February Bethlehem Star
Greetings from Pastor Anne
First, I’d like to thank you all in advance for letting me get away for a conference so soon into my tenure at Bethlehem. Professional development is highly encouraged for pastors, we can get a little bogged down in the weeds sometimes, and it’s nice to get into a space where we can think about church in a wider context and bring that back to our home congregations. Watch for a report from my time at the Extravaganza (known as the E) in the next newsletter.
Help With Holy Communion
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to help with communion? Before I was a pastor, it was one of my favorite things to do in worship. It can be a very holy time for those sharing the bread and the wine with others. We’re love to have a few more folks on our list for communion helpers. We will host a training event for new and regular communion helpers in February. Watch the bulletin for more information.
New Bible Study – Wednesday at 9:30 am
I’m excited to start a new Bible study here at Bethlehem. We’ll be gathering on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 to read and reflect on the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday. It’s a chance to dig deeper into the reading and to think about it before we hear it worship. You never know when your idea might end up in a sermon! This Bible study is open to everyone who can join us. Treats will follow.
Every Member Visits
I have started scheduling every member visits. I’m scheduling out all the way to March. It’s going to take a while to get to everyone. If you’re planning on travelling anytime this winter, please let the church office know so we can find a time that works for you!
Ellen Olson, Coordinator of Youth Ministries
Exciting things are happening for our teenagers! On the first and third Sunday of each month Pastor Anne and Brenda Krull will be leading a Bible study for grades 7-12 titled, Faith Lens. On the second and fourth Sunday of each month Steve Wallace and Lisa Vermedahl will be leading a Bible study for this same age group. We are so grateful for these leaders sharing their walk with Jesus.
Our monthly Noisy offering will be designated to two new (new to us) organizations that the Sunday school teachers felt could benefit from. The January offering was given to Operation Backpack through Vinton Community Schools and we will alternate months with donations to Benton County Veteran’s Affairs. Your generous support of collecting your coins through the month is appreciated. I just must share this story. At the Christmas program in December, we did Noisy Offering. When one of our younger boys came to me to dump his collection in the big bucket he exclaimed, “Someone put in a $20 bill. We could send someone to college.” Keep the coins and $20 coming! It makes an impact.
On February 5, Sunday school will be celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early. A group project is planned to make cards for the residents at the Vinton Lutheran Home and table decorations. We are encouraging all ages to join in this activity.
In this month of February, hug your loved ones.
Please find brochures for Camp EWALU and Lutheran Lakeside Camp in the fellowship hall. The camps have brochures available outlining their camps, dates, ages, and cost. Please note there are early bird discounts for Camp EWALU and Lutheran Lakeside camps for sign up by February 28.
The 2023 programs at EWALU in Strawberry Point, Iowa offer a mini camp, a day camp, adventure camps for fifth-ninth graders, and exciting camps focusing on leadership development for high school age youth. Family camp and grandparent camps are also offered.
The 2023 programs at Lutheran Lakeside Camp in Spirit Lake, Iowa also offer opportunities for all youth, adults, youth groups, mission trips, and congregations. Their summer theme is God’s Wilderness: Caring for Creation.
Lutheran Lakeside Camp also has employment opportunities. Those brochures are also available for those interested.
Bethlehem does offer camper scholarships. Please reach out to me and I would be more than happy to assist you in completing the simple confidential paperwork. These camperships are provided by funds raised by youth activities and available to anyone interested in attending camp regardless of financial need.
After your camp is confirmed, please let me know so we can pray for your child/children as a congregation.
ELCA Good Gifts Project
Thank you to all who donated and purchased an item of the ELCA Good Gifts project during the Advent and Christmas season. 33 items for a total of $965.00 were purchased. It included 7 Chicks, 2 Roosters, 3 Goats, 1 Couple of Goats, 4 Piglets, 5 Honeybees, 1 Water filter, 1 Microloan for a Woman, 1 Scheel Fee & Uniform for a Girl, 3 School Supplies for a Child, 2 Vaccinations for a Child, 2 Feed a Refugee Family for one week, and 1 Stock a Backpack with Food. You are helping to make a difference in people’s lives.
Food for Thought
Meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m.
Book: “Engineers Wife” by Tracy Emerson Wood
Restaurant: Lotus in Vinton
Book: “Delilah” by Angela Hunt
Restaurant: Las Lamos in Vinton
Book: “Treasured Grace” by Traci Peterson
Restaurant: Crooked Antler in Van Horne
Book: “The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride” by Joe Siple
Restaurant: Napoli’s in Cedar Rapids
Book: “Divine” by Karen Kingsbury
Restaurant: Denali’s on the River in Independence
Book: “The Little Beach Street Bakery” by Jenny Colgan
Restaurant: Irish Democrat in Cedar Rapids
Book: “The Star and the Shamrock” by Jean Grainger
Restaurant: General Store Pub in Stone City
Book: “The Girl in the Blue Coat” by Monica Hesse
Restaurant: Whiskey River in Palo
Book: “Seven Sisters series – Pearl” by Lucinda Riley
Restaurant: Kula’s in Walker
Book: “The Record Keeper” by Charles Martin
Restaurant: Old Hospital Pub in Vinton
Book: “A Christmas Memory” by Richard Paul Evans
Restaurant: Bethlehem Inn Potluck
The snow removal schedule for this winter season will be as follows:
Tony Sivola, Doug Sutton, Brenda Krull
John Williams, Dennis Eden, Brenda Krull
Thank you to those that have volunteered to help with this task. Thank you also to Tom Hanson for plowing the church parking lots.
