Evangelisch Lutherische Bethel Kirche
Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church

March/April 2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Our 75th Anniversary: A Special Celebration
On Feb. 6, 1949, 11 men met and signed the charter establishing our Bethel congregation. On Feb. 4, 2024, 208 members gathered for the Divine Sunday Service to commemorate our 75th anniversary. This was followed by a catered lunch and program in our auditorium with 171 in attendance enjoying food and fellowship. The sermon was preached Rev. Dr. Harald Tomesch, Professor of Theology, Concordia University Wisconsin. Dr. Tomesch is a son of the congregation and his wife, Renate, is a daughter of one of the founding charter members, Friedrich Machel. The sermon theme was entitled, Seeds & Talents. Former Pastor, Rev. Richard Orlowski read the Scripture passages. Assisting Pastor Davi Schmidt in the Service was former Interim Pastor, Rev. Alan Scharlach. The Service has been recorded and will be posted to our church’s website and also to social media sites Facebook, Instagram and You Tube.
Following the lunch, Circuit Counselor Rev. Andy Schroth addressed the audience and then read greetings from LCC, East Regional Pastor, Rev. Marvin Bublitz. Further letters of greeting and congratulations were received from former pastors not able to attend. Several indicated that they would be open to being guest preachers throughout our anniversary year, should circumstances allow.
A special thank you goes out to the organizing committee as well as all those members who contributed their time and talents, especially musical, to commemorate this special milestone. Magda Ristau composed an anniversary poem in German that was read by daughter Bettina Cook. Our Music Director, Nellie Scholtes, directed a skit entitled “The Pew” which included a cast of several congregation members. The interspersed singing of verses from 12 well-known hymns by the audience rounded out the interactive format of the skit.
A slide presentation captured highlights of congregational life over the last three quarters of a century. An extensive display of historical materials has been laid out in the auditorium and will be kept up for several more weeks for members to view.

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:
“SHOWING THE OTHER CHEEK”
One of the oldest laws on record is the Code created by Hammurabi, the sixth king of the Babylonian dynasty: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. In other words, seeking revenge equal to the harm suffered. It’s interesting to note that the people of Israel, despite knowing the word of God, used similar tactics, applying a law meant for the authorities responsible for judging the people’s disputes. Each person felt entitled to retaliate in equal measure for the harm suffered by others, taking upon themselves the anger that should be left to the higher authority.
Recognizing this, Jesus Christ, in his Sermon on the Mount, suggested that instead of repaying every wrong with anger and vengeance, it would be better to offer the other cheek. Was Jesus teaching that we should let others do as they please to us? No! It seems to me that Christ encouraged a loving attitude even in the face of someone else’s wrongdoing. He exemplified this later when he was humiliated before all and responded with silence. As we enter the Lenten season, we reflect on the entire work of Christ, all the suffering and humiliation he endured, his journey to the Cross to fulfill the Law on our behalf and pay for our sins.
This doesn’t mean that Jesus remained silent all the time, as he criticized the hypocrisy of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Teachers of the Law and spoke his mind to the authorities when they handed him over. However, no act of revenge or violence came from his hands. He could very well have retaliated equally, as the misunderstood Jewish law indicated. But he endured bitterness with love and demonstrated through actions what he said in the Sermon on the Mount. Furthermore, Christ taught that we should not only offer the other cheek but also remove any desire for revenge from our hands and minds. He desires a patient, understanding, and peaceful heart.
It seems challenging to understand that God wants us to accept the evil done to us because it is instinct, a natural need for human revenge, to punish for mistakes. This also applies to God’s grace in that man also believes he needs to do something in return for salvation, and God punishes man for his mistakes. Man runs away, afraid of punishment, forgetting that God is a God of love, not punishment. Man forgets to turn to the cross, to grace. God, even though just, through Christ. Meanwhile, man finds it challenging to forgive his neighbour and expects a sick revenge and justice that does not align with the love Christ proclaimed.

Christ didn’t say we should let people take advantage of the fact that Christians accept evil and allow them to do whatever they want to us. If we do that, we allow that person to sin. Besides, the Bible teaches us in Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin.” We can understand this as, “You have the right to lose patience with the injustices happening around you. But that should not make you sin against someone.” What Christ teaches us is to rid ourselves of all feelings of revenge and understand that it is not our responsibility to judge situations where we are wronged.
Secular entities, such as the police and judges, exist for that purpose. Moreover, there is God himself to administer justice, as the Bible teaches that justice belongs to Him. What we must do is strive to forgive those who harm us, not harbor hatred and a desire for revenge. We know it’s a difficult task, but we pray to God to assist us in fulfilling this challenging duty. After all, more than just doing God’s will, we will have a society that lives in greater harmony, peace, and love, qualities increasingly scarce in our days. Amen.
In this Lenten season, let us once again reflect on the love of Christ Jesus, who faced many difficult moments for our sake. With him, may we learn to face life’s adversities, placing everything that hurts and saddens us in God’s hands, asking Him to show us how to love and forgive as He forgave and loved. Amen.”
Regular Services at Bethel:
English language services are held each Sunday starting at 10:00 am. We celebrate communion on the 2nd, 4th and, when it occurs, the 5th Sunday of each month.
A German language service is held monthly on the first Wednesday of each month starting at 2:00 pm.
A Portuguese language service is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month starting at 6:00 pm.

Easter Services
Palm Sunday – Sunday, March 24 – 10:00 am with Communion
Good Friday – Friday March 29 – 10:00 am with Communion
Easter Sunday – Sunday, March 31 – 10:00 am with Communion

Easter Sunday Breakfast:
Join us, in the auditorium, from 8:30 to 10:00 on March 31st as we join in Easter Sunday fellowship and enjoy a continental breakfast presented by our Praise Choir. If you are able to contribute a food item for this breakfast, please contact Ingrid Drung at 519-888-7351. See you there!

Other Upcoming Events:
Regular ongoing services are listed above. The dates below highlight only those where special events or services are held.
Sunday March 3, 2024 Following service Voters’ Meeting in the auditorium
Wednesday, March 6, 2024 2:00 pm German language service
Sunday, March 17, 2024 Following service Coffee hour in the auditorium
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 2:00 pm Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium
Sunday, March 31, 2024 8:30 to 10:00 Easter Sunday breakfast
Wednesday, April 3, 2024 2:00 pm German language serviCE
Wednesday, April 17, 2024 2:00 pm Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium
Sunday, April 21, 2024 Following service Coffee hour in the auditorium

Bible Studies:
English language Bible study in March and April will be as follows:

Wed. March 6th – 7 pm Wed. April 10th – 7 pm
Sun. March 10th – 9 am Sun. April 14th – 9 am
Wed. March 20th – 7 pm Wed. April 24th – 7 pm
Sun. March 24th – 9 am Sun. April 28th – 9 am

Portuguese language Bible study is held once a month on the 4th Saturday starting at 6:00 pm

Voters’ Meeting:
The Annual Voters’ Meeting will be held on Sunday, March 3rd in the auditorium. Please mark this date in your calendars and plan to attend.
Sunday School
We are in continuing need of assistance with our Sunday School classes. If you are able to help in anyway please contact Bettina Cook at 519-746-1022 (please leave a message if not answered).
Coffee Hour at Bethel:
Coffee hour is held every third Sunday of the month in the auditorium. Anyone wishing to help with bringing baked goods, is asked to please contact Ingrid Drung @ 519-888-7351.

