Milestones & Blessings
Bethlehem is a congregation that celebrates milestones and special occasions that recur in the lives of people.
Milestones and Blessings we celebrate in July:
Blessing of Bicycles - July 1 and 2
Saturday, July 1, 8:00am Pedal Fest - The Cedar Falls Ministerial Association invites you to Gateway Park, Cedar Falls for a brief Blessing of Bicycles to kick off the festival.
Sunday, July 2, 2:00pm Faith to Faith Ride - Visit the buildings of six faith communities in Cedar Falls and Waterloo. Meet at Gateway Park, Cedar Falls. We will ride to St. Patrick Catholic Church, First United Methodist Church, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Masjid Al-Noor Islamic Community Center, St. Demetrious Greek Orthodox Church and Trinity Lutheran Church. We will explore the architecture of each building and get some history of the faith community and their ministry within the Cedar Valley. The ride will be approximately 11 miles one way and should take about 90 minutes with our stops. After ending at Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterloo, riders will be free to enjoy the trails as they explore more or return home. (22 miles total)
Retirement Milestone Sunday, July 16 during worship we will recognise those who are recently retired.
Affirmation of Baptism
We celebrate those who are being confirmed on Reformation Sunday.
Anniversary of Baptism
On the celebration of the Baptism of our Lord, we recognize those baptized within the last year at both worship services. Please bring your baptismal candle as part of our celebration of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Blessing of the Backpacks
We encourage students, teachers, faculty, staff, etc., to bring their backpacks (filled with school supplies) for a beginning-of-the-school-year blessing.
Blessing of Grandparents
We recognize those who are grandparents.
Blessing of Keys
We recognize those who have stepped behind the wheel for the first time as a permit holder or with a driver's license.
Blessing of Singles
We recognize those who are living life as a single.
Blessing of Snowbirds
We officially welcome back the snowbirds who have spent time down south during the winter.
Blessing of Vocations
Martin Luther saw that our lives as Christians are lived out in our daily vocations much more than they are lived out at church. He believed that the many vocations to which each of us are called – work, school, family member, citizen, neighbor – become the canvas on which we paint our witness to Jesus Christ. We recognize our vocations and ask God’s blessings on all we do in our daily life. It would be good for us to dress as we do in our daily work, or bring a symbol of that work. Those who are retired can bring a symbol of something they enjoy or a way in which they serve others.
Wedding Anniversary Blessing
Near Valentine’s Day, we recognize those who are living in the adventure of marriage.
Graduation from High School or College Milestone
We celebrate the achievements of our graduates, who have blessed us with their gifts in ministry.
We honor those who have retired in the last year.
In the fall, baptismal shells are given to 3-year-olds starting Sunday School.
In the fall, bibles are presented to preschoolers, third-graders and eighth-graders.
All Saints Sunday
In November, we recognize those who have died in the last year.
In November, we will honor veterans.
First Communion Class
Adults and children are invited to attend this class, co-taught by Pastor Gary and artist Dawn Deines-Christensen. Along with theology, ritual and practices training, there will be time for each participant to make their own patten and chalice for Holy Communion, which will be used when we celebrate First Communion during Maundy Thursday worship. Please look for information and a signup for the class on the Youth and Family Ministry Bulletin Board.