Bethlehem Luthern Church
We are united in Jesus... Joyful in Spirit... Active in Ministry
8:30am
Traditional
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9:00am
Sunday School
9:45am
Adult Education
10:15am
Contemporary
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Adult

Adult

falltheme

CHRIST! COMPASSION! COMMUNITY!

This theme speaks to the heart of our congregation. We know Jesus, the Messiah, as Savior and King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Either way we say it: “Jesus loves me this I know” or “Jesus knows me, this I love” speaks of  God in very personal terms. Jesus came as a Servant-King on a rescue mission and the example of compassion and sacrifice that He showed can change our wills and our ways. We are called to be actively engaged in community – both a faith community and the   community context we are physically located in – whether it’s Fergus Falls or the world.  “Christ, Compassion, Community and Change Agent” – we pray that God will work through us to touch/transform lives – both personally and meeting needs and hurts in the community. It is a wonderful calling we have been privileged to receive.      

Sunday Morning - Adult Education Hour

Adult Forum - Sunday from 9:45-10:30am

Sometimes we say to each other, “How are things?” The answers  can be very interesting. Our theme for the FALL ADULT FORUMS is “THE WAY THINGS ARE.” (It’s a book title.)

Each month we’ll have one guest speaker, one session on current topics from The Lutheran magazine and some sessions on the wisdom traditions (religions) of the world based on Huston Smith’s book  “The World’s religions.”  We’ll look at Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism and the Primal  religions, (those that were before any of the others came into existence).

Topics for guest speakers will be climate change, income inequality, food insecurity and housing instability.

We begin Sunday, Sept. 21, 9:45am in the chapel. Pastor Satre will lead the forums. Join us.

At Bethlehem we offer a variety of educational opportunities for adults that include discussion groups, Bible studies, and book groups.

Weekly Bible Studies - All are welcome please join us!

Evening Book Discussion Group Starting this Fall! At long last (and because of a number of requests), a book discussion group is being offered on Monday evenings at Bethlehem. This new book discussion group is a “spin-off” of the Faithful Readers group that has been meeting one Wednesday afternoon a month for several years. It is also a revival of the 2006 - 2007 Mitford series reading group that was very popular. Jan Karon, the Mitford series author, has just released a new Father Tim Kavanagh story telling of his return to Mitford and follows him as he becomes reacquainted with the memorable characters who live there. The title is Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. 

Following our return to Mitford and the playing out of that narrative, we will then delve into a fascinating piece of history of the area in which we live and the events that took place about 150 years ago. In 1862, some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War were being fought in the East and South between the Federal troops and the Confederates, but in the “West” (Minnesota and the Dakotas) the homesteaders (with the help of Federal troops at Ft. Snelling and Ft. Abercrombie) were fighting the Sioux. The majority of these early settlers were immigrants from Norway, Sweden, and Germany, and although their stories are fictional, they could have been some of our ancestors. As we read about their lives, we come to care about them, and we learn more about the challenges they faced, the ways in which they helped one another, and how their faith supported them. This four-book set called “The Abercrombie Trail” series written by Candace Simar (of Pequoit Lakes) will aid us in our discussion. Included in the set are:  Abercrombie Trail, Pomme de Terre, Birdie, and Blooming Prairie. 

Bethlehem’s new “Evening Book Discussion Group” will gather in the chapel the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 5:30 - 7:00pm (or so), beginning Sept. 22. Copies of the books will be available for check-out from the church library.

Womens Tuesday morning Bible study meets at 9:00a.m. for coffee and 9:30am for Bible study beginning Sept. 9 in Bethlehem’s large conference room. We will be completing the last two chapters of David Lose’s book - Making Sense of the Cross before diving into our new Bible study. 

One of the previous authors we’ve enjoyed reading and discussing is Joanna Weaver, and her new book , Having a Mary Spirit, Allowing God to Change us from the Inside Out, is a wonderful sequel to Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World that we read several years ago.

“The Bible for Busy People” – Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm and Friday mornings at 10:00am for five weeks beginning September 23. This is a new short term study being presented by Pastor Tom. Here is a story from the author of this   material, Dr. Harry Wendt. 

“Last month, I conducted a seminar in Lexington, Nebraska. Cindy, one of the seminar attendees, happened to be staying at our hotel. One evening, as we shared supper at the hotel, a man sitting at the next table heard us talking about ministry. This man, a clergyman who ministers to biker (motorcycle riders), began asking questions. After a few minutes of conversation, Cindy went over to his table and explained to him the timeline from “The Bible’s Big Story – Our Story” and a witnessing tool titled “The Divine Plan” – both of which are resources from Crossway International. After the meal, Cindy shared with us that the man was thrilled with these items and plans to use them in his ministry. Cindy then told us that she was deeply moved by what had taken place because this was the first time she had ever done that with anyone. Now she plans to share these resources with as many people as possible so that they might understand, believe, live and share God’s Eternal Story.”

