Bethel United Church of Christ 

                   4900 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64117

The LINK is a bi-monthly publication LINKing together the people of Bethel United Church of Christ                            May/June 2018    Vol. 57, Issue 11

Benevolence—Special Mission Offerings               Strengthen the Church

About Strengthen the Church

Thank You for supporting Strengthen the Church, one of four special mission offerings within the United Church of Christ. Each day, visions and dreams are created in the hearts of many in the United Church of Christ. Through this offering they can become a reality. As God calls our congregations to be "church" in new ways, your gift will:

· Plant new churches and awaken new ideas in existing churches

· Develop spiritual life in our youth and young adults

· Ensure many more will hear the good news that "God is still speaking,"

All gifts are directed to activities and programs of your church's local conference as well as the UCC's national ministries.

Your generosity today ensures our vibrant life today and tomorrow.


  Synergy began operations in 1971 as Synergy House, a shelter for runaway and homeless youth. In 1984, the Safe Haven Women’s Center opened to serve victims of domestic violence. Synergy House and Safe Haven merged in 1997 forming Synergy Services, Inc., and added the Safe Haven Children’s Center for abused and neglected children in 1998. Synergy House provides short-term emergency shelter for youth 12-18 who are victims of abuse/neglect, instate custody; homeless or runaway; and/or families requiring child crisis intervention. Beside providing shelter they also provide, food, clothing, therapy, educational and life skill planning for homeless youth. year. 

Every Child's Hope-ECH) - Kansas City Steppingstone - is a transitional living program working with young people ages 16-21 that helps them transition safely and successfully into independence. The program is based on positive youth development strategies and provides safe, stable housing in either campus or community apartments, employment services, education and career counseling, life skills training, and permanency planning.  


May 13— Mothers Day—Teddy Bears

Celebrating Mothers, Giving Teddy Bears to Children’s Mercy

It’s time to collect  our “Teddy Bears” for Children’s Mercy Hospital and Northland agencies. The hospital likes to give each child a small  teddy bear, (stuffed animal) to hold and cuddle as they are moved from different doctors and departments during their stay. For Children’s Mercy, your donated “teddy bears” must be new and the tags/labels left on. Note:   For Synergy they may be any type of stuffed animal lightly used and clean . Please put them in the baskets provided.. This collection started 8 years ago through a request from Sara Niederhauser. 

 Thanks, Benevolence 

Greetings from Pastor Karen


It's been over a month ago that we celebrated Easter Sunday and here we are still waiting for some warm weather.  Oh, we've had a few days, but now we want more.

We want that wonderful time of year where it starts out a little cool in the morning and then warms up, but not too much, just enough to be able to sit and soak up the sun without a jacket.  Yet, even with the cold, those buds are popping out on the trees, bulbs are sending up their stems and leaves and we even have those jonquils and tulips showing off their colors.  And mowing has already begun as the yards turn green, some with little blooms of yellow from dandelions that have claimed their territory. (I know they are looked upon as 'weeds', but I am always amazed at their determination to keep on keeping on. 

My prayer is that each of us has carried something from our Lenten and Easter seasons that have opened us up to new life, that we have looked at ourselves and others with new eyes.  Nothing stops the spring-snow, sleet, cold, won't take it away. It springs forth every year and surprises us.   I hope that we have surprised ourselves as we talked about being anchored to Christ, as we stood outside the gates of Jerusalem hearing the shouts of 'Hosanna' when Jesus rode humbly on a donkey, when we heard the beautiful music and words to our cantata, "The Final Hours" presented by our choir on Good Friday and finally came to the open tomb on Easter Sunday. 

I want to thank all those who took part in any way: food preparation, hosting Lenten dinners and Easter breakfast, decorating, singing, purchasing a lily, teaching our children or hiding eggs for the Easter Egg hunt with the Easter Bunny standing by for pictures and hugs, cleaning up, coming to worship, inviting someone to worship-you made this Easter so very special.

