Aldersgate United Methodist Church
A vibrant and inclusive Christian community 
growing in faith, love, health and service                                                                      March 15, 2018
Aldersgate UMC
14230 SE Newport Way
Bellevue, WA  98006
(425) 746-9800
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Lead Pastor

Associate Pastor
Church Office

Children, Youth, Family

Preschool Director

Core Leaders
March 16-18
Youth SUMYT Retreat
March 18
UMCOR Offering
March 19
Stuff Easter Eggs
April Calendar Deadline
March 21
Stuff Easter Eggs
March 24
Church Work Party
Core Leaders Retreat
March 25
Palm Sunday
March 28
Stuff Easter Eggs
March 29
Maundy Thursday Service
March 30
Good Friday Service
March 31
Flashlight Egg Hunt
April 1
Easter Services
Egg Hunt
April 3
Young At Heart Potluck
April 8
Confirmation Begins
Stewardship Begins
April 15
Dinner &   Club 345
Dinner &  Youth Group
April 21
Young Adult Game Night
April 22
Mission Sunday
Mission Projects
April 23
May Calendar Deadline
April 29
Revisit Mission Sunday 
Church Potluck Lunch
April 30
UMW Salad Supper
Church Leadership
Click these links to read the minutes of the Core Leadership Team and the monthly minutes of the Ministry Teams.
Core Leaders (Feb)
Common Table (Feb)
Green Team (March)
Worship (Feb)
Outreach (Feb)
Preschool (Feb)
Trustees (Jan)
Finance  (Jan)

Series: The "I Am" Statements
 of Jesus

Sermon:   "Connections "
Scripture Lesson: John 15:1-14

This Sunday
This Sunday we 're going to shift gears a bit, and instead of exploring Jesus as the door or gate,  let's explore the connections that tie us together. It will still be an "I Am" statement but one with a bit of a different feel. It just seems appropriate to examine vines and branches as we see the budding of spring. 

On the chancel we continue to see what appear to be dead branches, but if you look closely you'll see that many are anything but dead. Something is moving within them, elements around them are influencing them, and then causing them to produce more than what appears possible. To make any of it possible are connections, the flow of energy, water, nutrients like light, and the working of things unseen. Out of that is the creation of something new. So instead of exploring those things that can separate us, like gates, how about we explore what connects us? 

This scripture about God being the gardener, Jesus being the vine, and us being the branches also states that fruit cannot be produced when there is a separation from that which provides what's needed; and what's needed is connection. There was an article in the Pacific Northwest section of last Sunday's Seattle Times that reiterated our need for community, connections, even a tribe to call our own. But why that need? So let's explore what lays at the root of community, why the need is so important, and what we do to make those connections. To prepare please read John 15:1 - 14. 

As many of our youth attend the SUMYT retreat this weekend, they will continue to deepen community. Let's do the same on this final Sunday before Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

