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This Week at Bethlehem

Pastoral Musings

In the story "The Golden Compass" by Philip Pullman, the characters each have 'daemons', an animal representation of their inner self. A child's daemon can change form several times, but is pretty much set by adulthood. The powers-that-be have discovered that when a person is separated from their daemon, they become like zombies. Separated from thier core self, they are merely animated husks, available to serve. I imagine this is how we would be if the powers-that-be could find a way to separate us (branches) from the vine that is Christ.

Fifth Sunday of Easter

This Sunday’s image of how the risen Christ shares his life with us is the image of the vine. Christ the vine and we the branches are alive in each other, in the mystery of mutual abiding that we read of in the gospel and the first letter of John. Baptism makes us a part of Christ’s living and life-giving self and makes us alive with Christ’s life. As the vine brings food to the branches, Christ feeds us at his table. We are sent out to bear fruit for the life of the world.

Service Setting

ELW Holy Communion Setting Eight

Readings and Psalm

Acts 8:26-40 Philip teaches and baptizes an Ethiopian
Psalm 22:25-31 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord. (Ps. 22:27)
1 John 4:7-21 God’s love perfected in love for one another
John 15:1-8 Christ the vine

Hymns 

When Morning Gilds the Skies (ELW 853)
Thine the Amen (ELW 826)
Let Us Break Bread Together (ELW 471)
Great is Thy Faithfulness (ELW 733)
Eat This Bread (ELW 472)
Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen! (ELW 377) 

Worship Leaders

6 Est5B WorshipLeaders 20180429  

Prayer Concerns

We pray especially for Arnie Uecker, Connie Butcher, Don Bulger, Gwen McClanahan, Kathrine Broderson, and Marjorie Engum and for the families of Eugene Pietala, Sharon's Aunt Susie Palen and her Uncle Harold Seeley, for Lynn's Sister, Faith Sperry; Mick's sister, Jean Edwards; Arnie's Brother, Herb Uecker; Marlys' brother and his wife, JD & Verona Sundseth; Rosalind's Brother & Sister-in-law, Marlin & Karen Reeck; Marlys' brother, Doug Sundseth; Catherine Card's husband, Eric Halverson; Connie's daughter in law, Shelley Ruff and the following friends of the congregation: Jimi, Jason, Ruth, Dallas, and Crystal West.

In our prayers around the Montana Synod, we lift up Dodson Lutheran, Dodson, Bethany Lutheran, Dutton, St. Elizabeth’s Lutheran, Ekalaka William and Blanche Hetzel Foundation. Among the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we lift up the Nebraska Synod.

In our prayers around the world, we lift up Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, giving thanks for those who pursue peace and reconciliation in the face of old suspicions and animosities. We pray for the Georgian Orthodox Church, that it may rediscover a rich relationship with the family of churches worldwide.

Announcements

Around Bethlehem

Christikon Confirmation Camp

Pastor Jean is taking five youth to the Christikon Confirmation Camp, June 18th - 24th. The total cost (excluding transportation) is about $2,400. So far we have a commitment of $2,100. Cole has decided not to go to the Youth Gathering in Huston, in order that those funds can be used for Christikon. Norma has agreed to putting the proceeds from the auctioning of her quilts toward Christikon also, and Jen will host an Indian Taco fundraiser. Any left over funds will be placed in a Memorial Fund for the ELCA Youth Gathering in 2021.

Saturday Evening Worship

At our Annual Meeting(s), we talked about adding a third service option. There seems to be some good energy around offering a Saturday Evening service at 6:30 pm. The Day of Pentecost, which is May 20th this year, is sometimes described as the birth of the church. Would that not be a fun time to launch this new service!?

Lutheran World Relief - Personal Care Kits

Please bring your dontations by Sunday, May 5th. NOTE: That which was lost has been found! The box of donated towels was hiding under toys in a storage area.

Adult Forums

Sunday, April 29th, immediately following the first service (9:30 am) we'll explore the "By Heart" series on the Small Catechism.

Family Promise of Yellowstone Valley

Shellie has volunteered to be our FPYV Coordinator. (Thanks, Shellie!) We do well finding volunteers to host meals, but struggle a bit to find overnight hosts. I understand. One never really gets a good night's rest away from home and the responsibilities of hosting overnight seem vauge. On the other hand, a restless night seems like such a small sacrifice to provide shelter and safety to four homeless families. The Adult Forum on Sunday, May 13th will be an info-session dedicated to Family Promise.

Youth Faith Formation Formation

Wednesday, April 29, 2018 at 6:00, We'll continue our conversation about the Apostles Creed, through comparison with other Creeds. Currently, the dinner plan is Dominos.

Toward a Child-Friendly Environment

A number of parents of pre-schoolers have expresses a desire to attend services but wish we had a "cry room". Should we turn the first Sunday School room into a place where children can play and while adults can hear and see the service? Or perhaps we can create a space in the fellowship hall. Please bring your ideas to Johnna (Property Committee) or to Pastor Jean.

Christian Education

Looks like Sparkhouse has a new offering that might fit our needs even better next year. It's called All Kids, designed to engage all Kids in one room with built-in mentorship opportunities. 

 

 

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