January/February 2024                                             

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

With just the turn of a page, we enter the month of JANUARY.  And with the coming of January, we are also in a new year.  This is a leap year, which will give February an extra day.  January is the month when things slow down a bit again, as we put away the decorations that made Christmas so festive for us.  Hopefully you enjoyed the time with family and friends, the good food of the season, the gift exchanges, and just the warmth that always surrounds the season.  May the stories of the birth of the Saviour who came to save us all live within your hearts forever and remind us all of the goodness of the Lord.

The shortest day of the year has now gone by, and it won’t be too long before each day becomes just a little bit longer again!  For now, enjoy the wintertime in whatever way you do.  Some of you may just escape into the sun somewhere for a bit.  Whatever it is that you do, have fun and be safe.  Winter can be lonely for many, and some are more careful about going out at all.  Try to stay in touch with each other and, as always, continue to pray for all. 

Often, when we think of the month of FEBRUARY, we think of it as the month we need to get through in order to head towards spring.  But this year, we can look forward to February in our church because it will be a special time for our congregation!!  We have an anniversary to celebrate.  Thanks be to God.  He has showered us with blessings and has guided us along the way for all of these years.  The families that came to Canada, and then to Kitchener joined together and worked to build up Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church.  With the help of God, they worked hard and built a church that is certainly pleasing to God.  Church services, Sunday School, Youth Groups, Seniors Groups, Choirs, Brass Band, Ladies Groups, Mission Groups, LWML and so much more.   Many helping hands brought us to where we are today.

Plan to be a part of the celebration that is being planned.  Maybe you will have some memories to share with people that have been a part of your lives for a long time.  Sharing our history with each other makes us a part of a congregation that we pray will continue to grow.  If we ask, God will surely grant this to us all.

Blessings to all!

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:

A little five-year-old boy, Bob, went to play in the hills and got lost.  Nightfall came.  The parents were frantic and called on the people of the village to help look for the boy.  They searched every cave, tree or hole around the village.

That’s when the situation got worse.  It started snowing. The cold increased the parents’ anxiety because little Bob had still not been found.  The father was tired and cold.  As he came to a cave, he called out in desperation very loudly, one more time. Suddenly, the unexpected happened: hearing the scream, the boy came out of the cave and exclaimed, “Daddy, I finally found you!”

And now, who found whom after all? Little Bob thought he had found his father. But the father knew that it was he, not his son, who had conducted the search and had found his son.

People often think like that. I have often heard people say, “I found Jesus!” But we need to remember that it wasn’t God who was lost; it wasn’t God who needed to be found! We were the ones who were lost! If we remember the story of the lost sheep, it wasn’t the shepherd who was lost, but the sheep. The shepherd came carrying the sheep. The sheep did nothing to find its shepherd, but it was found by the effort of the one who cares for it.

If we have faith in God, if we are members of a church, if we have forgiveness of our sins and the assurance of eternal life, it is not because we did something for it, but because God acted in our favor. God felt compassion for humanity. Jesus humbled Himself and came into the world. Jesus died for humanity. And it is the Holy Spirit who makes us believe. If we know God, it is not because we know the word of God, but because He revealed Himself to us in His word.

That’s why we are so grateful. God acts intensely in our favor. We were lost in a dark night. Our sinful condition condemns us. But it is God who forgives us and saves us. It is God who finds us and brings us back home, into His arms. That’s why the Christian thanks his God and can exclaim, “Thank you, God, for the love that found me.”

Amen

 

75th Anniversary at Bethel

On Sunday February 4, 2024, God willing, we will be celebrating
 75 years of God’s grace and blessings as a Congregation.

     On February 6, 1949, under the leadership of Rev. C.T. Wetzstein, 11 men signed the charter founding the Congregation, and chose the name Bethel.

     Looking back 75 years, it is with profound thanksgiving that we recognize that the congregation was established for postwar German immigrants who did not fully understand the language of their new homeland. Commencing with serving its founding members, and to the present day, we have been blessed to receive the message of salvation from a succession of devoted pastors. While the use of the German language has been mostly replaced by English, we will always rejoice in the confessional Lutheran heritage of the immigrants as part of our makeup. We continue to welcome new members with diverse immigrant backgrounds.

     Join us as we celebrate God’s richest blessings on February 4th with a special Sunday morning service. This will be followed by a hot buffet meal in our auditorium and a further program thereafter. Mark the date in your calendars. More details will be forthcoming in January.   

 

 

 

BETHEL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

75TH Anniversary Celebration Service

Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 10:00am

Guest preacher: Rev. Dr. Harald Tomesch

Program and Hot Buffet lunch to follow.

Please join us in sharing the blessing of

75 years of the Bethel congregation.

All are welcome!!!

 For those wishing to join us for lunch,

confirmation of your attendance is required no later than

Monday, January 29th.

 Please call or email the Bethel office at:

519-742-1589

lutheran@bethelkitchener.ca

(lunch will be by freewill offering)

Regular Services at Bethel:

English language services are held each Sunday starting at 10:00 am. We celebrate communion on the 2nd, 4th and, when it occurs, the 5th Sunday of each month.

A German language service is held monthly on the first Wednesday of each month starting at 2:00 pm.

A Portuguese language service is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month starting at 6:00 pm.

Bible Studies:

English language Bible studies are being held twice a month, as follows;

      The 2nd Sunday of the month starting at 9:00 am just ahead of our communion service.

      The 4th Wednesday of each month starting at 7:00 pm.

A Portuguese Bible study is held once a month on the 4th Saturday starting at 6:00 pm.

Upcoming Events:

Regular ongoing services are listed above. The dates below highlight special events or services being held.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

2:00 pm

German language service

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Following service

Coffee hour in the auditorium

Sunday, February 4, 2024

10:00 am

Special 75th Anniversary Service

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

2:00 pm

German language service

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Following service

Coffee hour in the auditorium

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday School
We continue see an increasing number of children who attend Sunday School at Bethel, and we thank God for this blessing. Our Sunday School teachers do an awesome job working with the children, but they need your help – “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.”  If you are able to help with this joyful task, please contact
Bettina Cook at 519-746-1022 (please leave a message if not answered).

Choirs, Choirs, Choirs:
A reminder and invitation that your voice is needed and welcomed amongst the choirs that we are blessed to have at Bethel. Choir members would love to have you join them and the Congregation would love to hear you!

·         German Choir holds Thursday practices starting at 6:30 in the balcony.

·         Praise Choir rehearses two or three Thursdays per month with an approximate start time of 7:30 pm.

Voters’ Meeting:

The Annual Voters’ Meeting will be held in February with a date yet to be determined. Stay tuned for further details. 

 

 

November/December 2023  

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Well, well, well…. here it is almost NOVEMBER!!  Time to change the clocks. Time for coats, hats, and some mornings, even gloves. Most of the leaves have fallen, but we are still seeing some beautiful colours. Soups and stews, and comfort food will soon be part of our daily fare again. And as we look a little further into November, our thoughts start to stray towards Craft Sales, cookie baking and things that bring us closer and closer to Christmas. Enjoy this month as best as you can, and hopefully you will be able to visit with friends and family.

