Monday, June 1, 2015

Bethany Dialogue June

Bethany Dialogue June

 Pastor's Piece

I ran across this quote by Amanda Christian recently, and it seems a good thing to remember as Bethany Church enters yet another new beginning.  Here's the quote: “Whatever the new beginning is for you right now, allow yourself to be swept away by the sweet freedom that comes with it. Growth is around the corner.”

I like the quote because it is fearless.  For me, new beginnings can be an unsettling time of uncertainty mixed with fear.  I wake up at night with those scary 3 am questions,  “What if this doesn't work out?  What if I can't handle it? What if I fail?  What if this is a really bad idea?”  It is really easy to get caught up in the fear and uncertainty, but if we do, that often means we miss the exciting possibilities that the new beginning brings.

We are poised on the cusp of a new beginning at Bethany Church.  Our staff is smaller, but our desires to do ministry are as big as they ever were.  We must not allow ourselves to get all Eeyore-y, worrying because things aren't the same, longing for what is gone, and afraid that we might fail.

Rather, let's be people of faith, pushing aside the fear and pessimism. Let's resolve to move into the future positively, viewing this time as an opportunity to risk trying new things, with that giddy sense of sweet freedom that comes with new beginnings.  If we do, it is quite likely that all different kinds of growth are around the corner.  For with God, all things are possible!

May God bless us with sweetness and hope!
Rev. Amy

Annual Meeting of Bethany Church
June 7, 2015
10 am Integrated Worship and Business Meeting

I. Opening Worship
II. Approval of Minutes of the September Financial Meeting
III. Update on Focus Area Priorities
IV. Discussion and vote on Bylaws Changes
V. Offerings and Gifts of Service

  • Vote to accept Annual Reports
  • Election of Board of Directors Members
  • Vote on FY16 Interim Financial Plan
  • Discussion and Vote on Jackman Bequest First Fruits Gift

VI. Other business that may appropriately come before the congregation
VII. Adjournment

Annual Reports and By-Law Revisions available in the Office.


Mark your calendars for the 21st Annual BETHANY LAWN AND BAKE SALE September 19 & 20. We will need many helpers starting September 14. Sign-ups will start in early June - don't miss out on your favorite way to help support your church and community.
THANK YOU - Bethany Lawn Sale Committee

 Food Pantry

Start collecting now. The month of June the food for the Montpelier Food Pantry is  Peanut Butter & Jelly. And lots of it. This will become Children's lunch all summer.

We will collect on June 28.

 FY 2015 Finance Update from Bethany’s Board of Directors

As of April 30, 2015, we are ten months through the current fiscal year. Thanks to the generosity of the Bethany community we have received operating income of $174,476 which is 84% of the total estimated income for this fiscal year.  Operating expenses through the end of April totaled $211,598, which is 71% of anticipated costs for this fiscal year.

Despite the fact that costs continue to run lower than projected, expenses exceed income. We anticipated this situation when the congregation approved the current financial operating plan at our meeting in September. As discussed then, we are drawing on investment funds and the Jackman bequest to cover the gap. If you would like to read the financial statements, copies are available for review in the church office.
Many thanks to everyone who participates in our vital and dynamic community of faith!

 Snacks for Kids

Children are often at DCF in Barre for stretches of time because of court hearings or family visits.  The office is always in need of snacks and drinks for kids. Having snacks on hand is a kindness to the kids, parents and staff. But there is no budget for this.

On Sunday June 14, 2015 we will be collecting snacks one again to help out.  Please bring snacks wrapped as individual servings: crackers, cookies, fruit strips, toddler snacks, juice boxes, etc.  DCF needs to be able to store any snacks without refrigeration.  There is no budget for that either.

Thank you for helping with our PINS partnership with DCF.

 Let Us Know before we see it on Facebook

Is a member of your family celebrating a graduation this spring?  Please let the church office know! We will be recognizing our graduates on Sunday, June 14th during the worship service!  Invite your graduates to attend!


Easy as 1, 2, 8

1. Click on the ONLINE GIVING button on the left side of the page.   
2. If a new contributor, on the right side of the page look for CREATE YOUR ONLINE PROFILE and click CREATE PROFILE.
4. In BETHANY MINISTRY type in the amount you want to contribute
5. DONATION FREQUENCY - highlight how often you want your giving to be taken from your bank account
6. STARTING DATE – click on the calendar and indicate when you would like the amount taken from your bank account.
7. DONATION INFORMATION – this is where you indicate your bank account information. Please use either a checking or savings account (not a credit card as there are fees to the church). You will need your bank’s routing number (lower left hand corner of your check) and account number. There is a picture that shows you where these numbers are located.
8. HIT PROCESS – and then don’t worry about your giving plan until June of next year when you can either change the timing for your giving OR increase/decrease your pledge.

A New Team Has Formed!

Bethany's new team is the Local Church Discernment Team!  The purpose of the team is to help James Merriam as he seeks ordination to ministry in the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ.  We will be hearing about James' call to ministry and exploring what ministry means with him.  The Team members are Liz Sykas-Ringgenberg, Tom Clougher, Eric Benedict and Theresa Lever.  You are invited to keep James and the LCD Team in your prayers as they make their way through this process..

Youth Group!

All Bethany Youth in grades 6-12 are invited to a cook-out at Amy's house on Sunday, June 7th  from 6 - 8 PM– and maybe some kickball or ultimate frisbee as well!  Please bring a bag of chips or a beverage with you to share.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, and dessert (could it be Ben and Jerry's ice cream?) will be provided.Come for the fun!

The end of our Choir

And this is how it ends on Thursday June 4th,  The choir will enjoy a pot luck dinner at 410 Camp St Barre 6:30PM. The choir will not meet on Thursdays until Sept.

EVERYONE is invite to join our summer choir, rehearsals each Sunday at 9:15 AM in the front of the sanctuary.  Join us when ever the spirit moves you to do so!

On Sunday May 31 Bethany Church said good-bye to Rev. Mark as our minister. Check the KIOSK for pictures and comments. 

As a good-bye to us, Mark wants to say Thank you. Love you all and God. Maybe God a little more, but hey. It has been a grand thing for these 13 years. When I can stop reacting like a minister, I will be back to Bethany to worship. But in all these things please know and trust I leave with some hesitancy because it has been good. And if I seem to joke a lot about it, remember that clowns paint their faces with smiles or frowns for a reason. Also, I can not say what I want to well enough or briefly enough and confess to being humbled* by the task of trying.

So: Godspeed. Farewell. Vichyssoise! Vaya Con Dios.

*Okay. Actually I have been frustrated. Which after reflection leads to humbling.