From the President
Hello to everyone who is
a supporter of Bethesda Lutheran Communities Auxiliary and/or Bethesda Lutheran
Communities. As Paul writes in
Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”, I am also thankful
to God for all of you and your support and prayers in support of persons with
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This will be my first
article as President of the Bethesda Auxiliary so I will begin my article with
some information about who I am. I have served
as the Treasurer of the Auxiliary for six years and as the First Vice-President
for four years before being elected President.
I have also been active in the Colorado Unit for quite some time serving
as President and Vice-President of the unit.
I reside with my husband, Craig, in Julesburg, Colorado. We are active members of St. Paul Lutheran
Church in Julesburg.
The Governing Board
welcomes two new couples to our board.
The first couple is Rev. Dr. Martin Koeller and his wife, Linda, from Robertsville,
Missouri. Pastor Koeller is serving as
the Pastoral Counselor for the Board and Linda serves as Vice-President and
Assistant Editor of the Auxiliary’s newsletter “Shepherd’s News”. The couple recently retired after forty years
in the pastoral ministry in the LCMS.
They have three grown, married children and seven grandchildren
including two granddaughters with developmental disabilities.
The second couple
welcomed to the board is Rev. Dennis Voss and his wife,
Joyce, from Mandan, North Dakota. Pastor Voss is serving as Corresponding
Secretary for the Board and Joyce serves as the Treasurer/Budget
Controller. This couple also recently
retired from the pastoral ministry in the LCMS after serving twenty years in
Wisconsin. Pastor Voss also served
twenty-six years and retired from the US Air Force. Joyce is a retired nurse,
among other things. The couple has three children and seven grandchildren. They are excited about the opportunity to
serve an organization that serves individuals in need of assistance with many things we take for granted on a daily basis.
Communities and Bethesda Lutheran Communities Auxiliary are planning to have an
information booth at the National LWML Convention in Lexington, Kentucky, on
June 24-27, 2021. If you are planning to
attend the LWML Convention, please stop by the booth and say “hello”. We look forward to meeting some of our
supporters and sharing Bethesda’s awesome work with all the attendees at the
I Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for
this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” is my closing prayer for
you. May God be with you and you with
Him now and always.
Reaching forward in faith and serving in love,
President, Bethesda Auxiliary
From the Pastoral Counselor
“Nothing to Be Afraid Of”
“It is I; don’t be afraid” John 6:20
The disciples had
all the reason in the world to be frightened.
They were in the process of crossing the Sea of Galilee when suddenly a
storm arose, the wind blew, and the waves tumbled. No wonder they were afraid.
To make matters worse, they thought they saw someone walking toward them on the
water. They thought it was a ghost. Now they were not just afraid, they were
probably terrified. Then, suddenly,
they heard the comforting voice of Jesus: “It is I; don’t be afraid.”
in our lives cause us to be afraid: health problems, the Covid-19 pandemic,
money problems, natural disasters, wars, and terrorism. For many, the thought of death and what
follows is terrifying.
Jesus says, “Don’t
be afraid.” He conquered death when He
died for us on the cross. If we believe
in Him, death is the gateway to eternal life.
No matter what our current circumstances are, our future is secure in
the hands and care of God. We can say with the psalmist, “The Lord is my
shepherd … Even thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort
me” (Psalm 23:1,4).
frightening times in life seen to come when we face our fears alone: the person
who walks alone at night; the patient who awaits surgery with no one by their
side; the elderly who have no one to visit them as they lay dying in the
nursing homes. In the Bethesda Communities and in our own homes we can, with
confidence, remind ourselves and others that God is always with us.
We can be there for
each other, too! We can encourage one another with our presence so no one needs
to feel alone. We can also build each
other up (because we need to be reminded of this often, even ourselves) with
the reassurance that the Lord is always with us. He will never leave us nor
forsake us. Nothing will ever separate us from His love. Even death has no
power over Him. We have nothing to be afraid of! God is with us!
Dear Lord, I trust
in You. I know that when I feel afraid,
I can turn to You for comfort and strength.
Sincerely in Christ’s comfort,
Rev. Dr. Martin E. Koeller