Bethel United Church of Christ 

                   4900 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64117

Weekly Letter to the Congregation

August 3, 2020 -  Letter to the Congregation 

August 3, 2020

Greetings Bethel Members and Friends,

 

Although we first started hearing about COVID-19 in February and our last in-person worship was on March 15th, there are times when it feels like this has gone on much longer. That's why I begin with words from Molly Baskette from the little book sent to me from our national office entitled Emerge: Blessings & Rituals for Unsheltering from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group, entitled "Blessing for Mixed Feelings"

God, they say feelings are a package deal. The yuck and the yum come bundled.

God, they say that all feelings are from you--it's what we do with them that matters.

But what do we do when our feelings come not tidily trussed but messily tangled,

like a fine silver chain that won't be undone no matter how long we labor over it?

It sits in a box waiting for a miracle-worker.

I take them out again, the pile of feelings. And this time, I ask you to bless them before I begin the work.

Bless the anger and the irritation. Bless the gratitude and the joy-sparks. Bless the compassion and the selfishness, the fear and the courage, the gloom and the hope, the listlessness and the purposeful action. Bless the love in my life and bless the distance--emotional and physical--between those I would reune with. Bless the stress and bless the serenity.

Bless it all, the whole mess and remind me that having a rainbow of feelings is your light, prismed into spectrum.

I feel a little more ease now. I can see where to begin, to gently untangle, pull there, push there, rest there...and find how it all fits together in one unbroken, beautiful strand.

 

I could relate to all the feelings she mentions. I came across the word 'reune' which means 'gathering'. I had not heard that word before and I like it. It makes me think of 'reunited' or gathering around the communion table like we did yesterday at our outdoor service. Reune-I'm putting that in my stash of words as I wait for that time when we will 'reune' again!

Again, please send in your thoughts / feelings about Bethel as we celebrate 60 years as the church during the month of August. E-mail or do a video downloaded on a flash drive.

I have had some questions about confirmation class and due to COVID and restrictions that will be in place, which would keep us from visiting other faith traditions, doing service projects, meeting in person (which normally takes place during Sunday School time (and even if we come back in person there is no Sunday School) and once or twice each month extended classes following church with mentors, parents & a meal) confirmation will not take place this year. So much of confirmation is discussion and personal interaction. Also, the children are dealing with unknown circumstances during the school year, whether in-person or on line learning is taking place. So at this time there are no plans for confirmation. Age for confirmation varies, but usually ages 12-14, 7th through 9th grades are the norm. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday we had our outdoor service with communion. It was a beautiful morning and the Spirit of God was poured out on all. Our next outdoor service will be August 16th. Even though everyone is either in their cars or on the hillside, there is a special feeling of community and we hope you feel that watching from home too. So let us hold fast to one another, pray and keep the faith as we move through these challenging times.

Peace, Hope and Love

Pastor Karen


Prayer List Update – August 3, 2020

In Sympathy: 

  • Vern Bohlmeyer’s sister Donna Liska, passed away on Tuesday, July 28 in Omaha, NE. funeral plans are pending with burial in Ute, IA. Cards can be sent to Vern Bohlmeyer at 7501 N. Eastern Ave. Kansas City, MO 64158
  • AnnaLee Kapp's father, Edward Lee Boyd ,84, passed away July 24th. He was born December 22, 1935. Services are pending and will take place in Salem, IL. Please feel the family in your prayers. Cards can be sent to AnnaLee Kapp at 2118 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64116
  • The Family of Donna Fischer. Donna passed away peacefully after an extended hospital stay. Her memorial service was at Bethel’s chapel on Thursday, July 30. The family wishes that memorial gifts be sent to Bethel or American Cancer Society. We hold them all in our prayers
  • Marie Dodson’s on the death of her granddaughter ,Madelyn Rose Marie Miller. Funeral services were July 21 at Abundant Life Church on Kansas City, KS. Please send cards to Marie Dodson at 601 E. 10th At, Kearney, MO 64060.
  • Dick & Lura Cayton, Blue Springs Terrace, their granddaughter was killed in a car accident.
  • Randy Pace’s cousin, Bryan Stockton of Los Angeles was killed in a car accident.


In Celebration: Vern & Sandy Bohlmeyer celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on Sunday, August 2nd. Congratulations!


