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Bethel Lutheran Church (ELCA), Templeton, CA

Bethel
PrAmyAmy Beveridge, Pastor of Bethel Lutheran, Templeton

Current Events

Reformation Beer & Hymns

Past Events (Archives)

Unmaking Enemies series resource list

Bethel University Provides Essential End-of-Life Information

Roots and Branches: An Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Learning

Celebrating Ugly Food


Bethel Lutheran Church
295 Old County Rd.
Templeton, CA 93465

Media Release

Oct. 1, 2017
Release at Will

Reformation Beer & Hymns Fun for All!

Bethel Lutheran Church sponsors Beer and Hymns in North San Luis Obispo County. This acoustic mix of old and new is a free sing-along open to the public.

The next session will be Reformation Sunday, Oct. 29, 6-8 p.m., F. McLintocks Saloon, 1234 Park St., Paso Robles.

"All are welcome for a fun, friendly time," said Amy Beveridge, Bethel's pastor. "A variety of drinks and food are available for purchase. Come raise your spirits."

"This the 500th year of the Reformation, so we are joining with Lutherans and other Christians around the world," she said.

Singing is led by members of the Bethel's music team.

Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. Bethel worships Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., Templeton. All are welcome.

Bethel's "little brick church" is the longest-continuous-serving Lutheran building in Southern Calif, serving North County for 130 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. "Bethel" means "House of God." The ELCA motto is "God's Work. Our Hands."

# # #

Editor: a longer feature/backgrounder with graphic is available at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For more information, interviews and photos, contact Pastor Amy Beveridge at (805) 434-1329 or TempletonPastor@yahoo.com.


Unmaking Enemies

As our month of activities exploring the theme of Unmaking Enemies has come to a close, I offer you the following resource list on topics that arose, everything from conflict resolution skills for Christians to deeper studying on issue of race and religious violence. So here it is: do let me know if there is anything helpful you've discovered. These are just a few of the ones I used. Please let me know if you want any further tools.

Blessings on your study! Pastor Amy

Conflict and Forgiveness

Reconcile by John Paul Leaderach
Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct by Michael McCullough
Any books by Paul K. Chappell -- paulkchappell.com
Link to his interview with Gerald Iversen: http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST/?p=1772

On Race

There are so many...this one is essential.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Here is a link to her interview with onbeing: https://onbeing.org/programs/michelle-alexander-who-we-want-to-become-beyond-the-new-jim-crow/
Books to share with young people: http://www.readbrightly.com/books-to-help-kids-understand-the-fight-for-racial-equality/

Israel/Palestine: Nonviolenct Peace Movements

Film: Encounter Point: http://www.justvision.org/encounterpoint
Follow the work of Julia Bacha, creative director of this film. See her on youtube and TedTalks.
Listen to an interview recorded six years later with some of the people featured in the documentary: https://onbeing.org/programs/robi-damelin-ali-abu-awwad-no-more-taking-sides/


Media Release/Newsletter Article

June 1, 2017

Release at Will

Bethel University Provides Essential End-of-Life Information

Help keep peace in the family.

Templeton--Bethel Lutheran Church is offering brief, free-of-charge workshops to help all adults deal with end-of-life issues, Saturday, June 10, at the church fellowship hall, 295 Old County Road, Templeton. The 9-noon event is followed by a free, catered lunch.

"Bethel U. is open to all adults," said Rev. Amy Beveridge, Pastor of Bethel Lutheran. "The church and most families would prefer to avoid the pressure of making end-of-life decisions while they're grieving the loss of a loved one."

Topics are practical. Plenty of time is allowed for questions and comments. Sample forms and documents will be provided. Each session is led by a professional in the field.

Make your reservations at (805) 434-1329 or Bethel Office by Sunday night, June 4. Please leave your name, phone number and email address.

Schedule:

Session 1

9:00--All About HOSPICE: Kris Kington-Barker, Exec. Dir. Hospice of SLO Co.
What is Hospice? What are its benefits for a dying person and the family?

9:30--Planning Your Funeral Service: Pr. Amy Beveridge, Bethel Lutheran
What hymns do I want sung? Why not leave it to the family? Do I want a funeral or a memorial service?

