Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Shortly before Confirmation, the youth, their parents, and representatives from the Church Council met to discuss the future of our youth. The result of that meeting is that the youth would like to meet twice a month. On the Third Sunday of the month, they would like to have a Bible study and on the First Sunday of the month they would like to have a fun social activity.
Anna Duncan stepped forward to volunteer to organize the social activities for the youth on the First Sunday of each month.
Nicole Smith will lead a bible study/devotion with the youth on the Third Sunday of each month.
What is God calling Bethlehem to do in the future?
Where is God calling Bethlehem to go in the future?
Who is God calling Bethlehem to serve in the future?
These are all exciting questions that need to be prayed on, thought about, and discussed as we vision Bethlehem’s mission into the future. Bethlehem is being offered a once in a ministry opportunity – the possibility to use all of the financial gifts of the people towards mission instead of using some to pay towards the mortgage.
So what can members of Bethlehem expect?
Bethlehem has signed a contract with Porchlight Homes to sell the property that once was the orchard. We are currently in escrow. The Grand Canyon Synod lawyer, Don Stevens, has looked over the purchase contract twice on behalf of Bethlehem. Porchlight Homes has 90 days, until the middle of August, to decide to go forward with the purchase or not. Provided all things go as planned the final purchase of the land signified by closing should be about this time next year. The land will be used for ½ home lots in what is called a “pocket neighborhood.”
Bethlehem members need to begin to ask themselves these questions:
What ministries do we want Bethlehem to be remembered for?
What ministries does our community need?
What ministries do we currently have?
What ministries do we want to expand on?
What ministries do we have energy around that we want to create?
Where is God leading Bethlehem outside our walls?
If you are interested in being part of this visioning mark your calendar right now for Sunday, November 13th from 11:00am to 5:00pm. This meeting is strongly recommended for all council and staff members and open for all members to attend who want their voices heard in the visioning process. This meeting will decide the direction Bethlehem will take towards mission in the next five years. This vision will then be used to create a mission plan and thus direct the congregation towards the use of mission dollars in the future.
Bethlehem will be led through the visioning process by the Reverend John Schaumburg, who is blessing us with the wisdom and knowledge he has gained through his years of ministry and from serving the Grand Canyon Synod as the Director of Mission for the past several years.
Once a missional vision has been decided upon, the council will prepare a list of items they feel will further this new vision. This list will be made available to the congregation at the 2017 Annual Meeting in January. At this time additional items may be added to the list from the congregation.
At a special congregational meeting in February or March of 2017 the congregation will vote for their top five ministry items to be funded by the proceeds of the selling of the property. The overall top five ministry items voted on by the congregation will then be incorporated into the mission plan.
When the purchase of the land is finalized and all monies have been received, the distribution of items that will be funded by the selling of the property will have already been voted on by the congregation and the new five year mission plan can seamlessly be put into place.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this process please contact either Pastor Chon or Council President Bill Gappa as they will have the most current and up to date information.
It is an exciting time to be a member of Bethlehem!
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Health officials throughout Arizona have been monitoring mosquito-borne virus activity for decades. Mosquito surveillance involves trapping mosquitoes, counting them, identifying the species, and testing the appropriate mosquito species for viruses. These surveillance methods are used to better identify areas where mosquito control efforts are needed. Detection and control of mosquito breeding sites depends upon integrated efforts among state, county, and tribal agencies, as well as private citizens. Mosquito-borne viruses are found every year in Arizona, West Nile virus being the most common. Mosquito-borne virus activity is usually most prevalent from May through October when mosquitoes are most abundant. Arizona has expanded its longstanding mosquito-borne virus surveillance network to detect, monitor and control mosquito-borne diseases such as St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) and West Nile virus (WNV).
Every month from March through October over 300 samples of mosquitoes are collected by health officials throughout Arizona and tested for West Nile Virus (WNV) at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, with many more local vector control departments conducting their own WNV testing. Dead birds and horses are tested for WNV at the University of Arizona's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Reporting of mosquito-borne diseases in humans and horses by physicians and veterinarians, is critical for detecting and responding to WNV statewide. This surveillance data allows public health officials to identify communities at higher risk for mosquito-borne disease transmission, so appropriate measures can be taken to reduce risk.
Starting in 2013 chikungunya virus expanded into the Western hemisphere causing a widespread outbreak throughout the Americas. Meanwhile, dengue virus has had an increased incidence and geographic expansion throughout the region. In light of these developments there is an ongoing effort to conduct surveillance and control for their mosquito vectors. Although there have been no locally acquired cases of chikungunya or dengue identified in Arizona, the presence of the vector species increases the risk for locally acquired cases to occur.
Protection from Mosquitoes
There are very few mosquito-borne diseases that have vaccines approved for human use. Therefore, the most effective way to protect your self is with protection from the mosquitoes themselves. Luckily, there are a number of simple measures that will help protect you, your family, and your home. They can be divided into two categories; interventions that provide personal protection from mosquitoes, and interventions that protect your home.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes include:
Wearing insect repellent when outdoors and at all times of day. Be sure to apply it according to the package instructions, and always apply after sunscreen. If you choose to open the windows and doors ensure that they have intact screens installed. Wearing long sleeves and long pants when outdoors at all times a day, when possible.
The most effective ways to protect your home from mosquitoes includes the following:
Always use air conditioning over leaving the windows and doors open. If you do chose to open the windows and doors ensure that they have intact screens installed.
Keep your yard clean and clear from debris, which reduces the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Make sure to dump or cover all water holding containers regularly. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in almost any standing water. If you have any standing water that can’t be dumped, such as pools, ponds, etc., be sure to treat those with the appropriate chemicals. This will stop mosquitoes from laying eggs on your property.
Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET (products include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods). Other repellents protect against mosquitoes but may not be effective against ticks or other bugs.
Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin); products include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD); products include Repel Lemon Eucalyptus IR3535; products include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
Find the EPA-registered insect repellent that is right for you. The effectiveness of insect repellents that are not registered with the EPA, including some natural repellents, is not known.
*Insect repellent brand names are provided for your information only. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services cannot recommend or endorse any name-brand products.
When using insect repellent, follow the instructions on the package and reapply as directed:
· In general, higher percentages of the active ingredient provide longer-lasting protection.
· If you are also using sunscreen, apply it first, let it dry, and then apply repellent. Do not use products that contain both sunscreen and repellent.
· Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
· Consider using clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) that are treated with permethrin (an insecticide). You can buy pre-treated clothes or treat your own clothes. If treating items yourself, follow instructions carefully. Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
Cover Exposed Skin
As much as possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and a hat. Tuck your shirt into your pants, and tuck your pants into your socks for maximum protection.
Each third Sunday in June, July, and August dress according to the theme, bring a potluck dish, and join in with the games. We will begin around 10:30am following worship with the games followed by the potluck around noon. This is a really fun time and a good opportunity to get to know each other better, eat some delicious food and stay out of the heat!
July 17th is Dr. Seuss
Come as your favorite Dr. Seuss character. We will play several games of bingo, complete with prizes. Children of all ages love this game so invite your grandchildren, children, grandparents, great-grandparents, friends, neighbors, and the person just walking down the street. Watch for the sign-up sheet for the potluck. We will have you home stuffed, tired, and ready for a nap by 1:00 pm.
August 21st is Tropical Island Sunday
Enjoy a great potluck luncheon and play Bingo. Wear your tropical island attire. A signup sheet will be available in the narthex.