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France - March, 2018: Support French believers and connect with Church history

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We are excited to announce a unique learning and service opportunity for both BCC and Lettered Streets Covenant Church next March in France.  Hosted by Bellingham natives and ECC Serve Globally regional coordinators for Russia and Europe John and Letha Kerl, we have been invited to spend twelve days around the city of Lyon and the central plateau of France, learning about the early church (Lyon was one of the first centers of Christianity in Western Europe outside of Rome) and then taking part in a service project in the central plateau.

Space on this trip is limited, so please let us know soon if you're interested in learning more about it by filling out our brief online form.

Further details about the trip are included in the letter from John and Letha below:


Dear friends at Bellingham Covenant and Lettered Streets Covenant,

Letha and I would like to extend an invitation to you to prayerfully consider the possibility of joining us in Lyon, France for an extraordinary opportunity to see our place of ministry and to gain understanding of the history of the Church in France and to better understand its current place in today’s culture.  We are putting together a twelve-day experiential visit to Lyon and to the central plateau of France from March 7th to 19th 2018.

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Upon your arrival we will take three days to explore Lyon, visiting many historical places relevant to the history of the church in Europe.  Lyon was founded more than 2,000 years ago by the Romans, just before the birth of Christ.  It became the first stronghold of Christianity in Western Europe after Rome.  We will look at the history of the church in France and understand more deeply the history of this complicated country.  We will worship in the French Free Church that Letha and I attend.

We will then proceed to the Vivarais-Lignon Plateau, located an hour and a half southwest of Lyon, where we will partake in a work project at La Costette, a camp where the French Free Church has many activities.  We will be collaborating with the local French Free Church in a work project for the camp.  This project will be the repainting of their main meeting hall and helping the camp get ready for the next season of campers.  This region was first touched by the Reformation as early as 1535.  We will visit the Museum of Chambon-sur-Lignon where the French government honors the Christian activists of the plateau in helping hundreds of Jewish children to escape certain death at the hands of the Nazi regime.  We will also visit the historical city of Le-Puy-en-Velay.

Here is the challenge.  Space is limited.  We very much would like to have this be a joint Bellingham Covenant and Lettered Streets adventure.  The cost of this experience is $1,125 plus air fare ($800-$1,000) for a total of approximately $2,000 per person.  Departure from Vancouver will be March 7th, arriving in Lyon on March 8th.  Departure will be Sunday evening, March 18th, arriving in Vancouver on March 19th.

We hope to see you in France!

John & Letha


If this sounds interesting to you and you'd like more information, please fill out our online form today and we will schedule an informational meeting soon.  Contact Steven Shetterly (steven@bellinghamcov.org) with any questions you might have.

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Love INC and Interfaith Events this Month

Two local organizations serving the needy in Whatcom County will be hosting important events this month. 

First up is Love INC's annual Fall Fundraiser, with a silent auction, a live auction and desserts, as well as an update on the direction of Love INC's ministry.  The Fall Fundraiser will be held this Friday, October 13th at Bellingham Covenant (1530 E. Bakerview).  Tickets are available for $35 through Love INC's website.

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Next week on Tuesday, October 17th, the Interfaith Coalition is holding their Annual Meeting, which is free and open to the public.  From Interfaith's description on their website:

Come. Be inspired. Share our hope and our work for a better future for everyone by attending our annual Hope Meeting, held each October. Congregational reps and friends are warmly invited to join us as we share highlights of the past year and look ahead to ambitious goals. Come for fellowship, inspiration and opportunities for how individuals and congregations can join in our work and mission.

This year's Annual Hope Meeting will be Tuesday, October 17 at 7 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church's Grace Center, 119 Texas Street in Bellingham. Please come and hear from families and volunteers who share stories of compassion and hope. Learn how you can help us serve additional homeless families through Family Promise. 

Please consider attending one or both of these events to support the important work being done in Bellingham and around Whatcom County.

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CAMPUS MINISTRY LEADER HOSTS NEEDED

Student leaders converge on Bellingham from ministries across the nation for a week of training in campus ministry.

Student leaders converge on Bellingham from ministries across the nation for a week of training in campus ministry.

This May 13-20 and/or June 10-17, host families are needed for campus ministry student leaders from across the country who will be coming to Bellingham for the Student Institute of Campus Ministry (SICM), hosted by Campus Christian Fellowship.  Please see the info sheet below for more information, or visit the SICM website (choose “Host” and then “Sign Up”) to learn more and to register as a host family.  Thanks for considering supporting this vital ministry!

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PLEASE PRAY – Compassion International and other Christian NGOs being forced out of India

We will take time to pray for this issue during our service on Sunday, 3/12, but wanted to get this time-sensitive information out as soon as possible.

