Vinton, Iowa 52349                                                                                     July 2017

              (319) 472-3784



              Facebook page: “Bethlehem Lutheran Vinton”


From the Pastor’s Desk


I learned from my daughter when she was very involved in re-branding the university for which she works that the “brand” of a company, institution, or product includes the name but is more than a name and that a logo that makes visual a brand is more than a nice design.  She says a brand is how a person feels about an entity such as a company or even a church and that “branding” is the company’s way of making itself known in the way it wants to be thought of. 


On January 1, the church observes the lesser festival of the Name of Jesus.  The sermon here this year on that date was about the “Jesus brand.”  Jesus is the way God wants to be known by us.  This led into what has become a series on the “Lutheran Brand.”  So far, we have highlighted these ways in which the Lutheran Church is and wants to be known:


     Sola Gratia—Grace Alone

     Understanding Law and Gospel

     Confession and Forgiveness

     Theology of the Cross

     Evangelical Priesthood

     An Understanding of Church

     Sola Scriptura—Scripture Alone (Authority in the Church—the Formal Principle)


Future Sundays will highlight such things as music, social services, education, Sola Fide—Faith Alone, sacraments, and other things for which we give thanks in this church as we observe in this 500th anniversary year of the Reformation. 


~Pastor Urlaub






50 Years in Christ

Rev. Phil Borleske


Celebration of service to God and his church


Rev. Phil Borleske is celebrating 50 years of service in Christ as an ordained pastor on July 16th after worship.  If you know of someone who would like to attend, who has been touched by Phil and is not a member, please extend an invitation to this special celebration.



Ordained in 1967 in his home congregation at Cedarburg, Wis., Pastor Phil has served congregations in Southeastern Minn. and Kenosha County, Janesville and La Crosse, Wis., before Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church. Pastor Phil is the parent of three children and two grandchildren: Stephen of Onalaska, WI; daughter Renee Hepperlen, husband Michael and children Thomas and Anna Marie of Minnetonka, MN; son John, wife Amanda and children Sorina and Malaina of Verona, WI.


During his nine years at Swedesburg, Pastor Phil served on the Henry County Habitat for Humanity board, three years as president; Healthy Henry County Communities organization and its executive committee; Henry County Ministerial Association, four years as president, and the WACO Ministerial Association; Henry County Foster Care Review Board; Foods Resource Bank of Henry County; WACO School Improvement Advisory Committee; chaplain with Crossroads Hospice of Mt. Pleasant (2000-03); and the Olds Lions Club.


He was appointed to the Iowa Governor's Nonprofit Task Force, which set new standards for Iowa nonprofit organizations. While at Swedesburg, he had also ended 10 years of service on the board of trustees of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, an ELCA seminary. He served for six years as dean of ELCA congregations in Henry and surrounding counties.


Rev. Borleske officially retired on Jan. 31, 2007 and seven days later he and wife Phyllis settled into their new home in Vinton, Iowa.


Phil and Phyllis enjoyed retired life, traveling and visiting their three children and grandchildren. Sadly, Phyllis passed away in 2012 after a six-and-a-half-year battle with cancer, but Phil continues to live in a way his late wife would have wanted him to, filled with faith, travel, and volunteerism. Phyllis passed away February 22, 2012 at Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab Center in.  Before her passing. Phil and Phyllis were long-time volunteers at Midwest Old Threshers' events in Mt. Pleasant, IA, and volunteered in post-Katrina hurricane Gulf Coast recovery efforts through Lutheran Disaster Response.  They traveled extensively.


One of Phil’s volunteer commitments is as a member of the governing committee of the Benton County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. In that role, Phil saw the wide-variety of needs in the community and decided to start the Philip and Phyllis Borleske Community Impact Fund, a discretionary fund with the Foundation.


As the needs of communities increase, unrestricted dollars like those from Phil and Phyllis’ fund give local Community Foundation volunteers the ability to make more grants to fill the gaps.


Currently Rev. Borleske still enjoys travelling and being a Master Gardener in eastern Iowa.  He also spends many Sunday’s being a guest pastor at local congregations and we enjoy having him ‘fill in’ here at Bethlehem.


