Social Justice Forum THIS Sunday and more inside!
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Week of March 5, 2017

Nursery and K-3 Open Before Service - Multigenerational Sunday

Caring Conversation

When did a challenging time strengthen your faith?

Missionary Visit

Former Global Missions missionaries, Erik and Kim Free will be at Bethel to speak about their work after worship on Sunday, March 5. Bethel connected with the Frees because they are Oregonians who were living in Sweet Home, OR at the time of their appointment with Global Ministries. Erik is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the UCC’s partner in Global Ministries for the past 20 years.

Erik and Kim worked with the United Church of Christ in Mozambique. The UCCM was delighted to be able to again invite missionaries to work with them after many years of civil war. After mastering Portuguese, Erik and Kim cooperated with their host organization on revitalizing worship, agriculture, language studies, and career opportunities for women. Many Bethel members received the colorful notebook covers created by a widow’s sewing group fostered by Kim Free in exchange for donations to Global Ministries to support the Frees in Mozambique. Annual donations to Global Ministries were made by Bethel’s Mission & Outreach Committee.

The Frees returned to the United States in October, 2016, after their host organization reluctantly decided that renewed violence between competing political factions made it unsafe for them to remain. Erik has recently been called as pastor of the Keizer Christian Church near Salem. You are invited and encouraged to attend the Frees’ presentation on March 5. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the programs supported by the dollars Bethel contributes to the United Church of Christ.

Adult Education 9:00 – 9:50 Sunday Morning

During the Lenten Journey the morning class will be exploring “Gifts of the Dark Wood” by Eric Elnes with Video and discussion from the Darkwood Brew study series. Have you failed recently? Do you feel lost, or like the road ahead is unclear? Are you ever tempted? Do you find any part of your life exhausting? Do you feel out of place among your peers, or society at large? Based on the themes explored in the book this video/discussion series explores the proposition that our best help on life’s journey often comes from the most unlikely and misunderstood of places: a place known famously, or infamously, as the Dark Wood. March 5: Where We Find Ourselves, chapter one. March 12: The Gift of Uncertainty, chapter two.

Habitat for Humanity Work Day

The next Habitat for Humanity work day is March 11 from 8:15 am to noon.

Healing Worship Service

“On both side of the river is the tree of life…; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Rev. 22:2b

Much about our nation and the other nations of the world is broken. The same is true in our personal lives. We yearn for healing. Recognizing this yearning for healing and wholeness in a broken world, Bethel is offering a healing worship service on Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 PM. There will be quiet prayer, soothing music, and the option of anointing with oil for healing. Whether your concerns are for society, for your family, or for your own life, you are invited to come to experience God’s loving presence and power to strengthen, guide, and uphold you. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Lenten Journey Opportunities

Join us this Lenten season on a journey as we discover together the “Gifts of the Dark Wood.” We will be using the “Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (And Other Wanders)” by Eric Elnes. Once thought of as a place to be avoided and feared, Eric Elnes helps us see the Dark Wood as the surest place to meet God. The feelings that arise when we are uncertain, empty, lost, tempted and alone are our greatest assets as they invite us to question, probe and discover things about ourselves. The struggle is what allows us to experience profound awakening – to grow our roots deeper into our faith and experience liberation, healing and wholeness.

What is the “Dark Wood” of your life? Join the Facebook group as your safe place to be vulnerable and share your aha’s and challenges as you venture into a time of self-discovery. It is a place for us to be a witness and support for each other’s journey. To shine the light of love into the dark places as Jesus did. Allow this time of Lent (40 days before Easter) to be a gift to yourself as you prepare for Easter morning.

Everyone in this group has made a commitment to take this Lenten journey together. There are many ways you can participate beyond getting the book, reading it and sharing your insights with the group. You are invited to attend the Sunday morning Adult Discussion Group at 9 am where Paige Unangst will share a video from Darkwood Brew and lead the discussion. Pastor David Randall-Bodman will lead a class on Tuesday nights from 7-8:30 am based on the book. Beth Astarte will lead a Wednesday morning contemplative prayer practice using Facebook Live at 8 am. If you cannot join at 8 am you can watch the video at any time. Liz Patch will record Pastor David’s sermons during Lent and post them on the public Bethel page for you to watch if you’re unable to be at Bethel Sunday mornings.

Make this Lenten journey deeply meaningful as we discover together the “Gifts of the Dark Wood.”

Join the Facebook group:

Holy Week

Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ begins the celebration of Holy Week with a very special Palm Sunday service culminating in a beautiful celebration of Easter and the risen Christ followed by a fun Easter egg hunt for all ages. You and your family are invited to join us for any and all of the Holy Week activities. All the details are HERE.

