Members' Corner

 

Staying Connected During COVID-19 (September 2020)

Below are updates from leaders of various Bethlehem small groups on how they continue to connect remotely during this time. If you are interested in setting up a small group to meet remotely, please see more information under the Gather section of this newsletter.


Bethlehem Book Club

Since launching early in the Isernhagen years, Bethlehem's book club has missed few morning monthly meetings and not once since Zoom meetings commenced in April. Our Zoom discussion happens at 9:00 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month with the next meeting scheduled for September 10 when we will discuss In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming. While we all miss coffee together at The Java Stop, we have not minded Zooming. Readers join from the convenience of their homes, sometimes out of the area, even out of state, with their home brewed coffee or tea and comfortably attired in leisure wear. For the first time, one month there was actually perfect attendance. We begin with a devotional and conclude with some catching up or prayer concerns with the book discussion sandwiched in between. Most, but not all, of our selections are fiction. Newcomers are welcome; contact Jenny K. (jmtkelley@gmail.com) or Deanna H. (dmhebbert@gmail.com) for more information.

 

Bethlehem Quilters

Many of the quilters have remained busy during this time with no physical get-togethers. Some have been cutting squares, creating tops, binding, and shopping. We are trying to figure out a way that we can get together in the stable to make quilts in the future. In the meantime, we have been having a virtual quilters coffee every Thursday.

 

Bethlehem Young Adult Book Club

This group of 6-8 young ladies in their 20s have continued to meet throughout the COVID season. Our first study during the season was on Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility. It took four two-hour sessions on Zoom to discuss all that was in that book. When we were finally able to start meeting in person, we met in DK's garage, 6' apart, with all the doors open. Additionally, we had two people on video chat through Facebook Portal/Messenger (the portal device allows the camera to "fisheye" and see the whole room, as well as have multiple people connected remotely). That garage conversation was on Glennon Doyle's memoir Untamed. Our next conversation is on Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat. The date and meeting modality is TBD. If you or someone you know would like to join us, please contact Deaconess Kristen (kristen@bethlehem-lutheran.net).

 

Manna Bible Study

Manna Bible Study meets every Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. through Zoom. We are currently reading and discussing the book of Acts. All are welcome! If you have questions or would like to join us call Phyllis Wright at 303-772-1360. Blessings to all!

 

Saturday Prayer/Study Group

This group is called Promise Keepers, which dates back to circa 1994. No one is currently attending any PK functions. All the men in this group are seniors or super seniors. We meet every Saturday for Bible Study, prayer and general discussion. This group has met continuously since then, never missing a Saturday (sometimes, but only one or two). There are only two folks from the original eight, which is the number that has been agreed upon long, long ago! We meet via Zoom on Saturday, which has kept up our commitment to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Zoom has made it possible for one member to attend this year because he was unable to travel. We look forward to his return in the near future. Contact Dan Kube at 970-532-3426

 

Naomi Circle

We meet virtually using Zoom on the second Tuesday of each month from 9:15 a.m.–11:00 a.m. After a brief meeting we discuss the Bible study found in the Gather magazine. All ladies are invited to join us for wonderful Christian fellowship. Our next meeting is Tuesday, September 8. Please contact Linda Holste (holstell@outlook.com, 563-370-8464) if you would like to be included.

 

2020 Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp (August 2020)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church recently received a letter from Brad Abbott, executive director of Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp, thanking the congregation for its role in the faith formation of Bethlehem member Maddy Reed who is currently serving on the Sky Ranch staff.  Read the letter in full below.

 

Members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 

 

We are excited to let you know that Maddy Reed is serving on the 2020 Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp Summer Staff! What a blessing! Every year, one of the most powerful aspects of the Sky Ranch program are the young adults that we hire as our summer staff. In this outdoor setting, dynamic college aged counselors ignite the faith of youth and adults alike and are inspired in their own faith. 

 

Good things happen when people are at camp. One girl wrote her counselor to thank her Maddy Reedand to share what being at camp meant to her last summer.

 

"Learning how much Christ loves me helps me to love myself for who I am... and to not pretend to be someone I'm not." 

 

Sky Ranch is about transforming lives! It's about relationships! Here, relationships are built between individuals, between people and their faith, and between people and their God. These relationships are profound and life altering! As a result, camp continues to be one of the places in our church where youth remain active after confirmation. 