Please help us show our appreciation of his service and commitment.  Stay after service on the 16th and give Phil a great big THANK YOU.



Image result for Martin Luther images

Image result for Lutheran rose images“A Moment with

Martin Luther”




The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.


What is this and what does it mean?

We are to fear, love and trust God above all things.


The Second Commandment

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.


What is this and what does it mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we do not curse, swear, practice magic, lie or deceive using God’s name, but instead use that very name in every time of need to call on, pray to, praise, and give thanks to God.


The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.


What is this and what does it mean?

We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching or God’s word, but instead keep that word holy and gladly hear and learn it.


Team Christian Faith


A special healing service will be held at 6:30 pm on July 11th. Please attend to pray for the healing of body and spirit for yourself or others.

A red rose will be placed at church service for the birth of baby of any congregation member. Grandparents may ask for a rose to be placed for the birth of a grandchild. Please contact the church office of any newborn babies.


The first Sunday of every month Eucharistic ministers take communion to those members not able to attend church service. If any member would like this service please contact the church office.


A tape ministry service is offered every Sunday for those members unable to attend church service. If you would like to receive a tape of the church service please contact the church office


Team Christian Life


Benton County Food Pantry

 Thanks so much for all your generous donations.  We recently took to the food pantry the last of the items donated.  Team Life just wants to encourage you to keep on giving.  We encourage you to give whatever you feel you want to donate.  That can be non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items such as soap, laundry soap, diapers, toothpaste etc.  You also may not want to shop but prefer to make a cash donation.  They then can purchase items at their discounted price.  You can place all the above-mentioned items in the containers in the East hallway of the narthex.


Fall School Supply Drive

This year things are a little different and there will be no school supply drive at Clickstop as in the previous two years.  At the elementary level, the school is offering an economical option for parents to order supplies online and that sale runs through June 22.


The big need this year is for three items since the school cannot require families to provide these.  So, donations would be very helpful.  The three items are 1) Kleenex, 2) Disinfecting wipes, 3) Ziploc bags.  There also may be a need for new backpacks.


If you are interested and able to help with this supply drive, please leave the items in the provided boxes in the Narthex labeled as such.


Please have the items to the church by August 1, 2017.

~Thank you in advance.


Youth Ministry


VBS will be held July 30 – Aug 2.  Please watch your emails for registration materials and details.  We also need teachers and helpers.  Please consider being part of a great learning and fellowship opportunity for the kids!!!


We have 10 youth attending Lutheran Church camps this month.  Brant Dickinson, Zachary Dickinson, Cami Erhardt, Jackson Heims, Kira Jacobs, Mia, Jacobs, and Ryan Sivola will attend Riverside Bible Camp the week of July 16th.  Emma Dickinson, Grayce McClintock, and Zoey McClintock will attend EWALU the week of July 23rd.  Please keep these youth in your prayers as they spend time at camp learning more about their relationship with God.


Let’s go swimming!!!  Sunday, July 9th, from 6-8 pm at the Vinton Swimming pool.  If you don’t have a pool pass, let Rachel know – funds are available to cover the cost!  Just a reminder – if you are sending kids without a parent, they will need to wait until 7:00 as we still need to follow the family swim rules.


Are you on Pinterest?  Take a look at the Bethlehem Lutheran page for ideas on family activities and bible activities for your kids.  More pins are being added all the time.  If you have a pin you would like posted, email it to Rachel at


As we look forward to next fall already, we are in need of Sunday school teachers.  Please prayerfully consider being a part of the Sunday school program and working with the kids in our congregation.  We are hoping to get enough teachers that each teacher will only need to teach about 8 Sundays.  Teachers are also provided with a choice of pre-planned lessons.  Call or e-mail Rachel if you are willing to help or want to know more about it.  572-6299 or


Adult Bible Study


Starting on September 18th, 2017, we will start a 5-session bible study based on the book " Martin food+for+thought[1]Luther's Ninety-Five Theses: With Introduction, Commentary, and Study Guide” by Timothy J. Wengert. An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1977), Timothy Wengert was professor of Reformation History at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia from 1989 until his retirement in 2013. He writes on topics of Reformation history and theology, especially on Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon. Twice he has been asked to give plenary addresses at the International Luther Congress (1997 and 2017). He is author or editor of over twenty books and in 2015 edited the first volume of "The Annotated Luther" (The Roots of Reform), published by Fortress Press, Minneapolis.

