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Featured in this Issue...

Missions News Pg. 2

Meatball Supper Pg. 4

Women’s Book Club Pg.4

Dr. Timothy Johnson on


Healthcare Pg. 5

October 2008

The Bethlehem
Word
with each other. It was hard for the moderator to get them to
Message from the Pastor talk directly to each other. And isn’t it the same for the rest of
As I sat watching the first Presidential debate, I us. If we aren’t able to look a person with whom we disagree
couldn’t help but think how this might apply to the church. in the eye, then what does that say about us? To me it says
Last month I wrote about the need for open and honest com- we are stubborn and don’t deal well with anyone who dis-
munication and discussion among each other, especially in agrees with us. Who would Jesus not look at? A Pharisee
church. We need to tell the truth to each other and to do so in who disagreed with Him? A disciple who betrayed Him? Is
love. You can tell a lot about a person by how they deal with there anyone Jesus would not be willing to sit talk with? Why
others—especially when they disagree with another person. I do we have the attitude that if someone disagrees with us, we
am a registered independent and don’t want to inject politics take up our toys and go home?
into my ministry, but I do think our faith should impact our Perhaps you feel as I do that it’s refreshing when can-
political beliefs and too often churches separate faith and poli- didates are able to say their opponent was right about some-
tics to a fault. Here, however, I want to speak about how we thing. Can we be honest enough and humble enough to admit
relate to each other. that we are not always right? Can we admit that our
It is easy to point the finger at politicians as being the “opponent” with whom we disagree is not always wrong?
disagreeable ones, but I think the whole Bible speaks about These are lessons we have to learn in life and the earlier we
our need to get along with each other (especially among be- learn them the better.
lievers). In Ephesians 4:2-3 Paul says, “Be completely hum- When we look at someone face-to-face, we are ac-
ble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. knowledging him or her as another person created by God,
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the who for that reason alone is worthy of respect — if not our
bond of peace.” During the debate, it was fascinating to complete agreement.
watch the candidates interact with each other or not interact Continued on pg. 3
October 2008
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

1 2 Bible Study 3 NA meeting 4 Diaconate


7pm plant deliveries

5 Worship 6 7 8 9 Bible Study 10 NA meeting 11 Clawson/


10:30am 7pm Clawson/Pierce Pierce wedding
rehearsal dinner 4:30pm
5:30pm

12 Worship 13 14 Board Mtg. 15 16 17 NA meeting 18 Children’s


10:30am Max 7pm Cooking &
Bugbee Baptism Baking Class
12-3pm
19 Worship 20 21 22 23 Bible Study 24 NA meeting 25
10:30am 7pm
Missions Soup
Lunch
26Worship 27 28 Veritas Team 29 30 Bible Study 31 NA meeting
10:30am Mtg. 7-8:30pm 7pm

Missions News
Canned Food Drive joining us!!! This is a great excuse to invite “All authority in
Beginning October 5th there new people to church also. ☺ heaven and on
will be a basket filled with earth has been
slips of paper that list canned Children’s Cooking/Baking Class given to me.
good items which will be Saturday, October 18th from 12-3pm at Therefore go and
collected as part of the church. Call or sign up at church by Oct. make disciples of
Thanksgiving donation to the 5th. We’ll be baking chocolate chip cookies all nations,
Quinsigamond Village Community Center. We and having a craft. Master baptizing them in
encourage you to take some slips and buy the cook & baker Denise the name of the
items and bring them in—this will help the McGinley is leading this Father and of the
Community Center tremendously. They (and wonderful event. Son and of the
their clients) depend on us for this each year. Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to
Missions Sunday Turkey Dona- obey everything
Soup: I have
tions
Our first Sunday commanded you.
Beginning Sunday,
Soup will be held And surely I am
Oct. 26th we will be
October 19 immedi- with you always,
collecting donations for turkeys for the Quin-
ately after the ser- to the very end
sig Village Community Center. Turkeys are
vice in Fellowship Hall. Please plan on staying of the age.” Mt.
$15 each and any amount is appreciated.
for a hearty soup, bread, coffee and dessert. 28:18-20
Make check payable to BCC and note
There is no cost for this lunch. Please plan on “turkeys” in the memo line.

Page 2
Birthdays and Anniversaries
October Birthdays "ovember Birthdays
Elizabeth Pope 10/2
Delbert Smith 11/4
Elizabeth Quinn 10/5
Robert Leach 11/6
Mildred Carlson 10/11
Catherine Lindstrom 11/6
Colleen Elbe 10/12 Carl Nordstrom 11/11
Jeanne Bartkus 10/19 Beverly Gosselin 11/19
Alice Sullivan 10/22 Sue Fellion 11/19
Janet Clawson 10/23 Corrine Wennerstrand 11/19
Karin Ciance 11/20
Robert Elbe Jr. 10/26
Roy Lindstrom 11/23
Lydia Anderson 10/29 Robert Salmonsen 11/24
Margery Carlson 11/25
Susan Strozina 11/27
October Anniversaries
"ovember Anniversaries
Joy and Nicholas Monopoli 10/4
James and Jennifer Zoulias 10/9
Amy and Kenneth Malo 11/4
Eric and Kathleen Thompson 11/23

From the Pastor (cont.)