International Christian ministries in India face growing pressure from a nationalist government suspicious of the influence of “foreign religion.”  Since the new government took power in 2014, over 10,000 nongovernmental organizations providing foreign aid to India have had their operating licenses revoked.  The most recent casualty of this battle is the Christian charity Compassion International, which has been prevented from distributing funds to its affiliates in India for months now.  Compassion will close its doors in India on March 15th absent any change in government policy.  In the world of private foreign aid, Compassion is a giant, providing close to $50 million annually to India in support of children’s nutrition, health and education.  145,000 children receive services through Compassion affiliates in India, which has operated in the country for 48 years. 

What you can do:

·       PRAY – Ask for God’s grace and provision for these children and their families, as a tremendous source of support is cut off.   Pray as well for Compassion and the many other Christian charity organizations which are seeking ways to continue ministering to India’s most vulnerable in an increasingly hostile environment.

·       LEARN – Read further about these developments in a recent New York Times article.  Also, Compassion's blog has several recent articles about the situation in India.

·       ADVOCATE – Compassion is asking for Americans to write their senators and representatives to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage them to petition India’s government for a temporary reprieve from the funding restrictions.  (It only takes a minute to fill out the online form using the above link and register your petition with your legislators).

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Lummi Bible Camp Volunteer Interest Meeting

February 19th from 11:00-11:30 AM in Classroom B

**** Note that this is a make-up meeting for those who weren't able to attend our meeting on January 29th.  If you came to the earlier meeting there's no need to come again! ****

This June, BCC has the privilege of serving at the Lummi Reservation by helping to staff and support the Lummi Bible Camp from June 22-25.

This is a camp for 7-12 year-olds which has been held for a number of years each June on the reservation.  The camp hosts between 30 and 60 youth each year.

We hope to gather a team of 8-12 adults and perhaps as many as 6 children (who could participate in the camp alongside the Lummi youth).  Consider attending the interest meeting if you have:

  • An interest in working at the Lummi Reservation or…
  • A heart for involvement missions or…
  • Children in the age range of the camp’s participants or…
  • Experience working with youth

We will have an informational meeting for anyone interested on Sunday, February 19th during our Life Together time (11:00-11:30). 

Please contact Steven Shetterly (steven@bellinghamcov.org) with any questions.

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Jesus and Culture - Documentary Screening and Discussion on Jan 22nd

These are some of the questions that the fascinating documentary Between a Shoe and the Roof explores.  Join us for a screening of this hour-long film and a time of sharing and discussion facilitated by Dr. Rhonda McEwen (a visiting scholar at Regent College) and Steven Shetterly (BCC’s Local and Global Outreach Director).

When:  Sunday, January 22nd from 12:15 to 2:45

Where: BCC Dining Room (located between the kitchen and the multipurpose room)  ** Lunch will be provided **

What: Documentary film screening and discussion time. 

Who: Anyone interested in culture, Christianity, outreach, theology and the way they interact.

Why: To help equip yourself and our church to live for Christ in an increasingly multicultural world, and to explore the ways in which culture shapes our thinking and practice as Christians.

** RSVP REQUIRED - PLEASE EMAIL STEVEN (steven@bellinghamcov.org) IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND **

Dr. Rhonda McEwen, a visiting scholar at Regent College, has over 25 years of intercultural teaching and training experience, living and working in a variety of countries. 

Steven Shetterly is the Director of Local and Global Outreach at BCC.  He has lived and taught overseas and has worked extensively with international populations here in the United States. 

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Kings Kalidescope Fundraiser for Skookum Kids

Community Event

Skookum Kids, a local ministry serving children who are entering the foster system will be hosting Seattle-area band Kings Kaleidoscope at the Mt Baker Theater on Saturday, Nov 19th at 7:30 PM. Director Ray Deck will take a few minutes on stage between sets to give an update on Skookum Kids and bring awareness to this wonderful ministry. Samuel Hebert, a singer-song writer from San Diego and the Ekklesia worship team will also be playing.

VIP tickets are available which includes a pre-show reception with the band, early entrance and concert poster. If you can rally a group of 10 or more people, there are group discounts - call the Mount Baker Theater for these tickets 360-734-6080.

For more information, see the Mt. Baker Theater website:  http://www.mountbakertheatre.com/shows/kings-kaleidoscope-2/

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"Blessed are the Peacemakers" documentary during Life Together - May 8th

Andy Larsen, a BCC supported peacemaker, photographer, and filmmaker will be visiting Bellingham Covenant Church on May 8th. Join us during our Life Together hour on May 8th for a screening of Larsen's new documentary, Blessed are the Peacemakers: A New Look at The West Bank and Jerusalem. 

