A letter from Alan

Between Bethlehem and Good Hope

The first Sunday that we shared together in ministry, back in 2010, I suggested the names of three communities in Northeast Georgia as a good metaphor for ministry, I don’t really expect you to remember, but they were: Between Bethlehem and Good Hope. My suggestion was that putting the three names together provides a description statement of the very nature of the church.

Between Bethlehem and Good Hope: 

As Christians, we live between the joy of the birth of the Christ’s Child and the consummation of God’s Kingdom at his return. We don’t and can’t celebrate
Christmas all of the time. Neither do we live longing for the future. We live with hope, the future is promised. We live with purpose, we have been to the stable and seen the child. We live now, this time is called “between.”

Between Bethlehem and Good Hope is a statement that the Christian life is not static. It is not oriented to what was. It is directional. We are on the road. We are Between. We live today and tomorrow. We have seen Bethlehem, and are moving Between. The journey is with Good Hope. Christ is alive! Even now, we can and are called to live as citizens of God’s Kingdom.

Between Bethlehem and Good Hope is my prayer and my hope for First Christian Church, Athens, Georgia. You are indeed a church that lives with God’s Good Hope. You share Good Hope in word and DEED with all of God’s children who are part of Between. These are “between” times. Between the resurrection and Christ’s return. Between the Kingdom as we know it and the Kingdom when God calls it into full being.

Thank you, for letting me share with you on this journey “between” as one of your ministers. We will be continuing this journey together, but my role will be different. Janice and I feel blessed by this community. We are thankful to be part of it. We look forward to being part of the people of God worshiping and serving as First Christian.

Finally, a word of my thankfulness for Justin’s care and support. A word of appreciation for his ministry and proclamation. I am grateful that he has been and is my minister.

See you Sunday, if not before.


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