Aldersgate United Methodist Church
A vibrant and inclusive Christian community 
growing in faith, love, health and service                                                             February 28, 2019
Aldersgate UMC
14230 SE Newport Way
Bellevue, WA  98006
(425) 746-9800
Email Links
Lead Pastor

Associate Pastor
Church Office

Children, Youth, Family

Preschool Director

Core Leaders
Mar 3
Camp Sunday
Worship at 10:00am
Taco Bar
Dinner & Club 345
Dinner & Youth Group
Mar 4
Scouts BSA Girls Troop
Mar 5
Young at Heart Potluck
Mar 6
Prayers & Ashes
Ash Wednesday Service
Mar 10
Daylight Savings Time
Preschool Sunday
Mar 15-17
Youth SUMYT Retreat
Mar 24
Mission Sunday
Worship at 9:00am
Mission Projects
Church Lunch
Mar 31
UMCOR Special Offering
Apr 14
Palm Sunday
Dinner & Club 345
Dinner & Youth Group
Apr 18
Maundy Thursday
Apr 19
Good Friday
Apr 20
Apr 21
Easter Sunday
Easter Egg Hunt
Apr 27
UMW Spring   Salad LUNCHEON
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)
Church Conf. (Dec)
CRC Team (Jan)
Trustees (Jan)
  Worship Team (Jan)
Green Team (Jan)
Preschool (Jan)
  Finance Team (Nov)
Common Table (June)
Piano & Winds Concert
Saturday, March 2
Aldersgate's own pianist
/organist, Jason Suchan is a featured musician performing in a concert with Spiritus Winds, a Seattle based wind quintet on Saturday, March 2 at 7:30pm at Church of the Holy Cross, 11526 - 162nd Ave NE, Redmond.  Admission is free.  Everyone is welcome to attend.
  Series:  "Foundations of Faith"
Sermon:  "Camp Ministry"
Scripture:  John 14:27

This Sunday  
This week we will gather as one congregation at 10:00am. It will be an opportunity to do what Aldersgate does, to come together regardless of our disagreements and our divisions and be the Body of Christ together. This week's news from General Conference (see Brad's blog for more information) means that change is coming. Yet Pastor Brad's words from last Sunday are still true: We will be fine. 

This Sunday the focus will be on experiencing camping ministry together. A couple of weeks ago, I was at Twinlow Camp with the young adults from our conference and I watched them as they played, talked, sang, and ate together. I watched as they expressed their strong feelings and desires about their professions and their families and their congregations, and then how all that fell away and they were able to experience God in each other and in the snow and beauty of the surroundings because of the camping experience. I think that's what we need this week. We need to gather together as one body and sing together, breathe together, not worry about the fancy clothes or appearances, and just look for the Divine spark that is within each person and within the gathering of all of us. Even if you have thought in the past that Camp Sunday "isn't your thing," we need each other this week. Please plan on worshiping at Aldersgate at 10:00am and staying for the Taco Bar at 11:30am. No tents are necessary. You don't have to sleep on the ground to have an experience of camp. Camp clothes (or whatever you want to wear) are welcome. 

Pastor Laura
Response to General Conference
Rev. Brad P. Beeman

            The work of the Special Session of the United Methodist Church's General Conference concluded a few hours ago. I watched almost all of it on a live stream. I witnessed the debates, the challenges, the worship and prayer, the attacks of one side to the other, and back again. I witnessed moments of overwhelming joy and love, and moments of heartbreaking sadness. I witnessed those who shared their faith and their journey; painful for some, and joyous for others. I saw weeping; some out of wonderment and joy, and some out of sadness and hurt. I saw the best of the church, and moments that were far from the best.

            Given the last three days, not including the day of worship and prayer that preceded the deliberations, I find that it is not easy writing this article to you today. The decision was made to tighten restrictions for those of us who seek to be open in how we love one another and in who we love. Those restrictions have moved beyond performing same-sex weddings and into other areas of ministry with and for LGBTQI persons. For those that know of the four plans that were presented, it was the Traditional Plan that was accepted and will become law; a plan put forth by those who hold more conservative theological views than those of us who identify ourselves as centrists or progressives. What that means is that, to a great extent we are in a new day and there will be decisions ahead for all of us.