So now, we move from Easter into the Pentecost Season.  Pentecost is early this year, May 20.  Our plan is for everyone to wear RED and we will take another all congregation picture!  So be ready for the Holy Spirit to sweep through Bethel with a rush of wind and a spark of inspiration to share the story of Christ in new ways.

That's why we call ourselves Resurrection people or Easter people, because we have been given new life once again and God is calling us to take it out to everyone who needs to hear how much God loves us.  "For God so loved the world..." we know how the scripture finishes that line-how would you complete that sentence?  We are ready to share the story and change the world.  No more waiting-Spring has sprung!!”



Pastor Karen

Prayer Care

Please pray for . . . 

 Serving our Country:  Wesley Luttrell; nephew of Joe Luttrell

 In Extended Care:  Ken Webb, Assisted Living at 111 NW Mock Ave. , Blue Springs, MO 64014; Sallie Carleton Room 319A New Mark Care Center; Cindy Richter, Heritage Village, Rm 100;  Don Eversmeyer, Linden Wood Care Center

Hospitalized:  Adam Niederhauser, KU Med Center

Family and friends needing prayer:  Jamie Elder; Betty Meugniot;  Doug Berka; Jim Inman; Lora Carey; Kathy Corn; Jim Manley;  Shianne Reith; Lucy Banks;  Bonnie Gawthorp, Toni Faust’s sister; Scott Bonaker, Kathy Hayes’ mother, JoAnn Schott; Gerry McGuire’s niece’s husband; Gavin Finch, friend of Stephanie Dodd; Theresa Zitterkopf, Shirlee Mendon’s mother;  Mark Easley; Betty Weger’s daughter, Anna; Don & Nancy Niederhauser, parents of Stan Niederhauser; Nadine Boyd, friend of Niederhausers; Joyce Thomas, friend of Marquita & Randy Pace;  Jay Marshall’s grandmother, Eunice Neitzert; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; Debbie Robinett’s father, and her sister-in-law, Regina Robinett; Jamie Elder’s sister,  Susan Scritchfield; Lorene Reese, friend of Jan Rickert;  Lauri Buck’s friends, Rita Mendenez and Trish & Perry Taylor; Ruthanna Rodatz, Kathy Corn’s sister; Eowyn Maynes, daughter of friends of Fulvio & Kathy Hayes; Marilyn Helmich’s brother-in-law, Kenneth Pope;   Lauri Buck’s aunt, Ethel Bloesch; Conan Albert & family, cousin to Radie Jose from our Micronesian congregation.  

May Birthdays

2  Matt Hendrix

   Joe Luttrell

3 Vicki Thompson

4 Cindy Richter

6  V ern Bohlmeyer

   Debbie Robinett

9 Juli Hustoft

12 Gerry McGuire

     Lora Carey

     Larry Jurgensen

13  Charles Arnspiger

16  Mae Veach

18  Jane Bohlmeyer

19  Sarah Van Slyke

       Eva Gray

20  Dr. Ken Webb

22   Carole Coulter

25  Linda Hendrix

       Mark Easley

26   Charity Adams

29   Kyle Buck

       Danielle Hendrix

        Jim Manley


June Birthdays

1 Gayla  Twibell

4  Tom Parr, Jr.

6 Carol Mann

   Olivia Bunch

7 Dale Reith

8 Lori Seymour

12 Lauri Buck

   Samantha Hendrix

   Melinda Teague

15 Kathy Harms

17 Lauren Berka

18 Skyler Schlick

21 Kyle Crane

      Curt Lane

23 Pam Pack

      Hance Pierson

      Joshua Dennett

25  Dick Eilers

28   Sara Niederhauser

        Julianne Clark


May Lectionary 

May 6 - COMMUNION-Sixth Sunday of Easter

                 Acts 10:44-48

                 John 15:9-17


May 13 - MOTHER'S DAY-Seventh Sunday of Easter

 We bless our new and used stuffed animals as they prepare to make their journey to Children's Mercy and Synergy. 