Please continue to pray for all those around you. We ask that God would guide the hearts of many of the leaders of countries that are in strife. We pray for all the people that are struggling during the strife that continues to plague our world. We pray for those who are sick or homeless, for families that are struggling to make ends meet, for teachers and students–indeed we pray that God guides all of us, so that we may continue to serve Him and to do the things that are pleasing to Him.

There will be many things that will need to be noted on your calendars, so please take note of all the upcoming events listed below. Plan to be a part of services and special events so that we  may enjoy each other’s company and help each other to grow in faith and in love.

And now, on to DECEMBER. The last month of another year!! Time moves so swiftly, and we often hear people saying that they don’t know where the time goes!!  But—in December time seems to drag for the children!!  Is it Christmas yet??  What about now??  They are so excited for the snow, the pageants, the gifts, the food and everything that comes in December!! It is our job and our duty to remind them of what Christmas really means to and for us. And while we are teaching the children this important lesson, we are probably in need of a refresher course as adults too! We all seem to get very busy around the Christmas season, but we really need to slow down and remember to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Can you even try to imagine how the shepherds must have felt when a whole host of angels sang of the birth? Hopefully, you will be able to sing wonderful hymns during this month with your Bethel family at church. Sing in full voice of the beauty of the season!

Best wishes to all as we approach the end of another year! Know that God keeps you in His care every minute of every day.

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:   STANDING FIRM UNTIL THE END

When we are in danger, it’s really good to be able to trust in God. When you are in danger, it’s comforting to know that help is on the way. When danger is looming and frightening, nothing comforts us more than the assurance of safety.

In the Gospel text from Matthew 24, Jesus warns of the impending danger, the perils of the end times, the fear of signs of the end of days, saying, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.”

In recent days, we have heard and seen news about wars and rumors of wars around the world. Hurricanes, disasters, floods, and fires. Earthquakes and global warming. The planet seems like a hostile place to live, doesn’t it? A young man asked me recently, “Pastor, is it possible that a war could end the world before the Apocalypse, before the world’s end prepared by God?” We can see that even children are concerned about their future. They are also paying attention to the events happening in our world. How can we reassure others? How can we reassure ourselves?

First and foremost, we have to remember that God is all-knowing, everywhere, and all-powerful. He knows everything, is everywhere, and can do anything. God is in control of the situation. Nothing in this world will happen without His permission. Certainly, the catastrophes, wars, conflicts, and the like in this world are being watched by God. He not only knows about them but warned us that they would happen. He assured us: “But the one who stands firm until the end will be saved!”

Furthermore, what comforts us is knowing that no matter what happens in this world, God is preparing a special place for each of us. In the Gospel of John 14:2, we read that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for each of us who repent of the sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. And Jesus has the authority to guarantee this for all of us because He conquered sin and death. He overcame sin by paying for it with His death on the cross. He defeated death by rising on the third day. This is why God sent His Son Jesus into the world: to give us true peace, a peace that this world cannot provide.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we are once again preparing for special occasions in the Church that take place at the end of the year. The Reformation, which reminds us of Martin Luther’s struggle for everyone to know the Truth: Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All Saints’ Day, when we gratefully remember those who have passed away and, through faith, were forgiven and saved and now live in the special place that Jesus has prepared for each of them and is also preparing for each of us who are still living. And most importantly, Advent and Christmas, when we will once again celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, who came into the world to bring us peace, forgiveness, life, and salvation. Stay firm in your faith! Prepare your heart! Christ is coming! Amen.

Regular Services at Bethel:
English language services are held each Sunday starting at 10:00 am. We celebrate communion on the 2nd, 4th and, when it occurs, the 5th Sunday of each month. (Note: No 10:00 am service on Sunday, December 24th)
A German language service is held monthly on the first Wednesday of each month starting at 2:00 pm.
A Portuguese language service is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month starting at 6:00 pm.

 

Bible Studies:   English language Bible studies are being held twice a month, as follows;

  • The 2nd Sunday of the month starting at 9:00 am just ahead of our communion service.
  • The 4th Wednesday of each month starting at 7:00 pm.
    A Portuguese Bible study is held once a month on the 4th Saturday starting at 6:00 pm.

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, Nov. 1 & Dec. 6, 2023

2:00 pm

German language service

Saturday, Nov. 11, & Dec. 9, 2023

6:00 pm

Portuguese language service

Sunday, November 12, 2023

9:00 am

English language Bible study

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Following Service

VOTERS’ MEETING

Wednesday, Nov. 15 & , Dec.13 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Saturday, November 18, 2023

9:00 am

Church cleanup (rain date Sat. December 2nd)

Sunday, November 19 (Half day)*
Monday, November 20, 2023 (Full day)

*Noon to 5:00 pm 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Cookie baking at St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

7:00 pm

English language Bible study

Saturday, November 25, 2023

10:00 to 1:00 pm

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR

Saturday, November 25, 2023

6:00 pm

Portuguese language Bible study

Sunday December 3, 2023

10:00 am

First Advent – Special Sunday Service

Sunday, December 10, 2023

9:00 am

English language Bible study

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

7:00 pm

English language Bible study

Sunday, December 24, 2023

No 10 am Service

See afternoon services below

Sunday, December 24, 2023

3:00 pm

Christmas Eve service – German

Sunday, December 24, 2023

5:00 pm

Christmas Eve service – English

Monday, December 25, 2023

10:00 am

Christmas Day service – English with communion

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

No service

Boxing Day

Sunday December 31, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday service with communion

All Saints Day:   All Saints Day service will be Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 10:00 am.

Voters’ Meeting:   A Voters’ Meeting will be held immediately following the service on Sunday November 12, 2023. Refreshments will be available. Please plan to attend.

Church Clean up:   Fall cleanup of the church grounds and interior will be held on Sat., Nov. 18 starting at 9:00 am (rain Sat., Dec. 2nd). Grab your gloves, rake, broom etc. and please join the annual tidy up project. A light lunch will be served following.

Cookie Baking:   We will be holding our Christmas Bazaar again this year and your assistance with baking cookies is needed. Baking sessions will be held on Sunday, November 19 from Noon to 5:00 pm and Monday, November 20 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We will be using the kitchen facilities at St. Mary’s Catholic Church – 56 Duke Street West, Kitchener. Please contact Linda Brandt at 519-893-2320.  A sign-up sheet will be available, shortly. Thank you in advance for your help!!

Christmas Bazaar:  The bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 25 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Bethel auditorium. It will feature our butter cookies, pea soup, sausages, coffee and cake, Attic Treasures and crafts. We are looking for volunteers and donations of baking, crafts and items for the Attic Treasures table. Anyone interested in donating or assisting can contact Linda Brandt at 519-893-2320. Please support this enjoyable annual event.

First Advent Service:  A special First Advent service will be held during our service on Sunday, December 3rd – no afternoon Adventsfeier event will be held. A coffee hour follow the service, and we invite you to join us for refreshments and fellowship.

Poinsettias for sale:  Poinsettias will be available again this year. They can be pre-ordered by contacting Ingrid Drung at 519-888-7351. Additionally, plants will be made available for purchase at the Christmas Bazaar.

oneROOF Donations:  Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! An incredible response was delivered by the Bethel Congregation in supporting our neighbours at oneROOF. Donations of clothing, toiletries and other items were provided and very well received & appreciated.

