Bethany United Church of Christ - Newsletter

Bethany United Church of Christ Current Newsletter

Apr./May., 2013
Volume 23
Issue 237

Brad & Marshall Swearingen
Matt Mueller & Randy Fee
April 14|Bryce & Lora Brobst
April 21|Darrin & Valerie Arment
April 28|Charlotte Dickinson & Bev Sunderman
May 05|Bob & Evelyn Davis
May 12|Bill & Carol Vonderschmidt
May 19|Eric & Leah McPeak
May 26|Dorothy Hixson & Vonda Huerter
Jerry & Carol Neibling
Bobby & Clarissa Ross
Marjorie Ross
George & Charlotte Hageman
Wayne & Bev Albertson
Charlotte Dickinson
Women's Guild: April 24th, 7:00 p.m.
Lesson Leader: Clarissa Ross
Hostess: Vonda Huerter
Women's Guild: May 29th, 7:00 p.m.
Lesson Leader: Carol Neibling
Guest Speaker: Laura Fortmeyer
Food Pantry Guests will be Fairview UCC ladies
Hostess: Carol Neibling
Flowers for April: Dorothy HixsonFlowers for May: Mary Ann Mueller
April Baptisms:
April 7th - Maddox Martin, son of Jory Martin & Michaela Brown
April 21st - Levi Jude Brown, son of Cristina Brown


Bethany Women's Guild: March 27

Bethany Women's Guild met March 27 at 7:00 p.m. The meeting opened with prayer by Becky Schwanke followed by pizza, salad and dessert provided by the guild. Beverly Albertson was hostess.

Becky Schwanke, president, warmly welcomed everyone. Our guest was Julie Blagg. Julie spoke about working with homeless women in Kansas City, KS. She expressed her passion in trying to help the women in any small way possible. Julie shared many heart warming and heart wrenching stories about her years helping the homeless women. The guild has supported Julie's mission for many years by monthly donations and sending boxes of donated items.

Becky then opened the business meeting. Beverly Albertson read the minutes of the last meeting and they were approved as read. A communications report was given. The treasurer?s report was given by Debbie Fee. The balance was $726. Debbie reported she had ordered two new banners. The worship committee reported about our Lenten suppers. Vonda Huerter presented the opening worship for Women's Holy week, Debbie Fee sang a solo and others helped where needed. The outreach committee report was given by Mary Ann Mueller. This committee has enjoyed delivering favors and visiting with our friends that are not able to get out and about.

Becky acknowledged Ethel Mae Woolsey with a special quilters pin and thanked her for being our faithful quilter. Ethel Mae has done so much to carry on Bethany's tradition for so many years. The quilters will be missed.

Leah McPeak discussed the Good Friday poverty meal. The offering will be donated to the North Brown County Food Pantry.

New business was discussion by Becky Schwanke regarding a change in the guild by- laws and the description of vice-president. Debbie Fee, Vonda Huerter and Carol Vonderschmidt will give a report on possible by-law changes at the next meeting.

Our next meeting will be April 24th at 7:00 p.m. Clarissa Ross will be the lesson leader and Vonda Huerter the hostess. Dorothy Hixson is in charge of flowers for the month of April. Becky Schwanke adjourned the meeting and closed in prayer.
Beverly Albertson, Secretary


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
One of my favorite prayers is by 20th ?century theologian Thomas Merton. For 40 years, Merton was a monk in Kentucky, and in his lifetime, wrote more than 70 books on spirituality and social justice. This prayer came out of his years of quiet, solitary meditation. I find it comforting that even a spiritual "heavyweight" like Merton often felt that he was floundering in the dark, when it came to listening to God's will. Here is his prayer, from a collection of writings known as "Thoughts in Solitude."

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

On Good Friday, Bethany hosted our first-ever Poverty Meal, during which we discussed poverty and hunger in our community and our world. Participants were invited to fast, and to bring a donation in the amount of how much they would have spent on their meals that day, which went to benefit the North Brown County Food Pantry. Like Merton, we weren't just sure how it would work, or whether many people would attend. The leaders carefully set up chairs in a circle, taped paper messages to bottles of water, and prayed. As it happened, there were exactly the right number of chairs - not one too many or too few. It was a meaningful, sacred time together, as we remembered Jesus' sacrifice, as well as those suffering in our world from hunger and poverty. $356 was raised that night.*

Until we meet Jesus face to face, I believe confirmation of our following God's will comes like this: with small blessings, easily ignored or overlooked if we're not listening. But, as Merton wrote, the desire to please God is in itself pleasing to him, and God will lead us on the right road, even if we know nothing about it. God will never leave us to face our perils alone.

Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed.

In the name of the Risen Christ,

*An added blessing is that the North Brown County Food Pantry will receive a percent of the $1 million donated by the Feinstein Foundation proportionate to the food pantry?s March and April donations. See information below.

Feinstein Annual $1 Million Giveaway To Fight Hunger

2013 is the16th consecutive year, Alan Shawn Feinstein, will divide $1 million among non-profit hunger fighting agencies nationwide using it as a spur to help them raise funds during March and April. Alan Shawn Feinstein says (in part) "please use MY money to help your neighbors in need! For the past 15 years, I have been giving away $1 million each year to anti-hunger agencies throughout the country. This year, I am doing it again. Whatever you donate to an agency I will add money to it. Why am I doing this? Because I believe each of us was put here on earth to do what we can to help those in need. All that will matter to us someday is what we did while we were here to help those who needed us. This has become the greatest grass roots campaign ever to fight hunger in our country. Your donation makes you a partner in it with me! My $1 million will be divided proportionately in full among the agencies receiving donations toward my offer. Thank you for sharing my heart, and the hope that someday no one will ever go hungry."

