Thursday, September 1, 2011


Good news –
the Silent Auction returns!
(with YOUR help)

The Silent Auction is a lot of fun—watch out for crafty Jim Conneman, who uses his guile to get the bidding up! Joanne Hardy loves the Silent Auction because it’s a way she can support the Lawn Sale (and the church) without having to acquire items she doesn’t need or have room for. And when the high bidders redeem their winnings, the Silent Auction fulfills another important purpose: bringing people together. As a result of 2010’s Silent Auction winnings, I had the chance over the year to enjoy the company of 13 different Bethany folks—enjoying an out-of-this-world progressive dinner, singing through a delicious dessert gathering, and even consulting on medical issues.

I invite YOU to participate in this year’s Silent Auction! Everybody has something they like to do that others would find useful or enjoyable. In the past we’ve had offers of cooking, gardening, sewing, driving, singing, recording music, organizing, painting, jewelry-making, interior decorating, and lots more. Let your imagination fly! And then contact me and we’ll work out the details. Thank you!

Theresa Lever, 229-0415,


Once again the Bethany Booth will be offered at the Share Fair on November 5. It will feature items made by the talented people at Bethany Church. What will you bring? jewelry, knitting, woodwork, art work, crocheting, calligraphy pieces, pottery etc. For advertising and planning, please let Phyllis Rowell know what to expect for the table. Last year was the rebirth of the Share Fair.

Lets make this years better than ever.
Phyllis Rowell 476-4277


The Bethany Bowl is still in need of a cook or cooks for the second Tuesday of each month. Several folks have stepped up to help so we are covered through November. There is a regular crew of volunteers for the second Tuesday so the cook or cooks (if a couple you might want to work together) have lots of help.

The head cook(s) plan the menu, buy the ingredients (for reimbursement) and concentrate on the main entree while the volunteers are completing the other parts of the menu such as a salad, cole slaw, sandwiches, desserts, beverages, setting the tables, etc. We have a well stocked pantry to start from.

Don't be hindered by never having cooked for a large number. We have cookbooks and eleven years of experience to offer. Invention is our best motto and often the best meals.

If you are interested see, call (476-4277) or e-mail
Phyllis Rowell Thanks

Potluck Dinner!

Cookbook Dinner - Do you have your Bethany Church Cookbook "Feeding The Flock"? Plans are underway to have a potluck using recipes from the new cookbook. There are some restrictions however: you may not prepare your own recipe from the cookbook - you must prepare a recipe submitted by someone else!

Watch for the date and if you don't have your cookbook, contact Judy Ribolini at or at 223-7134. They are $12.00 each and proceeds go to the general fund of the Church.

Musically Speaking

Did you enjoy the summer music during worship? Would you like to continue or begin singing on a regular basis?

Choir rehearsals will begin again in earnest on Thursday, September 8th in the Music Room at 7:00 p.m. Rehearsals will also be held on Sunday mornings at 9:00 beginning on September 11.

Bell Choir - will resume on Thursday, September 7 @ 6:15 p.m. Anyone interested should come to the Music Room.

Second Sunday Concerts - The Music Board will continue to offer these before worship concerts beginning in October. If you have a suggestion for a Second Sunday performer, please contact Judy Ribolini at or at 223-7134 or Arthur Zorn at the Church.

A Service of Remembrance

Sunday, September 11, 2011
You are invited to the only commemoration of September 11, 2001 to be held in the city of Montpelier. Join us at Trinity United Methodist Church, 137 Main Street Montpelier.

Music Readings Reflection Silence

Child care provided

Congregations currently participating include:
Bethany United Church of Christ
Christ Episcopal Church
The Old Meeting House
Trinity United Methodist Church
The Unitarian Church of Montpelier

From Bethany's President

"What is God asking me to bring into the world?"

I remember years ago when I realized that after trying to develop the habit of praying every day, I was doing it! Now, there does not seem to be 5 minutes that go by without my thinking of God. Asking for guidance, feeling appreciation for someone or something, or thanking God for giving me "signs" of God's presence (which are everywhere). And times I ask for God's forgiveness.

"What is God asking you to bring into the world?"

