by: Steven Robinson
Bethel Baptist Church
1919 North 1000 East Road
Church Grand Re-Opening....Not So Fast!
It can be confusing to hear what is happening across the country with church openings. The Governor of Illinois has a plan to reopen Illinois that has 5 phases. We are now in phase 2, soon moving to 3, and churches can meet but should limit the assembly to 10 people or fewer. At phase 4 (perhaps a month or so down the road) it will increase to 50 people or fewer. In phase 5 (after a vaccine or herd immunity, later in the year or even next year) the full re-opening can take place with no limit on number of people. You have seen that the Governor’s authority to impose these restrictions has been challenged in court and may be found unconstitutional. For now, they remain in effect.
Even if restrictions were not mandated, we want to follow the CDC guidelines. For example, at a rural church in Arkansas during a service in March, 35% of attendees developed COVID-19 and three persons died. This is just an example of the possible exposure from group settings. Therefore, we will want to honor social distancing (at least between family groups who live in the same household); hand washing with hand sanitizer; and face covering. Other precautions will be necessary. The Church Board is meeting to try and develop the best plan. Maybe we can have a lottery to see who gets to come live each week until phase 5!
So, the good news is that hopefully a service at Bethel can take place as early as Sunday, May 31. The bad news is that for some time, there will be many restrictions on our traditional worship service and how many can attend. Pastor Steve will continue to post his sermons on the church website (bethelbaptist.net) until we are back to whatever the new normal will be. You can watch there when not attending live.
Please be incredibly careful about your own health. There is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people are present. Senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. We would prefer for people to worship with us in spirit rather than flesh until they are sure they are safe.
While Church Is Closed, Expenses Continue
You have probably head the joke of the little boy who watched his father put a dollar in the collection plate. After church and the fellowship lunch, he said to his dad, “That was a surprisingly good show and meal for a buck.” Well, our church has been closed to services since the Illinois stay-at-home order began on March 21st. Nine Sundays already! No show and meal have been allowed lately, but the church expenses have continued, God still reigns, and His work on earth continues. Please consider sending in an offering, if possible. You can mail it to Beth Sutton at 303 East Franklin Street, Edinburg, Illinois, 62531. We are also looking into the possibility of allowing online giving through the website and will let you know.
Thank you all for helping on Bethel’s Work Day and all other days.
Everyone can be rest assured that we have cleaned, sanitized,
and made our building as safe and clean as possible.
When God calls us back to our favorite little country church,
we will be anxious and ready to go!
A Senior' Scrawlings
By Kaden Smith
So what's it like being a high school senior during a global pandemic? I’ll spoil it right away and say that it's a bit of a bummer. I do, however, feel rather selfish complaining. This disease has taken so much more from people around me that crying about a graduation seems so trivial. Regardless, I will use this time to try and describe how I feel.
When I first heard the school was closing, I thought it was some joke. I certainly did not know that the closing would last this long. I remember hearing the news in the middle of a baseball practice. Nobody was happy about the season’s abrupt end. The coaches cut practice as soon as they gave us the news. As we all walked to our cars, I had such a weird feeling. The news was so sudden. Something like this has just never happened during my life.
Being at home every day was very strange. I was not used to the free time as teachers worked to set up classes online. I remember some students calling this seemingly brief window of free time “corona-cation.” This is a combination of the words corona and vacation, however, I find that this quarantine is far from the freedom that a real vacation provides. I really held hope that we would go back into school. I was wrong. When I heard that we didn't have school for the rest of the year, I was devastated.
I spent the last 12 years with some of these kids. In the 4th grade they gave us each logins for our accounts on the school computers. The accounts were your first initial, last name, and the number 2020. None of us knew what the number stood for. I asked the teacher at the time what the numbers meant. She told all of us that that was our graduation year. I remember thinking that 2020 was such a far off year and that graduation would never come. The school years and classwork rolled along pointing toward the coming of 2020 and our eventual graduation. It was to be our year of freedom. The year all of this work would start to pay off. Now look at it.
I thought about all the school memories and plans I had for the rest of the year including our senior class trip. As class president, I had to put a great amount of planning into this trip that ultimately never happened. The more I thought of this year and the school years before, the more I found this ending symbolic. This was a partial school year. It tops off a partial school career. I began to think of every partial paper I've ever submitted. I thought of every partial practice rep, every lazy play, and every half attempt at an assignment. I think I would be at rest with the school year if I gave school, and the activities that came with it, all I had. What if I wrote every paper like I was writing my own eulogy? What if I ran every play like it was my very last? If I gave every experience all the focus and energy that God has provided to me, then how would life be different? It can all end faster than you thought. I mean anything. So give life your all.
Football – 4 years
Bass Fishing - 4 years
Basketball – 2 years
Baseball – 2 years
Class President – 4 years
2018 Prairie State 2nd Team All-Conference Defensive Line
2018 South Fork Ponies Defensive Line MVP
2019 Prairie State 1st Team All-Conference Offensive Line
2019 South Fork Ponies Offensive Line MVP
2020 IHSA All-Academic Team Nominee
2020 National Honor Society Inductee
Kaden’s Future Plans:
Kaden will begin his college career next fall working towards a Bachelor’s Degree as a business major.
He will continue to play football at a Division III or NAIA level.
Best Wishes, Kaden!
We are proud of you.
Congratulations, Cambelle Oller,
on graduating from 8th grade!
Cambelle was active in cheerleading 6-8th grade, volleyball 6-8th grade, FFA 6-8th grade and is currently the Sentinel officer.
She attends tumbling class at Outlaw Athletics.
Cambelle is excited to attend high school.
She can't wait for Homecoming and football cheerleading!
Being “connected” is a core human need. We appreciate your help in trying to keep
our Bethel Family connected in recent weeks. It will continue to be of great importance
in the coming days, weeks, and even months.