Vinton, Iowa 52349                                                                                                                  March 2017

              (319) 472-3784



              Facebook page: “Bethlehem Lutheran Vinton”


From the Pastor’s Desk

“Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’”

That seems to be the question these days, isn’t it?  What is truth?  What of what we read and hear can we believe?  Everyone is up in arms about “fake news.” 

Pontius Pilate was trying to figure out what, if anything, told to him about Jesus was true.  Was he a danger?  Was he a criminal?  Did he deserve death?  They said so, but Pilate was having a hard time seeing it.  Yet, there was something troubling about Jesus and he would have gladly been be rid of him.  He just did not see how he could do it and avoid A) angering the crowds, or B) incurring some vaguely sensed peril to his own spirit by bringing judgment against Jesus. 

Jesus has that about him.  He puts us in tight squeezes where we can’t just slither out.  He can’t be easily dismissed.  He had said to Pilate, “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”  He had previously said to his disciples, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  Pilate was not his disciple and did not know truth when it stood in front of him. 

What Jesus does tell us that we are sinners in need of redeeming and that he came to do just that, and that all who believe in him will have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.  It is hard to find any fake news in the first part of this.  And, if that part is true, then I want to believe the second part because that indeed sets me free.  And, frankly, there is no other news this good anywhere else. 

~Pastor Urlaub


President’s Thoughts

Looking over the congregational survey response, I noticed a re-occurring theme centered around our youth.  The future of Bethlehem belongs to the young people of today.

Looking to the future, the congregation voted to remove the Inn I and that action will be a very preliminary step toward a youth/education addition.

I hope the members of Bethlehem will give prayerful consideration to what the faith needs of our young people are and what we need to be doing to supply the facility and support for those young members.

I know I am very blessed that my great grandparents were looking toward the future of Bethlehem.

~Tom Hanson, Council President


A thought from Intern Lynn:

In one of my sermons in February, I shared the idea of “Diversity in Unity and Unity in Diversity”. I was referring to our spiritual gifts that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians 1:5-9. We are all given spiritual gifts to use to build the kingdom of God. We are each unique in the gifts we have received, and we are to use those gifts for the common purpose of bringing glory to God by carrying out his mission here on earth. So as a body of Christ – there is diversity in unity and unity in diversity.

There is truth in a quote from the Rick Rouse and Craig Van Gelder, authors of A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation – “Congregations that have a clear vision for ministry are more likely to move forward together than those who seem to lack a common purpose.”  As we develop the vision of our role in God’s mission we embrace and give thanks for the diversity of our gifts and talents and look to foster unity in our called purpose.

Through the small group vision surveys that were completed and the list of ministries that we currently participate in and potential ministries that have been suggested that we could be a part of, there is an undeniable common thread or purpose that they all have. This purpose is one of feeding – feeding hungry hearts, minds and bodies.  All of our ministries within and outside the walls of this congregation fall into one of these categories. Worship feeds our hearts and minds, giving to the food pantry and Vinton Feeds the World feeds hungry bodies, bible studies feed our minds and strengthen our hearts. The quilts made for Lutheran World Relief keep bodies warm and hearts fed with love. I can go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Even the name of our church, Bethlehem means “House of Bread” – we are a congregation that feeds the hungry!

I continue to pray that the Holy Spirit leads and guides us to use our diverse gifts in unity for our purpose of feeding and encouraging hungry hearts, minds, and bodies!

~Pastoral Intern Lynn Banderob


Image result for Lutheran rose imagesImage result for Martin Luther images“A Moment with Martin Luther”


The Lord’s Prayer

Introduction & 1st Petitions


Our Father who art in heaven.

What does this mean? - Answer.

God would thereby [with this little introduction] tenderly urge us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father.


The First Petition.

Hallowed be Thy name.

What does this mean? - Answer.

God's name is indeed holy in itself; but we pray in this petition that it may become holy in and among us also.

How is this done? - Answer.

When the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we as the children of God also lead holy lives in accordance with it. To this end help us, dear Father in heaven! But he that teaches and lives otherwise than the word of God teaches, dishonors and profanes the name of God among us. Preserve us from this, Heavenly Father.


Meet the congregation:

This month we meet the Jacobs Family.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Our family moved to Vinton from Cedar Falls in December, 2007, and began coming to Bethlehem in January, 2008. Ryan is originally from Waukon, Iowa, and Sally is originally from Winterset, Iowa. We met while attending UNI.

We have twin daughters, Kira and Mia, that will be 10 years old on December 26, and we have a six year old son, Jack. Ryan works at Aegon in Cedar Rapids, and Sally works at Mossman Law Firm in Vinton.  

 Ryan previously served on the church council at Bethlehem and Sally is involved with the Sunday School program. As a family, we enjoy camping, being outside, and traveling together. Our kids are involved in Vinton Aquatic Club and a lot of our time during winter, spring, and summer is spent at swim meets! Our girls are also involved in dance and volleyball.


The Season of Lent

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, this year on March 1.  Bethlehem will have Lenten worship this year each Wednesday at 7:00.  Please note that this is 15 minutes earlier than in the previous years.  Lent calls us to re-dedicate ourselves to God and God’s ways.  Increasing our worship of God and hearing his word can greatly help us in this.  For those who find Sunday worship impossible or inconvenient, this provides opportunity to try out weekday worship and demonstrate commitment to participate in it. 

On March 8 and the following four Wednesdays, the LYO will serve suppers with serving starting at 6:00 p.m. until about 7:40.  Donations will help fund coming LYO activities, including the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston next year. 