10:00--The Funeral Home Is Your Friend: a SLO Co. Funeral Service
What services do we provide? Can funerals be simple?

10:30--brief break

Session 2--Financial Matters

10:45--Wills and Trusts: Karen Chilina, attorney
What's the difference? Do I need both?

11:15--Long-Term Health Insurance: Ken McCall, Thrivent Financial
Why would I need long-term health insurance? When is it best to start?

11:45--Leaving a Legacy: Ken McCall, Thrivent Financial
What ways can I remember my favorite charities and my family?

(Schedule subject to change.)

"We hope to expand Bethel U. next year to cover more topics of common interest," she said. "The event is funded in part by Thrivent Financial Action Teams."

Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. Bethel worships Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., Templeton. All are welcome.

Bethel's "little brick church" is the longest-continuous-serving Lutheran building in Southern Calif, serving North County for 128 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. "Bethel" means "House of God." The ELCA motto is "God's Work. Our Hands."

--30--

Editor: a longer feature/backgrounder with graphic is available at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For more information, interviews and photos, contact Pastor Amy Beveridge at (805) 434-1329 or TempletonPastor@yahoo.com. Or contact Gerald Iversen, Bethel University coordinator, at 805-400-0182 or GeraldIversen@yahoo.com.


Roots and Branches: An Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Learning

David & DevraIMAGES: Rabbi David and Devra Zaslow David

  • Media Release
  • Feature/Interview/Backgrounder
  • COMING--10 Questions Frequently Asked by Reporters/Writers

  • Media Release
  • Feb. 15, 2017

    Release at Will

    Award-winning Author Visits Atascadero for Interfaith Weekend-in-Residence

    North County Clergy Group welcomes the public to five events in Atascadero, Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2, entitled "ROOTS and BRANCHES: An Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Learning" with Scholar-in-Residence, Rabbi David Zaslow, author of the award-winning Jesus: First Century Rabbi.

    Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.--Shabbat services, Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light), 2605 Traffic Way, Atascadero

    Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m.--Torah study as Jesus and first century Jews would have studied, Congregation Ohr Tzafon

    Saturday, April 1, 7 p.m.--An Evening of Interfaith Stories, Poetry, and Music with Reb David and Maggidah Devorah Zaslow, United Methodist Church, 11605 El Camino Real, Atascadero

    The Zaslows will weave stories from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist traditions, with true tales of interfaith adventures. People from all walks of life are invited to laugh, cry and be inspired! Reb David says, "Through music, poetry, and stories we'll celebrate both the unique differences and commonalities between many faith traditions."

    Sunday, April 2, 10 a.m.--Worship Service at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5318 Palma Ave., Atascadero

    Sunday, April 2, 2-4 p.m.--Workshop on Jesus: First Century Rabbi at Community Church, 5850 Rosario Ave., Atascadero

    Admission is free. Donations will be received at some events.

    For more information about a specific event, contact Rabbi Janice Mehring, Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light) at 805/466-0329.

    Reb. David's book, Jesus: First-Century Rabbi, has been awarded the 2015 Book of the Year by the Church-Synagogue Library Association. He is the spiritual leader of the Havurah Synagogue in Ashland, Oregon.

    Debra Zaslow is an acclaimed storyteller and author who travels nationwide as a performer and workshop leader. She is known for her unique blend of traditional stories with personal narrative. She is the author of Bringing Bubbe Home, A Memoir of Letting Go Through Love and Death.

    The sponsoring congregations are also conducting studies of the book during March, all of which are open to the public. For more details contact the congregation(s) of your choice.

    SPONSORING CONGREGATIONS: Bethel Lutheran Church, Templeton, 805/434-1329; Community Church of Atascadero, 805/466-9108; Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light), Atascadero; Hope Lutheran Church, Atascadero, 805/466-0340; St. James Episcopal Church, Paso Robles, 805/238-0819; St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atascadero, 805/466-0379; United Methodist Church, Atascadero, 805/466-2566.

    --30--

    EDITORS and NEWS DIRECTORS: David Zaslow welcomes interviews by phone before the events, and also brief in-person interviews after the Sat. night and Sun. afternoon events. Contact him at ShalomRav@aol.com. For more information, contact the event media coordinator Gerald 'Jerry' Iversen, 805-400-0182.

