Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bethany MAY Dialogue


Stewardship Thoughts from Gary Rogers
Why do I volunteer at church? Because it makes me feel good! That may not be one of the best reasons and maybe it’s a little selfish on my part. The following are a few examples of what I mean.
What a great feeling, after washing dishes for three hours at Bethany Bowl, to have a guest pop their head in the kitchen door and say “Thank you, Great meal.”
What a great feeling, while volunteering in the church office on Monday mornings, when signing up someone for the food pantry, to have them say “Thanks, I really need this” and then they wish you a great day!
What a great feeling, after a long week of sorting and pricing, to see the anticipation of the people waiting early Sat. morning to shop at the lawn sale. What a great feeling to see the joy the shoppers get when they get when they find a bargain and also when you give a person a price break because they can’t afford the marked price and a big smile creeps across their face. Of course, there is also the fellowship that flows from working with other church members on this project.
It also creates a good feeling knowing that time spent at Property Board meetings or time spent completing projects to keep the building spruced up makes the building nicer and more inviting for church members and others who may have a meeting there.
Well, if all this is being a steward of the church, than I am happy to do my part and feel good at the same time. If you see something that needs doing and doing it would make YOU feel good, then do it. If you would like to wash windows or knock down cobwebs, just let Mark LeGrand know and he will show you where to find the necessary supplies. If you would like to do a painting project, just let the Property Board know and we will supply the paint. If you would like to help at Bethany Bowl, let Phyllis Rowell know. If you would like to take on a mission project, let the Outreach Board know. Whatever!! Don’t be bashful!! Step up, do it, and FEEL GOOD!

Bethany Youth Group News!

Sunday, May 6 – Meet from 7-8:30 pm in the Youth Room
Game Night – Come for the fun!
Sunday, May 13Bethany Cup! (one week earlier than usual!)
Meet at 7:30 am in the church kitchen! It is Mother's Day, and we will be inviting everyone to bring their moms – no charge for Mom's breakfast!
Sunday, May 20– 5 PM - meet on the Vermont College Green
This is it – the last regular youth group meeting of the year! We will have the annual kickball game followed by 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 Brittany and Zack's graduations!
Monday, May 28– Youth Group Trip to the Great Escape/Six Flags Amusement and Water Park! We will leave Montpelier at 7:30 am and arrive home at 7:30 PM. Cost of entry tickets will be covered by Youth Group funds. You will need to bring money for food and souvenirs. 

Talent Is a Part of Our Variety Show

Our Bethany Church Variety Show is always a time where I feel connected and blessed to be a part of this community.  Cassandra Brush wrote a Poem entitled "Bethany" for our 2012 Variety Show, which she graciously is sharing with us in this Dialogue.
 Blessings to All, Joanne Hardy

 I got a kid and a church named Bethany
There's something about the name means a lot to me.
Pastor Mark has said it means 'house of poor'
But I'm here to tell you just a little bit more.
Some say the name means 'house of figs'
I know it's a place that Jesus really digs.
If you open up your Bible to the book of John,
You'll find the story of the people with whom Jesus got along:
Simon and Lazarus, and his sisters, Martha, Mary,
Hung out with Jesus like his second family.
They lived in a town where Jesus went a lot,
Bethany's the name; it was His favorite spot.
Preaching forgiveness and love, Jesus traveled all around,
But he always returned to the Bethany town.
Martha cleaned the house; Mary sat at His feet
At their home, in Bethany, where Jesus came to eat.
When Lazaus died, Jesus raised him up again,
From the tomb in Bethany, home of his favorite friends;
He loved Lazarus so much, and his sisters, too
That before He raised him up, Jesus wept; it's true.
Jesus rode to Jerusulam on a donkey's back
The people threw their coats right in His track;
But he started out this journey in Bethany;
I think it was a place that met his needs;
When Jesus saw the crooks changing money at the temple
He turned over tables; he went kind of mental.
Then cleared his head, on a walk, couple miles away,
To Bethany, the place where he liked to stay. 
One day He was there, with Simon the Leper
A woman came to him with a flask of alabaster;
She poured expensive perfume onto His head;
His disciples threw a fit; and to them Jesus said
Her intentions were a Good Work in their breadth,
Because she was preparing for His untimely death.
Sure enough it came and went; He rose out of the tomb;
And surprised his followers in the upper room.
He walked on this earth for forty days and nights,
before the time came to ascend to the heights.
So He walked with his disciples to the town of Bethany;
It was the final place on earth where he wanted to be.
After he arrived in this town full of love,
Jesus flew up to the skies in his home above.
We all have a place we love more than the others
Where we've found our people - our sisters and brothers;
Where is the place where YOU'D like to be
ON your last day on earth, before your soul goes free?
Now you know why I love the name Bethany
Why the meaning of it so appeals to me;
God bless that town, the child, the search
That led me here to this Bethany Church.
 Cassandra Brush
                                   March 2012

