Thursday, January 5, 2012

January Dialogue

We are blessed to be a blessing!

Happy New Year and many, many thanks to all who contributed to the evening meals for The Good Samaritan Haven during 2011. The Christmas Day dinner was a great success. Two lovely homemade soups were prepared, along with a wonderful variety of yummy-looking desserts. With the money that was so generously donated I was able to order festive party trays. Two meat and cheese, one veggie, one gigantic fruit platter and a variety of rolls, breads and drinks rounded out the menu.
There was a bit of Christmas magic at work too. the first Sunday of collecting money I was given $60 and on the second Sunday $140 was donated. Later I was given another $20 for a total of $220. On Christmas Eve I picked up the food and, when I saw how much there was, I became worried that there might not be enough money to pay for it all. The total bill was $218.91! I offered up a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts of money from the Bethany Congregation and for the magic of Christmas. I said another prayer when I saw how happy our bountiful meal made the people at the shelter. We are blessed to be a blessing! Our next Sunday dinner is January 22nd and the sign-up sheet will be available in the Parlor and on the Outreach bulletin board.
Again, thank you!
Judi Joy

Bethany Youth Group News!

Sunday, January 8 – 7 – 8:30 PM at Amy's house!
This is our holiday party – just a little late this year! Bring a gift for our Yankee Swap – it can be a recycled gift or new – but don't spend more than $2,000!

Sunday, January 15 – 7:30 am in the church kitchen
Yes, it is Bethany Cup again already! Come help make the muffins – we need you!

Sunday, January 22 – 7-8:30 PM in the Youth Room
It's a regular youth group meeting, but we have lots to plan and talk about! Join us!

Sunday, January 29 - Meet at the church at noon
ALL CHURCH APPLES TO APPLES EVENT sponsored by the Youth Group! We will be hosting an Apples to Apples game afternoon for church members and friends. At noon we will be making apple treats, then playing the game at 1! FUN FUN FUN!

Sunday, February 5 – Super Bowl Subs on Super Bowl Sunday ! 7 am at the church!
It is that time of year again! Wake up to the smell of freshly cut onions and come help us make some subs! It is our biggest fundraiser of the year! And the most fun! Join
Emergency Clean Up Kit Challenge

Did you know…that when tropical storm Irene blew through Vermont, Church World Service was there within hours providing emergency cleanup and hygiene kits to local families impacted by the storm? In an effort to help replenish the kits that were used, the Outreach Board has created a squeaky clean challenge for Bethany Church members to work together and help out.
On Sunday, January 15th, which is Martin Luther King Jr. day, ten buckets will be available along with a list of items to place inside, such as Lysol, dish soap, sponges and scrub brushes. The Outreach board encourages several families or individuals to team up and work together to fill one bucket in the true spirit of MLK and also because the emergency clean up list is quite extensive and perhaps too expensive for one family or individual to fill alone. Buckets and their contents will be returned on Sunday February 12th just before Valentine’s Day – a true gift of love and justice from our congregation to others in need.

Directed by Arthur Zorn
Friday, January 6 @ 8:00  p.m.
Sunday, January 8 @ 3:00 p.m.
Featuring Justin Murray as Amahl; Lisa Jablow as the Mother; Stuart Williams as King Balthazar, Skip Potter as King Melchior, Piero Bonamico as King Caspar and Amy Papineau as The Page.
Also featuring the Bethany Youth Dancers, Bethany Choir as Shepards, Diane Huling on piano, Denise Ricker on flute and Doug Little on percussion.

The Youth Group is once again selling delicious sub sandwiches for Super Bowl Sunday on February 5th! Orders will be taken on Sunday mornings, January 22nd and 29th, or by calling the church office. The subs will be 10 inches long and available with ham, turkey, salami and/or cheese, with all the fixings! Salads available too! Cost remains at $5 per sub! Order yours and enjoy the game!

More Thankfulness from the Lawn Sale

THANK YOU to whoever it was that found the lost bag from the Lawn
Sale - it contained a red journal, a calculator, and some nearly new magic markers.  I am VERY curious where this was found, so please let me know so I can thank you in person -
- Sarah Lawnsale
Join the Youth Group for
Sunday, January 15th – 8:30-9:30 am in the Parlor!
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

Family Fun for the Church Family!
The Bethany Youth Group invites you and your friends to an afternoon of fun playing APPLES TO APPLES – while eating apple treats!
Sunday, January 29 from 1-3 PM in the church parlor!
Apples to Apples is a card game that is fun and easy to learn for ages 6 and up and always provides lots of laughs! We will have two versions available - Apples to Apples Junior for kids and Apples to Apples for those 12 and older. A great opportunity to make a day of it - go out for lunch after church, then come back for dessert, fun, and laughs!

Thanks to all who were part of the musical experience during the month of December. Our Second Sunday performers, and on Christmas Eve: the choir, Arthur Zorn, Will Adams, Denise Ricker and The Bowles Family with Kristen Cowens on guitar. You all play a big part in helping to make the late service special for many families and individuals at Christmas.

