Who the Holy Spirit is? Is it even a person? What was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit all about on that day of Pentecost we read about in the Holy Scriptures? What role does the Holy Spirit play in our lives and in the church today? If you are scratching your head on one or more of these questions you are not alone. Our Story People team has put together a short video asking some of our fellow Austinites what they think. Check it out: Holy Spirit - YouTube Still confused? Come and learn more about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today on Pentecost Sunday, May 19th at Bethany! Please note that Matt Werner will not be preaching at the 6PM service as noted earlier in an email.
How did Jesus see Himself? The best way to answer that is by looking at what He said about Himself. Starting this coming Sunday in the Pastors' Encouraging Word Bible Study, we will be looking at Jesus' "I AM" statements. We'll see how it's still relevant today in that He called Himself "the Light of the World," "the Gate to the Sheep Pen," "the Good Shepherd," "the Resurrection and the Life," "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," and "the Vine." This Sunday, we look at where Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life." We meet in the Community Life Center Fellowship Hall at 9:30.
Council Elections during the Services on May 19 - Two council members will be elected to fill the positions currently held by Micah Vasicek and Bruce Szalwinski. The candidates, presented to the congregation by the nominating committee, are, Chuck Evans, Rondena Mackey Beverley Michalk and Ron Pope. The elections will be held before and after 4 Sunday services on May 19.
Bethany Ed Planning Group (Focus Group Parents Of Pre-K Through 5th Grade) - On Sunday, May 19 we invite the parents of elementary school-aged children to join us in a focus group setting to provide input on Bethany's Sunday School and childhood educational programs. There are two opportunities to join the conversation on May 19: 9:30 a.m. (during Sunday school) and 3:00 p.m. (during JAM) in the Sunday school area of the CLC. The focus groups will be conducted by Chuck Evans, a Bethany member, Sunday School teacher, and non-profit programming consultant. The meetings will take about 30 minutes, so drop your children off at Sunday School or JAM and join us.
Living with Cancer on June 12 from 7-9PM - Wanted to know more about cancer? Know someone in your family or others with it? Join us on Wednesday, June 12 from 7-9PM in CLC Fellowship Hall for "Cancer connection: mission to improve the quality of life for individuals and families affected by cancer." We will have a presentation and questions/answers afterwards. If you would like more information about the seminar or other ones in the future, please contact Rondena Mackey (email@example.com).
Patriotic Service on June 30 - In our Patriotic Service Bulletin, Bethany would like to recognize active and retired duty military (as well as police officers, firefighters and EMS) who are associated with Bethany Lutheran Church. If you have a relative or friend who you would like to be included on this insert, please send their name, rank, branch of service and location deployed (if actively serving) to Cindy McCormick (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday, June 24. If you have served in the armed forces or are currently serving, please wear your uniform on this Sunday. Also thank you for serving your country.
Tech Needed - We need helpers in the tech booth to serve as video switchers and audio engineers. Video switchers are responsible for changing the screens during worship. Audio engineers control the volume of sound during worship. We especially need video switchers for all any of the services: Sundays at 8am, 9:30am, 11am and 6pm. For more information, please contact David Angerman. We provide free training!
Missed a Sunday and Want to Hear the Sermon - Interested in hearing last Sunday's sermon or another one? You can listen to sermons automatically by going to our Bethany Lutheran Channel. You will have the option to hear the sermons or download the files. Click on Sermons at www.blcms.org. You can always pick up a copy at the Welcome Center.
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES Back to top
Beyond the Basics (Room 102) - The "new Jacob" now named "Israel" reverts to his old ways when he finally sees his brother Esau after twenty years of separation. They meet amicably, Esau offers to make a future with Jacob / Israel, but just like old times, Jacob goes his own way and does his own thing. Come our way Sunday and discuss the ongoing saga of Jacob and Esau -- and us in them!
Pastor Class' Encouraging Word (Fellowship Hall in the Community Life Center) - How did Jesus see Himself? The best way to answer that is by looking at what He said about Himself. Starting this coming Sunday in the Pastors' Encouraging Word Bible Study, we will be looking at Jesus' "I AM" statements. We'll see how it's still relevant today in that He called Himself "the Light of the World," "the Gate to the Sheep Pen," "the Good Shepherd," "the Resurrection and the Life," "the Way, the Truth, and the Life," and "the Vine." This Sunday, we look at where Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life." We meet in the Community Life Center Fellowship Hall at 9:30.
Exodus Class (room 108) - Studying the book of Jonah.