    Media releases, feature article, typical questions from reporters, etc. are available anytime at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For additional photos and background, visit http://rabbidavidzaslow.com/jesus-rabbi/


  • FEATURE/INTERVIEW/BACKGROUNDER
  • March 10, 2017

    Release at Will

    North County Clergy Organize Timely Event

    An event originally organized simply to bring faith communities together to study and to get to know neighbors now well might add to the needed national conversation about interfaith cooperation in the light of renewed anti-semitism and intolerance in some parts of the U.S.

    "This event could not be more timely," says Rabbi Janice Mehring of Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light), Atascadero.

    North County Clergy Group welcomes the public to five events in Atascadero, Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2, entitled "ROOTS and BRANCHES: An Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Learning" with Scholar-in-Residence, Rabbi David Zaslow, author of the award-winning "Jesus: First Century Rabbi."

    Rabbi Mehring serves on the board of directors of People of Faith for Justice and was a panelist at a recent community discussion at Cal Poly about women's empowerment under the current administration.

    QUESTION: What prompted you to propose Reb. Zaslow as a visiting scholar/author to the No. Co. Clergy Group? Personal experience? His writings and other work?

    Rabbi Mehring: I attended a weeklong workshop in 2011 with Rabbi Zaslow on his book "Roots and Branches: Sourcebook for Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity, Replacement Theology, and Anti-Semitism." I was immediately drawn to Rabbi Zaslow's depth of knowledge, his engaging teaching style and his commitment to interfaith dialogue. I've been wanting to bring him to the Central Coast as a scholar in residence ever since."

    QUESTION: How does this five-event weekend fit into the ongoing efforts of progressive Christian denominations and Reform Judaism to understand and appreciate each other? Is that the focus of the title Roots and Branches?

    Rabbi Mehring: There are many Jews and Christians alike that are unaware of these connections. Some theology and rituals that are seen by Jews as uniquely Christian are rooted in Judaism. And many Christians may be unaware as well. By studying together, we come to know our shared roots which leads to a deeper understanding of both faith traditions. It is relatively easy for people of faith to find common values. The challenge is to move toward a mutual respect of our differences and realization that there are many paths of faith. The interfaith study weekend will hopefully bring us closer to that deep respect and honoring our differences.

    QUESTION: Please give a summary, i.e. the take-away messages, of "Jesus: First Century Rabbi."

    Rabbi Mehring: I think it is best said by Joan Borysenko in her comments about the book. "Today our faith traditions are in need of healing, both within themselves and with each other. Rabbi Zaslow's book is a dose of sacred medicine for both Christianity and Judaism. He challenges us to face our prejudices, while affirming and celebrating our unique traditions. While Jesus has a different meaning for a Christian and a Jew, reflecting on that can takes us on a deeper and yet more universal journey into our own faith. Based on solid scholarship and a luminous open heart, Zaslow makes a powerful and much needed contribution to the interfaith dialogue."
    [Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of "A Woman's Journey to God," and co-author of "Your Soul's Compass."]

    QUESTION: Any other pertinent information or insights about the No. Co Clergy Group or the event?

    Rabbi Mehring: The North County Clergy Group is a group of progressive ministers, pastors, priests and a rabbi who come together for study and collegial support. We hope this will be the first of many opportunities to bring together diverse faith communities for learning and supporting each other as needs arise.

    SCHEDULE

    Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m.--Shabbat services, Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light), 2605 Traffic Way, Atascadero

    Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m.--Torah study as Jesus and first century Jews would have studied, Congregation Ohr Tzafon

    Saturday, April 1, 7 p.m.--An Evening of Interfaith Stories, Poetry, and Music with Reb David and Maggidah Devorah Zaslow, United Methodist Church, 11605 El Camino Real, Atascadero

    The Zaslows will weave stories from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist traditions, with true tales of interfaith adventures. People from all walks of life are invited to laugh, cry and be inspired! Reb David says, "Through music, poetry, and stories we'll celebrate both the unique differences and commonalities between many faith traditions.