ANNUAL REPORTS are due in the Church Office by 9 am on Monday, May 21, 2012

Clergy keeping up to date
Rev. Amy Pitton will be attending the New England Association of United Church Educators conference at the Craigville Conference Center on Cape Cod from Tuesday, May 8 through Thursday, May 10. The theme of this year's Conference is Living Stones, and the key note speaker will be the Rev. Dr. David Greenhaw, President and Professor of Preaching at Eden Theological Seminary.

Be in touch with your ministers! If you have scheduled surgery or find yourself in the hospital let Revs Mark and Amy know. If you would like a visit, home communion, or have questions to ask; just call or write and they will find a time that works for all.

Summer camp makes real what your children learn in Sunday School.
Covenant Hills Christian Camp News
Our Summer Camp is having Camp Opening Day, on Saturday, May 5.  Clean up and set up can be done by one and all and would make a nice trip out past Cabot VT to see the beautiful location. Their will be a Camp Open House on June 23.  For the 2012 camp brochure, check in the Church office, ask Rev. Amy.  Or go here: BROCHURE

Bethany Church Website
Has descriptions about what is happening in the up coming week, special links to important information, pictures, updates when things change, concert listings, a calendar of our church life you can print off and put on your refrigerator. If you have something to add (or needing fixing) please be in touch with Rev. Mark.

http://www.bethanychurchvt.org/ Do you have it bookmarked?

Why Receiving OGHS Offering on
May 13 Is Important.
Through One Great Hour of Sharing, United Church of Christ members reach out in the name of Christ to:
Build sustainable communities. OGHS supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forms of injustice that deny and destroy dignity. 
Respond to disaster. OGHS provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days. 
Minister to refugees. OGHS responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin. More than 30 million of the world's people are uprooted at any given time.
In cooperation with Global Ministries, Church World Service, Action by Churches Together, Interchurch Medical Assistance, Foods Resource Bank, Oikocredit, Freedom from Hunger and hundreds of local partners around the world, One Great Hour of Sharing is part of a remarkable network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Administrative costs are typically less than eight percent annually.
The United Church of Christ unites with Christians in eight other Protestant denominations and Church World Service in One Great Hour of Sharing, thus multiplying the effectiveness and extent of our witness many times over.
The partnership we share with nearly 6,000 United Church of Christ congregations across the United States and Puerto Rico is where this remarkable miracle connecting UCC members to the world truly begins. The UCC annually channels more than $3 million dollars through One Great Hour of Sharing.

Join the Youth Group for
All Moms eat for free!
Sunday, May 13th
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

New Treasurer - Be Patient!
Now that I have taken on these duties, with the help of my assistant, Joanne Hardy, we are progressing forward. We do ask for you patience as we continue through the remainder of this fiscal year and head into the next.
We are now using an outside bookkeeper to create the checks for church invoices and therefore, some of our systems have changed. Checks are written on the 10th and 25th of each month to coincide with staff pay periods. With this scenario, I need to have the payables to the bookkeeper at least 2 days prior to the actual pay date (8 and 23 of each month; unless either of these dates is on the weekend and then I take them over on the Friday before). Therefore, any invoices to be paid or receipts to be reimbursed, need to have a voucher completed and attached to the invoice or receipts. An added bonus for Joanne and myself is to have you put the account number for the expense on the voucher.
Vouchers are in the Church office next to the volunteer's desk in the second slot of the hanging fixture (it's black). If you can't find it, ask staff, myself or Joanne to direct you to it.
We hope the chairpersons of all boards will continually look in their mailboxes. When we receive invoices addressed directly to Bethany Church, we attach a voucher and put it in the appropriate committee box (i.e. Christian Ed, Outreach, Property) hoping someone will look in that box and sign off on the voucher which can then be put in the Treasurer's bin in the office to be paid.
We ask for your patience during this transition.
 Judy Ribolini

A New Minister in Town
Delegates to the Washington Association, Members, and Friends of Bethany Church are invited to the Installation of the Rev. Elissa Johnk as the Senior Pastor of the Old Meeting House in East Montpelier on Saturday, May 19th at 3 PM.
The Rev. Martin Copenhaver will be the preacher.