~ Pastor Brad
Pastor's Blog
Rev. Brad P. Beeman

        As many of you now know I'll be taking a sabbatical beginning on Easter  Sunday
afternoon.  This is the first time I've ever done this.  The recommendation for clergy is that they take a sabbatical once every four years.  I've never really seen the need, and in most cases, moved after my third or fourth year so taking one every four years just wasn't possible.  A sabbatical is kind of strange thing.  It is not a vacation.  It is designed to have pastors focus on one or two areas of ministry; a kind of extended time of continuing education.  For some, sabbaticals have been focused on their own spiritual renewal.  For others it has been a time set aside to study a specific area of ministry. For me it's neither and it's both.  It's broader than either.
        I keep looking around us in the Pacific Northwest, see the church closures that seem to be growing with time, continually  hear of either church closures, or some new church that's being planted somewhere.  Those seem to be the priority.  What I don't hear enough about is how we are seeking to sustain, encourage, create vibrancy, and health in churches that continue to be in significant ministries.  You know, churches like Aldersgate.  Among the issues we face is the realization that there just aren't a whole lot of churches facing what we face.  There is no manual that can guide us through a time of cultural change, responding to the wealth coming into the area, the various populations that move here, the focus on education, the expectations and pressures placed on our children and youth, not to mention the expections placed on the tech industry workers and executives.  How does a church respond to the escalating prices of homes, the economic challenges that brings, the influx of first languages that are not English, the mansion-iization of the smaller homes being torn down and replaced by mansions?  There is more but I know you understand.  So how does a church like ours respond to the things around us?  How do we retain our integrity and still respond to our community in this time of massive change?  How do we continue to be vibrant while being creative?  How do we create a sustainable model that will keep this amazing place going for, not just years to come, but decades to come?  Those are a few of the pieces I'll be exploring on my sabbatical.  I've already engaged seminary professors, community developers (not to be confused with builders), pastors who may be dealing with similar situations, none of whom are United Methodist at this point.  I've begun to order books, schedule webinars, retain coaches and others that will support me, teach me, challenge and help instruct me when it comes to responding to these difficult issues.  And yes, I will be taking some time for spiritual renewal.  It is also an expectation of sabbaticals.  So here's what I'm asking of you.
        If you have questions about it, please ask me.  Support those in need of pastoral care while I'm away.  Volunteer to fills some of the other gaps.  With that in mind let me share the other reason I feel that this is a good time to finally take this on.  It is because we, at Aldersgate, not only have a strong team of leaders, but we have another pastor in whom I have the highest levels of trust.  Laura will be taking on some extended roles while I'm away.  She becomes the head of staff, the Senior pastor, the key person around pastoral care, and the key administrator of things like the Pastor's Discretionary Fund.  She is so gifted, and yet, like me, she needs your support.  We're so blessed to have her with us but she cannot do this alone.  Remember, she's half time. So let's step up and support her and areas of need right now.   I feel so blessed to have her as a colleague and someone I trust with your care.  I guess more than anything, I wanted you to know that this time away is focused on you, Aldersgate United Methodist Church.  And, just so you know, I'll return to the pulpit on  May 20th .   Finally I simply ask for your prayers as I seek to search to continue to define what God needs us to be well into the future. 
Holy Week and Easter Services
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday service -  March 25, 9:00am & 11:00am
We will commemorate the Messiah's entry into Jerusalem with palms and alleluias.
Maundy Thursday Maundy Thursday service -  March 29, 7:00pm
We will remember Jesus' last night with his disciples and receive communion.
Good Friday
Good Friday service - March 30, - TWO services!
We will meditate on the last events of Jesus' life before his resurrection.  There is a service at First UMC of Bellevue at noon and a service at Aldersgate at 7:00pm.
Holy Saturday Easter Sunday services -  April 1 - THREE services!
We will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is a sunrise service at Wilburton Park at 6:30am and regular Easter services at Aldersgate at  9:00 and 1 1:00am.
Worship Team Meeting
Sunday, March 18
The Worship Team will meet on  Sunday March 18 from 12:30-1:30pm to put in place a few more items for the Easter Season and  brainstorm and plan for the Pentecost Season. All are welcome to participate. Bring a snack to share. 
Table Talks to Discuss a Way Forward for the UMC
Saturday, April 28
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky is inviting   United Methodists in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences to   participate in Table Talk conversations on human sexuality , the upcoming report of the   Commission on a Way Forward   and special called session of the   General Conference   in February 2019. The conversations will be held in various settings across the Greater Northwest Area.  The closest one to Aldersgate will be at Edmonds United Methodist Church on April 28 from 1:00-4:00pm. Members of United Methodist churches from around the area will to come together to listen to each other and our perspectives on sexuality.  Registration is required, but free. Please consider attending. Click here for more information and to hear Bishop Stanovsky's recorded message about the Table Talks.
