New Years thoughts from Pastor Gerald
Mark 1: 11 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Happy New Years! We look forward to a New Year in ministry together in 2018. However, in some ways, my mind is filled with more questions than answers. How has our church fulfilled God’s call in the past year? How do we, as church members live out God’s call to be disciples in the year ahead? Do our past experiences help us go into a new year with faithful confidence? What from our past experience guides us into 2018? Does our faith in Christ fill us with a positive and energetic outlook for a New Year? I’ve been asking around this past week about our member’s desire to make New Year plans, not just the first day but for the next 365! Most when asked say they don’t make resolutions because they know they will be unable to keep them. “We don’t like to fail so we never make promises”. When I hear those words, it fills me with sadness, because I’m wondering if those voices focus in the wrong direction. Are we thinking about our own ability rather than our resolve to trust in God each day that he gives us? One voice responded with a resolution prayer, “I pray to make each day my best day, trusting God will help”. I suspect that voice knows days of set back and pain, but I also suspect each day is met with holding hands with Christ as a partner. When our kids were young, our New Year’s Day tradition was to roll the dining room table into the living room and pile all the pictures from the last year in the center of the table and sort them so each person in the family had a copy of the major events of the year. The second thing we did was make a list of all the highlights of the past year and what things we hoped our family might do together in the coming year. It was amazing to look both backward and forward. Doing so gave us purpose and meaning of what God might help us celebrate together.
This is my challenge and desire for each of us in the New Year. May we move forward confidently in God’s promise to fill our life with meaning and purpose. May we trust in His promise rather than in ourselves. May we not be scared to dream, plan, and anticipate what God is up to. It is my hope that we point to Christ and not ourselves. May we share with others the Good News that we know, those words spoken from heaven, “This is my Son the beloved! Do we hear the voice from heaven, or don’t we? When we hear good news we most often are excited to share what we know with others. Our grandkids get all excited about seeing the stars on a beautiful night. May we as adults hear the voice from heaven and get excited. There is only one resolution that makes sense: that each and every day we trust in the one who promised to be there for us. That is the only resolution that makes sense. It is dependent upon God’s love and grace and not our human ability. Rejoice, Happy New Year!
Quilting Will Take Place 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month
will take place 2nd sunday January 14th
@ 9:30 AM
Florida Mission Trip Cancelled:
We received word recently that the Bible Camp project in Florida that we were planning on assisting with in March has been stopped. The regulators in the county, where the project was to take place, insisted upon safety and fire suppression requirements that placed the project out of the budget being proposed. The Bible Camp board decided to stop plans for this winter and delay until another year. A special thank you is expressed to all those who had voiced interest in assisting with this project. No further plans are being considered at this time. A mission builders project will be happening in Minot next summer at Bread of Life Lutheran Church. Many of the same crew from down south will be here to assist with that project and seek our help whenever possible. This idea makes sense, we can sleep in our own bed, work when the weather is nice, and still do very important mission work. Please place that on your possible projects for summer.
Improvement projects completed at Bethany
It has been a bee hive around Bethany during the month of December! Our annual Lutefisk Dinner was a big success on December 2nd. We served 118 more meals than last year and had great help from so many members enjoying working together to pull off a successful dinner. Major remodel work has been completed in the church’s Sacristy. New walls, ceiling and flooring now host new cabinets and other improvements. The desire is to not only do updates and improvements, but to encourage everyone preparing the Lord’s Supper to do so in reverence around the sacredness of what is happening in this unique space. We want to thank all the members who have helped make these updates possible. Please check out and appreciate when possible. The other major improvement happening in December is the completion of our updated sound and technology operations within the church. A complete new sound system has been installed with digitalized stereo speakers and microphone upgrades. Along with this, additional camera’s and sound booth upgrades will assist both worshipers on site and online worshipers receive the best experience possible. We are blessed with so many musical gifts in our congregation and these upgrades should assist the worship quality of all involved. Thanks to the Rose Morgan memorial account for the funding to make these technology upgrades.
MIRIAM BIBLE STUDY WILL NOT MEET IN JANUARY.
Pastor Janet’s Joke of the Month
Q: At what time of day was Adam created? A: A little before Eve. Q. Did Eve ever have a date with Adam? A. No, just an apple. Q: What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth? A: Ruthless Q: Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker in the Bible? A: Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once
Q: Where is the first math problem mentioned in the bible? A: When God told Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply. Q: What do we have that Adam never had? A: Ancestors Q. What did Adam say on the day before Christmas? A. It's Christmas, Eve! Q. How long did Cain hate his brother? A. As long as he was Abel. Q. Why did God create man before woman? A. Because He didn’t want any advice on how to do it.