 

During this summer's 2020 Pandemic, our greatest priority is to safely provide a community of God's love to all staff, campers, and families! Even without campers on-site this summer, our Board of Directors approved the hiring and training of our summer staff. The Sky Ranch Summer Staff are determined to provide resources that support our campers and congregations during this difficult time. They have started generating a virtual resource series for campers interested in enjoying a little bit of camp at home. They are crafting a variety of free camp activities, worships, games, and campfires for campers and congregations. 


 StaffWe want to thank you for your part in the faith formation of Maddy and nurturing in her the Christian call to again serve at Sky Ranch this very different summer of 2020. 

Sky Ranch has a rich tradition of training staff to be church leaders regardless of their vocation. Here they put faith into action and are trained to be the leaders of our church. In the staff community, they can explore their spiritual gifts and listen for their vocational call. 

 

Again, thank you for the faith foundations you have fostered in Maddy and thanks for your part in making ministry happen at Sky Ranch. Our vision of outdoor ministry is to unleash a spirit driven community that is a transforming hope in the world and your support makes this happen. 

 

Yours in Christ, 

Brad Abbott, Executive Director 

 

P.S. Summer staff salaries, training, and room and board represents approximately 30% of the Sky Ranch budget, with individual salaries starting at $225 per week, or $2250 for the summer. A great way to support Sky Ranch is to sponsor a staff for a day, a week, or the entire summer.



 

2020 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly

Pam and Todd Bischoff attended the remote Rocky Mountain Synod 2020 Synod Assembly May 1–2. Find a detailed report of the weekend below. Thank you to Pam and Todd for representing Bethlehem at this year's assembly.

This Synod Assembly was certainly different than any that have been held previously due to restrictions felt all through the Synod as the result of the coronavirus. However, with the help of Zoom, all delegates and participants worshiped, listened, prayed, voted, and were inspired just as sincerely as if we had been united in person. Though not together in body, the Spirit certainly moved among us.

The day began with a sing along led by staff from Rainbow Trail and Sky Ranch and moved into morning prayer honoring the heritage of the Native Americans who were the first guardians of our land. One of the highlights of the assembly that took place during morning prayer was the anthem "One Voice," sung by Company West from Arvada West High School. Each student and the director sang from their places of quarantine, and the result was mind-blowing and spirit-lifting.

Bishop Gonia opened the morning session with welcome and introductions and moved on to the business of the Synod. The Bishop and vice president Earlene Bohling spoke on the topics Claiming our Gifts, Connecting in Ministry and Witness, Equipping all Leaders, Accompanying One Another into God's Future, and Growing in Gratitude and Generosity. In addition, we learned about the Church Becoming Initiative. The first part of this initiative is the 3E program (educate, equip, enact) and includes Stewardship for all Seasons, the Ministerial Excellence Fund and Vital Right-Sized Ministry. Stewardship for all Seasons equips pastors, deacons, and congregational leaders to carry out programs that enliven a culture of generosity. The Ministerial Excellence Fund assists pastors and deacons in developing stronger financial literacy skills, helps to eliminate or reduce educational and medical debt, and provides assistance in emergencies. Vital Right-Sized Ministry helps congregations see how the Spirit is prodding us toward new forms of ministry. The second part of the initiative is Excellence in Leadership which provides tools for navigating the internal landscape in ourselves, the church and the world. The third initiative is Stewardship of our World and highlights resources for maintaining the Synod's newest property, Messiah Mountain Retreat Center, as well as beloved Rainbow Trail and Sky Ranch.

After the Bishop's remarks a vote was taken on updating language in the Synod constitution. The motion passed handily. The Synod secretary encouraged congregations to amend their own constitutions. We have already done it. Yay!

Following the constitutional amendment vote was the treasurer's report. There is a deficit in the budget which the Synod hopes to cover with monies received from a government PPPL loan in addition to some cutbacks, and if necessary, money from existing reserves. The funds from the PPPL loan have already been received. More detailed information is available on the Synod website.

After a short break we viewed an incredible video highlighting global missions, after which voting took place. The budget was adopted and Synod elections took place. Prior to the keynote speech, Dana Butcher, Churchwide Rep to Everyone, presented the Churchwide Report which took us from St. Petri Lutheran Church in Flanagan, Illinois to Lutheran Campus Ministries to Escuela Secondaria in the North Texas Louisiana Synod to Welcome Ministries in California. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton encouraged us to "bloom where we are planted."

