Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Dialogue

Deadline for the next Dialogue is October 26 at 9:00am

Bethany Youth Group News!

The Bethany Youth Group is off to another great year! Eleven youths attended the first meeting where we talked, laughed, and enjoyed some great Ben and Jerry's ice cream sundaes! We made lots of plans for the coming year – here's what is coming up this month!

Sunday, October 2 – Meet in the Youth Room from 7–8:30 PM
Game night! Game of choice – Apples to Apples! Come for the fun!

Sunday, October 9 -Meet in the Youth Room from 7-8:30 PM
GOOFBALL! Let's teach the new members how to play – and since we are
teaching, let's make this an official bring a friend night and teach them too! Join us!

Sunday, October 16 – 7:30 am in the Church Kitchen
It's the first Bethany Cup of the year! Set you alarms and let's meet at the church bright and early to make the muffins and parfaits!

Sunday, October 23 – 7–8:30 PM at Twin City Lanes
Let's go bowling! And let's see if we can do it without the bumpers! Bring $10 for two games and shoe rentals.

Sunday, October 30 – NO Youth Group tonight – Happy Halloween!

Getting Inside!

Open up the Dialogue and see what we are doing and what thoughts people have. Find out about October and a bit about November. Remember what being a part of a community is like. See what our faith brings into the light. Get the details on:

October 2 World Communion Sunday
and what Neighbors In Need is Doing
October 8 Pancake Breakfast
October 9 Second Sunday Concert
October 15 Feeding the Flock Potluck Supper
October 16 Bethany Cup breakfast
October 22 Fall Clean Up Day
October 23 Gathering and Blessing the Meal to go to the Good Samaritan
Haven homeless shelter
Fall Meeting (about Disasters) of the Washington Association
October 30 and the gathering and blessing of food for Montpelier Pantry
Tuesdays with Bible Studies in the morning and evening
and Bethany Bowl in between
Thursdays with Brown Bag book discussion of “the Apostle's Apostle”
And this does not include weekly worship and monthly meetings!

And find out how YOU can be a member if you are not already one.


COOKBOOK DINNER - Saturday, October 15 @ 5:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. We are having a potluck dinner using recipes from the new Bethany Church Cookbook "Feeding The Flock". Each individual that attends should make a recipe from the cookbook to bring and share. HOWEVER YOU CANNOT MAKE YOUR OWN RECIPE - you must make someone else's! That's the fun of this event.

Provided will be: the space, tables, chairs, dishes, eating utensils, salt, pepper, napkins (and maybe placemats) and good company. Every aspect of a meal is in the cookbook including beverages, appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, salads, desserts, breads and miscellaneous. After dinner, we will have a "not your ordinary sing along" event.

NOTE: if you are bringing bread or rolls, please bring butter or other spread. There will be a sign up slip in the Sunday bulletin October 2 and 9 so that we may set enough places for those attending. Come be part of the Bethany Community and enjoy the feast!!!


Bethany Church will be observing the Neighbors in Need offering on October 2nd. Because of the timing of the newsletter, this is admittedly short notice, but there will be envelopes and bulletin inserts available throughout October.

This year's focus is on “Imagining Another World is Possible”.

The material provided tells stories of how Neighbors in Need monies have helped people in various communities enhance their lives. They range from large cities (San Francisco) to rural areas such as Milbridge Maine.

Services that are supported include homelessness, education, helping the under served to speak out. Each of the examples given is another means of fighting social discrimination.

Contributions to this once-a-year offering can help so many achieve the social/economic levels that so many of us have received as part of our birthright.
Ben Washburne


Saturday, October 8; 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. Fellowship Hall. $5.00 for Adults, Senior Citizens and Children over 10 years of age. $3.00 for children under 10. $20.00 for a family of 4 or more.

Proceeds for the Bethany Church Music Program.

Good Samaritan Haven Dinner

I am sure that all of downtown Montpelier wanted to come to our cook-out on Sunday 9/25. The wonderful smell of grilling was everywhere! Many thanks to Tom Lever for spending his Sunday afternoon slaving over a hot grill so we could send a lovely, authentic-tasting End-of-Summer BBQ to the shelter. Also many, many thanks to all of the other cooks who prepared parts of the meal and to the people who donated money to be used for the dinner. Everyone at the shelter was happy to see me arriving with the car full of wonderful dishes!
For October we will serve dinner on October 23. The sign up is as always in the bulletin board or during Sunday Hospitality.
The next BIG dinner is planned for November 27th. I hope pulling it together on Thanksgiving weekend will not be too much of a problem for everyone. Bethany always comes through!!

Budget Meeting Update

On September 26 the Congregation voted the budget for the 2011-2012 budget year. Thanks to the work of Sandra Farnum, the Trustees were provided both a balanced budget and a deficit budget. After discussion, the Trustees forwarded to the Church Meeting a budget that was based on the deficit, but eliminated the ministerial increases to assure the increases for other staff and provide more money for Our Church's Wider Mission (our basic mission support). The two minister took two weeks of separate vacation in lieu of money and reduced the deficit from to . It was this budget that the meeting received, discussed, and passed by a large majority voice vote.
The discussion included an amendment to reduce the ministerial staff from 2 full time positions to one full time and one half time. By request, that amendment was with-drawn and the Trustees agreed to investigate this.

