Photo Gallery Archive

David and Barbara Swartling renew vows on 50th anniversary

David and Barbara Swartling renewed their wedding vows on the weekend of their 50th wedding anniversary during the drive-in worship service on Nov. 29 at Bethany Lutheran Church. The two knew each other in high school, and married in California when he was a young naval officer and she a future banker. Their reception was in a local officer's club. They raised their two sons on Bainbridge Island as both continued their careers, David choosing the law over the Navy. Both have worked extensively for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Barbara headed the deaconess community and David was the first non-clergy ELCA secretary. And, they are active at Bethany where David heads an affordable-housing effort and Barbara is part of the Altar Guild. In normal times, they enjoy cruising.


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 Dick Coar, Mary Toepel marry

Dick Coar and Mary Toepel were married Saturday, Sept. 25, by Pastor Paul as part of a rainy drive-in worship service. The bride looked elegant in a peach embroidered two-piece suit, and the group wore a navy sports coat and gray slacks. The nuptials were said in the bed of Joe Sommerseth's white pickup truck so the 40 or so vehicles in the parking lot all could have a good sight angle. A full rainbow stretched across the sky during the ceremony, and onlookers honked their good wishes in this pandemic-age wedding. Coar and Toepel, both widows, have known each other for decades at University Lutheran Church of Seattle. The ceremony provided much needed relief as the coronovirus prohibits so much in church life.


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 Bethany group takes food to Helpline

A large group of Bethanians trekked to Helpline House on Sunday, Sept. 20, to bring food in this great time of need. The group's journey during a damp late-summer evening was in conjunction with CROP Walk. Bethany aims to raise at least $5,000 during the month of September. Once at Helpline House, Bethany member Barbara Swartling, who volunteers at Helpline House, explained how the agency is coping during the pandemic. Look elsewhere on this blog for a video of Barbara, as well as more information on CROP Walk.


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Bethany Advocates in Olympia

Two carloads of people from Bethany took part in the Interfaith Advocacy Day in Olympia on Feb. 6.

After participating in workshops, they advocated for issues important to them in the offices of their 23 rdLegislative District senators and representatives. Among the issues that rose to the top for the Bethany group were: gun-control measures; repeal of the death penalty; using funds from the capital-gains tax for early childhood education and families; adding $10 million to the state Housing Trust Fund; and standing behind the Clean Fuels Standard Bill.

The day was hosted by Faith Action Network of Washington. One of its leaders, the Rev. Paul Benz, concluded, “Democracy is not a one-day affair.”


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 Twenty-one people help with Christmas decorations 

These images show the many people who took on the task of taking down the many beautiful decorations and the tree. Altar Guild member Ruth Bartunek, who oversees the operation year after year, thanked everyone.


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Bethany helps close Holden Village for winter

A group from Bethany has returned from an early October work week at Holden Village, where they chained wood, shuttered windows, scrubbed down walls and sinks, and sorted games and yarn. The goal was to prepare the beloved Lutheran retreat in the Cascades for the winter. Taking part were Rachel and Lloyd Pritchett, Dave and Gail Christensen, Chris and Stephen Christensen, and Colleen Chupik.


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Bethany & Church of Steadfast Love tour MOHAI

Bethany and Church of Steadfast Love had lunch and toured the Museum of History and Industry yesterday in a day of fellowship.

The lunch was good and the museum at South Lake Union was great. But in the end, the day was about the precious fellowship with Pastor Kristy Daniels and our friends from the Church of Steadfast Love, a part of the Compass Center for the homeless. To top things off, it was DeMar Sather's birthday, thus the cake.

Here are some images from Dave Christensen.


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Bethany Raises $544 to fight hunger

Bethany's secondSummer Fellowship Night turned into a pie-making experience as all hands on deck made pies. Donations amounted to $544.

Thanks to all who made this happen!