One of the gifts of being part of a community of people where you feel loved and accepted is that there are times when someone else will see your potential before you do. Others will see the gifts you bring to the world and can help to guide you those last few steps into shining "your little light" (or "your amazing light"). What talents/words/actions are emerging in you?

"What is God asking us to bring into the world"?

Faith Not Fear! Rev. Amy suggested this theme for the year and I think it's a good one. There is a huge difference between Faith that looks like "wishful thinking" and Faith that is a "knowing". "Knowing" without a doubt that "with God all things are possible". We are a congregation that is so creative and we have the strength that comes from a deep caring for God and each other. We are also human!! There are times when we are impatient and judgemental. We don't agree on all things. We can get scared and cover it with anger. Thank You, God, that we also have foregiveness for each other.

God sees all our potential! Let us open our Hearts to all the Blessings God is so anxious to give us!

Joanne Hardy
2011-2012 President

Feeding the Hungry
God says, “Prepare a Feast”

During the August 7th service both the reading (insert reading #, if you want) and the sermon focused on God’s directive to prepare a mountain-top feast for all the peoples. This brought to mind the fourth Sunday dinner that is supplied by Bethany folks, under the auspices of the Outreach Board, for the guests at The Good Samaritan Haven the Barre Montpelier Homeless Shelter. We may not prepare “rich marrow” or “well-aged wine”, as God directed, but we do send wonderful meals.

By sharing your gifts you are inviting the people at the shelter to a table full of lovingly prepared food and you are possibly “lifting their shroud of despair and sadness” by showing them that the congregation of Bethany Church is eager to help them during their journey.

Our next four Sundays are September 25th, October 23rd, November 27th and December 25th. Can we possibly do it on Christmas Day when everyone is so busy with their own families? I will check with the shelter office to see what is needed and will keep you posted. Many thanks to everyone who contributes so generously to this wonderful ministry!
Judi Joy

Feeding the Hungry
Each month the Outreach Board focuses on collecting one type of food (as per request of the pantry). People may give any type of food, it too will be collected and blessed and sent. For the month of September our focus food is MILK. Powdered, Instant, canned, goat, with lactose, without lactose, or ultra pasteurized.

From Montpelier's Food Pantry

Bethany Church has been at the center of the Montpelier Food Pantry's activities for many years now. In addition to making monthly donations, Bethany also serves as the face of the Pantry for each new person that registers for service.

Greeted by Jo Ann, Mark and Gary, new clients are guided through the process with a helping hand. After 12 Pantry visits, clients return to Bethany to renew their registration. To understand what this might look like in terms of lives that you folks touch each year, we have 995 registered clients.

So I thank ALL of you for the good work you do.
Kimberley Lashua

PINS at Bethany

The social workers at Barre DCF were delighted to receive 20 filled back packs. Those social workers are now busy delivering the back packs provided by Bethany members to the kids they work with so they can start the school year with the things they need. Also, this summer donations to the PINS partnership were used to purchase two car seats for children in foster care. Your ongoing support and generosity are very much appreciated.

Sandy Clougher, Carol Welch, and Sue Day


At the Trustees meeting, Joanne asked board representatives to answer two questions.
1.What is your board/committee excited about for the year?
2. What help or support do you need?

Lectio Divina. What’s that you say?

It is prayerful reading of the Scriptures – a practice the Deacons are using to begin our monthly gatherings.

I learned about Lectio Divina while attending the Vt. Conference Annual Meeting in June and found it to be a wonderful stepping stone in my faith journey. We begin each meeting/gathering listening to a section of Scripture and take the time to really listen to hear how the scripture speaks to each of us – what stands out in the scripture, what does it remind us of, does it feel comfortable or not. This is followed by a second reading of the same scripture and then a brief conversation (or maybe not so brief) about what stood out for us. Then we have a time of prayer before beginning the business of the evening.

At the close of the evening we share communion with bread baked fresh by Mark Pitton and a prayer.

I think this will be an exciting and spiritually growing year for the Deacons.
The Deacons could use your support in the following ways:
Would you be willing to usher once a month or perhaps once every other month?
Would you be willing to read scripture once a month or perhaps once every other month?

