Bethel United Church of Christ 

                   4900 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64117

The LINK is a monthly publication LINKing together the people of Bethel United Church of Christ

 January/February  2018                                                                 Volume 58, Issue 3

Annual Congregational Meeting - January 29

The Annual Congregational meeting will be held following worship on January 28th. Voting on final approval of the budget for 2018 and hearing reports from all Commissions are on the agenda. All annual reports from Commissions and committees are due by January 14th. (See article on page 7.) There will be a presentation and vote on the proposed renovation of the Sanctuary stage area. On January 14th an informational session on the Sanctuary renovation will be held following worship.  

Benevolence Special Mission Offering - January

City Union Mission

Since 1924, City Union Mission has provided warm beds, nutritious food and a place of safety for thousands of poverty-stricken and homeless men, women and children. Founded by Rev. and Mrs. David Bulkley, the Mission's staff has been uncompromising in our commitment to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the hurting and the lost. City Union Mission receives no government support and is not a United Way agency. The Mission depends completely on the gifts of God's people-individuals, churches, groups, foundations and businesses who have a heart for the poor and homeless in Kansas City. During 2017, City Union Mission was able to serve more than 260,000 meals, provide nearly 140,000 nights of safe shelter and impact thousands of individuals through our life-transforming programs. 

February Benevolences

CUE is a regional partnership of sixteen mid-west conferences, three seminaries and the national setting of the United Church of Christ in support of theological education. Since their founding in 1850 Eden Theological Seminary has been a place where academic scholarship, spiritual nurture, and passion for social justice is combined and created to transformation leaders for the church and the world. Faithful support of CUE seminaries is an investment in the current and future leadership of the United Church of Christ 

Northland Shepherd’s Center (Now includes Meals on Wheels)

Northland Shepherd's Center is located at 4805 NE Antioch Road, Suite 9, Kansas City, MO 64119. On July 1, 2017, Northland Meals on Wheels merger with Shepherd Center. The merger will help older adults find out about programs and services offered by Shepherd Center. Northland Shepherd's Center's mission is to: "Improve the quality of life of older adults in the Northland. SCN is dedicated to promoting the physical, mental and social well-being of older adults and assisting them in maintaining their dignity, continued productivity and independence. They support Enrichment opportunities through programs that allow older adults to share their many areas of expertise with others in the community and continue to learn and grow within themselves. The Northland Shepherd's Center is operated as a nonprofit. It depends on donations, grants, fees and its own fund-raising efforts to keep the doors open. 

Greetings from Pastor Karen


As we get ready to leap into the New Year, I want to thank everyone who made our Advent and Christmas here at Bethel so very special. Whether it was the decorations, the children's program 'Manger Tales', the caroling, the bell ringing, the cantata, "Lead Me Back to Bethlehem", the poinsettia display, the special communion and candlelight services on Christmas Eve, the wonderful Nativity tableaus created by the children and the adults with newly created costumes, the glorious music shared by Jeremy, Chad, the choir and various soloists or the delicious treats shared at our Bistros throughout the season, everything created an atmosphere of praise and joy that was part of our journey to the manger. And on top of it all, the generous giving to our special benevolences again displayed Bethel's beautiful spirit as we strive to live into our discipleship.

I also want to share my personal thanks for your generous Christmas gift to me. My note of thanks was read to the Council on December 21 and I share it with you all now:

Again, your grace and generosity are amazing. Being in ministry with you all is the best gift ever. As I look at all the wonderful missions and ministries that continue to grow I am aware of how the Holy Spirit is among us.

Thank you for being you and giving such a generous gift. I am humbled and honored.

So a New Year approaches-a new beginning-experiences and challenges as yet unwritten, a year where we bring our hopes, prayers for peace, worship filled with joy and our commitment to love neighbor and stranger with the love of Christ. There will be challenges as well as miracles and we will meet both knowing that God is among us in all circumstances. May your year be filled with blessings and the assurance that God is with us.


Pastor Karen 

Planning for HOMIES

The HOMIES will be meeting for lunch and a planning meeting on February 17, 2017 at 11:30 at Bethel. Join us for lunch and bring your ideas for 2017.

Weather Advisory Notices for Bethel Services

Although we intend to not cancel services, if weather conditions are such that we need to reconsider notices will be put on local stations about church service closures, it is planned that Bethel’s notice of closure will be on Channel 9 (KMBC-TV 9), Channel 4  (Fox4—WDAF), and on Bethel’s website at and facebook. Decisions for canceling worship services will be made by the Church Council. 

