Members' Corner

 

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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