I am writing after reading last week’s article stating the Bentley United Church will be seeking to sell the church building.
The present church was built in 1965. The actual congregation started sponsored under the Methodist and Presbyterian persuasion in 1899 and 1900, 114 years.
Being the Pastor of the Bentley Community Church for the past 27 years, I find it discouraging to have to be selling church buildings to survive.
In the past, the Catholic Church was shut down and sold.
The United church will be looking for a place to meet so the tradition can carry on in Bentley.
As a community pastor/leader in Bentley, I have invested my energy and portrayed my desire in promoting our town. Having been a minister in three other areas of Canada, we have chosen Bentley as a wonderful community with hope and great future. Since February 2012, I started writing daily articles called ‘There IS Hope’ and have completed 800 messages built around our community and the plans I believe the Good Lord has for Bentley as found in Jeremiah 29:11.
As a leader spending six years on town council I realized a small community has a tremendous task to try to not be faded out in the shadow of the big growth around us. Some community people have made a choice to attend regular town council meetings as a prayer support to our mayor, council, CAO and staff. We have decided to be there praying for them to be granted wisdom, inspiration and favour in the direction they give.
As the Bentley United Church faces what we all face, we know how difficult it is to keep up the costs of church facilities. Our insurance runs around $700 a month, alone. We would certainly ask everyone to be in prayer and support of the Bentley United Church as they seek wisdom and direction.
We will also make our facilities available to them if needed for funerals or large gatherings.
On a positive note, we are now are able to have two congregations using our facilities as a large group of German people have immigrated and come to live in our area and so four days a week the large German speaking congregation has found a home in Bentley Community Church.
As a community we have been told it is time for people to share what I call ‘common unity’ and begin a community sharing of facilities.
Pastor Greg Rathjen