Dear people of Bethlehem,
The theme for this year’s Easter Vigil was “Behold I Make All Things New!” God’s Spirit is always moving in the church and always making us new by pressing us forward into God’s grace. Here at Bethlehem many things are being made new. What a blessing!
- We are in the midst of interviewing for our new youth ministry director position. We have several excellent candidates and are very excited for the new energy and ideas this person will bring. Initial interviews are complete and we will be moving forward with final interviews in the coming weeks. We expect to have a person in place by June 1st. Our high school students will be traveling to the border near El Paso this summer with our new youth director to learn more about issues of immigration and gather at tables with immigrant families.
- After nearly 40 years of service to Bethlehem, Kim Froke will be stepping down as an organist and musician in our midst. We give thanks to God, not only for Kim’s musical gifts, but for his grace and joy and energy and all that he has added to the life of this congregation. His last Sunday with us in this position will be June 4th and we look forward to thanking him and honoring him on that day.
- We are currently advertising for and seeking a new part time organist to work with our organist Judy Collier to bring music to our worship life. In addition, Mark Weed has graciously agreed to take over the bell choir, and we have begun an instrumental group under his direction. Their first rehearsal was last week. Soon we will have another expression of music to add to our worship together.
- Our new outdoor columbarium space, complete with ocean themed mosaic installation, is underway. Presale of the niches begins Sunday, April 30th and the list of those who would like to be placed in the columbarium is growing, including both pastors. This Sunday our mosaic artist will be on site to assist us in making pressed glass to be added to the mosaic artwork. We are a congregation surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.
- The long awaited Employee Retention Credit (ERC) dollars are finally in the bank. Your council is in the middle of lively and faithful discussion of how to spend these significant dollars to secure the congregation’s future and move our ministry forward into all that God is preparing. Two forums are currently being planned to give you all the details and receive your input and wisdom. These dollars are an unusual grace and opportunity.
Finally, our greatest gift is one another. With energy and grace and faith, we are all being make new, as we are molded by the hands of the faithful potter. A community of believers is a living expression of the movement of the Spirit. Together, we will become who God would have us be, both as beloved children of God, and beloved community — for God is making all things new.
God bless you all, Pastor Laura