The Bethlehem Star                                                

              Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church                                                                      

              1206 C Avenue

              Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church

              Vinton, Iowa 52349                                                                                      February 2017

              (319) 472-3784



              Facebook page: “Bethlehem Lutheran Vinton”


From the Pastor’s Desk


First, a heartfelt thank you to the congregation and to individual members for Christmas cards, greetings, and for gifts that LuAnn and I have received again this year.  We are truly grateful for the signs of support and encouragement we have received at Christmas and throughout all the years we have been here.


The church is in the middle of the “time after Epiphany.”  This is “ordinary time,” meaning that it is time that is ordered.  The Sundays are numbered (ordinals) sequentially after the Epiphany of Our Lord observed on January 6.  Another longer period of ordinary time is after Pentecost, that takes us through the summer and fall to the end of the church year.  These are times outside of other liturgical seasons such as Advent or Lent.  The length of both times depends on the date of Easter.  This year, Easter is somewhat later, making this time after Epiphany longer and the time after Pentecost shorter.


These times are not ordinary in the sense of unimportant.  Epiphany remembers how the birth of the Savior was made known by the star that called the wise men to come and worship. This time after Epiphany largely is about how Jesus was made known to people of his time in miracles, teaching, and calling disciples.  It invites us to see how Christ is made known in our own time in the witness of the church.  How have you come to know Jesus?  Where do you see Christ at work in your life and the world?  In what ways do you or could you make Jesus known to others?  How might ordinary time lead to extraordinary things? 

~Pastor Urlaub





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“A Moment with Martin Luther”


The Apostle’s Creed           

3rd Article – Of Sanctification

(being made holy)


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.


What does this mean?

I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but instead the Holy Spirit has call me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, made me holy, and kept me in the true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and makes holy the whole Christian church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one common, true faith. Daily in this Christian church the Holy Spirit abundantly forgives all sins—mine and those of all believers. On the last day the Holy Spirit will raise me and all the dead and will give me and all believers in Christ eternal life. This is most certainly true.


Bible reading: Acts 2


Church Council


The Church Council elected their 2017 officers.  Please say a prayer of wisdom for them as they help lead our congregation in the coming year. 

President:                    Tom Hanson   

Vice President:            Kimmit Renken

Secretary:                   Jon Clingman

Treasurer:                  Ryan McClintock

Business Admin.:         Tenny Jertson

Financial Sec.:             Deb Jertson

Deputy Fin. Secretary: Marta Bauer


Notes from the Parish Assistant:

Don’t forget to pick up your offering envelopes, there are still quite a few remaining.


Check out the website!!!

If you haven’t had a chance to look at it lately, please take a few minutes to wander around. 


Online Giving is available through the link on the home page.  If you haven’t had a chance to set yours up, please do so.  If you have any questions, please let me know or contact Marta Bauer.


Things you might want to visit:

This Week at Bethlehem (on home page)

Calendar of Events (under the Worship menu)

These two places are updated frequently, so if you are ever unsure of a time or date for a function/activity, please check there.


Coming Soon to the website:

Stars – Stars will be published to the website as they have been in the past and they will be formatted to work across a wider range of browsers and devices, such as smart phones.  Once they are published (planning on March) please let me know if you experience issues viewing them.

Member Log-In – There will be a log in so that we can publish more things to the web that we have not in the past due to privacy concerns.

Prayer of the Day – This will include special prayers for congregation members when they are in need of special prayers.

Coming Soon to Augustana Hall:

You may have noticed the new monitor above the information table in Augustana Hall.  Keep a watch on it for NEWS, Announcements and other information.

Youth Ministry


Service Sunday in January:  The kids made food for the birds and squirrels to eat during the cold winter months.




LIGHTS will meet in the preschool room on February 1st from 5:30-6:30.  PreK-5th grade can join us for a lesson, games and a snack.


Sunday School Family Event:  Bowling!  We’ll meet at Berry’s Lanes on Sunday February 19th at 1:00.  Shoes are $2.00 and games are $2.50 per person.


