in the Parish Hall.
GriefShare Update: We’ll be starting another session of our GriefShare support group on Sunday, August 29 in the Multi-Purpose Room #215, over on the School side, from 1:00PM – 2:30PM. Please be reminded that GriefShare is a 13 week DVD/discussion based class for those who are experiencing the grief of losing a loved one, or some other major loss in one’s life. Should you know of any individuals who might benefit from a support group of this nature, please pass the word to them, or let me know as I send out postcards of invitation. Thanks in advance for keeping this ministry in your prayers! I am blessed to be able to serve this group as a leader. If you have any questions please contact me via email at or call the office at 562.421.4711 ext. 19. - Karl Fink - DCE
Our Remaining GriefShare Meeting Dates are:
- September 19, 26
- October 3, 17, 24, 31
- November 14, 28
- December 5, 12
Spiritual Formation Bible Study for Women: We begin meeting on Sundays at 10:45AM in Multipurpose Room #215 starting September 12th. Jesus in Me - Experiencing the Holy Spirit as a Constant Companion By Anne Graham Lotz. You may know something about God and something about Jesus, but what do you know about the Holy Spirit? In this simple yet profound book, Anne Graham Lotz explores seven key aspects of the Holy Spirit that will revolutionize how you understand and relate to this vital member of the Trinity. “One of my deepest joys has been discovering who the Holy Spirit is in every step of my life’s journey. Each name that He has been given reveals an aspect of His beautiful character - Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counsellor, Strengthener, and Standby - our constant Companion …Jesus in me.” - Anne Graham Lotz . Study is led by Mary Kay Esswein and Randa Pearson. Order Book online - $12. For this study we ask...Regular attendance, homework, study of related Scripture, small group discussion and prayer. “God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27
Making "Community Connections" through Prayer: We are taking a break until further notice. This group normally meets 7:30-7:55AM every Sunday in the Conference Room. When we begin to meet again, you are invited to drop in any Sunday and pray silently or from a prayer guide. God is powerful and mighty. He asks that we come to Him with our requests. FYI all who worship and all who serve in worship service are prayed for as well. - Pre-service Prayer Group
Men’s Bible Study Fellowship:
- Men's BSF has suspended meeting in person for the time being; HOWEVER...the study is posted online and we will have Facetime opportunities.
- You can learn more at the BSF website: https://www.bsfinternational.org/. For me, this was a life changing study; in fact, the BSF bible study impacted my Christian walk more than other Christian endeavor. If you think you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me. - Don Baldwin
Living Way: Too often, the Old Testament is thought of as being the “Law” portion of the Scripture, whereas the New Testament is thought of as being the Bible’s “Gospel” section. Thus, it’s not unusual to hear the God of the Old Testament as being described as “angry” or “vengeful.” Yet, throughout the Old Testament, the gracious God of covenant love reveals Himself. He is the God of relationship, seeking to redeem and restore, protect and provide; and in the process working “signs and wonders.” This year our Living Way Bible study will be, The Miracles of the Old Testament. Witness the remarkable, intentional and gracious intervention of the Lord in the course of history and human events. The miracles covered not only give us a greater appreciation of God’s loving action and presence in the Old Testament, they are designed to help us see the Lord's ongoing presence and action in our lives today.
Join us for Living Way on Wednesday evenings at 7:00PM on the campus of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Cypress. We meet in the parish hall, which is located through the rolling gate at the backside of the campus. Each Living Way class includes homework done prior to our session, sharing and dialogue based upon that work facilitated by our leader (Pastors Mark & Kevin will be co-leading) and then a presentation by our evening leader for more in-depth exploration of the miracle at hand.
Our first class beings on Wednesday October 13th. We will take a break from Thanksgiving through New Year’s and when we resume we will finish before Ash Wednesday. You can obtain your copy of The Miracles of the Old Testament at livingwaybiblestudy.org.
Men's Morning Bible Study: We meet on Thursdays from 7:30-8:30AM in the Parish Lounge. Feel free to bring a beverage, something to eat, and your mask to wear as we study God‘s Good Word, fellowship, & pray together. If you have any questions or concerns, kindly contact Karl Fink,
Women's Thursday Morning Bible Study: We will resume on October 7th in The Parish Lounge from 9:30-11:00 AM. We will continue in our study of the Gospel of Luke. All women are invited to attend. This is such a great way to connect with friends and make new friends, all while learning from God's Holy Word. Put this on your calendar and try us out. We would love to have you! If you have any questions, please contact Meg Velez. You can get her contact information by calling the church office at 562-421-4711.
Other Study Opportunities:
Daily Devotions for 2021: Reading the Bible in translation can be like “kissing the bride through the veil.” In the devotional book Unveiling Mercy the author, Chad Bird, has crafted each of the 365 daily devotions to live the veil ever so slightly, to touch the skin, as it were, with the original language of the Old Testament. Prior knowledge of Hebrew is not needed to profit from these devotions.
Each day the devotions will unveil how the mercy of God in the Messiah is spoken from the very first word of the Bible, all the way to the closing chapter of Malachi. By the end of the year, the reader will have entered the Old Testament story through 365 new doorways, looked with fresh eyes at old verses, and traced a web of connections all over the Scriptures that you have most likely never spotted before. Join Pastor Seth and others on a journey through this book and through the veil in 2021. Also, consider joining the Facebook discussion group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/UnveilingMercy/) where there will be conversation about each week’s readings. There will also be posts from guest contributors who will share their own insights along the way. You can purchase your copy of Unveiling Mercy at www.amazon.com or at www.shop.1517.org. Join the conversation!