Grace and Peace, Bethesda!

I pray you’ve had a safe and renewing summer! It’s about time for the fall of the Pac-12 conference…I mean, the fall season at Bethesda. Doesn’t it feel like everything is in transition these days?! Amen for the unchanging mercy of God!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” ~Hebrews 13:8-9a

We are entering a “visioning season” at Bethesda. I would remind you, not for the first time, not for the last time, that Bethesda’s name in Hebrew means “House of Mercy.” Ministries, programs and events come and go all the time. People themselves also may come and go… and grow, all the time! But our mission of mercy in the name of Jesus does not change.

I’d like to share a basic outline for how a visioning season will unfold over the coming months. We will take our time with this. There’s no need to rush the process. There are no predetermined results.

Bethesda, we have a golden opportunity before us. Will you engage with me, our staff, and our Church Planning Council for a season of prayer, hope and investment in the mission God has for Bethesda?

Pastor Tom


September/October – Mapping Our Mission


  • September 10: Ministry Open House Scavenger Hunt
  • September 17: Sunday School & Adult Forum Begin
  • Adult Forum: “Mapping our Mission: Charting a New Course for Bethesda”
  • September 29/30 Council Retreat


  • “Crew Meetings” in homes or at Bethesda, bringing together 10-12 Bethesda members at a time for refreshment, conversation and prayer

November/December – Commissioning the Ship


  • Sunday Stewardship Series – “The Church Under God’s Commission”

Advent – “All Aboard for Advent”

  • An invitational, newcomers focus to Sunday mornings

Epiphany 2024 – Setting Sail with Christ our Captain


  • Sunday series, “Who is this Captain?”


  • Congregational Annual Meeting
  • Clarifying our vision at the midpoint: early objectives, celebrations, adjustments.
  • Fitting together Bethesda’s budget & business with Bethesda’s mission & vision.
  • Adult Forum (& other formats), ”Midcourse Reflection: Checking Winds and Sails”

Lent 2024 – Salvation in the Storms

  • February 14 through Holy Week

Easter 2024 – Sailing in the Risen Son

  • Easter Sunday, March 31 through Pentecost Sunday, May 19

Summer 2024 – Rejoice and Recharter

  • Where do we voyage from here?