Middle School Event  - Friday February 17th – 7:00-9:00.  Check your email for more details.


Church camp time!!!!   We’ve had several kids go the past few years and hope to send a group this year too.  Rachel has some information if you are interested.  Early bird registration discount deadlines are usually March 1st.  We’ll have a short meeting after church on Sunday, Feb 5th for anyone who is interested in choosing a camp together, coordinating weeks, etc.  If you have a chance before then, look at the different camp options and see what will work for you.   


Lutheran Lakeside:




Noisy Offering will be collected by the kids on February 26th.  Please join us and make some noise!!!


Team Christian Life


Thank you so much to those who purchased an ornament from the Advent Tree which Team Christian Life placed in Augustana Hall during the advent and Christmas season.  The idea was to purchase the item listed on the ornament and

then take that ornament home to place on your Christmas tree.  The following items were purchased by the Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation as a whole or by individual members of the congregation.  A total of $1697 was donated to purchase the following items:


      Support a Young Adult in Global Missions for a Day 1          $30

      Provide water jugs                   3         $36

      Chicks                                     8         $80

      Sheep                                      2       $250

      Vaccinations                            2         $60

      Fruit Tree Seedling                  5         $50

      Goat                                        3       $150

      Stock a back pack                    1         $10

      School fees                              2         $80

      Honey Bees                             5       $100

      Train an Evangelist                  2         $76

      Pig                                          4       $120

      Microloan                                1       $125

      Mosquito Net                           2         $20

      Cow                                        1       $500

      Cash Donation                         1         $10

                                              Total     $1697


The funds collected will be sent to the ELCA Good Gifts project to be used as requested.


Sunday Fellowship hour donations for months of January, February, and March are going to Vinton Community Heat Assistance program.


Donations to the Benton County Food Pantry are still being collected. Suggested items such as soup and crackers, hot chocolate, or anything non-perishable or sundry items that may be useful during the winter months.


Music and Choir


The Chapel Choir is taking a winter break in February and will not rehearse or sing.  YoungStars will rehearse on February 15th at 6:30 p.m. and sing on February 19th.



Chapel Choir: Rehearse: March 1, 8, 15 and 29 at 7:45 pm (after Lenten services) No rehearsal March 22.

8:15 warm-up and sing at worship: March 4 and 18.

Youngstars (includes Sunday School children!) rehearse:  March 8 at 6:30 pm and will warm-up at 8:25 and sing in church on March 12.


Food for Thought Small Group


food+for+thought[1]Food for Thought Small Group meets monthly, on the third Thursday evening of the month.  The members may carpool from the church or meet at the assigned restaurant.  Fellowship and informal book discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. and continues during the meal.  This activity is open to anyone wishing to join the fun.


Our schedule for the upcoming months:

January 19: The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin: Pizza Ranch/Vinton

February 16: The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom: Crooked Antler/Van Horne

March 16: Water from My Heart by Charles Martin: Inn II, bring your own dinner.

April 20: Risen by Angela Hunt; Chrome Horse/ Cedar Rapids


We would love to have new members join us.  If you have questions call Linda Wallace (472-5638).




for health & healing: Jim Nottger, Sue Hughes, Paulette Henkel, Jackie Behounek, Ray Lough, Duane Mangold and Evelyn Greenwood for healing after a fall.


Nancy Beckman’s family after the death of Nancy’s uncle, Deb Jertson and family for the declining health of Deb’s father and Sue Hughes and family on the death of Sue’s mother.


for new grandchild:  Porter William Edward Ericson, infant son of Josh Ericson and Jen Miner was born in Cedar Rapids on January 11th, 2017. He weighed in at 10.34 pounds and measured in at 21.75 inches long. Porter is the baby brother of Harper. Proud grandparents are John and Becky Williams!


For continued longevity: Helen Anderson, who celebrated her 90th birthday on January 28th.

New members: Pat and Maurice Gardner, 1887 59th St. Garrison, IA 319-477-5841.


