Vinton, Iowa 52349                                                                             November 2017

              (319) 472-3784



              Facebook page: “Bethlehem Lutheran Vinton”



From the Pastor’s Desk


For a year now, we have paid attention to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Just as in celebrations of our family birthdays and wedding anniversaries, the church also does well to be thankful for its existence, affirm the meaning of its life, and then live into the future. 


You are blessed to have been called to this church.  Please consider how you might with abundant joy for what God has given you share time and money with the congregation and the wider church.  Use the pledge card and time and talent form you will receive to show your overflowing generosity.  500 years are lived one year at a time.  We start again now!


I have hosted tours twice to Reformation sites in Germany.  Persons who were on tour with me commented after the Luther and Reformation reading on October 22 how the story came alive in their memory of places they had been—Luther’s birthplace, Wartburg Castle, etc.  It caused me to wonder if any have had their curiosity piqued by the attention to the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and might like to see where these events took place. 


If you would be interested in such a tour next year, please let me know by email, phone call, or tell me personally.  If there would be enough for a group, I would look into arranging such a tour but we would need to start now!

~Pastor Urlaub


2017 Bethlehem Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of Bethlehem Lutheran Church will be held on November 19th after service.  All voting members are requested to attend.  A voting member is a member who is confirmed and have communed and made contribution of record during the current or preceding year.


Bethlehem is your church and your voice is needed to help us in administering to the needs our congregation, our community and elsewhere.


A meal, prepared by LYO will follow the meeting.


Youth Ministry

In October….


The Sunday school had a tailgate party in the church parking lot before the Homecoming game on September 29th.  Around 50 people attended and had a great time getting ready to cheer on the Vikings.


On October 15th, the PreK – Middle school kids had a great time learning about Martin Luther and the Reformation.  Brenda Sutton led the kids through several activities including signing the 95 Theses, nailing them to a door and paying alms. 


Several Middle School and LYO youth went to Fields of Faith at Union High school in La Porte.  They heard many students from other school speak on their faith and how they see Jesus in their lives. 


Plans for November…


November 1 – LIGHTS for Preschool – 5th grade in the preschool room from 5:30-6:30 Food – Fellowship- Fun. Choir will follow at 6:30.


Rehearsals for the Children’s Christmas Service will begin November 19th during the Sunday school hour (10:15 – 11:15).  We will rehearse every Sunday morning until the service.


Hat and Mitten/Thanksgiving Food Collection - Remember that we are collecting hats and mittens for the local schools and Thanksgiving food for the food pantry until November 12th.  Please place them in the bins by the north doors.


November 12 – Sunday school kids will deliver the food they’ve been collecting to the Vinton Food Pantry during the Sunday School hour.  We will need a lot of parent drivers.  If you don’t intend to drive and your child needs a car seat, you will need to leave that here with us.


The Annual Meeting will be on November 19th.  The LYO will be preparing a meal for after the meeting.  A free will donation will be taken that will go towards the mission trip this summer.


Sunday school Family Event – Friday, November 10th 6:30-8:30 movie night in Augustana Hall.  Wear comfy clothes and bring blankets to lie on and a snack to share. 


Noisy Offering – November 26th - come to worship and help us collect coins in tin cans!!!

LYO – Weekly meetings on Wednesday at 6:30.  Come and eat with us.  We do either a devotion discussion, a service project, a fun activity or a combo of things.  We will soon be making a decision on our summer mission trip so please come and help us plan!


Christian Faith

More information will be forthcoming on the following events. 

1. Salvation Army Bell ringing at Fareway during the holiday season

  2. Christmas Caroling Event in December

  3. A special senior citizen gathering on December 13.

  4. ELCA Good Gifts Project for Nov 19 - January 1.


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:

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).



Sunday School/YoungStars Choir

Rehearse:  6:30 November 8


Sing in worship w/ 8:25 warm-up:  November 12


Chapel Choir

Rehearses Wed. at 7:00 pm:  November 8, 15, 29


Sing in worship:  November 19


Upcoming Events:                                                                             Outdoor Cleanup Day

There will be an outdoor cleanup day on Sunday afternoon 11/12 at 1:30 p.m.  Please bring rakes, garbage bags for leaves etc. and help get the church property ready for winter.  No signup needed, just show up. 


The Vinton Community Thanksgiving Service will be held at Bethlehem on November 19th at 4:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day is not a church festival but is a national holiday rooted in the deeply religious heritage of our country for the purpose of acknowledging God’s providence and for prayer for the wellbeing of our country.  The service will feature readings that highlight the origins and purposes of Thanksgiving.


