Cafe Connections and beyond…

(Here is a copy of the article that I wrote for our church newsletter about our new Cafe Connections service and our plans on how we’re going to use our new camera/video system…)
Here at Bethel, we’re always trying to think of new ways we can reach out to our community with the gospel of Christ. We’re also trying to think of how we can best make use of the space God has given us here in this building, given our recent growth.  Well, on Sunday, June 13th, we will be addressing both of those issues by launching a new kind of worship service at Bethel called Café Connections!  This new service will take place in the Family Life Center at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings.  This will be a coffeehouse-style video venue service with a casual, contemporary feel.  Let me explain…
We are in the process of installing a camera/video system in the sanctuary which will help us in both of these vital areas – spreading the gospel of Christ to our community and beyond, and also helping us address our space issue.  There will be many uses for the cameras that are being installed! First, we will begin to stream our services online. This means that from anywhere in the world, you will be able to log on to our website, and watch our services online, as they happen. You will also be able to come back later that day, or during the week, and watch them On-Demand. This is great – especially for those who are home-bound, overseas, travelling on vacation, and others. We are also going to be making DVDs of our services, and offering those to the congregation, along with the current CD. We’re also going to explore the option of sending our service to the local cable channels. These are all ways we will be able to get the message Christ, and what He’s doing here at Bethel, out to our community and the world.
But, getting back to our new service, another tremendous opportunity that this technology will allow us to do, is to send the video signal from the sanctuary down to the Family Life Center.  Our new Café Connections service will feature a live worship team to provide the music. The team will be much smaller than our other teams in the sanctuary and it will have more of an acoustic sound with Contemporary music.  But, when it comes time for the message, we will be watching the message on the screen. So, as Pastor Tim is preaching in the sanctuary during the Traditional Service, those in the Café Connections service will be watching him live on the screen.
The whole feel of this service will be much more casual. We will be trying out this service during the summer, so with the early start time, we’re encouraging you to come early, dressed just as you are, and be able to enjoy the rest of your day with family.  There will be coffee and bagels provided each morning, and the seating will be at round tables and chairs.  You can come as a family and worship together with the kids, or there will also be nursery provided. 
The growth in our other 3 services has challenged us to think of new, creative ways to use our space. We’re hoping as those of you at Bethel come to this new service at 8:00, we will have more room in our 9:30 and 11:00 services for guests and new attendees. This new service, though, would also be a great service to invite your friends to.  It will be a safe, casual atmosphere, where they can hear the Word of God preached, spend time in worship, and fellowship together around the table.
As you can imagine, with a new service like this, we’ll need some help to make it work.  There are needs in the area of music (singers, band members), the tech crew (Sound, Easy Worship, camera operators), and other areas (food prep and display, host/hostess, and other areas). So, if you’re interested in helping out with the new service, please talk to Pastor Tim or Pastor Barry. We would love to have you join us in this new adventure!
Watch for more details on this service in the bulletin!

Thanks,
Pastor Barry Westman

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