Wednesday Brown Bag and Bible - This group meets from 12:10-12:50pm in the church’s conference room. We are currently in the last half of a study on the theme of “Maturing in Christ – Called to Discipleship.” The discussion we share is always engaging and we leave having enjoyed one another’s company, insights and questions. 

Our next study will be from the book Today Matters by John Maxwell. It is a short book but one filled with a powerful message of looking at this life God has given us, celebrating it and then being a steward of it through 12 daily practices built over a lifetime. The table of contents reads: Today’s ATTITUDE gives me possibilities; Today’s PRIORITIES give me focus; Today’s HEALTH gives me strength; Today’s FAMILY gives me stability; Today’s THINKING gives me an advantage; Today’s COMMITMENT gives me tenacity; Today’s FINANCES give me options; Today’s FAITH  gives me peace; Today’s RELATIONSHIPS give me fulfillment; Today’s GENEROSITY give me significance; Today’s VALUES give me direction; Today’s GROWTH gives me potential.

Augustana Lutheran Church, Elizabeth Bible Study meets Thursday mornings at 7:00am at Café 116 starting Sept. 11. We started A Passion for Life – Fragments of the Face of God by Joan Chittister in the early spring and are about half-way through reading and discussing the lives of women visionaries, leaders, and saints in the church. We will begin with a woman named Claire of the eleventh century, a follower of St. Francis of Assissi, and a spiritual leader in her own right. Similar in mission to Claire is our next lady, Dorothy Day, New York City’s activist for the people of the streets who lived during the twentieth century. 

Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (WELCA) circle Bible studies 2014 – 2015 “Transforming Life and Faith” is the title of this year’s Bible study, and the sub-title reminds us that our lives and our faith journeys include a series of transformations. In Sept., “we are always changing”. In Oct., “we are called”. In Nov., “transformation takes time”. In Dec., “faith in the family” (and what a great discussion Bethlehem ladies will have as we embark on our parish education vibrant faith initiative!) In Jan., we are being made new and given the directive to “repent and forgive”. In Feb., we will learn how to “make conversion last”. In March, we will learn the inevitability of “suffering and the importance of sustaining endurance”. In April, we will look at overcoming doubt by being “inspired by the risen Lord.” In May, the idea that the “church is transforming and reforming” in our lifetimes will inspire us to live out as transformed women of God.

We invite the men of Bethlehem and friends to an engaging bible study on Monday mornings at Café 116 at 7:00am. Jerry Ness and Steve Atchison have been the primary leaders of this group. We chose a theme for six meetings, use selected stories from the bible that develop the theme and discuss our thoughts and insights from multiple suggested answers to the given questions. It is a fun, interesting and comfortable morning. Breakfast is at one’s own expense from Café 116’s  menu, the visiting among the men before and after is good and the study is helpful in getting us into God’s Word. Please come join us.

Augustana Apartment Bible study group meets on Mondays at 3:00pm in the community room. We begin our Bible study this fall on Mon., Sept. 8 with Forgotten God, Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit written by Francis Chan. 


Faithful Readers Book Club - All Are welcome please join us!

In September, Bethlehem’s Faithful Readers will be reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. This journey by train was taken by thousands of abandoned children from New York City to families in the Midwest and Western United States who were waiting to adopt them. Their promising future/or tragic plight is captured by Kline in her telling the story of one of them – Vivian Daly. During the course of the book we will meet the elderly Vivian at the end of her life who meets Molly Ayer, a foster child, who helps her clean out her attic, and there she discovers Vivian’s childhood experiences when she rode the orphan train.

Faithful Readers have chosen to read Defending Jacob by William Landay for their October read and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson in November.

Senior Ministry
Bethlehem believes that we are never too old to live boldly and joyfully. We believe that we can set aside the misconceptions and myths about older adults. Bethlehem’s history is an active one with a variety of activities and ministries.  

VSP (Very Special People) “55 and Better” is an organization of older folks who meet monthly for worship with Holy Communion, food, fellowship, and fun. The festive lunches in December and May and the field trips to interesting places are popular and looked-forward-to events.

Women of the ELCA (WELCA) at Bethlehem

Bethlehem’s WELCA involves all confirmed women of the church in Bible study, service projects, and fundraisers. 

There are five circles that meet once a month for fellowship and Bible study. The women collect items for school, health, sewing, layette, and midwife kits to benefit Lutheran World Relief. 

In the fall of the year, the women organize a bazaar and in the spring a salad luncheon to raise funds to support church projects and community needs. They also meet for dinner or brunch several times a year for special programs and in the middle of the summer for a picnic. 

Bethlehem is part of Cluster 8 and attend (and take their turn hosting) fall and spring gatherings

 

102 West Junius Ave • Fergus Falls MN 56537 • Phone: 218-736-5614