December 2016 Messenger
 
VOLUME 68                                       DECEMBER 2016                                      NUMBER 12

HOLY COMMUNION IS CELEBRATED EVERY SUNDAY
ADVENT! A time of new beginning and anticipation,  It is the beginning of a new church year.  Will it be more of the same?  Our world has continued its slide into hopelessness, immorality, and despair.  Is there any GOOD NEWS out there?
 
Distressing as our world's condition must be to God, His love is so great that He has not given up on us - yet.  The Advent season reminds us that God is doing something to save and redeem His people - God is sending a Savior, Jesus, the Christ!  He offers a time for repentance, forgiveness, and renewal.   John 3:16
 
The birth of Jesus was first celebrated as God's Messiah coming to call His people to faith and repentance.  When Jesus comes again (the second time), He will come to judge all the people of the earth.  What we celebrate at Advent is not the first coming, but our eager expectation of Jesus coming to establish His kingdom in completeness upon the earth.  On Christmas Eve, we give thanks for the first coming of Jesus, the babe in the manger.  Take advantage of this Advent to ready yourself for the Great Day when Jesus' Kingdom finally arrives on earth.  Will we be ready?  I Thessalonians 5:1-3

ANNUAL CONGREGATION MEETING - DECEMBER 4 AT 9:15 AM.
Notice is hereby given of the annual Congregation Meeting of Bethany Lutheran Church, Sunday, December 4, at 9:15 am.  Among the items of business will be the election of five Council persons, youth representatives, approve new constitution, and approval of the 2017 budget.  Every active (has communed and contributed directly to Bethany [not to another charity thru Bethany] in the last year), confirmed member of Bethany is encouraged to attend to help direct the affairs of our congregation.
 
We will meet in the Sanctuary.

HEALING SERVICE - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
Pastor David will conduct a service of the word for Healing, following the 10:45 am. service on the first Sunday of the month.  Please join us.

SUNDAY EVENING SERVICE - DECEMBER 4 AT 6:00 PM.
Beginning November 6, the service will be held at 6:00 pm.  This service would be especially for those who are not able to attend Sunday morning, but also for those who desire a less liturgical service.  This service contains all the elements of Lutheran worship - prayer, Scripture readings, preaching, Eucharist, and singing; however, the service would is held in the chapel.                          Hope to see you there, Pastor David

WOMEN OF BETHANY
The Women of Bethany will meet Monday, December 5, at 7:00 pm.  The ladies will pack Christmas Cookies for the Shut-ins.  Please bring Canned Goods for the Food Pantry.  Donations of cookies will be appreciated!

COOKIES NEEDED FOR THE SHUT-IN BOXES
Donations of cookies will be appreciated for the women to pack for the shut-ins.  Please deliver to the Church Monday, December 5.

OFFERING ENVELOPES FOR 2017 WILL BE AVAILABLE
2017 offering envelopes will be available outside the Church Office the first Sunday in December.  Please stop by to pick up your set and those of anyone you know who is not able to get here for them.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11
Join us for an afternoon of visiting and singing carols to our shut-ins - Sunday, December 11.  Your participation will help to brighten the season for them and you!  They will leave the Church parking lot at 2:30 pm.  Please plan to join them for fun and fellowship.

BIBLE STUDY WILL MEET TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13
The Tuesday Night Bible Study will meet Tuesday, December 13, at 7:00 pm. at the home of Bev Brown, 923 Mulberry Street.  They will be studying Zechariah, lesson #9.  Bible Study members, if you cannot attend, please call Sharon (435-5408).
 
They will meet Tuesday, January 10, at the home of Julie Griffiths.

SCS CHRISTMAS PROGRAM - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
Our Sunday School Christmas Program will be held Sunday, December 18, at 9:30 am. in Sunday Memorial Hall.  Following the program, the children will trim the Chrismon tree. 
 
Please bring new hats, scarves, and gloves/mittens (unwrapped) for children as a Birthday Gift for Jesus, which will be given to the Shepherd of the Streets.

