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Lent 2109: Bowling Together

By Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers

Dear Bethanians,

In December I wrote my newsletter article on “Bowling Alone” and how we do well when we are instead “Better Together,” both book titles by Robert Putnam.  Inspired by this, our Lenten
theme for 2019 combines the two, and embraces the idea of “Bowling Together.”  It may be a bit of a stretch in terms of the image, but my hope is that we find meaning in exploring it.

To begin with, the Bethany community is invited to spend Mardi Gras (actually Monday, March 4) “Bowling Together” at All Star Lanes in Silverdale from 4 to 6 p.m. It promises to be a great time. All you can bowl for $ 7… including cool shoes. Sign up in the hallway.

Next, 40 bowls were painted by Bethany members, then glazed and fired through a local studio. These are beautiful, and will now serve as the bowls used by the Bethany community for our Lenten soup suppers, held at noon and 6:15 p.m. each Wednesday from March 13 through April 10. Come and join us. We are still looking for soup makers for the evening meals. Following the simple meals, we will be having a brief spoken worship at 12:30 and 7 p.m.

The theme of Bowls will be picked up in our worship services throughout the season of Lent:

- Ash Wednesday, March 6, noon and 7 p.m., bowl of ashes        

- Wednesday, March 13,12:30 and 7 p.m., baptismal bowl

- Wednesday, March 20, 12:30 and 7 p.m., bowl of prayers/libations

- Wednesday, March 27, 12:30 and 7 p.m., my cup (bowl) overflows

- Wednesday, April 3,12:30 and 7 p.m., empty bowl

- Wednesday, April 10,12:30 and 7 p.m., singing bowl                               

- Palm/Passion Sunday, April 14, 9:30 a.m., bowl of betrayal

- Maundy Thursday, April 18, noon and 7 p.m., foot-washing bowl

- Good Friday, April 19, 7 p.m., Pilate washing hands in a bowl

- Easter Vigil, April 20, 5 p.m., bowl to be determined

- Easter Sunday, April 21, 9:30 and 11 a.m., bowl to be determined

Come and gather as a community centered in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, bowling together around the cup of salvation.





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From these three, rich stories of faith and community

By Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers

Dear Bethanians,

“Storytellers” is how I would describe those who have been remembered in our last three funerals at Bethany. Mentioning the names of Raymond Keeney, Peter Beckman and Franklin Chu brings to mind their storytelling prowess:

Ray told wonderful stories about Bainbridge Island history and the stuff of everyday life, and was always seeking out new stories through books and his travels with Mabel. The gleam in his eye and the smile on his face always punctuated these stories in an energizing way.

Franklin had a rich history of stories, from his family’s history in China, to childhood stories from Ohio, to the stories of his medical practice and his adventures in family, life and golf. I can picture him telling these stories around the dinner table where he and Linnea were such wonderful hosts.

Peter taught through stories, including three particular stories he wanted his grandchildren to know as life lessons. Often his stories were tinged with a theological motif, and they arose from his time in the service, from his time in the classroom, from his occupation with orchids and interaction with nature, and from his life with Lydia.

Each of these storytellers in their own way made connections with the stories of God’s grace and goodness, and shared them in the context of the community of faith here at Bethany. We can all recognize these stories in the fabric of the Bethany community story, part of a larger volume to which we all contribute.

But another attribute of each of these storytellers is that they were good listeners. (I only recall one of them ever falling asleep during one of my sermons…) I think this is an important attribute of a good storyteller, that they can listen to and honor the stories of others. 

We are people of the story, gathering each week to hear the sacred stories of Scripture, surrounded by people with their own faith stories, and with people who know and honor our own, even as we open ourselves to those whose stories we have yet to hear. And in this mix we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, who calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies us, enfolding us in the eternal story of love.

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