LIFEline is a bi-monthly publication created by members of the Bethel Christian Fellowship family to share stories of life, faith, and hope from Minnesota and around the globe.

Operating as usual 11/17/2020

Finding Freedom & Liberty

How did Gwynder find her way to Bethel? By Gwynder Robinson How do I begin this journey of how I came to Bethel Christian Fellowship? Today is June 9, 2020, and I’m reflecting back that it was a very challenging time. My spiritual … 08/14/2020

Church Shopping

Benjamin suggests that Church shopping is the worst kind of shopping, but sometimes you end up at Bethel. By Benjamin Mason Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Church shopping is the worst. I don’t enjoy it, and my anxiety rises as I think about it. The most comfortable way for me to find a … 08/13/2020

New Doors Opened

What brought Dominic and Kailey across state lines instead of overseas? Was it Vikings football? In the summer of 2019, we crossed state lines from WI to MN for several reasons, none of which included switching football allegiance to the Vikings (Go Pack Go!). Dominic was beginning medical sch… 08/10/2020

Ten Terms from the Twenty-Tens

What new terms have we picked up the past 10 years at Bethel? By Liz Kimmel The thought of being cancelled is something to regret, Unless you think of Jesus – how He’s cancelled all our debt. A meme is meant to capture something cool you’d like to share. Our … 08/10/2020

Editor’s Note: The Decade of the Tens

Here we are... the 2010's! Does it feel like they just happened? Or does it feel like a lifetime ago? By Liz Kimmel As you read through our wonderful articles from people who have come to Bethel during the 2010s, notice that they share some similarities with catch-words from the same time period: P… 07/30/2020

A Destiny of Irresistible Influence

In Ken's Korner this issue, Ken writes about the "Year of Destiny" at BCF and what that looked like for the church over the years from 2000-2009. By Ken Holmgren In our March/April LIFEline, I described how God called BCF to practice the foundational value that “our life and vitality as a congregation is dependent upon prayer.” The latter ye… 07/28/2020

Weekly Reminders of Our Annual Themes

At BCF, we have a tradition of having an annual theme for each year. 2020 is the year is the Year of the Just King. Each year, we have artists that collaborate with our pastor to design a bulletin cover and banner to reflect the coming year's theme. In this story, one of our former bulletin cover artists Greta Sandquist shares about the process of designing and creating artwork. By Greta Sandquist (interviewed by Liz Kimmel) For many years, only three people (other than Pastor Jim) knew the annual theme ahead of time. These were the artists involved with creating the bull… 07/27/2020

The Birth of CCCC

Read about the founding of Cross Culture Community Church, including stories from Pastor Sam Snyder and member/missionary Bethany Rasmussen. A Beautiful Time By Sam Snyder (Lead Pastor at CCCC) The last 11 years have been a beautiful time filled with several different seasons. Before moving to Minneapolis to lead Cross Culture, Sarah an… 07/23/2020

Empty Chairs

Rebekah Hanson writes about being caretakers at Bethel during COVID-19 and what God is teaching her during this time. By Rebekah Hanson These chairs have sat empty for over 3 months. The warm greetings, laughter, hugs, singing and prayer that used to fill this sanctuary every Sunday have been silenced. Does my chu… 07/22/2020


Bethel participates in the life of the larger church community- especially on the local level. In the recent past, LEDTS was a combined effort with local churches to promote learning and community.. By Andrew Gross Back in the early 2000s, Bethel Christian Fellowship joined three area churches to begin a school of discipleship for the whole family. We called it the “Leading Edge Discipleship T… 07/17/2020

Transformed by Family

We think of the Bethel community as family. This is a family story about Bethelites in different seasons of life.. by Allan & Joan Button When Yollaine Mulatre invited Joan and Allan Button to join her at BCF on Mother’s Day, 2002 it began a new adventure, a new life for this 63-year-old couple. Life is a … 06/16/2020

What my kids are teaching me about race

Anna Haugen has a great blog to check out. This entry is part of our series on current events in St Paul, and how they impact BCF members.

