Bethany Winter

Bethany Winter

Monday, June 23, 2014

11 o'clock Worship in the Park

11 o'clock Worship
this Sunday, June 29, 2014
will be at
Green Valley Park*

*Weather permitting, of course.

"The good Lord willing, and the creek don't rise," the Sunday Q&A Sunday School Class will meet at 10am at Green Valley Park (all other Sunday School classes are cancelled).  And our regular, Sunday morning 11am Worship Service will be at Green Valley Park on Big Hill Road, just a few miles down from the church.  The Grubb family musicians and friends will be leading us in singing!

Bring a bag lunch for you and your family - stay and fellowship with us after worship is over!

Rain plans:  If it rains, we'll have worship (11am) and Sunday Q&A Class (10am) at the church.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Join Us and Grace for VBS!


This year, we'll be teaming up with Grace to do VBS, and we are reaching out to include adults!  Here's a promotional video!

Location: Grace Lutheran Church
               115 E King St
               Boone, NC 28607
Date:       June 22-24, 2014
               6-8:30pm each night
Theme:    Weird Animals

Monday, June 9, 2014

Coalition Gathering in the Park

Join us in the Park!
Sunday, June 15
at 5pm
Green Valley Park

The churches of the High Country Lutheran Coalition will once again be having Summer Coalition Gatherings.  The first Gathering is hosted by Bethany. 

Everyone is invited to come out for fellowship and outdoor games, a covered dish meal, and outdoor worship by the banks of the New River with the Grubb family musicians and friends!

Shall We Gather at the River?
What to bring:
Bring any outdoor games you have
Bring your Bocce ball set!

Bring a covered dish meal

Bethany folks will provide drinks and paper products.  You may also bring a folding chair if you like.

A Playground for the little ones

We look forward to seeing you there!  And go ahead and mark your calendars for the next gatherings:
  • July 13, 5pm at Holy Communion, when we will say Farewell to our vicars
  • August 10, 5pm at Lutherock, hosted by Grace

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Come, Holy Spirit!

It may seem hard to believe, but this Sunday will already be day number fifty since Easter.  (It seems to this vicar that Ash Wednesday was just yesterday!)  That means that this Sunday is the Day of Pentecost.

Pentecost is originally a Jewish festival that comes fifty days after Passover and commemorates when the God gave the law to Moses at Sinai (think of Exodus 20:1-21).  The original name in Greek just means "fiftieth."

Of course, it's significant for us as Christians for another reason.  It was at Pentecost that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in a rush of wind and in divided tongues of fire (Acts 2:2-4).  That is why one traditional phrase that the Church has used on this day is "Veni, Sancte Spiritus--Come, Holy Spirit!" Filled with the Spirit, the apostles were able to speak to a crowd of people from all different places speaking all different languages who had gathered for the festival.  If you've ever labored through trying to take a foreign language in school or even through Rosetta Stone, you have to be jealous!  

This promised sending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), which we heard about on both Ascension Day and Easter 7 (last Sunday), allows the Holy Spirit to continue the hard work of building the Church after Jesus is in heaven.  That's why you will often hear Pentecost called "the birthday of the Church."

A Pentecost "birthday card" to the Church (From: 2 x 2: The Church without a Building)

Flash forward: For us as Christians today, we receive the Holy Spirit in our baptisms.  Because of that, Pentecost is seen as an especially appropriate time to give thanks to God for the gift of baptism.  Often, the rite of confirmation, which reaffirms the baptismal promises, will take place on Pentecost.

This Sunday, we'll get a special chance to celebrate the birthday of the Church, the coming of the Spirit to the apostles, and the coming of the Spirit to us in our baptisms.  How?  Well, of course we'll have hymns about the Holy Spirit, of course we'll have Holy Communion, and of course Pr. Laura will preach a great sermon, but another way to celebrate is to wear red.  Red in the Church is always associated with the Holy Spirit.*  It reminds us of the tongues of fire that descended on the apostles, as well as the fire of God's Word (think Jeremiah 23:29 or even Luke 12:49).

*For instance, when we use red on Reformation Day, we are remembering how the Spirit breathed new life into the Church during the Reformation.  

So what is it?  The Day of Pentecost!  When/where is it?  11am this Sunday, June 8 here at Bethany!  Celebrate the Holy Spirit!  Celebrate the Church!  Celebrate your baptism!  Join us for Pentecost!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ascension Day

This year, Bethany Lutheran Church will be celebrating Ascension Day on Thursday, May 29 at 7pm.  Here is a video I made to promote it.  Don't be harsh; it's my first attempt!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

National Blue Sunday April 27

This Sunday, in addition to the 2nd Sunday of Easter, we will be observing "National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer." I hope you will join us on this day as we pray for the victims of child abuse and those who help them. Here is a little info on what it is, along with a prayer.

National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer
This event is held every year on the last Sunday of April. It began with 20 churches taking time in their morning services to pray for the victims of child abuse and for those who rescue them. It has grown into an international effort with over 2 million participants. Many new relief/prevention projects have begun directly from this effort.

Prayer & Challenge
Lord, thank You for our children,
For them we kneel and pray.
Help us teach them of Your kindness,
Of Your mercy and Your way.
Help us show them of Your love,
Your strength and safety, too.
Help us show them who You are.
Help us treat them like You do.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Sunday--He is Risen Indeed!

Easter is what the Church is all about.  Easter is the day when we get to join together to proclaim that Jesus Christ rose from the grave and that because of that, all of us will rise from our graves, too.  Throughout the entire year, but most especially on Easter Sunday, we Christians celebrate the fact that "death has lost its sting" (to quote "Thine is the Glory," which itself is paraphrasing St. Paul in 1 Cor 15:55).  It's not surprising then that we'll have a lot of festivities at Bethany Sunday morning to celebrate this moment so critical to our faith.

Easter Sunrise: We will gather at first for Easter Sunrise at 7:30am.  (I know it seems early, but it's Easter!)  The youth will be leading us in a service that will take us through the Seven Last Words of Christ.  Through this, we will see that the cross and the empty tomb are linked completely together and that Christ's victory over both the cross and the grave gives us our hope.  As we make our way through, the paraments that were first stripped on Maundy Thursday will be added back to the altar and the cross will be flowered, signaling new life from death.  The youth will sing a couple songs that they have prepared, and we as a congregation will sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today!  Alleluia!" and "The Strife is O'er; the Battle Done."

Easter Egg Hunt: I always loved this event when I was little.  I am told now that the egg is supposed to symbolize the empty tomb.  I have always thought of it also as a sign of spring and new life.  This event will primarily be for children.  I am not sure if the vicar will be allowed to participate or not.  

Easter Breakfast: Need I say more?

Easter Service with Holy Communion: This is the big one, and it starts at 10am.  One of my favorite things about Easter Sunday service is the vibe of excitement that is in the air.  From the very beginning, we will shout together, "Christ is risen!" "He is risen indeed! Alleluia!"  We will hear the Gospel of the empty tomb, and we will sing those great Easter hymns together--namely anything with Jesus Christ being risen, such as "Christ is Risen! Alleluia!," "Jesus Christ is Risen Today!," "Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds."  And we will even sing a personal favorite "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" as we gather at the table to celebrate the promised feast of our Lord.  

So please come to which services you can.  This is the biggest weekend of the Church year.  Think of it as our "Final Four" (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday).  I hope you and your families all have a blessed Holy Week and a joyful Easter!