Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Mission Statement: To give of ourselves so others may know Jesus Christ.



     Dear Friends in Christ,




I have taken people on dozens and dozens of tours through the buildings, both new and old, that are part of our Ministry Center here at Bethlehem.  Of course, I hear their reaction, which usually sounds like this: “Wow!”  And in my own way, I join with their voices to say, “Wow!”  I cannot help but think that God smiles at all of this as he has watched dreams turn into visions, and visions turned into reality.  And all of it – ALL of it – is given by God.  And we give God all the praise.

But I need to step back and remind myself… remind all of us, that the building is not an end to itself.  A building is nothing more than a tool.  People often say to me, “I bet you are glad that the building project is over.”  And I reply that I am.  But then I quickly tell them that the real work is just beginning.  The buildings God has given us are a means to an end.  What is that end?  

Jesus said, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)  That is the “end” that we are after.  That is the “end” of this new building and all of our buildings:  To lift up Christ.  So now, I submit to you that the real work begins. We are going to do our best to fill up these buildings with ministry and mission.

As you consider what you will do in support of the mission of Bethlehem Church, remember what it is finally all about.  It’s the mission – it is lifting up Jesus.  We pray that God will guide us in all that lies ahead.  Let us gladly join with each other to retire our debt, continuing to ask the question: “What does God want to do through me?”  



                                                                                  In Christ’s love,


                                                                                                         Pastor Roger Mentzer



       See where the Lord has brought us so far....                                    Read about our campaign (goals, testimonies, etc)....


                                            Prepare your heart with this 20 day devotional                                        or use this 21 day devotional instead



                                                             Read about those whose lives have been impacted by Bethlehem United Methodist Church....    
                                                     See more about the history of how Bethlehem United Methodist Church began these expansions....
Planning and permits to build
Ground Breaking -            $3,313
Engineering -            $108,399
Permits -            $10,358  
Renovations to current space
Library relocation -     $4,825  
Office renovation     $96,889
New Construction cost
Contractors -              $3,410,086  
Paving -              $25,970              
Kitchen additions -              $148,432 
Common Grounds -      $51,905           
Sound/Security/Phones -     $99,803
Miscellaneous -      $18,616
Financial Development
Capital Campaign -      $44,500
Interest -              $112,194        

Total Cost      $4,135,290

 Dear Friends in Christ,
 Together we have been on a three-year journey, and what a journey it has been.  We began the New Vision Capital Campaign in May 2015, with a theme “Now is the Time, We are the People.”  There was nothing tangible to see, only our vision, and an artist’s rendering of what an expanded facility could look like.  Today, in 2018, we enjoy our new Fellowship Hall, the multi-purpose first floor where we play and worship, and the Common Grounds Café. 
Three years ago you were encouraged to pray, and part of that prayer included ”what does God want to do through me?”  You prayed, and you responded in a magnificent way.  Based on the $1.45 million in pledges from you, the faithful members of our Bethlehem family, we were able to plan for a $3.25 million expansion project that, deep down, we knew would end up being closer to $3.5 million.  At the conclusion of this message you will find a detailed breakdown of the significant costs encountered in bringing God’s vision to reality.  I am blown away when I look at what we have accomplished over these three years.  
Think about it for a moment and see if you are not also amazed.  In three years we have spent approximately $4.135 million, which does not include any monies spent in our move toward expanded parking, and we only have remaining an obligation of about $1.6 million to Fulton Bank.  In my mind this is more than amazing.  It is God’s hand at work in the lives of His people. 
     Although it isn’t glamorous, yes, over these next three years we will be paying off our obligation. Once again, by seeking Him in faith and in prayer, it is God who will guide us to discover what part of our resources we can set aside as we partner with Him. But also over these next three years, and beyond, we will begin to see our mission to the community flourish.  
     Karen and Richard Carpenter recorded a song that perfectly describes where Bethlehem stands at this very moment.  Their song title “We’ve Only Just Begun” says it all.  What kinds of amazing ministries will be born over the next three years?  How many lives will be changed? How will God use our facilities, and more importantly our people, His people, to move forward His kingdom?  Truly we are living in exciting times.  Our church is standing at a crossroads in Dallastown, and if we are really observant we will all be “blown away” as we witness God in action.  
     Together, as we partner with God, let us find our own individual part to play.  We have opened the doors. Now let’s get going as we fulfill our mission “to give of ourselves so others may know Jesus Christ.” 
                                                                                                                                                 Jim Stine,  Finance Team Chair












Cash Flow Gifts:

   A person can give significantly by giving smaller amounts at higher frequencies. Weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly giving allows large gifts to be reached in smaller steps. You may want to take advantage of the simplicity of electronic funds transfers for this giving option.



Diverted Funds Gifts:

   Freeing up funds which are currently going to other areas of spending allows a person to increase giving to God’s work. Diverting funds from entertainment, dining out, dues, subscriptions, gifts, allowances, utilities, or transportation, offers lifestyle adjustments which impact one’s giving.



Delayed Expenditures:

   The delaying of purchases allows a person to significantly increase giving. The acquisition of major items such as automobiles, clothing, or trips, when postponed, allows substantial giving opportunities. Income Producing Assets: Interest income, payments from rental properties or monies from other income-producing assets provide a source for increased giving.



Sale of Assets:

  Sale of major assets, such as a house, car, land, or business provides available income for giving.




  Dedicating one’s forthcoming raises and bonuses is a creative method people have used to increase giving.


Freedom from Debt:

  As a person looks ahead into the next three years, he or she may discover that debt obligations will be fulfilled. This frees up revenue for additional giving.



Unique Skills Income:

  Some people have marketable hobbies or skills which enable them to give from those new profits.



Charitable Giving Resources:

  Reviewing all of one’s charitable donations in light of their impact on the Kingdom of God affords a resource for significant giving. Savings and Annuities: Savings for special projects, retirement or a “rainy day” may offer a resource for increased giving. Often we realize that a portion of our savings may safely be given to the work of God’s Kingdom through our church.



Corporate Gifts:

  Those who have used their business as a source for giving have made significant donations. Additional Work Income: Taking a second job or part-time job or coming out of retirement are successful strategies people have used to increase giving.



Special Tax-Free IRA Gifts:

   For those aged 70 1/2 or older, it is now possible to make tax-favored charitable gifts from traditional and Roth IRA accounts. A total of up to $100,000 per year can be transferred directly from traditional or Roth IRAs to one or more qualified charities such as CUMC free from federal income tax. There may also be state income tax savings. Amounts given in this way count toward required IRA minimum withdrawal amounts for the year of the gift. To make such gifts, it is important to not withdraw funds prior to a gift, but have the gift amount distributed directly from an IRA to the church. For those with check writing privileges on their accounts, this may be the most efficient way to make gifts directly from an IRA.