Prayers:

Marilyn Helmich’s daughter Carolyn Pope for upcoming surgery and daughter-in-law, Allision Pope; Cathy Leslie; Liz Guevel; Bob Atkinson; Alice Inman; Vern Bohlmeyer; Cathy Leslie’s husband Jay; Stephanie Dodd; Lauri Buck’s Brother-in-law, Jim Saylor, Stan Niederhauser's mother, Nancy Niederhauser; Joe Germer; Steve and Carol Mann and for Carol’s brother, Steven Rone; Alice Terrill, Dave Bunch; Jim Derry; Jamie Elder;  Jeremy Manley; Jim Inman; Adam Niederhauser; Gerry McGuire; Doug Berka;  Kathy Corn’s sister, Ruthanna Rodatz (& friend Judy Lightheart; Vicki Thompson’s brother working at NKC Hospital and all health care providers; Crittenton Center staff and residents, prayers for all medical staff and first responders; Mollie Geitz; Mark & Jeanene Easley; Maggie Basch’s cousin, Linda Phelps; Karen Lind-Olson, sister of Doug Berka;  Pat Conrad, Shellie Willis’ cousin; friend of Laurie Arbuthnot, Fred White; Lora Carey; Jim Burr’s brother John and family; Schindlers’ sister-in-law, Susie Carpenter; Anna Lee Kapp’s father, Ed Boyd; Aiden Liesveld, neighbor of Bob & Lauri BuckDonna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker


Thank You

Dear Pastor Karen,

And again—neither rain, pandemic nor late at night, will keep you from you job. And so well done—many compliments received. God Bless and thank you so much. Love, Jody Meyer

*Outdoor services-August 16th, August 30th.

July 27, 2020

Greetings Bethel,

The month of July is coming to a close and August is around the corner. We are still in that 'in-between' place of wondering what comes next. My joy is that Bethel continues to be the body of Christ in your homes and in this community. We are staying connected and in touch through our on line services and programs, due to the amazing streaming/internet talents of Marty and Jeremy. (Thank you for all the things you do to keep Bethel in touch with our members and friends.) Everyone is invited to share our services with your friends and family as we widen our circle. Who knew five months ago we would jump into on line services and change up worship as we all have known it for decades. I find myself thanking God that at this time in history we have been given the abilities to stay connected both locally and globally through computers, i-pads and i-phones. God is good-all the time-God is good.

This Sunday, August 2*, we will be outdoors again and sharing communion. You will find the instructions for outdoor worship and we ask that everyone follow masking and distancing. You will be offered the grape juice cup with the wafer from baskets brought to your cars. Also, we will be starting our month celebration of Bethel's 60th Anniversary! I have asked that you share a memory about Bethel and how this body of Christ has shaped your faith journey. E-mail, write a letter or video a response, download on a flash drive and send or drop it by here.

On August 23rd we plan to show the recording made of "Celebrate Life" tapaed at our 50th Anniversary service in August, 2010. We will see faces of friends and family, those that we hold in our hearts who have been birthed into eternal life and those still with us, as we rejoice and celebrate this past decade of Bethel's journey: baptisms, funerals, weddings, confirmations, holiday celebrations, dinners, breakfasts, fellowship, and worship that brought Bethel to this milestone of 60 years as the church! More info to come.

For the outdoor service on August 30th*, we are inviting Rev. Michael Stephens and musicians from Southwood UCC in Raytown to join us in a combined service, where music will be the highlight. With distancing and masks, you can hum along and maybe softly sing a few lines of a favorite hymn. However, our combined musicians and singers will be taking the lead, so be ready for a rocking good time.

I will be continuing Kid's Korner through August on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. We are looking at doing occasional "Sunday School" classes on line during the year, using Zoom or other options. Rally Day is scheduled as an outdoor service for September 13th. Laci Fleener, Adria and Kadence Lane are going into 3rd grade and will be receiving Bibles at that time.

Below you will find A Statement of Faith by Ann Weems. There is a line in there that says, "We believe God's Holy Spirit lives in this community of dancing, hand-holding people..." We will be hand-holding people once again, but for now we hold each other in our hearts. Stay well!!

A STATEMENT OF FAITH

Ann Weems, Reaching for Rainbows

 

We believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit and in you and in me.

We believe the Holy Spirit has freed us to worship as a community.