Parents of Young Kids (Room 107 - Please note that Mark's class is not meeting the next two Sundays) - We are studying the book of Matthew, using certainly the Bible itself, and assisted by a movie, surprisingly called "Matthew". So why is the parent's class going to study one of the gospels? Because if we are going to parent Biblically, and if we're going to pass the faith to our children, we ought to be very familiar with Jesus, his ministry, and his teachings: the foundations of our faith.
FROM LANDON BECKER - CALL RESPONSE Back to top
It is after great prayer and devotion, conversation and struggle to discern God's will, I have come to a decision about the two calls that have been extended to me from Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, MO and St. John's Lutheran Church Bakersfield, CA. I felt that both congregations provided many exciting ministry opportunities for me professionally and they both deeply desire to have a youth minister shape their program as I have helped to shape Bethany's youth ministry.
One of the biggest reasons I believe God has called me here to Bethany was to be a champion for the youth and help prepare youth to be servant leaders as we send them out into the world. I have lovingly and faithfully served so that our youth and families would have opportunities to be plugged into a relationship with Jesus and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship. I hope each family knows they are loved, accepted and cherished here at Bethany. I pray that you have seen that joy and passion in which I have served for the last six and a half years.
It is after great prayer, struggle, and guidance from the Holy Spirit that I can say with integrity that I have considered both calls whole heartedly. As for me and my house, we will continue to serve our Lord here at Bethany Lutheran Church in Austin, TX. I have officially declined the calls to Kirkwood, MO and to Bakersfield, CA.
Amanda and I love serving the Lord here at Bethany and feel blessed to have the opportunity to stay and continue in our service here. We feel that it is important that you know as a congregation that we are happy here in Austin and at Bethany. This has become our home.
12 million people are projected to move to Texas in the next ten years. We have good challenges in front of us as a congregation to ensure we help meet the needs of those people moving to our area. We have a wonderful congregation and the best kids in the whole world. Thank you for all of your prayers, emails, conversations, and support through the call process. I can't wait to see what exciting things God has planned for us here at Bethany.
Joy in Jesus,
Minister of Youth and Education
Bethany Lutheran Church
WOMEN'S MINISTRY Back to top
Prayer Shawl Ministry - We have been blessed with many individuals donating their time and talents in making prayer shawls. As a result, we are able to extend this ministry to include, of course our own members but also those outside of the Bethany family, who are experiencing a time of unusual physical or emotional stress, and in need of the solace that only God can provide. These shawls wrap, enfold, comfort and cover people in time of distress. If you wish to share one of these shawls with someone, please contact the Ministry Support in the church office. Please contact Signe Griffin (847 0042 /email@example.com) if you have any questions.
DO YOU LIKE TO SEW? Would you like to sew for Foster Children? Dorcas Circle is looking for LOTS of women that would like to make dresses for little girls. At the Bethany in Missions Table there is a coat rack with kits hanging at the top and completed dresses at the bottom. Take a Packet or 2 or 3, Make a dress(s) and return it and then take another one. Each Packet has everything you need plus instructions. If you need more information contact Andree Brunk firstname.lastname@example.org 422-0130.
Wanted: Apple Device For Bethany Christian Store - Our store is planning to convert to an internet based credit card processor which will reduce our fees by 75%. To do this, the store will need one of the following Apple devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone4, iPhone4S, iPhone 5; iPad, iPad mini, or iPod Touch that is running iOS 5.0 or higher . We will only use the internet so the phone provider does not matter. Please contact Beverly Childers if you have one of these devices that you no longer use and would like to donate it to the store. Please note that the store will be closed for the remodeling of the Fellowship Hall area.
Power Hour For Sunday School - During the month of May the children's education hour from 9:30-10:30 will be focusing on prayer. Jesus taught us to pray with the words to the Lord's Prayer, and he helps us to pray to the Father each day. Children will learn more about what the Lord's Prayer means, and will participate in activities such as praying in color (a creative way to pray with paper and markers), eating prayer pretzels, performing skits, and exploring creation with a prayer walk. We would love your child to join us. There is no need to preregister. Parents and friends are always welcome. Please see Children's Minister Kim Lauer with any questions.
VBS 2013 - COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN - Register now for June 24-28 from 9AM-12Noon for a "Kingdom Rock - Where Kids Stand Strong for God" as we follow Jesus on an amazing journey. We are looking for volunteers (crewleaders, CIA Director, and many more). Stop by the VBS table for the needed supplies or the website.