Kid's Korner

Put Sunday, March 19, on your calendar for a trip to the Comedy Sportz Club in Northwest Portland. This is a special comedy show just for kids, where the kids even get to participate in the action! It's all good, clean fun, and it's hilarious. You won't want to miss this outing. RSVP to Ken Ruse by March 16 if your kids want to go. Thanks.

Attention All Cookie Bakers

We are in need of people who would like to bake cookies for special occasions. We will be having a number of memorial services over the next few months and need help in putting on a nice event for the families. If you are are able to occasionally provide cookies for memorial services and other events we may need throughout the year, please contact Carolyn Rundorff. Thank you!

One Great Hour of Sharing, March 26

“Just as you did it to the one of least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  Matthew 25:40

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is one of the four United Church of Christ special offerings we have the opportunity to support every year. OGHS supports Global Ministries, including on-going work with mission partners and disaster relief efforts. The theme for this year’s OGHS offering is “You Are Here.” Because of our contributions to OGHS, we are there in a very real sense. We were there with tents and other supplies when massive earthquakes occurred in Pakistan. We were there building new homes for the people of Banda Aceh after the tsunami. We are there with people in need around the world every day helping our global partners provide medical care, education, job training, improved agricultural techniques, micro-credit loans and other help for small businesses, homes for HIV orphans and the elderly, and much, much more.  Through our mission personnel and disaster responders, we are there walking side by side with people at their point of deepest need, be that economic, psychological, physical, or spiritual. Our work is ecumenical and interfaith. Money contributed to One Great Hour of Sharing is multiplied many fold and used efficiently and effectively to assist those in need. By contributing to OGHS you are fulfilling the imperative of Matthew 25:40. You are helping those in need who are members of God’s family. Please give generously on March 26.

Further information and inspiration are available here:

CPC Racial Justice Network

The Racial Justice Network is coordinated by the Justice & Witness Ministry Team of the Central Pacific Conference, United Church of Christ. The network seeks to provide resources, accountability and support to engage all settings of the Central Pacific Conference in racial justice ministries.

At our annual meeting in September 2015 in Pendleton, Oregon, the Central Pacific Conference passed a Resolution of Witness Declaring the Central Pacific Conference is Called to be an Anti-Racist Conference. The resolution resolved to: ENGAGE staff and ministry teams of the Central Pacific Conference in unpacking bias and dismantling racism education; and CALLS UPON the churches and members of the Central Pacific Conference to make anti-racism a priority by engaging or re-engaging in the Sacred Conversation on Race, by using denominational materials or other resources with emphasis on unpacking bias and dismantling racism, and CALLS UPON the Justice and Witness Ministry Team continue to connect the churches and members of the Central Pacific Conference to resources to do this work; and ASKS the churches and members of the Central Pacific Conference to report on their engagement or re-engagement in the Sacred Conversation on Race at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Central Pacific Conference.

The resolution affirms the 1993 and 2003 resolutions of the General Synod which resolved “that the United Church of Christ is called to be an antiracist church” and encouraged conferences and local churches “to adopt anti-racism mandates, including policy that encourages anti-racism programs for all United Church of Christ staff and volunteers.”

We believe that God is still speaking justice to us, and through us, to our world. Visit us at our website where you can sign up for our e-newsletter and access resources for your church.

Help BHS Homeless Students For Spring Break!

We will be providing food for Spring Break for 40 homeless students at Beaverton High School. Assembly and delivery day will be March 20. Volunteers are needed for the following tasks: 9:00 am - Bagging food; 10:15 am - Driving for delivery.

We need donations of the following items:
Reusable Grocery Bags (160)
loaves of bread 
large bags of potato chips

40 of each of the following items:
Frito Lay bean dip 
large bag of tortilla chips 
box of Triscuits, wheat thins or cheez-its 
can of mixed nuts or sunflower seeds 
bag of beef jerky
bag of wheat tortillas (8-10 pack)
box of rice-a-roni
can of cooked chicken

Food Cupboard Needs

The Bethel Food Cupboard needs donations of toilet paper. Thank you!

ISing the Blues

Individuals, small groups, the whole choir, and Whiskey & Cigars perform blues classics. Your support at this event allows us to share innovative and exceptional choral music.

  • Friday, March 3rd
  • Saturday, March 4th
  • 7:30 pm (doors open at 7)

Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ
5150 SW Watson, Beaverton

This is a free(ish) concert, no tickets necessary. For more info, visit

PGMC Concert

Mark Your Calendars

Habitat for Humanity Work Day - March 11
Comedy Sportz Youth Event - March 19
Potato Bar Fundraiser and Grubby Sunday - April 2
Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday - April 9, April 16

Click to support Bethel!
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