Holy Week and Easter Worship 2021

Join us during HOLY WEEK for more PLACES of the PASSION where we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, contemplating what happened at each spot Jesus stopped along the path of his Passion for the sake of the world, and for the sake of each one of us.

Each service explores the meaning, history, and spiritual inspiration associated with the location highlighted.  You will learn things you may not have known before as you grow to understand more deeply the hard road Jesus traveled so that the way to heaven might be open to us.

Palm Sunday, March 28. In this service, we go to Bethphage, the place where the
ride into Jerusalem on donkeys begins for Jesus. It is here we discover that Jesus is a humble King who serves, a mighty Warrior who fights and saves, and a prophet who shakes up Jerusalem as he heads toward the cross.

Maundy Thursday, April 1.  In this service, we climb the stairs to the Upper Room to join the disciples in receiving the body and blood of Christ in bread and wine.  Here we are reminded that Jesus sets a place at the table for each of us, even though he knows all that we have done.  Amazingly, we find that Jesus is willing to give completely of himself to forgive us and to save us.

Good Friday, April 2.  In this service, we stand at the foot of the cross on Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, where the crucified Christ breathes his last for our sake.  His suffering is in plain view, as well as his great love.  His death redeems us all.

Easter Day, April 4.  In this final Places of the Passion service, we marvel with the women at the garden tomb—now empty—and hear the good news from the angel: “Do not be alarmed.  You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”  All fear is gone because Jesus is alive, and all faith is found in his words of comfort and peace.

DateChurchSeries Theme Place
Palm / Passion Sunday, March 28Fountain 9:00 a.m.Bethphage
Palm / Passion Sunday, March 28Bethlehem 9:00 a.m.Bethphage
Maundy Thursday, April 1Fountain 7:00 p.m.The Upper Room
Maundy Thursday, April 1Bethlehem 7:00 p.m.The Upper Room
Good Friday, April 2Bethlehem only 7:00 p.m.Golgotha
Easter Sunday, April 4Fountain 9:00 a.m.The Empty Tomb
Easter Sunday, April 4Bethlehem 11:00 a.m.The Empty Tomb

Notice that there are two worship opportunities on Palm / Passion Sunday, March 28 — at Fountain Lutheran Church at 9:00 a.m., and at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, also at 9:00 a.m.

There are two worship opportunities on Maundy Thursday, April 1 — at Fountain Lutheran Church at 7:00 p.m., and at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, also at 7:00 p.m.

In addition, there are two worship opportunities on Easter Day, April 4. An earlier service at 9:00 a.m. at Fountain Lutheran Church, and a later service at 11:00 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

All of the Holy Week and Easter services will be live streamed from Bethlehem.

Midweek Lenten Worship 2021

Join us during Lent for this series of services in which we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, contemplating what happened at each spot Jesus stopped along the path of his Passion for the sake of the world, and for each one of us.

Each service explores the meaning, history, and spiritual inspiration associated with the location highlighted.  You will learn things you may not have known before as you grow to understand more deeply the hard road Jesus traveled so that the way to heaven might be open to us.

Except for Ash Wednesday, services will alternate between Bethlehem and Fountain.  NO light supper before any of the services.

Ash Wednesday, February 17.  In this service marking the beginning of Lent, we go to Jerusalem, the place of the Passover, where Jesus gathers with the crowds and sacrifices himself for us.

Wednesday, February 24.  In the service for Week 1 of Lent, the place of the Passion is Bethany, where Jesus is anointed for burial by his friend Mary, at her home in this small town.

Wednesday, March 3.  In this service for Week 2 of Lent, the place of the Passion is the Mount of Olives, where Jesus went with his disciples to pray.

Wednesday, March 10.  In the service for Week 3 of Lent, the place of the Passion is the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus is betrayed and arrested under cover of darkness.

Wednesday, March 17.  In the service for Week 4 of Lent, the place of the Passion is the Courtyard, outside of where Jesus is put on trial before the high priest and where Peter denies Jesus.