Offerings of non-perishable food, paper, and household products for the Benton County Food Bank and of money for the assistance fund of the Vinton Area Ministerial Association will be accepted.


The 9th grade confirmation class will be confirmed on November 5th during service.  Those being confirmed are Emma Elaine Dickinson, Aza Marie Swayzer, Maren Mae Redlinger and Katelyn Grace Humiston.  Please stay after service for a reception in honor of these confirmands.



Dr. Lynn Banderob will be ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in Christ’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church on Saturday, November 4th at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids Iowa.


Wish Dr. Lynn well as she prepares for her ministry. She has answered the calls of “Unity of the Cross” Peace Lutheran Church, Ryan, Iowa and St. John Lutheran Church, Dundee, Iowa.  She will maintain her chiropractic practice in addition to her new pastoral duties. 


Please R.S.V.P. if you plan to attend her ordination (invitation included).


First Presbyterian Church in Shellsburg will be celebrating their 160th Anniversary on November 5th and they are extending invitations to any who would like to attend.


Our desire is to glorify God in our celebration. In this regard, our worship will be enriched by your participation, since you are part of God’s ministry at First Presbyterian over the years.  We would love to have you join us in praising the Lord for all that he has done and is going to do in the future at First Presbyterian Church.”


The celebration will include a 9:00 a.m. service, and a 3:30 Celebration Service with the annual Soup Supper following.


Thank You Received:

LSI (Lutheran Services of Iowa) was blessed to have been able to share their mission of responding to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service in Bethlehem Lutheran.


“We hope you enjoyed our message and have a better understanding of the role LSI plays in bringin critical human services to Iowa’s children, families and individuals, done in partnership with you, your church and the three Iowa synods of the ELCA.  … Our shared ministry is important to tens of thousands of Iowans and to communities across the state.  The life-changing stories that happen through our services would not be possible without you.”


If you were unable to attend on October 15th to hear the LSI message, Deb Whitford, Director of Church Relations, LSI is extending an invitation to personally share that message. You may call her at 563-676-2065 or by email at  You can visit their website at or on Facebood at



for health & healing: Dell Hanson, Larry Lorenz (Loretta Simnacher’s brother), Randy Ohrt, John Eden, Jim Nottger, Jackie Behounek, Mary & Duane Kruse (Ellen Olson’s parents), Lois Selken, Marlyn Jorgensen; for thanks and safety in their service to our country: Stoner Nudd, Matt Uthoff, Darin Humiston and Chris Jorgensen; for encouragement and faith on their confirmation: Emma Dickins, Aza Swayzer, Maren Redlinger, Katelyn Humiston; for blessing on her ministry as she is ordained: Dr. Lynn Banderob.




Flowers in November:

5th: Boltons - Anniversary

12th: Brenda Krull – Honor of Veterans

19th: Nudds - Anniversary



Servers in November:

Council Lock up: Mike Crane


November 5th & 12th

Acolytes: Maddie & Olivia Erhardt

Assisting Minister: George Bauer

Altar Guild: Nancy Beckman, Dana Hanson

Communion Server: Tina Eden

Tape Ministry: Elaine Bearbower

Lector: Dennis Eden

Greeters: Dell & Mona Hanson

Ushers: Dave & Lisa Vermedahl (5th), Eric and Rachel Dickinson (12th) and Dennis & Tina Eden

Counters (5th): Ron Bland, Marta Bauer

Counters (12th): Marta Bauer, Doug Sutton



November 19th & 26th:           

Communion Server: Larry Nudd        

Lector: Tim Jorgensen

Greeters: Jan Bearbower, Brenda Krull

Ushers: Gregg & Deb Sampson, Mike Timmermans, Pam Woolison

Tape Ministry: Marva Hanna  

Counters (19th): Doug Sutton, Jon Clingman

Counters (26th): Jon Clingman, Mike Crane


Notes and things: 

The Annual Report will be printed in January so committee, group, special projects etc. reports will be due in December.  You may submit them early if you know you will have nothing to add for the remainder of the year.


Please be aware of congregational mail (i.e. Star, Quarterly Giving Statements, Server Notices, etc.) and pick them up when you attend service.  This helps us save on postage.




Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Consolidated Fund Activity Report for September 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






Total General Fund giving at Bethlehem continues to struggle somewhat in 2017.