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Vibrant Faith Ministries

Vibrant Faith Ministry:

ELW Hymn 595 was the request from one of our youngest Bethlehem members. Those gathered had to help her with the number, but everyone found that hymn and sang in beautiful chorus, “Jesus Loves me, this I know.” She stood in the center leading her church family members in singing this beloved hymn.

Over 30 Bethlehem members, under 3- to over 75-years-old, gathered for Beer and Hymns last month. It was an opportunity for the church music lovers to sing our favorite hymns for nearly 2 hours straight. It also was an opportunity for outreach as patrons visited Second State Brewery, who hosted our gathering. And of course, it gave occasion for sharing meaningful, faith-filled stories of the favorite hymns chosen.

Thank you, Nick Newgard at Second State Brewery, for hosting, and the Nurture Council for partnering with the Youth and Family Council to provide a place for Bethlehem to be church in the community.

SWEET COMMUNION WINE ON EASTER

Did you notice how sweet the communion wine was on Easter? Pastor Audrey shared a story of her daughter’s experience in 9th grade that made an impact on her understanding how the season of Lent was different than other seasons of the church year. Her daughter, Mareyuna, came back from communion one Sunday and was very upset sweet wine was used during Lent. They had a new pastor who did not know the previous pastor had changed to a drier version of wine during Lent. The change of wine during Lent had an impact on her understanding that the season of Lent was different than other seasons of the church year: a season to repent, reform, and renew a right spirit with God.The sweet wine that was offered for Easter communion, reflects God’s sweet love, joy, grace, and promise of forgiveness through the rising of Jesus Christ.

With this framework in mind we follow Four Keys for Practicing Faith:

Caring Conversations are the basis for those personal, trusted relationships.

Devotions are away to practice the presence of God through the Word of God.

Service to one’s neighbor is a calling that expresses the love for others that God has placed in us and gives us moments to be faithful to that calling.

Rituals and Traditions create patterns of behavior that reinforce the presence of God and communicate meaning for our lives.

This is the Vibrant Faith Framework that informs our ministries and our lives and which places Jesus Christ at the center of all we do in this congregation and in the homes of those who are connected to us.

Five Principles for living and passing on faith

1. Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal trusted relationships - often in our own homes.

2. The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and ministry of the home.

3. Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church, too.

4. Faith is caught more than it is taught.

5. If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults.

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