Click on the link at the top of the article to visit Anna's blog, Midlife Creative. Visit Anna’s Blog by Anna Haugen A common question these days on social media is “How are you teaching your kids about racism?” I wish I had an amazing 5 step answer that showed that I am the… 06/15/2020

Taking the Kids to the Protest

When protesting is a family activity... by Benjamin Mason When I was growing up, “protests” were something that happened in the 60s and 70s, probably involving hippies. There were also “marches”, which were diffe… 06/05/2020

Being the Church in the World

During our ongoing challenges, what does it look like to be the Church in the world?

There are plenty of examples, and we want to share a few... It’s a challenging and confusing time in the Twin Cities, with bad news seemingly being chased by worse news each day. We all face challenges in different ways, but one of the unifying messag… 05/28/2020

Finding My Fit

Matthew Cox shares about finding BCF during his time at Macalester College. By Matthew Cox “I don’t remember you attending BCF back in 2002,” is the response I most often get from old-timers when I tell them I started attending BCF in college. “Do you remember the kid with… 05/26/2020

The Birth of S.A.L.T.

17 years ago, SALT - Somali Adult Literacy Training - was formed. BCF members played an important role at the beginning by ministering to Somali neighbors through teaching English. Read about the history of the ministry in this story by David Pestel. By David Pestel “Look across the street!” Mike Neterer, in Minnesota preparing with his family to return to some of the least reached people groups on the planet, felt he heard a guiding word from … 05/22/2020

Blessed with Spiritual Growth

Hear from Heidi as Ken relates the story of her first time coming to Bethel. Heidi Bergstedt’s Story By Ken Holmgren Sunday, July 27, 2003, was a significant day in the life of Heidi Joy Bergstedt. It was the first time she came to Bethel Christian Fellowship. Heidi Joy cam… 05/19/2020

Building His Church Through Prayer

How did Bethel's mission draw the Underwoods to darken the doorstep? Read their story here.. By Karen Underwood When James and I saw BCF’s entry in the Yellow Pages, “Called to be a House of Prayer for All Nations”, we were cautiously excited. Did they really mean it? In spiritual invento… 05/15/2020

Finding Community

Did you know that BCF used to have a Mom's Life group? In this article, Cherie Monge shares about finding community through this group after she first starting attending BCF.

"It was in this decade, in this group, that my understanding of God’s vastness, of His creativity, and of the profound value He places on His image bearers shifted the necessity of community to my life. Little did I know that from this group of church ladies, this collective of strong, smart, compassionate, wise, sacrificing, fierce women, would come my essential community of true, deep, life-long relationships." By Cherie Monge The year was 2000, we heard our first theme message – A Year of Joy, and we were intrigued. We were looking for a place of worship in our neighborhood with authentic preaching and a… 04/07/2020

What Was it Like to be a New Christian at BCF in the 90s?

Join us in the time machine and let's go back 25 years! By Pastor Andrew & Sarah Gross When we first set foot at Bethel Christian Fellowship in the early 1990s, we stepped into a world that was completely foreign to us. It wasn’t foreign because we … 04/02/2020

BCF TEAM Work (1986 – 2020)

Current BCF Pastor Steven Rasmussen embarked on a mission to Tanzania in 1995 and joined TEAM (Training East African Ministers) at Lake Victoria Christian College. Learn about the start of the ministry and its development over the years in this article.

"As we gained education and experience, Tanzanian graduates of the school gradually took over more teaching and leadership. For a dozen years now, local leaders have run the school with excellence." By Pastor Steve Rasmussen (Sent from BCF in 1995) “I can’t do it! How can I possibly teach these experienced ministers?!” Just a year out of college, with only a few months of youth pastoring exper… 03/30/2020

A Legacy to Remember and Continue

What was it like to grow up at BCF through the 90's? By Sam Holmgren My primary “growing-up” years occurred in the 90s at Bethel, when I was ages five to fifteen. I can tell a lot of stories, but the one thing I always felt was that Bethel Christian … 03/27/2020

