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Bethesda NEWS Lutheran Brethren Church

June 2012

Worship Schedule!

Reveal Survey & Expansion Update

Sunday Service Schedule

Greetings, Bethesda! I would like to update you on some of the larger efforts currently underway at Bethesda: the Reveal survey and the building expansion project.

9:00 am – Traditional 10:30 am – Contemporary 10:45 am – Eleeo (Walker Hall)

refresh! (-ments)

Sundays: 10:00–10:40 v Walker Hall (Gym) Stop in the gym before or after morning worship for delicious coffee, cookies and pleasant conversation.

CONTENTS All-Church Announcements

2–3 4

Children’s Ministries


Inspiration Point News


Bethesda World Missions


Sermons can be downloaded from our website or purchased by calling the church office.

On May 4–5th, a group of 31 Elders, spouses and church leaders spent the weekend in Osceola, WI. Our purpose was to start digging into and understanding the results of the Reveal survey taken by the congregation earlier in March. This was a great (and challenging) time of discussion, prayer, and investigation. Why are we doing this? When it comes to spiritual growth, we need to be able to measure the unseen. We need a glimpse of people’s attitudes, thoughts, and feelings. We need words that reveal their hearts for God, and for others. We need a fresh view. We need another question - one that helps us understand the spiritual journey so we can help and encourage people in their pursuit of Christ. The question is simple. It’s the central question between God and us. And God was the first one to ask it (Genesis 3:9): Where are you? Where are the people who attend Bethesda? Are you moving closer to God? What if we could know? That’s what REVEAL is about — finding out how God’s people at Bethesda respond to the question God asked Adam in the Garden of Eden: Where are you? Next Steps: There are 4 workshops provided for church leaders to process the first Reveal survey findings. We worked through Workshop 1 (Understanding Reveal) and Workshop 2 (Understanding Your Data) at the retreat. We will be scheduling Workshop 3 (Identifying Actions) and Workshop 4 (Taking Action) in the coming weeks and months. We anticipate some additional lay leaders being included in those workshops.

Building Expansion Update:

Youth Ministries


Reveal Survey Update:


The Building Committee and Elder Board have interviewed a total of 4 construction management firms and had discussions with 3 others. Hoeft Builders of Eau Claire has been selected as the firm to lead the church through the construction management process if the building expansion project is approved by the congregation. Hoeft was selected because of the quality of their work, their reputation in the industry and our community, and our desire to work with a local firm and local subcontractors. The new Mega East building on Business 53 is a recent project completed by Hoeft. In addition to the construction management firms, 4 architectural firms have been interviewed. Next Steps: The Building Committee will recommend a preferred Architectural firm to the Elder Board. The chosen Architectural firm and Hoeft Builders will work together to provide a clearer cost estimate and an updated design incorporating feedback from the church. This will be provided within the scope approved by the congregation at the January 2012 annual meeting. The goal is to have these materials to present to the church in September for review and discussion. God Bless! Andy Johnson Elder Board Chairman

W W W. B E T H E S D A L U T H E R A N . O R G

All Church Announcements Bibles and Suitcases for Haiti Our Haiti mission team of 30 youth and 12 adult leaders is meeting and preparing for our July 14–22 mission trip to Carrefour, Haiti. Thank you for your prayers and support of our many fund-raising events! Our primary work will involve teaming with people in the Carrefour community to clear earthquake rubble. We will also team with local churches to lead “Kids Club” Vacation Bible School programs as an outreach to share God’s love with children and their families in the community. We are asked to bring all supplies for five days of large programs, and we welcome any gently-used donations of the following to use and leave with church leaders in Haiti: • For Bible lessons: any adult or kids’ Bibles, kids’ Bible story and early-reading books, puppets (people and animals), flannel graphs, and bed sheets for dress-up role plays • For Worship and Music: any small musical items – flute, recorder, harmonica, shakers; kids’ toy keyboards; used band instruments; 1-2 guitars • For Crafts: crayons, chalk, color pencils and coloring books, pony beads, embroidery floss and yarn, and small craft supplies

