Social Ministry
The quilting group completed 34 quilts! 

Health Kits

42 health kits were prepared for disaster areas.

Easter Food Bags
17 Easter dinner bags and $225 and 211 pounds of food were donated.  Thank you for sharing your Easter joy with those who would not have a dinner without our help.


$150 was raised to purchase seedlings, chicks, ducks, geese, and honeybees to support a family.  Make Way for Ducklings raised $225 so our combined total was $375.

Souperbowl of Caring

$232 and 152 pounds of food was given to the Open Pantry.

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

Thanksgiving Bags
30 Thanksgiving dinners collected!  In addition, $190 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 $760 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.

15 sweatshirts were collected for the homeless.

Community Garden

Our garden produced 300 pounds of 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 September Newsletter here

From the Pastor
It’s the People
The church is not a building, the church is the people.  The song, “I am the Church” celebrates that we are the church together! 

Refrain: I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus, all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!

1 The church is not a building,
the church is not a steeple,
the church is not a resting place,
the church is a people. [Refrain]

2 We're many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colors and all ages, too,
from all times and places. [Refrain]

3 Sometimes the church is marching,
sometimes it's bravely burning,
sometimes it's riding, sometimes hiding,
always it's learning. [Refrain]

4 And when the people gather,
there's singing and there's praying,
there's laughing and there's crying
sometimes, all of it saying, [Refrain]

5 At Pentecost some people
received the Holy Spirit
and told the Good News through the world
to all who would hear it. [Refrain]


When visitors return, and I ask them what brought you back, they always answer the same two things: the music and the warm welcome by the people.  You are each an important part of the church.  Your warm welcome makes a difference.  Diversity matters too.  When visitors come they want to see someone who looks like themselves.  The more diverse we are, the more people will feel at home here.

This is especially true concerning children.  When a family with young children visits they want to see many other children so that their children will have a peer group.  Sadly, this is not often the case.  Although we have 14 children age 3 through grade 1, and 8 children grade 2 through grade 6 on a typical Sunday we have 2-3 children in attendance. 

In our CAT survey our number one goal is, Make necessary changes to attract families with children and youth to our church.”  The Forward Leadership team has created a new space for children, The Church Mouse Nook, so that in addition to the rocking chairs and the nursery, parents feel that we really want their children in our church.  What is missing is the people.  We need children to fill our spaces and make up Lessons of Love classes.  And we need adults to teach those classes.

Another one of our favorite hymns is, “I Love to Tell the Story”.  The story of Jesus is a huge, amazing story.  Every time we gather for worship we are invited into God’s great story of salvation.  We hear wonderful stories from the pages of our history as God’s people.  We meet Sarah and Abraham, Noah, Jonah, Jacob and his son Joseph.  We meet Moses who saved the Jewish people from slavery.  And Jesus invites us into a story that is bigger than ourselves and bigger than our imaginations.  Every time we touch the waters of baptism, each time we gather around bread and wine, we hear Jesus’ saving words once more.  May we never grow weary of hearing the old, old story of Jesus and his love!  May we continue to invite others into God’s story.  And may we never lose our love for telling the story.

We are in a position to re-invent ourselves by connecting with the people in our community.  The early church grew through people meeting people and sharing the joy that God loves us unconditionally.  Your sister in Christ, Pastor Lauren

Thank You!!!!!
  • Duncan Hunter for filling in during pastor’s vacation.
  • Karen Davies for filling in during pastor’s vacation.
  • Carmen Melecio for filling in during pastor’s vacation.
  • Mike Dufault for filling in for Joe.
  • Carol Haglund for sending Splash! to our youngest members.
  • David Valenze and friends from the Society for Creative Anachronisms for moving three pews to help create our Church Mouse nook.
  • Sue and Len Mariotti for donating the rug for the nook.
  • Marybeth Lewison for making mouse pillows and donating craft supplies.
  • Jay Cleaveland for preparing the table for the nook, and for making pen holders for the pews.
  • Evelyn Morris for counting on many extra Sundays and for making more prayer shawls.
  • Becky Lewison for musical leadership during worship.
  • Sue Mariotti for re-organizing our information and sign-up area.
  • Jay Cleaveland for painting the Community Room.

Back to School!
On Sunday September 2nd we will bless backpacks during worship.  Bring your backpack and join us.  “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

LOL Lessons of Love
This year we are putting LOL (Lessons of Love) into action.  Each month our “lesson of love” will be a different project where children of all ages work together to serve others.  We will work during worship following children’s time with the pastor.  Last year children assembled personal care kits to be shipped anywhere in the world where they are needed.  They enjoyed the experience and were eager to do other service projects.  We need projects and volunteers to commit to a four week session.  This has the possibility of being an exciting new way to engage children and parents alike.