I have issues on which I disagree with both candi-


dates, because, let’s face it, life is complicated and there are a
Thank You lot of issues on which reasonable people disagree. I certainly
do not publicly endorse any candidate. I find it interesting to
Dear Friends and Family,
watch politicians’ interactions because I deal with people con-
I can’t begin to express what your scholarship gift means stantly. How we interact with each other is important. Two
to me. The knowledge that I have an entire congregation committed believers in the same church can see things very
supporting me as I begin a life in Denver is priceless. A differently. That is o.k. So too with political candidates. But
special thank you to everyone who supported me let’s hope that in our families, in our churches, and in our
politics, we can have the courage to look each other in the eye
throughout this long process and for the variety of offers
and speak openly and candidly and civilly.
to drive cross-country with me. Although I am thou-
sands of miles away, I know I will always have a home
God bless,
at Bethlehem. For that especially, I thank you. And re- Pastor Dave
member you are always welcome to visit me here in the
mountains!

Love,

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The following is an updated list of our church mem- Those participating in worship this month are:
bers and friends who unable to attend church on a
regular basis. Let us remember them in our
thoughts and prayers and with a note. Please let the Oct. 5th
pastor know if you are aware of others who should Ushers: Michele Koller and Denise McGinley
be on this list. Scripture Reader: Susan Strozina
Mr. Lee & Mrs. Astrid Randall Paul Faler Worship Leader: Alden Anderson
10 Hall Street Web- University Commons
378 Plantation St. Sound Ministry: Steven Pope
ster, MA 01570
508-943-0847 Worcester, MA 01608

Mrs. Dagny Johnson Oct. 12th


Mrs. Doris Anderson
667 Washington Street #225 Life Care Center of Auburn Ushers: Delbert and Eleanor Smith
Auburn, MA 01501 14 Masonic Circle
Auburn, MA 01501
Scripture Reader: June Rice
508-832-5239
Worship Leader: Jeanne Bartkus
Mr. Algot Ekstrom Mrs. Claire Poirier
Sound Ministry: Steven Pope
University Commons 63 Hudson Avenue
378 Plantation St. Grafton, MA 01519
Worcester, MA 01608 508-839-0364 Oct. 19th
Mrs. Lydia Anderson Ushers: John schonning and Jeffrey Stafinski
Mrs. Lillian Ekstrom
Notre Dame Du Lac Whitney Place Scripture Reader: Ann Weber
555 Plantation Street Apt. 327 P.O. Box 935 Worship Leader: Tracy Ellis
Worcester, MA 01608 85 Beaumont Dr. Apt. 10
Northbridge, MA 01534 Sound Ministry: John Schonning
Mr. Carl & Mrs. Esther Werme
24 Briarwood Circle Mildred Carlson
Worcester, MA01606 669 Washington St. Apt. Oct. 26th
234
508-856-7232 Ushers: Beverly Gosselin and Jeanne Bartkus
Auburn, MA 01501
Mr. Howard Cummings Scripture Reader: Mark Fellion
Life Care Center of Auburn Worship Leader: Susan Strozina
14 Masonic Circle Room #266
Auburn, MA 01501
Sound Ministry: John Schonning

Swedish Meatball Supper Women’s Book Club


Saturday, November 8th Interested in reading more?
4:30 and 6:15pm
Adults $8 Children under 12 $4 Want to discuss thought-provoking books
There will be a sign up sheet in with other women?
the vestry where you can sign up
to donate needed food items. Monday, October 6th, at 7 PM

Come by the Parsonage (14 Victoria Ave.)


for coffee and to share ideas about how this
might work and what book we should read.

Please speak with Elizabeth Pope if you have any questions.

