Bethel United Church of Christ 

                   4900 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64117

Volume 57, Issue 3        NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017                  Bethel is ONA

Quilts of Valor - November 12

On Sunday, November 12th, nine Bethel members will receive Quilts of Valor: Ted Basch, Vern Bohlmeyer, Darren Guthridge, Fulvio Hayes, Gene McCarty, Jeremy Manley, Randy Pace, Don Sand and Sarah VanSlyke.  We honor their service.

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, a non-profit organization, is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts.  To date, the total number of quilts awarded is 171,070.

Following the service we will have a luncheon in the Sunday School area.  If you would like to bring a dish for this special celebration there is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.

What a wonderful way to show our gratitude to the men and women who serve or have served in our military.   We hold your gift of service to our country in our hearts and prayers.

Benevolence—Special Mission Offerings

Adopted Families

The monthly benevolence for November is Adopt-a-Family. We will purchase Christmas gifts for families in need. The selected families provide wish lists containing the items each member would most like to receive, and then Benevolence uses your monetary donations to provide many of the items on each person’s list. In addition, we usually purchase grocery gift cards for each family so that they have the opportunity for a nice holiday meal.  Two medium –sized families from Hillcrest Ministries will be adopted. Watch for an announcement in early November. Be sure to clearly mark your donations “Adopt-a-Family” or “Christmas Families” to ensure that the funds are earmarked for this purpose. We thank you in advance for your generous contributions, which will ensure that these families will have a wonderful Christmas.

UCC Christmas Fund

Our joy at Christmas is a response to God's promise of new life through the birth of Jesus. It is a joy we are called to share widely, through our witness and gifts, both to loved ones and to distant neighbors.

You have the opportunity to be a part of this ministry that cares for the active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ through your participation in this year's Christmas Fund Offering. Through the month of December you may give to this special offering.  Along with our regular offering there will also be a collection for the Christmas Fund during our 10 am and our 11 pm Christmas Eve Services*. Be sure to note Christmas Fund on your check.  

*Note: There is NO 5 pm Christmas Eve Service. The Family Candlelight Service will be at 10 am.

 

Salvation Army Bell Ringing -December 1 & 2

Salvation Army Bell Ringing will be Friday and Saturday Dec. 1st & 2nd from 10 am—4 pm at Chouteau Sunfresh Market , I-35 and Chouteau. Sign-up sheets will be  in the narthex.  Ring for an hour with a friend.  What a way to be a blessing!!

Benevolence Commission

Bethel Cookie Exchange -  December 9

December 9—10:00 AM

Join us in December as we celebrate this wonderful season with lunch and a cookie exchange.  There will be a signup list posted in the Narthex in late November. Instructions will be provided for the number of cookies to bring to the exchange. So join us for brunch, fellowship and getting ready for the holidays at Marty Pace’s.  Just let the office know if you plan to attend and if you are bringing a friend!!

 

 

Stewardship Sunday - November 19 -                                                             "... Journey to Generosity - They Way of Jesus"

On October 22, Bethel kicked-off our stewardship campaign with special words about why we give.  "...you don't have to GIVE to GET. You can give because you have already received. God gives to us daily and our giving is a thankful response for the gifts God has given us."  Together we will go on this 'Journey to Generosity' and see how it changes us.

This is the time to reflect on why you give.  There is a quote by Winston Churchill that gives us wisdom, "We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give."  Please take some time to pray about your pledge.  What are programs and missions that you are drawn to here at Bethel?  How does Bethel reflect your love of Christ? Would there be a void in God's kin-dom if Bethel did not exist? How do you want to use your time, talent and treasure in your 'Journey to Generosity?'

Our Stewardship Letter and Pledge cards will be sent to your e-mail address soon. (Those without internet will be mailed.)  Please fill out your pledge cards by Sunday, November 19th as they will be collected during our worship service.   (extra pledge cards will be available)

Our GENEROSITY basket will be on the altar to receive your covenant with God as we celebrate our gifts!