                  John 17:6-19



                  Acts 2:1-21


May 27 - First Sunday after Pentecost-TRINITY SUNDAY

                  Romans 8:12-17

June Lectionary

June 3 - Second Sunday after Pentecost - COMMUNION

                  2Corinthians 4:5-12

                 Mark 2:23-3:6


June 10 - Third Sunday after Pentecost

                  Mark 3:20-35


June 17 - Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - FATHER'S DAY - BLANKET SUNDAY

                  Mark 4:26-34


June 24 - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

                2Corinthians 6:1-13

               Mark 4:35-41


Starting in July, Pastor Karen will be doing a series on Exodus. We will follow Moses and the Hebrew people as they find their way from bondage to freedom.  We will share how these Exodus stories are relevant today as we hear present day voices.

NSYA - May & June Activities

May 18—6—8 pm at Liberty Retro Bowl

Join the families for an evening of fun at the Liberty Retro Bowl, 906 W. Liberty Drive, Liberty, MO


June 23 6—10 pm Kansas City T-Bones Game

Parents and kids will enjoy an evening at the T-Bones ball park, 1800 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas. 


Pentecost — May 20— Celebrate the Day—Wear Red 

Pentecost, the fiftieth  day after Easter, closes the Easter season.  Pentekoste "the fiftieth day" is the Greek name for Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law to Moses at Sinai.  As told in the book of Acts, Pentecost was the occasion of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus.  For this reason some Christians describe Pentecost as the "Birthday of the Church."  Jesus had ascended ten days before and now the followers of Christ would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to form a movement that would ultimately become the 'Church.' 

So wear your red!  We will be taking an all congregation picture at the close of the service. Be the Church and share the story. 


See you on May 20th    WEAR RED!!

Fathers Day - Blanket Sunday

CWS Blanket+ Sunday—Father’s Day, June 17th

.What is the CWS Blankets+ Program? Blankets+ (formerly called Tools & Blankets) is a special mission opportunity involving all ages. Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets+ events, providing funds to help people in need around the world, including the U.S. On Sunday, June 18th we will be collecting money to purchase the $10 blankets.  Contributions provide the means to transform lives and communities when they are faced with an emergency or simply to struggle to put food on the table.  Did you know:

 More than 925 million people in the world are hungry.

Every 5 seconds a child dies from hunger-related causes.

Through Blankets+ we are improving the lives of poor and hungry people around the block and around the world.

Please remember the needs of others on Blanket+ Sunday.


Thank Yous


We cannot say "THANK YOU" often enough or more boldly! Our Church's Wider Mission giving funds the work done by the United Church of Christ in the Missouri Mid-South Conference and in the national and global church. The GREAT News is we exceeded our 2017 OCWM budgeted amount by $56,000!!! Woohoo!!! The generosity of the members and churches of the Conference is truly amazing. This means more dollars to support the work of our Conference and Conference staff; more dollars to support the national setting of our United Church of Christ, more dollars going to MoVal and Shannondale that originally budgeted. We give thanks to God for the vibrancy of the ministry in local churches, and in our Associations, and within the Missouri Mid-South Conference.


Mr. Lorin W. Cope, Chair, OCWM Covenanted Ministry


Dear Rev. Aitkens,

I’m writing on behalf of the Missouri Mid-South Conference  to thank you for  your congregation’s support of our Church’s Wider Mission contributions. The contributions in 2017 exceeded expectations for the first time in many years. We are deeply grateful for the confidence and commitment your members gifts represent,  OCWM funds are used for conference and national ministries. Our conference retains 80% of all contributions; of that amount, nearly 15% is ear-marked for camps. Please let your members know how much we appreciate their generosity, Their gifts continue our outreach to God's great world.


Nancy Litzenger, MMS Council member


Pastor Karen,

Thank you for making the service for Mar Veach special.

Phil Zehmy

Sew and Serve Update

Projects are abundant  with the Sew  & Serve group. Here are some of the projects they are working on—Liz is making pajama bottoms to go with the donated t-shirts, Alice made small felt teddy bears, Sandy & Marie are doing polar fleece throws, Donna is an expert at making denim patchwork bags, Jody’s making pillow cases,  Karen Cheek contributed her skills to make the cutest felt bunnies and kitties. They are grateful for the donation of fabric from Peddler’s Wagon. They donate their creative creations to Crittendon Center and Synergy Services. If you want to join us for a day or would like to work on a project at home contact Sandy Bohlmeyer.