Pastor Jason Chestnut gave the inspiring and creative keynote address using his skills as a blogger, videographer, storyteller and pastor. His narrative on Following Jesus into the 21st Century combined a pre-recorded video, some meditative moments, and some ongoing chat.

The Bishop closed the assembly with prayer and we ended with song.

After the lunch break we attended closing worship, which highlighted fifty years of women in ministry in the ELCA.

If you are interested in any of the presentations, videos, or any other details concerning the assembly, you can access them using the following link:

https://www.rmselca.org/assembly_resources

Todd and I thank you for the opportunity to represent Bethlehem at the assembly. It was engaging, humbling, educational and inspiring. Thanks be to God.

Respectfully,

Pam and Todd Bischoff

 

The 99th Birthday

~submitted by Cathy Goodman

It was Monday, April 6, what felt like the 1000th day of coronavirus isolation. My 98-year-old father needed groceries, and I was nervous. I told him I would do a "once every two weeks" shopping trip for him, my daughter and I to minimize risk. With an N95 mask on my face and gloves on my hands, I hit King Soopers senior hour and purchased the largest grocery order by far in my 73 year old life. Placing his order on the table labeled "place groceries here" outside his independent living center, I waited for him to come down, feeling quite accomplished and relieved that I could wait two more weeks.

But it was not to be. On Wednesday he called. "You know what I want for my 99th birthday in a week? The prime rib roast and a Cooks shank-in ham—both on sale at Safeway." What?! I tried to explain to him that each time I went into a store I was exposing myself to the possibility of getting coronavirus. "That's okay," he replied. "You can pick me up and drop me off, and I'll go into the store and get them." Are you kidding me? No way! The back and forth went on and on. He was crushed. "What a terrible day," he said, ending our conversation.

I reviewed in my mind—he had lost so much. We could no longer visit him, he could no longer make our Friday night meals (one of the few things that brought him joy), television had become so repetitive and the news stressful, and the 99th birthday celebration with his kids and grandkids had been cancelled. Food to cook, the one thing that brought him joy, was now so hard to obtain and his daughter was saying "no" to getting it.

For the longest time, I tried to figure this out. Safeway online? First, their site did not work. Then my password did not work. Then the items he wanted were not on the shopping site. What to do? I wrote to Bethlehem saying "help!" (They did offer it.) It had been three hours of trying various ideas, then I called the store at 4:00 p.m., confirming they had the meat on the shelf. They routed me to a Park-and-Go service, something new. I explained my struggle to the man on the other end of the line. "Do you have cash?" was the reply. "If so, I get off at 4:30 p.m. and you can park in the stalls at the NW end of the parking lot; I will get it and go make this purchase." Really? You would? "Yes, it is a 99th birthday. I understand."

I dashed off with barely time to get there, cash in hand. On the way, my dad asked if I was going to have him buy the split peas too, for the ham and split pea soup—oh my!

Right on time, the gentleman showed up at my car window, a tall man with a tall turban on his head. Why do I mention the turban? Because of all the prejudice and maligning of various minorities, especially the last few years. He took my money, and I blurted out the split pea request. "What are those?" he queried, puzzled. I quickly tried to describe them, and he dashed off. In minutes, he was back with my change, roast, ham hock, and two bags of split peas in hand.

I left praying a prayer of thanksgiving, tears forming in my eyes, adding "Dear God, please help me to be as loving and kind as this angel."

 

 

Thoughts from the Rocky Mountain Synod Middle and High School Youth Gathering

Cassandra Lee, Bethlehem member and currently a ninth grader at Skyline High School, attended the Rocky Mountain Synod Middle and High School Youth Gathering this past January. Below she reflects on her time at the gathering held at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park.

I personally feel closest to God in the mountains. Specifically the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I was born in Estes Park which is a little town right below Deer Mountain. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery. For the first 10 years of my life I lived in those mountains. I went through alot when I was living there. It is always great to go back. The YMCA in which we were staying is in Estes Park. My mother used to work there when I was little. I grew up in those mountains. I see God in them. He has helped me through alot and every time I feel alone, I look up at them and remember that he's watching over me, like those mountains watch over all of us.

