Click here for 2013 Capital Campaign "The Bethel Idea - God's Plan in Our Time" Events
2014 Stewardship & 2014 - 2016 Capital Campaign - A Message from Mike Flint, Arlen & Judy Christenson
As January 29, we have received 469 three year capital pledges totaling $3,463,879 and 713 one year ministry /general fund pledges totaling $1,639,197. There are still 179 households who pledged last year, who have not yet returned their 2014 pledge card – please bring or send them in!
Sincerely, Mike Flint, Arlen & Judy Christenson - The Bethel Idea Co-chairs
2014 Stewardship & 2014 - 2016 Capital Campaign - Pledge Card Info
Thanks to all who have already provided financial commitments for 2014 Stewardship and 2014 - 2016 Capital Campaign.
Pledge cards may be mailed to: Bethel Lutheran Church, 312 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI 53703.
Your estimates of giving cards may also be placed in offering plates during Saturday evening or Sunday morning worship services. If you need another commitment card, they are available below. (We request that you include your envelope number if you are not able to use a data filled card that was mailed to you.)
Simply Giving® Form - Bethel Member Enrollment and Authorization Form
The Bethel Idea Campaign Materials
as mailed to members
2014 Commitment Weekend
Excerpt from October 30, 2013 Bethelite
During the worship services of November 16 and 17 the entire Bethel community will have the joy and opportunity of making their pledges and financial commitments for BOTH the 2014 Ministry Plan and to The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time capital campaign.
During the week of November 10 a packet of information will be mailed to the congregation that contains the discernment, aspirations and dreams of hundreds of Bethel leaders. I ask you to make time to carefully, and prayerfully read through the various information and inspirational pieces in that packet.
The birth of The Bethel Idea did not begin in 2008 or 2009 when the specifics of today's plan began to emerge. It was 1966 when Bethel purchased the final piece of property so that it owned the entire city block. From that time on, and for the next 40+ years dreams for how mission and ministry could expand and flourish at this site have germinated. What we have before us today is the prayerful discernment of God's future path for Bethel, along with the realization of dreams over the past decades.
In the packet of information and inspiration to help prepare for Commitment Weekend there will be an information brochure about The Bethel Idea. There will also be a Creative Giving Guide as well as information about the 2014 Ministry Plan. The financial support of the Ministry Plan provides the funding for the 2014 operating budget. All pledges and gifts to the capital campaign are in addition to the offerings and tithes that support the Ministry Plan.
Everyone will receive TWO personalized pledge cards, one for the 2014 Operating Budget and the other for The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time capital campaign. The Operating Budget pledge card is a one year commitment. The capital campaign pledge card is for the duration of the three years
of the capital campaign.
The congregation is asked to bring BOTH pledge cards to worship on the weekend of November 16 and 17. At every worship service time will be allotted for all to come forward and place their commitments in baskets near the altar. The simple act of walking these gifts to the altar is symbolic of offering our whole lives to Jesus.
The challenge before us is great, but the Bible reminds us that with God all things are possible. As one of your pastors I cannot urge you strongly enough to prayerfully consider your financial commitment to the 2014 Ministry Plan which support the operating budget, and for The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time capital campaign. It is not overstating the case that the pledges we together make will impact the missional reach of Bethel for decades to come.
Let me leave you with a word of Scripture I have quoted before during this campaign, from I Chronicles 28:20, "Be strong and courageous and get to work. Don't be frightened by the size of the task for the Lord my God is with you. He will not forsake you. He will see to it that everything is finished correctly."
Click here to view the Proposed Bethel Idea Building Expansion Video
Excerpt from September 25, 2013 Bethelite
I like to plan. I get excited by the planning process. I like the anticipation and the build-up. Within the planning process the possibilities are countless and it is through the deliberative planning process that the countless choices and possibilities are narrowed down to a specific course of action.
This describes when I am involved in planning a dinner party, planning a vacation, or joining with others as we discern and plan the specifics of The Bethel Idea. The congregation has clearly discerned the key components of The Bethel Idea, but as the Schematic Design Phase with the architects moves forward, there are a lot of moving pieces, choices, and possibilities to insure that the brick and mortar aspect of The Bethel Idea matches the God-driven plans.
What the architects, Building Committee, and Sub-Committees are working on and planning now is looking at how all of the pieces will best fit together. Would music ministry be better served here or there? With the child care center here, what should be there? Could youth ministry be here, and the library there, and the nursery over here and the archives there? You understand. Possibilities. Planning. And as I sit in the room and listen to the passion and wisdom shared around the tables; I feel the Holy Spirit. It is palpable how everyone is working together so that the collective wisdom and the leadings of God guide the process.
While these building plans continue to evolve and take shape, simultaneously our capital campaign, God's Plan in Our Time is building momentum. By now you should have received the inspiring Daily Devotional booklet written by our Bethel community. I urge you to set aside some time each day to read another author's sharing of their heart and their faith. Your days will be enriched by these stories of deep faith. You should also have received the Capital Campaign brochure. Please set aside time to read it thoroughly. You will hear an inspiring word from Arlen & Judy Christenson, two of our co-chairs. Questions are addressed in two pages of FAQs.
