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Thrivent Choice®

nullStrengthening communities. Changing lives.

Thrivent Choice, the member-advised charitable grant program from Thrivent Financial, continues to be a welcome funding source for churches and nonprofit organizations nationwide. 

If you are an eligible Thrivent member, you likely are aware of this easy, convenient way to help make a difference for organizations you care about. The Thrivent Choice program offers a way for eligible members to recommend where Thrivent Financial distributes some of its charitable grant funds each year.

Eligible benefit members are designated Choice Dollars® that they can direct, thereby recommending charitable grant funding for their choice among thousands of enrolled churches and nonprofit organizations, including Bethany Lutheran Church. Earlier this month we received funds totaling $448.00 from six of our members. We know you have many choices through this program but would greatly appreciate your helping us reach our goal of $2,000.

If you are eligible to participate in Choice Dollars, or are uncertain about your eligibility, visit Thrivent.com/thriventchoice. Or contact your local Thrivent Financial representative.

Choice Dollars designated to eligible benefit members in 2015 must be directed by March 31, 2016.

 

2015 CHOICE DOLLARS®

EXPIRE SOON

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ACT NOW!

Thrivent Financial members have until March 31 to direct any remaining 2015 Choice Dollars®. After that date, Choice Dollars® will expire. Remind members about the positive impact they can make by directing Choice Dollars® to Bethany Lutheran Church.

DON’T FORGET

There are FREE promotion materials on the Thrivent Choice page on Thrivent.com to help you educate and remind your supporters about Thrivent Choice®.

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Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota
Thrivent.com • 800-847-4836  

Thrivent Financial

The Thrivent Choice® charitable grant program engages Thrivent members and chapters in providing grants that support charitable activities, furthering Thrivent's mission and its purposes under state law. All grants are made at the sole discretion of Thrivent. Directing Choice Dollars® is subject to the program'sterms and conditions available at Thrivent.com/thriventchoice.

Palm Sunday Coat Collection, March 20

nullWhen Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt, the people threw their coats on the ground before him as a sign of respect. This year Bethany will be collecting coats on Palm Sunday to give to Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights.

As you are spring cleaning, look through your closets for coats, especially coats for smaller children, to donate (gently used with no holes, rips, or dirt). 

Please bring your coat donation to church on Palm Sunday to lay down in the front of church as a sign of respect for Jesus and his love and compassion for those in need.

We are also looking for individuals to bag the coats after 10:30 am worship on Palm Sunday, March 20, and deliver the coats on Monday, March 21 to Chicago.

Sign up on the tall bulletin insert or contact Pr. Cathy (cathy.daharsh@bethanylc.com) if you are available help.

Thank you. 

Holy Week and Easter Services

Palm and Passion Sunday, March 20 at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM (Only two services.)

The Palm Sunday service will include the reading of the Passion of Christ through the service, from Palm Sunday through GoodFriday. The service will be out of order compared to a normal Sunday so as to incorporate the service with the story that we know so well.

We will begin our service in Luther Hall and process with palms into the sanctuary (worship space). The procession will be led by the Middle School Musicians, Sonshine Singers, and the Sunday School Children. Those who have brought coats to donate to Heartland Alliance will lay down those coats in the front of church as a sign of respect for Jesus and his love and compassion for those in need. The Bethany Choir will sing at both services.

Maundy Thursday, March 24 at 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM

During the Maundy Thursday service we will observe the “Last Supper of Our Lord.” The 11 AM service will include handwashing of congregation members and the 7 PM service will include foot washing of students who participated in the Holy Communion Class. The Bell Canto Choir will ring during the 7:00 PM service. We will end both services with the “Stripping of the Altar.”

Good Friday, March 25 at 7:00 PM

Good Friday’s Service of Darkness, we will read the “Seven Last Words of Christ” and focus on the “Cross of Christ.” Liturgical Vision Dancers will create scenes through their dance telling the story of Jesus. The Bethany choir will accompany the dancers.

Easter Vigil, March 26 at 7:00 PM

The Holy Saturday service will begin outside with “New Fire” and process into the sanctuary (worship space) with the congregation carrying handheld candles. The service will include the “Reaffirmation of Baptism” followed by the first communion of Easter. After the service there will be a celebration reception with champagne and appetizers in the Gathering Area.

Easter Sunday, March 27 at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM

Easter Sunday service will begin with an Easter Witness Monologue and the Vision Dancers. The celebration of the “Resurrection of Our Lord” will also include brass and timpani, the Bethany Choir, and the Bell Canto Choir. Between services the youth will be serving an Easter Breakfast from 9:30 – 10:30 AM.

Day 19 - Wednesday, 3/2

What Do You Want Me to Do for You?

Matthew 20:29-34

Jesus is always on the move in the Gospels, so it isn’t surprising in this Scripture reading to find him going from one place to another. On this day, two men shout out to him from the side of the road. The people in the crowd try to keep the men quiet. (Maybe they want to prevent a disturbance, or just make sure they can hear anything Jesus might say. Maybe they think Jesus is too busy or too important to stop for these two people.) But the men call out even louder to Jesus.

Instead of continuing on, staying on schedule, and doing what’s expected of him, Jesus stops, stands still, and asks the men a question. He focuses on what they need and what only he can give. They say, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” Out of compassion, Jesus touches their eyes. And with their sight restored, they follow him.

As Lord of all we might expect Jesus to ask people, “What can you do for me?,” but that never happens. In fact, in the Gospels, Jesus asks “What do you want me to do for you?” more often than any other question. And he doesn’t just ask—he listens for the response. The response from the two men shows who they believe Jesus is and what they believe Jesus can do. They believe that Jesus is Lord and that he can make them see again, and they immediately follow him.

Who do you believe Jesus is? What do you believe he can do? What do you want him to do for you?

Questions to Ponder

  • In your life, where or when do you need to “stand still?” How can you begin to do this?
  • What needs do you believe Jesus can meet? What do you want Jesus to do for you?

Prayer for Today

Loving Jesus, help me to see you, trust you, worship you, and follow you. Amen.

Day 13 - Wednesday, 2/24

But Who Do You Say that I Am?

Mark 8:27-30
 
Certainly people living in his time wondered who Jesus was and what he could do. The disciples tell Jesus that some people see him as another John the Baptist, or maybe the great prophet Elijah come back to life. Others think he might be another in a long line of prophets. Then Jesus gets down to business by asking a serious, probing, and transformative question: Who do you say that I am?”

It’s easy to talk about what other people think or believe. We don’t have any stake in that. In the world today we can find people with all kinds of views about who Jesus is or isn’t. But who do you say Jesus is? This isn’t just a question for the disciples. It’s a question for you and for me, and for the community of faith. 
 
Jesus uses questions as a way to deepen discipleship and grow faith. The question “Who do you say I am?” is an invitation into deeper relationship with Jesus and with others. In transforming the way we see Jesus, ourselves, and the world, it transforms our lives. 

Questions to Ponder

  •  What major misconceptions about Jesus have you heard? 
  • Think about how you would describe Jesus to a friend who has had no connections with the Bible or the church. Who would you say Jesus is? 

 

Prayer for Today

Jesus, you are God with us and Son of God. You are my Savior and the Savior of the world. You are my Lord and the eternal Lord of all creation. Keep me always close to you.

In your holy name I pray.

Amen.
 

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