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Sunday morning Worship will continue to be at 11:00am, in-person and Zoom simultaneously.

At their 2/20 meeting, Council adopted a Tiered System for wearing masks in Worship, which follows our current Tiered System for Committees and Groups using our church.  This means everything will be the same across all uses of our church building, and will allow for flexibility in changes as the Covid situation improves.  Using the CDC Covid Tracker Color Alert System for Watauga County, the following will go into effect:
Red - High Community Transmission = masks required
Orange – Substantial Community Transmission = masks highly recommended
Yellow – Moderate Community Transmission = masks will be at user discretion (safe for most groups)
Blue – Low Community Transmission = safe!
The Worship email that goes out every Friday will include the current color/level of community transmission and what that means for masks in Worship for the upcoming Sunday, so there are no surprises.  If you'd like to be added to the weekly Worship email group, send an email to:


     First of all, we know how hard this has been on everyone.  And these changes will be welcome to some and not to others.  Some will feel we're moving too quickly, and some will feel we're moving too slowly.  We are especially aware of those who are in the immune-compromised group, or those who wish to be vaccinated but can't because of health reasons or they are too young.  The situation continues to be difficult for you, even as the majority of society can ease up.  It is not our intent to exclude you, and it's our fervent prayer that we will all be able to gather together soon! 
     The situation with Covid-19 has changed.  Omicron - while highly contagious - is less severe.  Most people, especially the vaccinated, are able to recover from it on their own without needing medical care.  After a huge spike in cases at the beginning of this year, we can now see by the data trends, that we peaked in Watauga County the 3rd week of January, and have been on a plummeting decline ever since.  You can see on this site, how our hospitalizations have also peaked and are beginning to decline as well.  And our Health Department website gives you the number of current active cases, which, over the last two weeks has fallen from over 600, to now under 150.  Yes, that's still a much higher number than earlier in the pandemic, but cases are projected to continue declining rapidly, and we are planning for the future.  This is why we didn't go "cold turkey" on masks, but have implemented the Tiered System, which we already had in place for Committees, to be used in Worship so that Council does not have to meet for every change in our County.  This allows us to change as the situation changes, step-by-step.  Another factor in our decision is that the vast majority of regular worship attendees at Bethany are up-to-date on vaccinations, have recently contracted Covid-19, or both, which changes our calculus.
     If you're still nervous about these changes and want more information, I encourage you to watch this video, minutes 2:00 - 19:00.  This is from the Watauga County Board of Education meeting on 2/22/22, at which they decided to lift the mask requirement in schools beginning next week, after hearing the updated Covid situation report here in Watauga County by Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliott.  Dr. Elliott has given these reports to them throughout the pandemic.  And the school board has been very responsive to these reports, and have been very cautious in terms of protocols for schools.  So Dr. Elliott's reports, which he puts together in consulation with local health officials, shows how the situation has changed.  He speaks from minutes 2:00-19:00.
     If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to a Council member.  Thank you for your continued prayers and patience!  That's been the only thing getting us through these last two years!