Vinton, Iowa 52349

FB page: “Bethlehem Lutheran Vinton”


              (319) 472-3784





              May 2017




From the Pastor’s Desk

An ELCA pastor I know went to be the guest preacher at a congregation in our denomination.  He arrived carrying an alb and stole, vestments he was accustomed to wearing in worship.  The host pastor told him that he would not be needing those things because they did “not have traditions” there.  The visiting pastor responded, “Oh, yes you do.  They are just not the same as my traditions.” 

Tradition seems to have negative connotations these days as it refers to practices that some feel are outdated and are judged as empty.  But to suggest that a community or individual can worship without tradition is disingenuous.  We all have ways of doing things, and outward expressions of what is in the heart have their place.  For example, people dress for football games in team colors and engage in all sorts of tailgate rituals to express their spirit and carry on beloved traditions.  It is a religion, of sorts, although most do not view it as a way of eternal salvation. 

My comments are prompted by an advertisement from a church offering “Freedom from Religion”, a name actually used by an activist organization that seeks to remove religious influence and activity wherever it can.  It has sued, so far unsuccessfully, to end certain tax privileges given to churches, among other things.  That, of course, is not what the ad was about but it felt to me like a judgement of traditional worship and an overt invitation to those who may be less than satisfied to leave their own churches and go there. 

Jesus’ criticism of “teachers of the law who like to go about in long robes” was not criticism of the clothing but of the motives of those who wore it.  It is the difference between “religion” and “religiosity.”  A person might well embrace the former and reject the latter.  If Jesus was critical of fancy robes, he also said to “rend (tear) your hearts and not your garments.”  Wearing shabby (torn) garments could be a sign of humility before God or in current fashion a sign of having paid extra for the clothes. Either way, in Jesus’ view intentionally dressing down to give a certain impression does not commend one to God any better than dressing in a fine suit.  Clothing falls into that great body of what Luther calls adiaphora—things that are “neither here nor there.”  St. Paul did advise against clothing that would in some way bring dishonor.  It might be different in various cultural environments but the caution has merit and could receive better attention these days than it gets.

I personally find value in ways of worship embraced by countless Christians over the ages.  I like new songs but resonate also with those by authors of more than a thousand years ago.  I have worshipped with congregations where I did not know the language but understood what was being said and could participate because the form and rhythm was of the familiar liturgy of the Church.  When the congregation danced its way to the offering basket and back, I was less able to participate. To brand one a true religion or reject the other as false is a spurious judgment. 

We do well to remember that it is not just about me and my preferences; it is not just about us and our time and place.  My emotions are not the measure of my faith nor the gauge of the effectiveness or validity of a worship service.  Unlike a tailgate party, what we do in worship has eternal significance. The preaching and hearing of the word is commanded by God.  Jesus gave what we call sacraments—dependable, external signs that impart saving grace and depend, not on my creativity or feelings, but on the promise of God.  Faithfulness in these things matter.  Other things do not.  It is important to know the difference.

~Pastor Urlaub

 “Words About Worship” will be a weekly feature for a while in the Sunday bulletin.  Sometimes it will present information and at other times it will point to and suggest reading parts of Evangelical Lutheran




From the President:

At the congregational meeting held May 7th, the members voted to acquire the Cassens

property.  Closing date is tentatively set for June 6th.  Thank you to the congregation for your

feedback and support.  The Visioning committee has been working on what the future needs

of our congregation may be.  If you have ideas or suggestions, or if you know of needs not being

met, please contact a Visioning or Council Member.  Everyone involved in the running of Bethlehem

are giving their talents and time to do all things to the glory of God.  See you in church.



Tom Hanson,

Council President


Meet the congregation:

We welcome new members: Mary Kay and Lance Hennings who come to us from Hope Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. Their contact information is: 106 3rd Ave. Keystone, IA 52249, 319-442-3524.

Tannah Gene Sivola, daughter of Aubrey Sivola, who was baptized into Bethlehem March 5th.

Leyton Grace Aldrich, daughter of Brian and Jean Aldrich, who was baptized into Bethlehem April 13th.


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.



Youth Ministry

The May service activity for Sunday school was planting flowers at the Lutheran Home.  Many adults and youth participated.  Drive by and look at our work!!




Carnival was held April 26th.  Around 30 kids had a blast playing games inside and outside, eating walking tacos and ice cream, and winning prizes and candy!  Thank you to everyone who helped plan, setup and cleanup or who helped by donating and serving food.  A lot of members are involved in putting this together and the kids love it!!!




