Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dialogue for June 2011



June 2011

Celebrate 20 Years of Sisterhood with San Antonio Grande!

Paint and Party!
At Bethany’s Annual Meeting in June 1991, the congregation voted to enter into a relationship with the Salvadoran community of San Antonio Grande. The Sister Parish Program—Programa Iglesias Hermanas—was created during El Salvador’s civil war by the United Church of Christ’s mission partner, the Salvadoran Lutheran Synod. Nancy Dale, a UCC Global Ministries missionary invited our church to participate and we said yes!

On Sunday, June 26, 2011, Bethany will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sisterhood. The celebration will actually begin two days earlier, when Kate Papineau and friends arrive from New York City to paint a Salvadoran-style mural on the cinder-block back wall of the church. We want you to join in the painting, adding your mark—large or small, as an individual or a family—to the colorful mural.

Painting will take place on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday after church we’ll dedicate the mural and have a fiesta in the parking lot with food, music and piñata.

How can you be involved?

* Donate colorful paint you have left over from house projects
* Donate inexpensive brushes
* Come on Friday or Saturday to paint – this will be lots of fun!
* Help set up, serve or clean up
* Contribute food (menu is tostadas with all the fillings, fresh fruit drink, cake and ice cream)
* Most importantly, join the party!

All of this is WEATHER PERMITTING! The painting and party will be rescheduled if rain interferes with the painting. Details will be announced in church on the Sundays leading up to the event. Questions or suggestions?

Contact Theresa Lever

SAVE THE DATE - Mark your calendars for the 17th Annual Bethany Lawn and Bake Sale September 17 & 18. We will need many helpers starting September 12. Sign-ups will start soon - don't miss out on your favorite task.

Hello to all,
It's Spring, and we are cleaning out our garages and attics. The usual buzz about looking forward to the BETHANY LAWN SALE is starting. At this time of year, some folks are wishing there was SOMEPLACE ELSE to store those special boxes and bags that are full of clean, attractive items, in good working order. It is still our policy to ask donors to wait until the week before the sale to bring their donations. When we get requests for exceptions, the policy is to suggest that donors make private arrangements with other members who have extra space. Consequently, it would be helpful for us to know who has extra space so that this suggestion can be most valuable. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPACE WHERE LAWN SALE DONATIONS COULD BE STORED UNTIL THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 13? Please let us know. ( or 223-5307)

If you choose to accept this mission... at the time you agree to a private arrangement, it is wise to have the donor promise to take the items from your space to the church during the collection week.

Help Wanted - -
Bethany Lawn Sale Crew Leader for Bethany Boutique - - This position requires oversight of the Fellowship Hall portion of the sale: clothing, shoes, bags, bed&bath, crafts. Sue Maywood has done an excellent job with this for more than seven years - we will miss her in so many ways. The time required includes 15-20 hours during the week preceding the sale and full time during the sale and clean-up.

Please contact Sarah Williams if you are interested in this invigorating challenge.

Bethany Lawn Sale Committee

Come, join team: Ecumenicals

Walk-a-thon for the Homeless

Saturday ~ July 9, 2011

10:30 - 1:00

Barre Town Elementary School

Let Liz Sykas-Ringgnenberg, know if you would like to be part of the team!

Can't walk that day? Ecumenicals

will be looking for donations!


We have received a request from Cindy Gardner Morris to help provide transportation for her mother, Iris Gardner. Iris would like to attend Sunday worship if someone can provide the transportation. Also her husband, Ken, is now at Woodridge. She likes to visit him twice a day if possible and could use help with transportation there. Cindy is not always available to help with this need. CAN YOU? Cindy's number is 802-656-4244. Iris Gardner's number is 485-8880.

Is it over?
Graduate Sunday on June 12.

On June 12 we would like to celebrate and acknowledge all those who are graduating! So that the church knows who is finishing some course of study, please call the church office and let us know. Then come and during worship we will be able to wish you Godspeed on the next part of your journey.


Did you know there is a Families Anonymous meeting at Bethany Church every Monday night at 7 pm?

What is Families Anonymous?