We believe the Holy Spirit works through:

balloons and ministers

daisies and wiggly children

clanging cymbals and silence

drama and the unexpected

choirs and banners

touching and praying

spontaneity and planning

faith and doubt

tears and laughter

leading and supporting

hugging and kneeling

dancing and stillness

applauding and giving

creativity and plodding

words and listening

holding and letting go

thank you and help me

Scripture and alleluias

agonizing and celebrating

accepting and caring

through you and through me, through Love.

We believe God's Holy Spirit lives in this community of dancing, hand-holding people where lines of age and politics and life-styles are crossed.

We believe in praising God for Life.

We believe in responding to God's grace and love and justice for all people.

We believe in the poetry within each of us.

We believe in dreams and visions.

We believe in old people running and children leading.

We believe in the Kingdom of God within us.

We believe in LOVE.

AMEN!

 

Peace,

Pastor Karen

 

*Outdoor services-August 2nd, August 16th, August 30th.

 

Prayer List Update – July 27, 2020

Congratulations: Scott & Debbie Schlick have a new grandson, Sterling Wyatt Schlick was born 7/21, weighing 9 lbs. 3 oz. and 21 3/4 inches. Baby is doing well as are parents, Quincy & Skyler Schlick.

In Sympathy:

AnnaLee Kapp's father, Edward Lee Boyd ,84, passed away July 24th. He was born December 22, 1935. Services are pending and will take place in Salem, IL. Please feel the family in your prayers. Cards can be sent to AnnaLee Kapp at 2118 NE Parvin Road, Kansas City, MO 64116

The Family of Donna Fischer. Donna passed away peacefully after an extended hospital stay. Plans for a memorial service are pending. The family wishes that memorial gifts be sent to Bethel. We hold them all in our prayers.

Cathy Leslie; Liz Guevel; Bob Atkinson; Alice Inman; Vern Bohlmeyer; Cathy Leslie’s husband Jay; Stephanie Dodd; Lauri Buck’s Brother-in-law, Jim Saylor, Stan Niederhauser's mother, Nancy Niederhauser; Joe Germer; Steve and Carol Mann and for Carol’s brother, Steven Rone; Alice Terrill, Dave Bunch; Jim Derry; Jamie Elder;  Jeremy Manley; Jim Inman; Adam Niederhauser; Gerry McGuire; Doug Berka;  Kathy Corn’s sister, Ruthanna Rodatz (& friend Judy Lightheart; Vicki Thompson’s brother working at NKC Hospital and all health care providers; Crittenton Center staff and residents, prayers for all medical staff and first responders; Mollie Geitz; Mark & Jeanene Easley; Marilyn Helmich’s great-niece, Lilly Schoenke; Maggie Basch’s cousin, Linda Phelps; Karen Lind-Olson, sister of Doug Berka;  Pat Conrad, Shellie Willis’ cousin; friend of Laurie Arbuthnot, Fred White; Lora Carey; Jim Burr’s brother John and family; Schindlers’ sister-in-law, Susie Carpenter; Anna Lee Kapp’s father, Ed Boyd; Aiden Liesveld, neighbor of Bob & Lauri Buck; Donna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; 

