Welcome to Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was founded in 1857 and has been a beacon in the Ann Arbor, Michigan community. Here at Bethel things are happening and people are working together to advance the kingdom of God. We invite you to worship with us each Sunday at 10 am
God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, The Holy Spirit our Comforter, Humankind our Family
The mission of the AME Church is to minister to the social, spiritual, and physical development of all people.
The Rt. Rev. John F. White, Presiding Prelate
Rev. Larry J. Bell, Presiding Elder
Rev. Mashod A. Evans Sr., Senior Pastor
Monday, January 11, 2021
On Sunday, March 15, at the end of morning worship I pronounced the benediction, not realizing that would be our last in – person worship for the year. Certainly, the threat of coronavirus was eminent, but no one could have imagined the tremendous toll it would take on our community, our nation and world. Ten months later, our sanctuary doors remain closed, and while we watch and pray, we still have not been able to determine a date for our return to in – person worship.
The economic, political, and public health challenges we have experienced, can adversely impact our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well – being. While we remain vigilant with the hygiene and social distancing protocols which help to slow the spread of the virus, I’m also encouraging all of our members to remain vigilant in maintaining our spiritual walk with the Lord, through worship, prayer, study, stewardship and fasting.
Last week, we began our twenty – one day season of fasting and prayer. Moreover, we want to use this time to Speak Life. The book of Proverbs teaches us that “the tongue has the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21. As we are intentional in our word choices, conversations, comments, and communications, we are exercising the power which God has afforded us. More information regarding this period of fasting and prayer can be found below my signature.
On Wednesday, January 27 at 6 p.m., we will convene our church conference for the 2020 – 2021 Annual Conference Year. At our church conference we will elect trustees for the 2020 – 2021 Annual Conference Year, as well as elect our delegate, alternate and youth delegate to the Annual Conference in August, and the delegate to the Presiding Elder’s District Conference. Moreover, we will review a draft of the Church Budget for 2021, and share the vision that God has for Bethel in 2021. We will utilize the Zoom video conferencing platform for this virtual church conference, and information regarding registration is forthcoming.
This season has been challenging, very challenging. Our faith does not make us immune from the weariness, anxiety, frustration, and sadness that these challenges can cause. The good and great news is that God is with us, and God’s strength, guidance, and protection are ours.
Rev. Mashod A. Evans, Sr.
January 3 – 24 2021
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4: 29.
Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline in which believers abstain from food, or certain types of food, for a period of time in order to gain spiritual clarity and strength. In the Bible, Esther fasted that God might intercede and save her people, Elijah fasted while seeking refuge from his enemies, Jesus fasted in preparation for his ministry.
On Sunday, January 3, we began our twenty – one day campaign, Speak Life, which is a modification of our Daniel Fast, which we have engaged for the last two years, and an effort to glorify God through our word choices. Below are details regarding the fast which includes foods and word choices to avoid:
Refrain from eating:
Meat: Including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, wild game.
Poultry and seafood are permissible.
Fried Foods: Including but not limited to potato chips, French fries, corn chips.
Sweets: Including but not limited to, desserts, pastries, ice cream, candy, candy bars, chocolate, cakes, pies, sugary snacks.
Caffeine Including but not limited to caffeinated coffee, caffeinated tea, energy drinks.
Alcohol: Including but not limited to wine, beer, hard ciders and alcoholic beverages.
Refrain from using or engaging in:
Hurtful/ Demeaning Language
Our language and conversation choices include in – person conversations as well as telephone calls, texts, emails, and any other means of communication.
Fasting without prayer does not glorify God. Prayer gives us the power, patience and perseverance which makes effective fasting possible. We invite all members to pray for individuals as well as to join us in our prayer conference call Monday through Saturday at 7 a.m., 1 (605) 313 – 5086, Access Number: 382023#. Whether you were able to join us on January 3, or you are starting today, make the choice to Speak Life, and watch what God will do.
Congregational Letter, COVID-19 Response
Dear Bethel Family,
The global pandemic caused by the COVID – 19 virus, has ushered us into a new reality. With each hour, there are new concerns, new data on the numbers of those infected, and new precautionary methods enacted. Life as we have known it has been interrupted. In the last several days, I have participated in conference calls with Michigan Faith Leaders hosted by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. In these conferences, our state leadership stated that the pandemic will get worse before it gets better and that social distancing and self–quarantining is the most effective way to mitigate the spread of the virus. While I strongly believe the church is a symbol of God’s presence here on earth, and that access to corporate worship is essential in times such as these, the threat to public health and the safety of our members is too great at this time. To that end, beginning Sunday, March 22, our worship will be online only until further notice. We praise God for the technology which allows us to gather in worship without physically being at our church facility. Bethel’s leadership is currently working on our way forward in the midst of these precarious times. However, we move forward in faith knowing, “God is our refuge, an ever-present help in a time of trouble.
Our greatest resource as a people of faith is the resource of prayer. Prayer allows us to access the power, presence, and promises of God. We believe God to be the source of healing, and wholeness, and we pray that God would heal our land as we call upon him. We invite you to join us for our daily prayer call, Monday – Saturday, at 7 am
The dial-in number is: 1 (605) 313–5086. The access code is: 382023#
Please join us in worship by streaming our services online at www.bethelameannarbor.org on Sundays at 10 am. The media ministry will be providing DVDs for those who are unable to join us online. For members with no access to computers, tablets, or smartphones, the church is loaning a limited number of Chrome Books, (requires Wi-Fi access), please call the church office for more information. ALSO: Our online worship will be on telecast at different times throughout the week on local channel CTN Channel 17 (or 99 with AT&T).
CHURCH SCHOOL/CHURCH EVENTS
All rehearsals and meetings have been postponed until further notice. Church School will meet via conference call on Sunday Morning at 9 am.
The dial-in number is: (425) 436–6356. The access code is: 402592.
New: YOUTH BIBLE STUDY
We will have youth bible study sessions for ages 2-17 on Sundays at 11:30 am via Zoom. Feel free to invite a friend! Click this link to join.
Meeting ID: 875 2130 7658 Passcode: 289367
As believers, we understand that stewardship is a spiritual discipline that deepens our faith and demonstrates our commitment to God and God’s kingdom. We strongly encourage our members to continue to support the ministries of Bethel through their tithe, offering, and other sacrificial gifts. There are three ways in which you can give.
Text to Give: Text (734) 224–2707, enter the amount you would like to give, after sending the text, you will be directed to Bethel’s secure giving platform for a one-time registration, and to confirm your contribution.
Website: You can give by visiting our website at www.bethelameannarbor.org.
Mail: Checks and money orders can be mailed to Bethel AME Church, 900 John A. Woods Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105. (Please do not send cash via mail)
In times of crisis, the church is called to be a source of strength, comfort, hope, and healing. The leadership of Bethel is identifying needs to be addressed in our congregation and community. While our office hours will vary during the remainder of the crisis, know that your pastor is praying for each and every one of our members.
God Bless, Stay Well,
Yours in Faith,
Rev. Mashod A. Evans, Sr.,