Wednesday, March 24.  In the service for Week 5 of Lent, the place of the Passion is Pilate’s Judgment Hall, where Pilate is in a position to set Jesus free, but turns him over to be crucified instead.

DATEChurch
NO Supper Before
7:00 p.m. Service
Series Theme Place
Ash Wednesday, February 17BethlehemJerusalem
Wednesday, February 24BethlehemBethany
Wednesday, March 3FountainThe Mount of Olives
Wednesday, March 10BethlehemGethsemane
Wednesday, March 17FountainThe Courtyard
Wednesday, March 24BethlehemPlate’s Judgment Hall

Midweek Family Advent Services

Join us online on Wednesday, December 2, December 9, December 16, and December 23, at 7 p.m. to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel. We’ll be using a special worship series entitled God with Us.

Each week everyone is invited to come together to worship in a virtual setting where we will learn that in Jesus, God is with us as our Potter, our Shepherd, our Living Branch, and our Guide.

The order of service each week includes lighting the Advent wreath, hymns, special responses for children and adults, prayers, a message for children of all ages, a family craft project, and family discussion questions.

Mid-week 1: God is with us as our Potter, and we are the clay (Isaiah 64:8-9).  Through faith in Jesus, we are formed as a new creationas God shapes us according to his will.  Families will use air-dried clay to make a Christmas ornament.

Mid-week 2: God is with us as our Shepherd (Isaiah 40:10-11).  Jesus our Good Shepherd came to lay down his life and rise from the dead to bring us forgiveness and eternal life.  Families will create paper and cotton ball sheep.

Mid-week 3: God is with us as our Living Branch (Isaiah 11:1-2).  Jesus, a shoot from the stump of Jesse, was born into the family tree of King David.  By faith we are the branches, and Jesus is our true Vine.  Families will plant and grow a little Bethlehem field from grass seed.

Mid-week 4: God is with us as our Guide (Isaiah 2:3, 5).  He leads us according to his Word.  Jesus is our Way back to God, our Way to eternal life.  Families will create Bible bookmarks to keep for themselves or to give as gifts.

Worship in Sylvan Park on Sunday, July 19, 9:00 am

On Father’s Day, June 21, our sister congregation, Fountain Lutheran Church, hosted a service in the City of Fountain park with members of the Fountain UMC and Bethlehem Lutheran in attendance. The Arnold-Bradley Band provided inspirational music for the service. Now it’s our turn.

On Sunday, July 19, Bethlehem is hosting a service in Sylvan Park in Lanesboro at 9 a.m., weather permitting, of course.  And once again The Arnold-Bradley Band will be playing and singing for the service.  All are welcome to attend in person or watch live on Facebook.  In the event of rain, the service will be broadcast from the Bethlehem sanctuary and everyone can worship virtually.

Because of COVID-19, there will be some restrictions for this outdoor gathering.  You can park your car in the spaces closest to and facing the gazebo, stay in your car, roll down your windows, and give praise!  Or … you can sit in lawn chairs on the grass.  If you chose this option, then you are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering.  Two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with 6 feet of empty space on all sides of your group.  Attendees not in the same household also must keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others.  This includes keeping this distance with people next to you, in front of you, and behind you.

There will be NO hand-shaking, hugging, fist-bumping, high-fiving, etc., before, during, or after the service. There will be NO offering and NO Communion. Avoid mixed groups before and after the service. Please practice good physical distancing.

A thriving church | ELCA Synod Assembly 2020 Video

The 2020 Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly, which was originally scheduled to take place May 15 and 16 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, has been canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. Despite that, the churchwide office has prepared and sent greetings and inspiration from the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA. The next paragraph is the introduction to her video message.

A thriving church is one so convinced of the resurrection that we’re free to give our lives in service to others. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares how the ELCA continues to thrive in country churches, cityscapes, and places with no walls in this message for 2020 Synod Assemblies.