            The pain inflicted on our LGBTQI sisters and brothers, and others just deepened. The rejection they now or will feel is real, and it will be up to us to listen, to love, to share, to hold, and to assist in gaining an understanding that not all within the greater church rejects them, the way so many seemed to reject them at this General Conference. For those of us who hoped for a different result, we will now have some significant decisions to make. It will probably begin at the Annual Conference level, but be assured, it will come to the doors of Aldersgate. Do we stay in the denomination and continue to fight this battle? Do we split, and if so, what does that mean? There are many more questions than answers right now, but I think that was to be expected. Maybe the title of Brian McLaren 's book rings more true today than any time in my history; "We make a road by walking." Personally, being a Methodist began at my birth, continued through the hands of Bishop Voigt as he baptized me in South Dakota, supported me throughout my life as both a United Methodist child, youth and young adult, and adult, and now as a United Methodist serving as clergy. It feels as though that history just took a turn. It feels as though we are very literally on the cusp of now making a road that hasn't existed before, at least in our lifetime. We now walk a road that has no distinctive instructions, few markers, and feels as though we may be walking in a time of wilderness. As challenging as that may sound, we will continue to live out our faith and express it as we have before. We will continue to follow Jesus. We know that God is still here and is continually seeking to move among and through us. We are still United Methodists and our witness enters one of the most critical times in recent history.

            We need to remember that all of us, no matter what side of the equation we find ourselves, we are all still Christian sisters and brothers; we are all persons of sacred worth created by a God of overwhelming love. We are all Christians who will continue to seek transformation; transformation in this church, this community, this country and the world. God would have us do no less. We are Christians who must continue to talk with one another as we continue in a time believing that God can make all things new, all things. So let this new time continue and may we enter into it firm in our faith.

            What does the future hold? Honestly, we don 't yet know. It will unfold in time. But be assured, there will be opportunities in the next few months where Laura and I will bring information. It will come to you as it comes to us. It will be a time of exploration that will, like our work in Reconciling, lead to a time of decisions. Our hope is that everyone will have the opportunity to be engaged as things unfold. So, as we begin this next stretch of our journey in Christ, and as we enter a time of Lenten reflection, let's make sure we cover it all in prayer. Laura and I are here for you. I am stepping back in, as fully as health and healing allows. And be assured, that by the grace and love of God, we will have a bright future, of that I am absolutely sure.
Camp Sunday & Taco Bar March 3
One Worship Service at 10:00am
On Camp Sunday, March 3, there will be only one worship service at 10:00am . We will celebrate the camping ministry and representatives from two of the United Methodist PNW Camps will be here to share about this lifesaving ministry. Following the service at 11:30am, there will be a Taco Bar luncheon . Besides an amazing taco lunch and your favorite camp desserts, you will have the opportunity to hear from Aldersgate's campers about their camp experience and learn more about the Methodist camps. A free will offering will be taken and funds will be split between Aldersgate's Campership Fund and the district campership fund. This is a fun and yummy way to help en sure all children and youth have the opportunity to go to camp.   If you will join us for lunch and if you can help set up, prep food Saturday, serving food Sunday or help clean up after lunch, then please co ntact  Patty Ferguson  or  Jen Hoerber .
Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, March 6
Ash Wednesday This year, Ash Wednesday, March 6 . Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, leading up to Easter. It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the annual retelling of the story of Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection in our lives and in the life of the world. There are two options for the community to gather this year on Wednesday, March 6.
  •  Jen Hoerber will be available for individual prayer and imposition of ashes in the Youth Room from 11:30am-1:30pm for any who wish to stop by, including Aldersgate Christian Preschool families.
  •  Aldersgate will also host a worship service at 7:00pm in the sanctuary open to the community.
On Ash Wednesday, the imposition of ashes on the forehead is a symbol of our connection to the dust of the earth, and yet also an acknowledgement that God works through this dust and makes our lives holy.
Note from Pastor Brad ~ Class Postponed
Given the decisions that occurred at General Conference, and my need to help walk us through what that could mean, and given my continued recovery, I am postponing the pastor's classes until after Easter.  My priority and focus right now needs to be on leadership and worship.  In as much as I truly love to teach the Wednesday classes, I am also aware of my time away from worship.  I feel called and motivated to make that a greater priority at this point.  
The outline of the class will probably be similar once we have moved through this upcoming time of Lent.  I look forward to gathering with the classes again and will get more information regarding specific dates to you before the end of this upcoming Lenten season.  
Right now I simply ask that we pray; pray for the denomination, the future, and the planning that will need to go in to our responses to the special session of the General Conference.  