CHRISTMAS DINNERS FOR SHUT-INS
The LaRue Artley Foundation will provide Christmas dinner for shut-ins in the Montoursville School District.  If you know anyone who would qualify, call the Church Office (368-8933) by noon December 15.  Please check with the shut-in first, so that they are aware a meal is coming.  They will be delivered Friday, December 23.  They will not be delivering on the Holiday this year.  The Artley Foundation is independent of Bethany Church.  Bethany Church does not provide the dinners or the funds.

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
Christmas Eve Services will be held at 7:00 pm. and 10:00 pm.  Please plan to attend one of the Services, remembering that "Wise Men still seek Him."  The sacredness of that Holy Night long ago has not diminished over the years and OUR need for a Savior is still very real.

USHERS FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
Four ushers are needed for the 7:00 pm. Service and one usher is needed for the 10:00 pm. Service.  If you would be willing to serve, please call the Church Office (368-8933) as soon as possible.

CHRISTMAS DAY - SERVICE AT 9:00 AM.
Council decided to have a 9:00 am. Service, followed by Sunday School and Confirmation, on Christmas Day.
 
Schedules for Lay Assistants, Ushers, Communion Assistants, and Acolytes had already been made.  Please decide which set of people will be willing to be there and let the Church Office know ASAP.  Thank you.

TUREEN LUNCH - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 AT NOON
Social Ministry will sponsor the monthly tureen lunch at noon, December 18, in the Fellowship Hall.  Bring a tureen to share and your table service. 

DEADLINE FOR 2016 OFFERING - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29, AT NOON
All donations for the year 2016 must be received in the Church Office by noon, Thursday, December 29, including donations that are mailed.  Any monies received after that time will be credited to 2017.

HELP IS NEEDED
Donations are being collected to help Ryan and Danielle Kane with their flood expenses.  They live in Warrensville and lost everything on their finished lower level, plus their vehicles.  If you will help give thru the Church Office.  Thank you!

PRAYER IN THE CHAPEL - WEDNESDAYS AT NOON
 
THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS ENVELOPE MONEY WILL AID NEEDY
Money from the special Thanksgiving and Christmas envelopes that are in your offering boxes, will be given to charities to help the needy.  Each holiday time, we use these envelopes to help those less fortunate than we are.  Charities are: Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village, Tressler Social Services (for counseling), Food Pantry, Social Ministry Outreach, Shepherd of the Streets, American Rescue Workers, Fuel Bank.
 
If you do not want to help these charities, mark your Thanksgiving and/or Christmas envelopes "Regular Fund."

MISSION COMMITTEE
The Mission Committee is seeking volunteers to support new Mission activities here at Bethany.  Do you have a desire to serve your local community but are lacking capability and resources to make it happen.  The Church Office would like to have a list of folks on hand willing to help with everyday tasks such as light cleaning, yardwork, snow shoveling, maintenance, and repairs if someone were to call the Church Office looking for help.  Please call the Church Office (570-368-8933) if you will help. The Committee
meets on the third Mondays of the month at 7:30 pm. 
 
The committee's first large project involves trying to establish a once-a-month community breakfast on Saturday mornings, with a small suggested donation provided to the church.

STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
The Stewardship Committee has been exploring various ways to involve the folks of Bethany in a project that would be an enhancement to the church, meaningful to the people, and a financial benefit to the congregation. It has been proposed that we explore the idea of a Memorial Garden, in which "personalized bricks" providing perpetual recognition, form a "Wall of Remembrance & Honor " Or a "Walk of Remembrance & Honor".  The 4" x 8" bricks can be imprinted with up to three lines of 15 characters each (including spaces) and would be obtainable for a donation of $50.00.
 
As this would be a permanent construction (wall or walkway) on church property, in the grassy area between the educational wing and the Broad Street sidewalk, the Committee desires to hear the opinions of the folks of Bethany.  The number one question that the committee needs answered is... Is there enough interest or support among the folks to make this project viable?  The wall or walk would need to be of a sufficient size to make it engaging to folks, congregation members and the public passing by the church property.  it would be a public statement to the community.
 