Finding Home and Family

Todd & Carole reflect on how they made BCF their home and the different ministries they have been apart of here. By Todd & Carole Pankow Todd and I moved to the Twin Cities in the summer of 1993, having secured teaching positions (Carole in Special Education in a public school and Todd as a music teacher … 03/25/2020

A Family for All Seasons

Continuing our look back on Bethel history, Peg remembers walking through the doors for the first time and what that's meant for her over the years.. By Peg McCormick (member since 1995) In 1995 our family of six walked through the doors of Bethel Christian Fellowship for the first time. I remember that we were warmly greeted. Our kids went to t… 03/22/2020

Bethel: The Early 90s

Hear from Pastor Jim & Annette Olson about how BCF became a "House of Prayer for All Nations" in the 1990s.

"One significant aspect of our call to Bethel was an invitation to help the congregation rediscover its sense of identity and destiny, 'Who are we?', and 'What are we called to do?'" By Pastor Jim & Annette Olson (Members since 1984) We first came to Bethel (then Bethel Temple) in the summer of 1983 right after our marriage and honeymoon. We moved to Minnesota from Chicago… 03/21/2020

Editor’s Note: The Blessings of our Annual Themes

LIFEline is telling Bethel's history through the stories of its members. This issue focuses on member arrivals in the 1990's.. By Liz Kimmel Pastor Jim Olson came to Bethel Christian Fellowship as our lead pastor in 1990. Beginning in 1991, he instituted Annual Theme Sunday, at which time we hear the prophetic word over o… 02/01/2020

Memories from the 60’s – 80’s

More from living memories: Gene VanVeldhuizen: Alvina and I lived in Clara City, which is a town about 110 miles west of the Twin Cities. After my conversion and Alvina’s rededication to the Lord, we began to attend the Mon… 02/01/2020

Four Words to Increase Our Capacity

In time for our annual meeting, memories from the past: By Paul Holmgren Those of us who remember Bethel’s years under the leadership of Pastor Lloyd Jacobson (1972-1989) should focus on four words within the context of the word Capacity. All four words… 02/01/2020

40 Years of Fruitful Ministry By John and Juni Varughese   Who shall despise the day of small things? (Zechariah 4: 10). This scripture was given to us by Rev. Harold Brokke of Bethany Fellowship, Bloomington, MN when we a… 01/29/2020

Blossoming as the Rose

It's a new year for LIFEline and a milestone year for BCF- 90 years strong!
We're taking time this year to review living memories from our members. Click on the first article below where Ken introduces the series, and subscribe on the blog to get each article delivered to your inbox! By Ken Holmgren This year—on August 19, 2020—Bethel Christian Fellowship will celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of its incorporation as the “Bethel Association.” As our LIFEline staff was remembe… 11/28/2019

Compassion for Our Grasping Fears

Happy Thanksgiving!
Liz Reid reached out to tell us about life in Thailand: by Liz Reid At the end of my street, motorcycle repairmen daily set out a small plate with doll-sized portions of food and drink on a plastic stool. For the local gods. For protection. On the highw… 11/09/2019

To Minnesota and Beyond

Read about Justin's journey to Minnesota (via New York!)
New LIFEline is out tomorrow! By Rich Doebler He was an immigrant, 30 years old, with a wife, a young family, and an uncertain future in a strange, new land. They were waiting in a New York hotel, waiting to learn where the aut… 11/06/2019

Administering the Fruit of the Sprit

LIFEline Online is back with more stories from the Bethel Community about the Fruits of the Spirit... By Anna Williams The traits of kindness and goodness have made me reflect the Spirit in the way I interact with the residents at the assisted living facility where I work as a resident assistant. K… 03/14/2019

2019 Bulletin Cover

A section-by-section look at Andy Mork's featured artwork for this year's bulletin... By Andy Mork   In thinking about the cover design, I started off by spending much time reading Isaiah 42. I saw different visuals in my mind, so the artwork began as three separate sections. T… 12/15/2018

Be All That You are Called to Be

Pastor Dave Ogren seems to be recruiting people... by Pastor Dave Ogren, Sr. STEWARDSHIP: Webster’s Dictionary defines stewardship as: “The careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” Without question the issue of ste…



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