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June Bethlehem Star

Greetings from Pastor Anne

You’re invited!

As we dream about the future of this congregation we want to come together to clarify and articulate our vision, our identity and our values – the things that make Bethlehem, well, Bethlehem! Council and I can’t do this work alone! We need your voice, your faith and love for this congregation.

In August we are going to be holding gatherings where we are going to discuss what makes this congregation unique, what our best gifts are, what we do well and what we celebrate. We do this by talking about what we value about Bethlehem. We will go about this conversation by using key words and ideas and identifying four to six “values” that we all share. Examples of values are connection, generosity, and in a fun Play on words: perfection, playful and prayerful. None of these words are meant to influence you in any way, they are just examples of the fifty options we can use to help articulate who we are.

We are going to ask you to sign up for one of four gatherings; they are all the same, so you only need to attend once. We are looking for as many voices as possible, everyone who has finished 8th grade and up is welcome to be a part of the conversations.

Signup sheets will be available at church for you to use and we’ll be sending out an email sign up as well. The options for gathering are Sunday, August 11th at 10:00 am, Wednesday, August 14th at 7:00 pm, Sunday, August 18th at 10:00 am and Monday, August 19th at 7:00 pm. Childcare can be requested at signup.

Sign up online here:


Youth Corner

Ellen Olson, Coordinator of Youth Ministries

Noisy Offering collection for April was $89.32 which was donated to Better Together Animal Rescue.  Thank you for your generosity.

Mission Service Weekend

Pastor is planning a weekend to Des Moines with our high school youth to help others through mission work on August 9th and 10th. Information to all youth who just completed 9th-12th grade will be sent out shortly.

Bethlehem Lutheran T-shirts

Bethlehem Lutheran Church T-shirts can be ordered online or by filling out an order form. These T-shirts come in three colors: Gray, Yellow, or Aqua with youth through adults sizes available.  Please make your checks out to Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  All orders must be in by Thursday, June 6th. Order forms are available or online orders can be placed at Call the church office if you need assistance 319-472-3784.

Spring Cleaning – Garage Sale

Last Call!!  Bring your quality items for our garage sale on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8 (which also happens to be Vinton city wide garage sales).  We will have the Bethlehem garage sale on both days; 8 am – 2 pm.  It will be a free will donation with proceeds this year going to Vacation Bible School expenses.

Please bring your items to church Monday, June 3 – Thursday, June 6 between 8 am and noon or Wednesday evening, June 5 between 5 – 7 pm or call the church office to make other arrangements.

There will be tables set up and marked so you will be able to place your items on the appropriate tables.

On sale days, there will be coffee and sweet treats for donations as well. Happy cleaning!!!


Vacation Bible School

Mark your calendars for a week of FUN.  Vacation Bible School will be at Bethlehem this year (and we are again partnering with Wesley United Methodist Church and Vinton Presbyterian Church).  We will be SCUBA diving into friendship with God!  The dates are Sunday, June 23 through Thursday, June 27 from 6-8 pm for those completing 4-year-old preschool through completion of the 4th grade.  Registration is open. There are paper registrations on the display table and as well as sign up on the website, You are welcome to join us each evening at 7:40 pm for informative mission talks from community members on caring for our environment.

On Thursday, June 27th there will be no activities at the church for VBS but we are encouraging our participants and their families to participate in the VPRD Party in the Park activities downtown – showing their SCUBA friendship to the community. Our volunteers will be passing out cotton candy on the courthouse law downtown after the kiddie parade. Please join us or come by to say hello.

Hello Summer Food Service Program

Help feed kids this summer! Our school district is looking for volunteers who can help with lunches Monday through Friday at Tilford and Shellsburg Elementaries. All kinds of tasks need doing, so don’t worry if you can’t lift a giant soup pot! All volunteers need a background check (forms available from the church office) and training is provided. Call 319-472-3784 to sign up or sign up online at


Food for Thought Book Club

Meets on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m.

June, 2024

Book: “Hidden Places” by Lynn Austin

Restaurant: Old Brick House in Cedar Rapids

July, 2024

Book: “The Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti

Restaurant: Napoli’s in Cedar Rapids

August, 2024

Book: “The Heart Adrift” by Laura Frantz

Restaurant: Denali’s in Independence

September, 2024

Book: “If It Rains” by Jennifer Wright

Restaurant: Milio’s in Cedar Rapids

October, 2024

Book: “The Sun Sister” by Lucinda Riley

Restaurant: Textile Tap Haus in Atkins

November, 2024

Book: “The Last Exchange” by Charles Martin

Restaurant: The Lotus in Vinton

December, 2024

Book: The Mistletoe Countess” by Pepper Basham

Restaurant: Potluck at the Church

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