HOMIES—May’s luncheon is at Smokin’ Guns BBQ, 1218 Swift in North Kansas City, MO.

June 15th  - Join us for  our tour  to Original Juan’s hot sauce factory, 111 SW Blvd, KC, KS and Roastery Coffee Company, 1204 W. 27th St, KC, MO for their tours. We’ll have a BBQ lunch at Rosedale’s, 600 SW Boulevard, KC, KS. Check your HOMIES Newsletter for more details and sequence.


Joe Luttrell 816-204-6966 and Randy Pace 816-810-4004

Followed by Summer Break

Join us as we study the lectionary scriptures for four Sundays in May.  Get a deeper look at what Pastor Karen will be presenting in her message for each Sunday.  We will take a break over the summer as we check out Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis (go to reclaiming as a possible Adult Bible study curriculum. 

If you can think of speakers you would like to have address our group, just let Pastor Karen know and we can determine dates to offer when we begin again.  For those times we have speakers, we would want to invite anyone interested to join us for that week-so we would have to make that announcement ahead of time.

Come join us for these Sundays in May.  The scriptures are listed in our Lectionary readings.  Just read them ahead of time and we will take a look at the author, the time period in which it was written and other background material that gives us insight into the meaning to us today. We’ll be on break until September.


Western Association Annual Gathering 

Southwood UCC hosted the annual Western Association spring business meeting on Saturday, April 14th. A special thank you goes to the Southwood congregation. The meeting had been originally scheduled for another venue, but approximately 2-weeks before the meeting it became necessary to change the location. Southwood volunteered to be the host church and they did a great job.

The current officers gave reports, the 2019 budget was approved, Association officers for the ensuing year, new members of the Committee on Ministry, and General Synod delegates were elected.

Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, the Conference Minister, gave a report on activities in the life of the conference.

Rev. Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield, Pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and Professor of Old Testament at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, gave the keynote address.

At lunch (which was great) there was time for announcements, speakouts and the introduction of Members-in-Discernment.

After lunch people had an opportunity to attend one of three workshops: “Racism and White Privilege”, “The Culture of Sexism”, and “Becoming an ONA Church”.

The next item on the agenda was the W.A. Clusters meeting in their individual groups to discuss activities in their cluster and to elect a representative to the W.A. Council. When the entire group reassembled the cluster representatives gave reports to the entire group.

Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel installed the newly elected individuals into their various positions. After the installation ceremony, we had a closing ceremony with communion.

Bethel was represented at this meeting by Pastor Karen, Steve and Elaine McDuff and Ron Wendle.

If anyone has any questions about this meeting, please feel free to ask any of us who attended.

Respectfully, Ron Wendle

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga

 No yoga experience? No problem!  If you have always wanted to try yoga but have trouble getting up and down off the floor, this class is for you! Get comfortable with yoga by learning basic poses, simple breathing exercises, slow-paced stretching and easy relaxation techniques in a fun and casual environment!


Yoga is not about twisting yourself into a pretzel. It’s about being healthier and happier at any age. Join Registered Yoga Teacher Kathleen Newman’s Monarch Yoga Chair Class and spread your wings on your journey to health and happiness. All levels welcome.  Class is one hour. 

 Date: Saturday May 12, 2018

Fees: $4.00

         Contact Information:  Jessica Faust 816-914-3045


Mid-South Conference Annual Gathering

“United in Christ’s Love-a-Just World for All”

June 7—10 AM

Holiday Inn Expo Center Columbia, MO

The 3 Great Loves is the denomination’s opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world. It is an exciting three day's scheduled featuring keynotes from the UCC General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer.  Also featured is MMSC covenanted ministry teams through various workshops to highlight the very important work and ministry that is taking place throughout the Missouri Mid-South Conference.