Camp Bethany - Having Fun with the Son (6 weeks this summer) - Join us this summer for our annual Camp Bethany. Register online at www.blcms.org! The ages are those entering 1st grade through 8th grade. The themes are as follows:
Water Week (June 10-14); Superhero Week (June 17-21);
Sports Spectacular (July 8-12); Center Stage (July 15-19);
Power Up (July 29-August 2); Zooplosion (August 5-9)
Each week of camp is $120 per child (entering 1st grade through 6th grade). You can register for all six weeks for only $600 -must be signed up for camps by June 3. Have a middle school aged child at home during the summer? Sign them up to be Counselors in Training (CIT). They will participate in the camp activities and serve as helpers for our little campers. The cost for youth entering 7th and 8th grades is $90. Youth can earn community service hours for their time at camp.
Summer Camp Scholarships Available - The Women in Missions chapter of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League has designated $1500 from the proceeds of the Christmas Marketplace to be used for scholarships for those members of Bethany, ages 8-12, attending summer camp at Camp Lone Star in La Grange, TX. Your child is free to attend any of the sessions. However, to encourage your child's attendance, you might want to check with other families and find a week agreeable with most families. For more information on the camp session calendar, check the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Texas web site www.lomt.com or email email@example.com
How to apply for scholarship money:
- Send your application to Camp Lone Star at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Texas (LOMT).
- After you receive confirmation from Lone Star, email Carol Boerger at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your interest in receiving partial scholarship money. Request read receipt to make sure Carol gets it. Deadline for scholarship application is JUNE 1, 2013
- Make full payment to Lutheran Outdoors Ministry of Texas.
- Women of Bethany will pay you, not LOMT. The amount of the scholarship depends on the number of confirmed campers. $1500 will be split evenly between the campers. A check will be sent to each family by the end of June.
Questions? Contact Carol Boerger 282-9540 or email@example.com
Men's Morning Bible Breakfast (Led by Pastor Knippa) - Meets Mondays at 7AM at La Familia (3601 W. William Cannon Dr. #900)
Faith and Science: A weekly discussion for men - Friday mornings this summer, beginning June 7, 6:30am. Plan to join this 10-week men's summer discussion series, regarding the intersection of faith and science. To be held in the Community Life Center fellowship hall, each Friday, June through August, except holiday and VBS weeks. Led by Mark Boerger. Whether you're an expert in this area or never seriously considered it before, we'd love to have you join in, add your thoughts, spend time with old friends, and meet some new ones. Yes, you can get up that early!
YOUTH MINISTRY Back to top
JAM (3rd-5th Graders) - We will learn more about Job and having faith.
KREED (6th-8th Graders) - Join us for a game involving water guns and tagging people! Please wear gym shoes and clothes you don't mind getting wet.
YALL (9th - 12th Graders) - Senior Affirmation Sunday! We will be spending time affirming each of the seniors as a youth group and reflecting on some of their favorite memories at Bethany. Please come and help us pray over each senior individually.
YALL Pool Party at Murray House on Saturday, May 18 from 4-8PM - Bring your swimming suit and enjoy an afternoon at the Murray House. We will swim, fellowship, and enjoy the end of the year with a swim party. The address for the pool party is (14300 Friendswood Lane, Austin TX 78737). If your last name begins with letter A-L please bring snack/appetizer to share. If your last name begins with M-Z please bring a dessert to share. Drinks, chips, and hot dogs provided.
Attention All Graduating High School Seniors
Save the Date and Send Photos for Baccalaureate Slide Show
Baccalaureate Service Wednesday June 5th 2013 at 7:00pm
You, your family and friends are invited to attend a Baccalaureate Service at Bethany honoring all graduates of the class of 2013 on Wednesday June 5th 2013 at 7:00pm. The Baccalaureate Service is a non-denominational worship service providing an opportunity for family and friends to gather in prayer, rejoice in music and hear an inspirational message to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2013. For the Baccalaureate service, you can still submit photos to Carleton Britt (firstname.lastname@example.org). For further information or questions contact Bevolyn Wottrich, Kathy Lentz, Carlton Britt or Barbara Siegwalt
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Bible Study For Young Adults On Tuesdays - held at the home of Mark and Carol Boerger, meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm for a free meal and Bible study. We are currently Exploring the Gospel of Matthew chapter by chapter, with the assistance of a movie version of that gospel. This gathering is intended for young adult singles and couples. Contact Mark Boerger for more details.