Viola Calvert, 712 W 8th St. Vinton, IA 319-472-4086


Thanks to Bethlehem:

Thank you to our Bethlehem family for the cards, thoughts and prayers upon the passing of Sue’s mom, Barb Freet.  A special thanks to Pastor Urlaub for the beautiful funeral service and his visit with us and to Intern Lynn for visiting her while in hospice.  We appreciate all of you. 

~Sue and Al Hughes

Funeral services were held for Barb Freet in Waterloo on Jan. 4 officiated by Pastor Urlaub.



Rollin and I would like to express our gratitude to the entire congregation for your ongoing support of us with your thoughts, prayers and generosity shown to us over the holidays. We are blessed to be amongst you. Thank you!

~Intern Lynn and Rollin Banderob


Thanks to Brenda Sutton and Sheila Stickels for helping me with getting printed materials, folded, tabbed, stamped and mailed.  I really appreciate their willingness to take on these tasks which helps keep things running smoother (not smoothly, I’m still hitting some bumps in the road).

~JJ Jorgensen


Attention Graduates: The Alumni of Beta Sigma Psi Lutheran fraternity will be awarding three $1500 scholarships to Lutheran gentlemen entering Iowa State University in the fall of 2017. Applicants will be evaluated on their scholastic achievement and active participation in their communities and churches. Applications posted prior to March 5th, 2017, will be eligible for all three of the scholarships. If you are not selected for the first scholarship, however, and turned in an early application, your application will be reviewed for the second and third scholarships. Applications posted prior to April 23rd, 2017, will be eligible for the last two scholarships. All applications posted prior to June 11th, 2017 will be eligible for the third scholarship only. 


Beta Sigma Psi is founded on three “S’s”: Spiritual, Scholastic, and Social. Beta Sigma Psi wishes to reward students exhibiting strength in these areas. The criteria used for evaluating candidates will be based on these qualities using a 100-point scale, broken down as follows: 


25 points: Involvement in Church Activities

25 points: Academic Achievement

25 points: Involvement in & recognition for extra-curricular activities including, but not limited to, athletics, clubs, performing arts, and community service

25 points: Personal Interview


The top candidates will be invited to interview. Recipients will be selected from this group. Scholarships will be awarded during Homecoming week 2017. 


This simple scholarship form can be filled out at the web address listed below or the paper copy on the next page can be mailed directly to the fraternity. There is no difference in information between forms, just their delivery method. If you have any other questions or comments, feel free to contact us from the information below. Good luck and thank you for taking the time to apply.


phone: (515) 619-2739




~Beta Sigma Psi Scholarship Committee


About Lutheran Lakeside Camp

(from the camp website


Lutheran Lakeside Camp was established in 1959 when two Lutheran bodies, the Augustana Synod and United Lutheran Synod agreed to purchase 133 acres of farm land on East Lake Okoboji just south of Spirit Lake, Iowa. The Camp was incorporated as an Association of 140 Lutheran churches in Iowa in 1960. The emergence of several separate Lutheran synods in Iowa created the Lutheran Church of America which took responsibility for Lakeside and provided a synod staff person annually during the summer for children and youth camping. Pastors felt that much could be accomplished by bringing confirmation students for a week of camp during which several topics could be individually or team taught. Today there are four weeks of confirmation camp with hundreds of young people attending along with their pastor(s) and youth directors. After planting what seemed like one million trees in 1960, Lakeside now has the most diverse variety of deciduous trees in Dickinson County with over 28 different trees.


In 1980 a new pool was constructed and in 1988 the merger of two church bodies, the Lutheran Church of America and the American Lutheran Church, created the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The Iowa Synod of the Lutheran Church of America released Lakeside and a new association of 124 congregations formed a supportive body with the election of board members from across the state. And in 2004 the current Dining Hall was finished and now sits atop one of the highest hills on camp overlooking a panoramic view of East Lake Okoboji.