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 6500 Cosby Avenue Rm. 141 Kansas City, MO 64151; Betty Meugniot, KU Medical Center; Nancy Pummill, Vintage Asst. Living, 8710 Caenen Lake Rd, Shawnee Mission, KS 66215; Eva Gray, Liberty Health Care & Rehab, Rm, 103

In Sympathy:  Billy Banks’ on the passing of his daughter, Stephanie McElwee

Family and friends needing prayer: Adam Niederhauser; Bob Atkinson; Shirley Atkinson; Mark Easley; Jay Leslie: Doug Berka; Jim Inman; Nelda Ravenscraft; Jamie Elder; Don Eversmeyer; Lora Carey; Kathy Corn; Gerry McGuire; Jim Manley; Fulvio & Kathy Hayes & family; Lucy Banks; Bob Potter, friend of Don Eversmeyer; Greg Klossner’s family; Wendles’ grandson, Cooper McCollum; Nadine Boyd, friend of Niederhausers; Emma Marshall’s grandma, Marie Koch; 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; Ruthanna Rodatz, Kathy Corn’s sister; Eowyn Maynes, daughter of friends of Fulvio & Kathy Hayes. Leon Thompson, friend of Stephanie Dodd.  

Reports Due by January 14

All Committee, Commission, Pastor, Council and other Reports are due no later than January 14. These reports need to be sent to Marquita Pace for Bethel’s 2017 Annual Report. The report is due to be submitted to the congregational at the Annual Congregational Meeting on January 28. You may email the reports to Marquita Pace at or by mail at 7711 N. Kansas Ave. Kansas City, MO 64119. Call Marquita at 816-810-5706 if you have any questions. 

 · Council Report

 · Financial Secretary’s Report

 · Administration

 · Benevolence

 · Christian Education

 · Membership

 · Evangelism

 · Pastor

 · Audit Committee

 · Bethel Sew & Serve

 · Bethel Book Club

 · Bethel Friends Unlimited


· Not So Young Adults

 · Stewardship

 · Outreach to the Community

      · Prayer Shawl Ministry

      · Reiki Group

     · WIC Program

     · BackPack Shepherds

     · Voting Center

     · Boy Scout Troop

     · Worship Committee

     · Music Director

     · Visual Arts

· Pastor’s Report


· Financial Reports

 · Treasurer’s Report

 · Bethel 2017 Budget 

NSYA Need Sitters - January 20

The NSYA’s need babysitters on January 20th from 5 pm—9 pm. If you can help out please check the signup list in the Narthex, Jeremy has asked for ideas for the NSYA for 2018.



It was so nice of you . . . So generous of you . . . So thoughtful of you . . . So typical of you. Thanks so much. My words cannot say how I really feel.

Linda Jackson



A sincere thank you to Bethel for participating in our 36th annual Heart of America CROP Walk in Kansas City.

Our donations are still coming in and people can donate up until December 1st.

As we wrap up 2017, we are excited to be planning for 2018. We hope you will mark your calendars for October 14, 2018 and partner with us again alleviating hunger.

Your Heart of America CROP Walk Team



Our wish to you: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All. Happy Holiday Seson

From all of us at the Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police


Thanks Yous from Our From Our Christmas Families:

Merry Christmas,

Thank you for blessing my children and I. I am so grateful for this blessing. Happy Holidays,

Krista, Andre & Kaliyah


Dear Bethel UCC,

Myself ad my family would like to talke the time to say thank you so very much for helping us to have a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you Thank you and Happy Holidays from the Griffixi Family


To Bethel UCC

Thank you so much for all the Christmas presents, It will help me and my daughter Donna out a lot. God Bless you all.

Love, Peggy Richardson


*See Pastor Karen’s Thank You in her article. 

Time and Talent Pledge Cards

If you haven’t already turned in your pledge card or Time & Talent Sheet it’s still not too late.

January Lectionary

Sunday, January 7 – First Sunday after EpiphanyCOMMUNION

Genesis 1:1-5

Mark 1:4-11

Today we will put away our decorations and store the joy of Christmas in our hearts until next year. The more the merrier as we "Un-hang" the greens.


Sunday, January 14 – Second Sunday after Epiphany

1Corinthians 6:12-20

John 1:43-51

We will have an informational meeting following worship on the renovation proposal for the sanctuary that will be presented at our January 28 congregational meeting. Your presence will be a blessing.


Sunday, January 21 – Third Sunday after Epiphany—A Visit to Blue Springs Terrace—Commissioning of Council & Commissions

 Mark 1:14-20

Following our service, we will car pool to Blue Springs Terrace to meet the residents.

There will be no Bistro.