There will be a sign-up sheet in Augustana Hall for those that wish to attend the bible study. The book can be purchased on Amazon or from the church. If you would like the church to pre-order the book for you, please sign up by August 20th. The books will be distributed around September 1st to give participants time to read the selected material prior to the first meeting. The cost of the books in around $11.22 + tax. Meetings will be every other Monday at 7pm in Augustana Hall.


The reading schedule is listed below:

Dates, Subjects, Pages

Sept 18 Introduction: Luther's First Reformation

Writings (Part 1)          

ix - xxxi

Stop at heading The Ninety-Five Theses

& the Letter to Albrecth

Oct 2    Introduction: Luther's First Reformation

Writings (Part 2)          

xxxi -xlvi

Oct 16  The Ninety-Five Theses


Oct 30  The Letter to Albrechts


Nov 13 A Sermon on Indulgences and Grace     37-48


All are invited!  Please join us in this 500th anniversary year to study more about Martin Luther.


Women's Evening Bible Study


The women's evening bible study will meet once a month during the summer on the third Monday of the month at 7p.m. in Augustana Hall. During the summer, we will do devotionals and fellowship. The meeting dates are July 17th and August 21st.


See the separate announcement about Martin Luther's 95 Theses bible study.

~Please join us!


Food for Thought Small Group


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:

July 20, 2017

Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung (repeat from May)

Newton's in Waterloo


August 17, 2017

Griselda Takes Flight by Joyce Magnin

The Chrome Horse in Cedar Rapids


September 21, 2017

Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown

Napoli's in Marion


October 19, 2017

The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers

Restaurant: Rock Bar American Grill in Cedar Rapids


November 16, 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Irish Democrat in Cedar Rapids


December 14, 2017 (note date moved up 1 week earlier in December than usual)

A Red Bird Christmas by Fanny Flagg

Potluck at the Bethlehem Inn in Vinton


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



Men’s Bible Study

Most Mondays at 6:30-7:30 p.m. we have read our way through Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel and II Samuel.

Currently we are reading I Kings, the format is that we read aloud from the bible and discuss with information provided by the pastor.  No previous experience is needed.


Please join us!


Vinton Feeds the World 2017

Fundraiser - $600 raised

At the fundraiser on June 7th we raised $600.  That is 2,200 meals. Thanks to everyone that participated by providing food, attending and donating.  I truly appreciate all that you do to help accomplish this task. Special thanks to the group that helps set up and helps in the kitchen, I would be totally lost without you!


Volunteers Needed

If you haven't already done so, please consider volunteering for the event.  Forms can be found in Augustana Hall and on the website at  Please spread the word! Try to get friends, family, co-workers, even strangers involved!  With God's help we will have another spirit led event.


Grace and peace to you and thanks for your support!          

~Marta Bauer, Event Coordinator



for health & healing: Ray Lough, John Eden, and Tim Jorgensen.

for guidance, safety and growth in Christ: all children attending bible camps and Vacation Bible Schools.

for continued blessings:  Gary and Joan Volberding on 60 years of marriage, June 1st.

for sympathy and condolences: Ethel Moen’s family on her passing, May 21st, Marilyn Ealy’s family on her passing June 13th.


Thank You Bethlehem

Virginia Gay Hospital Healthcare Foundation sent a thank you for our $100+4 gift. “A simple “thank you” doesn’t go far enough to express our gratitude for helping us provide health care and assistance to area residents.  Last year 23 people benefited form the funds available. Hopefully you know how much we appreciate your efforts and your concern for others as expressed through your financial support of the Hospital and the Foundation”

Robin Martin, Dir. VGH Healthcare Foundation

Notes and things:  

Food in the Fridge

Please remember that any food placed in church refrigerators/freezers must have a specific intended future use noted on the food.  All food left from Sunday fellowship should be dated and after two weeks, if it is not in an unopened commercial package, it will be disposed of.  Do not leave any food—even products such as ketchup or mustard—unless you know who will use it and when.  Don’t assume that someone will have a use for it.

