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
Prayer List Update – August 3, 2020
- 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!
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 Buck; Donna Fischer’s daughter, Dolores M. Starr; Jody Meyer’s great niece, Diane Shoemaker
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
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.
*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.
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;
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