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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

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.





Posted by Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers with

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