Looking back on that week I now realize that I will cherish those memories forever. Our youth ministry leader, Kristen Baltrum (or DK as we all call her) is leaving the youth ministry in May. This may be the last church retreat I do with her. I will miss her so. She's been like a mother to me. I don't have much of a mother figure in my life, but I am proud to say that she has been a great mother to not only me but everyone in our church community at Bethlehem Lutheran and First Lutheran.

That weekend meant alot to me. I made friends and grew in my relationship with old ones. Overall I grew with people that I love and I know love me back. I learned something about myself that weekend. I learned that no matter what happens, there is always someone who will have your back. That following week when I went back to school, I saw some people from the camp at my school. I knew most of them previously, but some were new faces. I got to see that no matter where I am I have people there for me, whether that is friends, family, or God himself. True people will always have your back, and as a teenager there can be alot of fake people. The one person you can always rely on is God. No matter the circumstances He will watch over you like those gorgeous Rocky Mountains watch over me.

 

Bethlehem and Habitat for Humanity

Jill Woodley with Bob Cotton

 

Water was slowly damaging a home in The Glens neighborhood in Dacono, trickling down the wallsBobC HHFH by the kitchen sink and destroying the flooring underneath, rusting the cold water steel pipe and clogging the valve. Only hot water flowed from the sink. The work began. Surrounding cabinets were removed, followed by the sink and lower cabinets. Mold killer was sprayed, areas were cleaned and sealed. By 6:30 that same evening, plumbing issues were resolved in addition to the installation of a new sink, faucet system, disposal unit, as well as flooring and surrounding cabinets. Cold water flowed once more, and water returned to a source of life and renewal.

This particular December 2019 Habitat for Humanity repair day is just one of countless stories where hope is restored for a family in need in the St. Vrain Valley. The unique part of this story is that it is woven into the hearts of our members who volunteered that day—Bob C., Roger L, and Chuck S. It is a story of Bethlehem members bringing Christ's love, light and good news to a family in our community struggling to afford critical home repairs.

While this particular story is recent, Bethlehem's relationship with St. Vrain Valley Habitat for Humanity (SVHFH) began approximately two decades ago with Ryan B.'s involvement as a volunteer architect designing Habitat homes and his father, Dennis B., serving on the SVHFH board. In 2005, Bob C. brought his experience from his work with Flat Irons Habitat when he joined Bethlehem and the three were fully involved in organizing Bethlehem members in supporting the mission of the SVHFH for many years. Bob continues to organize several Bethlehem build days each year. His passion for serving is steadfast, and he is an integral disciple-leader in the missions ministry at Bethlehem, extending countless invitations to our congregation to serve in our community and beyond.

The SVHFH continues to extend their invitation to our community to work together on their vision of "creating a world in which everyone has a decent, affordable place to live." Originally founded by a group of local churches in 1988, SVHFH celebrated thirty years of building and repairing homes in 2018. This same year, SVHFH made a commitment to build as many new homes in the next ten years as they did in the first thirty, totaling 100 new homes in the St. Vrain Valley area. This monumental goal combined with Bethlehem's long-term commitment to SVHFH projects generates plenty of opportunity to commit to this mission outreach.

This year Bethlehem is committed to six build/repair days, all occurring on Saturdays, with a goal of providing six volunteers for each of these dates. The first date is Saturday, February 22, and all subsequent dates can be found on the sign-up board on the west wall of the narthex. Volunteers must be 16 years of age, but no experience is necessary.

We recently heard in a Gospel lesson Jesus' simple invitation to John the Baptist and two disciples: "Come and see" (John 1:39). Bethlehem mission ministry asks you to consider this invitation—to come and see, to be part of this mission work. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to others and live out our important faith practice of serving.

 

BLC/LOC Mission Trip to Fremont, NE

Sunday, September 29 to Sunday, October 6, 2019 by Irene Yap

 

On a beautiful Sunday morning, eleven members from BLC and LOC gathered at our church entrance before leaving for Fremont, NE, to help Fremont Habitat for Humanity with flood relief work. Pastor Keith and Father Teri came out to give us blessings for our mission and journey.

Linda and Art Holm drove their own truck, as did Ken Wright. Bob Cotton drove "Josephine" for the first couple of hours with passengers Todd Propp, Matt James (both also shared the driving) plus the LOC contingent: Pete Conti (who drove the 2nd "shift"), Pat Guilbeault, Bob Franch, Mary Franch and Irene Yap.