Peace in this time, Brad
Lent is Coming
Next week is the first Sunday in the season of Lent, when we begin our preparations for Easter. Our focus this year will be the verse from the book of Job 33:6, "Like you, I stand before God. Like you, I began as a piece of clay." (from the Inclusive Language Bible) These are the words of Elihu, the fourth of Job's friends to address him in the book of Job. The first three of Job's friends were unhelpful in revealing to Job any understanding of God's role in his suffering. Elihu takes another approach. He maintains the power and glory of God but also appeals to Job by noting that God has made them both and formed them both and that God continues to mold them both, as if from clay. This is not the same as claiming that God is causing bad things to happen because of some "plan". However it is an acknowledgement that God is with us and works with us in all times of our lives. This year during Lent, we'll take a look at the ways that we are molded by God and how God is making beautiful things out of us. 
Preschool Sunday  March 10
March 10 is Preschool Sunday, when we will honor the amazing work that the Aldersgate Christian Preschool does in our community, as a mission of our church. Please plan to be there and share your thanks for the teachers, staff, parents, and children that add so much to our neighborhood and our experience of Christ in this place. 
Office Helper Needed
We could use another office helper to process attendance forms, tidy the sanctuary, and assemble children's clipboards. This takes about two hours on a Monday or Tuesday, two times a month. If you are interested, please sign up or contact Wendi in the church office, 425-746-9800.
February 24 Sermon
Pastor Laura and Pastor Brad worked together to write last week's sermon and didn't end up using all of what Pastor Brad wrote. To see the complete version of Pastor Brad's thoughts from last Sunday, click here
Reading Guide to Brian McLaren's Book
"We Make the Road by Walking" 
During the coming seasons, many people from churches throughout the west will be reading chapters from Brian McLaren's book "We Make the Road by Walking". The chapters are intended to be read one per week.You may choose to read on a schedule that will coincide with themes in worship and the life of the church. Here is the reading schedule through Easter. Copies of the book are available for check-out from our church library or you may wish to order your own copy from Amazon or another online book seller.

Week Beginning         Chapter(s)            Main Idea
March 3                          23                           Jesus and the Multitudes
March 10                        Introduction           Seeking Aliveness
                                         pages xv-2
March 17                        1                             Awe and Wonder
March 24                        2                             Being Human
March 31                        3                             A World of Meaning
April 7                             4                             Being Image Bearers
April 14                           32                           Peace March

Club 345 (3rd~4th~5th Grade)
March 3
Club 345 is open to all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and meets once a month usually on the first Sunday evening for dinner and a fun activity.  Volunteers are always needed to host the Club 345 activity or to provide the dinner.  Please sign up on the CYF bulletin board by the church office.  C ontact 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:  
*Mar. 3 - Camp Sunday!  Worship at 10:00am and the famous Taco Bar Lunch at 11:30am.
                  Dinner and Youth Group, 5:00-7:30pm
*Mar. 10 - Youth Group, 6:00-8:00pm
*Mar. 15-17 - Youth SUMYT Retreat
*Mar. 24 - Youth Group, 6:00-8:00pm
Scouts BSA Girls Troop Open House
Monday, March 4
It's a historic day! Scouts BSA troops are forming across the nation and GIRLS are joining! All GIRLS ages 11-18, are encouraged to join the Scouts BSA Girls Troop 638 here at Aldersgate. Girls and their parents are invited to an Open House at Aldersgate on Monday, March 4 at 7:00pm. Learn more about the program, talk to adult leaders, see exhibits, have your questions answered, enjoy refreshments. Take a flyer from the desk in the narthex and give it to a girl you know who might be interested in Scouts BSA. For more information please contact David Plowman, Aldersgate Troop 638 Charter Organization Representative, 425-503-1146,
Deborah Circle Meeting 
Monday, March 4
Norma Bush will be the hostess for Deborah Circle on Monday, March 4 , at 7:00pm, at Emerald Heights Retirement Complex. Carpooling from the church will be available. We invite all women to join us for an evening of fellowship and service. For more information on Deborah Circle, this meeting and/or carpooling, please contact Clarine Goodle at or 425-643-9339. 
Young at Heart Potluck
Tuesday, March 5
We've had enough of this wintery weather - let's have some fun! The program will be Ryan Breske, UW Cheerleader. We hope he will give us some insights on what is required and the benefits to being on their squad. The committee will furnish the meat (ham) and dessert. Attendees need to bring a salad or casserole and your own table service. Please plan to join us for an entertaining and socially stimulating evening. See you there. Please sign up.
UMW Spring Salad LUNCH?! 
Saturday, April 27
Please save the date! The United Methodist Women's Spring Salad LUNCH (Yes, you read that correctly) will be on SATURDAY (Yes, believe it), April 27 at noon (Yes, at 12:00pm.) The day and time is a change from the usual, but the event will still be FABULOUS. All women are invited to attend. More details to come in April.
Mission Sunday Signups
Mission Sunday will be March 24, led again by the Aldersgate Green Team. This year the format will be similar to previous Mission Sundays in that we will worship all together at 9:00am and start our mission projects in the community at 9:30am. We will gather back together for lunch at 12:30pm. However, unlike in years past, we will debrief over lunch that day instead of during worship the following week. We need leaders for several of the groups, and lots of people who are willing to participate in all the groups. Mission Sunday projects this year will include: 