Choirs, Choirs, Choirs:  A reminder and an invitation that your voice is needed and welcomed amongst the choirs that we are blessed to have at Bethel. Existing choir members would love to have you join them and the Congregation would love to hear you!
            German Choir holds Thursday practices starting at 6:30 in the balcony.
            Praise Choir rehearses two or three Thursday monthly with an approximate start time of 7:30 pm.

Bethel 75th Anniversary:   Mark Your Calendars!!!!
We will celebrate the Congregation’s 75th Anniversary on Sunday, February 4, 2024. More details to come.

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS Sunday, November 5th at 2:00 am is the end of daylight savings time and this means we adjust our clocks, watches, stoves, etc., back one hour. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

See you at Sunday service!!!

 
September 2023          

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Well, hello SEPTEMBER, and welcome!!  It’s back to school for students of all ages, and fall will begin.  We have had a glorious summer, and for the first time in many years, the lawns remained green for the whole summer!!  Have you ever seen the corn grow so tall as it did this year?  The harvest is so bountiful, and we thank God for it.  Cauliflower the size of basketballs, beautiful broccoli, potatoes in abundance, and so much more.

We pray for all of the people going back to school.  Teachers, students, bus drivers, custodians—all who are involved in the teaching of our children.  May God bless them all and keep them in His protection, so that they may do their jobs as is pleasing to Him.

In SEPTEMBER, the Seniors will be meeting on the SECOND Wednesday of the month instead of the THIRD.  This is a change for the month of September only so that we may accommodate the District Pastors meeting at our church on Sept 20.

Choirs will start up again in September too, so put that on your calendar as well.

And a special welcome to fall.  The leaves will begin to change colour, and if you can, do take a drive through the country to enjoy the colours!  Many people say that fall is their favourite time of the year.  It’s so wonderful to sleep with the windows open again, and the cool winds blowing in.  Enjoy the season!

Please continue to pray for the needs of all people.  Stay in touch and encourage each other wherever possible.  Be thankful for all that God has given you and try to help those less fortunate wherever you can.

Now, onto OCTOBER. In this month, we will celebrate Thanksgiving.  While we need to thankful every day, we set this day aside so that we may thank God together.  Even if we tried, we probably would be unable to count up all of the blessings He gives us each and every day.  His mercy and goodness know no bounds. Thanks be to God!!

In this month, we will likely start wearing long-sleeved shirts again, and our light-weight jackets will be by our sides again.  Hopefully, you will be able to enjoy a walk or a hike somewhere, as most of the bugs will be gone, and the air will feel crisp and clean.  We pray for all of the people who are still fighting the forest fires throughout the country, and hope that all of the people involved in trying to get some control will be kept safe.

Blessings to all!

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:

Service in Response to Love

How often do we go about our day without paying attention to others? In our lives, we often talk about our feelings without truly listening to the real difficulties faced by those around us. It’s as if only our life matters amidst the challenges people face.

This happens because we are naturally self-focused. We tend to think about our own basic needs before considering others. Of course, in order to help others, we need to be well ourselves. It’s like the safety instructions on an airplane: you need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else with theirs. But in our spiritual life, how do we ensure we are well within ourselves so that we can help others?

Although Jesus was a great speaker, one of His most used virtues and ways of teaching or comforting people was by listening to them. Jesus sees suffering. A beautiful example is when Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law. Jesus saw her lying sick and immediately went to help her (Matthew 8:14-15). Jesus often praises the faith of those He heals or helps. While healing Peter’s mother-in-law, He doesn’t explicitly refer to her faith. But her action of serving Jesus in gratitude demonstrates her faith. Through actions, faith can be witnessed.

When we act kindly towards someone, it’s not to earn rewards from God, but out of gratitude and as a testimony of our faith. Our acts of love show who we are and what we believe. Thus, God’s grace in Christ justifies humans. And in response, humans act in gratitude and love towards others, desiring them to also know the saving Gospel. In these moments, we shift our focus from just our needs to listening, understanding, and caring about the needs of others. God enables us to serve, and that’s why we can serve others. Everything stems from God’s love.

Therefore, God’s love, grace, forgiveness and the assurance of eternal life grant us true spiritual peace. When we are certain that Jesus Christ saved us and did everything for us, we are at peace with ourselves. Our certainty doesn’t depend on our actions; it’s assured by God. Spiritual peace, the certainty of forgiveness and eternal life, provides us with the calmness and security to then act for the well-being of others.

The love given to us by God’s grace can be shared among our fellow humans. Once we are strong in faith in Christ, we can bring about good for others. So, we don’t act on our own, but it is God working in and through us. May we always be instruments in God’s hands, acting for the good of others, just as God acted in our favor. Amen.

Upcoming Dates:

Sunday August 27, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with communion

Sunday September 3, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service

Wednesday September 6, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

Sunday September 10, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with communion

Wednesday September 13, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday September 17, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service (Coffee Hour to follow)

Sunday September 24, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with communion

Sunday October 1, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service

Wednesday October 4, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

Sunday October 8, 2023

10:00 am

Thanksgiving Service with communion

Sunday October 15, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service

Wednesday October 18, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday October 22, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with communion

Sunday October 29, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with communion

Choirs, Choirs, Choirs

At Bethel, we have always been blessed with wonderful choirs. For some it has been a lifetime of singing. Being in church choir is a meaningful contribution to church life and an enriching personal spiritual experience, combined with friendships, joy and often a boast to one’s physical well-being. God blesses virtually everyone with voices that can sing. Won’t you come and join us too?

German Choir resumes weekly Thursday practices starting at 6:30 on Thurs. Sept. 7 in the balcony.

Praise Choir rehearses two or three times monthly and will resume rehearsals Thurs. Sept. 7 with a 7:30 arrival time.

We would love to have you join us!

Thanksgiving Service and Altar Harvest Table

We will be celebrating Thanksgiving during our communion service on Sunday October 8. This is a time to gather with family and friends and reflect upon the many blessings we have to be grateful for. Join us on the 8th and kindly extend an invitation to others to participate in this joyful service.

The altar harvest table is a tradition at Bethel and it will be set up on Saturday, October 7. Should you wish to make a contribution of produce, flowers or other appropriate items to the display please have them at the church by 9 a.m. that day. Earlier drop offs are welcomed. Thank you!

On behalf of Bethel Council

Jim Gardiner, Council Chair

August 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Well, here we are in the middle of a glorious summer, and already it is AUGUST! August – the month of wonderful fresh
produce! Everything out of the gardens around us!! Market days are a joy! Beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage,
cauliflower, and corn! Everything tastes so good! We thank God for the bounteous fruits of the fields! We ask that God
would teach and remind us to be grateful for all of His gifts.
As this month progresses, you will already see the signs of fall coming. While we are loving and enjoying the long days,
one can already sense that the sun is changing its position. God is truly great, and with every breath we take there is
something new to marvel about each and every day!
We hope that you are enjoying your summer days. Hiking, biking, swimming, boating, camping, outdoor cooking, or
even just visiting with family, friends and neighbours out on the patio. Enjoy these wonderful days and remember to
stay in touch with those who are unable to get out.
This will be the last of the monthly newsletters, and as of next month, you will be receiving a newsletter EVERY OTHER
MONTH. The newsletter was an idea that began when we were all isolated during COVID, and we feel that’s
continuation is still an important part of outreach.
Pastor Schmidt and his wife Natacha have now been with us for six months, and we hope that you are attending and
enjoying services. As he and his wife become more familiar with both our country and our congregation, we are sure
that our regular services and activities will thrive under his guidance. Again – thanks be to God for looking after our
congregation!
Please continue to pray for all those around you, according to their needs. While we all have much to be grateful for,
there are also many troubled people in our midst. We pray that God would stretch His loving arms around them, and
that He would continue to see to their needs.
God bless us all!