Flowers in June:

July 2nd: Andersons     July 9th: Blands   

July 16th: Williams      July 23rd: Jacobs 

July 30th: Martins


Opportunities to Share

“Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

Hebrews 13:16


Noisy offerings are received every last Sunday of the month.  Bring coins to contribute and your children to help gather them.  They offerings have supported the ELCA Hunger Appeal (default recipient), ELCA Malaria Campaign, Vinton Feeds the World, and other projects.


Quarters loose in the offering plates every Sunday have been for well over 30 years designated for the ELCA Hunger Appeal.


Non-perishable foods and household and paper products are received at the church of the Benton County Food Panty. In some months, specific suggestions are made.  At other times, bring what you think will be useful.


Vinton Feeds the World.  Our “God’s work.  Our hands. Sunday” project in September.  Packaging 25,000 meals is this year’s goal.  Half the meals are distributed in Benton County and half are sent overseas. 


Sunday fellowship offerings.  The money received basket at the serving counter do not pay for the food and drinks we enjoy.  These are donated by very generous and dedicated people who sign up to provide them.  The offerings support missions chosen by the Sunday School and the Christian Life team on alternating Sundays.  A sign by the basket identifies the cause. 

100 + 4 gifts are given to causes, many local, in continued celebration of the now 103 years of ministry in Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  Your contributions of $104 provide these gifts and suggestions of recipients are appreciated.  Gifts are presented the last Sunday of every month.  The council has approved these recipients if donations are received for them:  Lutheran Chaplaincy Outreach (chaplain at University of Iowa Hospitals), Lutheran Campus Ministry at University of Iowa, and Free Indeed (congregation inside Anamosa penitentiary).  Suggestions for recipients may also be made to the council via George Bauer. 


Previous Centennial 100 (+) Gifts


January      Vinton Fireman’s Association

February    Benton County Food Pantry

March        North Benton Ambulance Service

April          Boy Scout Troop 47

May           Lutheran Lakeside Camp

June           Virginia Gay Hospital Imaging

July            Benton County Transportation

August       Vinton Lutheran Home

September  Vinton Area Ministerial Association

October      Vinton-Shellsburg Fine Arts Century Club

December  HACAP Meals on Wheels/Senior Dining



January      Vinton Volunteer Fire Department

February    Boy Scout Troop 47

March        Eastern Iowa Honor Flight

April          Vinton Public Library

May           Garrison Public Library

June           Virginia Gay Hospital-Gift of Hope Program

September  Vinton-Shellsburg School Operation Back pack

October      Friends of the Shelter

November  Echo Ministries

December  Vinton-Shellsburg Fine Arts Century Club



January      Evergreen Cemetery

February    Vinton-Shellsburg FFA Chapter

March        Shellsburg Public Library

April          Daisy Girl Scouts

May           Vinton Feeds the World

June           North Benton Ambulance Service

July            Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District- School Supplies

August       Vinton Guild of Fine Arts

September  Vinton Parks & Recreation

October      Benton County Veteran Affairs

November  Vinton Aquatic Club



January      Vinton Municipal Electric Utility assistance program

February    Retrieving Freedom

March        Vinton-Shellsburg Fine Arts Century Club

April          Vinton Family Medical Clinic-New Clinic Construction

May           Vinton Lutheran Home

June           Vinton Feeds the World

July            Vinton Police Dept.-K-9 dog and equipment

August       Vinton-Shellsburg Schools--School Supplies

September  ClickStop Cares



February    Bishop’s Emergency Fund

March        Vinton Volunteer Fire Department

April          Heart of Mary Cluster Haiti mission

May           Virginia Gay Hospital Mission of Hope

June           ELCA Disaster Relief for Sudan


Domestic Violence Awareness

In the coming months, information about Domestic Violence, reprinted from Waypoint Services, will be presented.  If you think you may be a victim or know someone who is, please use this information and if you’d like printed copies, please stop by the office. 