VOLUNTEER SERVICES OPPORTUNITIES Back to top
Sunday Evening Refreshments, Help Needed: We have had a small group of people who have faithfully been providing refreshments for our pre-service gatherings; through natural attrition, we have a need for more people to be involved. The provider has much flexibility on what is provided, sometimes very simple, sometimes fancier; the food needs to be available between 5:30 and 6:00 pm on Sundays. With enough people, the typical rotation requires each person to do this about twice in a 3-month period, and the dates are volunteered for before the start of the quarter. Expenses are reimbursed. Please contact Mark Boerger (email@example.com, or 615-4150).
Conversation Partners - Some Bethany members are currently involved with a Conversation Partner ministry sponsored by the University Lutheran Chapel near the UT campus; each one reports really enjoying the sessions and the new relationships. The program involves meeting once/week with an international student or spouse, and just having good conversations in an effort to help the person with their English and cultural understandings. The director of the program can always use more volunteers, as there is a constant demand for this service. Please contact Mark Boerger for details.
Giving Box for South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center - We are collecting new or slightly used items (boy clothes, diapers, wipes, stamps, envelopes, and other items) for the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center in the Preschool Hall/Children's Sunday School area.
Collecting items for LSSS Girl's Center in Canyon Lake - Bring joy to girls by dropping off jars of pickles, 12 oz. 8 packs of soda, hair conditioner, fun rugs, colored ankle socks, school supplies, and other items on the list near the Welcome Center.
SAAM (South Austin Assistance Ministry) - 47 families were given rental assistance in 2012 beyond the help available through the Travis County Health and Human Resources office and 106 families received assistance in paying their utility bills beyond the ability of the Travis County Office toprovide help for them during the past year. All of this happened because of the joint contributions of a dozen congregations comprising the South Austin Assistance Ministry (SAAM) in which Bethany participates. Beyond aid such as this contributions of clothing for the clothes closet came from the congregations comprising SAAM. Contributions of clothing for that closet may be made by calling Shirley Froelich (264-1511) or Colleen Boytim (282-3580), Bethany's representatives to SAAM.Food Bank Collection for Abiding Love Lutheran Food Pantry - We collect non-perishable food which we deliver directly to the Food Pantry at Abiding Love Lutheran Church in Southwest Austin. These donations will go directly to 80 to 90 families in need who are serviced by Abiding Love Lutheran. The current needs are: peanut butter, cereal, tuna, and Mac/cheese.
FELLOWSHIP AND OTHER EVENTS Back to top
Like to play dominoes (2nd Tuesday of each month) -Come at noon with a sack lunch for some fellowship. We will start playing dominoes from 1-3PM in the Fellowship Hall.
Bethany Bridge Bunch- Do you enjoy playing bridge? Come and join the group on the 1st Tuesday of each month from 7-10PM. Contact Carol Stuewe (264-9155 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Like to play Pinochle - Join the group on the first Friday of each month from 1-4PM for a great game and fellowship.
S.C.A.T (Senior Citizens Are Terrific) - A group of 60+ that meets luncheons, games, daytrips, and activities from September through May. Join the group for picnic at Dick Nichols Park on Becket on Tuesday, May 21. The group will be leaving the church at 11:30AM. Bring some food to share. Paper plates, cups, and napkins provided. If you have any questions, please contact Mary Hulberg (292-9032) and Pat Arledge (440-8075).
Lifetree (Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30AM) -- Join us on Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30AM to gather to explore life and faith. The hour-long experience features real stories of real people, friendly conversation, time to build relationships with new and old friends, laughter, fun, spiritual insights, and opportunities to serve in the local community. Free admission...doors open at 9AM. For more information, please contact Mark Boerger (email@example.com).
SUPPORT Back to top
Stephen Ministry - In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, with all the stresses associated with modern day lifestyles, we sometimes experience situations that are more crisis oriented and can be overwhelming, i.e., divorce, hospitalization, job loss, or loss of a loved one. Stephen Ministry is devoted to helping others experiencing such crises in their lives. Stephen Ministers go through extensive training in caring for and helping others in any number of stressful situations pertaining to life's unfortunate events. If you feel like you just need someone to talk then please contact Mark Butterworth (512 786-7503). We have Stephen Ministers who are here to help you.
This is a congregational e-mail sent to those in our Bethany family whose e-mail address we have on file. This is one communication tool used to inform the congregation about coming events, the death of a Bethany family member, meeting cancellation notices, and other important information. If you do not want to receive these e-mail notices, please send a reply stating so. Thank you!