Festival of Sharing

Benevolence Commission would like to thank the congregation for their support of this year’s Festival of Sharing – “Share the Light”. Through the cash donations we received we were able to give $900 to purchase and fill clean-up buckets for Church World Services. The cleaning supplies will help areas hit by heavy rains and floods. The Sunday School children helped filled 20 Student Dental kits. These kits will be distributed to maternity homes and transition housing for single moms. For international organizations we collected 45. Best Choice UPCs collected was 1700. All of the items we collected are given a non-cash value per item by Festival of Sharing coordinating committee. Our total giving including non-cash gifts this year was $1,216.

Celebrating One Year of Open and Affirming

It’s been one year since Bethel voted to become an Open and Affirming congregation.  Bethel is now a part of the newly formed  Heartland ONA Coalition where open and affirming churches from the greater Kansas City area, including churches from the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, meet to find ways to work together on events  of justice and witness for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.  We continue to find ways to live into our Welcoming Statement that expresses our commitment to the statement, “No matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.”

 

Bethel UCC Welcoming Statement

Bethel United Church of Christ recognizes that God’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” contains no exceptions.  This fact was often displayed during Jesus’ ministry by His association with people from a variety of backgrounds, faith traditions and social classes.  Following Christ’s example, we commit to model actions and expressions of openness and understanding; offering justice, healing, and wholeness of life for all people.

No matter who – no matter what – no matter where we are on life’s journey – notwithstanding gender, race, age, physical or mental capabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, economic status, education, marital status, faith background, nationality, or life experiences – we all belong to God and to one worldwide community of faith.

The members of Bethel United Church of Christ joyfully and unequivocally welcome all to share in the life and leadership, ministry, fellowship, worship, sacraments, responsibilities and blessings of participation in our congregation.

Thanksgiving Dinner - Friday, November 17

Bethel’s Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on November 17. The serving lines will open at 6:00 PM.  The suggested contribution amount is $10 for adults, $5 for big kids 5 to 12 and little ones under 5 are free. Membership requested to be in charge of the Thanksgiving Dinner and Council approved. We will offer the usual tasty fare: Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, the famous Guevel cranberry sauce, hot rolls and dessert. Council members will once again be serving the meal as well as arranging the setup and cleanup

 

Don’t forget volunteers are needed after worship, November 5 to help set up the tables for the dinner. 

 

After the  dinner, Council will be cleaning up, but any help with cleanup is appreciated. Please sign-up on the sheet in the narthex if you plan to join us for great food, fun and fellowship.

 

Membership

 

Prayer Care

Please pray for . . . 

Serving our Country:  Wesley Luttrell; nephew of Joe Luttrell

In Extended Care:  Ken Webb, Assisted Living at 111 NW Mock Ave. Apt. E210, Blue Springs, MO 64014; Sallie Carleton; Room 319A New Mark Care Center; Mae Veach, Linden Woods Village, Rm. 155, 2901 NE 72nd St., Gladstone, MO  64119,  Phone:  816-437-8714;  Cindy Richter, Heritage Village, Rm 100; Nancy Pummill, Vintage Park, 8710 Caenen Lake Rd., Rm #210, Shawnee, KS  66215; Eva Gray, Liberty Health Care & Rehab, Rm, 103

Family and friends needing prayer:  Doug Berka; Jim Inman; Alice Terrill; Vern Bohlmeyer; Nelda Ravenscraft; Jamie Elder; Don Eversmeyer; Barb Moffet;  Mark Easley; Lora Carey; Kathy Corn; Rev. Bob & Shirley Atkinson; Gerry McGuire;  Adam Niederhauser;  Betty Meugniot; Jim Manley;  Major Thomas, former Bethel member; Ron & Bobbi Wendle’s grandson Cooper; Lucy Banks; Billy Banks’ daughter, Stephanie McElwee; Dan Schadt, brother-in-law of Marquita & Randy Pace;  Jay Marshall’s grandmother, Eunice Neitzert; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; Debbie Robinett’s sister-in-law, Regina Robinett; Lorene Reese, friend of Jan Rickert;  Lauri Buck’s friends, Rita Mendenez and Trish & Perry Taylor; AnnaLee Kapp’s sister-in-law, Dee Kapp;  Ruthanna Rodatz, Kathy Corn’s sister; Eowyn Maynes, daughter of friends of Fulvio & Kathy Hayes.   Leon Thompson, friend of Stephanie Dodd. 