If either of these feels like a gift you would like to share please let us know. You can volunteer by simply filling out the form below and dropping it in the offering plate (you are offering your gift!) or leave it in the church office.

Peace and Thank You,
Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg

Minister's Musings

What an exciting time it is to be a part of Bethany Church! There seems to be all kinds of good energy around the church these days, and much of it is due to the enthusiasm that folks are bringing to their worship and work at the church.

There has been lots of good energy at our August worship services. Hospitality before the service has been well attended, and it seems that having the opportunity to visit with each other before worshiping together has made the worship service more friendly as well as more meaningful for folks – we are sitting closer together, and it is good!. We have had lots of visitors this summer, and many of them have commented on how welcome they have felt! Worshiping in some new, yet still familiar ways, has been received very positively by folks of all ages, and the opportunity to have communion every Sunday has been uplifting as well. We will be in Fellowship Hall for worship through the first Sunday in September – if you haven't been able to join us yet, there is still time!

There is also some great new energy in the leadership of Bethany. Both the Board of Trustees, lead by Joanne Hardy, and the Board of Deacons, led by Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg, are exploring new ways of gathering. There is a renewed focus on bringing spiritual discernment to the meetings, which has been well-received. Sandy Farnum, our (currently) one-woman Finance Committee, has brought a burst of new energy to the budget process, sharing both her skills and her good humor with the church leadership as we navigate this potentially challenging time.

And then there are those who are simply going about sharing their gifts with their church family. You will notice when you enter the church a new kiosk that allows us to post information about the church. A big thank you goes out to Jim Conneman who designed and built the kiosk. There was a veritable blooming of backpacks last Sunday in church, given by all those who chose to provide a local child with school supplies through our PINS program. Bethany Bowl has been going strong all summer, with many community volunteers working to provide meals. Phyllis Rowell has done a great job coordinating one-time volunteers who come to help at the Bowl – one of the young adult volunteers even wanted to adopt her as a grandmother! We have continued to provide a once a month meal to the Good Samaritan Haven through the efforts and wonderfully positive energy of Judi Joy. We had a small flood in the church basement after a cloudburst and the Board of Christian Ed and Jim Conneman were there on short notice to put the building back to rights. By housing a group of young adults from all over the world, we helped the City of Montpelier get some of its projects done, and the City helped us by pruning back our trees in the front of the church. Two church family weddings were held in the sanctuary this summer, which brought joyful energy into our midst – what great celebrations of love!

We have a year ahead of us filled with lots of opportunities to grow as a church family. I hope that you will bring your enthusiastic energy to upcoming events like Gathering Sunday, the Lawn Sale and our September budget meeting. We are a church filled with potential for lots of good things – let's see where God leads us!
What is MISSION: 1?
This is MISSION: 1:

In 11 days, the United Church of Christ will collect more than 1 MILLION ITEMS OF HEALTHY FOOD and other household items for local food banks and outreach services.
In 11 days, the United Church of Christ will make an extra-special push to gather on-line contributions of more than 111,111 DOLLARS for Neighbors in Need, offerings that will be shared for hunger action purposes with agencies of justice and compassion throughout the United States.
In 11 days, the United Church of Christ will offer more than 11,111 LETTERS to Congress, asking our government to reform U.S. foreign assistance in a way that more effectively benefits hungry and poor people worldwide, helping to provide a major final push to Bread for the World's 2011 "Offering of Letters".
For 11 days in November, our UCC motto and Jesus' prayer "that they may all be 1" will become a focused, concerted mission emphasis across the whole United Church of Christ to educate ourselves and one another about food-related policy issues through sermons, seminars and conversations; to advocate on behalf of hungry people at home and around the world; to raise money for hunger-action purposes; and to share bread - and tuna, and peanut butter, and vegetables, and cereal - with our neighbors in need.

What will be your congregation's slice of this 1 million 11-day goal? Begin now to organize your church's victory strategy.