    Sunday, April 2, 10:15 a.m.--Worship Service at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5318 Palma Ave., Atascadero Sunday, April 2, 2-4 p.m.--Workshop on "Roots and Branches: The Jewish Roots of Christianity," Community Church, 5850 Rosario Ave., Atascadero

    Admission is free. Donations will be received at Saturday evening and Sunday events.

    For more information about a specific event, contact Rabbi Janice Mehring, Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light) at 805/466-0329 or congregationcot@gmail.com

    Reb. David's book, "Jesus: First-Century Rabbi," has been awarded the 2015 Book of the Year by the Church-Synagogue Library Association. He is the spiritual leader of the Havurah Synagogue in Ashland, Oregon.

    Debra Zaslow is an acclaimed storyteller and author who travels nationwide as a performer and workshop leader. She is known for her unique blend of traditional stories with personal narrative. She is the author of "Bringing Bubbe Home, A Memoir of Letting Go Through Love and Death."

    The sponsoring congregations are also conducting studies of the book during March, all of which are open to the public. For more details contact the congregation(s) of your choice.

    SPONSORING CONGREGATIONS: Bethel Lutheran Church, Templeton, 805/434-1329; Community Church of Atascadero, 805/466-9108; Congregation Ohr Tzafon (Northern Light), Atascadero; Hope Lutheran Church, Atascadero, 805/466-0340; St. James Episcopal Church, Paso Robles, 805/238-0819; St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atascadero, 805/466-0379; United Methodist Church, Atascadero, 805/466-2566.

    --30--

    EDITORS and NEWS DIRECTORS: David Zaslow welcomes interviews by phone before the events, and also brief in-person interviews after the Sat. night and Sun. afternoon events. Contact him at ShalomRav@aol.com. For more information, contact the event media coordinator Gerald "Jerry" Iversen, 805-400-0182.

    Media releases, feature article, typical questions from reporters, etc. are available anytime at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For additional photos and background, visit http://rabbidavidzaslow.com/jesus-rabbi/


  • COMING--10 Questions Frequently Asked by Reporters/Writers

  • Beer and Carols, Dec., 2016
    B&H
    GRAPHIC by Amy Beveridge. Copyright Creative Commons

    RELEASE AT WILL

    Beer and Carols
    Thur., Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m.
    F. McLintocks Saloon, 1234 Park St., Paso Robles

    # # #

    External Communications

    1. Public Service Announcement/Community Calendar
    2. Media Release
    3. Feature/Backgrounder

    1. Public Service Announcement/Community Calendar

    PSA/Community Calendar

    Thur., Dec. 15 - Beer & Carols, 6-8 p.m., F.McLintocks Saloon, 1234 Park St., Paso Robles. ALL ages welcome. Free sing-along - acoustic mix of new and old. Drinks and food for purchase. Sponsored by Bethel Lutheran Church (ELCA), Templeton.

    Editor: a media releases, photos, graphic and a longer feature/backgrounder are available at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For more information, interviews and photos, contact Pastor Amy Beveridge at (805) 434-1329 or TempletonPastor@yahoo.com.


    2. Media Release

    Bethel Lutheran Church, 295 Old County Rd., Templeton, CA

    Nov. 22, 2016
    Release at Will

    Beer & Carols Fun for All!

    Bethel Lutheran Church sponsors Beer and Hymns occasionally in North San Luis Obispo County. This sing-along of new and old acoustic mix is free and open to the public.

    The next session will be Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m., F.McLintocks Saloon, 1234 Park, St., Paso Robles.

    "All are welcome for a fun, free, friendly time," said Amy Beveridge, Bethel's pastor. "A variety of drinks and food are available for purchase. Come raise your spirits."

    Singing is led by members of the Bethel music team.

    Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the US. Bethel worships Sundays, 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., Templeton. All are welcome.

    Bethel's 'little brick church' is the longest-continually-serving Lutheran building in Southern Calif, serving North County for 128 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. 'Bethel' means 'House of God.' The ELCA motto is 'God's Work. Our Hands.'

    --30--


    3. FEATURE / Backgrounder

    Release at Will

    Why would a church sponsor an unusual event like "Beer and Hymns"?

