When In Doubt, Read the Instructions

Jesus sent his disciples on a “trial run” of sorts while he was alive. He gave them the power to witness, anoint and heal and sent them out with only the promise that they would be cared for. Now he has died, risen and been taken up to heaven–leaving them to carry out his ministry. They’ve been through a lot and must feel a bit powerless without him. But the instructions are clear. They will be his witness and the Holy Spirit will be with them. When we are feeling powerless to make change in this overwhelming world, will we proclaim the power of the Holy Spirit with us, just as he told us?

Bethel Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications

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Each year Bethel grants scholarships to students of higher education. The purpose of this annual scholarship is to provide one-time financial assistance to people who are active in the life of the Church to use for post-secondary education, including but not limited to: College, Graduate School, and Seminary. There are no age limitations. To apply, fill out this form and email it to the Beth Astarte or drop it by the Bethel office. The due date is May 15, 2019.

Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser

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Bethel’s long-standing dedication and support of Willamette West Habitat for Humanity continues in 2019.  We hold up Habitat throughout April and celebrate our partnership at the annual Willamette West Habitat Fundraiser Breakfast and Lunch on May 10. This year’s theme is Build a Home, Frame a Future. Hear inspirational first-hand accounts from Habitat families, how gifts of time and treasure from the local community helps them achieve stability, self-reliance, and a future of hope.

Members of Bethel will host three breakfast tables and two lunch tables. Click on the link to the attached flyer for time and location details. Reach out to Paul Griffo with any questions.

Faith Cafe

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It's almost that time again! Bethel's next opportunity to provide volunteers for Faith Cafe will be Sunday, April 21, which is Easter Sunday.

We naturally expect that there will be conflicts that day with family dinners and we could face a short-staffing situation. If you can let Susan or Peter Bauer know as soon as possible if you are or are not able to volunteer, it would be greatly appreciated because it will help us anticipate needs. As before, if you would like to help out with cooking (2 pm arrival) or set-up (3 pm arrival), please indicate that in your response.

After April 21st, our next Faith Cafe volunteer opportunity will be Sunday, June 9th.

A Bit of Bethel History

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Bethel was founded in 1880 as a Congregational Church. The first location was in a grange hall on 1st and Stotts Street in Beaverton. That location is now a parking lot for Beaverton High School. There are some huge trees on that lot that may or may not have been there in 1880.  A picture of the old Stotts Street building is on the wall above the book cases by the Chapel. 

In 1925, a new church building was built at the present location. To make room for the church, two plots of land were sold to Bethel by Dr C.E. Mason, a member, for $10 a plot. The building faced Watson Street, and thus our address remains a Watson address. After a few decades had passed, Bethel was booming and in 1952 plans were made to build a new sanctuary, fellowship hall, and education building. Work on the new sanctuary was started in 1961 and was dedicated in 1962. The dedication ceremony was delayed by about a week because of the Columbus Day storm. The lighted stained glass you see in the Narthex came from the 1925 building.  

1961 was another big year for Bethel. That year, the congregation voted unanimously to become part of the United Church of Christ. The UCC was formed in 1957 from the former German Reformed, Evangelical Reform, and the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches. The Congregational arm had some influence from the Puritan movement. There is no record of when the Congregationalists stopped wearing those funny hats, but Hat Sunday continues today at Bethel and probably has nothing to do with Puritan attire. 

Walk of the Cross for Peace and Justice

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On Good Friday, April 19, 10:00 AM to noon, Christians from all denominations are invited to join together for a short pilgrimage through downtown Beaverton, beginning at Bethel Congregational UCC and ending at St. Cecilia Catholic Church (5th and Franklin Ave). Carrying a large cross to remind us of the cross Christ carried 2000 years ago, participants stop at several "stations." At each station we reflect, pray, and share stories of injustice in our world and witness Christ's power for transformation and resurrection. Together we can better understand our role in carrying out Christ's mission of Peace and Justice in our day. All are welcome!

Social Justice Forum: Oregon LNG Terminal and Pipeline

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On March 31, 2019 at 11:30 am in the Fellowship Hall, we will be tackling our first environmental justice topic. The Justice and Peace Ministry Team of Medford UCC is asking for support to stop the building of a proposed fracked gas pipeline and liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal that would cross the length and breadth of Southern Oregon.

* Pembina Corporation, a Canadian company, proposes to build a 3” wide natural gas pipeline from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay. It would add a processing terminal and shipping facility at Jordan Cove to export the LNG to Asia.

* The terminal would become the largest source of climate pollution in the state. The pipeline and terminal affect 400 waterways (including the Rogue River and 12 public drinking water sources); disturb tribal territories and burial grounds; invoke eminent domain and affect land use and rights; threaten the fishing industry, including salmon runs; and affect jobs in tourism and other sectors.

* Kate Brown and the State of Oregon can deny the Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline and the Jordan Cove LGN export terminal

* Supporters claim creation of 6000 construction jobs and an estimated $10 billion in private capital. However, environmental damages could be incalculable and are fraught with job loss and loss of revenue as well.

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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. 

BHS Homeless Spring Food Bags 

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Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the BHS Homeless Teen food project. Donations of food, money and time are so appreciated.

We want to tell you about one family you are helping. Three siblings attending Beaverton High are living together with no adults. The oldest, a senior boy, is working 2 jobs and getting good grades. He supports his younger sisters. They are renting an uninsulated garage for $600 per month because they don’t want to be separated into different homes. These are just 3 of the 143 students you are supporting.

Principal Anne Erwin says students who receive support because they are food and housing insecure graduate at a higher percentage rate than their peers who do have secure food and housing. You all are part of the reason these students are graduating! Please join us Sunday evening after Faith Café (6:15-ish PM). We need movers and counters. On Monday morning please come a few minutes before 9 AM to help us get the spring break food to the school. We need packers and drivers. And sincere thanks to Sara Edmiston and Mac McPherson for getting us organized and food moved.

"Summer of Adventures" Planning and Don't Forget to Spring Ahead

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour on Saturday or you will be late.

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Come help us plan for a fabulous “Summer of Adventure.”  Join the Lilly Grant sabbatical team to discuss and fine tune some ideas for adventures in worship, service & mission, fellowship and personal growth. We will gather this Sunday, March 10, from 11:30 am - 12:15 pm in the Fellowship Hall.

BHS Homeless Spring Food Bags

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CAN YOU HELP? Jesuit has donated 124 Fred Meyer cards for the food drive, however, we still need 25 more. We can also use donations of cash. Checks can be made out to Bethel with BHS homeless in memo line. We will lay out food after Faith Cafe on Sunday, March 17 and assemble and deliver bags on Monday, March 18th starting at 9:00. There are already 143 students that qualify as homeless, so we are again collecting chunky/hearty soup. The donation site is the wooden box outside the chapel. Thanks for your help!!