Sunday, January 28 – Fourth Sunday after EpiphanyReception of New Members

 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Mark 1:21-28


Why the Gavisk Family Loves Bethel

Sunday November 12th Quilt’s of Valor worship service is a perfect example of why the Bethel Family means so much to Patrick and me.  Emma surprisingly stood up and passed me in the pew when the choir was singing their special performance of "Let There Be Peace On Earth."  I wasn't concerned; I just thought she decided she was ready to go to the nursery and chill out.  Was I surprised when she wandered over to Darren, looked over his shoulder to see what he was holding and then peered down Darren's pew.  Then, was she ready to head to the nursery?  NO.  She wanted to go up a couple more aisles and peer down anther pew to see who was there.  As I followed her, I looked up towards PK -- probably with a grinning but concerned look on my face.  PK looked back at me with a huge, endearing smile. Relief!  Then, as Patrick and I turned Emma around to take Emma from the sanctuary fearing a huge meltdown during a special choir performance, all I see are warm reassuring smiles throughout the congregation.  Another big relief fell over me.  Not a single offended face in the sanctuary, only a large room filled with loved, understanding and acceptance.  Our warmest and sincerest thanks of appreciation go out to each and every one of our Bethel Family.

Patrick and Tracy Gavisk

 "Be Joyous & Enjoy the Beauty of Nature" 

January Birthdays

4               Marsha Wilson

8               Kristin Todtenhausen

                 Amy Lane

12             Chad Willis

13             Kristen Marshall

16             Steve McDuff

21             Eddie Villanueva

22              Fred Lauer

23              Jeremy Manley

25              Ryan Lauer

26              Bev Duer

                 Shianne Reith

31             Eleanor Faust

Council and Commission Members 2018

Commissioning During Worship - January 21

Council: Mary Ann Pierson, President Ron Wendle, Secretary Kathy Hayes, Vice President Joe Germer Kathy Harms Laurie Arbuthnot Alice Terrill Sonja Payne Preston Corn Shirlee Mendon

Council Representatives from Commissions: Administration – Hance Pierson Benevolence – Debbie Robinett Christian Education – Tracy Gavisk Evangelism – Ron Wendle Membership – Stephanie Dodd Financial Secretary – Margaret Basch

Administration: Randy Pace , Chair Doug Berka Terry Aitkens Jay Marshall Don Eversmeyer, Treasurer Hance Pierson Vern Bohlmeyer Mike Mendon Ted Basch

Benevolence: Kathy Corn, Chair Lucy Banks Debbie Robinett Cathy Leslie Liz Guevel Jamie Elder

Christian Education: Traci Pierson, Chair Shari Achille Susan Schindler Tracy Gavisk Amy Lane Jessica Faust Lauri Buck Daniel Hendrix

Evangelism: Kristen Marshall, Chair Jeannie Kenyon Ron Wendle Don Sand Pat Armstrong Betty Weger

Membership : Gerry McGuire, Chair Jody Meyer Gerry Hendrix Donna Fischer Stephanie Dodd Jeanene Easley Staci Van Slyke 

Bethel Book Club

BOOK CLUB—Thursday, January 18th— 6:30 pm 

We have a book picked out for January entitled, White Dresses: A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters by Mary Pflum Peterson. In this riveting, poignant memoir of three generations of women and the white dresses that adorned them—television producer Mary Pflum Peterson recounts a journey through loss and redemption, and her battle to rescue her mother, a former nun, from compulsive hoarding. Unflinchingly honest, insightful, and compelling, White Dresses is a beautiful, powerful story—and a reminder of the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters.


Unhanging of the Greens - January 7

For the past few weeks we have enjoyed the beauty of the season with our lovely decorations. As we all know, what goes up must come down. Join us on January 7th following the worship to put away our Christmas decor but not our Christmas spirit! We can sing some Epiphany songs (or any other songs you want) as we pack everything away for another year. The more the merrier!!


Pledges 2018

 If you haven’t turned in your pledge card it’s not too late. We want to thank all who pledged and those who give through out the year. Bethel is looking forward to serving God and community in 2018 through the continued support of our congregation.


Souper Bowl of Caring - February 4

Souper Bowl of Caring Mission Statement—Using the energy of the Super Bowl to mobilize youth in a united national effort to care for people in their local communities who are hungry and those in need. Vision Statement—Transform the time around the Super Bowl into the nation's largest celebration of giving and serving.

Souper Bowl of Caring beliefs:

· The idea for Souper Bowl of Caring is a gift from God

· Young people have the ability to serve and should be given opportunities to lead their communities in helping others

· Every dollar collected through Souper Bowl of Caring should be donated directly to a charity selected by each participating group

· People of all backgrounds and beliefs can work together

· Hunger and poverty have a negative impact on individuals and the communities in which they live, yet there is joy in serving and giving to those in need

· The excitement and energy surrounding the Super Bowl can be used to engage young people in service while producing lasting hope for all people.

 Bring your donations to Bethel on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4th. Your donations will be divided between In As Much Ministry and BackPack Shepherds. Last year we collected $535.38 that was shared between Backpack Shepherds and In As Much Ministry. This was the largest collection to date. 

February Lectionary

Sunday, February 4 – Fifth Sunday after EpiphanyCOMMUNION

Our guest preacher will be Dr. Steve McDuff.