    Bethel's pastor, Amy Beveridge, explains, "The idea comes from Nadia Boltz-Weber,* who did Beer & Hymns in Denver with her congregation Church of All Sinners and Saints. Then when I traveled to North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival, they offered Beer & Hymns nightly.** It's a way to enjoy beloved traditions of the church outside a church building. We can interact in a low pressure, healthy, joyful, festive way. My mission as a pastor is to move the community beyond Sunday. This seemed like a good fit.

    "We get together with a few friends at local restaurant and sing our hearts out. Lutherans have a long tradition of making music and joining world where the world is. 500 years ago, Martin Luther, the founder of our denomination, wrote famous hymns by setting the words to tunes of village drinking songs.

    "We represent the presence of God wherever we go. And so our church is making an overall pivot, changing the focus to be more open. This is not a gimmick. Besides, we need to have more fun together.

    "After Bethel's first Beer & Hymns, people started showing up who would never come to church, such as relatives, even some spouses. We share some food and singing. This allows us to enjoy our community for what it is. It is larger than those who come through the church door."

    Bethel Lutheran Church sponsors Beer and Hymns occasionally in North San Luis Obispo County. This sing-along of new and old acoustic mix is free and open to the public.

    The next session will be:

  • Thursday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. at F.McLintocks Saloon, 1234 Park St., Paso Robles.

    "All are welcome," said Amy Beveridge, Bethel's pastor. "You don't have to drink to sing and you don't have to sing to come have a drink. Drinks and food for purchase. Coffee house variety too. Come raise your spirits."

    Singing is led by members of Bethel's music team.

    Bethel Lutheran Church sponsors Beer and Hymns occasionally in North San Luis Obispo County. This sing-along of new and old acoustic mix is free and open to the public.

    Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the US. Bethel worships Sundays, 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., in 'the little brick church in Templeton.' All are welcome.

    Bethel is the longest-continually-serving Lutheran church building in Southern Calif. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit BLCTempleton.org or Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. 'Bethel' means 'House of God.' The motto of the ELCA is 'God's Work. Our Hands.'

    *Nadia Boltz-Weber is an ELCA pastor and best-selling author of Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint (2014) and Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (2015).

    **The Wild Goose Festival is an annual gathering of Christians. "Wild Goose provides space for courageous, imaginative, and participative social justice work, creative expression, spiritual practice, and astonishing music. We are called to embody a different kind of religious expression than has often dominated our institutions and culture. We believe that the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better; so we refuse to merely denounce the shadow of the tradition and abandon it. Instead, we humbly seek to both tear down and build up, walking a path that embodies love of God, neighbor, and self." Visit WildGooseFestival.org, especially http://wildgoosefestival.org/wild-goose-invitation/

    Editor: a media release, photo and graphic are available at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For more information, interviews and photos, contact Pastor Amy Beveridge at (805) 434-1329 or TempletonPastor@yahoo.com.

    This article is covered by Creative Commons. You are welcome to publish it without attribution. It was written by Gerald Iversen, M.A. journalism, a member of Bethel Lutheran, Templeton.

    [END]


    Celebrating Ugly Food, Aug., 2016

    UglyFood

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Bethel Lutheran Church
    295 Old County Rd.
    Templeton, CA

    Aug. 1, 2016
    Release at Will

    Bethel Lutheran Celebrates Ugly Food

    August is Ugly Food Month at Bethel Lutheran, Templeton. Under the banner "Celebrate Ugly Food," members of Bethel are devoting Sunday worship and other times to learn more about food waste, especially in light of California's persistent drought. The month culminates on Aug. 28 with an Ugly Food Banquet. The public is welcome to all the events, which are free of charge.

    "We've learned that 40% of food in America goes to waste! in fields and gardens; in homes, stores, restaurants and schools," said Amy Beveridge, Bethel's pastor.

    "Our Community Connection Team is planning this series to help our members and the community see that imperfect produce is no less valuable, in fact, it may be more nutritious in some cases," she said.

    "Each Sunday in August at our 9:30 a.m. worship we will have a different focus, sometimes with short videos and appropriate music. For the potluck banquet after worship on Aug. 28, members will offer dishes that include ugly food. We will have a special speaker for the banquet," she said.