In the interest of time, we brought our sack lunch to enjoy on the drive and only stopped for gasoline/restrooms. It was dinner time at Country Buffet in Lincoln. When we arrived at 8 p.m. at Country Bible Church (CBC) in Blair, Pastor Glen greeted and showed us around their beautiful facility. They provided air-mattresses and cots in two classrooms—our dorms and individual little space for the week. We also met Mary Henning, our cook, who had arrived earlier from Milford, Kansas. She prepared our daily breakfasts, brown bag lunches to bring with us to our job sites, and delicious dinners when we returned in the evenings after much needed showers at the Blair YMCA (as CBC does not have showers). Mary creatively used the food supplies from CBC plus whatever she purchased with funds we had sent ahead of time.

Monday morning, we had our orientation at Fremont Habitat by Joy and Kesha. They have an impressive office with a huge thrift store. Our assignment instructions were to go down Ridge Road, look for MJ, a 12 year old on a bike with a blue shirt, and follow him. That was a very accurate and fun "GPS" direction! MJ is home-schooled by his single dad, Jack. Their small cabin is very close to Platte River and had suffered much flood damage. Terry Baumert was our Habitat supervisor and our job that day was to finish installing vinyl siding. The 11 of us took on various tasks—unfortunately we did not have certain materials to complete putting up all the siding, but we had hoped to return to finish our assignment.

Alas, it rained that evening into the next day so plans had to change. Days 2—5, the "drywall" crew—Todd, Matt, Ken, Pete, Bob, Mary and Irene—worked at Antonia's Habitat home to restore her finished basement. We hung 69 sheets of drywall plus mud and taped most of the that drywall in four days. The owner wrote Habitat a very sweet note—here is a short quote: "Thank you! So very very much!!! Having you guys come and help us made things a lot easier and better for us." Antonia's daughter and grandchildren live with her.

Meanwhile, on Day 2, Bob, Pat, Linda and Art, aka the "painting and clean up" crew, painted Jefferson House, a large home for troubled youth. Day 3, this crew worked at the 20,000 square foot Flood Disaster Relief Warehouse—swept, made shelves and sorted countless work suits, latex gloves, face masks, etc. Day 4, back to Jefferson House, removing old labels off shelving prior to applying new paint. Day 5, they worked on Candi's (Habitat) home, painted her entire basement following a Chicago crew, who had put up the new drywall earlier that week.

We played on Saturday—visiting the Omaha Zoo and the famous bridge over the Missouri River where Nebraska and Iowa meet. That evening, we treated ourselves to "fine dining" at a famous restaurant in Blair where most of us enjoyed their famous Omaha steaks.

Thank you Bob, Pete, Matt and Todd for driving us home safely. All of us are filled with joy and gratitude that we were given this opportunity to help others in need. Thank you to our entire BLC and LOC community for your financial and spiritual support. Peace and Blessings to all.

If you have questions regarding our mission trips, contact Bob Cotton (rcc.cotton@gmail.com, 303-651-6563).

 

Deaconess Ann Maki, Interim Children's Ministry Coordinator

As Council President Greg Schumann communicated to congregants in early August, Ann Maki hasAnnMaki 082519- photo been hired as our Interim Children's Ministry Coordinator. Deaconess Ann's role is a ten hour per week position focusing on preschool through fifth grade Sunday School. Ann may also be providing support to the K-5th grade age children, as the need arises, for other Faith Formation needs not specifically related to Sunday School.

Ann's role as Interim Children's Ministry Coordinator is a temporary position designed to "hold" this staff position until we have a settled pastor and to allow some programming to be off-loaded from Deaconess Kristen, who has taken on some of the pastoral roles in this time of transition. Deaconess Ann will anchor, support and closely work with the volunteers in the Sunday School program. She will be able to add her special touches to enhance our ministry and help us dream about the ministry to which God is calling us.

As a new staff member, Deaconess Ann Maki is happy to be on board here at Bethlehem and pleased to introduce herself to Star readers. From Ann herself: I feel blessed to serve at Bethlehem Lutheran as the interim Children's Ministry Coordinator. I look forward to getting to know the children and adults through Rally Day, Sunday School, the Christmas program and more activities during this time of pastoral transition. Originally I am from Cleveland, Ohio. Music education was my undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State in Ohio, and I attended Valparaiso University for my theological studies. After my internship in Boulder, I married my husband, Nate, and also became a consecrated deaconess in the Lutheran Diaconal Association (same community as Deac. Kristen and Deac. Sarah). On "Family Leave from Call," I am also a rostered deacon in the ELCA.

