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June Bethlehem Star

Greetings from Pastor Anne

Gardens of Blessing

Are you a gardener? Does more grow than you and your family can use? Consider sharing your extra produce this summer with us here at Bethlehem. We’ll have a mini farmers market on Sunday mornings. Whatever is left over on Sunday mornings we’ll share with the neighbors. And, whatever is left over after that will be shared with HACAP and other service agencies in the area. We’ll start when you have produce to share and finish when the gardens are done.

Pastor Anne

Youth Corner

Ellen Olson, Coordinator of Youth Ministries

On Sunday, May 21 our Sunday School teachers were recognized for their commitment to our youth. They each share their time and talent to teach the love of Christ to our youth. We are so very grateful for Kate Kuhn, Erin Heims, Roxann Harms, Stephanie Humiston, Trish Lough, Brenda Krull, Steve Wallace, Rachel Dickinson, and Kelli McClintock.

If you are interested in sharing a teaching role with any of the classes, please let me know. Our first meeting will be in August, and classes will begin in September.

Spring Carnival

On Wednesday, May 17th, the confirmation class with assistance from the LYO hosted a SPRING CARNIVAL. It was for children age 4 through 5th grade and friends and family. At 5:30 pm, walking tacos were served. From 6:00-7:00 pm, lawn games, crafts, and face painting occurred outdoors in our beautiful green space. We had great participation!! Our spring carnival marked the end of confirmation class until fall.

We celebrated God’s goodness together!

Where do you see God?

Easter Sunday when I left church, I saw two little girls with their father as they were walking by our church. They were pulling a raggedy old wagon with some old toys.  The girls were disheveled and dirty, like they had been playing in the dirt on this cold morning.  I “happened” to have some extra jelly beans and asked their dad if I could give them to the girls.  He said they would love them.  The girls were so excited when I gave them the packages of beans.

As I was driving away, I thought of the chain of events leading to that perfectly timed and God planned interaction. This is where I saw God on Easter morning.

I saw God in the smiles on two little girls’ faces; a smile because I gave them the Easter jelly beans; the jelly beans from church; because Debbie Sampson was trying to hand out the last ones; me taking the last ones because I thought “I can always give them to my grandkids”; me leaving at the perfect time to cross paths with the family.

Where do you see God working? Are our hearts open to finding the little daily miracles? 

Brenda Krull

Synod Assembly

The 2023 Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly was held on May 15th & 16th online. Tom & Dana Hanson, Pastor Phil Borleske, and Pastor Anne Williams attended with Bishop Amy Current presiding.

AED Training

What is AED?

If you’re wondering what an AED is – and why they seem to be in most offices and public buildings, you’re not alone. In fact, because these devices are now commonly available, more people than ever before are curious about them. So – just what is an AED?

An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Why Learn to Use an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest is among the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, more than 350,000 people will suffer a cardiac arrest this year. Currently, the only way to restore a regular heart rhythm during cardiac arrest is to use an AED.

Because the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes, and for each minute defibrillation is delayed, the odds of survival are reduced by approximately 10%, having access to an AED and knowing how to use one, is critical.

There will be Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Training after worship on Sunday, June 11th by Tina Eden.

Online Giving

Online Giving is available on the Bethlehem website at  Just click on the “Online Giving” button on the Home page and follow the directions.

Summer Bible Study: Blessings

During the months of July and August we’ll be gathering on Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am for a Bible study on blessings. We’ll be digging into the Old Testament and exploring the blessings God showered upon the people. We’ll discuss our blessings and what being blessed in 2023 looks like. Join us whenever you can on Wednesdays.