Adult Education resumes at 9am September 9th
During September we will resume looking at “Honoring our Neighbor’s Faith” a comparison of world and other Protestant religions to Lutheranism.  Join us Sunday’s at 9am behind the organ.  Bring your coffee and perhaps a friend. 

Bible Sunday – September 16th  
Children will receive an age appropriate Bible during worship.

Quilting Resumes Saturday September 1st
Quilting meets the first Saturday of the month at 9am.  You do not need to know how to sew, many of the people have sewing skills, and help is needed in cutting the material to size as well as constructing and tying the quilt once the pieces are ready.  We always need donations of clean, gently used sheets and blankets. 

Scrapbooking Resumes Saturday September 15th
Scrapbooking meets the third Saturday of the month at 9am.  You do not need to know how to scrapbook, members will share ideas, supplies and tools with you.  Bring a friend.

Action Centered Tutoring Services is a free one-to-one program that combines tutoring children in Springfield with Christian mentoring for grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  More tutors are needed.  The time requirement is two hours a week during the school year.  We meet on Tuesdays from 4-6pm.  Orientation and training will be provided.  Please contact Pastor Lauren if interested in this program.

Mum Sale to Support ACTS
It's mum time!  The annual Giant Mum Sale to support ACTS (Action Centered Tutoring Services) Tutoring is getting under way! This fall, ACTS will begin its 33rd academic year of providing free, faith-based, after-school tutoring and mentoring to Springfield’s elementary school children.  The program meets here at Bethesda/East on Tuesday afternoons from 4-6pm.  Your mum purchase is a big help in making that possible!  Beautiful mums in a variety of colors, sizes and prices can be ordered on Sundays, August 26, September 2nd & 9th.  You can pick up your mums right here at Bethesda/East on Sunday, September 16th.  Order forms are available.  Please contact Pr. Lauren for further details.  Thank you!

Church Mouse Nook
The Forward Leadership Team has created a special space for children, the Church Mouse Nook.  This place is for quiet creativity by children in the worship area who will undoubtedly absorb parts of the worship service as they color, work with play dough, or read a book.  And they can easily rejoin their family whenever they wish. 

Crop Walk
I believe there's enough food and water for everyone on this planet…but it'll be an uphill climb to get there without everyone pledging to help.  That's why I've signed up for the Greater Springfield CROP Hunger Walk on Saturday, October 14th. I'm walking on behalf of families who have to walk every day just to make ends meet.  Will you please consider sponsoring me so that together we can reduce their journey?  Every dollar you donate makes a huge difference: for example, $20 can provide a sustainable source of healthy food for one family through fresh gardens!  Here is my personal web page for the walk: Thank you for your continued support! 

Campaign Nonviolence walk and rally
On Sunday September 23rd Campaign Nonviolence will walk and pray through a neighborhood in the Mason Square area.  We will begin at 2:30pm at Shiloh Freewill Baptist Church, 26 Burr St., in Springfield.  Join us!

Worship and Music Meeting
The Worship and Music team will meet on September 11th at 6pm.  Our main topic will be worship on the first Sunday of the month.  Our meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend and be part of the conversation.  If you cannot attend but would like to share your thoughts with the team you may write them on the forms provided beside the Who do I talk to about ____ poster beside the church doors, or talk with any member of the team: Sue Mariotti, Marybeth Lewison, Eleanor Sacheli, or Pastor Lauren.

Save the date
On Wednesday October 24th at 6pm Bishop Hazelwood will cook a Middle Eastern meal and tell us about his recent trips to the Holy Land.  The event will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Holyoke.  It is right off I-91 at exit 17B.  Please join us for dinner and the program.  The event is open to the public, but you must RSVP no later than a week prior (October 17th) to allow for meal planning.  The cost is $10.00 per person, payable at the door.  A free will offering will be taken to support the ELCJHL scholarship fund to provide K-12 education.

Social Ministry

What we just completed

   We brought 188 pounds of food to the Open Pantry.

What we are doing now

Tending the garden beds

What is coming next

Stewardship presentations and pledges of commitment  

Excel in Giving
God has excelled in giving God’s only Son for us.  Jesus has excelled in giving his life for us.  We are blessed with family, friends, our home, our abilities, work, church and so much more.  In gratitude let us excel in giving to God.  Our stewardship campaign this year will run through September.  “Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.” (2 Corinthians 8:7)  Our two churches play an important role in our lives.  We have something special here, we need your support to keep it going.  We are looking for a pledge of commitment from every member by September 30th

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

May God be with them and bless them with wholeness and health.

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