Calendar & Events
We have two parts to the p.s. this month. The first is a letter from our Intern Pastor, Jasmine Tesdahl. The second is a letter from her husband, Gene Tesdahl.
Dear Bethlehem Family,
I just want to take this moment to say THANK YOU. I have so many things to be thankful for right now, and Bethlehem has been such a big part of so many of them.
Thank you: In January 2007, Gene and I and Baby-on-the-Way were looking for a faith home. This community took the time to get to know us and made us feel so very welcome. I still remember those initial conversations and the people who took the time to get to know us.
Thank you: We were getting ready to welcome our baby into the world, and you helped prepare us by giving us cribs, and clothes, and meals, and lots of support and welcome advice.
Thank you: On July 8, 2007, you welcomed Aspen Pascale into the mission and ministry and faith we share as a newly baptized Child of God.
Thank you: You put out a call for Assisting Ministers and Communion Assistants during worship, and I felt a need to answer this call to ministry.
Thank you: You saw Gene’s and my passion for working with youth, and you asked us to teach Sunday School…and then to be on the Council…and then to be a partner in the Youth and Household Ministry development that Deaconess Kristen was spearheading.
Thank you: You took on an intern—Pastor Liliana Stahlberg—and she led a Bible Study that opened a door to me to consider my call to ministry.
Thank you: There exists in this congregation a depth in our leadership: thoughtful, compassionate, amazing leaders like Pastor Mark and Deaconess Kristen, as well as Bob Ritzen, and many others throughout the congregation who, through caring conversation and open minds, have really helped me to discern the direction in which God is calling me.
Thank you: You were willing to help me learn about what it means to be a leader in the ELCA in ordained ministry, by hiring me first as a Pastoral Assistant and then as an Intern Pastor, as well as a Director of Education. You have listened to dozens of sermons and participated in many Bible Studies, meetings, and other events—all of which have allowed me to develop my understanding and experience in ministry leadership.
Thank you: You have supported me monetarily through scholarships and employment, and by allowing me to live in the parsonage while I have been in seminary.
Thank you: You have supported me and my family emotionally and spiritually through caring conversation, child care, meals, and lots of fun!
Thank you: You have been so encouraging of my call to military chaplaincy and the unique struggles that have come to the Tesdahl home because of it. All of your thoughtful letters that you sent during my ten weeks of training last summer really brightened the challenging days. And all of the ways that you cared for my family in my absence really helped me to be able to focus on the task at hand, knowing that my family was well-cared for.
Thank you: For your upcoming support of our move to Chicago for my Lutheran year of study at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Even though we will be gone, Bethlehem is still our home congregation and we will be sending back updates and news occasionally throughout the year.
As my time winds down at Bethlehem, all of our hearts grow a little heavy—mine, Aspen’s, and Gene’s. We are sad to leave the amazing friends that we have made. The friends that Aspen has made at Bethlehem are truly her best friends in all the world—friends that she has known her entire life (or their entire life!). We’re a little nervous about how it will be in Chicago: Will Gene find a job? Will Aspen have a good school? Will we be able to build as good a community as we have found in Colorado? What will LSTC be like? What is big-city living like when you have kids?
Bethlehem, you are our faith family. We are so grateful that we found you, and we are so thankful for the ways that you have cared for us, and allowed us to care for you. I wish you all Godspeed through your upcoming adventures and challenges, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the ways, named and unnamed, that you have enriched my and my family’s life.
With deepest gratitude,
From a Lutheran "across the wide Mis-sour-i"
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, greetings from Atchison, Kansas and scenic Benedictine College,