A 12 Step Support Group
A chance for recovery
from the effects of a loved one's addictions .
NO Fees
NO Community Funding
NO Government Grants
NO last names used
NO forms to fill out
NO formal sign-up
It's new friends who help. They can help your situation just as others have helped theirs.
It's friends who won't be shocked at your problems... friends who want to help you start feeling good about yourself again.
In short, Families Anonymous are people like you --- helping people like you. Please stop by... we'd be happy to meet you.
There is HELP for you if you want it! Who may attend?

"Anyone whose life has been adversely affected by another person's use of drugs, alcohol, or related behavioral problems is welcome. One need only locate a meeting and attend."



On Sunday, June 12 - 5 PM
meet on the Vermont College Green for the annual kickball game! Then follow Amy to her home for a cookout at Amy's house. Bring chips or drinks to share – We will have burgers and Ben and Jerry's ice cream as well!
We will also be celebrating Olivia's graduation!

Making it REAL

Jesus told his followers to “prepare a feast” for those in need of food and the Bethany Church Congregation certainly heeds those directions. All of the dinners prepared for The Good Samaritan Haven have truly been bountiful feasts (especially the one for Easter Sunday). Unlike last year, we will be continuing this ministry throughout the summer months and it would be lovely to have many more feasts to share with the guests at the shelter. Your help is needed to make this a reality! Our summer Sundays are June 26th, July 24th and August 28th. The sign-up sheet will be in the Parlor following worship on Sunday mornings and can be found on the Outreach Bulletin Board, in the hallway, during the week. We can show that, not just on Easter but on any day of the year, Bethany is truly an “Easter Church” bringing the Gospel to life in very real ways.


Thank you to Sonja Grahn and her mother, Marlene Macallister for your many years of great meals and loving care.
We will miss you.

Sonja Grahn, who has been the head cook at the Bethany Bowl on the second Tuesday of the month, is going into business with her sister. We need someone or more than one someone to fill her spot. The head cook creates the menu using many of our donated resources, buys the ingredients, submits the slips for reimbursement, and is in charge of the main dish for that meal. The other volunteers deal with other parts of the menu such as making sandwiches, salad, setting out desserts, beverages,etc. We can be very accommodating and creative in filling this need. Perhaps two people might alternate the months or cook the meal the day before and have it ready for the volunteers to distribute.

For information see/call (476-4277) or e-mail ( Phyllis Rowell before August 9.

We sometimes think that natural disasters that need emergency relief only happen in foreign countries. It is not true. And the United Church of Christ has been around this country with prayer and material aid.

But if you want to know what 'we' have done and are doing, there are two quick places to find the information. The first is our Denomination's website at There you can read the UCC's President's (Geoffrey Black) Pastoral Letter and call to help those in Joplin and other storm damaged areas of the United States.

The second is the Church World Service website CWS is an interdenominational group that works on disaster relief, development, and refuge issues for the UCC. Because of their expertise and our support of the One Great Hour of sharing, Bethany Church is often helping before we have all heard about the need. The average response time is 2.5 days.

And speaking of Spring Storms, Bethany did not suffer in the latest flooding of Montpelier. BUT thanks go out to Gary Rodgers, Mark LaGrand, and Amy Pitton for checking on the church in the early morning. Thanks to Judy for showing up to move stuff and Will for texting his willingness to do the same. Thanks for all who had prayers for safety. And prayers for all of you who DID suffer water damage or were evacuated from Montpelier. ALWAYS let the church know when life takes these turns for you.

Time, Talent, and Treasures

These three gifts have been talked about in Stewardship Education for many church years. We typically focus on the treasures and ask for a commitment to give money. Time and Talent might be asked about, usually in terms of the Boards and Committees.
What if we asked for a commitment of your time and talents, and assumed you would give needed money? What if we thought about Time and Talent as something other than committee work?
Are you ready for a new Church?