Library Book Sale! Have you forgotten where the library is? Just go down the hall — all the way — past Walker Hall, and there it is! Room 309. Summer is coming, and there are lots of good books, fiction and non-fiction, for your summer reading. And don’t forget, we have audio books, so all you have to do is kick back and listen. There are DVDs and CDs just waiting for you to check them out. Our book sale will be held the same week as Vacation Bible School — June 18–22 — as well as the Sundays before and after (June 17th and 24th). Come check out what we have, and for a donation, whatever you find is all yours.

• For Games: soccer and other game balls, beach and whiffle balls, jump ropes, Frisbees, bubbles • For Snacks: peanut butter, raisins, graham and other crackers Also needed are large-size suitcases for bringing supplies, which we will also leave for use in Haiti. Donated items may be brought to the church office by mid-June, marked for “Haiti.” Questions, please contact Kathy Mentink, 715-833-0324. Thanks for helping our Youth Missions in so many ways!

Sunday Ride Share!



As we open our doors wider in loving God’s people we are seeing more and more guests needing rides to the church. This is such a wonderful way to show someone you really care, while also offering the opportunity to welcome them build new relationships. In the past the Deacon’s have been able to take care of the rides, but it has become very difficult as the number of rides needed has increased.


’s C




Please consider adding you name to the ride share list. As we get requests we will match them up with those who live closest to them. We would love to have a list of at least 20 drivers in a church of our size. Contact Rod at 838-0327 or Rod Ruesch For the Deacons at Bethesda

Stephen Ministry We would like to introduce our three new Stephen Ministers, Kathy Kishaba, Tricia Lenz, and Alice Rapp, who are ready to serve you. They along with our other Stephen Ministers are ready to . . . Love One Another As I Have Loved You . . . In John 15:12, Jesus says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Loving and caring for one another is not just the pastor’s job — it’s something Jesus calls us all to do! Stephen Ministry is a ministry in which people with special gifts for caring ministry can put those gifts to use in an organized way, bringing Jesus’ love and care to those who most need it. If you — or someone you know — are going through a difficult time contact one of our Stephen Leaders about Stephen Ministry. Contact: Paul & JoDea Green at (715)839-9468, Judy Draper at (715)831-0189, or call the church office, (715)835-5073. Our Stephen Ministers are ready to provide you with focused, confidential, oneto-one Christian care and to help you experience the healing power of Christ’s love in your life. Our Stephen Ministers will meet on June 11 & 25, for Supervision only.


(Salt and Light Single Adults) Connect and Fellowship with other Single Adults (30s–50s+) This small group is designed to provide Christian fellowship and the opportunity to experience community with other Bethesda single adults. Join us Sunday, June 3 from 12:30–2:30 p.m. at Mount Simon (lower level picnic area) for a cookout and fun. Bring a dish to pass and beverage. We will provide the burgers, condiments and plates, etc. Please RSVP to Carin or Mary! Any questions or to be added to the SALSA email group please contact: Carin at or Mary at

Video Ministry Opportunity Are you interested in helping believers in Christ share their testimony with a potentially wide audience in Western Wisconsin? If so, then read on. For the last two and a half years Jim and Alice Rapp and Steve and Cheryl Brandt have produced a monthly interview format program called Christ in the Valley Magazine (CITV) in which Christians from several denominational backgrounds (including several Bethesda parishioners) have shared a half-hour story of their life with the major focus being their faith walk. Each month’s edition has played multiple times on Eau Claire’s Community TV (8 or 9 showing per month) and Trempealeau County’s Community TV (12 or 13 showings per month). The Rapps and Brandts will no longer be producing the program but would like to see it continued if some interested persons would come forward. (It really requires a small team.) The broadcast time slots are still being maintained at C-TV and TCCTV for a few months by re-running previous interviews but that cannot be done indefinitely. A portable A/V studio has been assembled for recording the interviews and that equipment would be transferred at no cost to those who commit to continuing the ministry. The commitment to the ministry has entailed: • Contacting interviewees and arranging recording times • Conducting a minimum of one interview per month (or multiple interviews for several months) • Editing the video and producing a half-hour program per