We will be participating in the Party in the Park parade again this year on June 23rd.  We encourage any members to walk or ride with us!! Watch the bulletin and emails for further details on the time and place to meet.


VBS will be held July 30 – August 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!!!


A HUGE Thank You to all of the Sunday school teachers this past year.  Your commitment to the youth of our congregation and your willingness to help out with all the Sunday school activities is really appreciated!!


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 once a month.  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.  472-3784 or


Vinton Feeds the World 2017


On June 7th from 5 to 7p.m. we will be having a fundraiser dinner including pasta, marinara and Alfredo sauce, garlic bread, salads and homemade desserts. Please consider donating a salad or dessert for this event.  There are signup sheets in Augustana Hall.

Also plan on attending.   Invite all of your friends! Free will donations will be accepted.


Vinton Feeds the World 2017 Food Packaging Event Update


The date for Vinton Feeds the World 2016 food packaging event is Sunday, September 10th at 1p.m. at the Vinton Skate. This year our goal is 25,000 meals! We are almost at our goal for money. Volunteer forms can be found in Augustana Hall and on the church's website. 

Grace and peace to you and thanks for your support!

Marta Bauer

Event Coordinator


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 June 19th, July 17th and August 21st.


Starting on September 18th, 2017, we will start meeting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month.  We will be reading Martin Luther's 95 Theses by Timothy J. Wengert.  It will be a 5-session study including:

      Introduction: Luther's First Reformation Writings (2 sessions)

      The Ninety-Five Theses

      The Letter to Albrecht

      A Sermon on Indulgences and Grace


Please join us!



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:

May 18th     Where the Wind Leads     

Vinh Chung

Cedar Ridge Winery/Swisher

June 15th     Never the Bride: A Novel 

Cheryl McKay & Rene Gutteridge  TBD

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



Garden Project: The potatoes have sprouted and are growing well.  This week we will be hilling and mulching them.  A sign will be installed to announce what the project is about.  If anyone wishes to help with the care of the potato patch, please let JJ know.

The remainder of the open ground was seeded to grass this week so please stay off the area.



for health & healing:

for guidance and well wishes: Dr. Lynn Banderob

High School graduates: Ken Jorgensen, Abbe Wilson, Jamie Thompson, Ben Eden.

Flowers in June:

June 4; Shannon & Misty Mahr

June 11th:

June 18th: Sue Kerkman

June 25th: Curtis & Michelle Tauke


Servers in June:


Council Lock-Up: Ellen Olson

JUNE 4th & 11th

Acolytes:                    Ushers

Altar Guild:                 Ellen Olson

Assisting Minister:      George Bauer

Communion Server:    Dana Hanson & Lisa Vermedahl

Greeters:                     Ron & Evelyn Bland, Rob & Emily Hanson

Lector:                         Julie Barnes

Tape Ministry:            Dave Vermedahl

Ushers:                       Maurice & Pat Gardner, John & Shirale Hanson

Counters:                    Steve Wallace, Mona Hanson (4th), Steve Wallace, Deb Jertson (11th)


JUNE 18th & 25th

Acolytes:                    Ushers

Altar Guild:                 Ellen Olson

Assisting Minister:      George Bauer

Communion Server:    Marta Bauer & Dana Hanson

Greeters:                     Jan Bearbower, Jim Dahl, Warren & Carol Henkel

Lector:                        George Bauer

Tape Ministry:            Warren Henkel

Ushers:                       Jeff & Carol Ealy (25th), Tom & Dana Hanson (18th & 25th), Steve & Linda Wallace (18th)

Counters:                    Deb Jertson, Tim Jorgensen (18th), Tim Jorgensen, Cheryl Kelley (25th)



Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report for April 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







Ben Eden



Parents: Tim & Dennis Eden

Future Plans: Attending Hawkeye Community College in the fall for Police Science and is planning a career in law enforcement.  

Favorite Quote: “It could be worse”





Kenneth Jorgensen



Parents: Tim & Cheryl Jorgensen

Future Plans: Attend Hawkeye Community College to earn a degree in Agricultural Power Technology.

Favorite Quote: “Family is more than blood”

Jamie Thompson



Parents: Julie Barnes & Steve Thompson

Future Plans: Attend Macalester College in St. Paul, MN to study Biochemistry and Spanish.

Favorite Quote: “The question is what aren’t we going to do”





Abbe Wilson


Parents: Don and Liz Wilson

Future Plans: Mount Mercy University for Nursing.

Favorite Quote: “Go into the world and do well but more importantly go into the world and do good”

Dr. Lynn Banderob