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:
DEBT PAID

A certain gentleman owed $10,000 to a bank. He was sad and worried that he did not see a way to pay the bill. His
friends, knowing this, got together, raised all the money needed and paid this gentleman’s bill.
Already without much hope, he went to the bank to look for a way to enter into an agreement. Upon arriving at the
cashier, the banker told him: “Your account is paid.” “But how so?” asked the gentleman. To which the banker replied:
“Your friends paid the bill for you.”
That gentleman was filled with joy. Tears rolled down his face. A huge gratitude washed over him. He felt like doing
something in return, but he didn’t have enough money. How could he repay this immense favour?
Just as that gentleman did not know how to repay his friends’ favour, so we cannot repay God’s favour. God forgave
our debt, because our friend, Jesus Christ, paid for our sins with His blood on the cross. And all this was for free! We
may even think about paying, but we will never come close to what God has done for us. That’s why God doesn’t
charge us anything. And everything we do is just in gratitude, in love for our neighbor, seeking to imitate God’s love.
The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and
gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins
against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as
though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made
him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God loved you. And he sent Jesus into the world to die and pay your debt. Do you still feel the need to do something?
Share this love with others. Talk about this love of God. Announce God’s love to whomever you can. You can do all
these things out of gratitude to God. But always remember: He doesn’t charge you anything! Everything He did was
because He is your best friend and loves you! Amen.
Upcoming Dates:
Wednesday August 2, 2023 2:00 pm German Service
Sunday August 6, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service
Sunday August 13 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion
Sunday August 20, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service
Sunday August 27, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion
Sunday September 3, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service
Wednesday September 6, 2023 2:00 pm German Service
Sunday September 10, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion
Sunday September 17, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service (Coffee Hour to follow)
Vacation Bible School:
Thanks to all the volunteers who made VBS a success once again this year. Special thanks to Erika and Linda Brandt for
taking a leadership role with the VBS!!!
Voters’ Meeting:
A Voters meeting will be held in September to update all congregation members on the “goings on” at Bethel. A date
has yet to be determined ……. Stay tuned.
German Service:
German language services will continue to be held over the summer months. Join us the first Wednesday of each
month at 2 pm.
On behalf of Bethel Council
Jim Gardiner
Council Chair

July, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
It’s hard to believe, but half of the year has gone by and here we are in JULY. We had a lovely ceremony and luncheon to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our church building, and we are already beginning to think about how we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of our church in the upcoming year!! We have been very blessed in our past. We also continue to recognize our heritage by including a German hymn in our service every Sunday. Thanks be to God for all of the goodness He has bestowed on us in the past and continues to do so as we continue to worship and glorify His Name. We are beginning to see some fresh produce already. The strawberries this year are amazing!! Already the cucumbers are for sale at the market. Everything tastes SO good, Mmmmmm……strawberry rhubarb pie!! We can look forward to market days and good eating! Again…. thanks be to God. There are many outdoor sports that we can all take advantage of in the good weather. Hiking, biking, and swimming are just a few. Enjoy the time with each other, with children, and with grandchildren too. Remember to be safe!! We believe that our newsletter has become an important part of our church. Originally, it was started during COVID when we all felt so disconnected. We felt it was very important for everyone to know that we were thinking of them. Thankfully we are moving past that time, and we are enjoying a more active church life. Please pray that this will continue and that we will continue to strive to strengthen each other. Having said that, the newsletter will continue to be published, but we will try to have a newsletter EVERY OTHER MONTH beginning in September. Vacation Bible School will take place this month and we hope that everyone will have a good time while learning more about God. Teaching the children is an important responsibility and we thank all of the people that are involved with this. Please continue to pray for all of those around you. Family and friends, the sick and lonely, the hungry and homeless, those still struggling in war-torn zones, the firefighters who continue to battle the forest fires—all of these people need our prayers. Pray for all people according to their needs. Have a great month!!
From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:
May God protect us from ourselves!
When we are in danger it is very good to be able to trust in God, and to know that He will always be there to help us. When danger is imminent and frightens us, nothing comforts us more than the assurance of safety.
In the text of the Gospel of Luke 21. 25, Jesus warns of the coming danger, the danger of the days of the end, the fear of the signs of the ending times, saying: “And there will be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and in the land anguish of the nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and of the waves.”
Nowadays, the communication systems, mainly television and internet, show the fear for what is happening. They bring news about hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, droughts and the event that is the subject of the moment: global overheating. The polar ice caps melt, the seas rise, islands disappear, people are frightened by unprecedented weather events. People try to find ways to reverse the situation in which planet Earth finds itself. But God is warning us that the world is closer to the end than the beginning!
Our region has been able to experience some of the tragedy resulting from the ecological imbalance these days. The example of the fires we have seen in Canada leaves us perplexed. Many people had to flee and lost their possessions. There is still a lot of difficulty in putting out the fire and the fire has not yet been completely extinguished.
When things like this happen, we tend to look for culprits. Sometimes we even (unfairly) blame God. We think: “Why would God, being so powerful, allow this?” Well, I believe that God allows for people to continue doing what they want, making their own decisions. God has given us freedom to act. But the human being did not know how to use freedom and fell into sin, with Adam and Eve. God gave us the planet to take care of it, that was the first commandment ever. But we destroyed it with garbage, deforestation and changes in fauna and flora caused by irresponsible management.
All that remains is to ask God to console the families of the victims of the catastrophes with the certainty that He gives us new opportunities. And may God also forgive all of us human beings for not knowing how to manage the planet Earth, created perfect by Him, but destroyed by men.
And you know what? Something very similar happens in our spiritual life. Sin can often bring destruction to our lives. And if we don’t do something about it, such as asking forgiveness for our sins and changing our lives, these sins can become real fires and destroy our spiritual life. The good news is that we have more than a fire extinguisher or a fireman to solve this. We have Jesus Christ, who not only puts out the fire of sin, but actually restores our spiritual life as if it were brand new. May the Lord God always allow us to relearn to take care of what He has given us. May we relearn to take care of all the material goods that God gives us every day. And may we also manage our faith in Jesus Christ well, basing it on the Word of God, revealed to us for our salvation. Amen. Upcoming Dates: Sunday July 9, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion Sunday July 16, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service July 17th to 20th 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Vacation Bible School Sunday July 23, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion Sunday July 30 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion Wednesday August 2, 2023 2:00 pm German Service Sunday August 6, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service Sunday August 13 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion Sunday August 20, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service Sunday August 27, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service with communion Sunday September 3, 2023 10:00 am Sunday Service Wednesday September 6, 2023 2:00 pm German Service
Vacation Bible School: VBS will be held at Bethel Monday July 17th through Thursday July 20th at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. This year’s theme is; Babylon – Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. VBS is for all children Preschool age and up and we ask that you register through the church office. Thanks to Erika Brandt for her leadership with VBS again this year!!!! And to all those assisting Erika with the various aspects of this wonderful summer activity. Voters’ Meeting: A Voters meeting will be held in September to update all congregation members on the “goings on” at Bethel. A date has yet to be determined ……. Stay tuned.
German Service: German language services will continue to be held over the summer months. Join us the first Wednesday of each month at 2 pm.