month (28.5 minutes average) • Creating a few DVDs for the guest interviewee to distribute to friends and family • Getting the program to C-TV (Eau Claire) in mpeg2 format and to TCCTV (Whitehall) in DVD format The A/V Studio is a compact, portable, assemblage that includes: • 2 Panasonic video cameras with tripods and necessary cabling • 4 Audio-technica wireless microphone units • 1 nNovia Hard Disk video recorder • 1 Sima 2 channel video mixer • 1 Yamaha 8 channel audo mixer • 1 AVTech mini-video monitor • 1 Sound cancelling headphone set • 2 reflective lighting units with tripod stands • Compact, portable equipment rack • Manuals for all electronic equipment • Duffle bags for lighting equipment and misc. gear. For more information contact Jim Rapp at 715-4972586 or The equipment can be seen by appointment. DVDs of previous programs are available for viewing. 

Youth Ministries Middle School Summer is naturally a time of transition, as classes end and the weather turns warmer. There will be an additional transition this year though, as I will be stepping down from my role as the middle school youth leader at Bethesda on June 15th as I prepare to get married and move up to the Cities. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving you and your students, and hope that I have been a blessing to you all. Below is a list of summer events that will be happening no matter what. As a new youth leader is chosen, he or she may include more activities, which will be relayed at a later date. Have a wonderful summer everyone! Ryan Rico Bethesda Middle School Ministries

High School

End-Of-Year & Welcome Party On Sunday June 3rd at 7pm ONE23 will celebrate the end-of-the-school-year and welcome incoming freshmen all in one big bash. This will feature lots of ice cream in the “World’s Longest Sundae” and plenty of fun!

Wednesday, June 6th — End of the year party from 6:45-8. We will celebrate the end of another school year, welcome in the new 6th grade students, and send off the 8th grade students. Wednesday, June 13th — Going away party for Ryan. All middle school students and their families are invited. July 1–5 — Sr. High camp at Inspiration Point (more information on the website). For students entering 9th grade and up. Friday, July 6th — Ryan and Jenny’s wedding. All middle school students are invited to attend the ceremony at church. There will be a postcard sent out with more information soon. July 15–20 — Jr. High camp at Inspiration Point (more information on the website). For students entering 7th and 8th grade. Wednesday, August 1st — Valleyfair trip, open to all middle school and high school students.

HSM Summer Schedule Weekly small groups have finished but there’s still lots going on! ONE23 will continue to meet most Sunday nights, there are monthly pool parties at the Wallers, weekly Ultimate Frisbee on Mondays, GAGOH (girls group), Volleyball, a trip to ValleyFair, and plenty of other activities to be announced. Stay tuned! (The church website and HSM Facebook will have all activities posted too.)

Appreciation Party Join us for a party, honoring Ryan Rico and his service over the past two years as our Middle School Director at Bethesda. This event will be held on Wednesday evening, June 13th, 6:30–8:00 pm. Come join the festivities! Parents are encouraged to attend. (It’s an open house kinda thing) 

THIS SUMMER! Youth Trip to Valleyfair Watch for information coming soon!

Children’s Ministries We’re (almost) ready to head to the Island! with decorating our church the week of June 11th! Even just a couple hours of your time would really help us out!

Training If you are serving at VBS (except for registration and kitchen) we strongly encourage you to attend training night on Thursday, June 7th, at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall. We should be done by 8 p.m.

Pop Cans Before we can take the 200 plus children that will show up for VBS June 18–22 to Promise Island a few things need to happen.

Prayer Many of you have signed up to be a prayer partner for a particular VBS volunteer. Thank you! You will be receiving your assignment soon if you haven’t already. We also appreciate prayer from everyone at Bethesda. VBS will not accomplish the goal of reaching kids for Christ if we don’t surround it in prayer.

