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August 2017 Life Together Newsletter

From the pastor: A note or two on the upcoming solar eclipse

Dear Bethanians,

I am getting excited for experiencing a total solar eclipse for what I believe to be the first time in my life. Laurie and I are heading out right after worship on Aug. 20 to drive (with half a million of our best friends from Seattle) to Oregon, where we will be staying at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. We are hoping  for clear skies.
It is supposed to be quite a phenomenon to experience, as the natural world reacts to what it thinks is nightfall, with the shadows and the sounds reflecting nighttime rather than mid-morning.
Imagine how our ancestors centuries ago would have reacted. Imagine the stories of engagements and the photographic images that will arise from this event at 10:19 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
It is the stuff of pop songs. Remember "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, and her lyrics: "So you flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia, to see the total eclipse of the sun." Apparently there is vanity in chasing eclipses. Or another pop song sung by Bonnie Tyler: "The Total Eclipse of the Heart," which is not a reference to the effects of high cholesterol.
An eclipse is a powerful image, and one worth pondering in this season of the total solar eclipse. The full brightness of day being interrupted by interference, a blockage, a shadow, a darkness, until it becomes fully dark.
And then, immersed in the darkness, being fully present in the moment, there is the wondering as to when and if the darkness will again give way to the warmth and brightness of the light. It is also perhaps a moment when we realize we are not alone, but rather accompanied by a God from whom nothing can separate us. Indeed, it is the stuff of songs; it is the stuff of loss; it is the stuff of hope; it is the stuff of faith.
So, what is your total eclipse song? Whatever it is, let us sing it together, and let it have a refrain like an Leonard Cohen tune, "HALLELUJAH!"

Thankfully, Pastor Paul


Window work to proceed

A congregational meeting was held July 16 to consider replacement of the aging and inefficient windows in the fellowship hall and kitchen. The congregation authorized the church to spend as much as $25,000 for the work, to take place before the cooler weather comes. Contributions still are needed. Please pick up an envelope in the narthex and place it in the offering plate. Thank you. Pictured: One of the vented windows in the kitchen.

'Wednesdays at Wildcat' continues

More than a dozen people from Bethany attended the first Wednesday of the "Wednesdays at Wildcat" series at Olympic Lutherhaven on Wildcat Lake. They enjoyed a meal, recreation and fellowship with other Lutherans. The series continues from 6 to 8 p.m. each Wednesday through Aug. 23.

Pastor Selboe will be on call

Pastor Paul will be away the first two weeks of August for board meetings with Portico in Minneapolis, and with Lutheran Community Services Northwest in the Tri-Cities. Pastor Sonja Selboe is available during that time for pastoral care. She can be reached at 360-979-7985 or

Refugee Resettlement Team to convene

The Refugee Resettlement Team will meet on Sunday, Aug. 6, following worship to inventory items that remain stored at Bethany. Please meet in the living room.

Funeral for Bob Ellerby is Aug. 12

A funeral for Robert "Bob" Ellerby of Poulsbo, father and father-in-law of Scott and Patty Ellerby, will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Port Madison Lutheran Church. He died of Parkinson's Disease at age 80 on July 8 at Harrison Medical Center.

Sermon Penned by Shirley Funk to be read

David Swartling will read a sermon composed by the Rev. Shirley Funk on Aug. 12, during the Holden Evening Prayer service, and again on Aug. 13. Shirley continues to convalesce.

Summer barbecue and potlucks continue

Bethany's summertime barbecues and potlucks continue after worship on the Saturdays of Aug. 12 and 26 in the fellowship hall. Bethany supplies the meat; please bring a side dish.

FFF ice-cream social is Aug. 16

FFF's annual ice-cream social takes place at Bethany at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 16, in the fellowship hall. Sign up on the bulletin board to bring a topping or cookies.

Next prayer service is in September

There will be no prayer-and-healing service on Aug. 12. The monthly service resume at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9.

Synodical women's convention slated

All women of Bethany are invited to the Northwest Washington Synod Women's Convention, taking place Saturday, Oct. 7, at Trinity Lutheran Church of Lynnwood. The theme is "Dancing Through the Waters," focusing on Miriam's story and Exodus 15:20. The Rev. Heidi Fish, Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg and Muslim lawyer Aneelah Afzala will lead the all-day gathering. The cost is $40. Register at lutheransnw


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