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 2019    Vol. 58, Issue 11

Benevolence—Special Mission Offerings               May - 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.


June Benevolences

  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 12— 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 9 years ago through a request from Sara Niederhauser. 

 Thanks, Benevolence 

Greetings from Pastor Karen


"We who were no people are named anew God's people,

for he who was no more is forevermore."

Ann Weems, Kneeling in Jerusalem, 1992


Too often we forget that the Easter season is not over after Easter Sunday but goes on until Pentecost. This year Pentecost falls on June 9th, fifty days after Easter! So we get to celebrate Easter for seven Sundays! Wouldn't it be great if we could sustain the anticipation and the worship experiences we have had leading up to Easter: Ash Wednesday, Wednesday Lenten services, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and finally Easter Sunday. Maybe we can if look at each Sunday as if it were Easter morning. We come to the tomb and find it empty and know that Jesus has overcome death and brings us new life! Now, what are we going to do with this life we've been given? That is the question we deal with -how do we take what we have been given and use it for peace, justice, kindness and love?

I pray that you found some answers over these past few weeks. We began to do some reflection on Ash Wednesday, continued with our Wednesday evening service of sharing pictures of doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with our God. (Thanks to all who shared photos and stories that moved us.) On Palm Sunday we found ourselves comparing Jesus' entry into Jerusalem with the entry of Pilate on the other side. On Maundy Thursday we were humbled by washing one another's feet and hearing the commandment to "love one another as I have loved you." And we felt grief as we saw the candles extinguished while hearing the seven last words of Christ. And finally on Easter Sunday at our early service we witnessed a beautiful sunrise and at our 10 a.m. service experienced the story of Jesus' last days and his resurrection by hearing the beautiful cantata, "Come to the Table" sung by our Bethel choir. Thanks to Jeremy's direction and Chad's accompaniment, Joelle's flute and our dedicated choir it was a most glorious worship!

So now we wait for Pentecost where the Holy Spirit will be poured out on everyone. It will also be very special as we confirm three of our young people into full membership at Bethel. They have been working very hard all year and are ready to accept the responsibilities that come with membership. (see article)

May we live into this Easter season believing that our Risen Christ walks among us!


Pastor Karen 

Prayer Care

Please pray for . . . 

 Serving our Country: Wesley Luttrell; nephew of Joe Luttrell; Randy Pope, Son of Marilyn Helmich

 Sympathy to: Ron Faust and family on the passing of his sister, Ruth Ann Shetler,

 In Extended Care:  Cindy Richter, Heritage Village, Rm 100;

Gene McCarty, McCrite Skilled Nursing.

Family and friends needing prayer: Kathy Corn; Betty Weger; Donna Fischer; Jim Inman; Adam Niederhauser; Doug Berka; Mollie Geitz; Jamie Elder; Betty Meugniot; Lora Carey; Fulvio Hayes’ brother Wayne Taylor’s family; Gerry Hendrix’s daughter in-law, Linda Hendrix; AnnaLee Kapp’s father, Ed Boyd; Pierson’s niece, Louise Ahrens; Laurie Arbuthnot’s twin sister, Corrie Orth; Ted Basch’s sister, Cathy Brodbeck; Joyce Manley’s niece, Rhonda Freeman; Donna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr,; Pace’s brother in-law, Dan Schadt and friend Holly Hampton; Stephanie Dodd’s friend, Gavin Finch; Shirlee Mendon’s, mother, Theresa Zitterkopf, ; Sonja Payne’s sister, Sharla Norris; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; Kathy Corn’s sister, Ruthanna Rodatz & friend Judy Lightheart 

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

14 Anna Mason

18 Jane Bohlmeyer

19 Sarah Van Slyke

22  Carole Coulter

25 Linda Hendrix

Mark Easle

29  Kyle Buck

Danielle Hendrix


June Birthdays

1 Gayla Twibell

4 Tom Parr, Jr.

6 Olivia Bunch

7 Dale Reith

8 Lori Seymour

12 Lauri Buck

Samantha Hendrix

Melinda Teague

15 Kathy Harms

17 Lauren Thorson

18 Skyler Schlick

20 Nathan Mason

21 Kyle Crane

Curt Lane

23 Hance Pierson

28 Sara Niederhauser

Julianne Clark 

May Lectionary 


Acts 9:1-20

Maddy Kenyon and Sophie Lane present their personal Statements of Faith. Following worship, we share a pot luck lunch in the Fellowship Hall. At 12:30 we have a presentation by the Stop Trafficking Project: Adults in the Sanctuary, 12-18 years old in the North Room. There will be sitters provided for those younger than 12.


