W Bethany Life

Oct/Nov 2013, Volume XXXVII Issue 6
In This Issue:
Sunday School News
Volunteer Sign Up
Pumpkin Carving
Pastor’s Article
Nursery School
Christian Care
hat does the Bible say about
divorce and remarriage? How
can I find out all the Bible
passages that deal with how to interact with
people of other faiths? Is it okay for women
to serve in any congregational office? What
do Lutherans believe about Mary and the
Like all human beings, all church bodies
have their strengths and weaknesses. I
believe that one of our church’s greatest
strengths is the Commission on Theology
and Church Relations of the LCMS. What
is that? As we move into the autumn of the
year (it’s “back to school time” for all of us,
and the fall months again direct our thoughts
to getting back into God’s Word) it’s good
for us to reflect on how we can more fully
and deeply know God’s will by studying His
The CTCR is a group of men and women—
scholars, pastors, laypeople, attorneys,
seminary professors—who are charged with generating
study documents for our church body, The Lutheran
Church—Missouri Synod. Typically, the church in
convention asks the CTCR to search out what the Bible
says on a given topic so that pastors, congregations,
and the LCMS as a whole can determine what policies
and doctrines to adopt. For example, since immigration
reform has been a major issue for the people of the
United States, the CTCR was asked to supply a study
document addressing those concerns. The result was a
60-page booklet Immigrants Among Us: A Lutheran
Framework for Addressing Immigration Issues. It’s
available from Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis,
to anyone, pastor or lay, along with many other helpful
booklets. Some titles: Together with All Creatures:
Caring for God’s Living Earth; The Bible and
Christian Citizenship; Racism and the Church;
Christian Care at Life’s End; Civil Obedience and
Disobedience; A Response to “The U.S. Lutheran—
Roman Catholic Dialogue Report VIII: The One
Mediator, the Saints, and Mary”; A Response to “The
U.S. Lutheran—Roman Catholic Dialogue Report VII:
Justification by Faith”; Inter-Christian Relationships;
Biblical Revelation and Inclusive Language; The
Service of Women in Congregational and Synodical
Offices; Women in the Church: Scriptural Principles
and Ecclesial Practice; Divorce and Remarriage . . .
well, as you can see, the list goes on and on and on.
The conclusions reached in these documents aren’t
“church law” or the last word on what the Church has
to say on a given topic: they’re study documents.
Essentially, the Commission searches out every Bible
passage that deals with a given topic, then puts the
passages in a logical framework and “discusses” the
issue. Often, there are case-studies that make it easier
to see how given Bible passages apply to given life
Some of the documents are more scholarly than most
laypeople feel comfortable with, but by far the
majority are very user-friendly. They’re available for
purchase online, and I have most of the documents so
you can see whether it’s “friendly” to you before you
buy it. Many can be used in a “small group” Bible
study setting, and most are adaptable for Sunday
morning Bible classes at church.
It’s one of the things that our church body does best.
To see a full list of what’s available, call the church
office at (860) 521-5076 or go to The Lutheran
Church—Missouri Synod website.
The 2013-14 Sunday school year is
off to a great start! It is so nice to
see everyone again in
Opening Chapel.
The Sunday School’s mission focus
this year will, once again, be varied:
To start the year, we will collect money for “Addie.” Addie is a
beautiful golden retriever who was raised and trained as a
Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog
(www.lutheranchurchcharities.org). She now permanently
resides in Danbury and serves the people of New England.
(You may have heard of Addie’s remarkable work in Newtown
and Boston!) Since Addie travels A LOT, the money we
collect will be used to help cover some of her travel expenses.
This winter, we will turn our focus globally to support a very
special little girl in Africa. 10th grader, Katlin DiPietro recently
“adopted” this little girl through World Vision
(www.worldvision.org) and has agreed to sponsor her for one
full year. Our winter offerings will help Katlin continue her
sponsorship for (hopefully) another full year!
Our spring collection will benefit...a need to be determined.
The children will choose our springtime offering recipient—so
we will spend some time discussing the possibilities and
opportunities to help others.
Your continued support and prayers throughout the year are
always welcome. Please feel free to join us in the undercroft any
Sunday morning for Opening Chapel—we’d love to teach you one
of our favorite songs!
In Christ,
Andrea Vest, Sunday School Superintendent
The November and December volunteer calendars are now
available online through VolunteerSpot. Simply type this
address into your internet browser:
If you do not have access to a computer, or would rather not
sign up online, a paper copy will be posted on the bulletin
board in the narthex for your convenience.
