Award for Beaverton High School Community Partners Team

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The Beaverton School District awarded the Beaverton High School Community Partners Team an award for outstanding partnership of faith and community groups with student and faculty at the school. Bethel's food outreach for spring and winter breaks is a big part of the team effort. Congratulations to the Community Partners Team and we are grateful for the work they do in our community. A huge thanks to Nancy Winston who is a member of the team. To learn more about the team's projects, visit this link.

Fierce Love: Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces


People of faith agree that we are responsible for creating beloved community. As incidents of public hate skyrocket, come explore the theological and spiritual foundations of this call to fierce love. Join Lake Oswego UCC for a special workshop on Monday, May 20 from 4:30 to 9 PM that will focus on tools, skills, and methodologies for building a culture of peace and engaging in active nonviolence. Workshop participants will leave confident of their ability to support and empower targets by:

  • Identifying and tapping into the skills, experiences, and values they already have to support their neighbors more effectively.

  • Learning and practicing specific tactics to interrupt verbal hate in public, centering the experience of the target, and empowering the target to create safety for themselves.

  • Learning specific tactics for protecting themselves from verbal abuse.

  • Understanding the risks inherent in any hostile situation and discerning what not to do to escalate a situation.

  • And more.

Workshop presenters are Rabbi Debra Kolodny and Reverend Linda Jaramillo. Cost to attend is sliding scale $50-$75 with some scholarships available. Register at or LakeOswegoUCC on Facebook.

Summer of Adventure Sabbatical

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As most of you are aware, our pastor and congregation received a clergy renewal Lilly grant. In a few weeks, David will be departing for his sabbatical and will be gone until September. Derived from the same Hebrew root word for Shabbat or Sabbath, a sabbatical is a time for renewal, as well as physical and spiritual delight. It allows a pastor the chance to reflect deeply on their faith, returning to the congregation renewed, refreshed, and ready for what God is calling them to do next in their ministry. 

David will be not keeping in direct touch with us over the summer sabbatical term. He may choose to post on Facebook from time to time or send an email. This summer, rather than trying to contact David directly, we can pray for him, care for one another in his absence, and welcome our sabbatical pastor while she holds space and walks with us until his return. We will have a big welcome back party after worship on September 8. Please plan to join in the fun!

There are a LOT of activities planned during our Summer of Adventure! The bulletin board in the hallway is just starting to take shape and you'll be able to find information about upcoming activities, ways you can plug in, connect with others, or perhaps find new things to try. 

We have Adventures in Personal Growth for the young with VBS-inspired Sunday Funday classroom activities. For adults, we're reading and reflecting on our book selection, "Renewal in the Wilderness" by John Lionberger, the same book David will be adventuring with. We'll have Adventures in Worship with the possibility of learning a danced benediction or worship while visiting Camp Adams. Our Adventures in Service will include the opportunity to restore the labyrinth at Camp Adams, helping with meals for Family Promise, and/or donating to Motorcycles for Pastors, a mission project of the Global Ministries. You are all invited to go on a guided hike or explore on your own with our Bethel Summer of Adventure passport. We'll be hosting a movie night featuring Wild (for adults), as well as a family-friendly film option and games, in the Fellowship Hall. 

Look out for the article in next week's Highlights for more details and dates. We're so excited to spend this Summer of Adventure with you.

Building Resilient Families Workshop


On May 15 from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM, Beaverton High School will be hosting a "Building Resilient Families Workshop" in the auditorium. 

5:00 – Screening of Resilience documentary
6:00 – Break and snacks
6:30 – 8:30 – Presenter, Amy Stoeber, PhD LLC

You are invited to attend an evening of learning about how to support youth and families in fostering resiliency in their home, school, and community. Dr. Amy Stoeber is a local psychologist whose passion is to provide the tools that families and systems need to optimize their resilience and overcome adversity through their life. 

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


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


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.