Way of Discernment Group 
Sunday  Evenings from  6:00-8:00pm
A new small group is forming around the idea of discernment. We began with this prayer.
O God, in your presence there is indeed fullness of joy! Through Christ you reveal the path to your own heart and will. Through the Spirit you are willing to show us the way. Thank you for your faithful guidance. Open us to what you have in store through these coming weeks, in Jesus name, Amen.
We welcome newcomers to learn more about the process and experience the power of asking questions and seeking God's help to answer them together. Even if you can't join us, we invite you into a time of praying with us for guidance and wisdom from our God. We meet in Room 22. 
Sound Help Wanted
Sound operators are needed for both the 9:00am and the 11:00am.  Training will be provided.  For more information, please email Tom Blakney  or call him at 206-310-6296.
Leadership Retreat
March 24
The Core Leaders Team is inviting all leaders in the congregation to attend the 2018 Leadership Retreat at Aldersgate Church on  March 24 from 1:00-5:00pm. It will include our annual time of setting priorities for the congregation but also a time of engaging in spiritual practices for leadership and finding ways to deepen our ability to listen and follow where the Spirit is leading. Pastor Laura will facilitate. To prepare, see Laura for the homework. 
Altar Flowers
Please sign up to provide Altar flowers especially in April and May. They are a lovely way to commemorate a special person or a special event with your dedication appearing in the Sunday bulletin. The Flower Committee will provide a flower arrangement for $35 or you may provide your own arrangement. The flower calendar is posted on the bulletin board near the office.
Help with Easter Activities
We will have the annual Easter Egg-Stavaganza and Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt along with another Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. These events are joy-filled times for our children, and families from the surrounding community come and join in on the fun. Your help is needed to make these events a big success so please sign up on the attendance form to volunteer or email Jen Hoerber.
  • Volunteer at the Egg-stravaganza on Saturday, March 31 from 10:30am - Noon by staffing a craft or activity table, helping with refreshments, or leading a story.
  • Volunteer at the Flashlight Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31 at 7:00pm by helping with the Ice Cream Sundae Bar.
  • Volunteer to stuff Easter Eggs on Wednesday March 21 at 11:30am, and also on Wednesday, March 28 at 11:30am.
  • Donations of small wrapped candy and toys are being accepted now through March 28.  Look for a collection box in the narthex.
Confirmation Classes
Classes to prepare for confirmation will start in April and are open to any youth in 6th - 12th grade. In the classes lead by Jen Hoerber and Pastor Brad, the youth will learn more about God and faith. Those who wish will be confirmed on Sunday, June 10. Confirmation is an opportunity to respond to the grace of God and to promise to live as a person of faith. It is an important step in our spiritual journeys.   You can support the confirmation class by volunteering to be a confirmation mentor, lifting them and the leaders up in prayer, and staying informed by reading the Confirmation Connection article in the newsletter. Please contact Jen Hoerber for more information.
Resource Library Book Review
Are you looking for looking for a meaningful book to read? There are many gems in Aldersgate's Resource Library including The Book of Joy  by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.   Click here and read Jean Harris' review of this instant New York Times bestseller.   In addition, Bob Olson's latest poems have been added to Aldersgate Poems, which is displayed on the library mobile cart.  
"Speaking of Dying" Film Screening
April 14 from 4:30-7:30, Heartworks, NW is sponsoring a film screening and discussion about End of Life Planning at Seattle First Baptist Church. Beyond the 30 minute screening of the movie, the evening will include resource displays, a chance to meet those who made the movie, a raffle, and snacks. Seattle First Baptist is at 1111 Harvard Ave. in Seattle. See Pastor Laura if you would like to carpool.
Informative and yet intimate,  "Speaking of Dying" captures the importance of individuals and groups speaking openly about all aspects of the dying process. Viewing this film will inspire and encourage you to talk to your friends, family, health care agents and medical providers about your own end of life planning, choices and wishes. 
Church Work Party
Saturday, March 24
Please join us on Saturday, March 24 from 9:00am-12:00pm as we work outside on the church landscaping.  It takes many helping hands to make the church look beautiful and welcoming.  If you can rake, prune and pull weeds, we could use your help. Please bring you favorite gardening tools and gloves.  Dress for the weather.  Come when you can; leave when you must.  All are welcome!
Easter Egg Activities
Egg-stravaganza - March 31, 10:30am-noon
This community Easter event is geared for young children. Come join us from 10:30-11:30am for fun activities, games and crafts. The egg hunt begins at 11:30am.   Bring your Easter basket!
Flashlight Egg Hunt  -  March 31, 7:00-8:00pm
This community Easter event is geared for tweens and teens. Come join us at 7:00pm for ice cream sundaes. The egg hunt begins at 7:30pm. Bring a flashlight, your Easter basket, and a friend!
Easter Sunday - April 1
We will host a special Easter Kid's Club during the 9:00am service with an Egg hunt between services at 10:15am.
Young at Heart Potluck
Tuesday, April 3