Food Facts

1 in 8 adults…

 and 1 in 5 children go to bed hungry every night.



The percentage of food in Iowa that is imported, which makes the cost of food directly related to the cost of fuel.


1,700 miles…

The average distance that food travels to get to an Iowan’s plate.


What do you see ?


What do you see when you look to where Bethlehem Inn 1, once stood?

God sees the foot print of inspired ministry and its legacy…

God sees the potential for continued inspired ministry and what could be...

What can we do with that open space?

logo…well, we could sow grass seed and mow it all summer or we could partner with “Feed Iowa First” and plant a garden and feed hungry hearts, minds and bodies!

Feed Iowa First was founded in 2011 by Sonia Kendrick, and it began as a summer project to grow and provide fresh vegetables to food banks.

Their mission is to combat food insecurity today and tomorrow by growing food and farmers by partnering with schools, faith organizations, community agencies and businesses of all sizes, using our open spaces to grow fresh produce that’s harvested to supply those in need with nutritious food.

What do you see?

God sees the potential for continued inspired ministry and what could be...



Team Christian Faith

Lent begins on March 1st Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm. Holden Evening Services will start on March 8th at 7 pm with special messages from Martin Luther in honor of the 500th year anniversary of his Augsburg posting. Please plan to attend these special services.


Youth Ministry

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped us move from Inn #1 to Inn #2 and who also helped fix up Inn #2.  The LYO and Middle School like their new space!


For the Service Sunday in February, the kids wrote letters to soldiers for Operation Gratitude.  They are also collecting movies for KidFlicks which sends movies to pediatric wards across the US. 



We will not have LIGHTS in March. Instead, please join us at 7:00 on March 1st for Ash Wednesday service – and every Wednesday after that for Lenten services through April 8th.

The LYO will be serving Lenten suppers on Wednesdays during Lent from 6:00 – 6:45.  Join us for good food and fellowship.  A free will offering will be taken and used for the LYO mission trips. 

Sunday school family event for March will be to go bowling on March 19th at 1:00 at Berry’s Lanes.  I believe it will be $2 for shoes and $2.50 a game.

Middle School event for March will be to go to the Middle school play on Friday, March 24th at 7:00.  The play is “Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone”.  We’ll meet beforehand and sit together.

Noisy Offering will be on March 26th.  Come help us collect the coins!!

There will be a meeting about the Sunday school Spring Carnival on March 26th after worship.  Please come brainstorm some ideas with me!!!


Vinton Feeds the World 2017

Food Packaging Event


For Christmas, I received Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits.  It has been a true gift to relive the music I loved so much when I was younger but the greater gift is to remind me of one of his songs that wasn't so well known but was one of my favorites.  The song is titled "One Voice". It starts with one voice singing in the darkness that is joined by another and then many. I feel that this is the story of Vinton Feeds the World.


God's voice

"Just one voice singing in the darkness

All it takes is one voice singing so they hear what's on your mind"


I joined God's voice

"There's more than One voice singing in the darkness

Joining with your one voice"


The Congregation joined

"If only one voice Would start it on its own

You need just one voice facing the unknown

And then that one voice would never be alone"


The Community joined

"All it takes is one voice, shout it out and let it ring

Just one voice. It takes that one voice

And everyone will sing"


I am thankful to you all for feeding those who hunger. Let us joins voices and sing out again.


Date: Sunday, September 10th at 1p.m.

Where: Vinton Skate Center

Meal Goal: 25,000

Meal Cost: .275 per meal. 


Schwan's Fundraiser starts March 1st.  Earn 20% just by purchasing food you already buy! then select Find a campaign.  Put in Vinton Zip Code (52349) and find the Vinton Feeds the World 2017 campaign.


Pasta Dinner Fundraiser: Coming Soon

More information about volunteering for the actual event, will be forthcoming


Grace and peace to you and thanks for your support!

Marta Bauer

Event Coordinator


Health and healing for members: Jackie Behounek, Evelyn Bland, Ray Lough, Tim Jorgensen, Jamie Lindahl, Jim Nottger, and Brenda Sutton; also relatives of members—Shirale Hanson’s mother, Joan Lindahl’s sister, Erin Heims’ grandmother

and Deb Jertson’s father.

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for the life of Evelyn Greenwood who was called from this life to the arms of the Father on February 11.  She was 96 years old and the most senior member of our congregation. 

We pray also for Lois Martin and all her family on the death of her father, Gordon Carls.

Please let us know if we have left anyone out of this list.  If so, it was unintentional.  Let us know when prayers are desired.  We will include prayer concerns for up to a month or until we either know are informed that the specific prayer concern is no longer appropriate. 

Flowers in March:

March 12: Nudd Family

Please remember to stop by and sign up for flowers for Sunday service.  The flower chart is located next to the bathrooms.





Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report for January 2017


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…………a positive start for 2017

As you can see from the financials above, we started out 2017 on a positive note financially.  The General Fund ended the month of January with a balance of $9,362, from my perspective a good start to the year!  Thanks to all for continuing to give your gifts to keep the mission of Bethlehem in motion.

As a reminder or if you didn’t know…the removal costs ($15,000 MAX) of the INN will be paid from the Building Fund, which as of January had an ending balance of $50,556. 

And for 2017…as passed in the 2017 budget for General Fund A, and the Council recently decided on the 10% for General Fund B:











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

~Ryan McClintock, Treasurer