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Grapevine Newsletter June 2023

GRAPEVINE NEWSLETTER June 2023 Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, ELCA 12513 SE Mill Plain Boulevard Vancouver, WA 98684 360/254/9243

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________________________________________________________________ Pastor’s Ponderings – Are your summer plans still developing, or firmly in place? With our world feeling even more back to “normal” than last, I imagine there will be an increased ebb and flow in who is gathered together for worship and other activities related to being Church together, as we are more the Church scattered! As those of you who will travel, I encourage you to visit other congregations to experience other ways of gathering as the people of God. Bring back ideas or questions generated from those visits so we can see our own practices with new eyes. I even have a “secret worshiper” checklist/questionnaire that you could use to track considerations you may never have thought of, and might even copy to leave behind for the visited congregation! If there is interest expressed, I’ll print some sets out for you to take. And as you are setting your calendars for summer activity, please note that the council plans a special meeting of the congregation for July 9 to explain the ways financial matters are obscured by traditionally shared budget and year to date reports and how that relates to us, and a discussion about how to begin now to explore future decisions we will need to make. I’ve learned that the words “discernment” and “purpose” or “what is our why” stir a lot of negative emotions in some of you, and I’d love to learn more about what is behind that. And I’d like to learn your thoughts about what will make reentering a program year in the fall, feel more engaging and “familiar”. So again this summer I hope you will invite me to a backyard or front porch conversation, or that you will share conversation with me over coffee, tea, or summer beverage out and about. Summer lends itself well as a time for reflection and recalibration, so please contribute the gift of your perspective. I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Pastor Jean Council and Other Points of Leadership: Thank you, Helene, for all the work you led over your time as president of the council and thank you to Phil, for stepping into that role for the foreseeable future as the council also seeks to recalibrate. Over the summer there will be a small group working on updating our constitution and realigning the constitution, the bylaws, and the bylaws specific to our Mission Endowment. There is a team already planning to move on the latter, but room for a couple of other folk to help on the first two projects. Let Pastor Jean know if you enjoy detailed reading and updating of documents that are both missional and administrative. Somewhat aligned with the above, is the need to restructure our committee, ministries, team, and other pieces of our ministry infrastructure as established in the 20th century and no longer fit realities of today. Currently we have groups outlined in our bylaws that are no longer functioning, and have requirements for how they are structured that we are not able to fulfill now or are too restrictive in who “counts” as a member. These things are quite common across all church structures, especially those of us who are “mainline”, and congregations (and denominations) are finding more fitting and thus more effective ways to structure ministry and carry out the work of the church. Do you have interest or experience that would benefit this type of planning? Please let Pastor Jean know! WEEKLY ACTIVITIES (you will notice these are reduced over the summer!) ● Sundays – Worship 10:00 AM ● Wednesdays – if you are interested in helping provide an evening worship opportunity, please contact Pastor Jean ● Thursdays – Gather Bible Study 10:00 AM; 10:00-2:00 LWR quilting MONTHLY MEETINGS: ● 3rd Sundays – Council Meeting 11:30 AM ● 3rd Thursdays – Peace & Justice 6:00 PM (sometimes by Zoom, other times in person with people bringing their own supper – see e-blast immediately prior to date to see how the group is gathering) BIBLE & BOOK STUDY OPPORTUNITIES! Anti Racism Study & Conversation Group – summer plan: monthly Sundays, 3:00 PM via Zoom. Over the summer the conversation will move to a monthly online “gathering” to discuss the book Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, by Kaitlin B. Curtice, with the first discussion of this book occurring on June 4. Interested in joining in? Get the link from Pastor Jean: The Wednesday Morning Zoom Bible Study is taking a break for the summer. Look for its return in September! (and a lunch gathering in July!) Thursday Gather Bible Study meets in person at BSLC, 10:00 AM. For more information contact the office: Remember to bring in your food scraps to help our environment! Land Stewardship Discernment At their May meeting, Council voted to have a BSLC team participate in the synod’s Land Stewardship Discernment process that begins in July and ends in December. The team will meet two times in person with other teams, have monthly zoom meetings in between those, and will be working the process (with the congregation) along the way. It should be a fun journey to guide this process of discovery and learning. Whether you immediately feel compelled to see if there is still room on the core team OR to support the process through your participation going forward (let Pastor Jean or Council President Phil know), this is our time to consider what God is calling us to consider and to become…. Do you remember… “Wednesday Night at Church”? With covid and other issues, it hasn’t been possible to continue this community-building event...until now. Many of the midweek components have been maintained over time: Jr. Choir, Bell Choir, Adult Choir, and Confirmation. Others like the meal itself, a Bible study, and occasional events like videos have been suspended. This coming September, for one Wednesday