About us

Welcome to bethany

Welcome to the Bethany Lutheran Church website. We hope you'll be inspired enough to come try us out and make Bethany your home of worship and spiritual growth. Bethany's been around a long time on the island, but newcomers like you are essential to sustain God's work to serve the unfortunate and disenfranchised. In return, we offer you a community in which to worship, and an opportunity to build your faith. We are an inclusive church, where everyone is welcome, no exceptions. We are a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran church body in the nation. We also are a "Reconciling in Christ" congregation, where all persons are welcome, no exceptions.


What to expect

A good place to start is to join us for worship. Bethany has two services. One is at 5 p.m. Saturday. Smaller and more casual, this 45-minute worship time is a good fit for some people's schedules. One the second Saturday of the month, we sing the beloved Holden Evening Prayer service. After worship, we enjoy relaxed fellowship with good conversation, wine, cheese and light fare. Come as you are; we are so glad you joined us. And look to the testimonials on this site of other newcomers' experiences.

The larger Sunday-morning worship is at 9:30 a.m. This hour-long service features traditional liturgy and beautiful music from the Bethany Choir, led by Sylvia Cauter. Children listen to a children's message before heading to Sunday school. Many stay afterward for an adult-education hour. Coffee fellowship follows worship. Dress as you will; we're just glad you're here.

Regardless of which worship service you choose, you will be welcomed and your presence cherished.

Bring the children, no matter how young. We always have a staff nursery. Our facility is handicapped-accessible.




Saturdays 5 p.m. with wine and cheese fellowship

Sundays 9:30 a.m. with Sunday school and adult education


at the very core

"To seek to do God's will through joyful outreach near and far, hospitality toward all, and spiritual growth that amazes."

We try to be like Christ, and believe his death and resurrection reconciled us to God. Bethany belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran church in the nation. We are a Reconciling in Christ congregation, which is an affirmation of welcome that specifically names people of “all gender identities and sexual orientations.”


how to hook in

Talking with Bethany's pastor, Paul Stumme-Diers, pictured here, will get you on track. Together, you can discern what path you'd like to take at Bethany. Here's a list to get you thinking:

Adult education: Pastor Paul Stummer-Diers,

Advocacy Team: Bruce McCain,
and Alice McCain,

Altar Guild: Gail Christensen,

Bethany Choir: Sylvia Cauter,

Boy Scout Troop 1565, Dan Miller,

Buildings and grounds: Rachel Pritchett,

Child and Family Coordinator: Allison Pringle,

Confirmation: Pastor Paul Stummer-Diers,

Council: Dave Christensen,

Helping the homeless: DeMar Sather,

Men's Bible Study: Pastor Paul,

Men's annual retreat: Mark Byl,

Property Utilization Task Force: David Swartling,

Quilting: Carol Fenner,

Rachel Circle: Carol Fenner,

Smoother Movers: Jim Rohrscheib,

Stewardship: Jim Rohrscheib,

Sunday school: Allison Pringle,

Vacation Bible school: Allison Pringle,

Women's Bible Study: Pastor Sonja Selboe,



Bethany's roots on the island reach back to 1913, when a small group of Swedish people built the church on Pleasant Beach. You can spot the original church today on the left on your way to Fort Ward Park. Today, about 200 people from all walks of life worship and serve weekly at our location at Sportsman's and High School roads. Come shape the journey into the future.

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