 August Birthdays

Preston corn 8/5

David Schindler 8/7

Bob Buck 8/9

Sonja Payne 8/9

Susan Schindler 8/9

Dionne Boyice 8/11

Laurie Arbuthnot 8/12

Mary Fleener 8/15

Declan Terrill 8/16

Marilyn Donahoe 8/17

Art Todtenhausen 8/22

Liz Guevel 8/23

Ted Basch 8/24

Fulvio Hayes 8/24

Joe Germer 8/28

Dale Rickert 8/31 

July 13, 2020 
Greetings, 
I hope you all are taking care of yourselves and reaching out to each other for that virtual hug and words of love and support. Here at Bethel, we continue to find ways of connecting and staying in touch. Members continue to make calls, send cards and even deliver cookies to many who are have not gotten out much or at all. We are living out our mission statement:" Sharing Love, Sharing Compassion and Sharing the WordBeing Christ to our neighbor!" Thanks to all who find those special ways of connecting. We ask that you lift in prayer all those on our prayer list. Please note new names on the list: Bob Atkinson, Jay Leslie and In sympathy: Ted Basch at the death of his sister Kathy Brodbeck. And continued prayers for Donna Fischer as she prepares to come home from the hospital under hospice care. Those prayers are expanded for her sister Jody and her children as they begin this journey. I know we are still feeling a sense of uncertainty as the summer moves on and the pandemic continues to increase in numbers. We do what we can do by wearing masks in public, washing hands and social distancing whenever possible. Another way of showing our love for each other. We plan on having our second "Outdoor Worship" this Sunday. It will be a hot one, so if you want to stay in your cars with ac, or bring chairs and sit in the shade and bring umbrellas, fans and some cool drinks, feel free to do so. Please read the instructions. Masks and social distancing will be observed. The church will not be opened. In my sermon last Sunday, if you wanted the rest of the story on Jacob and Esau, you needed to read Genesis 25 and 26-not Matthew! I had quoted a verse from Matthew 12 that Lincoln used for his famous line, "A house divided against itself cannot stand," and I said Matthew 25 and 26. (sorry) That was about the bride and bridesmaids, which has nothing to do with Jacob and Esau!! We continue to find ways to connect with our members that do not have access to our streaming services. This week we are sending out a printed copy of the sermon from this past Sunday. We have ten people who receive our letter by mail, as they do not have the means to receive anything online. I came across the following poem that I read several weeks ago on our Cook, Chat and Pray Facebook Live show on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. It came across my e-mail again and I wanted to share it with all of you so you would have it in printed form. It is beautiful and says so many things that are on all of our hearts at this time. Blessings and Peace, Pastor Karen What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down. And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. Promise this world your love — for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live. By Lynn Ungar Lynn is a minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Her first book of poetry is “Blessing the Bread.” PRAYER LIST UPDATE – JULY 13, 2020 In Sympathy: Ted Basch on the passing of his sister, Kathy Brodbeck on July 12 in Springfield, MO. Funeral arrangements are pending. Our prayers go out to Ted & Maggie Basch and family. Cards can be sent to Ted Basch at 7607 W. Forest Lakes Dr. Parkville, MO 64152. Donna Fischer; Bob Atkinson; Alice Inman; Vern Bohlmeyer; Cathy Leslie’s husband Jay; Stan Niederhauser and family on the passing of Stan’s father, Donald Lee Niederhasuer; Larry Jurgensen on the passing of his brother, Dale Jurgensen; Stephanie Dodd, NKC Hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery cards can be sent to her home; Lauri Buck’s Brother-in-law, Jim Saylor, Stan Niederhauser's mother, Nancy Niederhauser; Joe Germer; Steve and Carol Mann and for Carol’s brother, Steven Rone; Alice Terrill, Dave Bunch Jim Derry; Jamie Elder; Jeremy Manley; Jim Inman; Adam Niederhauser; Gerry McGuire; Doug Berka; Kathy Corn’s sister, Ruthanna Rodatz (& friend Judy Lightheart; Vicki Thompson’s brother working at NKC Hospital and all health care providers; Crittenton Center staff and residents, prayers for all medical staff and first responders; Mollie Geitz; Mark & Jeanene Easley; Marilyn Helmich’s great-niece, Lilly Schoenke; Maggie Basch’s cousin, Linda Phelps; Karen Lind-Olson, sister of Doug Berka; Pat Conrad, Shellie Willis’ cousin; friend of Laurie Arbuthnot, Fred White; Lora Carey; Jim Burr’s brother John and family; Schindlers’ sister-in-law, Susie Carpenter; Anna Lee Kapp’s father, Ed Boyd; Aiden Liesveld, neighbor of Bob & Lauri Buck; Donna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; THANK YOU Dearest Friend, Thank you for the generous gift of over $1,200 to the Backpack Shepherd’s program. We are yoked partners with Jesus Christ out Lord in being people addressing hunger in our local community. Thanks to you, children, and families will have food each weekend of the school year. Your generosity brings the Christian message of hope to vulnerable neighbors. Thank you for investing in the mission of BPG. Yours in Christ, Fr. Galen Snodgrass and the Members of Good Shepherd Job Opening We received at letter from Grainger that they are looking to hire with starting pay at $15,74. If interested all of their job openings with description can be found on https://jobs.grainer.com. Anyone interested can apply online at the same website. You are eligible for company benefits day one. 

Pandemic
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times? 
Cease from travel. 
Cease from buying and selling. 
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. 
Sing. Pray. 
Touch only those to whom you commit your life. 
Center down. 
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. 
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) 
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) 
Do not reach out your hands. 
Reach out your heart. 
Reach out your words. 
Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. 
Promise this world your love — for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live. 
By Lynn Ungar Lynn is a minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Her first book of poetry is “Blessing the Bread.” 