So please give this some thought and let us know what you thing about this idea.
 
God's love and peace to you,
Pastor David
 
 
 
INTERNATIONAL MISSION EFFORTS
LUTHERAN WORLD RELIEF
Mission:  Affirming God's love for all people, LWR works with Lutherans and partners                around the world to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering.  Primary loca-                   tions of work include East and West Africa, parts of Asia, the Middle East, and                                             Latin America.
Ways to Support:
            1. Prayers
            2. Project Promise: Build Kits of Care www.lwr.org/get-involved/build-kits-of-care
                Turn ordinary items into extraordinary gifts.  You can help people dealing with                             some of life's most difficult situations - the aftermath of earthquakes and                               floods, fleeing home to escape violence and living in extreme poverty.
            3. Mission Quilts http://lwr.org/get-involed/quilts
                Through a simple combination of fabric and thread, you can reach out to
                people in their time of greatest need with a strong message of hope.
            4. Financial Support and Gifts.  Gifts include emergency supplies, crops, live                       stock, and water.
            5. Fair Trade Products
 
FRIENDS OF RENACER
Friends of Renacer is an ecumenical support network for the Renacer Orphanage and the connected Christian school which serves the local community in Honduras.  They are a ministry of presence - praying, visiting, listening, encouraging, and helping financially with special projects.  More than 100 local supporters have traveled to Honduras and gained first hand experience.
 
In addition to visits and work parties at different times throughout the year, they manage a scholarship fund for Renacer alumni interested in vocational or a university education.  Tuition and living expenses cost roughly $ 2,000 - $ 3,000 per calendar year for university attendance.  Recipients are required to maintain a B average and volunteer in some capacity at Renacer for one year.  Since 2004, more than a dozen Renacer alumni and staff family children have been helped by this scholarship fund.
 
Ways to support:
            Prayers
            Financial support for the scholarship fund, school, and orphanage home
            Team members to support and participate in future mission trips
 
GAIN
GAIN stands for Global Aid Network and is a division of Campus Crusade for Christ.  This organization has World Hunger Events where volunteers pack food (rice and beans), and sometimes clothing and or blankets to help people throughout the world.  Ways to support:
            Praying
            Actually packing food
            Giving financial support
            Going on a mission trip

CONTACTING PASTOR DAVID
            Pastor's Office hours at the Church: Monday - Thursday  9:00 am. - 4:30 pm.
            Church phone: 570-368-8933                
            Home phone: 570-322-3685
            email:  bethanypastor@chilitech.net

COMMITTEES THAT NEED YOUR SUPPORT
            Congregation Meeting - Sunday, December 4 - 9:15 am. - Sanctuary
            Healing Service - Sunday, December 4 - noon
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, December 4 - 6:00 pm.
            Women of Bethany - Monday, December 5 - 7:00 pm.
            Christmas Caroling - Sunday, December 18 - 2:30 pm.
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, December 11 - 6:00 pm.
            Church Council - Monday, December 12 - 7:00 pm.
            Tuesday Night Bible Study - Tuesday, December 13 - 7:00 pm. - Brown's
            SCS Christmas Program - Sunday, December 18 - 9:30 am.
            Tureen Lunch - Sunday, December 18 - noon
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, December 18 - 6:00 pm.
            Stewardship Committee - Monday, December 19 - 7:00 pm.
            Mission Committee - Monday, December 19 - 7:30 pm.
            Christmas Eve Services - Saturday, December 24 - 7:00 and 10:00 pm.
            Christmas Day Service - 9:00 am., followed by Sunday School and Confirmation
            Stuff Newsletters - Monday, December 26 - 9:00 am.