Thank You

 Bethel,

Thank you for the cards, visits and especially your prayers during y recent illness and hospital stay.

Love you all, Jim Manley

Bethel,

Thank you for your recent gift of $965.66 to CWS Blankets and Tools! Your gift provides warmth and comfort to neighbors in need around the corner and around the world! We appreciate your generosity!

In Peace, Heather Wilson, CWS

Lectionary - November

November 5-COMMUNION-22nd Sunday after Pentecost

 Micah 3:1-2

 Matthew 23:1-12

 

Preparer: Debbie Schlick

Servers: Stephanie Dodd, Kathy Hayes, Debbie Robinett and Alice Terrill

The message will be brought by Rev. Bob Atkinson.  Bob is a Bethel member and chair of the Western Association Council. 

 

November 12-SPECIAL SERVICE-QUILTS OF VALOR

Romans 12:1-2, Romans 14:19, Hebrews 12:14, Isaiah 2:4

Join us as we honor those who have served on the ground from WWII through Afghanistan.

We will be presenting Quilts of Valor to nine Bethel members.  All are invited to attend the potluck luncheon that will follow the service.  If you plan to bring a dish, please sign up in the Narthex. 

 

REMINDER: NOVEMBER 17TH AT 6 PM-BETHEL'S THANKSGIVING DINNER

 

November 19-24th Sunday after Pentecost-Collection of Pledges

Psalm 123

Matthew 25:14-30

Today we continue our Journey to Generosity and collect our pledges for the coming year.  Your gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure will be our foundation as we move into 2018.

 

November 26-25th Sunday after Pentecost-HANGING OF THE GREENS

Psalm 100

Ephesians 2:11-22

 

Following worship we will decorate our church for Christmas. There will be cookies and drinks

available in the North Room.  Find your favorite spot to decorate and bring Christ's light into Bethel.  This will be the starting  point for our journey to the manger!

 

November Birthdays

1 Randy Pace

2 Jay Marshall

3 Liz Simon

   Willie Payne

4 Bobbi Wendle

10     Jan Rickert

         Stephanie Dodd

         Jim Inman

13 Lois Crane

         Lindsey Crane

         Doug Williams

14     Linda Jackson

         Liam Pierson

18     Brandon Meyer

21 Curtis Bohlmeyer

22 Nancy Pummill

        Darlene Todtenhausen                                                                     

26     Jeremy Faust

28 Doug Berka

 

December Birthdays

1               Betty Weger

7               Sandy  Bohlmeyer

8               Gary Pierson

10          Donna Fischer

11            Drew Hendrix

                Ingrid Malsam

13            Cameron Niederhauser

15            Jon Reith

17            Cathy Leslie

18            Tim Coulter

                 Mike Hendrix

22            Paul Veach

28            Marie Penrod

31             AnnaLee Kopp 

Hanging of the Greens

Let us all “Deck the Halls” of Bethel as we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. The Hanging of the Greens will begin right after church on Sunday, November 26. Everything will be in the areas ready to go. Pick an area you want to decorate and enjoy. Be ready to break into song as we hang wreaths, decorate trees and enjoy fellowship. Let us open our hearts to the season of Advent and Christmas.

The Worship Committee

NSYA Update

NSYA Update

The Not So Young Adults (NSYA) continue to have a wonderful time in fellowship. Their next event will be November 17th following Bethel’s Thanksgiving Dinner (see the Thanksgiving Dinner article on page 3). If you can help with childcare please add your name to the list of those who have already signed up. The more the merrier.

 

NSYA

Evangelism wants to spread the joy of Advent and Christmas this season by asking you to invite family and friends to share in worship or join us for special activities and services that will take place during December.  There is so much happening over our Sundays in December!  Check out our Christmas Letter that will be coming soon in your e-mail for a list of everything, but in the meantime here's some special Sundays: 12/3-Caroling. After worship we have a light lunch and board a bus at noon.  Back by 3-3:30. 12/10-Children's Christmas Program, "Manger Tales" interviews with Doug the Donkey, Clara the Cow, Sam the Sheep and Cody the Camel. 