May 12 - FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - Mother's Day - Collection of Stuffed Animals

Acts 9:36-43

Proverbs 31:25-31

Bring your new and lightly used stuffed animals for Children's Mercy Hospital and Synergy.


May 19 - FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - Question Sunday for Confirmands

Selected verses


The Confirmation Class will share what they have learned over the past year. Join us, as we show our support and love for Dominic Achille, Maddy Kenyon and Sophie Lane.


May 26 - SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - Summer Schedule Begins (see article)

Acts 16:9-15—conversion of Lydia


On this last Sunday of May we begin our summer schedule. Our choir will break for the summer and there will be no Sunday School to offer our teachers a break. 

June Lectionary


John 21:15-19

Our message will be brought by Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniels, our Missouri Mid-South Conference Minister. She will bring a message on the theme from our Conference Annual Gathering in 2018-"Building Courageous Relationships".



Acts 2:1-21


Join us for this special Sunday as we celebrate the birth of the Christian Church and confirm our 2019 Confirmation Class: Dominic Achille, Maddy Kenyon and Sophie Lane.

Please wear RED

and stay to congratulate these new members into our church family.


June 16 - FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST- Father's Day-Collection for Blanket Sunday

Psalm 8

Romans 5:1-5

Today we celebrate our Fathers as we bring gifts to purchase blankets for families around the world.



1Kings 19:1-15

Psalm 43




Today we begin our summer theme of 'Music and the Church'. We will do an overview of hymns from the 1860's to present day and see how and why certain hymns were written and became so popular in their day and are still sung today. Praising God has always been about music, singing and dancing in some form or fashion. What are the trends that affect the type of music written for the church? Join us on Sundays in July and August as we take this musical journey from 1860-Present day together.  

NSYA - May & June Activities

May 10 or 11th—Royals Baseball

Join the families for an evening of fun at the K. Jeannie is working on tickets. We’ll wait to see which date is better.


June 1 5—10 pm McCormick Distillery in Weston. Let Jeremy know if you are interested in attending.


Pentecost — June 9 — Celebrate the Day—Wear Red 

What a Sunday this will be as we celebrate the Holy Spirit being poured out on all of us and celebrate the confirmation of three young people who have grown up here at Bethel! It will be an amazing day as we share in communion together. It was on this day over 2000 years ago that the followers of Christ were empowered by the Holy Spirit to form a movement that would ultimately become the 'Church' and here we are today still celebrating what God has done by sending Jesus into this world to show us the way of bringing God's reign.


We have something to celebrate: the birth of the church and our three confirmands!!

You won't want to miss this very special day of worship and rejoicing


See you on June 9th — WEAR RED!!

Fathers Day - Blanket Sunday

CWS Blanket+ Sunday—Father’s Day, June 16th

.What is the CWS Blankets+ Program? Blankets+ (for6merly 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

Dear Bethel Family,

I would like to thank all of you for the thoughts, many cards and prayers. The passing of my brother, Vernon, is very difficult, but it helps to have family like Bethel.

Debbie Robinett

Dear Bethel Family,

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers during my mother ‘s passing (Kaye Luttrell).

Sincerely, Joe Luttrell

To my Bethel family,

Again, we celebrated a glorious Easter and I want to thank all those who took part in any way: changed the church sign, mowed the grass, food preparation, hosting Lenten dinners and Easter breakfast, decorating, singing, Sunday School teachers, hiding eggs for the Easter Egg hunt with our Easter Bunny standing by for pictures, hugs and stuffed animals. If you purchased a lily, helped with clean up, invited someone to worship or came to worship services-you made this Easter so very special. Of course, the cantata that I mentioned in my LINK letter was a highlight and all who were involved in the performance brought us the Easter story through beautiful music. I'm sure I missed someone, but know that YOU are what made this Easter so special.