PRAYER LIST UPDATE – JULY 13, 2020 
In Sympathy: Ted Basch on the passing of his sister, Kathy Brodbeck on July 12 in Springfield, MO. Funeral arrangements are pending. Our prayers go out to Ted & Maggie Basch and family. Cards can be sent to Ted Basch at 7607 W. Forest Lakes Dr. Parkville, MO 64152. Donna Fischer; Bob Atkinson; Alice Inman; Vern Bohlmeyer; Cathy Leslie’s husband Jay; Stan Niederhauser and family on the passing of Stan’s father, Donald Lee Niederhasuer; Larry Jurgensen on the passing of his brother, Dale Jurgensen; Stephanie Dodd, NKC Hospital recovering from knee replacement surgery cards can be sent to her home; Lauri Buck’s Brother-in-law, Jim Saylor, Stan Niederhauser's mother, Nancy Niederhauser; Joe Germer; Steve and Carol Mann and for Carol’s brother, Steven Rone; Alice Terrill, Dave Bunch Jim Derry; Jamie Elder; Jeremy Manley; Jim Inman; Adam Niederhauser; Gerry McGuire; Doug Berka; Kathy Corn’s sister, Ruthanna Rodatz (& friend Judy Lightheart; Vicki Thompson’s brother working at NKC Hospital and all health care providers; Crittenton Center staff and residents, prayers for all medical staff and first responders; Mollie Geitz; Mark & Jeanene Easley; Marilyn Helmich’s great-niece, Lilly Schoenke; Maggie Basch’s cousin, Linda Phelps; Karen Lind-Olson, sister of Doug Berka; Pat Conrad, Shellie Willis’ cousin; friend of Laurie Arbuthnot, Fred White; Lora Carey; Jim Burr’s brother John and family; Schindlers’ sister-in-law, Susie Carpenter; Anna Lee Kapp’s father, Ed Boyd; Aiden Liesveld, neighbor of Bob & Lauri Buck; Donna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker; 
THANK YOU 
Dearest Friend, Thank you for the generous gift of over $1,200 to the Backpack Shepherd’s program. We are yoked partners with Jesus Christ out Lord in being people addressing hunger in our local community. Thanks to you, children, and families will have food each weekend of the school year. Your generosity brings the Christian message of hope to vulnerable neighbors. Thank you for investing in the mission of BPG. 
Yours in Christ, Fr. Galen Snodgrass and the Members of Good Shepherd 
Job Opening 
We received at letter from Grainger that they are looking to hire with starting pay at $15,74. If interested all of their job openings with description can be found on https://jobs.grainer.com. Anyone interested can apply online at the same website. You are eligible for company benefits day one.
The Festival of Sharing hosts an annual quilt auction to raise funds for the Church World Service Blanket Program (cws.global.org) which helps people rebuild their lives after disasters. On Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at Knights of Columbus in Columbia, MO (2525 North Stadium Blvd, Columbia, MO 65202) they host their onsite quilt auction. They are expanding the online options for viewing, pre-bidding, and purchasing quilts. Quilt photos, details, and bidding opportunities will be available at festivalofsharing.org/quilt-auction in early September 2020. The beautiful quilt pictured here was made by Debbie Robinett’s mother. She is donating it to the Festival of Sharing quilt auction. You will be able to bid on this quilt and others. More information will be provided later.
o Bethel’s Drive-in Parking Lot Service This Sunday— July 19th Worship Plan Note: If you are watching from home, we will post the service on Bethel’s Facebook page later on Sunday. Bethel Parking Lot - Arrive 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM. Service begins at 9:00 AM! 
 Everyone will be directed to a parking place and will remain in their vehicle 
 Masks are required 
 Bring your bulletin 
 Tune to 92.1 FM on your car radio 
 During the offertory you have an opportunity to contribute to Bethel’s mission 
 At the end of the service you will leave as directed Worshipping on the Hillside – Parking at Eastgate Parking Lot (if available) 
 Arrive in the Eastgate Parking Lot before 9:00 AM. Service begins at 9:00 AM! 
 Bring your bulletin 
 Wear your mask 
 Bring your chair, umbrella, and a cold drink (it’s going to be a hot day) 
 Families may set together, but they must social distance from others. 
 During the offertory you have an opportunity to contri