This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Bethel begins the celebration with a very special Palm Sunday service, March 25 as well as our regular Adult Discussion Group at 9 am; a Maundy Thursday service, March 29; Ecumenical Walk of the Cross, March 30 and culminating in a beautiful celebration of Easter and the risen Christ followed by a fun Easter egg hunt for all ages, April 1. You and your family are invited to join us for any and all of the Holy Week activities. Click here to download our Holy Week flyer or pick up a pew card this Sunday.
A sabbatical is a designated “time away” from regular work responsibilities. A sabbatical requires a specific plan of study, rest, discernment, skill building, reading, prayer and play.
A sabbatical for UCC pastors is a customary benefit; grounded in Christian scripture and practice. The word sabbatical, comes from the Greek word sabatikos, which means “of the Sabbath,” the day of rest that happens every seventh day. Regular worship on Sundays is one way of keeping the Sabbath.
The book of Genesis makes clear that God values rest – not just inactivity, but special set aside time intended for spiritual, emotional, and physical renewal. Jesus frequently took time away to rest, and invited his disciples to join him.
Sabbatical leave time is often confused with vacation leave.
Matthew 25:35-36 guides our behavior toward others: "...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." Recognizing our common humanity and desiring a fair allocation of community resources is a golden thread running through the Bible.
Beaverton High Principal Anne Erwin challenged the Community Team to find a way to support homeless teens during Spring and Winter Breaks when school district food programs are closed. Bethel chose to take this project on. Many other Churches and groups help us. Holy Trinity Church, Jesuit High School Alumni, St. Cecelia School, Safeway, New Seasons and other groups have teamed up with Bethel to let these students know we care about them. We also have a dedicated group of seamstresses who make a canvas sling bag for each student.
Last Sunday's Social Justice Forum on single-payer healthcare was a rousing success! We learned about the significant administrative and economic problems caused by the current private health insurance system and how a single-payer system could improve efficiency and reduce waste while providing quality healthcare for every American. Equally important, we learned what each one of us can do to help make single-payer healthcare a reality.
Tell our story.
Many of us have professional experience in the healthcare and insurance industries. Many of us have had problems with our personal health insurance (or lack thereof) or know someone who has. Legislators who are advocating for single-payer healthcare need to know we support this issue. And those who aren't need to know it too. It’s a tough battle in Salem and Washington D.C.!
Here are some convenient links for contacting your representatives. Do it now!
On Sunday, February 25 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, Bethel will be a hosting a special one-hour movie screening of the new documentary film "Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point."
Pizza and salad will be provided for lunch at 12:30 PM along with a presentation and discussion session.
Our guest speaker will be Dr. Michael C. Huntington M.D., former Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology Department at Samaritan Regional Cancer Center in Corvallis and now with Health Care for All Oregon working to achieve a comprehensive, equitable, publicly funded, and high-quality health care system to serve all Oregon residents.
Childcare will be provided. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know who's coming!
Have you witnessed a starling flock in flight? These flocks -- called murmurations -- move as one, turning, twisting, diving, and pulsing. Each starling is an individual, and yet they are connected together to form a larger and magnificent whole. Starling murmurations are a beautiful example of an interconnected community.
What if we, as UCC churches in the Central Pacific Conference, were connected like starlings?
Lent, the 6-weeks that precede Easter, provides the opportunity to take an honest look at our lives to see what and how the message of God’s radical love can bring new life. The intent of the season is that when Easter morning arrives and we proclaim, “Christ is Risen!” we will be able to experience Resurrection too.
Our theme for Lent is “What R U Up 2?” We will look at what Jesus was up to in his life, ministry, death and resurrection. At the same time, we have the opportunity to look at what we've been up to in our lives. We all have a spiritual place inside that is worth exploring. This inner landscape of our life story is often uncharted territory.
During Lent, you will be given writing prompts that will help you chart this inner terrain and, hopefully, help you discover the spiritual experiences that have shaped your life thus far. In addition, our Wednesday contemplative meditation time will be extended to 30 minutes to allow time for a deeper meditation and journaling. On Sunday mornings during the Adult Conversation Class, you will have the chance to share passages from your writing or any “aha’s” you may have had while journaling. You can also share about your discoveries on the closed FB group as well.
The idea is to really dig deep and take this time to reflect on your life and on your relationship with God – so treat yourself to a brand new journal for this exploration. Plan to spend 10 minutes a day ruminating on the questions and writing. As you take this time to chart your inner landscape, you may discover some hidden treasures!
Along the way, you will get to see where your life is in alignment with your spiritual path, where your spiritual journey mirrors Jesus’ journey, what pursuits you’ve been up to that call forth your best self and much more.
Let’s begin . . . grab your journal and a pen . . . What R U Up 2?
(Adapted from Worship Design Studio and Rev. David Randall-Bodman’s Lenten Blog and Tennebrae Service)
What R U Up 2? Join us on for the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, on February 14 at 6:30 PM for a light supper and a special service for the whole family. This will be a wonderful way to recognize God's love for us and the love we have for each other. This Lent we will look at what Jesus was "up to" in his ministry and what we are called to be "up to" in the name of Jesus - both individually and as a church community.
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. This year Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day occur on the same day: February 14.
Lent is the six week season in the Christian calendar that precedes Easter. Lent provides the opportunity to take an honest look at your life to see what and how the message of God’s radical love can bring new life. The intent of the season is that when Easter morning arrives and we proclaim, “Christ is Risen!” we will be able to experience “Resurrection” too.
The Biblical foundation of the season of Lent is found in the synoptic Gospels:
Michael C. Huntington M.D. will be the guest speaker for our single-payer healthcare documentary movie screening and Social Justice Forum on February 25. Mike grew up in Southern California. He attended Oregon State University and the University of Oregon Medical School, now Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). He was an Army flight surgeon in Vietnam in 1969. He received his residency training at OHSU, was a Radiation Oncologist for 35 years, and was Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology Department at Samaritan Regional Cancer Center in Corvallis from 1984 to 2006.
Since his retirement he has joined with physicians and other activists in Corvallis and Oregon to engage colleagues and the public in discussion about the urgent need for health care reform. The group has co-sponsored public forums and given talks to civic groups in Corvallis over the past eight years. In 2007 this group became the Oregon Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He was President of Health Care for All Oregon in 2012 and since then has led the speakers’ bureau for HCAO.
Hey Bethel families! Grab your galoshes, mittens, and warm coats and get ready to slide down the slippery slopes at Snow Bunny. It's a school holiday on Monday, February 19, President's Day, so let's take advantage of it and head up the highway to Mt. Hood. We'll meet at Bethel at 9:00 AM, carpool to the mountain. and spend the day snow tubing. All ages are welcome to participate.
Bernie Sanders recently hosted a first-of-its-kind "Medicare for All" National Town Hall meeting in Washington D.C. Bernie's position is that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Watch the full video of the meeting below. And be sure to attend the free "Fix It - Healthcare at the Tipping Point" documentary movie screening and Q&A discussion on Sunday, February 25 to learn how you can get involved in this important movement!