A Little Bit More !

Sunday at the budget meeting, I sat there thinking what I could do as an individual to help address the budget deficit. There was a lot of discussion, many options brought up, and a lot of them made me uncomfortable. Inside my head my brain cells were jumping, come up with an idea that everyone can do! All of a sudden my hand flew up and I was on my feet with the microphone in my hand! Why not give more? We all can try to do that! I explained that my income was meager but I was willing to increase my pledge by $20 more per month. It may not seem like much, but in ten months it will become $200 dollars! If all 211 members did that we would have $42,200 at the end of ten months. Now that’s “a little bit more” that we can all do and have a balanced budget. Won’t you join me?

In love and light,
Vera Winter, UCC Member


Bethany's answer to alternative holiday shopping, will be held on Saturday, November 5th in Fellowship Hall. We are hoping to have a larger contingent of booths this year and will see the return of our own "Bethany Booth". Hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Any Bethany Group wishing to sponsor the luncheon should contact Judy Ribolini soon!

Thank you-

to all who donated items for the 2011 Bethany Lawn and Bake Sale - - we couldn’t do it without you. And of course, THANK YOU to all who were part of the crew – there were 81 of us this year. It would have been better with larger clean-up crews, but we did it again - it is
amazing. Please feel free to contact Sarah (223-5307 or with any
suggestions or concerns. Assuming that we schedule it as usual, the 2012 dates will be
September 15 and 16, with sorting starting on Sept 10. SAVE THE DATES!

Apple picking
Applesauce Making
Sunday Oct. 2, 2011 -
VTC Apple Orchard - 12:30 (ish)

Come and join other Bethany folks at the VTC apple orchard to have a picnic (bring your own) and pick apples for yourself and/or for making applesauce! Then, return to Bethany and make some applesauce for Bethany Bowl! If you are interested and would like to carpool, please let Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg know. or
229-2403 (message only phone).
Washington Association Fall Meeting

The Washington Association of the UCC will hold their fall meeting on Sunday, October 23rd at the United Church of Cabot at 1:45 pm. In light of the recent flooding in Vermont, the program will be about Disaster Relief and what we can do to help as well as to prepare.

The “Real” World?

During the event “New Keys for Old Doors” at the Waterbury Congregational Church on Saturday, 9/24, a remark caught my attention. When that happens, I know God is asking me to look at a belief, judgement, idea, etc. that may be in need of change.

It began with a remark a mother made about her son watching TV, texting on his phone, working on his computer...all at the same time! Then someone remarked that young adults entering college are not able to spell or write sentences because they have spellcheck and use so many abbreviations. (FYI – they also can't add or subtract without a calculator!) “What will they do when they get into the “real” world?”, someone asked. Hmmmm.....what IS the “real” world, I thought. What if that young multi-tasker is living in the “new” real world and we are the ones who are not?

The thought that we all live in the same “world” is a fantasy. The idea that my “world” is the same as others is a fantasy. The truth is, we ALL live in the larger outer “world” and it is colored by our OWN inner “world”. We all perceive the outer world in our own unique way.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a quote that has been repeated many times. So my question is: How DO you love yourself? It's by looking inside at how we love ourselves that we can see how we love our neighbors. So, how do you love yourself?

What words do you say to yourself when you think you've made a mistake? Words of encouragement and forgiveness OR words of criticism and impatience. That's how you love your neighbor.

What words do you say to yourself when you have taken on too many tasks and responsibilities? Words of patience and love that help you to let go of doing more than you are able? Or words of anger and resentment for again taking on too much! That's how you love yourself AND your neighbor.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a wonderful quote, but unless you first love yourself (and let GOD love you), that's all it is – a wonderful quote.

With “as much Love as I am capable of”,


For the month of October Bethany Church will be focusing on collecting Tomatoes. Tomato : sauce, diced, crushed, pureed, whole, and spaghetti sauce. We give, and collect on the LAST SUNDAY of every month. Once we bless it, we bring it to the Montpelier Food Pantry.

From the Office:
Just a reminder. If you know of times that our various Church groups would like to schedule space, especially on weekends, please let the office know. Rentals are filling up fast.

Bell Choir
will resume on Thursday, September 29 @ 6:15 p.m. Anyone interested should come to the Music Room.

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 food with our neighbors in need.

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!

The Brown Bag Study Group-
Meets on Thursdays at 11:45 am in the Church Parlor. We are an ecumenical group so bring a friend, your BB lunch and join us to share in a stimulating, challenging study of the book we've chosen for this fall: The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, by Cynthia Bourgeault. If you'd like to consider a provocative, enlightening book, the first statement on the back cover is an eye-lifter: "Was Jesus's most important disciple a woman?-a thoughtful......analysis of the evidence by one of today's most contemplative teachers."

Getting Inside
This is a great church. Great people, great worship, great mission, great community. Do you want to have your name connected with Bethany Church, UCC? Please call or email the church office with your name and contact information so we can set this up. We need you and have lots to offer you.