Tools for Supporting Domestic Violence Victims/Survivors


Validate their Experience


Use Empathy vs. Sympathy

·   Sympathy is takin on another’s feelings.  You assume that the survivor is reacting just as you would react in the same situation. 

Sympathy places the focus on you – your feelings about the survivor’s experience, how you would feel in the same situation, what you would do.  When viewing the situation from your own point of view, you may express judgment toward the survivor.

·   Empathy is putting yourself into the survivor’s world.  You move into their frame of reference, looking at the situation from their point of view.  The focus remains on the survivor.  True empathy requires you to adapt to each survivor.


Be aware of Body Language

·   Eye contact: Be certain to lock eyes with the survivor at regular intervals, but not when the survivor looks away; this may mean you have hit a difficult topic.  Do not assume that if a survivor looks away that it means they are lying.

·   Attentive body language: Notice your distance from the survivor; do not get too close or too far away.


Utilize Reframing Techniques

·   “Why” Questions: ‘Why’ questions put people on the defensive, imply judgement and cause discomfort.

·   Turn challenges into strengths: Bossy = assertive; Emotional = expressive; Resistive = stands her ground; Lying = cautious; Victim = Survivor


Build on the Person’s Strengths

·   Acknowledge strengths; specific ways they survived, how they got away, their courage to come forward and talk about the abuse.

·   Build up the survivor! Many survivors struggle with their self-esteem; their confidence has often been damaged or destroyed.  Remind the survivor that they are valuable and full of skills and abilities.

·   Reassure the survivor that they handled the situation the best that they could.  If necessary, carefully ask a few questions to gather information to use in reassuring the survivor.

·   Point out anything that demonstrates planning, forethought, survival skills and good follow through.


Respect the Person’s Right to Self-Determination

·   Survivors of domestic violence have had the right to choose taken away.  It is important that their sense of control be restored.

·   Allow the survivor to make their own decisions.

·   Allow the survivor to express indecision.

·   Accept that each person must find solutions that they can live with.  Remember that the survivor must be confident and comfortable with the choices they make concerning their life.


Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report for May 2017

Account Name







Journal Entries



Building Fund






Cassens Prop Fund






Equip Replace Fd






General Fund B






General Fund A






LYO Fund






Memorial Fund






Property Fund






Sun. School Fund







Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report as of June 9, 2017

Account Name







Journal Entries



Building Fund






Cassens Prop Fund






$5,747.44 transfer from the Building Fund to the Cassens Prop Fund represents a loan to the Cassens Property Fund for the purchase of the house; this will be paid back as donations come into the Cassens Property Fund.


Servers in June:

July 2nd & 9th

Acolytes:          Ushers                                      Altar Guild:      Brenda Sutton, Sheila Stickels (9th)

Asst. Minister:  George Bauer                           Lector:             Mike Timmerman

Comm. Servers: Brenda Krull, Brenda Sutton

Tape Ministry:  Elaine Bearbower        

Ushers:             Dean & Nancy Beckman (2nd) Doug & Brenda Sutton, Mike Timmerman, Pam Woolison

Greeters:          Larry & Elaine Bearbower, Nancy Gray, Sierra Kerkman

Counters (2nd): Cheryl Kelley, Lisa Vermedahl

Counters (9th): Lisa Vermedahl, Larry Nudd

July 16th, 23rd & 30th

Acolytes:            Ushers

Altar Guild:        Brenda Sutton

Asst. Minister:    George Bauer

Lector:               Tim Jorgensen

Tape Ministry:  Marva Hanna

Comm. Servers: Julie Lindahl, Brenda Sutton

Ushers (16th):     Marlyn & Ann Jorgensen, John Lindahl, Julie Lindsay

Ushers (23/30):  Marlyn & Ann Jorgensen, John Lindahl, Dean Beckman

Greeters:            Tim & Cheryl Jorgensen, Doug & Brenda Sutton (16th), Ryan & Kelli McClintock (23/ 30)

Counters (16th): Larry Nudd, Ryan/Sally Jacobs

Counters (23rd): Ryan/Sally Jacobs, John/Ellen Olson

Counters (30th):    John/Ellen Olson, Kimmit Renken