  • Filling bags/backpacks at church: In addition to the Birthday Bags we have done several times and the hygiene bags for homeless persons we filled last year in partnership with our Muslim neighbors, we will also fill backpacks with healthy snacks for preschoolers in the Bellevue Public Schools. 
  • Days for Girls: sewing and cutting fabric in Friendship Hall to create reusable maxi-pads that enable girls to attend school in areas where otherwise they would be excluded during their periods. 
  • Litter pick-up: working in a park or public walk-way to remove litter and debris, making the area safe for pedestrians and children. 
  • Home Visits: yard work and outreach to church members who need a hand at home or who are preparing for home sale. 
  • Lunch: prepare, serve, and clean-up lunch for all volunteers and possibly for another community group in need of a meal. Lunch will be served at 12:30. 
  • Your idea for a project: Please see Pastor Laura if you have an idea for a Mission Sunday project. 
Sign up to help with one of these projects in the Narthex on Sunday!

Donations Requested for Mission Sunday
For the team that will be filling Birthday Bags and Preschool Backpacks, we could use donations of items to put in the bags. When you are out shopping, try to find a sale and pick up an extra to share with those who need it. As much as possible, look for items and wrapping that isn't plastic and doesn't have a negative impact on the Earth. 

Birthday Bags
Cake mix
Birthday Napkins
Paper plates
Party Favors
Small gift (book or stuffed animal)
Party decorations (signs/streamers)
Small treats (lollipops)
Birthday gift bags

Preschool Backpacks
Individual milk boxes
Granola bars
Fruit roll ups
Crackers/goldfish (in small bags)
Other healthy shelf-stable snacks that preschoolers can eat without any preparation
Green Team Invites you to Brunch Bingo!
Saturday, March 2
The Green Team at Aldersgate would like to invite you to attend a fundraiser for Earth Ministry with us. On March 2 from 11:00am-2:00pm, at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, come and play bingo and have brunch. Tickets are $65 until February 2 and then they cost $75. Ticket includes brunch and 5 rounds of Bingo! Earth Ministry is an organization that supports environmental ministries in local congregations. Tickets available HERE.  For more information, see anyone on Green Team!
Dismantling White Privilege Workshop
Saturday March 16
Pastor Terri Stewart in conjunction with facilitator, J Mase III, will lead a training at Aldersgate on March 16 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. While the training is designed for chaplains and mentors working with youth in the juvenile detention system, Pastor Terri has opened the training to our congregation as well. It will be a time to reflect on the responsibilities and liabilities that come with living in white skin when you encounter people of other cultures. The workshop is appropriate for anyone of any race who is interested in the topic and prepared to engage deeply.  Please contact Pastor Laura if you plan to attend.
Prayer Requests

People Who Mourn
Lynda Dreher's youngest son Robert passed away unexpectedly.

People with Health Concerns
*Hope Barker
*Pam Breske's mother Edna
*Jenni Pollmann's father
*Carol Cubilie
*Cindy Wheeler
*Mark Olleman's sister Ruth
*Charlie Stansell
*Eathel Allyn
Additional Concerns
*Missionary Katherine Parker
*Jeff Wheeler
*Salote Bokini

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.