    "We expect these events to be fun as well as educational. One Sunday will include testimonials by members who are involved in agriculture about how they are dealing with drought. Another Sunday will focus on gleaning -- to harvest or collect leftover fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste -- thanks to GleanSLO, the gleaning arm of the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank. We agree with their motto: Rescuing nature's bounty for the benefit of our community," she said.

    "We have learned much about food waste and global hunger through such resources as FutureOfFood.com, NatGeoFood.com, and the cover story of the March, 2016, National Geographic Magazine.

    "Some of the videos that we will show include 'Thirsting for Justice' and 'Tossed Out: Food Waste in America' from public TV.

    "We are sharing tips, such as carrying a reusable 'take home' container in our cars, which saves left-overs from our restaurant meals and keeps more single-use containers out of the landfill.

    "We've seen headlines that Ugly Food Can Feed the World. We want to do our part. We want to reduce waste by celebrating Ugly Food!" she said.

    Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. Bethel worships Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., Templeton. All are welcome.

    Bethel's "little brick church" is the longest-continuously-serving Lutheran building in Southern Calif, serving North County for 128 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. "Bethel" means "House of God." The ELCA motto is "God's Work. Our Hands."

    EVENT SCHEDULE

    LEARN. ACT. EAT.

    August 7th

    Gleaning, Harvesting & the Food Pantry
    Guest Speaker: Emily Wilson from GleanSLO
    Film: 'The Line'
    Volunteer recruitment to go harvest for the Food Bank

    August 14th

    Evolving with the California Drought
    Guest Speakers:
    Rancher, Kathy Marquart
    Winemaker, John Anderson
    Film: 'Tossed Out'

    August 21st

    The Struggle for Clean Drinking Water in California
    Guest Speaker: Paula Wansa
    Film: 'Thirsty for Justice'

    August 28th

    Water: Source of Life
    Film: Shorts from Lutheran World Relief
    And an UGLY FOOD BANQUET featuring the culinary creativity of our congregation

    END

    Editors: For more information or interviews, contact Ugly Food Project coordinator Gerald Iversen at 805-400-0182. For a feature/backgrounder and graphics, visit http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html


    FEATURE

    July 7, 2016
    Release at Will

    Drought, Ugly Food and Church: A Month of Exploration

    by Amy Beveridge

    On Sunday, August 28th, Bethel Lutheran Church will be hosting an Ugly Food Banquet. The idea arose last summer in the long days of drought here in California. A few of us were talking about how farming practices were changing in our area: dry farming grapes, choosing new crops, and harvesting food that is imperfect in its appearance. I read an article on the NPR blog The Salt about pomegranate and response to drought. In growth under harsh conditions, the stress triggers antioxidant production. Fruit might be smaller, but it's just as healthy, if not more. So the ugliest food, the kind that never makes it to the grocer is actually the most nourishing to our bodies. And that was the spark that got me thinking and talking with others in the church. Faith practices across religious traditions are invested in healing and repairing our communities. And often, it is the ugly in our world that proves the most transformative. That along with my personal search to do something beyond showering in a bucket and watering my plants with dishwater during the drought has driven my curiosity in this project.

    We have a team of people in the church who have built a month of activities, speakers, and volunteer opportunities around the phenomenon of Ugly Food. We will have this potluck challenging participants to prepare ugly foods. It doesn't necessarily mean people have to buy misshapen potatoes or harvest split fruits from the garden, although it could/will also mean being clever with old stuff in your fridge. A lot of folks in our community grew up in a generation when you used your stale bread and brown fruit for tasty desserts and we hope to learn from their creativity. Our hope is to grow awareness of eating as a spiritual practice, one that has positive impact for hungry families, drought-stricken land, and dirty air.

    Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the US. Bethel worships Sundays, 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., in "the little brick church in Templeton." All are welcome.

    Bethel is the longest-continuously-serving Lutheran church building in Southern Calif., serving North County for 128 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. "Bethel" means "House of God." The motto of the ELCA is "God's Work. Our Hands."

    Pull quote:

    Our hope is to grow awareness of eating as a spiritual practice, one that has positive impact for hungry families, drought-stricken land, and dirty air.