JANUARY HAPPENINGS
            Healing Service - Sunday, January 1 - noon
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, January 8 - 6:00 pm.
            Church Council - Monday, January 9 - 7:00 pm.
            Tuesday Night Bible Study - Tuesday, January 10 - 7:00 pm. - Griffith's
            Community Breakfast - January 14 - 8:00 - 11:00 am.
            Tureen Lunch - Sunday, January 15 - noon
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, January 15 - 6:00 pm.
            Evangelism Committee - Monday, January 16 - 10:00 am.
            Mission Committee - Monday, January 16 - 7:30 pm.
            Finance Committee - Tuesday, January 17 - 7:00 pm.
            Property Committee - Tuesday, January 17 - 7:00 pm.
            Staff Support Committee - Tuesday, January 17 - 8:00 pm.
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, January 22 - 6:00 pm.
            Worship and Music Committee - Monday, January 23 - 7:00 pm.
            Tuesday Night Bible Study - Tuesday, January 24 - 7:00 pm.
            Chicken 'n' Biscuit Dinner - Saturday, January 28 - 4:00 - 7:00 pm.
            Sunday Evening Service - Sunday, January 29 - 6:00 pm.
            Stuff Newsletters - Monday, January 30 - 9:00 am.
 
 
 
KEEPING UP WITH THE CONGREGATION:
DEATHS:  Betty Jean Kift died 13 November 2016
BAPTISM:  Callen Michael Perkinson - 13 November 2016
NEW MEMBERS:  Samantha and Ezra Jutsom - 13 November 2016

MEMORIALS
Contributions to our Memorial Fund is a way of remembering those who have passed away or in honor of those who are still living.   Monies can be donated to the Memorial Fund or to Pastor's Discretionary Fund.

THANK YOU TO OUR MEMBERS
            Thank You!  Charles Lichter would like to thank Judy Hayes, Ruth Kissell, Dave                         Grube, and Flip Oechler for helping to trim and clean up the bushes around the              church.
 
            Thank You!  Pastor David and Betty would like to thank those who remembered              us with gifts, kind words, cards, and flowers during Pastor appreciation month.                    It's nice to know we are appreciated.
 
            Thank You to all who donated for the Christmas Stocking for the nursing homes.            We collected $122.00.        

RECENT CHURCH COUNCIL ACTION REPORT
Church Council actions at the November meeting -
Accepted committee reports: Mission, Stewardship, Finance, Social Ministry, Christian Education
Third Reading of 2017 Budget
Set time for Christmas Day Service at 9:00 am., followed by Sunday School and Confirmation
Received Pastor's Report

RECONCILIATION OF BETHANY CHURCH FINANCES
Income received through October 31, 2016 (44 Sundays)                              $ 178,682.17
Expenses through October 31, 2016                                                                      155,813.41
Balance                                                                                                                       $ 22,868.76
 
Income received through October 31, 2015 (43 Sundays)                             $ 137,770.18
Money from Peter's Trust (2015)                                                                                91,102.47
Expenses through October 31, 2015                                                                      215,157.10
            Balance                                                                                                           $ 13,715.55

BIBLES FOR PRISON
Bibles for Prison are needed.  The Lycoming County Prison Chaplain reports that the number of inmates attending Bible study continues to grow, and requests for Bibles has increased.  Donations to help buy Bibles would be appreciated.  Please mark your check "Bibles." Thank you.

SHEPHERD OF THE STREETS
Shepherd of the Streets needs: donations for their budget and discretionary funds, blankets, bedding, supplies for hygiene kits (regular sizes only):  deodorant, soap, tissues, toilet paper, combs, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, conditioner, women's hygiene products, towels, wash cloths, paper towels, sheets (all sizes), blankets, baby diapers, baby Q-Tips, baby shampoo, baby powder, baby oil, baby wipes.  Our "Shepherd Box" is in the hall outside the Church Office.  Thank you for your gifts of money and material that extends the love of God from you to those in such need, and most of all for your prayers on our behalf.  Money helps with guidance and counseling; prescription assistance; transportation assistance; baby diapers and supplies; dental, audio, and visual assistance; work preparedness; bedding, utility help; hygiene items; documentation.