My husband and I are blessed to have two kids: our daughter is now in second grade, and our son, four, attends Cornerstone preschool. Nate works for Southwest Airlines at Denver International Airport.

I have served in a few other congregations in the local area, all during a time of pastoral

transition. Honoring past traditions, yet making modern tweaks is an important part of interim ministry and part of my plan during my time here. To me, church is a place where everyone is welcomed as we are all both sinners and saints, in need of God's grace, seeking to know Jesus more and, through community, to show God's love to others.

I love conversation over tea and scones and welcome the opportunity to get to know God's wonderful people here at Bethlehem!

Thank you, Deaconess Ann, for telling us more about yourself, and welcome to Bethlehem. Deanna Hebbert.

 

CU Campus Ministry

Thank you to Pastor Zach Parris of Lutheran Campus Ministry at CU-Boulder for this month's feature.

 

Did you know...Lutheran Campus Ministry has been in Boulder since 1945? That's almost 75 years! During those years LCM-CU has taken on a number of shapes. There was the house on 14th Street, the United Protestant Ministry Center, University Lutheran Chapel, and the house on 12th Street. Whew!

IMG 1689These days our main weekly program happens on Tuesday night. It's called "Bread+Belonging." It's a weekly home-cooked meal provided by members of local congregations (like yourself!). Afterwards there's a program. Sometimes it's a guest speaker or bible study or games or an art project.

Bread+Belonging happens at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church, right on Colorado Avenue across from many of the freshmen dorms. It's a great space! We've been partnering with St. Aidan's since 2013. They don't have dedicated IMG 2412campus ministry staffing and we don't have space of our own. We trade our staff time for their space to develop one community of students who call themselves "Bread and Belonging." We do keep an office at Grace Lutheran Church up on the Hill and we share in much of the worship life at there.

There are two needs on campus that Lutheran Campus Ministry is uniquely equipped to meet. First, it's belonging. Students who come to a big campus like ours leave behind families, congregations, and support systems that have shaped them into who they are. The first thing most students need is to know that they belong in this place.

IMG 2365There are lots of ways to belong on campus. Some are healthy and some aren't. For nearly all of them you have to prove that you belong. You need to fit in socially with Greek life. You need to be a good hiker in the Hiking Club. We are Lutherans

and we think that the thing that makes us belong is not what we do or believe or who we are. Rather we all belong together, because we all belong to Christ. Our Tuesday night meal is the primary place we go about this work. We try to create a place at the table for all students to be fed, to be heard, and to know that they belong on this campus.

In 2014 we received a grant from the Lilly Endowment to help students discern the lives God is calling them to live. We work with students to help them make connections between their studies and their faith. To help make this happen we have mentor programs, guest speakers, retreats, trips to seminaries, and international travel. As a part of this program we train up student preachers each year and send them out to the pulpits of local congregations on Campus Ministry Sunday. (Thank you, Bethlehem, for hosting student preachers!)

IMG 2669This May we took a group of eleven to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. The Camino is an ancient path that Christians have walked as a pilgrimage from across Europe to the northwestern corner of Spain. It was a remarkable trip. The goal trip

was for students to spend around ten days walking and reflecting on the lives God is calling them to lead. There was much insight and deep conversations, but there was plenty of fun and adventure. Most notably, two words: Bed. Bugs.

This spring we received a significant gift from Mt. Calvary that will allow us to expand our work around vocation. We are currently building a community of post-college young adults who will come to Boulder to spend a year intentionally discerning how God is calling them. Grace is providing the housing and the gift will support monthly stipends. As a part of their discernment, they will intern full time for campus ministry. We can't wait to get this program off the ground to help young adults discern and to expand our work on campus!

I must spend a little bit of time telling you about our graduates. Since beginning this work around vocation we have seen students go on to remarkable things. We have had students serve in the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission and the Episcopal Service Corps. We have students in the discernment process to go to seminary. We have students who are working with AmeriCorps and Teach for America. As a result of our programming, one of our students has served at a camp in Maine where Palestinian and Israeli youth spend the summer together building connections! Not to mention the students who have pursued professions with a greater clarity of how their professional life might be a part of God's work in the world.