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Bethany men enjoy retreat in shadow of Mount St. Helen

About two-dozen men from Bethany Lutheran Church took part in a men's retreat May 3 through 5 at Anderson Lodge, which is in Southwest Washington in the shadow of Mount St. Helen.

Doug Olson and Dave Christensen took these photos, with Dave focusing on father/son duos as subjects. All reported that the feed was good, the scenery great and the company fantastic.


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Sunday schoolers get busy on garden

Swing by the Bethany garden out near the garage and you're in for quite a sight. Bethany Sunday schoolers, their teachers and adult volunteers have been hard at work clearing weeds, repairing the beds and adding dirt to the garden, which had fallen into disuse in recent years.

The garden will hold many lesson as about faith, food security and sustainability for our children. Thanks to all who are taking part in this effort.

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Work party cleans up in time for Easter

The rain held off on Saturday, April 6, as members of Bethany and the Church of Steadfast Love worked hard to clean up the groups on the sprawling Bethany compass. Crews picked up fallen limbs and tossed them into three waiting pickups trucks. They chopped back stubborn blackberry vines and dug up Scotch broom. After worship where Pastor Kristy Daniels of the Church of Steadfast Love preached, all enjoyed a terrific spaghetti dinner. The Church of Steadfast Love is part of the Compass Center of Seattle, which serves homeless people.

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Blessing of the Animals

Dogs, kids and, just pictures of, cats all were part of a Blessing of the Animals services on Oct. 4 at Bethany. The service was a reminder that all of us are trusted to take care of God's creatures.

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VBS at Bethany, 2018

Some 20 youngsters learned about heroes from the Bible and our own community during Vacation Bible School, taking place from July 9 through 12.

Youngsters raised $250 to give to the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and North Kitsap Fishline.

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Members of Bethany's FFF group of seniors visited the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

On Wednesday, April 18, FFF members enjoyed a wonderful lunch before being escorted through galleries on both floors by our own private docent, Luanne Croker.

Thanks to Luanne for her expertise, and also to FFF organizer Pat Sather.

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Bethany Celebrates Chinese New Year

More than 70 people and the local press attended Bethany's celebration of Chinese New Year, hosted by Dr. Franklin Chu and Bethany's FFF group of seniors on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Chu, who has pancreatic cancer, explained much about the Chinese calendar. He, wife Linnea, and mother Shirley, prepared a delicious meal for the festive gathering, compelte with pot stickers, almond cookies, nuts, tea and so much more.

The afternoon was wonderful, with friends and newcomers embracing in friendship with deep stories told of years of joy.

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Children's Christmas Program 2017

Here are some scenes from Bethany's Children's Christmas Program, "The ABCs of Christmas."

Trisha Siburg wrote and directed the program, which featured
about 25 young people. Here are some images.

Look for a video of the children singing under the top menu navigation "About" tab and dropping down to "Featured Video."

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Rachel Circle Advent gathering with Vinland Lutheran

We had a truly marvelous time Dec. 5 when Vinland Lutheran Church ladies visited with members of Rachel Circle here at Bethany. Bible study with Pastor Paul started the time, followed by soup lunch and a white-elephant gift exchange. Bethany looks forward to reciprocating the visit in June.

Here are some images of the event.

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Preschoolers parade on Halloween

Once again this Halloween, students from the Bethany Lutheran Church Preschool donned costumes and paraded through the Bethany premises, collecting stickers from proud parents and staff. The costumes were terrific.

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Boy Scouts Troop 1565 cleans up signage at Bethany

Boy Scouts Troop 1565 worked very hard on Saturday, Aug. 26, scrubbing down and rinsing down the big cement signs on the Bethany premises. Thanks boys, and thanks, too, to Scoutmaster Dan Miller for working with Bethany to accomplish this.

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Vacation Bible School 2017

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Men's Retreat May 2017

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Pictures of Bethany Members Visit to Namibia

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Bethany's Refugee Resettlement Variety Show

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Our New Sanctuary Roof

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Faith Advocacy Day 2017

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Christmas at Bethany 2016

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