Please Note

Mark and Amy do not speak for each other. The often do not agree. Neither really knows what the other is doing and neither of them really knows about the other's areas of ministries, efforts, or committees. And they are not good at passing on messages to the other. Really. To avoid frustrating your self, talk to the one you need and not the other one.


Please keep your cheering down! Sunday, October 9 @ 9:30 a.m. in the Chapel featuring guitarist David Krauss.

In a Disaster
It is good to have friends and a CHURCH!

Emergency Clean-up Bucket distribution by UCC ministry partner Church World Service (CWS) has really helped in Vermont. More than 2,500 clean-up kits have gone out to flood victims via seven distribution centers, according to Tim Shenk, CWS communications officer.

In addition to the buckets, Shenk said CWS has sent 4,050 hygiene kits, 925 school kits, 700 baby kits and 700 blankets to the Vermont Food Bank Distribution Center in Brattleboro, Vt.; Thatcher Brook School in Waterbury, Vt.; the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester, N.H.; First Presbyterian of Owego, N.Y.; the Salvation Army of Greenville, N.C.; the Community Food Bank of Hillside, N.J.; and the Chesapeake Region American Red Cross in Baltimore.

Shenk has traveled to hard-hit Brattleboro to help distribute supplies. “It’s good to be able to see that this is being done.”

The Rev. Bert Marshall, CWS regional director for New England, said many of the people in communities receiving CWS relief supplies have been among the most generous donors of Emergency Clean-up Buckets and other supplies in the past.

“This is a perfect example of how important the CWS kits program really is,” said Marshall. “I encourage everyone to continue making CWS kits throughout the year. It's crucial that our warehouse supplies be continually restocked for events just like Hurricane Irene.”

In addition to the emergency call for buckets, CWS aims to raise $210,000 in donations to help meet emergency and long-term disaster relief needs arising from the storm.
From an article by Jeff Woodard
UCC web page

Bible Study of the Book of Acts
at Bethany Church!

We will study the book as a history, as a faith statement, and as beginning of a faith community. How are we the same and how are we different from 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.
Staff Notes

Welcome to our new lock-up person, Brad David! Brad lives here in Montpelier and also works as the station manager for Amtrak in town. He will be locking the church each evening – if you see him, give him a word of welcome!

Mark LeGrand will be on vacation from October 2nd -October 10th. Volunteers will be staffing the office during office hours and Brad David, our new lock-up person, will be taking on Mark's custodial duties. A big thank you to those who will be helping out in the office!

Fall Clean-up Day!
Saturday, October 22
8 am – 12 noon

Come join your Bethany friends as we do some work around the church – putting gardens to bed, washing windows, polishing pews, and other jobs! There is something for everyone's ability, so come lend a hand!

Join the Youth Group as we begin the 5th year of
Sunday, October 16th – 8:30-9:30 am in the Parlor!

If you have never been,
now is a great time to give it a try!
Come for warm, homemade muffins, great coffee, yogurt parfaits,
an oatmeal bar, and artisan bread for toasting.
$5 for full breakfast - $3 for coffee and a muffin

From the minister:

Every once in a while I hear people in the church decide some question based on what they like. Others look to a reasonable solution. Both “like” and “reason”are fine tools. I both like them and think they make sense. But they should not be the first or last tools the church looks to use. If we only do what we like, we will not grow and we will not be led by God and Jesus. They both ask us to go places we do not like and do what we do not like. The prophets always found God's message dismissed because the King or the people did not like it.

If we only we do what is reasonable, we will not be Christians. Our faith is in unreasonable things; miracles, resurrection, Grace, and a love that passes all understanding. Paul, a very reasonable guy, even said our message is foolishness.

For those who have cooked for others, you quickly find out what people like. If you are cooking for more than 2 it gets hard to balance what everyone's likes and dislikes. Sometimes, when the kids only want fries and ice cream and husbands only want steak and salt, you have to say, NO. You can only serve them what you have and will serve them only what seems good and right. They can cry or grump, it is a part of life. But what is the response when someone threatens lack of participation if the salt shaker is not on the table? Or what if they complain constantly, making meals a trial of endurance. How does the family feel if they gave into the family when they all liked something that they personally did not? What if they stop attending family dinner because they do not like something or will only attend when things are as they like them?

At some point, family bonds are weakened.

So, if you stay away from Children's Sunday because you do not like it; join your family and see what the Holy Spirit might say. If you avoid every service when the choir sings “Fairest Lord Jesus”, do not miss the rest of the experience. If you disliked “Holy Humor Sunday” and are committed to always missing it, consider committing to something worthwhile. If you do not like the silliness of the Talent Show, remember that we are multi-faceted people of God and sometimes we are just silly. And know that when ever you drop your sense of commitment to some portion of Bethany Church because you do not like a decision you have weakened your commitment to the whole. And maybe the Holy.

We are not about to like everything God does, says, or calls for. But it is our commitment that is important. We are not going to like everything that Bethany Church does. But it is your commitment and love that I ask be what drives you and forms your decisions. And God's will be done, not our likes.