Bethany 411

Here's the 411!

Posted Thursday, January 21,  2021

Upcoming Worship Opportunities:

Join us for worship on Sundays at 8:00 a.m.! Sunday worship is livestreamed on Bethany’s website and Facebook page as well as broadcast live on WJMC FM96.1 & AM1240.

The next Wednesday worship will be for Ash Wednesday on February 17, 2021.

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Practice Zoom (Tutorial):

Would you like to practice with Zoom before the annual meeting? Contact Carol Hakala and she can help you practice with Zoom with one-on-one tutoring.

Want to just practice signing in? Join the Budget Forum on Sunday morning. Stay to be included in the discussion or just stop bye to say “Hi!” The Zoom link is included in this email.

Sometime between now and the annual meeting, would you and/or others like to try a test run with Zoom to make sure you can get in? Let us know and we'll set it up.

Any questions or concerns about Zoom? Contact the church office, Carol Hakala at 715-450-4031, Sara Scheu at 715-651-8906 or Bill Evans at 715-600-3481.

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Budget Forum:

If you have questions about the 2021 proposed budget, please attend the budget forum on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. You can join via the Zoom app or telephone. Hardcopies of the 2020 Annual Report are available in the bin outside the church door and the document is on the website. The Zoom link is in the Bethany 411! email. If you did not receive the email/link, please contact the office.

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Annual Meeting:

Bethany’s Annual Meeting is Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. You can join via the Zoom app or telephone. If neither of these options works for you, please contact the office for more information on alternative attendance options. Hardcopies of the 2020 Annual Report are available in the bin outside the church door and the document is on the website. The Zoom link is in the Bethany 411! email. If you did not receive the email/link, please contact the office.

If you have questions about the Annual Meeting process or contents, please contact Bill Evans, Council President. Rev. Erin Nelson from the NWSWI will be moderating and helping with Zoom.

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Will you help with a Welcome Video?

Couples, singles, families or group of friends, of all ages, are wanted to record a Welcome Video that will be played at the beginning of worship. It's so easy, just sign up for a date, then Amy Brekke will contact you, send you the script and arrange a time to come to your home to record. It's a really fun way to contribute to worship! Signups can also be found on the Bethany website under the Signups tab.

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Will you help read in worship?

We are in need of persons who enjoy reading out loud to read the Sunday lessons. These will be recorded, then added to our Sunday worship service. Just sign up for a date, Leah Hullinger will send you the reading(s) and Amy Brekke will contact you to arrange a time to record in the Sanctuary or provide instructions on how to record at your home. Signups can also be found on the Bethany website under the Signups tab.

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Follow Along with Worship:

The Sunday bulletins are available here, on Bethany’s website homepage and archived on our bulletin publications page! We invite you to print a copy or follow along on your device with our order of service.

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From the Synod:

We truly appreciate your partnership in ministry. We do so much together that we cannot do alone. Please take a moment to view this short video!

Synod Thank You 2020 from Northwest Synod of Wisconsin on Vimeo.

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Pledge Information as of January 5:

Pledge Commitments Received for 2021: General - $451,291 and Building - $62,270
We have received pledges from 190 families.

Last year at this time, we had received pledges from 200 families: General - $497,148 and Building - $58,922

If you have not returned your 2021 pledge card, please do so at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for your participation in and support of the life & mission of Bethany Lutheran!

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A Moment for Stewardship:

Thank you for the financial gifts you shared this year and the pledges you have submitted for 2021. Your generosity supports the multiple ministries of Bethany. If you have not returned your pledge for 2021, please do so at your earliest convenience. You may direct any questions to Dawn Paul, Business Director, at 715-296-2817.

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 AmazonSmile:

Did you know that you can support Bethany when you shop on Amazon? You can make an impact while you shop for Christmas gifts and everyday items. Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/39-0872438 and AmazonSmile will donate to Bethany Lutheran Church, at no cost to you.

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Do you have a favorite hymn you would like us to sing during worship?

Amy is seeking hymn requests to be sung during our offering time. They can be in honor of, or in memory of, at your request. If you have a special hymn, please signup up online or contact Amy Brekke at or 715-651-6991.
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Special Music:

Amy is always looking for more people to be involved in Bethany's Music Ministry. If you are interested in providing special music or have ideas you would like to share, please contact Amy Brekke at or 715-651-6991.

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Online Worship Archives:

Bethany archives previous worship services on their website and Facebook for 90 days. After that, the videos are removed, but there are hard copies in the office. If needed, you can contact Leah Hullinger at for more information on older worship services.

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COVID-19 Update:

We remain in Phase 1 of the safer at home for safely returning to worship. Numbers have shown improvement, but are still not where we need them to be. We would like to see cases at less than 10/100,000, and test positivity rate at less than 5%. We are presently at 30-50 cases/100,000 and test positivity of 11% in Barron County as of January 20.

Several of our task force members recently attended a webinar from the Wisconsin Council of Churches and their 2.0 version of safely regathering recommendations. They stressed that life and health of neighbor should be our number one guiding principle. As churches are leaders in our communities, it is important to model wisdom, restraint and safety in the choices we make. They stressed that this should be done creatively! (We are blessed with so much creativity at Bethany.) They also stressed that our church is resilient. Christianity has been around a long time, and it is not going away. They discussed ways to hasten return to worship which included: 1) immunizations when available, 2) limiting return to worship until case rates are reaching number goals above and 3) being creative in opportunities for participation.

Our choices are not always simple. When I was a child, I had a coin fall from my pocket and miraculously it was landed as neither heads nor tails, but on end. I learned to think differently. At this time, our choice is not as simple as open or closed; we need to turn our thinking on its side! Stay safe, stay healthy, wash hands, use your masks and get immunized when it is available. Oh, and be creative in your faith! If you have questions, contact Pam Crouse, chair, at .

For the latest information from the Safely Regathering Task Force, please visit Bethany’s COVID-19 Updates page. On the page you will find the bi-weekly update video, information about which phase of regathering Bethany is in and resource links for more information.

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Transition Task Force: 

In everything we do, communication is the key! Communication happens in many ways and photos are communication that speaks without words. Please share your photos about, “What makes Bethany a great place to worship.” These photos will be placed on the Transition Task Force’s new web page along with updates and information about Bethany’s transition process. Please email photos to Leah in the office at .

Did you know, the top three areas for additional Bethany efforts as stated in the CAT survey are: 1) Develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them into the life of the church. 2) Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church. 3) Develop ministries that work toward healing those broken by life circumstances.

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Sunday School Lessons are available online:

Even though we are not meeting in person at the moment, you can still participate in Sunday School! The lessons are posted on Bethany’s website under the At-Home Resources page. The page is password protected, due to copyright, so please see the email from Angie Buchli for the password. If you did not receive the email and password, please contact Angie Buchli.