New Bethany rebrands to 'remove barriers,' keep strong connection to the community
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — A well-known Bethlehem non-profit organization has opted for a name change in light of the changing needs of the community.
New Bethany, a local secular nonprofit which offers support to those experiencing poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness, has decided to drop “Ministries” from its name.
- Bethlehem nonprofit New Bethany has dropped the word "Ministries" from its name
- The move is the result of increased inclusivity efforts and a separation between the Episcopal Diocese as a 501(c)(3) organization
- Those in need can still access services from the group, including hot meals, case assistance, and more
Officials noted the change was two-fold, “as the word ‘ministries’ no longer means the same thing to everyone served,” including those who are not Christians and the LGBTQIA+ community, and a change in 2018 which made New Bethany, Inc. an independent 501(c)(3) separate from the Episcopal Diocese which founded it.
“We quite literally would not exist without the faith-based community. At the same time, it takes tremendous courage for our neighbors to walk through our doors and ask for help and we need to reflect that same courage in removing any potential barriers that we can.”New Bethany Associate Executive Director Veronne Demesyeux
Despite the change in nomenclature, “New Bethany remains proud of its roots and grateful for the ongoing partnership with the Nativity Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, who remain supportive of New Bethany,” a release from the organization stated.
The group also remains committed to its partnerships with other faith-based communities, expressing gratitude for the ongoing support of underserved neighbors which it has provided.
“We quite literally would not exist without the faith-based community,” Associate Executive Director Veronne Demesyeux said.
“At the same time, it takes tremendous courage for our neighbors to walk through our doors and ask for help and we need to reflect that same courage in removing any potential barriers that we can.”
New Bethany members said the change was made after “much self-reflection” and considerations of feedback from their neighbors, staff, board members, and the community, with a goal of providing a welcoming space for all.
The nonprofit operates on the idea that regardless of circumstances, all people should be treated with dignity and care, sans judgment.
Focusing on wraparound services designed to remove barriers and assist individuals and families in the mission to reach self-sufficiency, the group offers everything from hot meals and showers to food pantry access to housing assistance and beyond.