Bethlehem is one of our regular supporting congregations and for that we are deeply grateful. If you're looking for more ways to support our work, you should come to our 6th annual Beer Tasting Fundraiser. This year's event will be on the evening of Saturday, October 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boulder. You can also sign up for our email list at www.lutheranbuffs.org. Finally, LCM is supported by a board of directors with members from each of the Boulder/Broomfield County congregations. Bethlehem's board representative is Sarah Bailey whose husband is an LCM alum. Find Sarah and she'll get you plugged in! (Editor's note: Eva Summers served as our BLC representative for several years until retiring recently. Before Eva, it was Deanna Hebbert who also spent a few years on the board during Pastor Laurel Alexander's tenure.)

So where is Lutheran Campus Ministry these days? We are at Grace. We are St. Aidan's. We are everywhere we can be on campus. We are in space. We are on the road with students as they seek to walk the path God is calling them down. We are deeply grateful to be in those places on your behalf.

With Peace and Thanksgiving,

Pastor Zach Parris

 

Andrea Kragerud: Sentiments of a Seminarian

 

What a joy Confirmation Sunday was—to hear and actually feel the words of our confirmands as they read their written explanations of their faith. They publicly confessed to all of us present their intent to become members of our congregation and what they believed. It warmed my heart. And we responded as a community of faith, by welcoming them together through the words that reaffirmed our faith and, of course, with warm applause. On this day, the Holy Spirit was certainly present. My heart was filled, and I found myself feeling re-energized after having just completed one more semester the previous week.

Each semester of seminary is like this confirmation Sunday in many ways. Along with my cohort, we are sharing and experiencing all God is calling us to do; discovering our gifts more deeply, and learning who we are as Christian Public Leaders. It is like writing our faith statements over and over—adding to and building upon them with all of our past experiences, new book learning, and the practical training we are now encountering.

I am truly delighted each week when so many of you reach out and ask how I am doing. I can feel how much you care—not just about how I'm doing in my classes, but also about the journey I am on. It means so much to be asked and engaged in conversation. I think when asked you will always hear about how excited I am to be continuing on this path, and you also will get...I am tired...It is challenging...But I love what I'm reading...I love what I'm learning...I love my cohort who are dispersed across several time zones but come together weekly online. This semester, in particular, you probably heard me say, "Only so many more weeks of Hebrew!" I love being able to share all of this with you. It means the world to me when you say you are praying for me. I feel those prayers, that love, and that intentionality. I am eternally grateful to each of you.

So where am I at? I am at the half-way point! As of May 14, I completed my second full year of seminary! If I stay on the track I have planned, I will have two more years of classes and then one year of internship. My anticipated graduation is May of 2022 (with ordination following sometime in the near future after that).

So, for now, I'm literally in the middle of it all—half-way through the course work and half-way to completion. In the next two years, there will still be many hurdles to jump or hills to climb (pick your analogy). At the Synod level, there will be an endorsement and at the end, approval. I am excited and calm. I'm striving to enjoy every piece of this amazing journey I have been called to take.

Thank you for your continued encouragement and support! I look forward to continuing to share this journey with all of you.

ברכות ושלום

(Blessings & Peace)

Andrea the Seminarian


 

Floyd Adler: Long-Time Member Profile

 
What a privilege and a pleasure to meet and interview Floyd Adler, Bethlehem's oldest

member, born near Mead on April 11, 1920. Farming outside of Hudson at the time, parents Carl and Mary Adler of German heritage had Floyd baptized in Ft. Lupton. At some point, they moved to Mead where Floyd attended school through grade eight. As the oldest of 13, Floyd was told by his mother that he had to set a good example for his six brothers and six sisters, and he always took that admonition seriously.

FA 2019_IMG_3408The Adler family attended Peace Lutheran in Longmont. In Floyd's possession is a

hymnal from Peace dated 1930, a priceless item he intends to gift his daughter Patricia. He also has a church membership certificate signed by Pastor Taubert. From the old Peace Lutheran at Fourth and Baker, long ago converted into a single family residence, he has a white chair and an eight foot bench.

Floyd clearly remembers September 28, 1940, momentous in that at a dance he met

Marian, the woman with whom he was destined to fall in love and marry less than eight months later. She invited him to her house where he went the very next day. Within a couple of weeks, they knew they were meant for each other, love at first sight, so to speak. They met the approval of each other's parents too, and before long, Marian and Floyd's mother were exchanging recipes.

