Bethlehem United Methodist Church
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Mission Statement: To give of ourselves so others may know Jesus Christ.




Dear Bethlehem Friends,

First - From our house to yours, may you find many reasons to be thankful as you count your blessings this Thanksgiving season.

Second - As you have watched some things unfold here at Bethlehem Church over the last several weeks and into the next month or so, I want to highlight what you are seeing.

Right away, it has to do with parking. Two things have happened on this front.
I. Adjacent to our current large parking lot, you may have seen our grass plot has been re-seeded and is

now a beautiful green space. (I want to thank Steve Gruber from Deer Valley Turf for his work.) However, if you were not watching carefully, you may have missed the process - that the top six inches or so, was tilled and graded in preparation to introduce a soil stabilization product called Sta-Lok Fibers ( These fibers were reverse rototilled into the soil, then compacted with a roller, and then abundantly seeded. The object is to make this a parkable green space. It is a newer stabilization technology that has been used successfully on the campus of Penn State University (and many other places) even around the football field, where weather can sometimes make parking a great challenge, creating ruts, etc. This is designed to allow us to park on that green space with confidence. We will open it in the later spring season, when the grass roots are more fully developed, and we hope that some of you will choose to park there. Even if ruts develop, it is much more easy to repair than alternative solutions.

II. Across the street, next to the Historical Society, work will begin in a few weeks to install a macadam parking area. Restuccia is the contractor we have chosen after gathering bids. Yes, it is across the street, but it will add at least 16 spaces to our congested parking, and will provide additional, more visible parking for Common Grounds during the week. You can watch it happen as it will begin soon.

Parking is a great issue in all churches. It is a problem that especially plagues those congregations that are in cities and towns where land is already under use and therefore, expensive. Urban and town buildings do not easily allow such expansion. That is why many churches are driven to the suburbs, where land is cheaper. You can look around and see that phenomenon in our area. We, of course, have chosen to remain in our location and if growth is to occur, strategies to manage parking must be considered. The car is king. Many families come to church in multiple cars, for as culture has changed, fewer people come to church per car.

Here are some additional ways in which you can help our parking situation:

  1. If you are a church leader, find a way to park in the more remote places.

  2. Nearby businesses have allowed us to park in their spaces. The White Rose Credit Union allows us

    to park there on Sundays only... and that is where I park. Mr. King, across the street allows us to park there except during tax season, January 1 to April 15. There are a number of spaces behind the Historical Society that we can use in the morning, but must vacate in the afternoon.

3. Do you love to walk? The post office parking lot is also available, as is the lot on the square at H&H Lighting. That will allow for some exercise before and after worship.

I thank and applaud the Trustees and the Administrative Council for their foresight in this. I strongly believe that if several decades ago, our Church Trustees had not provided for our substantial parking lot at the rear of the building, Bethlehem Church would be a struggling congregation. We must be vigilant about all things. 

Better Disciples, More Disciples, Yours in Christs love,

Pastor Roger