Peace and Blessings,

Pastor Karen 

Mid-South Conference Annual Gathering—June 6-8 

“Strengthening Congregations—We Can Make a Difference”

June 6—10 AM

Holiday Inn Expo Center Columbia, MO 


For May, be at the Bethel UCC parking lot at 11:30, departing NLT 11:45 May 17, 2019. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll meet you at Zona Rosa’s Granite s City, 8461 Prairie View Rd, Kansas City, MO. Planned arrival at the restaurant is 12 Noon. We had a great turnout for the Cinder Block Brewery with 10 HOMIES. We enjoyed the lively and energetic tour. We welcomed John Cayton for his first HOMIES experience! John provided each of us with a promotional coffee cup of his Forensic and Investigation business. Thanks John!


HOMIES, watch for the upcoming HOMIES Newsletter for June. If you want the Newsletter, let Randy Pace know, he’ll put you on the email list.


Please give me a call or text if you’re going, or need a ride, so I can get a count for the restaurant, and meet you at the parking lot. Remember, all HOMIES meetings are scheduled for the 3rd Friday of each month.


SCHEDULE for next two months:

MAY 17 - FOOD & TOUR – Zona Rosa Granite City Restaurant & Brewery, 8461 Prairie View Rd with in-house TOUR

JUN 21 - FOOD & TOUR - Deke’s BBQ, 5200 Raytown Rd, KC, MO - TOUR, Crane Brewery, 6515 Railroad St, Raytown, MO

2019 Western Association Annual Meeting 

Central UCC in Jefferson City hosted the annual Western Association spring business meeting on Saturday, April 13th. The attendance included: 5-Conference staff, 55-delegates, 2-youth, and a representative from Eden book store. Twenty-two W.A. churches were represented.

Rev. Bob Atkinson, W.A. Chairperson, called the meeting to order. Rev. Dr. Judy Scott, Central UCC’s Supply Pastor, led the opening devotion.

The following reports were presented: Chairperson’s report on the activities in the W.A.; the Secretary presented the minutes from the last W.A. meeting and the minutes were approved; the Treasurer gave the financial report and presented the 2020 budget which was approved; The Vice-Chair presented the slate of officers to be elected, new members of the Committee on Ministry; and names to be submitted to the Conference for Synod delegates. All individuals nominated for the various positions were elected.

Linda Stenger, Chair of the COM, gave a report on the activities of the COM for the past year. The COM has been busy with the routine activities, but the workload was increased significantly due to three “fitness reviews”. The results of the fitness reviews were: Rev. Dr. Howard, Pastor at St Mark, had his standing removed; Rev Chaunia Chandler, Associate Pastor at St Mark, had her standing removed; and Rev. Tom Nordberg, retired during the process and his standing was removed.

Several W.A. Bylaw changes had been proposed. Due to the number of changes the W.A. Council had voted to withdraw these changes at this time to give members of the W.A adequate time to study the changes.

Rev. Bob Atkinson made the following motion: “In the coming year, the Association Council and the Committee on Ministry will meet together with a facilitator agreed upon by both the Committee on Ministry and the Council to discuss possible Bylaw changes.  Cluster meetings will also be held in all four Western Association Clusters to discuss possible Bylaw changes with representation from both the Committee on Ministry and the Council and led by a facilitator from each Cluster.” The motion passed.

Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel, the Conference Minister, thanked Central UCC for hosting this meeting. She stated that the W.A. was living the theme of the MMSUCC and “Building Courageous Relationships”. Ginny said that 32 of the 42 churches in the W.A. had contributed to OCWM and she thanked those churches for their generosity. Fulton UCC was the top giving church per capita ($97/member). She also said that 15 churches were “5 for 5” churches. She then gave a report on activities in the life of the Conference which included developing a “visioning plan”. The search for new ACM will be put on hold until this plan is completed.

The ladies of Central UCC prepared a delicious lunch. During lunch individuals were offered an opportunity for “speakouts”. Members-in-discernment were introduced and Jeremy Force, MOVAL Camp Director, gave a talk on activities at MOVAL this year.

