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Living in Grace and Gratitude – Stewardship Focus 2017
Oct 2 – Nov 12 all-day

“Living in Grace & Gratitude”

Bethlehem’s Stewardship Focus 2017

Everything we have is the gift of a generous God that comes to us as lavish grace birthing within us a sense of gratitude.  Our stewardship theme this year is “Living in Grace & Gratitude,” and for the next several weeks we at Bethlehem will explore together how we can more faithfully practice noticing God at work in our daily lives.

As a foundation, we will use Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, “An Altar in the World.”  Each week we will offer:  devotions based upon that week’s theme;  small group opportunities, which invites us to reflect further on that theme; and, each Sunday, we will offer a sermon based upon that week’s chapter.  The themes/dates are as follows:

Oct 7/8           The Practice of Paying Attention

Click here for this week’s devotional guide 

When was the last time you stopped and noticed something in your daily life as beautiful or unusual and therefore holy?

Small group discussion:  10:00am Thursday, October 5, in the Library/Fireside Lounge, led by Deacon Heather Feltman

Oct 14/15        The Practice of Waking Up to God

Click here for this week’s devotional guide

When God encounters us in our ordinary lives, right in the middle of a place we had never though as particularly ‘holy’, we can keep on going and ignore it, or we can set down an altar?

Small group discussions:  10:00am Thursday, October 12, in the Library/Fireside Lounge, led by Pastor Bill Hutchison

6:00 pm Thursday, October 12, in the Library/Fireside Lounge, led by Dee Johnson


Oct 21/22          The Practice of Being Present to God

Click here for this week’s devotional guide

Is there a right way to pray?  What are your ‘alternative’ prayer practices? And what makes them prayer-like for you?  Taylor writes in her book, “To say I love God, but I do not pray much, is like saying I love life but I do not breathe much!”

Small group discussions:  10:00 am Thursday, October 19, in the Library/Fireside Lounge, led by Pastor Sarah Rohde


 Nov 4/5             The Practice of Pronouncing Blessing

  Click here for this week’s devotional guide

To pronounce a blessing on something is to see it from the divine perspective. To meet someone with a blessing on your lips is quite different than many of our daily interactions.  But it may open us up to some unexpected altars!

Small group discussions:  10:00am Thursday, November 2, in the Library/Fireside Lounge, led by Deacon Heather Feltman

7:00 pm Thursday, November 2, led by Craig Collins (check video screen for room assignment)

Nov 11/12         Re-commitment Weekend

We will celebrate together the many ways God has been at work in our lives!  This weekend, we will take time to present our estimates of giving at all worship services.


Copies of “An Altar in the World” are available for purchase.  Please contact Deacon Heather Feltman at to order a copy.


Members of the BLC Stewardship Team:

Dan Kassow — As a life long Lutheran, I have come to appreciate the value of finding a true church home.  My wife and I are incredibly pleased with Bethlehem and look forward to establishing out roots here.  Growing up in the Lutheran church, I had the privilege of being actively involved in various aspects of church culture.  My goal is to grow my faith and fellowship here at Bethlehem! (Click to read Dan’s “Mission Moment.”)

Steve Sikorski

Richard Husby

Pastor Bill Hutchison

Deacon Heather Feltman

Celebrating 500 years of the Reformation
Oct 8 – Oct 31 all-day

Celebrating 500 years of Reformation

Oct. 8 at 9:15-10:15am, Education Hall: You say “tomato” and I say “tomahto”: Lutherans and Catholics at 500, led by Dr. Cristie Traina (Professor of Religious Studies, Northwestern University; Pastor Bill’s wife)

 When Martin Luther nailed up his list of 95 complaints against Western Christianity, no one imagined that it would spark a division lasting for half a millennium. For centuries, both Lutherans and Catholics have defined themselves as “not those other guys” while in fact moving closer.  Come learn some of the reasons we’ve decided to “call the calling off off” and commemorate the Reformation together.

Sunday, Oct. 15 at 9:15-10:15am or 10:30-11:30am, Education Hall: Watch Rick Steves’ video: “Luther and the Reformation”

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation, which contributed to the birth of our modern age. In this one-hour special — filmed on location in Europe — Rick Steves tells the story of a humble monk who lived a dramatic life. Rick visits key sites relating to the Reformation (including Erfurt, Wittenberg, and Rome) and explores the complicated political world of 16th-century Europe — from indulgences to iconoclasts, and from the printing press to the Counter-Reformation. It’s a story of power, rebellion and faith that you’ll never forget.


Sunday, Oct. 22 at 9:15-10:15am or 10:30-11:30am, Education Hall: Discussion on Rick Steves’ “Luther and the Reformation” film; led by Rev. Andrew Packman

Watch the film at church or watch it at home, and then join Andrew for discussion on the Reformation—its people, places, and impact—then and now!

Oct. 22: “Beer and Hymns” at The Office; 4:00-6:00 pm

Love the good ol’ hymns of our Lutheran tradition? Love a good ol’ lager? This event brings the two together! Join us at The Office in downtown St. Charles (201 E Main Street) for a good ol’ sing-along. Invite your friends and neighbors! We’ll meet in the upstairs Board Room (handicap accessible from the back). Organizers: Joshua McClure and Pastor Sarah

Oct. 23-29: The Lucas Cranach Altarpiece displayed in sanctuary at BLC

Lucas Cranach was known as the “Painter of the Reformation.” He was a good friend of Martin and Katie Luther. Cranach embraced the theology of the Reformation and used his artwork to teach Reformation principles, as taught by Luther. He painted the altarpiece to hang in St. Mary’s Church in Wittenberg. A 8’x 20’ copy of Cranach’s altarpiece will hang in Bethlehem’s sanctuary Oct. 23-29. Stop by anytime during the week to get a good look at Cranach’s artwork in preparation for Reformation Sunday! Pastor Ruben Duran will be preaching on Sunday October 29 for our Reformation celebration here at Bethlehem and he will be using Cranach’s altarpiece as a “teaching tool.”

October 29: Reformation Worship at 8:00, 9:15, and 10:30am ~ WEAR RED!

Pastor Ruben Duran, ELCA Director for New Congregational Development and a disciple at Bethlehem, will be preaching at all services on Reformation Sunday. He will be using Cranach’s altarpiece as a “teaching tool.” Make sure to wear red to worship in celebration of God’s reforming Spirit at work in the church and in the world!


Advent Festival Sunday ~ December 17
Dec 17 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Two worship services at 8:30am and 10:30am featuring Bethlehem’s music ensembles and dramatic readings.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church