    Evangelisch Lutherische Bethel Kirche /  Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church

                                                                                                                                                  May 2023       

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

………and just like that, it’s MAY!!  We have had a very strange spring, with heavy snowfalls and big temperature changes, but we have come to the month of May.  This month, we will see the leaves just suddenly pop on the trees, and soon we will enjoy seeing the flowers in everyone’s gardens.  The vegetable gardens will be planted, and we can already anticipate fresh veggies and salads.  Lawn mowing and gardening will soon begin as well.

This is the month that we celebrate Mother’s Day, and there is more information pertaining to that at the bottom of your letter.  Let the women in your life know that you appreciate all that they have done for you and for others.

This is the month when we start to think of vacations and just spending time outdoors.  Picnics, barbecues, soccer, baseball, tennis—whatever your summer joys are—we hope that you will enjoy times spent with family and friends.  As always, be safe!!  Visit those that can’t get out anymore, and continue to pray for all.  All people that are in government, and all people that are in any teaching positions need our prayers.  The world seems to moving at a faster pace all the time, and we need to remember to have quiet and prayer time.

So—start enjoying our warmer weather in whatever way you like—walk, garden, barbecue, participate in sports or anything else that brings you joy.  Continue to pray for all, remembering that there are many people that are sick, or lonely, or without jobs, or suffering mentally or spiritually.  Help comfort and strengthen others, so that we may all praise and glorify God!

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:

Bright hope for the darkness

When I arrived in Canada, at the end of January, it was still summer in Brazil. Upon arriving here, I had the first experience of very cold and dark days. With the arrival of spring the days were getting brighter, the temperature was rising, and I could see people getting happier and happier.  An increasing hope for better days in the future. A bright hope for the darkness.

For some, however, even with more beautiful days, the future is a reason for concern and fear possibly because they are going through moments of drama and difficulty in their lives. Certainly, at some time in your life, you have felt fear. Unfortunately, some say fear is for the weak, but there are many different reasons to be afraid. Some people are afraid that their past will be discovered. Other people are afraid of the future. There are those who are afraid of being afraid, as someone who suffered from panic disorder once told me. There are situations in our lives that leave us not knowing what to do. We are afraid of making mistakes. Or we are afraid to move forward. It may be that you are going through a situation with no apparent solution right now. What will you do?

In the Bible, more specifically in Ezekiel 34. 11-12, we can read the following: “For thus says the LORD God: “Behold, I myself will search for my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he finds his sheep scattered, so will I seek out my sheep; I will deliver them from all the places where they will be scattered in the cloudy and dark day.”

On days of fear and sadness, we can be like this: not knowing where to go. And it may sound cliché, but this is really what happens! We are looking for a way to solve our problems, but it seems that our resources are not enough to move forward, to overcome the problems, to see beyond. At this time, perhaps the best thing to do is to stop and think. Looking at everything calmly, patiently, waiting for the right moment to act. Wait for the clouds or darkness to pass. And trust in God’s words: “I will deliver them (sheep) from every place where they will be scattered on the cloudy and dark day”.

The greatest darkness in our life is sin. But Jesus brought us the light of forgiveness to deliver us from the devil. And this God who has the power to forgive, has the power to take care of our lives. Problems can take us away from tranquility. They can take us away from sanity and concentration. They can drive us away from people. They can distance us from social life, or even from God. But even in these moments, God has his hand outstretched and gives us hope. It gives us patience, promises better days in this world when we are firm in Him and waves us with Eternal Life (Seek the Lord and His righteousness, and all other things will be added to you – Matthew 6.33). God wants to give us peace, for he tells us: “Behold, I myself will search for my sheep, and seek them out.” Pray to God. Put your life in His hands. He will hear you and, in His time, in His way, He will respond. God is the bright hope for the darkness of our lives. Amen.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

Sunday, May 7, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service

Sunday, May 14, 2023

9:00 am

 

10:00 am

Coffee hour to recognize Mother’s Day will be held in the Auditorium.

Sunday Service with Communion

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday, May 21, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service (no Coffee Hour)

Sunday, May 28, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, June 5, 2023

10:00 am

Sunday Service

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

Mothers’ Day:

Join us on Sunday. May 4 at 9:00 am, as we join in fellowship and celebrate Mothers’ Day. We will have coffee and cake in the auditorium starting at 9:00 am and followed by Sunday Service at 10:00am.

Anniversary Celebration – 60 years at 47 Sheldon Ave:

On Sunday, June 25th we celebrate 60 years within our current church building. A special service will start at 10:00 am with a luncheon to immediately follow in the auditorium. Plan to attend! Invite a friend! And spread the word to members and friends of Bethel! We look forward to seeing you and celebrating this milestone in the history of our Bethel Congregation.

Evangelisch Lutherische Bethel Kirche / Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church

                                                                                                                                                 April 2023     

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

If it appears that this APRIL newsletter is coming right on the heels of the March letter—it is!!  We have such exciting news, and we want you to share it with us and rejoice!

Our entire world was turned upside down with COVID and we are still trying to recover and live with it!  We were unable to get together for worship and are only now slowly trying to get back to regular service activities in the church.  Thanks be to God!!

As such, we are so happy to announce that we will be having German services once again.  On the first Wednesday of every month, we will have a German service at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  This will be a great opportunity for our Bethel Family to help spread the Word of God.  Please help us to do this.  Spread the word to as many people as you can to let them know that this opportunity to worship is open to all!  The first service will be held on April 5th.

Right after that, we will celebrate Easter.  Jesus has risen and conquered death!  Our sins are paid for IN FULL!  Glory and thanks be to God! Come and celebrate with us at Easter and every Sunday!  It is so important that we strengthen our faith in this world that seems to have forgotten to put God first.  The way of the world and the way of God are often at odds & do not mesh. This is because of the world’s, and our, sinful nature. Let us always focus on God’s true path. We must help each other to take the narrow path that will lead to God’s Kingdom.  It is not always an easy path to follow.  Jesus showed us this when He even had to carry His own cross in Golgotha.  We too often have crosses to bear and have struggles to overcome.  God is always there to share the burdens provide comfort.  Trust in Him always.

The days are getting longer, the snow is melting, and soon the trees will be getting their leaves back!  Hopefully, winter coats, hats and mitts will take their place in the back of the closet, and we will enjoy being outside again.  Until then, be patient and enjoy each day as it comes.  While we may be done with the shoveling, soon we will need to see to the gardens and mow the lawn.  And do the spring cleaning.  And do the windows.  And……there will always be chores that come with the seasons!!  Thanks be to God for all of it.

As always, continue to pray for all people.  Thank the Lord for all He has given you.  Many people need our prayers.  First, and foremost, the Church.  May the Word be spread to all the corners of the earth, and may all who hear it accept it, love it, and learn to live it.

The Lord is risen!!   He is risen indeed!