Following lunch people had an opportunity to attend one of three workshops.

1. “Race and Racism in Performance: Platter Tudes”. A one act play presented by Cynthia Fuller and Constance Bernstein.

2. “Transitional Implementation of the 2018 Manual on Ministry” presented by Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel.

3. “Planning for Youth Ministry” presented by Rev. Courtney Chandler & W.A. Youth

Next on the agenda were the Cluster gatherings, reports and selection of a cluster representative to be a member of the W.A. Council. Wayne Gadt, a member of Southwood, is the KC/St. Joseph cluster representative.

The closing worship including the installation of all newly elected members of the various groups by Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown Daniel followed by communion and a closing prayer.

Respectfully, Ron Wendle


On May 26th we begin our summer schedule. Sunday School and choir will take a break for the summer and begin again on September 8th—Rally Day. Our worship time will remain at 10:00 a.m. If you are interested in providing special music during the summer, please see Jeremy.

There will be certain Sundays that the children will leave after the Children's message for special activities. A huge thanks to our teachers and volunteers for all the love and care they share with our children!



After an amazing year of learning about the Bible, our faith, our denomination and our church, Bethel, the class is preparing for confirmation on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th. The students have been a part of our worship several times. They have visited a Catholic church, a Jewish synagogue and an Islamic mosque. They took part in a service of footwashing on Maundy Thursday and will be completing a painting project as their gift to Bethel.

On May 5th you will hear original Statements of Faith from Sophie and Maddy.

May 19th is Question Sunday where you will hear responses to questions about the Bible, the UCC, the history of Christianity and memory work done by the confirmands. Dominic will be

presenting his Statement of Faith.

June 9th-Pentecost Sunday -Dominic Achille, Maddy Kenyon, and Sophie Lane will be confirmed. There will be a celebration in the North Room and a place for cards of congratulations! Join us for this wonderful and meaningful day as we welcome these new members! 

Conference Minister Visits Bethel June 2

June 2 at our Worship Service — Rev. Dr. Ginny Brown-Daniels presents a message entitled “Building Courageous Relationships”, This is an opportunity to show Bethel’s hospitality and welcome our Conference Minister.


Islamic Center of Johnson County—May 9

Annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftaar افطار—

Ramadan Mubarak

On behalf of the Interfaith Committee of the Islamic Center of Johnson County, 99005 W. 151st St. Overland Park, KS 66221, you are cordially invited as an honored guest to join us for our Annual Ramadan Interfaith Iftaar on May 9, 2019. The evening schedule is as follows:

7:30pm Guest Arrival

7:40pm Welcome and Solidarity Remarks

7:50pm Informational Presentation on Ramadan

8:05pm Socialize

8:18pm Iftaar (breaking of the fast) افطار

8:25pm Evening Prayer (Salaat ul Maghrib). Guests start dinner

Those attending from Bethel will travel on their own to the Islamic Center. Please let the office know if you are attending by May 5th.  

Do you Know the Mystery Artist? 

The following pictures have been left under Pastor Karen’s office door after Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. She thanks the mystery artist for these beautiful pictures. 


Join us for a candid and high energy BeAlert presentation where three words have the power to change your perspective. Become educated and empowered to make a difference. After worship we will go to the Fellowship Hall for a pot luck from 11:15-12:15 p.m. The Stop Trafficking program will begin at 12:30 pm. Adults will meet in the sanctuary and youth 12-18 years old will meet in the North Room.

Presentations focus on the role social media plays in exploiting vulnerabilities and there are two goals: 1. Adults-move them from awareness to action, 2. Students-educate and empower them to be safer.

The Evangelism Team will be hosting this event. For the pot luck, please bring a meat, vegetable, salad or dessert. We will need sitters for children under 12 and they will be in the Sunday School area. As we would like our members to be part of the presentation, if you know of or have employed a sitter that you feel is very competent, please contact Pastor Karen or Jeanie Kenyon ASAP. We would like 2-3 sitters and they would be compensated. We would need them for around 1 1/2 hours.

Make plans now to join us!! We can help keep students safe in our schools, churches and community!