Ash Wednesday February 22
Ash Wednesday Holy Communion Worship Service will be at 7:00 p.m. This will begin our Lenten Journey. Please pick up your 40 days of Lent Journey calendar that will help you prepare your hearts for the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Along with the calendars please pick up a World Hunger Box to be placed on your table to collect your coins or dollars for those that are hungry. The World Hunger Boxes will be collected on Palm Sunday, April 2nd during worship.
Wednesday Night Lent Activities
On the Wednesday evenings after Ash Wednesday beginning on March 1st through 29th, there will be a simple family meal served from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The Holden Evening Prayer Service will begin at 7:00 p.m. We will hear from some of the people who were witnesses at the cross of Jesus during the service.
There is a sign up sheet on the table in Augustana Hall for those who would like to provide the meal or desserts. Thank you for your participation.
February Children’s rehearsals will be on February 8 and 15 at 6:00 p.m. Chapel Choir rehearsals will be on February 8 and 15 at 7:00 p.m. The Chapel Choir will sing on February 12 and 19 with Children. No rehearsal on Ash Wednesday February 22. Remember schedules may be altered due to weather or availability of choir members. Thank you for sharing your talent with our Bethlehem Family.
Online Giving is available through our Bethlehem Lutheran website www.bethlehemvinton.org. There is a blue “Online Giving” button on the home page. Click on the button to go to the online giving page. If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 319-472-3784.
Offering Envelopes have not arrived as of January 1st but they have been ordered and will be arriving as soon as the printer is able to send them. Our Financial Secretary Amanda Henkle will make sure that your offering is recorded correctly. Thank you for your patience.
If anyone needs prayer, please contact the church office (319-472-3784) or Brenda Sutton (319-929-3961 phone or text message). A team of church members is always available to pray for you or your loved ones.
Men at the Inn
Men at the Inn continues to meet on Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. for Coffee and Fellowship in Augustana Hall.
Ladies Lunch Out
Ladies Lunch Out meets on the second Friday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at the Vinton Family Restaurant or the Brew and Chew.
Wednesday Family Meals
Wednesday family meals will be served at 5:30 p.m. before confirmation classes. Everyone is welcome to come and join in the food and fellowship.
Windsor Manor Worship
On Sunday, February 19th at 2:15 p.m. Bethlehem Lutheran members will be conducting worship service at Windsor Manor Assisted Living in Vinton. Anyone interested in helping with this outreach ministry please contact the church office at 319-472-3784.
Can Redemption Project
There are three options for you to donate redeemable cans in the Vinton area. Friends of the Shelter located on 4th Street next to Barron Chiropractic, Vinton Recreation Shed located on 8th Avenue between the swimming pool and Riverside Park, or any Boy Scout member. Please consider donating your cans to one of these organizations.
The Orphan Grain Train
Bethlehem is still collecting donations of new or good used clothing items for infants through adults to be taken to Clemons, Iowa for distribution to those in need. Please bring your items to the church.
Stamp Collection Project
Bethlehem will continue collecting stamps that are cancelled or new. These stamps are used to help pay the postage of the LWR quilts and kits.
Thank you for your recent donations of $158.37 and $109.00 to our food pantry. The need our pantry has been facing in 2022 brought 7,752 people from 3,298 households to receive help. This is a record for us. So we appreciate your support!
Vinton Food Pantry
We have remembered the following in prayers during the month of January. If you are missed off this list, our sincere apologies.
For health, healing and comfort: Duane Mangold, Ellen Tempus, Jim Woolison, Maverick Ketchum, Jackie Behounek Seitz, Arlene Carls, Brittnay Steinburg, Nancy Gray, Dick Grimm, Elaine Bearbower, Becky Moen, Scott Gardner
For celebration: The birth of Myles William Johnson, Parents Matt & Brittini (Krull) Johnson, Grandparents Brenda & Nick Krull
The Birth of August Charles Frerck, Parents Brendan & Becky (Urlaub) Frerck, Grandparents Mark & LuAnn Urlaub
Church Office Hours
Pastor Anne Williams will be in the church office on Sunday thru Thursday. Email:
Brenda Sutton, Parish Assistant will be in the church office Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Email:
Ellen Olson, Youth Coordinator will be in the church office Tuesday & Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Email:
Jana Lewis, Financial Administrator can be contacted thru email:
Amanda Henkle, Financial Secretary can be contacted thru email: