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August: ‘South 40’ provides purpose and pleasure, but holds a larger vision

By Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers

“The South 40” is shorthand for the Bethany property south of the parking lot, and it represents in a profound way the future ministry of our congregation as expressed through the provision of affordable housing. It is exciting to drive past those four acres and imagine the families who will live there, the need it will address for affordable housing on Bainbridge, and the health and well-being of a community that understands the gift and necessity of diversity. Please include this mission and vision in your prayers as we shape our faithful future.

Meanwhile, let me give you a tour of that property
and the purpose and pleasure it provides:

- The garage currently is filled to capacity with Rotary Auction items, a temporary storage facility for stuff too good to waste in the crusher.

- The garden is revitalized this summer, thanks to the efforts of so many including Mary Douglas and Doug Olson. It now is a faith incubator for our children and a source of produce for our members and for Helpline House.

- The orchard is ripening with its new apples, and they are looking good.

- While in the orchard, check out the new (refurbished) picnic tables and benches among the trees and facing the fire pit. Our thanks to Garrett Peterson and company who carried out this effort as an Eagle. Scout project.

- Seated at the picnic tables your eyes may be attracted to a large pile of pallets and wood frames stacked there. They are used each year by our Bethany Boy Scouts in their Christmas Tree sales.

- Meander through the orchard and see the huge honey locust trees, removed by our work crew with our friends from the Church of Steadfast Love (Compass Housing Alliance congregation.) Thanks especially to Joe Sommerseth.

- Farther on you will intersect with the nonmotorized trail that runs the length of Bethany property along Sportsman’s Club Road. This now is linked with a new trail at the southern tip of our property, extending all the way to Weaver Road. (I saw a coyote crossing it last week).

- All the while, pick the blackberries “planted” there for your enjoyment, delight in the salal, and greet the neighbors along the way.

And when you glance back to see Bethany Lutheran Church, on the other side of our park-and-ride lot, you will see a newly painted church, with new windows, new blinds, and a new HVAC system … and give thanks.





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‘Si, Siburgs!’ for all that was, all that will be

By Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers

Dear Bethanians,

In 1969, our family took a summer long trip to Cuernavaca, Mexico, where my father studied liberation theology under the tutelage of Ivan Illich. I was 8 at the time, so my memories are limited to watching the moon landing, seeing Aztec Stadium the summer after the 1968 Olympics (where the greatest individual athletic feat of all time took place … Bob Beamon’s long jump), Teotihuacan, etc.

But for some reason I also remember an advertising campaign that was omnipresent, especially for tourists. Everywhere we looked there were signs thatsaid, “Si, Sanborns!”

It is strange how the mind works, and perhaps especially so when it comes to my mind, but as we prepare to bid farewell to Dave and Trish Siburg, as they make their move to Nebraska, that phrase come to mind, with a twist: “Si, Siburgs!” I think this is because, like in the Mexican advertising campaign, the Siburgs have been everywhere when it comes to the Bethany community.

- Dave and Trish (and Tamara) have been faithful members of the Bethany Choir, setting a faithful tone with their faithful resence, and melodic voices.

- Trish has been a constant for Bethany in providing piano accompaniment, especially for our Saturday evening worship. She and Dave would arrive early and stay for fellowship after worship … and then be back at worship the next morning to sing with the choir. I am grateful for Trish’s patience with a pastor who would sometimes change things around, or not think things through. Truly a gift!

- Dave and Trish were present at the special functions of the Bethany community, from FFF to special worship services. I could always expect to see the Siburg’s Sebring in the parking lot.

- Dave and Trish were always generous in sharing their home and their family with their extended family here at Bethany. Their children (especially Tamara) were a regular presence at Bethany, and quite often they would host parties in their home in Poulsbo. When the choir was imagining where to hold a farewell party for them, the first instinct was “Let’s have it at the Siburg’s” ... no, we didn’t, but it was mentioned.

- The Siburgs were also one of the many families at Bethany that value the cross-bridge partnerships we share with the communities to our north, especially First Lutheran/Poulsbo, where they have deep roots and a strong affection.

But the “Si” part of this connection extends beyond the omnipresent nature of their family, and celebrates the “Yes,” the “Faith,” the “Joy,” the “Hope and Love” they exude. In that Spirit, we give thanks for the gifts they have brought to our life together, and with confidence we send them off with a “YES” for what lies ahead, and for the ongoing connectedness we will maintain as friends, and through Christ.

“For all that has been, thanks; for all that will be, “Si, Siburgs.” (Which would have been the original quote had Dag Hammarskjold spoken Spanish, and known the Siburgs.)

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