There are additional holiday services and times for
Thanksgiving and Christmas; please consider signing up for
three (3) spots.
The deadline for signing up online is: OCTOBER 12
If you are new to volunteering and would like more
information about the many opportunities to get involved at
Bethany, please contact Andrea Vest ([email protected] or
Thank you for serving Christ through His church at Bethany!
Inaugural Thrivent Pumpkin Carving Festival
Bethany Lutheran Church
Saturday, Oct 26th, 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
You are invited to join Thrivent for their
Inaugural Pumpkin Carving Festival
on Saturday, October 26th from 10am to noon
in the church undercroft.
All you need to bring is your creativity!
Thrivent will provide everyone a pumpkin to carve
and take home.
Awards will be given for the most
interesting designs!
Please sign up in the narthex, or contact
Andrea Vest ([email protected], 860-521-5076)
by October 20.
Mixed Blessings
Carol A. Taylor
Thanksgiving Day, 2010
The turkey’s in the oven. My bare feet
rest on the windowsill. A welcome breeze
wafts past ten gnarled toes, a late fall treat.
The forecast says tonight it’s going to freeze.
A new computer sits with darkened screen,
with bells and whistles I don’t want or need,
while I fire up the five-year-old machine
that suits my comfort zone (except for speed).
Two years ago our son lay gravely ill.
We spent Thanksgiving day in ICU.
They say adversity that doesn’t kill
you makes you stronger. I can prove it’s true.
My cup’s half full; I haven’t drained it yet.
Mixed blessings are the only kind you get.
—from First Things, November 2012, page 31
Thoughts on Sanctification
(Part 3)
I’ve been writing about the theological word Sanctification for
the past two columns. Part of Sanctification, also known as
Stewardship, has to do with the management of our financial
resources, that is, the stewardship of money. St. Paul asks
members of an infant congregation: What do you have that
you did not receive? (1 Corinthians 4:7)
Whatever we have, God has given to us. And when you think
about all that we have, it pretty much takes your breath away.
Most of us would never think of ourselves as being rich, but
we are among the richest people who have ever lived. Most of
the people who have lived on this earth have lived in tents and
caves and shacks. We are among the few who have lived all
our lives in warm and dry houses. But our homes and the
material possessions we keep in them aren’t the greatest
treasures we have. That designation belongs to Jesus, and
since we have Him, and He has us, we have forgiveness,
salvation, and everlasting life. We truly are rich!
Jesus said, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on
earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21). In those
words, Jesus gives us deep insight into human character. If
you want to get to know someone, find out how he spends his
money. Look at your checkbook. If you’re a parent, you’ll
probably find that a lot of checks were written to the dentist,
doctor, piano teacher, children’s clothing stores, supermarkets,
toy stores—you’ll find that you spend a lot of money on your
children. You invest your money on the most important thing
in your life. What does your use of money say about what you
think are some other important things in life? We always
invest our money in things we think are valuable. One of the
things we have to do throughout our lives is to analyze what is
important and what is not. We only have so much time and so
much money. We have to decide which activity or goal is
most important to us and invest our time in that.
There’s something important all responsible adults must do to
have financial security and manage God’s resources properly.
It’s the development of a habit of savings. Somehow we keep
postponing things that are important, but there’s a crisis in the
United States directly related to financial irresponsibility.
Madison Avenue hits us with a barrage of
A planned
advertisements urging us to buy, buy, buy.
We’re told that we can’t (or shouldn’t) live
approach to
without every new product that
savings honors
manufacturers produce and retailers sell.
God and
Credit cards lure us to acquire things now
benefits us. In
without considering how we’ll pay for
them. (There’s something very seductive
the business
about getting a glitzy new gizmo just by
world it’s called
signing your name. It appeals to our thirst
“Pay yourself
for a feeling of personal power.) The
credit card debt crisis gets American
consumers on the bad side of compound
interest. By paying the minimum, consumers get themselves
deeper and deeper in debt. Debt, of course, is a sin against the
seventh commandment. Especially in a consumer-driven
society, Christians are called to a life of responsible money
A planned approach to savings honors God and benefits us. In
the business world it’s called “Pay yourself first.” You invest
in various financial instruments, and when you get compound
interest working for you instead of against you, you step onto
the pathway to financial security and even wealth. A free
consultation with a financial counselor will show how
regularly setting aside a small portion of money over time can
harness “the miracle of compound interest” and grow into
hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.