For ten days in November, 2014 Larsen and Emmy Award-winning documentary producer John Yeager travelled to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and across The West Bank shooting their documentary.  What they came back with may change the way you look at this age-old conflict. If there is a chance for an end to hostilities in the region it would be found in the people Larsen and Yeager met along the way—ordinary Jews and Palestinians who simply want to live in peace.

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Missionary Luncheon Opportunity - Please RSVP

Roy and Aleta Danforth, Covenant missionaries in the Central African Republic, will be visiting us on Sunday, March 13th.  They will speak briefly about their agricultural ministry in the CAR during the service and will be invited to share more in-depth during a luncheon afterwards.  We will gather at the meeting room in Jalapenos Restaurant (Barkley Village) at 12:30 Sunday afternoon.  Please RSVP by Thursday (3/10) by email to steven@bellinghamcov.org or by phone to 360-527-5176 so that we can have a final count for the restaurant. 

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Service opportunity: Food for shelter

Bellingham Covenant contributes an auction item each year to the Interfaith Coalition Annual Auction.  Interfaith provides emergency and transitional housing for homeless families as well as shelter in extreme weather and support for our marginalized neighbors in Whatcom County.  

This year we will be donating a Supper of the Month.  Therefore we need 12 volunteer cooks to prepare a fully cooked and "ready to heat" meal for 4, including dessert.  You can do it with a friend, or with your small group.  Think homemade lasagna, salad, and breadsticks or Enchiladas with chips and guacamole.  You decide what you are willing to prepare, you will be assigned a month, and then you simply bring the food to church on the first Sunday of your month and we will deliver it.  It would be great to have dishes that are family favorites.

To sign up for a month please email or talk to Nathan Dwyer (dwyern9@yahoo.com).  We need 12 cooks to volunteer to put together this tasty item for the auction.

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Prayer for the persecuted church - follow-up

For those of you who were in our Sunday service on Nov. 8, you'll recall we participated in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, standing with our brothers and sisters around the world who face discrimination, intimidation and even violence for their beliefs.  As a follow-up to that time, we encourage you to check out two very worthwhile websites focused on revealing the persecution of Christians worldwide:  Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs.  Both have a plethora of resources to help you know how to pray for and support specific countries and believers who are facing these challenges.  

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.  (Hebrews 13:3)

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CCF Whatcom Coming to BCC!

This Sunday (11/1) the guest speakers for our Living Missionally class will be Joey Kelly and Kristin Sale, the campus pastors with Campus Christian Fellowship at Whatcom Community College.  These are some passionate, gifted, fun individuals who will be sharing their heart (and God's heart) for the local/global missions field right down the road from us.  Hope you can make it!

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Talk Time!

Hello friends--a quick announcement to let you know about International Talk Time, a wonderful outreach to international students from Whatcom Community College that YOU can be involved in.

Talk Time is a relationship-building time in which native English speakers get together to share a meal, play games and chat with international students from all over the world.  It's been popular among the students (averaging 30-40 students each week) and is a fantastic way to learn about culture and build bridges with students from cultures and backgrounds vastly different from ours.

Although it's hosted by Campus Christian Fellowship, there are a number of folks from BCC involved.  We meet once every other week (Fridays from 5-7 PM) near Whatcom's campus.  Feel free to show up and check it out--no commitment required and no strings attached (though fair warning:  You might get hooked after just one meeting).

If you're the type who enjoys cooking for large groups, we always need people to prepare meals.  Contact Steven (link below) if you'd like to get involved.

See the flyer for dates and the street address.  Feel free to email Steven Shetterly (steven@bellinghamcov.org) for more information, and be sure to check out their Facebook page.

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The Missions News Site is Up

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The Missions News Site is Up

Anyone recognize this?  Maybe it's not the most exciting picture to start your Missions News blog off with, but it's an important one.  This is, in fact, the exit from our church parking lot onto Bakerview Road.  It's the route most of us take as we're heading home or to lunch (or to Costco) after service on Sunday.  And I hope that we also come to see it as the entrance to the mission field.  As we gather to worship Jesus, hear from God's Word, pray and have fellowship with one another every Sunday morning, we are then scattered into the world again to be the Church for those around us.

While you're here, you might want to check out our Mission Updates page, with the latest newsletter updates from missionaries that Bellingham Covenant supports (please have patience as we add them on one-by-one).  You might also be interested in reviewing the materials from our Missions Classes, the first of which is currently meeting on Sundays during our Life Together hour.

I hope you'll check back here every so often to see what's happening in our church, our community and our world in terms of outreach and missions.  And I pray that, as a church, we'll begin to see ourselves as the missionaries we are.

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