Grace to you and peace
from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the spirit of Paul’s letters to his churches, the Transition Team has served all of Bethany by embracing their commission with passion and grace. In partnership with many here at Bethany, they have gathered important information and after study and reflection upon their findings have offered several important recommendations in support of the future health and well-being of Bethany as a congregation of the ELCA. You are invited to access the report and learn what has been discovered.
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Sunday, May 24 – Pentecost Sunday
You are invited to wear RED to celebrate the Holy Spirit! Pentecost is the Birthday of the early Christian Church. The Holy Spirit came upon those gathered in Jerusalem. It was a miraculous event with several signs: the wind of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues signifying preaching to every nation, and fire symbolizing power for those who take the Good News to the ends of the earth.
No one wants to be in those places and times of death. You might know them…those times when all is lost. When you cannot muster one shred of hope:
It’s not just that the Babylonians left the slaughtered Israelite warriors to rot in the valley, and not just that Nebuchadnezzar captured and blinded the Israelite king, Zedekiah, and took the Israelite leadership and elite to Babylon. More than that, in their heart of hearts the people believed it was the end. All hope was gone. They would never, ever, be restored as God’s people. Dry bones.
Or, it’s not just that the marriage was over, but in his heart of hearts he honestly believed he would never love, never be happy, never, ever, again. His world was dead. Dry bones.
Or, it’s not just that her store was destroyed by rioting, but in her heart of hearts she honestly believed her community would never, ever, heal. Never be safe. Never thrive. Not ever. And perhaps most frightening of all, she believed she would never, ever, be able to forgive. Dry bones.
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, James Weldon Johnson wrote, Dem bones gonna rise again. Now hear the word of the Lord!
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost. Whatever else it means, we celebrate this fact: the Spirit comes. God brings life out of death. And God’s church is in the business of offering life in the midst of death-dealing culture. So I wonder…
- What seems as dead as dry bones to you?
- How have you experienced the breath of God bringing life again to an unlikely place?
- What dry valley might we need to visit, in order to begin to live into the life God intends?
Hold onto your hat, people of God! Who knows what God will breathe next into our world! Dem dry bones are real. But then, so is the Spirit!
See you Sunday,
Pastor Russ will be preaching this Sunday at all three services and our hymns will include God of Tempest, God of Whirlwind; Gracious Spirit, Heed Our Pleading; All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly and You Are Holy.
Special music will be provided by Scott Nixon & Dave Craven at the 8:00 service. The Chancel Choir, directed by Dr. James Kim, will be with us at the 9:00am service.
Holy Communion is served at all three worship services. A children’s message will be included at the 9:00 & 10:30 services.
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New Worship Schedules Coming this Summer
It is the Ministry Council’s hope that, in addition to continuing to offer a variety of worship opportunities, the new schedule will also allow for an increased time of fellowship between the services to chat with the Pastors, connect with an old friend, or even meet someone new!
- SUNDAYS: Beginning Sunday, June 7, we’ll have two Sunday morning opportunities to worship: 8:30am and 10:00am. This will also give the entire congregation a chance to fellowship together between services. Researchers have found that one of the signs of a healthy congregation is that members have one or more close friends in their congregation. People who they look forward to seeing on Sunday. People who would know that they are absent on any given Sunday. The Ministry Council team for Community & Care is coordinating some special refreshments and activities that we might enjoy time to grow such friendship.
- TUESDAYS: The Tuesday Prayer Service at 11:30am in the Chapel has become so loved that Pastor Deb is making a commitment to continue them during the summer. All are welcome to this informal service of simple hymns, prayer, readings, and conversation. The theme for the summer will be on transformative questions Jesus asked that challenge us, change us, and draw us into deeper faith and discipleship.
- WEDNESDAY nights will be special this summer!
- Bethany Evening Prayer begins Wednesday, June 3, at 6:30pm in the Chapel! Our own Rick Seaton has written an evening prayer liturgy for our use. Each week our scripture and reflection will be based on a book, Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God, by Gary Thomas. From the book cover, “Sacred Pathways unfold nine distinct spiritual temperaments… each one suggests an approach to loving God through a distinctive journey of adoration… Sacred Pathways will help you discover the route you were made to travel, marked by growth and filled with the riches of a close walk with God.” Thomas outlines 9 unique pathways people use to encounter God and each week we will focus on a different pathway including Naturalists, Traditionalists, Intellectuals, Activists and Caregivers. We hope to see you there!
- For those who would like to dig deeper in Sacred Pathways, we invite you to join Pastor Deb for a simple supper and conversation on Wednesdays at 5:30pm in the Fellowship Hall, beginning June 10. We’ll keep it simple and healthy for body and soul! (NOTE: depending on the will of the group, we may not meet on June 24, July 1 and July 8. It’s TBD.
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Summer Day Camp (Vacation Bible School), June 22-26: In partnership with Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, we are planning an awesome week of faith formation as we look at Fruits of the Spirit. Registration forms are available at HERE or at the Welcome Center. Contact Gayle with questions or to volunteer, 303-758-2820 or email@example.com.
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11th Annual Colorado Rockies Faith Day, Sunday, July 26: Michael W. Smith is this year’s musical guest. Bethany has 25 tickets at $23 each. Each ticket includes the 2:10pm Rockies game (vs. Cincinnati Reds) and the postgame concert. Come spend a day at the ballpark with your Bethany friends! Sign up and pay at the Welcome Center. For more information con- tact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- If your last name begins with A-I, please bring a main dish.
- If your last name begins with J-R, please bring a side dish.
- If your last name begins with S-Z, please bring a dessert.
Plate, cups, utensils, napkins, lemonade, and water will be provided. Please bring Frisbees, volleyball & net, soccer balls, footballs, kites, and anything you think would make this event fun for all ages! Contact Nickie Fowler at303-956-2261 or email@example.com if you’re interested or have questions.