Bigger Than a Church

Your ministers and several delegates from Bethany Church will away on June 3-5. Every year the Vermont Conference of the United Church has an Annual Meeting, much like Bethany Church. The difference is that at this one we celebrate that we are a part of something so large we need3 days and 2 nights to worship, plan, celebrate, learn what all the Vt. Conference and the United Church of Christ are doing to honor God and care for creation. There are nominations, budgets, resolutions, and workshops (Mark is doing one on Open and Affirming). There is the Peacemakers Breakfast to hear about what is being done around Vermont and beyond (Theresa Lever organizes this). There are youth Delegates (Nina Merriam is ours) and special youth programming (Amy is doing this). There are business meetings (that are so special they are called Plenary Sessions!) and votes (our delegates Joanne Hardy, Liz Sykas-Ringgnenberg, Gilman Wright will do this). But send up prayers of support and care for Carrie Youngblood, she is the Vermont Conference President and must run the meetings (Plenary Sessions). Can you imagine running a meeting that is about half ministers?

We will have reports back from those who went.


From the Pastor's dreaming:

When you read “Acts of the Apostles”, you get a very different sense of church and worship. Written about an experience so close to the teaching of Jesus, the sense of movement and faith is very different from what we experience centuries past that time.

Even worship seemed different. They would gather in people's homes, break bread, sing songs, listen to scripture and a preacher. And pray. Lots and lots of prayer. And lots of stories about what God and the Holy Spirit had been doing in their lives and world. It would have been an exciting time being caught up with something new and bold. Swept up in the Spirit's draft and carried to experiences and people unknown.

I am currently thinking that next fall I might lead an exploration of Acts, to find what they meant by church, faith, and discipleship. If you are interested, let me know. And be prepared to tell me when might work for you.

But before that, for just a few Sundays, let's worship in a style reminiscent of those early days, when “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” [Acts 2]

For the four Sundays of August and the first Sunday of September we will worship in Fellowship Hall. There we will be able to face people (remember worshiping in the Chapel?), gather informally, and then break bread with joy, sing, pray, and hear of life with God.

The plan is to create a sacred space in Fellowship Hall that can hold worship that will be image rich, filled with joy and song, good for young and old, and refreshing. Indeed, we hope to have the children with us, sometimes with their own things to do. Let's face it, anyone who has gone to a church camp or retreat, or worshiped in wider church setting or as a small gathering of just a few know that these times of worship are wonderful and inspiring. We might not want them always, but they are invigorating and uplifting, in part because they are rare.

Part of the plan is too include the “breaking of bread”. In Acts and in other literature the early church would break bread in an Agape Meal, part ritual communion and part meal. For us, we want to have our Hospitality before, during, and after worship. A simple offering of juice, coffee, rolls/muffins/bread, and the crackers, brownies, and fruit we usually have. There would be chairs and tables to facilitate this.

Amy and I are considering themes for the summer and will need people who would like to see this work. Could you share visual art, music, baking, hospitality, or time to this venture? We will need voices to speak and people to work and eyes to imagine and people to worship. Want to be a part of this? If so, let us know.

We are excited about this. We ask that you pray with us before hand that our worship will be meaningful. And then join us Sunday Mornings as we “eat our food with glad and generous hearts and praising God” in song and word and fellowship.

For those who find the pews more comfortable, we will have them again for Gathering Sunday on September 11.

It will be a cool time...


And Church is filled with many bits of life and reflections of who they are. On June 12 you can see a wonderful range of who we are. The morning starts with music, provided by Bill Fraser and Kevin Brown in a Second Sunday Concert. Then there is more music as part of our worship. During worship we will sing, pray, her God's word and a reflection on it. We will give our selves and our gifts. We will celebrate those in our church family who are graduating. Then we will meet as a congregation for our Annual Meeting. There we can consider what we have done and what we will do and who will do it. Later there will be fun when the Youth Group gathers for kick ball and food.

Are you thankful for Bethany Church? Be sure to tell those who mean the most to you. Be sure to mention this to the Spirit that infuses us all.

Dialogue Deadline for the July and August Edition is June 23th at 9:00am.
YES, previews of September are welcome.


Bethany Church United Church of Christ


SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011


- Opening Prayer

- Approval of Minutes of June 6, 2010 Annual Meeting

- Approval of Minutes of September 12, 2010 Special Meeting

- Election of Officers and Board Members

- Approval of Interim FY 2012 Budget (level-funded for three months)

- Verbal update regarding FY 2011 Budget ending June 30, 2011

- Other Business

Copies of the 2011 Annual Report will be available by Sunday June5.

Please pick up a copy to review before the Annual Meeting on June 12.