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Bellefonte Update - May

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BY OWEN HUGHES, Associate Pastor, Oakwood Presbyterian Church

     So much has happened in the last two months at both of our churches, so I wanted to take a minute and update you on what’s been happening at Bellefonte Presbyterian Church (BPC).

     First of all, we pray for you every Sunday. We are so thankful for your support of this church plant and that we are co-laborers in the mission to reach Bellefonte, State College, and the surrounding communities with the Good News of Jesus.

     We also want to especially thank you for financially supporting this work. The pledge drive was a great success with over $480,000 pledged over the next five years. This allows us to do some much-needed repairs on the building, and continue to be a blessing to this community.

     As we look forward to fixing up our beautiful building, we continue to focus on why we are here, which is to build relationships with the community for the sake of the Gospel. So during the Bellefonte Easter Egg Hunt, BPC set up a tent and provided “resurrection eggs” for the children. These plastic eggs had little beads inside them, each representing a different part of the Gospel of Jesus. Throughout the event, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with over 100 children along with the adults who were with them. We also had conversations with folks and heard more about what people are experiencing these days. We realized that many people are very lonely and just want to have someone listen to them. Listening is a great way to bless someone who is lonely, hurting, and needs a friend. I am very proud of our church and how we strive to do that well.

     Our Easter service was amazing with over 135 people in attendance including several visitors. It was just another example of how God’s glory is revealed through the gathering of His people. It was a really encouraging day.

     As we look forward to the summer, we have several opportunities to continue to interact with our community in Bellefonte, primarily through volunteering for different events including:

  • Opening the building as a polling place on May 16
  • Holding a Mid-State Literacy Council seminar on May 31
  • Volunteering with the Bellefonte Children’s Fair on June 3
  • Helping with the Bellefonte Art Show on August 4-5
  • Serving and attending “Friday in the ‘Fonte” during their monthly events

     In all these events, we are trying to do all we can to support this town in its efforts to create community. If you are looking for something to do, I encourage you, to consider coming to Bellefonte for one of these events. Supporting this little town and looking to its welfare by eating at its restaurants and shopping at its stores, is a great way to be a witness.

     Again, please keep praying for us, as we pray for you. Pray that we will be united in Christ as a church, that we will be known for our love for another and this community, and that we will continue to look to engage our neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family with the Good News of Jesus.

With all Grace and Peace,
Pastor Owen


Posted by Rev. Owen Hughes with

Bellefonte Update - March

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BY OWEN HUGHES, Associate Pastor, Oakwood Presbyterian Church

     The Oakwood Church Plant in Bellefonte continues to thrive as we seek to live out our vision of being a loved, placed, and blessed people. Because we have been blessed by the Lord, we are looking to bless Bellefonte and our communities! God’s faithful blessings have been evident, specifically in two areas: Sunday morning worship and small groups.  

     Sunday morning worship is a great encouragement as the body of Christ comes together to experience God’s glory revealed through singing, praying, hearing the Word read and preached, and having weekly communion. Weekly communion especially has been a much-needed “means of grace” as we have all experienced the attacks of the enemy who does not want to see this church succeed. At the table, we are reminded of who we are and “whose” we are in Christ and that we are empowered to keep going on this mission because of the grace we have been shown.

     Small groups were launched at the beginning of February. We have five groups meeting throughout the week in the following communities: Bellefonte, State College, and Boalsburg. We are all going through a book called B.L.E.S.S. which is an acronym for:

  • Being with Prayer
  • Listen
  • Eat
  • Serve
  • Story

      It is a very simple book about how to engage your neighbor, genuinely befriend them, love them, do life with them, and look for opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with them. It has been really encouraging to hear the different stories and interactions that people have had since implementing some of these simple principles.

     Also, in order for Bellefonte Presbyterian to flourish, evangelism must be more than a value, it must be a behavior, not just something we believe in, but something we actually do. With this in mind, we invited a pastor from our Presbytery, Shibu Oomen, to do a one-day seminar in February. He shared a tool called “Share Your Faith,” which can be used to share the Good News of Jesus by using your hand. With its five major points: Grace, Man, God, Christ, and Faith, this tool is an easy way to share the Gospel in a conversation with a friend, neighbor, or family member. 

     Equipping the people of Bellefonte for ministry is the main focus of the leadership of this church plant and we are encouraged by how God is equipping those He has called to this work.

     How can you pray for Bellefonte Presbyterian?

  1. Pray for our Easter Service. Our hope is that many people from the community will come and spend Easter with us. Pray we will be bold and winsome in asking people to join us, but more importantly that we will be looking to have genuine relationships with our neighbors and friends.

  2. Pray for the small groups that are meeting regularly.  Pray that our small groups will be safe places where people can grow in their relationship with each other and in their relationship with the Lord.

  3. Pray that as a church we will keep our eyes on Christ. He is the one who is building this church, so we can rest in Him and in what He is doing.

     On behalf of your brothers and sisters in Bellefonte, I want to thank you for all your prayers and support of this work. Planting a church isn’t easy on those going or those sending, and we know that Oakwood’s support of this church plant is an investment, so keep your eyes on Christ, for He is doing something new in Bellefonte.

For the Kingdom,
Pastor Owen

Posted by Rev. Owen Hughes with