All are welcome at Bethany where we praise God from whom all blessings flow, share the good news, and serve others!
Welcome visitors and guests! Please make yourself at home and feel free to ask anyone you see if you have any questions or would like to know anything about our church. Please sign the Guest book located near the main entrance.
Communion Invitation – We invite all who are baptized, who have communed here or elsewhere, and who believe in the Real Presence of our Lord in the Sacrament to join us at the Table for Communion. Children who do not yet commune are invited to come up to receive a blessing.
Fellowship Hour – – All visitors are welcome to join us for coffee and snacks immediately following the 10:45 a.m. Sunday service.
What can I expect on my first visit?
When you arrive, you will be warmly greeted. You can pick up a bulletin on the table near the entrance that will outline details of that day’s service along with information about upcoming events. There are coat racks on either side of the entrance. There will probably be people visiting and milling about in the narthex/lobby area – feel free to ask any questions you may have. Please sign our guest register.
What should I wear?
Be yourself. Casual dress is fine for the Gathering and Spoken word services. At the traditional service, you’ll find folks dressed in everything from suits and dresses to sneakers and jeans. Come in something that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. God doesn’t mind, so why should we?
What about the children?
Children are welcome in worship. We understand that younger children can sometimes make a little noise and we don’t mind! Labor Day through Memorial Day, there is Sunday School for children in Pre-school through 6th Grade, Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Nursery facilities are available for parents who need a quiet/private place to get away with their children.
What is worship like?
Every church has its own style of worship. We are confident you will enjoy worshiping at Bethany, even if it takes you a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to the order of worship.
We attempt to make our worship services as “user friendly” as possible. Each week the order of the service is printed in the bulletin with directions to the pages in our hymnal. The scripture readings for the day are also printed for you. Our worship is liturgical, which means it follows a similar order every week. Music is an important part of our worship. Worship Schedule
How does communion work at your church?
After the Pastor and the communion assistant have received communion, the congregation will come to the altar by row and proceed around the communion rail counter-clockwise to the next open space. Feel free to kneel or stand as you are able. You may take a glass cup as you approach the altar or you may dip the bread in the wine. If you would like to receive a blessing but do not wish to receive communion, bring your bulletin with you to indicate that this is your wish. Children who do not yet commune are invited to receive a blessing at the Table.
What is the worst that can happen?
Attending church somewhere for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:
“I would just die if they made me stand up and say something.” We assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel comfortable and at home with us. Worship should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience.
“I know my child is going to be too noisy.” We enjoy the sounds of children and encourage parents of young children to bring them to worship. We have activity bags (filled with crayons, stickers, books, etc) for children to use during the service. And, we believe that starting to attend at an early age forms good habits for your children. If for any reason you feel the need to step out for a while, the service can be heard in the foyer and in the nursery so that parents can continue to follow what is happening in the service.
“I know I will feel out of place.” We want you to feel as comfortable as possible. If you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, “I am new. What is this about?”
“I am afraid I will say or do something wrong.” All of us have felt this way when in a new situation. We hope you see that the people of our congregation are ordinary people like yourself. We accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be.
“I just want to watch at first and I know that they will try to involve me or sign me up.” It is unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a “membership drive” as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe that church membership should be a voluntary thing, and that the most important thing is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and salvation. It takes time for this to be cultivated. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement. We believe we should respect that need.
“I don’t know that much about the Bible.” Church and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to read or answer any questions you don’t want to answer. And remember, sometimes the wisest words we say are, “I don’t know.”
Directions – Bethany is located at 6 Leo Moss Drive in Olean NY, immediately behind the Cattaraugus County Administrative Building at Exit 24 of I-86 (turn left at end of ramp if coming from east, right if coming from west).