SAVE THE DATE!!!  Calling all retired folks, empty-nesters and wannabees! Join us Tuesday, April 3 at 6:00pm in Friendship Hall for a tasty potluck and an update on Grace Boarding House in Thailand which Aldersgate helps to support. In December Wally and Audra Bennett visited Thailand and spent time with Ponchai, the overseer of Grace Boarding House.  Wally will share how Ponchai came to take on the adventure of building a desperately needed boarding house and how Ponchai oversees the operations there today.  Share fellowship and a potluck dinner with old friends and new. Cost is $2 per person. Please sign up on Sunday's attendance form and someone will call you about what to bring to the potluck.
Time for Yoga!
Starts Saturday, April 7
Everyone says they should be going to a yoga class.  Let this be the day you actually do.  Be a part of Aldersgate's yoga ministry!  Vince Fratello will teach a Spring series at the most basic beginner level and it will be organized to accommodate all body types and physical abilities.  Class 1 always starts at the beginning so don't worry.  If you have any concerns, ask someone who has already come!  The series will tentatively be ten or eleven Saturdays from  April 7 to June 16 .   Class time will be  9:00-10:15am.   Students should bring a sticky  yoga mat (ask if you are unsure) and Vince will supply the rest of the props.  The cost will be $50 per student for the entire series to cover Vince's expenses-you can try out the first class with no financial commitment and scholarships are available if needed.  If you have questions you can contact Vince .  We hope to see you there!
Mission Trip to Lazy F
Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-27
Save the date! The Church Family Mission Trip to Lazy F Camp will be on Memorial Day weekend, Friday, May 25 through Sunday, May 27.  There will be projects for all ages and abilities, including activities for kids 2-12.   Interested? Please sign up to attend on Sunday's attendance form.  Also, we need a group of people to help support the activities of the mission trip.  Please see Sunday's attendance form to see the opportunities and sign up if you can help. These are short term commitments but vital to the success of the weekend. Contact is  Melissa Pearce .
Club 345 (3rd~4th~5th Grade)
April 15
Kids in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades meet once a month on Sunday evening for food and a fun activity. 
The next meeting will be April 15 from 5:00pm - 7:30pm.   Contact is Jen Hoerber,
Youth Group (6th-12th Grade)
Youth Group meets on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm.  All youth in 6th-12th grade are welcome.  If you have questions about the youth program, contact  Jen Hoerber.  Here are some upcoming events:
*March 16-18 - Youth SUMYT Retreat
*March 18 - NO Youth Group
*March 25 - Youth Group, 6:00-8:00pm
*March 31 - Flashlight Egg Hunt, 7:00-8:00pm
*April 1 - NO Youth Group; it's Easter!
*April 8 - Confirmation Begins, 12:00pm
               NO Youth Group; it's Spring Break!
*April 15 - Confirmation, 12:00pm
                 Dinner, 5:00pm, Youth Group, 6:00-7:30pm
UMCOR Offering
March 18
On Sunday, March 18 we will take a special offering to help fund the United Methodist Committee on Relief. UMCOR is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. Their work reaches people in more thatn 80 countries, including he United States. UMCOR's work includes programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security and relief supplies. Your generous gifts to UMCOR bring light out of darkness. Please give generously.
Habitat for Humanity Luncheon
Tuesday, March 20
Here is your chance to make an impact on the high cost of housing for the homeless. Join us for the Habitat for Humanity Luncheon on Tuesday March 20 and hear their story. This is a chance to get up to date on what is being done by Habitat to provide housing. The luncheon will be held at the Washington State Convention Center. The showcase open house starts at 11:00am with the luncheon from 12:00 to 1:00pm. There will be rides from Aldersgate leaving at 10:30am. Please sign up on Sunday's attendance form or contact Darrell Lowe at 425 785 7642.
Crossroads Dinner Update
On the fourth Tuesday of the month Aldersgate provides dinner for hunger people in the Crossroads area. We fed about 48 people at both the January and February Crossroads dinners and essentially gave away all the food we brought. Those served included individuals and families, men, women, and children. The Salvation Army Coordinator has stated that about 40% are homeless.  Most are hungry and very grateful for the dinner. We serve a good dinner consisting of fried chicken, 3 kinds of salad ( green salad, Jello with and without fruit, and potato salad), rolls and butter and desert. We buy the fried chicken and the remainder is donated by the congregation. WE can be very proud of this outreach. Thank all of you that donate food and help serve. Know that your efforts are very appreciated by those we serve. If you are interested in helping contact Melinda Lilley,
People Who Mourn
*Sadly we announce that Al Allott passed away on Saturday. 
     Al and his wife Bev have  been members at Aldersgate since
     September 1964.  Please pray for Bev and their family.  there
     will be a memorial service at a later date.
*Church member Kim Brewer's father passed away Thursday.
     Please pray for Kim, Brad and Gwen Brewer and their family.
*Church Conference staff member Bruce Galvin wife Robin
      passed away unexpectedly.  Please pray for Bruce and his family.

People with Health Concerns
*Ferrel Fox
*Alec & Jean Ritzen's friend Annette
*Robert Brawn's nephew David
*Butch & Sue Black

Additional Prayers
*Missionary Katherine Parker, Rachel Motz

To submit a prayer request to the Prayer Chain, email Dorothy Bennet t, the Prayer Chain Coordinator.  You can also fill out a pew prayer card on Sunday and put it in the offering plate, or you can contact the church office with your prayer request.   All prayer requests will appear in the church newsletters unless you request otherwise.