Registering Yes, they can still attend even if they aren’t pre-registered, but it helps us out a great deal if the kids are preregistered. This can be done by printing off the form from our website (the VBS tab of the Children’s Ministry area) and then mailing or dropping off at the church office, filling out a card at one of the VBS tables at church, or by calling the church office.

Giving We also need more people to sponsor a child and to help out with our overall VBS budget – you can do this by donating financially (use the envelopes that are on the VBS tables). Every year your generous giving makes it possible for us to keep down the cost of the suggested donation we ask of the VBS families.

Serving We still have many openings for serving available. If they are not filled it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to offer the same quality VBS like we have in past years. Critical needs are for 1 craft room teacher, 8 tour guides and 10 guide helpers, and 2 or 3 skit actors. For job descriptions and to sign-up please check out the VBS tables or contact Dawn ASAP!

Decorating Many hands make light work! Please sign-up to help

Please save your pop cans and bring to the church garage during VBS week. Proceeds will go toward our mission focus. VBS leadership team • Co-Directing with Dawn Rico – Susan Pederson • Crafts – Brenda Clausen & Michelle Johnson • Tour Guides & Helpers – Dorie Fink & Bobbie Lenz • Kitchen – Ellen Cedarblade • Playground – Kris Baird • Missions – Louise Kooiker • Bible Story Teachers – Steve Baird & Chris Strasburg • Music Leader – Jodie Baca • Decorating – Brittney Malone & Karen Ratering • Nursery – Shannon Greenman • Registration – Melissa Martin • Skit Leader – Steve Ratering • Emcee – Todd Lenz • Publicity – Chris Hoff Many thanks to these people who are leading the various VBS areas. What a great team they are! They each love seeing kids come to know Jesus and grow in Him. What a privilege to be a part of this team!

Programs Sunday School Sunday School is finished for the

school year and will begin again in September. We are hoping to offer a summer version of Sunday School. Watch for information!

Wednesday Night Activities These activities are

finished for this school year and will start up again in September. Dawn Rico

Children’s Ministries Director

Karen Ratering

Children’s Ministries Assistant

This summer, thousands of youth campers, families, and guests will see the life and ministry of Jesus Christ clearly portrayed as they take part in the Christ Hike Passion Play. Spitzer Lake serves as the backdrop to this 12setting performance as the characters and guests walk from scene to scene around the Inspiration Point site. The Christ Hike allows campers and guests the opportunity to step back 2,000 years in time to the days when Jesus walked the earth and experience what it may have been like to follow Him . . . literally! Here are just a few examples of what campers have taken away from the experience: “When we did the Christ Hike, I realized how much God loves me. God loved me before I loved Him.” — 7th Grader. “During the Christ Hike . . . it really hit me that I put Jesus on the cross.” — 7th Grader. The Christ Hike has the ability to change lives as God’s character is revealed through this powerful retelling of the gospels. There are 12 performances of the Christ Hike scheduled this summer; each one is free and open to the public:

Summer Sunday School Beginning on June 3rd, we will begin offering “Summer Sunday School” for children during the 10:30/10:45 services. This program is for children ages 5–10. We are still seeking people to volunteer on a rotating basis or just one Sunday throughout the summer. Please contact Dawn Rico (dawn@bethesdalutheran. org) or Brittney Malone ( 