Page 4
Rising Health Care Costs Could Ri- cess continues to grow, Johnson observes. A worsening shortage of
val Financial Crisis general practitioners also is contributing to rising health care costs.
By Stan Friedman Only 20 percent of graduating medical students are choosing gen-
eral practices because specialties offer higher financial rewards.
CHICAGO, IL (September 24, 2008) – The Mayo Clinic opened its own internal system of general
Americans’ expectations for health care are care after realizing its employees were using the emergency room
too high, and the will of politicians to avert an exploding health for health care because they could not find a general practitioner,
care crisis is too little, Dr. G. Timothy Johnson told an audience Johnson said. Given Jesus’ imperative to care for the least, John-
at North Park University on Tuesday night. If action isn’t taken son said, Christians have a moral imperative to push for universal
soon, the rising cost of health care could provoke a financial access. The United States is the only industrialized country that does
crisis as great as the current banking crisis, said Johnson, the not offer universal access, Johnson said. People actually have ac-
longtime medical editor for ABC ews and an ordained minister cess to universal care - if they get sick enough. Ultimately, “We
in the Evangelical Covenant Church. “There really is no way to won’t let you die in the street,” Johnson said. That ultimately is
fix the American health care system,” Johnson began. “The more costly, however. Instead, providing systemic universal access
reason is we don’t have a health care system in this country.” to people would enable them to be treated earlier and at a lower
What does exist is fragmented, inefficient, inadequate, and even cost.
dangerous, Johnson said. It also potentially poses a greater Johnson differentiated between universal access and univer-
threat to the economy than the current banking crisis. sal financing. Universal access enables health care coverage for eve-
Americans will spend more than $2 trillion on health ryone, but universal financing means the government pays all the
care this year and that amount could go to $3 trillion by 2020, bills. Johnson says he favors some form of public-private partner-
Johnson predicts. One-sixth of all jobs in the country are re- ship, as is done in most industrialized nations. Government would
lated to health care, Johnson notes. A shock to the health care set standards and regulations and then allow private companies to
system would send shockwaves throughout the economy. Ma- compete. The plan for federal employees can serve as an example,
jor changes in approaches to providing health care have led to Johnson said. Each year, employees receive a list of health insur-
the current crisis, he maintains. Health care went from being ance companies in their area that have been vetted by the Office of
low-tech, personal, and having a simple payment structure to Personnel Management, which makes certain the companies are
being highly focused on high-tech solutions, impersonal, and solid and are offering fair prices. Employees can then choose based
burdened by a complicated payment system. Employer-based upon the plan and price that best meets their needs.
health insurance was an “historical accident,” Johnson said. Medicare is a public-private partnership that Americans
Companies could not afford increasing salaries after WWII, so approve of, Johnson said. “Try taking Medicare from people over
they began adding health benefits. Today, companies are look- 65 and you’ll have a fight on your hands.” Johnson said he expects
ing to control costs by reducing or eliminating coverage, John- Medicare to be expanded to all people, if the crisis worsens. The
son said. He noted that 80 percent of uninsured Americans have money it costs to provide care for those who can’t afford it would
jobs. Johnson says part of the problem with finding a solution cost hundreds of millions of dollars more than the current proposed
relates to four major expectations Americans have for health banking system bailout, he predicts. Opponents of universal access
care: argue that people will abuse the system. Johnson said that is not the
• Convenience – People want appointments immediately and case in other countries and encouraged the audience to read “The
don’t want to wait for anything. Moral Hazard,” an article by Malcom Gladwell in The ew Yorker,
• Curative – “We expect that whatever comes up, American saying it is the best on the subject.
medical science will be able to solve the problem.” The latest Despite pledges by both candidates to reform the system,
technology or drug is not always the best treatment. Johnson does not expect Congress to make major changes soon. He
• Coordinated and compassionate – Any system should be recalled the unlikely alliance several years ago involving Democ-
easy to navigate. ratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republicans Newt Gingrich and Sen.
• Cheap – People don’t even like co-payments. Bill Frist, noting they were unable to influence passage of a widely
“You can’t have it all,” Johnson told the audience. The desired bill that would enable electronic recordkeeping. Patients
cost is too great. Just spending more money will not solve the often switch doctors, and electronic recordkeeping would enable
problems, he suggests. Americans spend $6,100 a year per per- physicians to access a patient’s previous medical history. Each of
son on health care - more than twice the $2,500 per person the presidential candidates has proposed changes, but no one will
spent by the rest of the industrialized world combined. “If we get all they want. Intense negotiations will be needed, but the White
got health care that was twice as good, I guess that would be House still will have to lead the discussion, he believes.
acceptable,” Johnson said. But the World Health Organization As medical editor for ABC ews, Johnson provides analysis for World
ranks the United States 32nd in terms of quality, he added. The ews Tonight, ightline, Good Morning America, and 20/20. Johnson's pro-
system can even be dangerous Johnson said, explaining that grams and feature reports have won several awards, including a national Emmy
100,000 deaths last year were attributed to medical errors. He Award and two local Emmys. Johnson serves on the faculty of Harvard Medical
School and is on the medical staff of Massachusetts General Hospital. He also
asked people to consider what would happen if the same could
serves as assisting minister of the Community Covenant Church in West Pea-
be said of the airline industry. Americans with insurance - who body, Massachusetts.
know how to navigate the system - still have access to excellent
care, but the gap between them and those who do not have ac-

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The Bethlehem
Word

Bethlehem Covenant Church


46 Greenwood Street
P.O. Box 70629
Worcester, MA 01607
(508) 752—1459
www.bethlehemcc.org