Revelation Bible Study
On January 9, 16, 23 the Revelation Bible Study will continue from this past November. We will again meet at 7:00 pm each evening for one hour. We are planning on inviting Professor Craig Koester to join us one evening via facetime on the big screen to answer questions and inspire us on our faith journey ahead.
Refugee Awareness – Welcoming the Stranger
Update on LSS Refugee Resettlement Program
Saturday, Jan. 13, at Zion Lutheran Church, Minot.
6:00 PM – Ethnic Supper of international foods. A panel of new Americans will share their experiences arriving as refugees to North Dakota.
Sunday, Jan. 14 – 9:30 AM, Adult Forum at Bethany, led by representatives of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.
Mission Trip to El Salvador
Starting February 2nd, six folks with Bethany connections will be traveling on a 10 day Habitat for Humanity/Thrivent trip to El Salvador. This group will be traveling with a group of seventeen Lutherans. This year’s team will be working at building homes in similar locations as previous teams have helped. We invite you to hold those traveling in your prayers. May our trip be a blessing to those we go to help as well as strengthen our faith by sharing this time of God’s calling together. Those taking part in this year’s trip are: Hannah Foley, Vicki Phippins, Ivan Guerrero, Jackie Gehring, LuAnn Roise and Pastor Gerald.
Pledge cards and offering envelopes for 2018 are available from an usher, narthex, or in the church office.
Giving Tree $831
Metigoshe Ministries $580
Thrivent Simply Giving $5,415
Thrivent Choice $289
December Ministerial Acts
Funerals: Shawn Arnold, Melvin Houston, Cleo Furuseth, Janice Anderson.
Transfers Out: Kevin, Renae, Nicholas, Lucas & Zachary Beeter. Tracey, Garrett, Gavin and Grayson Derheim.
Mark your calendars!
is Wednesday, February 28th.
JANUARY CAUSE OF THE MONTH
The Village Education Project
The Village Education Project in the Central African Republic trains village members as elementary school teachers. Use the global mission envelope in your offering box to support our Cause of the Month.
Family Fun Weekend Getaway – January 12-14
Men’s Snowmobiling – January 26-28
Marriage Retreat – February 9-11
Family Snow/Fun Day – February 11
Jr./Sr. High Snow Fest – February 18-19
Winter Hobby Retreat – February 19-21
1st Communion Retreat – March 9-10
Spring Quilting Retreat – March 22-24
Rhubarb Fest 2018
Plans are well under way for the 2018 Bethany Rhubarb Fest! We hope you’ll be able to join us on Wednesday, January 31st, for the meal which begins serving at 5:30, and the festivities to follow. For those who wish to enter the bake-off, we’ll have frozen rhubarb available after church to take home with you on January 17th, 21st, 24th, and 28th. There is musical entertainment and other excitement planned. Come for a night of fun and fellowship, as well as supporting a worthy local cause in our community with the free will offering given.
MEMORIALS & GIFTS
Music Fund Donation-Gary & Becky Hill
Sound System Donation- Russ & Donna Kress
In memory of Ray Westmeyer
Undesignated - Boyd & Phyllis Hanson, Duane & Sharlene Tollefson, Daniel & Jerlyn Langemo,
Sunday School- Terry & Karn Stevick
In memory of Palmer Iverson
Chapel Chairs- Sylvia Iverson
In memory of Pat Langemo
Sanctuary Choir- Darek Zaun
In memory of Ben Schmalz
Undesignated- Michael & Chanda Schmalz
In memory of Myrtle & Ed Anderson
Barnyard- Matt Anderson
In memory of Richard Larson
Undesignated- Yvonne Peterson & Darla Kuntz
In memory of Shawn Arnold
Music- Dennis & Karen Christianson
In memory of Michael Jordahl
Music- Jeffrey Jordahl
A fund raiser for Shane Morlang is planned for Friday, January 19th from 5:30 -8:00pm. There will be a Spaghetti Supper along with a pie and cake auction. Please plan to bring a pie or cake for the auction. Shane was diagnosed with cancer of the voice box and is undergoing chemo and radiation treatments. Thrivent is helping with the fundraiser. If you have any questions please contact Jessie Casey at 833-3453.
