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St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church to introduce new modern service, planning 1st community block party

Posted By News Staff On Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 7:00 pm In News | No Comments

St. Bethlehem United Methodist ChurchClarksville, TN – For the Reverend Richard Wesley, the demographic information about the community of people who live within a five-mile radius of St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church on Russellville Road is fascinating.

However, the information is serving as St. Bethlehem UMC’s guide in planning a new modern service that will begin at 11:00am, Sunday, September 23rd.

Country singer Blaine Larsen to sing at St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church's community Block Party Saturday, September 22nd.

Country singer Blaine Larsen to sing at St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church’s community Block Party Saturday, September 22nd.

Wesley Stated, “Understanding our community gives us a better insight into who God might be calling us.”

Wesley said there are 79,016 people living in the five-mile radius, based on current census data. This represents an increase of 35,912 people, or 83.9 percent, since 1990. In this same period of time, the
U.S. grew by 25.9 percent.

“This fast population growth is projected to continue,” Wesley said. “Between 2012 and 2017 our area is projected to grow by 9.8 percent while our country as a whole is projected to grow by only 3.9 percent.”

The largest generational age group in the ministry area is survivors, ages 31-51, which is composed of 24,116 people or 30.5 people of the total population in the St. Bethlehem area. The second largest generational age group is millenials, those ages 11 to 30, composed of 22,781 individuals or 28.8 percent of the total population in the five-mile area.

“In other words 46,897 people age 11 to 51 live in our ministry area, which is 59.3 percent of our total population and 21,240 of these folks are age 21 to 39,” Wesley said.

According to information Wesley purchased from Percept Group Inc., which combines its research with Nielsen and the U.S. Census Bureau, 16,830 people in the St. Bethlehem ministry area prefer a traditional worship style, while 21,097 prefer a contemporary worship style.

“Of course that leaves 41,089 with no preference or not interested,” he said. “Most of these are our neighbors who have no connection to a worshipping community.”

And that’s the population St. Bethlehem UMC wants to reach.

To introduce the church’s new modern service to the population with no church home, St. Bethlehem UMC will have its first ever Community Block Party from 11:00am-5:00pm, Saturday, September 22nd at the church.

The church’s award-winning youth musical group, Marked Praise Band, will sing live with country singer Blaine Larsen.

St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church's youth musical group, Marked Praise Band.

St. Bethlehem United Methodist Church’s youth musical group, Marked Praise Band.

Larsen will take the stage at 2:00pm to sing his hits, including “How Do You Get So Lonely.” He then will join the Marked Praise Band – which won the Tennessee United Methodist Conference Battle of the Bands in Murfreesboro, Tennessee – for several songs.

Inflatables, free fair-type food, games and entertainment will be available all day. Barbecue lunch tickets will be sold in advance for $7.00. In the event of rain, entertainment, food and games will be moved indoors.

Wesley said he is hoping the block party and the new modern worship service will construct a new path for the church.

“Longtime members and friends need to show us our history, new folks are needed to show us our present, and we need both stories to forge a better future,” he said.

For more information on the St. Bethlehem UMC Community Block Party, call Kaitlyn Keen at 931.561.4040.

The church also has a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/St-Bethlehem-United-Methodist-Church/338358182919716 [2] .

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