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February Bethlehem Star

Greetings from Pastor Anne

Happy February!

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!

Youth Corner

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.


Summer Camps

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.

February, 2023

Book: “Engineers Wife” by Tracy Emerson Wood

Restaurant: Lotus in Vinton

March, 2023

Book: “Delilah” by Angela Hunt

Restaurant: Las Lamos in Vinton

April, 2023

Book: “Treasured Grace” by Traci Peterson

Restaurant: Crooked Antler in Van Horne

May, 2023

Book: “The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride” by Joe Siple

Restaurant: Napoli’s in Cedar Rapids

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


Snow Removal

The snow removal schedule for this winter season will be as follows:

February 2023

Tony Sivola, Doug Sutton, Brenda Krull

March 2023

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.


Chapel Choir

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

Online Giving is available through our Bethlehem Lutheran website 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

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.


Christian Faith

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

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!

Sherry C.

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:

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