Sabbatical Supply Minister Dianne Rodriguez and Office Administrator,Courtney Czarnecki,

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Introducing Sabbatical Supply Minister Dianne Rodriguez

We are delighted to introduce our sabbatical supply minister, Dianne Rodriguez, who will be joining us starting June 1st! 

After graduating from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in May of 2005, Pastor Dianne Rodriguez was called as minister to First Parish Church, U.C.C. in Jamesport, NY on Long Island. That same year she was ordained as a U.C.C. minister, of Word and Sacrament. Prior to this call she served at Bethany Congregational in East Rockaway for two years as a licensed minister and Spiritual Director. During these years she volunteered at Christa House, a resident home for those dying of AIDS. She also worked with a colleague to help facilitate spiritual gatherings for those with brain trauma. She completed a three year spiritual formation certification as a Spiritual Director from the Cenacle Retreat Center in Ronkonkoma, NY. 

Spiritual direction brought a discerning depth into her ministry at First Parish Church, U.C.C. as she helped the congregation discern God's will and vision of what it meant to be a church in the 21st Century. In addition to working with her own parish Dianne collaborated with a lay leader from Bethany Congregational, U.C.C. to explore developing a Spiritual Lifelines ministry which would serve to help enrich the spiritual life of a congregation challenged by our ever changing world. Dianne was overjoyed having been given the opportunity to serve at Forest Grove UCC for 3 months as sabbatical supply pastor several years ago. Upon her return Dianne completed Intentional Ministry Training which is part of a transitional ministry training through the Interim Ministry Network.

In her last eight years at First Parish Church, U.C.C. she helped the congregation discern a Spiritual Renewal Ministry, that actively seeks to model and be a community in which spirit and service come together. Dianne was the settled part time pastor at Hubbard UCC in Hubbard Oregon, helping the worshiping congregation close on January 6, 2019; and birth The Heart2Soul Spiritual Project. She has had an ongoing spiritual direction ministry and is affiliated with The Interfaith Spiritual Center. After having moved to Oregon, Dianne has completed restorative justice training at Resolutions Northwest, facilitated women's retreats, leadership annual visioning retreats, and serves on the committee on ministry of the Central Pacific Conference.

Pastor Dianne is loved and supported by her husband of 39 years, Lazaro, her son David and daughter-in-law Katrina, and her two grandsons Xavier and Quintin. As a former dancer Dianne has a great appreciation and love for ballet and all the arts that can be used as instruments of God experience in body, soul, and mind.  Her special interests in life are reading, bicycle riding on her yellow and hot pink Del Sol, beading, nature, the arts, theatre, music and dance, Feldenkrais body awareness movement classes, gardening, traveling and dining with friends. Her passion in ministry is rooted and founded in spiritual direction.

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Staff Announcement - Courtney Czarnecki, Office Administrator

Hello to the congregation of Bethel UCC! I wanted to introduce myself to you in this week’s Highlights, and I look forward to meeting you in person as I settle into my role as your new Office Administrator!  My name is Courtney Czarnecki, and I relocated from Seattle, WA, where I was born and raised, to Portland this past summer. While in Seattle, I worked as an office administrator and program coordinator in the nonprofit sector, mostly working in the arts and humanities. As I job hunted in Portland, my new home, I had my heart set right away on this position at Bethel and was very moved by the dedication to community support and direct outreach that Bethel provides to its community, along with the uplifting values of the congregation and the perspective Rev. David Randall-Bodman shares as Senior Pastor. I knew it would be a great fit, and it has been a wonderful first couple weeks of training and getting to know the community! When I’m not at work, I’m usually trying to cook a new recipe, reading a classic novel, taking a long walk, sewing, or exploring Portland. Being a lifelong learner and staying curious are so important to me, and I love to learn and talk about travel, culture, philosophy, literature, theology, history, science, you name it! Please stop by the office any time to say hi, and I am so grateful for the warm welcome I have received. 

Register to Vote - Last Day October 16

Register to Vote - Last Day October 16

VOTE411.ORG
Want to know what is going to be on YOUR November ballot? VOTE411.org will go live in early October. Find nonpartisan information on candidates and ballot measures on your ballot.

PAPER VOTER'S GUIDES
Want nonpartisan voter information for all of Oregon & Multnomah Co? Look for the English and Spanish guides at LWV Election Forums, all branches of the Multnomah County Library, Multnomah County Elections Office, New Seasons, college/university and community college campuses, Gresham City Hall, and other locations.

CANDIDATE & BALLOT MEASURE FORUMS, 7 TO 9 PM, OCTOBER 2 & OCTOBER 9
Hear from candidates and advocates at nonpartisan Election Forums at Multnomah County Board Rm, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Videos available on Iwvpdx.org a few days later.

  • Tuesday, October 2 - Portland Commissioner, Position 3; Oregon Ballot Measure 103, no tax/fees on "groceries"; Portland Ballot Measure 26-201, surcharge for clean energy projects.

  • Tuesday, October 9 - Multnomah County Auditor (in partnership with City Club of Portland); Metro Ballot Measure 26-199 & Oregon Ballot Measure 102, affordable housing bonds; Oregon Ballot Measure 105, repeals law limiting enforcement of federal immigration laws.

INTERVIEWS with CANDIDATES for OREGON LEGISLATURE
In early October watch Video Voters' Guide Recordings of interviews with state legislative candidates running for election in Multnomah County at lwvpdx.org.

October 16 is the last day to register to vote. October 17, ballots mailed to voters. Change your address on an existing Oregon Voter Registration up to election day, Nov. 6. Other Election Information - oregonvotes.org and lwvpdx.org

Beaverton School District Homeless Student Dashboard for 2018

Beaverton School District Homeless Student Dashboard for 2018

FROM: Lisa Mentesana, Homeless Education/Foster Care Program Specialist
RE: Beaverton School District Homeless Student Dashboard for June 1, 2018

As we enter into the last month of school please know that each student who has been identified as McKinney-Vento eligible during the school year has been given an opportunity to remain in their school of origin with academic and social service support. Our program helps to stop the mobility in education for these highly mobile students. Services include transportation to and from their school of origin and/or transition services into the school community closest to where they're currently living. We also provide social service support through resource brokerage to partner agencies. These valuable community partnerships help our students and families move toward long term housing stability. The positive in this difficult situation is that as a community we are working together to address critical gap areas of need in services as well as affordable housing options. Also, that while well over 2000 children and youth in our school attendance area are living with housing insecurity, they're not dealing with school instability due to the lack of permanent and/or inadequate housing.

Churches To Feed 110 Homeless Beaverton High School Students Over Spring Break

Churches To Feed 110 Homeless Beaverton High School Students Over Spring Break

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.

Beaverton High School Homeless Students Need Winter Break Meals

Beaverton High School Homeless Students Need Winter Break Meals

Beaverton High School has identified 86 students who are currently homeless. Some are doubled up with other families, and 7 are in motels or unsheltered. These homeless students depend on the meals they receive at BHS each school day, but the BHS cafeteria is closed for 15 days during Winter Break. This means they must do without the school meals they so rely on. Principal Anne Erwin believes that caring for these homeless students is a key to their HS graduation. Graduating positively changes these students’ lives forever.
 
What can you do?

A Response to #Charlottesville Violence

A Response to #Charlottesville Violence

Many of us have been wondering how to respond to the brazen show of white supremacy (and the hatred that goes with it) that appeared in Charlottesville, VA last weekend. Such blatant hatred is abhorrent and runs counter to everything I believe as one who strives to live as Jesus did. White supremacists must be challenged and confronted. My first reaction was one of righteous indignation! If such bullies use violence to terrorize and dehumanize others, then use violence to stop them. Hit them back. Strike fear into them. Isn't brutality the only thing they understand?

Clergy and People of Faith March for Justice

Clergy and People of Faith March for Justice

On Monday, August 28th, 2017, one thousand ministers of all denominations will convene in Washington, D.C. to reaffirm their commitment to the social justice movement and stand in solidarity with the spirit and legacy of Dr. King, on the anniversary of the March for Jobs & Justice.  
 
In an act and action of solidarity, the Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance is sponsoring an event in Portland that will bring together Clergy and People of Faith of all traditions to recommit to being at the forefront of justice and civil rights, to call into accountability President Trump, Attorney General Sessions and all public officials, and to return to its rightful place in the words of Dr. King as the "headlight" in the struggle for justice. We are calling on religious leaders from ALL religions and community leaders to join us!  The event on Facebook can be found here. Join us Monday, August 28th at 11 AM at Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland.

A Response to Violence in Charlottesville

A Response to Violence in Charlottesville

A UCC pastor's response to the violence in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend. Thank you, Reverend Tara Wilkins.

"Dear CWC Members and Friends,

The heinous acts of violence over the weekend reveal a sickness that lurks in our society. The disease is active, not extinct. It impacts more than half of our population, and yet, it continues like an unchecked pathogen. 
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The world watched the horror unfold in real time in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend. It wasn't a movie or lesson in history, it was the contemporary implementation of intentional terrorism meant to employ fear and chaos. I hesitate (in this letter) to use words like white supremacy, neo-Nazi, KKK etc., for fear that their mention is reducing them to jargon that we easily can distance ourselves from.

We mustn't pull away from the atrocity, we step forward so that we can learn and understand just exactly what happened, so we will no longer continue to be complicit in creating the environment where this disease can be incubated.

What can we do to make it be different?

Beaverton Community Rummage Sale and Music Fundraiser

Beaverton Community Rummage Sale and Music Fundraiser

Bethel's Rummage Sale

Bethel’s Rummage Sale this year will be held on Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7. As in the past, proceeds from this sale will benefit our music program. Donated items may be brought to the church Monday and Tuesday, (October 2 and 3) between the hours of NOON and 8 PM. If you need assistance with your donations, please contact George Patch at 2lula@frontier.net or (503) 625-0910.

PLEASE NOTE: The Monday and Tuesday hours are a departure from previous years. Volunteers will start working at noon, rather than 9 AM, so that donations can be received later in the evening. We are hoping that the later evening hours (to accommodate those working during the day) will also mean more volunteers to help with this enormous undertaking of sorting and pricing, or to help during the actual sale, on Friday and Saturday. Last year during the sale, at times, we were swamped with customers and there weren’t enough workers (critical to the success of the rummage sale).

If you can volunteer for any amount of time, please contact our volunteer coordinators, Carolyn Rundorff at carolyn@rundorff.com or Cathy Thoma at cdthoma4@comcast.net. Thank you for your contributions to Bethel’s Music Program!

Pride Northwest 2017 Impressions

Pride Northwest 2017 Impressions

Bethel showed its gay pride last Sunday with over 20 marchers representing our open and affirming church at the Pride NW parade in Portland.  The only dreary signs were the morning clouds - everything else around us glittered with rainbow colors.  The spirit of the event matched our identity and mission as a welcoming congregation.  Warm smiles, words of encouragement, feelings of shared values, and sheer joy knit us together as an affirming community.  
 
I was impressed with the rich diversity of our Bethel contingent:

Beaverton HS Homeless Students Fed Over Spring Break

Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ provided food and supplies for 40 Beaverton High School homeless families over spring break. Each family received seven bags of groceries including a backpack with personal items. Watch the video on KPTV.com.