Put on your calendar that the Annual Meeting is Sunday, Jan 28th at 9:30 am. Constitution and Bylaws are on the agenda for voting and may be reviewed on our website bethanylutheranminot.org, emailed to you upon request to the office or by picking up a copy in the office.
The LYO would like to thank everyone who helped make our Advent “Caramel Roll Sunday” a success. As we continue to get ready and fundraise for the National ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston this summer your support is so very greatly appreciated!
Beer and Hymns is off to an awesome start! Plans are to continue meeting the 2nd Monday of every month 7 pm @ Bootlegrz on 20th Ave SE.
LYO January Calendar!
|7:15||Jitterbug with Jake|
|Jan. 7||9:30||Coffee Hour|
|Jan. 10||7:00||Team Building & Bible Study|
|Jan. 14||9:30||Coffee Hour|
|Jan. 17||7:00||Scavenger Hunt|
|Jan. 21||9:30||Coffee Hour|
|Jan. 24||7:30||Village Inn|
|Jan. 28||9:30||Coffee Hour|
Foundation Food for Thought
Did you know?
At its Annual Meeting on December 12th, Bethany’s Foundation approved providing college scholarships to Bethany members who are or will be college students after they serve as summer camp staff at a Western ND Synod Lutheran Outdoor Ministry including Metigoshe Ministries, Camp of the Cross Ministries, Badlands Ministries, or Upper Missouri Ministries.
Approval was given to provide Foundation funds to Donna Randash for expenses to attend a youth leadership event called ELCA Extravaganza 2018 in Houston, TX in January. Held Jan 25-29, The Extravaganza will focus on the theme”Finding Forward: How we continue to move forward as a church. Dynamic spiritual renewal, transformational continuing education and supportive rich interpersonal connections are critical elements of the Extravaganza.
Duane Tollefson is retiring from the Foundation board after 40 years of dedicated service. Duane’s guidance, wisdom, and innovative ideas have been invaluable and will be missed. Thank you Duane!
Bethany members planning to attend an approved ELCA college, university or seminary are eligible to apply for a scholarship through the Foundation! Typically, the application deadline is June 30th for fall enrollments. The amount of each scholarship awarded is dependent on how many applications we receive in a given year. Our application form is now available for completion on the church website: bethanylutheranminot.org. Once you are there, look for the Bethany Foundation tab. Please see a Foundation member if you have any questions.
If YOU would like to support these exciting opportunities for Bethany members, please make a donation to the Bethany Foundation!
1st– Betty Frantsvog, Leah Larson, Nancy Morken
3rd– Allen Hirzel, Brett Morris, Ryan Rasmusson
4th – Gloria Castleman, Carol Holje,
5th – Branon Dyke
6th– Joshua Knutson, Debra Lee
7th – Declan Bourquin, Steve Files,
Malesa Ofsthun, Sharyl Roth, Jane Trihub,
9th – Dawn Everson, Gail Hall, Phyllis Hanson
10th – Michael Anderson, Nancy Lucy
11th – Roxann Meinert
12th – Melvin Boger, Wyatt Casey, Norine Coffin
13th – Berit Meinert, Kenneth Ofsthun,
14th – Jaeley Bambenek
15th – Jorn Brose, Lana Thompson
16th – Audrey Eidsness
17th – Brent Armstong, Larry Walter
18th – Lance Gehring, Charlotte Kremer
19th – Janice Barlow, Brenda Cook,
Wenona Nielsen, Holly Shaw, Caleb Walker
20th – Isaac Flanagan, Brady Grosz,
21st – Nathan Johnson, Margaret Schmidt
22nd – Wyatt Grindy, Arlene Michalenko,
Taylor Peterson, Ron Thunshelle, Jay Wold
24th – Monda Berg, Janice Mattern, Patty Overvold,
25th – Trevor Bearman, MaKenzie Chilson,
Jayden Okeson, Joatta Siebert,
26th – EmmaLee Christiansen, Jessica Schafer
27th – Rosella Knoepfle
28th – Ryan Hokenson, Jeremy Meinert,
29th – Jason Bambenek, Nicholas Beeter
30th – Justin Gantzer
31st – Darlene Harstad
Also, Happy Birthday to anyone whose name is not on the list. If your name is not on the list then we don’t have it, so please call the office with it. Thank you!