only, a full meal will be available from (an overlapping time, such as 5:00 until 6:00, or 6:00 until 7:00). If the response is positive, we’ll do two Wednesdays the following months and so on. The meal will consist of an entree, vegetable, salad, and dessert. Some provision will be made for people with dietary requirements like vegan, dairy, and gluten intolerance. As before, a donation will be solicited, but on a strictly voluntary basis. We do not currently have someone available to run a Bible study, and are looking for someone to start us out. If you are interested in volunteering to help with meal prep, run Bible study, some other aspect of organization, or just to offer suggestions, please contact: Bill Sterr 360-635-7187 Adding to BSLC’s Faith Formation Offerings Looking forward to the fall program year, several books have caught various people’s attention for study and community building: Transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians, Austen Hartke (founder of Transmission Ministry Collective, an online community providing spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership development). This book recently was the foundation of a well attended and received study at Immanuel Lutheran). The recently released expanded edition of the book includes a study guide. (four to six sessions) leading faithful INNOVATION: Following God into a Hopeful Future, by Dwight Zscheile, Micahel Binder, and Tessa Pinkstaff through Luther Seminary. (six–eight sessions) Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned, by Brian D. McLaren. How long a discussion born of this book will likely depend upon how deep a conversation is desired. Might be a good basis for Pub Theology! A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community, John Pavlovitz. (seven sessions) Never on Sunday: A Look at the Women NOT in the Lectionary (Sisters in Scripture), by Kathleen MacInnis Kichline. (up to twelve sessions) Timing? Establishing a new study community meeting on a Tuesday evening, or on a Saturday – late morning or in the afternoon, avoids conflict with other regularly held meetings. During the summer break from the program year, Wednesdays evenings are an option. Sunday or Monday evening works for groups with leaders other than Pastor Jean, and where her participation is not understood as important (understanding that PJ greatly values learning with others and has trouble resisting, but knows she isn’t meant to be in all such learning groups). Thursday evenings work for most people except those who participate in Peace and Justice meetings on third Thursdays. As other program year activities wind down, it just could be the “perfect time” to get one study underway if the book is one that lends itself to conversation happening “around” people’s summer plans (e.g., one where linear reading is not as necessary). Which possibility grabs your attention? Are you stirred toward conversation facilitation? What day of the week, time, and location would serve best to encourage your commitment? Inquiring minds want to know…. (Your response to these questions may be sent through so that PJ may send it on to the person who has made a case for the book choice drawing you in.) Participating to Make Worship Happen Would you like to participate during the worship service and are not quite sure how to sign up? Follow this link or call the office at 360-254-9243 and we would be happy to help. There are a lot of ways to serve! Greeters, ushers, readers, communion assistants, assisting ministers, cantors (sometimes), Altar Guild/Holy Communion set-up, tech support, and providing altar flowers all contribute to worship. Need training? We’ll arrange it! Don’t know what might be involved? Don't hesitate to ask! We are adding a new category to Sign Up Genius. Coffee Hour Host, which includes making coffee, cleaning up after and if so inclined, bringing a treat. Blood Drive Friday, June 2nd, 1-6:30pm FAQs About Blood Drives at Beautiful Savior: Q - How long have we been hosting Blood Drives? A - Beautiful Savior has hosted 69 Red Cross Blood Drives since 2006! In that time over 1,700 units of blood have been collected. Each unit (approximately 1 pint) of whole blood can potentially help three patients in a trauma, surgery, or other dire situation! Q - How do I know if I'm eligible to donate? A - Generally speaking, if you are healthy and age 17 or older (16 with parental consent) you can donate, and there is no upper age limit! Whole blood donations can happen as often as every 8 weeks, with some differences for Power Red, Plasma and Platelet donations. Q - How can I find out more about donating blood? A - Download the App to your phone, or go to to learn more. With the app you'll be able to find blood drives, schedule or change your appointment, track your donations and so much more! There is a wealth of information there to answer all of your questions, including stories of how peoples' lives have been impacted. Just an hour of your time can make a life-giving difference to someone. We recognize that not all have loving fathers or are fathers, and some have lost their fathers. Still, we take the time to thank all those who have been a father by being loving and supportive.

He never looks for praises. He's never one to boast. He just goes on quietly working For those he loves the most. His dreams are seldom spoken. His wants are very few, And most of the time his worries Will go unspoken, too. He's there...a firm foundation Through all our storms of life, A sturdy hand to hold onto In times of stress and strife. A true friend we can turn to When times are good or bad. One of our greatest blessings, The man that we call Dad. - Karen K. Boyer

Synod News & Opening: After 18 years as Southwestern Washington Synod Office Manager, Allison Kies will be retiring at the end of July. We will truly miss her. The SWW Synod Office is now seeking a full-time Office Administrator. If you, or anyone you know may be interested, please apply online at

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