 

12/17-Our Bethel Choir presents the cantata "Lead Me Back to Bethlehem".  Experience the miracle of Christ's birth: the joy of the shepherds, the mystery of the star and the magi who followed it.  12/24 Christmas Eve celebrated at our 10 am service with carols and the Nativity story created right before our eyes and at 11 pm at our traditional late night service.  Candle lighting and communion will be celebrated at both services.

 

There are so many opportunities to invite others to join in our Advent and Christmas activities.

INVITE! INVITE! INVITE!

December Lectionary

December 3-First Sunday of Advent-COMMUNION-"HOPE"

Isaiah 64;1-9

Mark 13:32-37

 

Following worship, those going caroling will have lunch in the Fellowship Hall and load the bus at noon. What a wonderful afternoon of visiting and singing carols to our members who are either homebound or in care facilities. 

 

December 10-Second Sunday of Advent-"PEACE"

                                                     SUNDAY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

                                                                                        "Manger Tales"

Invite family and friends to this glorious tale of Jesus' birth as told through the eyes of:

Doug the Donkey, Clara the Cow, Sam the Sheep and Cody the Camel.   

Also, we will have our special guest visiting us in the North Pole, oops, in the North Room!!! (see related article)

 

December 17-Third Sunday of Advent "JOY"-Christmas Cantata

 

"Lead Me Back to Bethlehem" Come and rediscover the Joy, Peace and Love of Christmas.

Jeremy, Chad, our Bethel Choir and additional musicians will bring us this beautiful cantata as we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus.  (see related article)

 

December 24-Fourth Sunday of Advent-"LOVE" and Christ Candle Christmas Eve

 

10:00 am  Our Family service with Candle lighting and Communion. Come be a part of creating  our Nativity Scene (adults and children) as we sing carols and read scripture from  Matthew and Luke sharing  the story of Christ's birth.  Our Sunday School teachers will help you find a costume.

 

11:00 pm  Our evening Candle Light Service with Communion.  This late evening service is a  favorite tradition for many.  Special readings, scripture and carols  usher in Christmas Day as we light our candles and close with the singing of Silent Night.

 

December 31-First Sunday after Christmas-New Year's Eve

Philippians 3: 12-16

 

Today we prepare for the New Year by letting something go from last year.  Were there resolutions made last year that didn't pan out?  Would you like to un-resolve them? As you look back, would you make that resolution  again?  On this Sunday, we will list some new resolutions along with ways of making them happen-both as individuals and a congregation.  HAPPY 2018!!

*See related articles

Bethel Choir Performs Cantata December 17

On Sunday, December 17, as we light our fourth candle of Advent, the cantata “Lead Me Back to Bethlehem” lets us witness the exuberance of the shepherds, the peace of Mary, and the redeeming love of the Christ child. Pepper Choplin, with his signature style, leads us through Bethlehem with carols, familiar folk songs with new seasonal texts, and original music and narrative.

Final rehearsal will be December 16th from 9-11 a.m.

Western Association Fall Gathering

The 2017 Fall Gathering was hosted by St. John’s Chapel in Springfield, MO on Saturday, October 14, 2017 and aided by churches that are members of the Ozark Cluster of the Western Association of the Missouri –Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Chairman Rev. Bob Atkinson introduced the following visitors: Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, MMSUCC Conference Minister; Rev. David Mehl, Conference Council Moderator; Rev. Dr. David Greenhaw, President of Eden Seminary Theological Seminary in St. Louis; Rev. Geoff Brewster, Senior Director of Stewardship at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK; Lorin Cope, Director of Advancement for UCC Giving, and a representative of the Eden Book store.

Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel gave an update on staffing changes that have occurred in the last several months the most notable being the retirement of Rev. Dale Parson as the Associate Conference Minister (ACM) in September. Because other major changes may occur in the structure of the Conference within the next two years, the decision was made not to call a full time ACM. Instead two part time ACMs have been called to serve for a period not to exceed 2-years. Rev. Tyler Connoley has been called as the Minister for Search & Call Discernment, and Rev. Nia Chandler has been called as the Minister of Authorized Ministry Development.

