NEWS  CORNER

Social Ministry

Quilting
The quilting group completed 29 quilts! 

Easter Food Bags
23 Easter dinner bags and $70 and 254 pounds of food were donated.  Thank you for sharing your Easter joy with those who would not have a dinner without our help.

Heifer

$285 was raised to purchase seedlings, chicks, ducks, geese, and honeybees to support a family.  Make Way for Ducklings raised $75 so our combined total was $360.

Souperbowl of Caring
$20 and 113 pounds of food was collected by church members, Make Way For Ducklings collected 113 cans of food to celebrate 100 days of school, and those who use our building filled the container in the lobby.  The grad total of what was given to the Open Pantry was 270 pounds of food..



Mitten Tree
47 hats, 29 pairs of gloves, 10 scarves, 6 pairs of mittens, 5 pairs of socks, one pair of slippers, and a muff.


Thanksgiving Bags
39 Thanksgiving dinners collected!  In addition, $70 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 $864 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 wonderful vegetables for the Open Pantry.


Action Centered Tutoring Services (
ACTS)

Is a free one-to-one program that combines mentoring with tutoring for the children of Springfield, grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  Tutor/mentors are required to commit for two hours a week for the school year. Orientation and training is 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

Fruits of the Spirit

One of my favorite parts of summer is all the delicious fresh fruits that we can enjoy.  Each juicy bite is an opportunity to praise God for creating so many wonderful foods for us to savor.  In writing to the churches at Galatia, St. Paul entices them with appealing fruits of the Spirit, a wonderful array of behaviors.  “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

We each receive the Spirit in baptism.  The Spirit works in and through us to produce these fruits in us.  In addition, the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and makes holy the church and brings out these grace-filled qualities in us as the body of Christ in the world today. 

Paul writes to the churches in Rome with a different list of Spirit-given giftsWe have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)

And writing to the churches in Corinth Paul writes, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” (I Corinthians 12:7-11)

The Galatians were in conflict.  Rather than focusing on God-given gifts we have to fill specific roles in the church, Paul steps into the heart of this body of Christ and calls the Galatians to rise above what is dividing them and allow the Spirit to bring out these gifts.  As they focus on them and with the help of the Spirit the community will grow into this wonderful fruit.  We cannot produce this fruit on our own, this is the work of the Spirit.  The list begins with love which sets the tone for all that we do in our life together, and ends with self-control which sets the stage for a peaceful and orderly community.  The word “faithfulness” is worth noting.  It builds upon our faith in Christ who is always faithful.  When these fruits are evident we are assured that the Spirit is actively working in and through us. 

In our ACTS tutoring program we begin with “club time” during which we have a snack and spend time talking with the children about God.  Many times we discuss the fruits of the Spirit during this time.  The children are eager to share when they have seen specific fruits in action and especially when they have had a specific fruit expressed in themselves.

The list sounds so simple, and yet it is difficult to demonstrate these fruits in our lives on a consistent basis.  What works well is focusing on a particular fruit at a time.  If, for example, there is a person with whom you interact on a regular basis that causes anger to rise in you,  you may choose to focus on self-control to keep your anger in check and gentleness in how you respond to this person.  Many of us need to work on being patient with others and even ourselves.

Looking for joy throughout the day can change the whole outlook of our day.  Asking the Spirit for the peace which passes all understanding brings peace to our heart first, and then spills over to others with whom we are in relationship.  Understanding where others are coming from helps us to be kind toward them.  Being generous with others shows God our gratitude for all of God’s blessings.  Although Paul gives us all a challenge with this list, it is important to remember that we are in partnership with the Spirit in this endeavor.  God’s Spirit is amazing and can bring these fruits out even when we think it is not possible.

Your partner in the gospel, Pastor Lauren

Thank You!!!!!
Everyone who helped make our indoor worship and picnic a success! Thanks for all who brought food for the picnic and helped set up and clean up. 
Thanks to Derik for his stunning Pentecost art work

Offering Envelopes
If you are splitting where the money in your envelope is going (regular or some special category), it would help the counters so much if you could write the split on the front of your envelope.  If you just write a check, please put the information in the memo line.  Otherwise the whole amount will be put to your regular offering.  Also, be careful not to use the hunger envelope on the first Sunday of the month unless that is what you intend.  If you use that envelope, your money will go to hunger, not regular offering.  Thanks for your help.  Mike Lewison and the counters.

Bible study
Due to health issues of our regular participants we have suspended our study of the Acts of the Apostles.  In September we would like to read the book our Bishop James Hazelwood has just published, “Everyday Spirituality”.  Our plans for study in the future are not formed yet.  Instead of Sunday morning at 9am, we can explore other times and other days of the week.  If you are interested, please speak to Pastor Lauren. 

Quilting
Quilting will now meet on the first Friday of the month at 10am beginning on July 5th

Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking will now meet on the third Friday of the moth at 10am beginning on July 19th.

Prayers
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 have someone we need to include in our prayers please notify our church office.

Funeral Planning
Pastor Lauren has developed a guide for funeral planning and a form on which you may record your wishes.  Please consider completing the form.  Contact the church office for a copy.  Pastor Lauren is available to discuss this and to answer any questions.

Tending the Garden
We need people to tend the garden each week.  You do not need to weed or water.  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.

      Social Ministry

      What we just completed

      Tending the garden beds and collecting food for the Open Pantry.

      What we are doing now
      Tending the garden beds and collecting food for the Open Pantry.

      What is coming next

      Tending the garden beds and collecting food for the Open Pantry.


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