2011 East Africa
Drought and Famine Appeal

The United Church of Christ has issued a $250,000 emergency relief appeal for drought- and famine-impacted communities in the Eastern Horn of Africa.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency relief grants have been shared with Church World Service (CWS) and Action by Churches Together (ACT) to support immediate emergency food relief in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. The UCC is a member communion of Church World Service and an affiliate of the ACT Alliance.
As part of Our Church’s Wider Mission, OGHS is one of the UCC’s four special mission offerings.
This year marks the driest period in the Eastern Horn of Africa region since 1995, with the lowest level of rainfall in more than 50 years. More than 10 million people are affected by the drought. In Somalia, some 3.7 million people face a crisis, while in Kenya the estimate is up to 3.5 million people.
You can donate online at or You can also donate through Bethany Church by noting your desire for the money to go to Africa Aid. In all three cases, every penny goes to aid.

The tropical Storm has just left. Good bye. But it has left chaos, destruction, heart ache, and problems behind. There are several groups that are organizing volunteers to help, let us know what you do.

The Church had some flooding in part of the basement, but was not flooded by more than 2 inches. BIG thanks go out to Jim Conneman, Amy Bell, Vera Winter, Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg, Dave and Deb Fiske, Sarah Williams, Keven Brown, Paul Richardson, and Patrick Fraser. In a strange story, Amy Bell found a 4 inch fish in the middle of one of the flooded Sunday School rooms.

We have only heard of members with water in the basement. If you experienced more than that, please let us know. Also be in touch if you need some help.

Some UCC churches and other denominations have experienced catastrophic loss. It is good to be a part of a larger group when these things happen, it would be awful to be alone.

Vermont Conference Workshop
New Keys for Old Doors

Date: September 24, 2011
Time: 8:45 am—3:00 pm
Waterbury Congregational Church

The way we “do” church hasn’t changed much
in the past 50 years, but our culture and society
sure have. Once at the center of community
life, our congregations are now on the fringe,
even as our buildings continue to anchor town
centers. On September 24th, please join us as
we speak to two key concerns our churches
face today:
• Confronting and ‘processing’ the grief congregations feel about loss of the old way of
being church, and
• Imagining how churches can find new
ways to meet spiritual, missional, and community-building needs in the places where we do God’s holy work.

Our goal for the day? That you come away from
this conference with a sense of hope for the
future, and a realization that the source of
hope lies in our ability to embrace change.
More information at the Vermont Conference Website.

Bible Study Opportunities

At Bethany Church
Tuesday nights there will be a Bible Study of the Book of Acts at Bethany Church. We will study it as a history, as a faith statement, and as beginning of a faith community. How are we the same and how are we different for those who first knew Jesus?

We will be using a resource from the Still Speaking writers group. This group of UCC people have provided a Curriculum that will help us open the scripture for us to grow. They say, “
”we gather for such a study in the shared faith that God not only spoke then, but that God is still speaking now. God is still speaking to us, to God's people, and in the midst of our lives. It is through listening and speaking of the gathered community, a community that seeks God's way together, that God's will and the mind of Christ are best known. Moreover, we never know through whom the Spirit will choose to speak!”
We will meet Tuesdays at 6:45 starting on September 27. We should end at 8:15. The class will last 6 weeks. Rev. Mark is leading.

At Good Samaritan Haven

Tuesday mornings at 7:15 Rev. Mark is leading a Bible Study at the the Homeless Shelter. Anyone can attend. We will use collective wisdom and experience of those that gather to ask: what might this mean to those who heard it? What was Jesus trying to get after? What is the lesson we find? The teachers will be all around the table.

We are starting with the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. Coffee is provided.

At Norwich
Vermont Academy of Spiritual Training

Once again Revs. Mark and Amy will be teaching in the VAST program. This year they will teach Old Testament and Worship in Norwich. You can still join.
The program is three years in length. Classes meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a Saturday in each month for the months of September through June.
VAST offers in-depth study of the Bible, basic theological concepts and the nature of one's individual calling and spiritual journey. The courses are not designed to equip a person for ordination but to enrich laity as they seek to deepen their own spiritual identity and calling to Christian ministry. VAST is also designed to assist those called to Licensed Ministry and Certification as Church Educators in the UCC.
“I spent my life going through the motions without understanding anything about my faith. VAST has brought me knowledge, understanding and the ability to share my faith with others.”
Full information at the website for the Vermont Conference:

If your Phone is Smarter than you...
Check you phone's app store for the UCC App!
The app is free. Everything that comes from the Vermont Conference and the United Church of Christ is possible through our support of OCWM. In the issue of the Dialogue there are 8 different things we 'get' because of OCWM. Find them all!

Are you looking
for some inspiration for daily prayer?

The United Church of Christ offers an online Daily Devotional that several members of Bethany are enjoying! By going to and clicking on the heading “Feed Your Spirit”, you will be directed to the Daily Devotional. Once on the devotional page, you can click to have the Daily Devotion sent to your email, facebook account, or twitter account, and it will come to you each day. The Daily Devotionals are written by the Still-speaking Writer's Group, a group of UCC clergy from across the country whose spiritual reflections are insightful and prayerful.
Give it a try!

Bethany Youth Group News!

Hey Bethany Youth! Let's begin another great year of Youth Group! We will have our first meeting on Sunday, September 18th at 7 PM in the Youth Center. It will be our traditional Sundae Night opener – I will provide the ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream – you bring a topping to share, like gummy worms, gummy bears, gummy anchovies, gummy sharks – you get the idea! We will talk about the year to come, talk about Bethany Cup, and have some fun!

If you have questions, contact me on facebook at Amy C Pitton.

Thinking about Spring
....and Bethany's Spring Auction!

We are looking for an individual, or small group of individuals. who would be willing to help Amy Pitton with planning the Spring Auction! Last year, the Auction raised $3000 for Bethany Church, a much needed boost to our income budget, not to mention the fact that we all had a really great time bidding! Even with just a few people, the auction is not a lot of work, but a lot of fun – and you get to check out the stuff ahead of time!
If you want to help, please speak to Amy Pitton!

The Share Fair

Once again it will be happening on November 5 and once again we are asking for contributions for the Bethany Booth which offers items made by the many talented people in Bethany Church. What can you offer? Please let Phyllis Rowell know (476-4277) or Many thanks!

Ssshhhhhh! It's a secret!
((Bethany Church is a wonderful place!))

But it shouldn't be a secret – it should be something that we are talking about with our friends and neighbors! Who could you invite to church? Who could you tell about our creative and friendly Sunday School? Who do you know that is looking for ways to serve our community and change the world? Invite them to come with you to church – we have got something really great here – let's tell people about it!

Peace Concert

in commemoration of
The United Nations International Day of Peace

Wednesday September 21, 7pm
Bethany Church, 115 Main Street, Montpelier

Directed by Catherine Orr and Arthur Zorn
Diane Huling – piano
Guest Speaker and Musician – Rip Keller

Please bring food for the Food Pantry.

The 17th Annual Lawn and Bake Sale
will be held on September 17 and 18, 2011.
This is a fun and rewarding event to support our many ministries and connect with the local community. Thank you to all who have already signed up to help.
More helpers will be needed for set up on Sept. 12-19 - -
Sign-up sheets are in the hallway - many positions still available.

DONATIONS of clean items in good working order are welcome 9/13 -
9/15 8am - 8pm, also Monday 9/12 2 - 8pm. We cannot take donations
on Friday 9/16. We cannot accept encyclopedias, Readers Digest,
downhill skis/boots, outdated baby gear, mattresses, box springs,
tires, analog televisions, computers, or computer monitors.
Yes, we will need bags.
Flyers with all the details are available in the Narthex.
This is a perfect way to give back to Bethany and get to know each other better - It's fun and uplifting - and only a few days away - - JOIN US!!


Bethany United Church of Christ
Special Budget Meeting
Sunday, September 25, 2011
11:45 am

- Opening Prayer
- Approval of Minutes of June 12, 2011 Annual Meeting
- Presentation of Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and vote
- Any other business that may appropriately come before the

Copies of the proposed FY 2012 Budget will be available in the
church office beginning on Sunday, September 18th. If you would
like a copy mailed or emailed to you, please contact the church
office before Tuesday, September 20th.