You will also read in the brochure some highlights of our 2014 operating budget as we prepare for Commitment Weekend November 16/17 when we will offer our commitments to BOTH the capital campaign and the 2014 operating budget. I especially ask you to take note of the pictures, pictures of both past and present of Bethel. If a picture is worth a thousand words, these images speak a tome full of pages.
As these days of both planning and action unfold all around us, I will continue to ask for your prayers. Pray for our Bethel community. Pray that God's guiding hand will continue to lead. Pray for courage as we take hold of God's plan. Pray for sacrificial and generous hearts whose passion burns deep to love and serve Jesus and the world.
Joyfully, Pastor Scot
2013 Capital Campaign Kick-Off
Excerpt from September 11, 2013 Bethelite
In a little more than a week our long awaited capital campaign, The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time will kick-off. But in fact, many Bethel members have been hard at work on the capital campaign for months and months.
Teams of volunteers have been recruited. Some will be making phone calls, others visits and others involved in planning. Special worship services are planned for the weekends of September 21/22, October 26/27 and November 16/17. A banquet has been planned for YOU and you can choose to attend either on Sunday, October 6 or Monday, October 7. And, the campaign culminates with Commitment Weekend on November 16/17 when we all will have the privilege to present two commitment cards; one for the general fund operating budget of Bethel, and the second for the capital campaign. But, before we arrive at Commitment Weekend, the community of Bethel will spend a focused time of prayer and reflection as we continue to seek God's guidance.
The capital campaign theme, The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time is a simple reminder that everything that we do as a community is God focused. We worship God. We pray to God. We give thanks to God and we present ourselves, as St. Paul says, "a living sacrifice" to God. While we firmly believe the impetus and dream of The Bethel Idea is from God, it is our time and our turn to live into God's plan and vision for Bethel. The faithful forebears of our Bethel Community have paved the way for us and now it is our time to prepare for the generations who will follow us.
You will soon receive the first official communication piece from the capital campaign team, and that is a Daily Devotional. This 65 day devotional has been written by Bethel members and contains moving stories of faith and inspiration. I would ask you to commit yourself from today until November 17 to read daily from the devotional. It has been said more than once that a congregation can only move forward while on its knees, so it is true now that we will only move forward through prayer. Let us commit together to make this fall 2013 a season of devotion and prayer.
So far I have asked you to pray and read the daily devotion that will be mailed to you. I have two more things I would ask of you. So item
number three is to read carefully the materials that will be sent to
you. The Bethel leadership wants
you to be informed about not only The Bethel Idea but about all of the daily ministries that abound
at Bethel. Please read thoroughly
the Bethelite and special mailings that will come to you. And finally, request number four is to say "Thank You" to the many people who are working faithfully
on behalf of our congregation. Space does not allow me to
list the four pages of volunteers, but when you receive a phone call, or a note, thank those who serve.
May God's light continue to guide our path.
Excerpt from the August 21, 2013 Bethelite - The Bethel Idea
Since congregation approval on July 14 many aspects of The Bethel Idea have been moving forward. The survey process has begun. Contract with the architectural firms have been signed and initial meeting dates between Building Committee and Architects have been scheduled. And, the Site Readiness Committee will be meeting soon to consider issues involving the City of Madison and the Steensland House. Much has been done, yet exciting work remains before us.
There has also been tremendous amount of work being done with the Capital Campaign, whose theme and logo you see at the top of this page, "The Bethel Idea: God's Plan in Our Time." The theme reflects the ongoing discernment process of the Bethel congregation. "God's plan" makes explicit the reality that these dreams were birthed as God put them into the hearts of members of this community years ago. It is God's work we are about and God's plan that we embrace. God's plan, not our plan. However, it is "our time."
While generations before have provided for us in rich and abundant ways, now it is "our time" and our privilege to be called into such service, a service to equip Bethel for the 21st century of ministry. Over the past few months the capital campaign teams have been hard at work recruiting people for a variety of tasks. Over sixty are writing devotionals that will inspire and uplift the whole community. Another seventy-plus have agreed to pray and make phone calls, and they are recruiting another sixty to join that team. The Advance Gifts team is hard at work inviting some to be early participants in providing pledges for the campaign. Others are planning special worship services and still more are planning special banquets.
The whole capital campaign will officially kick-off on the weekend of September 21 & 22. Then, everyone will be invited to attend either one of the two banquets scheduled for Sunday, October 6 and Monday, October 7. Other key events will include a MissionFest on Reformation weekend, a "Concert of Prayer" on November 13 and a Prayer Vigil on November 14/15.
The campaign will culminate with Commitment Weekend of November 16 & 17 when we will complete our pledge cards BOTH for the annual general fund and for the capital appeal. Much is underway and many hands are at work both in the planning of the building and its ministries as well as the planning of the capital campaign. If you are already involved, I say "Thank You." If you have not yet had the opportunity, I would ask you to prayerfully consider how you can play your part in "God's Plan in Our Time."