    Box:

    Exploring the connection of faith & food in a time of drought
    Every Sunday in August - 9:30 a.m.
    All welcome. Bring a friend!
    Speakers, film, music, worship, fun!
    Ugly Food Banquet, Aug. 28
    Bethel Lutheran Church
    295 Old County Rd., Templeton
    805/434-1329 * BLCTempleton.org * Facebook

    -30-

    Editor: a media release and graphic are available at http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html. For more information, interviews and photos, contact Pastor Amy Beveridge at (805) 434-1329 or TempletonPastor@yahoo.com.

    This article is covered by Creative Commons. You are welcome to publish it without attribution. It was written by The Rev. Amy Beveridge, pastor of Bethel Lutheran, Templeton, CA


    BACKGROUNDER

    Why Would a Church Organize an Ugly Food Project?

    The idea came to them right at the same time. Inspiration! Amy Beveridge, Pastor of Bethel Lutheran (ELCA), Templeton, and church member Gerald Iversen were planning events for the congregation's Community Connection Team. Besides traditional events, such as Fourth of July Parade, and fun events, such as their Beer & Hymns series in local restaurants, they wanted something of social relevance. Someone mentioned food waste and another asked, "Have you heard about ugly food?" "Yes!"

    The Ugly Food Project moved quickly from a single event to a month-long series for August.

    Iversen, a retired Associate in Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is a rostered leader, as is Pastor Beveridge. He has spent much of his professional life battling waste. Raised on a cattle and grain ranch near Shandon and working for decades with the Lutheran Hunger Program, food waste is especially crucial to him.

    "It's quite intolerable that 40% of food in America* goes to waste! -- in fields and gardens; in homes, stores, restaurants and schools," Iversen said.

    "What fascinating to me," said Pastor Beveridge, "is that ugly produce may actually be healthier than pretty food. Some imperfect, cracked fruit, for example, contains more antioxidants."

    "This fun, educational series for the public challenges Americans' unfortunate need for produce that's perfect in appearance. We will provide a hand-out to all participants summarizing the need for food safety and security, tips, resources, etc. We will have several speakers, presentations, skits, and short videos," she said.

    "This is particularly relevant to this area during this time of drought. Though we are foolish to be wasteful anytime, it's particularly striking during our prolonged drought. Our drought helps us to empathize with people around the world who are hungry because of extreme weather conditions. We need to conserve water and food," she said.

    "We're sold the line that we can afford and we are worth a lot of convenience. So we end up using a lot of single use items, such as plastic bags and styrofoam containers, all of which are harmful for the environment and condition us to be careless and thoughtless," Iversen said.

    "Instead, we are focusing on gleaning -- harvesting and collecting leftover fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. We are partnering with GleanSLO to learn more about gleaning efforts in the county and to experience it ourselves," he said.

    "This project is called Celebrating Ugly Food!" said Pastor Beveridge. "We are not being dreary or spreading guilt. We want to be creative, especially for our Ugly Food Banquet, to share food dishes that include ugly food. We're asking our members to provide a photo of the imperfect produce that they incorporated into their dish."

    Members of the general public are welcome to all of the "Celebrating Ugly Food" events on the Sundays in August, all of which are free of charge. For a schedule of events, contact Iversen at 805-400-0182 or visit Bethel Lutheran on Facebook.

    Bethel is a congregation of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. Bethel worships Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at 295 Old County Rd., Templeton. All are welcome.

    Bethel's "little brick church" is the longest-continuously-serving Lutheran building in Southern Calif, serving North County for 128 years. Free nursery service is available for infants and toddlers. Call (805) 434-1329 for Bethel's Sunday School schedule. Visit Bethel Lutheran Church on Facebook. "Bethel" means "House of God." The ELCA motto is "God's Work. Our Hands."

    A special Reformation episode of Simple Living Works! Podcast, hosted and produced by Bethel member Gerald Iversen, features Reformation scholar and Bishop of the Southwest Calif. Synod (ELCA), Guy Erwin. It is available beginning Sept. 1, at SimpleLivingWorks.org, window #3.

    END

    Editors: For more information or interviews, contact Ugly Food Project coordinator Gerald Iversen at 805-400-0182. For a feature/backgrounder and graphics, visit http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/Bethel.html


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    Page updated Oct. 1, 2017