Council Update

by Chelsey Asienbrey on May 20, 2024

Dear Community,

There is much to be excited about happening in and through Bethesda. Bethesda continues to show God's love through many of our ongoing activities and finds some new ways to reach out and connect.

Bethesda's impact through our clothing room, food pantry, and Savings Suds ministries is tangible. This summer, we have the unique opportunity to serve as a meal distribution site for Ames Community Schools and the Boys & Girls Club. These meals will be free to all children 0 – 18 years old every weekday. It is wonderful to use our building to help fill a need for the community. Meal insecurity is growing in our community, and there is an increased demand for pantries in the summer when school is out. I hope you are able to stop by this summer midday and see lots of smiling faces!

Earlier this month, Bethesda had the honor of confirming five confirmands and welcoming them as adults in the church. Hopefully, you all had a chance to read their faith statements. I'm looking forward to supporting them in this next chapter in their faith journey, and I ask that you continue to keep them all in your prayers.

A key component of all of our faith journeys is who we are spending it with. Within Bethesda, I encourage each of you to continue to build relationships. Bethesda has a number of active groups for people to get involved including OWLs, Sewing Group, Book Club, Ladies Lunch Group, and many others. If you have an idea for a group or event, please reach out to me. We are always trying to find new ways to facilitate some connection and fun!

Looking ahead over the next six months, Bethesda is ramping up for Vacation Bible School. The theme is Created To Be, which follows the theme of the National Youth Gathering. Kids always have a ton of fun at VBS, and I want to proactively thank all of the volunteers and staff that make this possible. It is an important memory for kids, but it takes a tremendous amount of energy, thought, and participation. Please consider supporting this impactful activity – all ages of volunteers are appreciated!

The other significant activity in the months ahead is finalizing the strategic plan. Your feedback through the survey and listening sessions will help guide Bethesda's direction. This is a great opportunity for us to step back, reflect, and determine where we want to go in the years ahead. It can be easy to get preoccupied with day-to-day activities, and this ensures we are continuing to make decisions to live out God's love.

Lastly, I wanted to provide a quick update on the endowment. At the Annual Meeting in January, we voted to take a 5% disbursement from our endowment annually. This year, the money has been used for scholarships for the National Youth Gathering, ELCA College Scholarships, and electronic door locks. Without the generosity of countless people, these opportunities wouldn’t be realized. I’m looking forward to continue sharing how this money is being used in support of Bethesda.

If you have any questions, please contact me. I'm honored to serve as your Council President and look forward to the great work we will accomplish together in the months ahead!

Chelsey Aisenbrey

Previous Page