Today Lutheran Lakeside Camp is a year round facility offering individuals, children/youth, families and congregations all the amenities of rustic or high comfort facilities. Family reunions, high school receptions and weddings occur throughout the year. Congregations enjoy worship, picnics and youth retreats as well as attending summer camp. Sailing is a major event at Lakeside and offers a high-quality sailing camp each year with certified sailing instructors teaching children and adults on five classes of sailboat from Sunfish, Catamarans and two, solid hulled sailing vessels the Glass Elevator aka the "Jolly Roger." RV and tent camping are also a fun part of spring, summer, fall camping.

Join us when you can! Expect the unexpected! Whatever you are looking for in camping in the Iowa Great Lakes - You just found it!


Building Brighter Futures

Learning new things can always be difficult. Especially when you’re learning to be a first-time parent. 

Sarah’s first son, Mark, was a happy baby. But as he grew into his toddler years, Sarah was unsure how to handle his behavioral changes. When he started acting out at home, she felt herself growing more frustrated.

Sarah knew she needed help. That’s when she turned to LSI’s Parents as Teachers program.

Parents as Teachers provides free and voluntary parent education and support for families in Boone and Story County, with children up to age 5.

The program was with Sarah every step of the way, providing home visits, introducing her to community support groups, and teaching her how to adjust to Mark’s developmental stages.

“With help from Parents as Teachers, I learned his behavior was just a phase, and they told me it was normal,” Sarah says. "Before, I thought there was a problem with me, or that I wasn’t a good parent.”

Mark, now 3, entered preschool last fall, and Sarah is proud to see how much progress he has made. He’s meeting new friends and at home, he’s become the best big brother to his baby sister, Hannah.

Learning how to handle Mark’s developmental stages has made Sarah more confident in raising Hannah. She knows what to expect as Hannah grows up, and she’s ready to face each day and create the brightest future for her children.

“Parents as Teachers helped me so much with my parenting,” Sarah says. “The program is the best thing I have.”



Happy Valentine’s Day from LSI!


“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Lutheran Services in Iowa’s (LSI) mission is about love: responding to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service. We give thanks for all the ministry partners of both individuals and congregations who help share this love for Iowa children, families, and adults!


We see this love in newly adopted children and their families, in teens who learn to trade self-harm for self-worth, in refugee farmers who share their love of the land with the Des Moines community, in struggling parents who learn positive ways to build love and trust with their children and in so many other moments of hope every day. Thank you for the love you share and create through LSI.




Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report for December 2016


Account Name







Journal Entries



Building Fund






Cap Campaign Fd






Equip Replace Fd






General Fund B






General Fund A






LYO Fund






Memorial Fund






Property Fund






Sun. School Fund







US Bank mortgage balance as of October 10, 2016:  $0.00!!!!!!



From the Treasurer………..


It has been my pleasure to serve as Treasurer in 2016 and happy to continue that role into 2017.  I hope that you find my monthly “commentary” and information on Bethlehem’s financials beneficial. 

2016 was certainly a very positive year for total giving at Bethlehem!  As you can see from the chart above, we finished the year with a positive balance of over $12,000!  Historically, 2016 total giving was up $30,000 from 2015 and $25,000 from 2014.  Very positive growth from a financial perspective and truly shows what our congregation is capable of. 

***Thanks to all that continue to give any and all for the mission and ministry we have at Bethlehem.

And in my opinion, we have reached a very positive and exciting time.  With the formal discussion and vote on taking the next step of possible expansion with the removal of the Bethlehem Inn.  To the current visioning team focusing on what our current and future missions and ministries might be. 

We are fortunate and blessed to have such a positive financial condition at this time to be able to focus on such future projects and missions.  Being able to take care of our day to day expenses without issues is critical when discussing any future plans and ministries God might have for us.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions!

~Ryan McClintock, Treasurer


We have a new logo!  Thanks to Becky Urlaub for creating our new logo which will be appearing in place of the old one.  If you have any printed materials you wish to be updated with the new logo, stop by the office.