A Call for Peace

As the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip further escalates, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, pre​siding bishop of the ELCA, expressed her profound concern for members of the ELC in Jordan and the Holy Land in a July 17, 2014, letter to that denomination's bishop.  Read more HERE.

2014 Transitions

Transitions Page:  Please visit our “Transitions” page for all of the latest information regarding the transitions in the life of Bethany Lutheran Church.  **NEW:  Interim Senior Pastor information

2014 All Things New

Renewal for Growth – Chapel Project:  Click HERE or stop by the table in the Narthex today to learn more about the new Chapel which will be completed this year. Learn more about the many uses this special, more intimate and flexible Holy space will offer for worship, prayer and services. Fulfilling a long-held desire expressed by the Congregation, the Chapel is budgeted to cost $200,000. Donations are needed to complete the funding of the 1,100 square foot space. Please consider the amount you can contribute to support this important project by “purchasing” one or more square feet at $182 a square foot!  Order forms found HERE.  Donations made will be memorialized on special plaques located within the Chapel. Honor a loved one with your donation.

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2014 Brian FarewellSunday, August 10

We will say farewell to our 2013-14 pastoral intern, Brian Rajcok, on this day.  Brian will be preaching at all three worship services and a cake and coffee reception will be ongoing in the Fellowship Hall throughout the morning.

Brian, as many of you know, is a vegetarian. He has also volunteered one afternoon each week throughout his internship with our partners at Metro CareRing. This year, we are honoring Brian by collecting and donating canned vegetables to Metro CareRing. Let’s show Brian just how much we have appreciated his ministry among us by bringing your canned goods – both individual cans and cases – to church on August 10 and placing them on the altar steps.  And remember to drop by the Fellowship Hall to wish Brian well as he returns to seminary for his senior year!

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2014 New DriverSunday, August 17 – Blessing of the New Driver Milestone

10:30am Service:  Preparing for and receiving a driver’s license is a rite of passage for our youth. It is a sign of growing up, increasing responsibility and taking another step towards independence. Connecting this rite of passage with faith gives youth a sense of deepening connections with family, congregation, and God rather than the impression that growing up also means growing away. We want to claim this life event as a faith event, and give our youth a small gift to serve as a constant reminder.

Every parent prays that God will travel with their youth as they spread their wings towards independence.  If you plan on attending the Blessing of New Drivers, please contact Janice Lyon, janice@bethany-denver.org or (303)758-2820 X345.

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Monday, August 18 – Mental Health First Aid

2014 Mental HealthVicky and Larry Daub will be facilitating Mental Health First Aid at Bethany in the Great Hall on August 18 from 8 am to 5 pm.   Similar to ‘First Aid’ and CPR, ‘Mental Health First Aid’ teaches individuals how to help those experiencing mental health challenges or crises.

Mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use, are shockingly common in the United States.  In fact, more than one in five American adults will have a mental health problem in any given year.  The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals throughout the nation to provide Mental Health First Aid courses to prepare their communities with the knowledge and skills to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis.  For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

We hope you will join us to know the signs, learn the actions and be a lifeline for those with mental health issues.  To register, please go to http://mhfaco.org/find-a-class.  For further questions, please contact Janet Mortinsen at janet@bethany-denver.org or 303-536-5448.

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Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever.

Dear People of Bethany, 

2014 Hello GoodbyeThank you for
giving Pastor 
Ron and Sue Ann 
such a fabulous
 Farewell and
 Godspeed on
 June 8! The sanctuary was filled at all three services with your laughter, tears and applause. They both felt so honored by your presence and gracious words, both spoken and written. As Pastor Ron always reminded us, ‘The way we say hello, is the way we say good-bye.’ Thus we are delighted this month to say hello to two new Bethany employees. We welcome into our staff Natalie Dailey and Jeffrey Harms. We also were delighted to celebrate with Russ Britton and his family at his ordination and installation as a pastor at Bethany. While we welcome Pastor Russ’ gifts for ministry, we are also well into the process of finding an Interim Senior Pastor to serve the congregation during our transition to a new Senior Pastor. These are days filled with a variety of emotions; everything from sadness to great excitement.

2014 All Things NewOn June 22, we also launched the Renewed for Growth campaign. This campaign will allow us to enhance our facility over the next three years. Our first project, the new chapel, will provide a lovely, intimate and holy space for funerals, weddings and summer worship. While our current sanctuary is gorgeous, it is too large for Gramma’s service when there are only 60 people in attendance. I pray that the Holy Spirit will move you to contribute to the Chapel with a gift in memory of a loved one, or purchase several square feet for $182/square.

2013 Small Pray 2As you can see, all of our leadership teams are working diligently to continue to move the mission of Bethany forward. I’m so proud of you, the people of Bethany. Thank you for walking faithfully with God no matter the circumstances. Beginning July 12, a group of people will be prayer walking our sanctuary and building for 45 minutes each Saturday morning at 9:00am, lifting our life together in prayer to God. Join in!

Hebrews chapter 13 is the close of a letter written to a community experiencing fatigue of faith and those tempted to turn away from
 Christ. After some very robust language, the last chapter turns to simple and direct advice. ‘Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect 2014 Hebrews 138to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison. Be content with what you have. Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.’ (Chapter 13: various verses 1-7)

Then comes the promise: Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever. In these days of change, we too are called to remember the basics, and I have no doubt that we will. Let mutual love continue. Show hospitality to strangers. Be content. Remember and pray for your leaders.

We can draw strength from the fact that in the midst of all the change around us, Jesus Christ remains a constant. He is our Rock. He is our steadfast support. He is our forgiveness and life together. Now and forever. Amen.

Pastor Ruth Ann

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Pastorous Thoughts – Summer 2014 – Pastor Russ Britton           

2014 Lamentations

The NPR radio series This I Believe has individuals share briefly how they have come to claim the life values and beliefs that characterize their conviction. This has also born three books that are the written collections of many of those essays. While we as individuals are a complex amalgam of influences, the interest in what matters to another and the story of how it came to be that way can be a great inspiration of curiosity, even if in the end, we may disagree with them.

Whether you are an early bird, a night owl, or a sleep lover at both ends of the night, the morning does contain a certain sense of the possible. The marvelous hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness (ELW 733) contains in its refrain “morning by morning new mercies I see.” I heard a story where a young man says to an older man on the porch, “I have a problem.” The older man inquires, “What would that be?” “I cannot see God,” replies the young man. To which the older gentleman replies, “Well, I don’t know if I can help you, son. I have a different type of problem. I cannot help but see God everywhere.” I love this story. Surely, I want to clarify that where the Bible says in Isaiah 11 that ‘a little child shall lead them,’ that age is not a sole differentiation of who can have eyes of faith to encourage one another. Each of us has the unique capacity when we live out our God given gifts and passions to be one who can point out God’s mercies. This I believe and I am pleased to be a part of the Bethany Lutheran community which ‘morning by morning’ has and will continue to proclaim God’s faithfulness!