Bethany 411

Here's the 411!

Posted Thursday, November 25,  2020

Thanksgiving Eve Worship:

Traditionally, Bethany holds a Thanksgiving Eve worship for members and the community every year. This year, there will be two opportunities for Thanksgiving Eve worship. You can join us on November 25 for worship online at 5:00 p.m. with archives available anytime, or you can join us for a drive-in worship at 7:00 p.m. in Bethany’s parking lot!

There will be a collection for Rice Lake’s We Share Food Pantry at the drive-in worship service. Items for donation will be collected as you enter the parking lot.


Upcoming Ways to Worship:

Beginning November 29 (1st Sunday in Advent), there will be one Sunday worship at 8:00 a.m. The service will be streamed online and broadcast on the radio (FM 96.1 & AM 1240).

Beginning December 2, Advent worship will be available online as a video (Holden Evening Prayer) or as a live, drive-in worship at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting, in Bethany’s parking lot. The drive-in worship will have communion and every car will receive a pepperoni pizza. Please bring your own beverages. Check Bethany’s calendar on our website for worship and event schedules.

In the event of bad weather, the 6:00 p.m. worship will be canceled. Cancellation notices will go out through email, text, voice message and Facebook.


Advent Devotion Booklets:

Booklets will be available at all drive-in worship services AND under the carport in the marked tote. Thank you to all who contributed to this year’s Congregation Advent Book. A special thank you to Roxie Olsen, Bea Evans and Patti McCann for the editing, layout and art design of the booklets!


Advent 2020:

This year's Advent theme will be a study by Adam Hamilton entitled, “Incarnation: Rediscovering the Significance of Christmas.” The study will be incorporated into the Wednesday midweek and Sunday worship services. If you are interested in purchasing the study book to further your Advent journey, it is available at the publisher's site or at

Book Overview: His parents gave him the name Jesus. But the prophets, the shepherds, the wise men and the angels addressed him by other names. They called him Lord, Messiah, Savior, Emmanuel, Light of the World and Word Made Flesh. Adam Hamilton examines the names of Christ used by the gospel writers, exploring the historical and personal significance of his birth. This Advent season church families will come together to remember what’s important. In the face of uncertainty and conflict, Christians reclaim the Christ child who brings us together, heals our hearts and calls us to bring light into the darkness. Now more than ever, we invite you to reflect upon the significance of the Christ child for our lives and world today!


Christmas Dinner Boxes:

There is still time to sign up to make donations to the Christmas Dinner Box project. The sign up is on Bethany's website. If you haven't dropped items off, you can put them in the collection box at the Newton Street Entrance or drop them off on December 2 at 5:30 p.m. Any monetary donations should be provided to Bethany with a special notation that they are meant for the Christmas Dinner Boxes. All donations need to be received by December 2.

Please note, when you sign up for a donation slot, you are signing up to donate several of those items. For example, one slot to donate cranberry sauce is for 12 cans. If you sign up for two slots, you are donating 24 cans, etc.


Addresses Needed:

Attention Parents, Grandparents and Bethany College Students! We are looking for addresses of Bethany members attending college away from home. It is almost “Care Package” time again. We can’t send a package unless we have current addresses - they need to be updated every year. Please give addresses to Angie Buchli at by November 30.


Advent Prayer Walk:

Check out our NEW lighted Christmas Tree Park in the Bethany greenspace (behind Appleyard’s). This year’s Advent and Christmas seasons will be very different from what most of us are used to, but God’s love for us and for the world in Jesus Christ remains constant. Now more than ever we need to experience the hope and joy that comes to us in Jesus Christ, whose birth we await during the Advent season.

As you walk through the trees, reflect on the scriptures and prayers and rediscover the mystery that brings you hope and empowers you to bring light into darkness. Please move in a counter-clockwise direction, staying to the right and ending at the center tree.

Thank you to all of the families who decorated a tree! Thank you to Tyler & DeAnna Westphal and Jan Wilking for getting the trees set up and the lights on the trees. A huge THANK YOU to Tyler & DeAnna Westphal & family & Westphal Roofing for donating all of the Christmas trees!



Prepare for Christmas with our Advent-in-a-Box! This is a resource with fun and meaningful activities for households to do at home as you journey through the Advent season beginning Sunday, November 29 until Christmas. Boxes include supplies for making your own Advent wreath, simple wooden nativity set, prayer cubes, and an Advent scripture project. Our Advent Devotion booklet is a great companion to this resource. Our hope is that each household experiences Advent and Christmas together in a meaningful way.

While supplies last, we will be distributing our Advent-In-A-Box resource on Sunday, November 29 from 9:00-10:00 a.m., Monday, November 30 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, December 2 at our 6:00 p.m. Drive-In Advent Worship service.


Toys for Tots:

Some of our Here We Stand students will be collecting for the Toys for Tots program in December as a service project. The mission of the US Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program is to collect NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. You can also make a cash donation to purchase any items needed for older ages that usually get missed.

Drop off your NEW, UNWRAPPED TOYS or cash donations on Wednesdays, December 9 & 16 from 5:45-6:00 p.m. and 6:30-6:45 p.m. (before and after our 6:00 p.m. Drive-In Advent Worship Service) and Saturday, December 12 from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. under the carport.


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.


Pledge Information as of November 23:

Pledge Commitments Received for 2021: : General - $392,571 and Building - $53,000

We have received pledges from 168 families.

Last year at this time, we had received pledges from 191 families: General - $458,718 and Building - $54,002

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


The Word and words: zoomversations on our life of faith:

To be a part of conversations (zoomversations!) on the first and third Wednesday mornings of the month at 10:00 a.m., please email Pastor Peter at so he can provide links for essential background/pre-session preparation. Post-session applications will be up to all of us as Disciples of Jesus Christ! The conversation will continue this coming week, December 2.


An Update from Luther Park:

Thank you to all! Our Building and Rejoicing Capital Campaign continues! We are excited to announce that the $2.2 Million fundraising goal will be completed thanks to funds pledged and funds received after completion of the matching pledge challenge to congregations of Luther Park. If individuals would like to give towards the campaign, we are asking that the payments come through the churches, and then passed on to Luther Park. Check out the Luther Park Capital Campaign Update video.


COVID-19 Update:

The Safely Regathering Task Force wishes you and your loved ones a warm and healthy Thanksgiving and Advent season. We still find ourselves in Phase 1: Safer at Home condition, because of the ever-increasing numbers of infection in our community. While we are not able to gather yet together for worship together, unless you are bundled up in your own car, we join you remotely in praying for health, courage and an end to this trying time. 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 weekly update video, information about which phase of regathering Bethany is in and resource links for more information.


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 : That 80% of those who responded to the CAT survey were 55 years or older. Only 18% in the 35-54 age group responded to the survey. In the years to come, Bethany’s pool of leaders will shrink, unless a younger age demographic is engaged in the life of the congregation.

Bethany Lutheran Age Demographics

  • Age 0-18 = 275 =  22%
  • Age 19-40 = 272 =  21%
  • Age 41-64 = 321 = 25%
  • Age 65+ = 394 = 31%
  • Total membership = 1262


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.


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