Sunday, February 11 – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

Our guest preacher will be Rev. Mary Harris.



We have just recently finished our journey to the manger and now we are called to journey to the cross. Let us prepare for the journey together with worship, communion and the imposition of ashes. Our Wednesday theme will be: ANCHORING OURSELVES TO CHRIST. Come hear how the theme of water, boats and anchors lead us to discipleship.


Sunday, February 18 – First Sunday of Lent

1Peter 3:18-22

Mark 1:9-15


Sunday, February 25 – Second Sunday of Lent

 Mark 8:31-38

February Birthdays

2    Mike Mendon

       Emma Gavisk

        Eric Kluender  

4      Anna Achille

5      Tom Meyer

12     Madalyn Kenyon

14    Mollie Geitz

16    Alice Inman

17    Claira Faust

18   Marie Dodson

        Andy Dugan

22   Mary Ann Pierson

        Randa Niederhauser

24   Jim Derry

25   Terry Aitkens 

Ash Wednesday - February 14

At this service we will have communion by intinction and the Imposition of Ashes. This age old tradition represents a sign of repentance before we begin our Lenten journey. We have 40 days (not counting Sundays) of reflection on our journey with Christ. Our theme for our Wednesday evening services will be; Anchoring Ourselves to Christ. You will receive a devotional booklet and a special bracelet that will remind us not to lose our focus on Christ. Fasting does not have to be a denial of something, but a time of 'giving over' to God our habits of judgment, greed, jealousy, anger and working toward forgiveness, generosity, humility and peace. Our journey to the cross begins! Our Lenten Suppers begin February 21st . Signup will be in the Narthex soon. 

Bethel Sew & Serve Begins Second Year

Do you love to sew, appliqué, cut out patterns, make banners and costumes or just have fun coming together with other women who enjoy being together? Then join this creative fun group on Wednesday from 9:30 am-2:30 pm. Some of the wonderful things they did included: items for Synergy Children's Care Center-receiving blankets, bibs, pillow cases, love bags and quilts. For Crittenton Center-hand sized pillows, laundry bags, personal bags and pool bags. According to Sandy Bohlmeyer: "Thirty-two felt Christmas Stockings were filled with 247 items for the children at Synergy House along with pieced fabric diaper bags." Other special creations included: fidget quilts, the completion of the Be-Attitudes quilt given to the Sunday School by our former Creative Sampler group, the creation of our 'For God So Loved the World' banner for Bethel's sanctuary, the sewing of new costumes for our children's Christmas pageant along with new adult costumes for the three magi and shepherds. These lovingly created costumes were on display at our 11 pm Christmas Eve service this year.

If you have a special mission project for non-profit organizations that Sew and Serve can provide, please bring your ideas to someone in the group or contact the church office 816-453-2628. 

Bethel Fundraiser

Feb. 18 is the Bethel Fish Fry Fundraiser following worship. Please bring a dish to share. See Mary Ann Pierson for tickets .


Bethel Women's Program

Our first women’s program on “How to Create A Shutterfly Photo Album” will be coming soon. Kristen Marshall will show us how to be creative with our photo displays during a morning workshop. This will be followed by a light lunch hosted by Membership.. Date and time will be announced soon! We would like to hear your ideas for women’s programming as we hope to do four programs a year. Give your ideas to Evangelism or Membership . 

Congratulations to Emma Gavisk

Emma Gavisk received a gold medal at the Regional Special Olympics bowling tournament. Her score of 204 qualified her for  State-wide Special Olympics in March.


CROP Walk Update

Our contributions this year to CROP Walk was $1705 and we had 6 walkers. 



The HOMIES didn’t have a December meeting, most were too busy with Holiday and Christmas plans! So, in reflection of this past year with the HOMIES, I must say we’ve had some great fun, great tours and great food! We’ve met new folks, made new friends, and are becoming a group with a focus on people and touring as well as the featured monthly tenderloin. Joe and I have really enjoyed setting up the restaurants and figuring out interesting and low-cost tours that we can fit into about a half day. We both hope you have enjoyed them all. If you have an idea for where you like to eat and tour up north, let us know. Your input is needed to continue into 2018.


We’re planning more trips and finding more restaurants, we’d love to have you provide info if you know of a great place, and join us!

Here’s a peek at upcoming months, locations, and events:

· January, we’ll be at Roxanne’s in Platte City, MO

· February, Boudreaux’s Cajun in St Joseph, MO (with a tour)

· March, Valley One Pub & Grill, Pleasant Valley, MO

· April, The Weston Café, Weston, MO (with a tour)

· May, James Kennedy’s Restaurant, Plattsburg, MO



Joe Luttrell and Randy Pace—816-810-4004


Time & Talent Sheets and Pledge Cards

If you haven’t already turned in your pledge card or Time & Talent Sheet it’s still not too late!!