 Upcoming Dates:

Sunday, March 26, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday April 2, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service

Wednesday April 5, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

Friday, April 7, 2023

10:00 am

Good Friday Service with Communion

Sunday, April 9, 2023

8:30 am

Easter Sunday Breakfast (in the auditorium)

Sunday, April 9, 2023

10:00 am

Easter Sunday Service

Sunday, April 16, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion (Coffee hour to follow with short presentation by Hannah Gardiner)

Wednesday April 19, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday April 23, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday April 30, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Wednesday May 3, 2023

2:00 pm

German Service

From the Desk of Pastor Schmidt:

In the spotlight!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ: What has been in your spotlight lately? Sometimes some people like to be in the spotlight, while this can cause discomfort and annoyance for others. But this is not the case when that person is Jesus Christ. He has to be in the spotlight. Why?

Many may not realize it, but “Christian” means that people who call themselves by that name are “Christocentric”. Jesus Christ must be the center of their lives. Indeed, Christ is the center of the entire Bible and all of human history. Of course, the Bible tells the story of several different people, but it is the story of their relationship with God …. how these people lived the promise of the Savior’s coming …. how they waited for Him …. how they reacted when He was in the world …. how they spread His Gospel and how they prepared for His return, when He comes to judge the world and save His own.

Jesus Christ is the main character in the story of Salvation. And He should be in the spotlight of our life too because it is the only way that we can be saved (Acts 4.12). It has already become a cliché to criticize the fact that many, at Easter, care more about chocolates than about Christ. But what can we do if people keep making this same mistake every year? We can never forget the reason for Easter, the center of Easter and the Holy Week: Jesus Christ. Our Savior. The only one who can forgive and save the repentant sinner. Easter is about Jesus living and being in the spotlight of your life and mine! Amen.

Lenten and Easter Services:

Good Friday worship service, with communion, will be held on April 7th at 10:00 am and Easter Sunday is on April 9th at 10:00 am. We look forward to seeing you there.

Easter Breakfast:

Join us ahead of our Easter Service for a light breakfast and fellowship starting at 8:30 am. Thanks to the Praise Choir for organizing this opportunity for Congregation members to gather and rejoice.

 Community Donation:

As discussed at our last Voters’ meeting, there is a desire to see Bethel extend its support to our broader community by donating some of the proceeds received when the parsonage was sold. A total of $90,000, representing approximately 10% of the parsonage sale proceeds, has been earmarked to support various causes. To date, $10,000 has been contributed with Canadian Lutheran World Relief receiving funds to support their efforts with the Ukrainian conflict.

Your suggestions for other causes worthy of our support are appreciated. These causes should align with our Lutheran faith, generally, and broadly, with our Christian mission. Suggestions can be passed on to Council members or the office with a preference for these to be received in writing. Feel free, however, to call, email or communicate your thoughts face to face. We look forward to receiving your ideas.

Newsletter Distribution

If you wish to receive this newsletter electronically, please contact the church office and provide office staff with your email address.

On behalf of Bethel Council

Jim Gardiner

Council Chair

                                                                          

March 2023         

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Here we go— “MARCH-ing” right towards spring!!  This is the month that spring will officially begin and also the month that we move into Daylight Savings Time.  Soon our days will be longer, and we will hopefully begin to experience more sunny days.

As for our Christian calendar, we are right in the middle of Lent. A time of reflection for all of us. This is the time that Christ made His tough journey for our sakes. We heard about the time that Satan tempted Jesus. We will remember about His betrayal, the prayers in the garden, His final walks and talks with His disciples and finally His sacrifice for us.

There is so much beautiful music written for this time of the year. Words and notes that really do bring out the “passion” of the season. It is a time for all of us to think about our lives, to realize what a gift that God has given to us and what a sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  We pray, as always, that Christ will give us the strength to live our lives every day in a way that is pleasing to Him.

As spring approaches, we start to think about putting away shovels, coats and mittens and hopefully seeing flowers outside soon. The first snowdrops have already made an appearance in sunny and protected places! They are still trying to poke through at the edge of buildings even with this snow that we have had!!  Amazing! They certainly are a surprise that puts a smile on your face!

Please continue to pray for all peoples. The Church needs our prayers most of all. We are living in very trying times, and it seems that we, as Christians, are being challenged on so many fronts. We are being called upon to be strong. Love your neighbour. Pray that the Holy Spirit will stir the hearts of all of us. Prayer is powerful! It is also important to remember that while we may be tempted to judge others and their actions, we need to leave that to God. When we lead a life that is pleasing in His eyes, we show others God’s way. With our prayers and actions, we hope to lead others to Him and His Kingdom.

Please take note of the upcoming dates on our calendar. Your participation is important. Let us join together when we can to worship God together and to offer fellowship to each other.  A kind word and a smile are something we all love and need.

Stay strong in body and in spirit!

A Message from Pastor Schmidt:

Hello dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I am very glad to meet you. I’m Pastor Davi Schmidt, Bethel’s new Pastor. My wife, Natacha Teske, and I would like to say that we are very happy for the Call that God has given us to serve and be a part of the Bethel congregation. We also want to thank God for the wonderful people we have met within the congregation and for the warm & friendly way in which we were welcomed here. Those who still haven’t had the opportunity to meet us, I invite you to come to the services at Bethel so that we can get to know each other personally and praise our God together. I wish to see you soon. God bless you all!

Time to change the clocks:

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 3:00 am local time. Don’t forget to put your clocks ahead before bedtime!!!

Lenten and Easter Services:

We will not be holding mid-week Lenten service. During the Lenten season Bethel members are invited to attend Dinner and Service at Historic St. Paul’s, 137 Queen Street South, Kitchener. Dinner starts at 5:30 pm followed by the service.

Good Friday worship service, with communion, will be held on April 7th at 10:00 am and Easter Sunday is on April 9th, again, at 10:00 am. We look forward to seeing you there.

Upcoming Dates:

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Daylight Savings Time starts

Move your clocks forward one hour

Sunday, March 12, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium

Sunday, March 19, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service (coffee hour to follow)

Sunday, March 26, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday April 2, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service

Friday, April 7, 2023

10:00 am

Good Friday Service with Communion

Sunday, April 9, 2023

10:00 am

Easter Sunday Service

Church Council

At the Voters’ Assembly Meeting on Sunday, February 12th, Council elections were held. Seven candidates were on the slate and were acclaimed to fill the twelve available Council positions. Following the Voters’ meeting, the following Council position were assigned;

Chair                                                   Jim Gardiner                           Elder                           Paul Dieterle

Treasurer                                           David Hill                                Elder                           Harry Drung

Secretary                                            Linda Brandt                           Elder                           Harold Merkel

Trustee/Financial Secretary             Ian Cook

We are always in need of helping hands on the Church Council. Please prayerfully consider joining us in serving our Bethel family.

Newsletter Distribution

If you wish to receive this newsletter electronically, please contact the church office and provide office staff with your email address.

On behalf of Bethel Council

Jim Gardiner

Council Chair

   

Evangelisch Lutherische Bethel Kirche / Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church

                                                                                                                                                    February 2023    

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Well… February has arrived and so have Pastor Schmidt and his wife, Natacha. Thanks be to God!!  We are thankful that He has provided us with a new shepherd, and we are also thankful for their safe arrival into our country.