Announcements & More

In the Plains Chamber Music Festival

"In the Plains Chamber Music Festival" is returning to Bethany and Fairview UCC for its second season, from Monday, May 27 - Sunday June 2, 2013. "In the Plains" is a combination musical academy and concert series, with concerts held May 31, June 1 and 2, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

"In the Plains," or "ITP" for short, will once again feature workshops and master classes for string and piano students who are interested in playing chamber music, or in taking solo lessons. "For private lessons, there will be no age limit. However, for the chamber music ensembles, we are limiting this to junior high and high-school age string players and pianists," says founding member, cellist Samuel Cho. Advanced students who are younger than junior high are also welcome to apply. Students will receive coaching with the ITP musicians from 9 - noon, and will perform in a showcase concert on Sunday afternoon, June 2 at 3:00 PM at Fairview United Church of Christ. There will be a nominal application and lesson fee, and scholarships are available. Interested students should log on to, click on "How to Apply", and submit an application. The deadline for entry will be May 15.

The 2013 faculty will include violinists Carlos Cabezas, Shannon Coffman, Philip Marten, and Kenya Patzer, violists Manuel Tabora and Tanner Menees, cellists Samuel Cho and Joe Teeter, and pianists Joanna Cho and Shane Spangler, with composer, percussionist and media artist Zak Berkowitz.

Friday and Sunday evenings' concerts will be held at Fairview United Church of Christ, and Saturday's concert will be held at Bethany United Church of Christ, 303 North 6th Street in Hiawatha, KS. ITP evening concerts will all begin at 7:30 PM, with a master class and question/answer session each evening at 6PM.For more information, to apply, or to get involved, please log on to the ITP website at

Shane To Play Concert at KU

On Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30PM, Shane will join violinist Kenya Patzer and cellist Joe Teeter for a concert at the Hall Center for the Humanities at KU. The concert will feature the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in d minor, the Brahms first cello/piano sonata, William Walton?s violin/piano sonata, and "Café Music", a ragtime piano trio. The concert is free and open to the public. Kenya, Joe and Shane will be featured on the Kansas Public Radio Live Studio Show on April 30. You can listen live that day, or download the show as a podcast at For more information, or driving directions, please visit and click on "Calendar", and then April 30. (Please note - we are not called the Shane Spangler Chamber Trio - we officially chose the name "Misceo Trio", which is Latin for "Mixed Trio!")


Easter Miracles at Bethany

It was with no small sadness that we received Ethel Mae's news of the end of the quilting at Bethany. For many, many years, Ethel Mae has led a group of quilters from Hiawatha, and has used that opportunity many times to share the Gospel message, as well as good, time-tested wisdom, as she and her fellow quilters painstakingly hand-stitched enormous, beautiful quilts. Over the years, the quilters have donated several thousand dollars to Bethany United Church of Christ, from the proceeds from their handiwork. 2013 marked the end of an era, as Ethel Mae hung up her quilt stands.

For the Christian, however, we know that with the sadness of loss always comes the promise of Resurrection. At Bethany, we have experienced new growth in membership, and with that, new spiritual needs. Both Fairview and Bethany church women have requested a Women's Bible Study, and my friend Mary Ryan (a nurse I worked with at Nemaha County Home Health and Hospice, and faithful member of NorthRidge Church in Sabetha) has offered to loan us a curriculum that they have used successfully. Parents of young children at both churches have also asked for a Bible School, and, once again, plans are underway to explore a curriculum. A Bible School planning meeting will be held on May 1, 7PM at Bethany, and all are invited to attend!

I am thankful to God for all of you: the members and friends of Bethany UCC: for the gift of YOU. Many times I say, "thank you for your work", but your value is in being children of God. You show the face of Christ to the world - so, thank you for YOU.
-- Shane

Plans are underway for...

Bethany and Fairview UCC Family & Friends Vacation Bible School
June 24-28, 2013
Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.
During church on Sunday, June 30th, there will be a special time for VBS sharing! Activities for ages 2'ish?4th Grade. Registration forms will be available in May. Childcare available upon request for younger children. Middle School or Jr./Sr. High Youth and Adults interested in helping to establish the foundation of faith in our young ones thru VBS are encouraged to attend an organizational meeting on Wednesday, May 1st at Bethany UCC from 7-8 p.m.


Many non-perishable food items are needed with the exception of corn, peas & green beans.

Perishable items needed, but must be delivered by the person donating: frozen meat, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and potatoes.

Household/personal items needed are:toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, body/hand soap, disposable diapers, toilet tissue, kleenex, miscellaneous toiletries, dish soap and laundry soap.
~ Thank you for your continuing support of our local food pantry! ~


The earth is bursting with new life. A riot of glorious color paints the world in rainbow hues.
Who can doubt God's hand when all around us we see His magnificent design?
The delicate and ephemeral beauty of Spring tulips reminds us that this is the season
of transformation and renewal, when all creation follows the lead of our risen Savior.