Adult Forum January 2020

8:30 am, Refreshments, Fellowship Hall
8:45 am, Presentation, Fellowship Hall

January 12

“Challenges Facing Congregations Today” 

The Rev. Dale Kuhn, MA, Mdiv, STM, LCSW, AAPC Diplomat, Clergy & Congregational Care Program Coordinator at Care & Counseling

Congregations in the ELCA and every other US denomination face common challenges that include declining worship attendance; aging buildings; theological concerns; competition with school, sports, recreational, travel, and social schedules; and much more.  Dale brings decades of expertise and experience in consulting with congregations of many church bodies and offers insights from a variety of counseling approaches.  Dale also shares Bethel’s heritage with Christ Seminary—Seminex that included facilitating Field Education for seminarians.

January 19

“The ELCA and Ecumenism as a Founding Principle” 

The Rev. Karen Scherer, retired ELCA Pastor, frequent planner and participant in ecumenical programs in the St. Louis Area

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, every January 18-25, is a decades-old celebration of what Christians share in common.  The observance is also an invitation to continuing conversation toward better understanding about where we agree or differ in our theology and practice as well as how Christians across denominations can participate in Christ-like works of mercy together.  Pastor Karen will lead us in reviewing the principle of ecumenism in the ELCA’s founding documents, note the 1991 “Declaration of Ecumenical Commitment” passed at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, distinguish between full-communion partners and dialogue partners, and invite participation in the local celebration of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at St. Monica Catholic Church, 12140 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur on the evening of January 26, 2020.

January 26

“Bethel’s Mission as the Foundation for the 2020 Capital Campaign”

Steve Poplawski, Bethel member and congregational leader for fifteen years  and, current Chair of Bethel’s Board of Stewardship.

Bethel is a vibrant congregation with a rich heritage, conscientious members, and a dedicated Pastor.  At the dawn of this new decade, it is a propitious time to affirm together what it will take to achieve our mission as God’s people in our unique setting.  As we seek to be faithful stewards of that mission we share together, it is helpful to begin with a shared understanding of Bethel’s strengths and opportunities as well as our challenges.  We have rich resources in people, facilities, location, and leadership as a foundation upon which to build.  Yet our ability to sustain and build this congregation upon that foundation is subject to ongoing challenges as we enter the third decade of the 21st century.  By together making an honest yet hopeful assessment of the resources we need to be even better stewards of the Good News of Jesus Christ in this place, we hope to not only strengthen our foundation but to prayerfully create a clear blue print for how we proceed as congregation to sustain who Bethel is and what we want Bethel to be.

Evelyn MeyerAdult Forum January 2020