Due to the Amahl and the Night Visitors presentation in January there will be no January Second Sunday concert. February's Second Sunday Concert on February 12 will feature Rebecca Macijeski on violin, Denise Ricker on flute and Arthur Zorn on piano performing trios: Pavane pour une infante defunte by Ravel, Eine Keine Nachtmusik by Mozart, and Wedding Trio by Delmot Neroni.
Do you have suggestions for Second Sunday performers? Contact Judy Ribolini at

Think “Spring” -- Think “Auction”!
It may be a bit early for “spring cleaning” but when you organize after the Christmas season, perhaps you’ll find that special item that would be just the right donation for Bethany Church’s second annual auction. Please set it aside and wait for more information. Plans are being made soon and a date will be set, but we’re aiming again for a Saturday in late April. Last year was great fun and a significant amount of money was raised to help with the general church budget. Read the next Dialogue for details.

Leading the church through 2012
and beyond with 'Core Values
by Gregg Brekke
January 3, 2012
Over the past year, voices across the United Church of Christ have highlighted three distinct values central to the life and mission of the church: God’s continuing testament, extending extravagant welcome, and the many ways the UCC is changing lives. 
Rather than proscribing a set of beliefs or practices, these values are meant to guide and inform the world about how the “we” in the UCC are living out the call to be disciples of Christ.
"The core values capture the best of the UCC in a way that's very understandable and easy to articulate," says W. Mark Clark, the UCC’s associate general minister, about the UCC’s intentional commitment to these core values.
Clark also notes that the UCC’s Collegium of Officers is crafting a strategic plan for the national setting of the UCC. It will spend much of 2012 testing the "Big Holy Audacious Goals" contained in the plan in a variety of settings of the church, with a vision toward developing the best ways to implement these goals throughout the denomination.
The New Year brings an added emphasis on highlighting the UCC's core values in the stories we tell in United Church News, the pages of StillSpeaking Magazine and the consistent message from the UCC's more than 5,200 churches already living out these principles. Recent examples include the thousands of congregations that participated in Mission:1 and a continued emphasis on stillspeaking congregations and voices.
Changes are already underway. You'll notice the UCC homepage header has changed to proclaim the core values. In addition, an easy-to-share slideshow has more detail about the UCC’s core values and how they inform our life together.

Judi Joy Strikes Again!
Judi Joy has opened her arms to embrace another ministry that addresses the needs of low-income Vermonters. We are pleased and proud that Judi has accepted the invitation to be the Vermont Conference’s representative on the board of the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council.
Look at your December Dialogue to review the history and mission of this wonderful organization known as VLIAC. Judi will attend regular board meetings, help set the agenda for VLIAC’s advocacy work in the Vermont Legislature, and make reports to the Vermont Conference Department of Mission. She will also help plan the annual Legislative Day and Legislative Dinner, in which Bethany Church played a leadership role for the last two years.
As she works for both charity and justice for our neighbors living on the margins, Judi embodies the Micah passage that graces the wall of our narthex: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Bible Study

Starting on Tuesday February 7 there will be a Bible Study on the middle section of the book Acts of the Apostles (chapters 7-15) This 6 week session will be led by Rev. Mark.
The purpose of this class is to study the book of the Acts of the Apostles and by doing so to grow in our knowledge and understanding of Scripture, to hear God’s word for us and for our church today, and to grow in our friendship with one another

In the last two generations, since the mid-twentieth century, much has changed in our society and the role of the church. Christianity no longer enjoys the kind of taken-for-granted support in and from the society that it once did. Today American society is an officially secular, religiously pluralistic, and ethnically diverse one. In many ways, this is also the world of the Acts of the Apostles, a world where Christianity was not socially sanctioned nor mandated by the government. Christians were a minority and the church was more of a mission movement than an established social institution. As we negotiate these changes in our social role, Acts will be helpful to us.
Class will start at 6:45pm and end at 8. Study packets can be picked up starting on January 22. Homework should be done before the first session.

Operating Budget Update

Many thanks for your ongoing support of Bethany’s operating budget! We continue to make good progress toward meeting the FY12 budget goals in support of the mission of this congregation.
The FY12 approved annual budget compared with the actual income and expense totals for the first five months of the fiscal year are shown on the chart below. From July to November, (42% of the fiscal year) we
Received 50% of budgeted revenue.
Paid out 45% of the projected expenses.

Note that our income goal is approximately 104% of our budgeted revenue because the budget approved by the congregation included a deficit of $9,151.00.

Expenses have now caught up with revenues, and our Treasurer, Don Welch, is expertly managing the cash flow.
When you make a financial contribution to Bethany, please indicate in the memo line of your check or on the offering envelope whether it is part of your annual pledge or designated for a particular mission.
Finance Committee

Help us all to know what is happening or could be happening by sending in information from your church board or committee. Mark Pitton is the editor and the due dates are listed: on the back page of the Dialogue, the Church (website) calender, the Sunday announcements, and on the home page of the website.
Pleas do not format your article. All text is taken, stripped of format and formatted for the Dialogue.