Social Ministry

The quilting group completed 64 quilts! 

Easter Food Bags
21 Easter dinner bags and $160 and 241 pounds of food were donated.  Thank you for sharing your Easter joy with those who would not have a dinner without our help.


$165 was raised to purchase seedlings, chicks, ducks, geese, and honeybees to support a family. Make Way for Ducklings raised $150.

Souperbowl of Caring
$138 and 104 pounds of food was given to the Open Pantry.

Mitten Tree
Countless pairs of mittens/gloves, hats, scarves.

Emergency Fuel Assistance
$39.14was collected to help those who cannot afford to heat their homes.

Thanksgiving Bags
39 Thanksgiving dinners weighing 541 pounds collected!  In addition, $160 in cash was also donated.  Thanks to everyone who helped provide a Thanksgiving meal to folks who are struggling to put food on the table.

Crop Walk
We raised $570 to feed the hungry through the work of Church World Service.   It is through our collective giving that we helped feed the hungry globally and money is also donated to the fuel assistance program and food pantries/soup kitchens locally.
Community Garden

Our garden produced 539 pounds of wonderful vegetables for the Open Pantry.

Action Centered Tutoring Services

Is a free one-to-one program that combines mentoring with tutoring for the children of Springfield, grades kindergarten through fifth grade, in the Spirit of Christ. In addition to tutoring, the program provides opportunities for tutors and students to be part of a voluntary “Club Time” following each tutoring session. Bethesda/East Churches has been approached by the ACTS program to be a host site. In order to start a program at Bethesda/East, we would need to have a minimum of six students and six tutor/mentors. Mentors will be required to commit for two hours a week for the school year. Orientation and training will be provided. Please contact Pastor Lauren if interested in this program

Meals at Friends of the Homeless
We serve a lunch and a dinner each month at Friends of the Homeless.

The Beacon Messenger

Download a copy of our July/August Newsletter here

From the Pastor

Cultivating Relationships
We have entered that long season in the church year that runs from Pentecost on June 4th until the end of the church year, Christ the King Sunday, November 26th.  During this time the banners are green; we focus on growing things, flowers in our yards, the garden for the Open Pantry, and people growing spiritually.  This year I also suggest a focus on cultivating relationships with one another. 

I can’t remember a time when our country has been as divided, and nearly every week I hear about families that are divided, and relationships that have broken.  We were discussing this in Bible study one morning looking for ways to mend relationships.  We have been studying Paul’s Letter to the Romans.  We turned to chapter 14 and read these words:

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do.  And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department.  Remember, they have their own history to deal with.  Treat them gently.” (Romans 14:1-3 The Message)

The Spirit sent us exactly the right words to guide us as we attempt this work.  At Synod Assembly one speaker made the comment that too many of us live in our own echo chamber.  We tend to surround ourselves with people who think the way we do.  We read the columnists with whom we agree.  We watch the news programs that are slanted the way that we lean.

Facebook and other social media platforms especially foster this.  If you click on a page that is close to your opinion, it will send you more pages that are similar.  The more you interact, the closer it comes to forming a profile of your views and preferences so that it can continue to serve you just what you are looking for, pages that reinforce your own view.  Before we know it, we are in fact in an echo chamber hearing our views on an issue from every direction making our position stronger.  Before we know it, we are firmly fixed to our position and rather than listening to other views we try to persuade other to our view.

I realize that I have fallen into this echo chamber and I am working on opening up my own ears to understand the viewpoints of others.  This is not easy.  The more strongly we hold a position the more difficult it becomes to step outside and examine it from other angles.  I am praying that the Spirit will help me listen better and consider viewpoints other than my own.  The old saying that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason serves us well here.

This is a place where the Spirit is our perfect partner.  My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit.  Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness.” (Galatians 5:16-17 The Message)  And the fruits of Spirt are the features that will help us achieve our goal of good relationships with all people regardless of our views.  “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NRSV)

I am glad that we have a long green, growing season to work on this, I for one need time and all the help I can get.  This is where you come in: talk with me, share your views with me, tell me how I am doing listening to you, and pray that I improve over time.  Each and every one of you are dear to me.  If I have shut down conversation in the past, please forgive me.  God isn’t finished with me yet.  Please give me another chance and give me feedback on how I am doing.  Our relationship is worth this investment on both parts.

Your partner in the gospel,

Pastor Lauren

Thank You!!!!!

  • Mike Dufault for filling in for Joe twice, you were great!
  • Aisley & Gail Poirier for weeding the garden.
  • Frosty & Geoff for weeding flower gardens.
  • Jay Cleaveland for planting vegetable garden
  • Marybeth Lewison for organizing the Jeopardy Game

 Confirmation Class 2017
Aisley Poirier, Kaylena Reyes, Kianeesa Reyes, and Katie Steele made public affirmation of their baptism on Sunday June 11th.  They are now adult members of the church.  We welcome you!

Bible study in September
We will be looking at Lutheranism here and around the world from the 16th century to today using a book “Together by Grace”.  Each person will need to have a copy of the book to read the chapter for that week ahead of time.  If you are interested in being part of this study please let Pastor Lauren know so that we can order enough copies of the book.

Quilting will not meet in July or August.  September 2nd they will reconvene.

Scrapbooking will not meet in July or August.  September 16th they will reconvene.

Save these Dates
September 10th Pastor Kurt Christenson and family will be with us for worship.  Pr. Christenson will preach.

September 24th Bishop James Hazelwood will preach at our anniversary worship service.

September 24th anniversary banquet

Social Ministry

What we just completed

       Collecting for Ascentria at Synod Assembly

What we are doing now

Preparing and planting the garden beds

What is coming next

Collecting food for the open pantry.  Start looking for bargains now and clip coupons.

Tending the Garden
We need people to tend the garden each week.  This year we are using ground cloth so once we do the initial weeding we should not have to weed.  The sprinklers water the garden.  The only thing we need is someone to harvest what is ready to pick and bring it to the Open Pantry 2460 Main Street Springfield.  Please sign up for a week.  Thank you.

Intercessory Prayer
We all share in the ministry of intercessory prayer.  We are called individually to pray each day and as a gathered community of faith in worship.  If you wish to include someone in our prayers please notify the church office.

Home            Bethesda Church            East Church            Ministry            Facilities            Partners            News            Contact Us     

Bethesda Lutheran Church      East Chruch, Congregational      Address: 455 Island Pond Rd.  Springfield, MA 01118      Ph: 413-733-4494      Email: