Bethany History

1976-2002 75th Anniversary - United Church of Canada

In 1982, Donna (Goodwin) Mann, a candidate for ministry from Bethany United Church, was ordained by Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada.    Her first pastoral charge was in Alberta.

In 1984, Rev. Mark Waugh was called to the Elora-Bethany Pastoral Charge from Saskatchewan Conference.

In 1993, Bethany Church celebrated its 150th anniversary.  An anniversary committee was struck and under the direction of Peter Robertson, a full slate of activities were planned throughout the year.  On anniversary Sunday in November, the Rev. Sang Chul Lee,  former moderator of the United Church of Canada preached.

In 1993, Bethany sponsored  a refugee family from Bosnia. This was a joint project with the Elora Congregation and three others from Kitchener-Waterloo.  The family was Vesna Princa, and her son Srjdan and her daughter Tanja.

In 1996, the congregation purchased 2.5 acres of land around the Bethany church for future expansion. The cost of the land was $140,000. The purchase was made possible by a grant from the Waterloo Presbytery extension Council. Soon after the parking lot was expanded.

In 1997 the Bethany Men’s Chorus got started and sing periodically in worship and at other functions in the community.

One of the most significant outreach projects of Bethany church has been involvement in the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a Christian Response to Hunger. In 1997 the church joined with Gale Presbyterian Church in Elmira and Bethel Mennonite Church to grow crops on 10 acres of land donated by the Musselman family.

In 1997 the chancel area of the sanctuary was renovated to allow for greater flexibility in use during worship and at other church events such as the Sunday School Christmas Concert.

In the spring of 1998, 3 church members suggested that it was time to replace the steeple. A cardboard model was constructed and displayed for the congregation before the project was granted the "go ahead". A new 13-foot steeple was fabricated and installed that year with the help of many people. It was coated with a special resin before it was installed. This coating is weather resistant and should ensure that the steeple will not require further maintenance or painting. The generous donation of a crane, scaffolding, rigging, and other equipment kept the costs to a minimum.

By the way, the old clock that was ticking on the wall after the storm in 1923 is still wound before service every Sunday morning and, to this day, is still working fine.

In 2000, trees were planted around the perimeter of the recently acquired land. The 75th Anniversary of the United Church of Canada was celebrated at Bethany on June 10 - 11.

In 2001, the senior choir retired after many years of faithful service. In September, Bethany hosted the first Cluster Youth Rally.   In the Fall, Bethany’s Web Site was also started and can be found at www.bethanyuc.org.

In 2002 the congregation is participating in a program of the National Division of World Outreach called Face to Face.  It links a visitor from one of our overseas partner churches with Bethany for up to several weeks to explore mission together.

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