Vermont Conference Annual Meeting
June 2-3, 2012
The Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ will be holding its Annual Meeting this year at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, Vermont. The theme of the meeting is “Go Out in Joy” and the keynote speaker will be the Rev. DaVita McCallister, Associate Conference Minister for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Connecticut Conference, UCC, with music being provided by the Jazz group Oikos.  Delegates to this year's meeting from Bethany Church are Joanne Hardy, Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg, Gilman Wright and Nina Merriam. Our own Carrie Youngblood is the chair of this year's Annual Meeting Committee. Revs. Mark and Amy are leading separate workshops.

Disaster Relief Work Continues
in Vermont
Volunteer Recovery Work in the Mad River Area
last Friday we worked in Moretown cleaning and painting clapboard siding that had been through the flood, prepping exterior walls for siding and trim, and building porch railings.  We had a lunch of beef stew and pecan pie delivered by the folks in the Mad River Valley Recovery Committee. 
We often work on Friday.  Please let me know if you will be there.  I'll send an e-mail on Thursday to those going to let them know what I know about where we will be and what we will be doing. God's blessing. 
Contact Charlie at CMagillVT@aol.com for details.

Revere Bell Ringing Out
Bell Re-dedication and Celebration! As many of you know, we have been having some work done on the steeple of Bethany Church, including work on the platform which holds our Revere Bell. Thanks to Jan Lewandowski, steeple jack; Steve Frey, project manager; and the estate of Margot George, that work is now complete, and we are able to ring our bell once again! We will celebrate the completion of this work by re-dedicating our bell on Sunday, May 27th.
Pictures of the work on the steeple will be on display, and there will be the opportunity to hear the bell ring at the beginning of our service again! Come join us for this joyous day!

Christian Education Sunday
May 20, 2012
We will be celebrating the conclusion of another wonderful year of Sunday School on Christian Education Sunday with worship at 10 am. The theme of the service will be “The Hardest Lesson”, a topic which the Sunday School has been working on for the past month. (If you want to know what the hardest lesson is, come to CE Sunday and find out!)
The students will help lead the worship service and we will thank all the folks who have helped to make this a wonderful year of Sunday School. Please join us!

Blessed to be a Blessing
Stewardship Update

The 2012-13 Stewardship program is underway and we look forward to hearing from everyone in the next few weeks. We held the initial Dedication of Pledges for the coming year on Sunday, April 22, and we are please to report the receipt of 18 pledges totaling $48,983. The next opportunity to receive pledges will be during the Offering on Sunday May 5th. If you have not pledged yet please make your commitment on May 5th. It is with grateful appreciation we recognize the 18 families who have responded to the first opportunity to pledge. They have set a great example for all of us.
The goal for Stewardship pledging is to have everyone make their pledge by June 1st, so that the Finance Board will have the knowledge they need to develop a new budget for the Fiscal Year that starts July 1st.
If you wish to respond immediately you may make your pledge by mailing your pledge directly to Judy Ribolini,Treasurer at the Bethany Church Office, 115 Main street, Montpelier, Vt 05602.
Thanks for your ongoing Witness for Bethany Church and our many missions thru your personal gifts of Time, Talent, and Money.
Stewardship Committee

The Church Office will be closed on Monday, May 28th in observance of Memorial Day.

Share your love!
Prayer Shawls can be what one author calls "a tangible evidence of prayer." The shawls get shared with people who seem like they need them; be it someone moving, or experiencing health problems, or mourning a loved one, or having any other difficult or transitional time in life.
Creating prayer shawls is an effective, simple way to share our love and prayers, so we are re-starting a Prayer Shawl Ministry and are seeking knitters, crocheters and anyone else who is interested.
I hope to set up some times for making our shawls together if the spirit leads us in that direction!
If you have questions, talk to Cassandra Brush: 498-7328 - cassandrabrush@gmail.com

Going Once,
Going Twice,
The second annual spring auction was a success! Once again, Jenkins Auction Service of St. Johnsbury donated their services, Bethany folks and others donated interesting items for sale, more than fifty bidders came, and for the second year in a row, the Blakemans donated the “hottest” item.
Thank you to everyone who helped before, during, and after the auction. Now is the time to start thinking about ways you might be involved in next year's auction. It is a lot of fun!