A Year of Character Development
Upcoming Sermon Series:
by Pastor Mary Pechauer
Dear Friends in Christ —
Whether or not you’re a Game of Thrones fan, chances
are you’ve heard of the show that captured the
imaginations of millions around the world. When the
final season aired this year, a record 17.4 million people
tuned in. I was one of them. There were parts of the
series that I could have done without, but the storyline
and characters drew me in, keeping me engaged for
eight years! Critics suggest that the show’s popularity was due in large part
to the moral complexity of the characters: the “good” ones had flaws and the
“bad” ones had something redeeming. Character development is vital to every
compelling story. It’s true for the bible. It’s true for you and me, too.
This year our worship experience will be centered in 52
bible stories — one for each week of the year. So many of
the stories are connected. They cross reference people,
place and time. There’s often a lot going on and we miss
important elements that help make the characters come
fall in love
with a story
part of you."
Is There More to Life than
As humans, we long for meaning and
belonging. We find it in work and
play and people around us. Yet, we
hope our lives are somehow part of a
larger story, that we’re connected to a
purpose that transcends our pursuit of
status and stuff. We long, in short, for
relationship with the one who made
us. How do we speak of such things?
And how do we grow in faith?
So with each bible story we’re going to focus on figuring
out who’s who, how people are connected, what their
back story is, and why we should care. We’re hoping
you’ll fall in love with the stories — maybe for the first
time, or maybe you’ll fall in love with them all over
again. When you fall in love with a story and care about
the characters, the story becomes a part of you. You look
forward to what’s next. It influences the choices you make and the values you
Our hope is that focusing on these foundational bible stories and characters
will open each of us to the power of God’s story as it continues to unfold in and
through us for the sake of the world.
See you in church —
Now What? What’s Next Follow Up Conversations
Minneapolis campus, Wednesday, August 28 at 7:00 – 8:30 pm
OR Saturday, September 7 at 9 – 10:30 am;
Minnetonka campus, Wednesday, September 4 at 7 – 8:30 pm
Last summer we invited the congregation to participate in a conversation about
what’s next for Bethlehem. Over 180 people came to the seven different sessions.
We listened. We learned. We shared thoughts about where and how God was
leading us to be church. We’d love to circle back and share what’s been happening
this past year — where we’ve been, what we’re learning and where we’re going.
We hope you’ll join us for more conversation around these important discoveries.
Light refreshments will be served.
Next CONNECT deadline for the
September 10, 2019
The format is bi-monthly. Submissions
can be sent to Leah Johnson,
CONNECT newsletter online