Learning all about farming didn't deter town girl Marian. Floyd and Marian married on June 7, 1941. Marian never swore, remembers Floyd, and insisted on talking problems out as soon as possible. They modeled partnership, love, and commitment to their seven children. After seeing those children baptized and confirmed Lutheran, Marian, who had not grown up in a church, decided that it was time for her, as an

adult, to become a baptized and confirmed member herself. She helped in the kitchen at both Peace and Bethlehem.

With brothers and brothers-in-law in the service and with a war on, Floyd tried to enlist in the army during WWII. However, he and Marian had a couple of children by then, and their farm was important to the war effort. His family was thanked for their service, and he was told to stay on the farm.

Recalling the years before Peace joined with Bethlehem, Floyd cites serving on the

church board for about a decade and singing in the choir for 14 years. The pastor's wife, who directed the choir, made sure that a hymn was sung every month in the German language. In Floyd's memory, the Peace-Bethlehem union in 1957 occurred relatively smoothly. Floyd served on the new Bethlehem church board as well, frequently tag teaming with Alex Ott. Good friends, the two were part of the volunteer crew that poured cement for the new church building and built the Bethlehem Stable. He remembers how that board wrangled over the need for a new furnace; however, when the church board changed, a new furnace was purchased and installed.

As a farmer, Floyd raised registered Holstein cattle and judged cattle as an active

member of the purebred Holstein association. "What brand of tractor did you own?" this

interviewer asked. "John Deere, always," Floyd answered, the first new one costing $1,100 in 1946. As an amateur auctioneer for Mead school pie socials, he thought, at one time, he wanted to become more of a professional and is still able to vocalize the auctioneer spiel. He completed an at-home course in college level material and has the booklet to prove his mastery.

In 1986 he and Marian moved off the farm into their home in Fox Hill, though he

continued to farm with his son and grandson. Once a farmer, always a farmer, he and this interviewer, a farmer's daughter, agreed. Floyd continues to garden and honor Marian, who died in 2010, with tending an abundance of flowers, especially mums, and decorating for Christmas with lots of lights. "She loved lights," he says, "and eagles."

Floyd actively participates in the Advent decorating at Bethlehem, too. He remembers that two of the three trees that were always decorated had to be taken out when the present sanctuary was built in the early 1990's. It was heartbreaking this past December when an extension cord, lights, and wreaths were taken from the church property.

With 100 years on this earth only 14 months away, Floyd remains active, drives a big

pickup, faithfully attends second service, and lives by himself in his and Marian's retirement home. With five surviving children, 18 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and five great great grandchildren, he keeps busy attending many family events and holiday gatherings. He attributes his longevity to having only an occasional beer and to never smoking. Floyd's contributions to faith and family, his interest in others, his sense of humor, and his many memories add up to a life well-lived. Thank you, Floyd Adler, for sharing some of your life story and for your service to the Bethlehem congregation.

 

Ryan Bloemker: The Good Work of the Agape Fund

 

One of Bethlehem's outreach programs is to assist those in desperate need by utilizing money from an account called the Agape fund. Agape is defined as "the highest form of love and charity" and recently we were able to tap into these funds to assist a neighbor in need.

 

After my neighbor, friend, and BLC member Thelma Abromski passed away, her home was put on the market and eventually a new couple moved in. It didn't take long for our families to recognize that we share a faith in God. Almost immediately, we began sharing our experiences of faith. Through these conversations, I learned that while one of them, Marianne, was recovering from her fourth joint replacement surgery (both knees & both hips), her doctor spotted a large fracture in one of her femurs. Immediately, she underwent another surgery to reinforce the bone.

 

Knowing that she would end up being in a wheelchair and that building a ramp would be the last thing she needed to worry about, I contacted the church to see if we could tap into the Agape fund to build a ramp. The church agreed, and for just under $300 Matt James, Matt Helman, my wife Lori, my kids, and I built a ramp in less than a day. Marianne sent me a letter from the hospital thanking our congregation for the donation, and I wanted to make sure I passed that gratitude along to everyone else in the church.

 

ramp pictureI am looking forward to her return and to see if the ramp serves its purpose. This whole experience makes me proud to say that I am a member of BLC, a church full of Agape.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Ryan Bloemker


 

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