Another major change occurred when Jeff Falk, who had been the Executive Director & Licensed Minister of Shannondale Ministries for 22-years, resigned due to the health issues in the family.  Nathan Falk, Jeff’s son, has been selected for the position of Interim Director of Shannondale Ministries.

The Rott Foundation, which was established to provide financial assistance to churches in the Missouri Mid-South Conference, will now be administered by the Cornerstone Fund at the national church. These monies will still only be available to churches in the MMSUCC.

Rev. Greenhaw shared the following information during his talk:

· 10-years ago 28% of all churches had 50 members or less: today 50% of all churches have 50 members or less.

· The size of faith communities in all mainline Protestant denominations are declining.

· This has created a steady decline in income for churches.  The once much admired church buildings have now become a burden to both operate and maintain.

· The decline has also resulted in many congregations being no longer able to support a full time pastor. Many have resorted to part-time licensed pastors because the cost of calling a seminary trained pastor has become financially impossible.

· We still have dedicated people that feel called to the ministry by way of attaining a Master of Divinity from an accredited seminary after first completing an undergraduate degree. These individuals frequently have incurred +$100,000.00 debt. The hope of finding a call that will allow them to raise a family and become debt free is becoming a nearly impossible dream. Denominations, seminaries and churches are seeking to find ways with which to help relieve this financial burden. Having an educated and well trained clergy has always been recognized as being of prime importance to “the church”.

Rev. Greenhaw asked how we can continue to “Become God’s Beloved Community Now” in the midst of all this depressing news. He continued by stating “the church undergoes major changes every 500-years”. When there is a need, God is present to help revitalize and rejuvenate His church. We must have faith that He will guide and lead us through these troubling times just as 500-years ago when Martin Luther questioned many of the actions of the Catholic church.

The United Church of Christ also has its struggles: reducing national staff; combining conferences; conferences reducing full time staff and asking the laity to do many of the tasks that had been done by conference staff; churches closing or merging with other congregations. Even with all this, when there is a need, the UCC has been able to help because of the generosity of its members. Ten years ago the UCC gave over $800 million dollars to help with various outreach and disaster relief programs both within and outside the denomination. The most recent figures indicate that the United Church of Christ alone had contributed $6 BILLION to outreach and charitable organization many of which are affiliated with the UCC. Change is never easy, but trusting in God’s guiding hand we will come through these troubled times a stronger and more loving community.

Brewster shared his faith journey with the group and the work he currently does in attempting to develop additional sources of revenue for Phillips Seminary,  Workshops were held on the following topics: “Electronic Giving”, “Connecting Online” (using electronic media), and “Being God’s Beloved Community in Springfield” (What it is like being a member of the UCC in the Bible “belt”.)

Ron Wendle, Representative.

Have you Turned in your Pledge Card and Time & Talent Sheet?   We would like all turned in before the end of December.

 

POINSETTIAS FOR CHRISTMAS

 

If you would like to donate a  poinsettia for this Christmas season, please fill in the form below and leave in the office or place in the offering plate along with your contribution of $10.00 for each poinsettia ordered. The poinsettias will be purchased and delivered directly to the church.


Bethel POINSETTIA ORDER FORM


Donated by____________________________________


Amount donated _______________                


Number of Poinsettias Ordered __________

In honor/memory of ______________________________________

If you would like to contribute to Pastor Karen’s Christmas gift please see Mary Ann Pierson or Fulvio Hayes. The choirs are collecting for Jeremy and Chad. Choir members please see Marquita Pace. 

 

Caroling - December 3

Caroling December 3rd—12:00pm, hosted by Membership. We will load the bus and be on our way by 12:00 pm. Sign-up sheets will be in the narthex. At 11:00 am carolers & the UCCukes can enjoy the lunch hosted by the Membership in the Fellowship Hall.

Fa-la-la-la-la!

 Membership Commission