FOOD PANTRY NEEDS
They continue to see an increase each month in the number of clients they have assisted.  The need is great.  These are tough times for all of us.  Items needed: cake mix, cereal, hot cocoa, coffee, powdered creamer, powdered drink mix, frosting, canned fruits, granola bars, hamburger helper, jello, ketchup, mac-n-cheese, instant mashed potatoes, mustard, egg/spaghetti noodles, oatmeal packets, oodles of noodles, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, microwave popcorn, poptarts, pork-n-beans, pudding mix, ramen noodles, saltines, chunky soups, soups (chicken noodle soup, tomato soup), spaghetti sauce, stuffing, sugar (1 lb.), regular tea bags, canned tuna, canned vegetables, clean plastic grocery bags (no holes), 30 gal trash bags, disinfectant wipes.

PLEASE REMEMBER OUR SENIORS AT HOME
Herbert and Sandy Bright - 628 Broad Street, Montoursville
Shirlee English - PO Box 322, Montoursville
Lester Erdman - Muncy Skilled Nursing, 215 E Water St, Muncy  17756
Raymond Fry - 1101 Broad St, Montoursville
Marjorie Gower - 1409 Jordan Ave, Montoursville
Caroline Kern - Valley View Nursing Center, 2140 Warrensville Rd, Montoursville
Virginia Laudig - 1119 Broad St, Montoursville
Helen Leidhecker - Hillside Assisted Living, 2725 Four Mile Dr, Montoursville
Sandra Long - 721 Weldon St, Montoursville
Catherene F Lowe - 2410 North Hills Dr, Williamsport 
Joyce McQuillen - Valley View Nursing Center, 2140 Warrensville Rd, Montoursville
Tessie Moss - 12 Lutheran Home Dr, Personal Care 220, Telford  PA  18969
Bettie Paulhamus - 88 Oak Lane, Montoursville
Elnora Paulhamus - 827 Weiss Ave, Montoursville
Francis Poeth - 1900 Ravine Rd, Apt 1226, Williamsport
Hilary and Betty Schmouder - The Meadows Room 111, 2160 Warrensville Rd, Montoursville
Eleanor Shaheen, 515 Rt 405, Hughesville  17737
Richard (Fred) Shultz - 1275 Broad St, Montoursville
Patricia Snauffer, 1108 Spruce St, Montoursville
Darla Starr - 68 Sechler Dr, Montoursville
Cella Taylor - 1412 Broad St, Montoursville

EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE
Equipment is available to borrow during recovering from surgery and for the elderly.  We have walkers, canes, equipment for the bathtub and commode.  If you have a need, talk to the staff.

HOSPITAL VISITATION
If you or anyone you know is to be hospitalized, please notify the Church Office (368-8933).  It is our desire to minister to you and your family, however that cannot happen if  we don't receive notification.

HOMEBOUND COMMUNION
Home Bound Communion is always available to our shut-ins.  If you desire to have Communion, please call the Church Office (368-8933).

LINUS BLANKETS
We are still sharing our knitting, crocheting, and quilting gifts with others by making blankets of all sizes (baby, children, adult) for those with cancer or going thru traumatic experiences at hospitals.  Please bring to the Church Office.

NEED TRANSPORTATION TO CHURCH?
Do you want to attend church but need transportation?  The Evangelism Committee has volunteers who are willing to pick you up and bring you to church and return you home again on Sunday mornings.  If you would like to attend church, please call the Church Office (368-8933) by noon Friday so arrangements can be made.

BETHANY'S WEB-SITE
www.BethanyNALC.org

WISE OPTIONS FOR WOMEN
For 120 years the YWCA has supported women and children in Lycoming County.  Now you can help us: The Boutique  at the YWCA is offering high-quality, gently-used clothing for the whole family.  100% of proceeds stay local to support women and children in crisis.  The Boutique is open Wednesday: 4:00 - 7:00; Thursday & Friday: 11:00 - 5:00; and Saturday: 10:00 - 2:00.