For a sensible savings plan, you might decide to set
aside a certain percentage, like 10%, of your earnings
week-by-week or month-by-month (depending on your
pay schedule). It’s a great habit to develop. It
teaches—and demonstrates—financial responsibility
and sound Christian stewardship.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto
God what is God’s (Mark 12:17). Would you dare
give to Caesar the way some Christians give to God?
When the government asks its citizens for support, it
demands the first and best. In times of war, it will not
draft our disabled young people, but only the smartest
and fittest. On April 15th, it will not ask for a
contribution of 10%, but will demand—on penalty of
imprisonment—a “contribution” of 28%. An
American who gives to “Caesar” the way he gives to
God would be thrown in jail for tax evasion.
God doesn’t demand our money. Instead, He invites us
to honor Him by giving back to Him a portion of what
He has given us. He has entrusted us with everything
we have. He has great faith in us. He believes we’ll
manage it wisely. We’re invited, in turn, to entrust
Him with a portion of our blessings. Our church has
no rules governing how much you contribute to the
funding of your church’s mission and ministry. We
trust that you’ll assume your fair share and more.
The healthiest pattern of Christian giving is to give
from the blessings you have, rather than giving toward
a need. That is, you should not give money because
the church needs a grand piano or a new roof. You
should give because God has blessed you richly and
given you the opportunity to return the first and best of
those blessings to Him. Some people think that 10% is
too little to return to God. They set aside their tithe the
minute they cash their paychecks, and then feel guilty
that they kept 90% and only gave God back 10%. But
Christians through the ages have found that God can do
more with 10% than we can do with the other 90%. He
is all-wise and all-powerful. He can multiply the gifts
given to His Church to do infinitely more than we at
first think. A teen once gave Jesus five loaves of bread
and two fish. Jesus fed 5000 people with that small
amount of food, and the disciples picked up the
Our God truly is a great and wonderful God. Invite His
blessings on your finances.
—Pastor Krieger
Nursery School Notes
What a great start to the
new school year, with
some unfortunate
glitches! HUGE! HUGE!
guardian angel Warren
Heinze who once again
came to our rescue
fending off undercroft
construction, parking lot
issues and a slew of other
things that really disrupted
our beginning!! Also to Elisabeth Taylor who quickly
had to put on her “secretary” shoes and help us in any
way we needed help!! All of our children came with
smiling faces and willing hearts to learn, laugh and
play. We teachers here at Bethany are truly blessed
with remarkable children and families!
October will bring units on autumn and
Halloween. We will explore God's beautiful world
through colors, scents and feel! Halloween is always a
fun time around here. It is also a time to teach the
children about safety, especially stranger safety and
fire safety. The focus will be on the color orange with
pumpkins galore. Miss Candy from the Library will visit
each month for the 3’s.. We are also blessed to have
Amy Litke pop in from time to time to share some of
her favorite stories and Grandpa Hendsey comes once
a month to read to the four/five year-old-class! Mrs.
Vest will be continuing her story time program with this
class once a month that many of us “old” Lutherans
will remember as being called chapel!
November will start with a unit on Vegetables! We will
gather our harvest and learn new things about all kinds
of vegetables, even the ones the children do not
particularly like. The book Stone Soup will be taught
as we gather our cans of soup for Food Share. The
color brown will be our focus with many turkey
crafts! Also, what would November be without
Thanksgiving? It is a time to really teach the children
why we say our table prayers each day before snack,
how fortunate we are to have such great families and
how each child is a unique blessing from God.
Our three-year-olds will still be learning and adjusting
to their first experience in school. It is a time to learn
sharing, caring and just enjoying being three! Our
four and five year olds are continuing their school
experience with many new adventures to start getting
them ready for Kindergarten. Some of them are
coming to school all five days, a continuation of the
new program we started last year here at
Bethany. By the end of November all of our four and
five year olds will be up to the letter "L" in their ABC
Book and will be counting up to 30! Wow!
Please Note! Registration for Bethany Members has
begun for the 2014-2015 school year! Yes! Already
begun! Registration is tight every year! So, don't
miss out! Registration for is open now for Bethany
Members ONLY! Please call Mari Mikulastik at
521-8782 if you are interested in having your child
attend our nursery school. Priority registration for
church members will only be open until October 31,
Again we ask that you do not use the downstairs
bathrooms during school hours and if you leave
something out over the weekend that can cause a
safety hazard for the nursery school, think twice about
doing that. Just remember we are in the building 5
days a week, 20 children each day and their safety is
our number one priority!