2012 Scheduled Performances June 12, 20, 26, 29 (starts at 8:15 pm) July 3, 11, 18, 27, 31 (starts at 8:00 pm) August 3, 8, 15 (starts at 7:45 pm) The Christ Hike is an awesome opportunity to gather a group of families, youth group students, or adults from your church to introduce them to the story of Jesus and to use it as a springboard into discussion. If you are planning on bringing a group of 8 or more, please call ahead to let us know! 218-998-4572. Visit the Inspiration Point website at

r e m m Su


10:00-11:30 Room 204a Stop by for coffee, treats, and great conversation

Bethesda World Missions Praise and Prayer for Bethesda’s Family Around the World

Gronseths: • Praise the Lord that the Coffee House is open! • Praise the Lord for the great team of people who helped to make the opening possible! • Pray that the Coffee House will be well-staffed and run smoothly while John and Betsy are in Eau Claire this summer. It is difficult for John and Betsy to leave when it will have been open only a short time. • Pray that the Coffee House will be a lighthouse, and a source of hope, guidance and comfort. • Pray that the Lord will prepare Stephen for college life next fall. • Pray for an apartment or small house in Eau Claire for John and Betsy to rent from June 10th-August 10th. • Pray that the Lord will provide the remainder of the funds needed for the Coffee House.

Contruccis: • Pray for Kent as he makes plans for future Inside-Out Safety Seminars. • Pray that the time that Kent, Nancy, Sarah and Jonathan have together this month before Sarah returns to Uganda will be blessed by the Lord. Venbergs: • Pray for Dan, Rachel and family, as they are returning to the United States on June 3rd for a medical leave of absence. • Pray for the people of Chad. Many have suffered and died of starvation this year. Pray that the rains will come early and be regular, so that there is an abundant crop for the next harvest.

Wiebes: • Praise the Lord that Brent and Sandi’s pledged support level has risen to about 70%. They need to have 100% pledged in order to return to PNG in January 2013. • Pray for more Bola people to buy Bibles, and that they would dig deeper into God’s Word, which will result in more fruitful lives. • Praise the Lord for a recent opportunity to share with a church, and with niece Melissa Hoilien’s 4th grade class. About 1/3 of the children raised their hands when asked if they wanted to be missionaries some day! • Pray for more opportunities to share what God is doing in Papua New Guinea. • Praise the Lord that Sandi’s mother’s health has stabilized a bit.

The coffee house has officially opened! On Thursday we opened our doors! It has been a wonderful, exhausting week. We are overwhelmed with gratitude to you all for your faithful prayers and support thorough this whole process. What a great team we have been blessed with! Thank you! And especially — although there are no sufficient words to do so, we want to thank the One who conceived this idea and has been faithful to bring it to this exciting time of bearing fruit. Thank you Lord! To You be all the glory!

From the Gronseths Dear Friends,

In His amazing service with you, John and Betsy

Wiles: • Pray for John and Kathryn as they preach, lead and teach at the Barnabas summer staff meetings and orientation, June 5th-15th. • |Pray for John and Kathryn as they make decisions about how to invest their time, and as they make plans for future ministry to Barnabas staff and other missionaries. 


Lutheran Brethren Church

123 W. Hamilton Avenue Eau Claire, WI 54701 715-835-5073



Christ … Community … Cause A vision for clarifying who we believe God is leading us to become.

Nursery News

50 Year Celebration

We are in need of volunteers to help in the nursery throughout the summer for all services! If you love little children, contact Brittney Malone at or 715.559.9929. Also, we are still looking for willing individuals who care about the health and welfare of little children to help clean the nursery on a rotating basis. Thanks!

On Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm we will be unveiling a commemorative plaque to honor our members that have been a vital part of the life here at Bethesda for 50 years or more. Our first honorees will be Eleanor Revne, Ruth Johnson, Gene Dokkestul, Steve Johnson, Beatrice Hill, Susan Sandland, Darlene Stokes, Howard Juliot, Twylah Juliot, Carl Brunkow, Anita Brunkow and Sondra Meier. Hymns will be sung, refreshments served and there may be a surprise or two! Mark your calendars!

New Member Class A four-week session of new member classes will be offered this summer, beginning on June 13th, and continuing on June 20th, July 18th, and July 25. Classes will meet in the Fireside Room, from 6:30–8:00pm, and childcare will be provided.

June 2012 Bethesda Newsletter  

June 2012 Newsletter for Bethesda Lutheran Church

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