Message From Pastor Erin

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October: Fight to end hunger continues every day, in so very many ways

Dear Bethanians,

October 16 is World Food Day. It was established as such by the United Nations in 1979, an occasion etched into my mind when I was a sophomore at Pacific Lutheran University involved in the Bread for the World movement there.

Bread for the World is a faith-based advocacy organization seeking to promote awareness of hunger concerns both domestically and globally, and advocating for programs that help address hunger.

At PLU, Bread for the World took the shape of:

- weekly gatherings to learn of hunger issues and

- weekly recycling pick-up, with the financial
poceeds donated to hunger programs; and

an annual retreat on the coast somewhere with a
PLU pastor to reflect and spend some time away together.

Most importantly, Bread for the World is where I met Laurie Stumme, and where we discovered our common interests in alleviating hunger. I own much to Bread for the World.

And the fight to end hunger continues. Last week, Laurie, in her role as hunger coordinator for the Northwest Washington Synod, along with her team, interviewed and evaluated a number of hunger-related programs in our synod, each which had applied for an ELCA Hunger Grant.

Last Sunday, six Bethany youth set up the 3-mile route for the annual CROP Walk on Bainbridge, then another six Bethanians braved the rain to participate in this walk to address hunger locally and globally.

On Monday, 14 Bethanians spent the day with an equal number of friends from the Church of Steadfast Love, an ELCA congregation serving alongside the homeless at Seattle’s Compass Center.  In breaking bread together, the importance of World Food Day takes on a human face.

Tuesday, over a dozen quilters worked in our fellowship hall to produce quilts for Lutheran World Relief, bringing comfort to lives ravaged by hunger, disease and displacement.

And at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, a special event will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood. It is the opening of the film “Hunger and Hope: Lessons from Ethiopia and Guatemala,” with Rick Steves and our Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as our hosts.

This is the spirit of our congregation and our denomination, to bear witness to our faith and to God’s compassion by working to alleviate hunger. As we gather at our family dinner tables, as we gather at holy communion, we do
so in the recognition that every day is World Food Day.



Posted by Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers with

September: Our new bishop to visit Bethany

Dear Bethanians,

“The Bishop is coming. The Bishop is coming” (Sunday, Sept. 15).

There will be all sorts of things I had planned to highlight in this September edition of Life Together … but, “the Bishop is coming.”

I intended to introduce our new Prayer Partner program, matching our Sunday School students with those of more mature faith (OK, chronologically more mature), but “the Bishop is coming.”

It was at the fore of my mind to remind everyone of our wonderful partnership with the Church of Steadfast Love, and an annual event that brings our fellowships together, this year on Monday, Sept. 23, when we will enjoy the Museum of History & Industry together (sign up, please), but “the Bishop is

I had considered an all-out emphasis on recruiting for the CROP Walk on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m., an interfaith effort to combat hunger locally (Fishline and Helpline) and globally (Church World Service and Lutheran World Relief), but “the Bishop is coming.”

Oh, and there was a likelihood that I was going to draw to your attention the world premiere of a film taking place at Trinity Lutheran Church of Lynnwood, with Rick Steves (a member there) and our Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton doing the introduction. All on Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., for which we have 10 tickets. (Sign up, please), but “the Bishop is coming.

And there was a fair chance that I would mention the possibility of a Bethany group attending an early viewing of “Downton Abbey,” the movie, on Thursday, Sept. 12, (Bainbridge Cinemas), with the option of food beforehand (English fish and chips, anyone?). This film looks to be of interest to someone who has seen every episode (me), especially since the storyline seems to be preparing for a royal visit to the stately mansion, but, alas, “the Bishop is coming.”

You see how I did that? As Downton is preparing for the king and queen, Bethany will be preparing to host the Bishop (we will not Pawn off this opportunity even one Knight) in our Castle. OK, I got that off my Chessed.

But indeed, Shelley Bryan Wee, the newly elected bishop of the Northwest Washington Synod of the ELCA, will be visiting Bethany on Sunday, Sept. 15, preaching at our 9:30 a.m. worship, and introducing herself at our adult ed that morning following worship. These arrangements were just made, as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Pastor Shirley Funk (9/4/69). We have asked Bishop Shelley to be here for this occasion, and moreover as we celebrate 50 years of the ordination of women in our Lutheran denomination. I think that is worthy of a party, so “the Bishop is coming.”

We hope to see you here … for all of the above.

Posted by Paul Stumme-Diers with