Thank out for your support and cooperation in making
Bethany Lutheran Nursery School the number one
destination for a wonderful Christian Education.
Mari Mikulastik, Director
News From Christian Care
Habitat for Humanity
Save the date!
Saturday October 26th
8 AM – 4 PM
We are pleased to announce that Bethany will be
participating in Habitat’s newest project. We will
be joining Habitat in building several single family
homes in Bloomfield. We need between 10 and 15
volunteers (age 16 and above) so think about
inviting a friend or neighbor to join you.
Stay Tuned!
Bethany will be supporting the Foodshare "Turkey
and a 20" collection during the month of
November, helping to supply turkeys and fixings
for Thanksgiving meals for needy families in the
area. More details will follow.
Upcoming Food Drive
With summer ending and the school year
beginning, the West Hartford Food Pantry needs
our help to replenish its empty shelves. We will be
collecting food donations in the large red barrels
until October 13th.
They are in need of nutritious breakfast cereals,
peanut butter, cans of tuna, beef stew, pasta, soups,
canned fruit and vegetables. So please pick up a
few extra items at the grocery store to share with
our less fortunate neighbors.
A Huge and Heartfelt Thanks
To Warren Heinze for always being there. Thanks
for the time that he puts into church properties, and
especially for the work he’s done these last few
months coordinating the recent improvements to
the parking lot, kitchen, hallways
and undercroft.
To Fred Landers for painting and cleaning the
kitchen, painting the bathrooms and replacing the
doors to the sanctuary.
To Ed Heinze for his assistance in the rewiring and
upgrading our of electrical service in the
undercroft and kitchen.
We as a congregation are so blessed to have such
outstanding volunteers and workers!
The Benefits of Gratitude
Christians realize that gratitude has spiritual
benefits, but now scientists are confirming it's
physical and emotional benefits as well.
Professor Robert Emmons found that people who
counted their blessings instead of their burdens
were healthier and more optimistic, exercised
more and made more progress toward achieving
goals. Evidence shows that gratitude can even
ease chronic health conditions.
Emmons, author of Thanks! How Practicing
Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Mariner Books)
acknowledges that gratitude seems harder to
practice during rough times. But, he notes, "In
the face of demoralization, gratitude has the
power to energize. In the face of brokenness,
gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of
despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope."
Ed Roux
Henry Schadler
Julie Demko
Jennifer Coan
Timothy Baumer
Richard Landers
Erin Massey
Sydney Thomas
Elaine Tessmann
Addi Leitzke
Martha Bilo
Paul Munson
Mark Hoelzer
Dorothy Menzel
Susan Shaw
Dakota Hawes
Dakota Pelletier
George D'Addario
Britta Mortensen
Kaylee D'Amato
Jeanette Tyrrell
Jordan Holley
Andrea Vest
Becky Phelan
Rachel Massey
Allison Sadowski
Gary Tessmann
Heather Lyhne
Matthew Lyhne
Lori Littmann
Joan Lundqvist
George Ruhe
Linda Castiglione
Brynn Leslie
Edith Schirmer
Aimee DiPietro
Erik Castiglione
Jill Hebert
Andrew Howard
John Rosenthal
Kristina Presing
Luke Roux
Margaret Duff
Mason Harvey
Elisa McClear
Maureen Ney
Katie Noe
Savanah Therriault
Alvina Roux
Andrew Gilbert
Stephan Perrault
The Church Calendar
Recurring Events
Worship Services: Saturdays at 5 pm; Sundays at 10 am
Christian Education Classes: Sundays at 8:45 am
Confirmation Classes: Sundays at 8:30 am
Dorcas Society meetings: Tuesdays at 9:30 am
Choir Rehearsals: Wednesdays at 7 pm
Sat. Oct. 5
Blessing of the Animals—10 am
Book Swap
Sun. Oct 6
Book Swap
Mon. Oct 14 Columbus Day—office closed
Oct 19 & 20 Health Ministry Weekend
Oct. 26 & 27 Reformation Weekend
Sun. Nov 3
All Saints Day Service—10 am
Sun. Nov 10 Veterans’ Day Service—10 am
Mon. Nov 11 Veterans’ Day—office closed
Sun. Nov 24 Seniors Thanksgiving Dinner—12 pm
Thurs. Nov 28 Thanksgiving Day—office closed
Bethany Lutheran Church
(860) 521-5076
fax (860) 371-2320
The Rev. Timothy O. Krieger
Parish President
Susan Johnson
Congregational Coordinator
Andrea Vest
Church Sec./Editor
Elisabeth Taylor