Food for Thought Book Club

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

June, 2023

Book: “Divine” by Karen Kingsbury

Restaurant: Denali’s on the River in Independence

July, 2023

Book: “The Little Beach Street Bakery” by Jenny Colgan

Restaurant: Irish Democrat in Cedar Rapids

August, 2023

Book: “The Star and the Shamrock” by Jean Grainger

Restaurant: General Store Pub in Stone City

September, 2023

Book: “The Girl in the Blue Coat” by Monica Hesse

Restaurant: Whiskey River in Palo

October, 2023

Book: “Seven Sisters series – Pearl” by Lucinda Riley

Restaurant: Kula’s in Walker

November, 2023

Book: “The Record Keeper” by Charles Martin

Restaurant: Old Hospital Pub in Vinton

December, 2023

Book: “A Christmas Memory” by Richard Paul Evans

Restaurant: Bethlehem Inn Potluck

Volunteer Opportunity

Bethlehem Lutheran is part of the Vinton community Meals on Wheels Program.  We have agreed to provide one person to assist with the delivery of meals each month on the third Monday and also the fifth Monday when there is one. It requires the volunteer to check in at HACAP center by 11 a.m. and usually you are done by 1:00 p.m.  The driver of the van takes you to the homes of those requesting meals and you then take the container of food to the door, knock, leave the food and return to the van to go to the next stop. We currently only have a couple of Bethlehem members able to help and could use a little more assistance.  It may only amount to a few Mondays a year.  

Think about it and call the church office if you are interested. 

Thanks in advance,

Linda Wallace on behalf of Team Christian Life

Vacation Bible School

We are joining Wesley United Methodist and the Presbyterian Church again this year to provide a Stellar, Shine Jesus’ Light experience to our youth.  Wesley will be the host church this summer.  The dates are July 16 – 20 from 6:00-8:00 pm (Sunday through Thursday) We encourage all children ages 4 -12 to participate and bring a friend or many friends.  Registration is open now.  Paper forms can be found in the fellowship hall, or you may register online at:  If you have any questions, please contact Ellen Olson and if you would like to volunteer that would be even better!  A donation board will be displayed soon as another way to help!

110th Anniversary Celebration

Can you believe 10 years have passed since we celebrated our Centennial Anniversary of Bethlehem Lutheran Church?

We cannot let our 110th year anniversary go unnoticed.

Christian Life has taken the task of making it a celebration.

The date has been set for August 20 and Bishop Amy Current will be here to preside and preach.

Lots of fun things are planned but first, we need your help.

On Sunday, June 11th we will kick off our Community Service Project. Our goal is 110 “Birthday in a Pan” kits to be donated to the Vinton Food Pantry. There are examples in the fellowship hall.

What you need to make one complete kit:

1 – 9x13 disposable aluminum cake pan

1 – Birthday gift bag

1 pkg Small Birthday paper plates & small napkins

1 – Cake mix

1 – can of Soda

1 – container of Frosting

1 pkg Candles

All of the above items will lay in the cake pan.

Examples of Tasty Combinations:

1 can Coca-Cola & 1 Chocolate Cake Mix

1 can Dr. Pepper & 1 Red Velvet Cake Mix

1 can Strawberry Fanta & 1 Strawberry Cake Mix

1 can A&W Cream Soda & 1 Vanilla Cake Mix

1 can Canada Dry Ginger Ale & 1 Carrot or Spice Cake Mix

1 can Sunkist & 1 White Cake Mix

Please bring to church starting June 18th and let’s reach 110 by August 20th.

A volunteer(s) is needed to create a photo book (such as SnapFish or Shutterfly) for our history records.

Any memorabilia you would be willing to lend us for the August 20th celebration can also be dropped off at the church office.

More details to follow next month about the celebration but do keep August 20th open on your calendar!

Ladies Lunch Out

Beginning on June 9th the Ladies Lunch Out group will meet at Celebration Park at 11:30 a.m. for the summer.  Bring your own lunch and lawn chair and join us for great food and fellowship.


We have remembered the following in prayers

during the month of May. If you are missed off this list, our sincere apologies.

For health, healing and comfort: Duane Mangold, Ellen Tempus, Jim Woolison, Marverick Ketchum, Arlene Carls, Brittany Steinburg, Nancy Gray, Elaine Bearbower, Emelia Jacobson, Jessica Wilson, Amanda Jertson Talley, Alan Flexsenhar, The Family of Jackie Behounek Seitz, The Family of Dick Grimm, Marva Hanna

For those graduating from high school: Leyton Aldrich and Andrew Gates

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