Pastor Peterson's Pericopes

In this season of thanksgiving, I give thanks for all the ministries here at Bethlehem, and I especially give thanks for all the volunteers and staff members who keep them going so strong.


Looking back on this year, let me lift up the growth in our ministry, the changes, and the improvements:


  • This fall we added the Boomwhacker Children’s Choir.
  • Also this fall, we introduced a new liturgy, The Mass of Renewal.
  • We participated in the Reformation Hymn Fest.
Faith Formation
  • Advent Fest was a great cross-generational event.
  • We focused on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with education events throughout the year. (Small Catechism emphasis during Lent and a Thursday night Bible study on it as well, Adult Forum on Martin Luther, showing the new movie “Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed The World”)
  • We began sending volunteers to assist in worship and fellowship at New Beginnings Prison Ministry.
  • We provided three months of housing for Joe Albers and his three kids in the mission house as they waited for their Habitat home to get done.
  • We collected a special love offering for propane at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • Sister Kathleen Weigland from the St. Vincent Mission in David, Kentucky visited Bethlehem.
  • We raised $16,000 to help pay down the mortgage.
  • We hosted the successful fundraiser “Bluegrass and BBQ” for Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp.
  • Several new ways for electronic giving were introduced.
  • Greg Schumann set up a special fundraiser/fellowship event at Bandimere Speedway.
  • Alan and Debby Olson repainted the fellowship hall.
  • The north and south sides of the building were relandscaped.
  • New lights were installed in the parking lot and shed.
  • Ryan Bloemker refitted the door on the shed so the new bus could be parked in it.
  • New air conditioners were installed to service the fellowship hall, the narthex and the youth room/choir room wing.
  • The roof leak in the sanctuary was patched.
  • A new cleaning company, Stratus, was hired.
  • A new church sign will soon be installed.
Staffing and volunteers
  • We thanked Jan Geiser for her many faithful years of service as our bookkeeper.
  • Karen Haag was hired to be our new bookkeeper.
  • At the first of the year, Brenda Harris started as our new Worship Director.
  • We thanked Shelley Kunselman for her many years as our Financial Secretary.
  • Jamie Jurkovich was hired as our new Communications Coordinator.
  • Deaconess Kristen Baltrum was granted a three month sabbatical. Deaconess Sarah Loberg coordinated those ministry responsibilities during her absence.
  • We are blessed to work with Andrea Kragerud as she begins her seminary journey and call to ordained ministry.
  • An official audit was done by Lesley Williams, CPA. The church council and audit committee are working on implementing her suggested changes.
  • At a well-attended congregational meeting, several changes were made to our by-laws.
  • Changes continue to be made to the web site, how we count the weekly offering and how we communicate with the congregation.

And…we look ahead to a new year of ministry.


Hopes and Dreams for 2018
  • Grow the children’s choir program, adding tone chimes
  • Send 17 of our youth plus adult leaders to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston
  • Provide full scholarships for our youth for camping ministry at Sky Ranch
  • Remodel the bathrooms in north wing
  • Send a mission team to Houston to do hurricane clean up
  • Put new carpet and paint in the sanctuary
  • Begin looking for a new Sunday school curriculum

So much ministry happened this year in all these areas of ministry. Thanks to all of the worship volunteers, those who volunteered on property projects, the teachers and mentors, those who did mission work, those who folded bulletins and counted offerings, those who served on councils and committees, and so many more.


Bless you all for being a blessing in so many ways,
Pastor Peterson

© 2018 Bethlehem Lutheran Church
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