We celebrated an Installation service and we were blessed to have many people in attendance. The service was wonderful—many pastors adding their prayers to the service and singing with full heart and voice. The choirs and instrumentalists were also a welcome addition to the service. We give thanks to all who participated. Pastor Schmidt took an oath to be our Pastor and lead us with the help of God. As a congregation, we also promised to support him in his efforts. We pray that God will continue to bless us so that we may continue to serve Him.  If you would like to see a video of this service it can be found on our website under video services (https://www.bethelkitchener.ca/video-services).

We also shared in some fellowship, and of course some good food, after the service.  It was so good to have time to meet with the Pastor and with each other.

February is the month that we seem to think of as that dreary time that we have to endure to get us closer to spring. The celebrations of Christmas are now well behind us, and we are in the midst of Canadian winter weather. For some this means a time of skiing, skating, and other winter activities, and for others this is a time of staying indoors and trying to keep warm. Regardless of what you are doing, please take care when walking or driving in this weather.

As always, please continue to support and pray for each other. Many people are struggling with physical or spiritual things and could use a kind word or a prayer. Stay in contact with each other and offer whatever help that you can.

One of the hymns we sang in the Installation service was “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” / “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren.” The fifth verse is one that we strive to follow every day of our lives.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him!

All that has life and breath, come now with praises before Him!

Let the Amen

Sound from His people again;

Gladly forever adore Him!

 Lobe den Herren, was in mir ist, lobe den Namen.

Alles, was Odem hat, lobe mit Abrahams Samen.
Er ist dein Licht, Seele, vergiß es ja nicht.
Lobende, schließe mit Amen.

A Message from Pastor Scharlach:

Hello and Aufwiedersehen.

Hello because this is another contribution to the newsletter for you folk at Bethel. What began as a short term relationship (in my mind, yours too I bet) turned out to be long term. Who determines what long term is? Over the months I have enjoyed speaking with and to all of you. I have tried to bring a fresh look at God’s word for all of us. My goal was to get you thinking about how the Word might apply to each of you individually. Only you will know how successful my efforts were.

Aufwiedersehen because from my limited German nuances this is far from the finality of English “good-bye.” Elaine and I are not cutting ties with you at all. We intend to return for worship with you several times a year. At the present time, I have agreed to help Davi and Natacha acclimatize to the new church and societal cultures. For the most part this will be in the background. After he is comfortable being at Bethel, you will see us more often for sure.

Gott sei mit Euch!!

Lenten and Easter Services:

We will not be holding mid-week Lenten service. Good Friday worship service, with communion, will be held on April 7th at 10:00 am and Easter Sunday is on April 9th, again, at 10:00 am. We look forward to seeing you there.

Upcoming Dates:

Sunday, February 19, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service

Sunday, February 26, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, March 5, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium 

Church Council

We are always in need of helping hands on the Church Council. Council elections will be held at the upcoming Voters” Meeting. Please give prayerful consideration to joining those Bethel members who continue to serve and contribute to the Bethel family.

Newsletter Distribution

If you wish to receive this newsletter electronically, please contact the church office and provide office staff with your email address.

On behalf of Bethel Council

Jim Gardiner

Council Chair

 

    

Evangelisch Lutherische Bethel Kirche / Bethel Evangelical Lutheran  Church

                                                                                                                                                         January 2023      

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Happy New Year!  Yes…while we continue to celebrate the birth of Our Lord, a new year has started.  It seems that it was not so long ago that the people of the world were concerned about the change from 1999 to 2000 (Y2K) and now here we are, almost a quarter of the way into that century!

The world seems to be moving at an ever faster pace, and so much has happened over the past few years.  Thankfully, God has remained the same as always, and we know that we can go to Him whenever we want, and He will always be there.  Our rock and our Redeemer.  Take your worries and give them to Him.  He will always be there for you!  We also need to remember to go to Him with our thanks and our joy!

We are living in a peaceful country, and we have food, clothing and shelter.  So many people in the world do not have these things.  So, we should always try to remember the positive things in our lives.  God wants us to be thankful and grateful.  And a positive outlook on life is good for us too!  Sometimes it seems easier to focus on the things that are negative, and we forget about the many blessings that we receive daily.

Hopefully you all managed to spend some time with loved ones over the Christmas season.  The weather certainly did not cooperate with many of our plans!  While some of us just had to stay put at home, many people were stranded—on the roads, at airports, or in hotels just waiting for flights and for roads to be clear.  We thank God for watching over us and keeping us safe.

January seems to be the time that we all make plans for things we want to do in the coming year.  You know—those New Year’s resolutions that we make.  First, we’ll want to lose those pounds that we put on from the delicious Christmas foods we had!  The cookies, the turkey, the chocolate, and whatever other goodies you had!  Many of us will plan for trips we hope to take this year, and people we would like to see throughout the year.  As members of Bethel, we are also very excited this January.  Our new Pastor will arrive soon!  Thanks be to God!  We look forward to his arrival, along with his wife, and we pray that God continue to keep them in His care as they make this very big change in their lives.

After all of the hustle and bustle around the Christmas season, January and February tend to be slower months.  Often the weather keeps us inside, and we need to remember that there are many people who could use our prayers and thoughts.  A phone call or a visit with a shut-in is always welcome, especially at this time of the year, when we seem to be more isolated.  Having said that, let’s be positive and note that as of December 22 the days start to get longer again!!  There are many people who enjoy walking in the woods in winter, going skating or skiing, and just generally loving this season too!

Please continue to pray for all.  Family, friends, co-workers, ministers, teachers, nurses and doctors, police and fire fighters, the sick and the elderly, the homeless, those in war-torn countries, and so many countless more.  Let’s be thankful for all that we have, and pray that God will continue to comfort those in need.

Happy New Year to all!  May God bless you and continue to keep you in His loving care.

Pastoral Update

GREAT NEWS!!! Pastor Schmidt and his wife Natacha are now in receipt of work visas from the Government of Canada and this allows us to start the final stages of planning for their arrival from Brazil. While final dates have not yet been set, we expect their arrival the 3rd or 4th week of January and from there, in conjunction with the Circuit and Regional Pastors, we will look to set an installation date sometime in February.

We ask that you join us in praying for Pr. Schmidt & Natacha as they make final preparations for this move. And we ask that you also pray for the congregation of Florianopolis, Brazil, which Pastor will be vacating.

Seniorenverein

Seniorenverein meetings are held on the third Wednesday at 2:00 pm in the Church auditorium. These meeting will be held each month excepting the months of July and August. Plan on attending!!!!

Important Dates Upcoming:

Sunday, January 8, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, January 15, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service (coffee following service)

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

2:00 pm

Seniorenverein in the Bethel auditorium                                                                  

Sunday, January 22, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, January 29, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, February 5, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service

Sunday, February 12, 2023

10:00 am

Regular Sunday Service with Communion

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Following our regular service

Voters’ Meeting in the Bethel auditorium (lunch will be available)

Church Council

We are always in need of helping hands on the Church Council. Council elections will be held at the upcoming Voters” Meeting. Please give prayerful consideration to joining those Bethel members who continue to serve and contribute to the Bethel family.

Newsletter Distribution

If you wish to receive this newsletter electronically, please contact the church office and provide office staff with your email address.

On behalf of Bethel Council

Jim Gardiner, Council Chair

 

  • Please click the CALENDAR tab for additional information
    on special services
     
    and events throughout the year (Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving etc)