- Pastor Scot Sorensen
The Bethel Idea - Case Statement - PDF
Financial Consolidated Summary - PDF - Updated October 2013
Excerpt from the June 26, 2013 Bethelite, Pastor's Study - The Bethel Idea
Conversations about the Bethel Idea are occurring in every part of our congregation. The Bethel Idea is unique as a congregational building project because it is not building a sanctuary, nor is it building Sunday School classrooms. The Bethel Idea is the conglomeration of a multitude of needs, dreams, visions and plans.
Is it a new child care center? YES! An expanded after-school program? YES! A new recreation space? YES! A new contemporary worship space? YES! A new food service venue? YES! Expanded onsite parking? YES! A new location and use for the Steensland House? YES! New flexible meeting space? YES!
My heart is filled with hope, and a fair measure of trepidation as we walk into God's future for Bethel. Trepidation because this is truly a GOD-SIZED undertaking. This is not a project that the community of Bethel can accomplish on our own. This is only possible under God's leadership, God's guidance and God providing the necessary resources. But I am also filled with hope because this will set Bethel on a path to serve this community and our congregation for decade upon decade.
I am convinced that the Christian Church of the 21st century will look more like the church of the 1st century than it will look like the church of the 20th century. The 1st century church existed in a culture that was hostile or ambivalent to the needs of the church, understood its primary mission field to be its community, and knew that it had to make disciples and form Christian community if the church would survive and thrive. The church of the 20th century was supported by a friendly culture, typically viewed the mission field as someplace other than its front door, and looked to community events, and schools to help it form community and disciples.
A congregation that thrives in the 21st century will be a congregation that recognizes the ambivalence of culture, will see its neighborhood as its mission field, and will be intentional about making disciples and forming Christian community. The building of the Bethel Idea will not do any of these key items. But, it will enable Bethel to engage the mission field of our neighborhood, form Christian community in new and creative ways, and practice discipleship making with those new to the faith.
The conversation about the Bethel Idea will continue for weeks, months, and probably years to come. I invite and encourage you to join the conversation, learn more about the details on the church website, forums on Sundays July 7 & 14, and attend the Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, July 14 at 3 pm.
Joyfully, Pastor Scot
Supporting Documents for The Bethel Idea Case Statement
Summaries from each subcommittee
Luther's Table Summary - PDF
Steensland House Summary - PDF
Summer Program Summary - PDF
Sports & Recreation Summary - PDF
After School Program Summary - PDF
Parking Summary - PDF
Public Meeting & Reception Summary - PDF
Child Care Center Summary - PDF
Music & Arts Summary - PDF
Financial projections and Excel workbooks
Consolidated Summary - PDF - Updated October 2013
Luther's Table Financial Projection Workbook - PDF
Steensland House Financial Projection Workbook - PDF
Summer Program Financial Projection Workbook - PDF - Updated October 2013
Sports & Recreation Financial Projection Workbook - PDF
After School Program Financial Projection Workbook - PDF
Parking Financial Projection Workbook - PDF
Child Care Center Financial Projection Workbook - PDF - Updated August 2013
Final reports from subcommittees
Luther's Table Final Report - PDF
Steensland House Final Report - PDF
Child Care Center Final Report - PDF
Congregational Use Final Report - PDF
Food Service Final Report - PDF
Music & Arts Final Report - PDF
5-29-13 The Bethel Idea - Case Statement
Read more about The Bethel Idea, our vision to love and serve our neighbors in the coming decades.
Please remember in your prayers the Bethel idea Building Committee:
For patience and openness of congregation members to the possibilities, and for faith to accept challenges associated with the development. Amen.
THANK YOU for your participation!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Church Assessment Tool (CAT) survey in March. The results will be tabulated, shared with congregational leadership, and then with the congregation.
From Pastor Scot Sorensen, March 6, 2013
PLANNING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER!
As you may be aware, Bethel is in the midst of a time of discernment during which we are gathering information to guide our decisions about the Bethel Idea specifically and our future in general. Recently, you have heard and read about one aspect of this process: The Church Assessment Tool (CAT). This tool will provide a clearer picture of who we are as a church and what directions might be important for our future. Your response is very important to us.
We are asking the entire membership of Bethel to participate in the CAT. Each active member of the church in your household that is over the age of 16 and capable of responding to the questions is invited to participate. We ask that you take the on-line assessment as soon as possible, but before March 31. All answers are strictly confidential. We have no way of matching any assessment to a particular person, so please feel free to candidly share your perceptions, opinions and experiences. The assessment will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Please set aside enough time to complete the survey all at one time. Our future together is dependent on your participation and honest answers.
From Pastor Scot Sorensen, January 16, 2013 Bethelite:
Executive Summary Architect of Design Selection Process
The Selection Team: The Site Preparedness Committee (formerly the Urban Site Committee) was tasked with the responsibility to select a design architect for the Bethel Idea. The members of that committee are: Jill Derr (chair), Randy Alexander, Vern Leibbrandt, Paul Moen, Peder Moren, Tim Semmann, Diane Wiedenbeck, Fred Zimmermann, and staff members Darren Chicks, Alice Mowbray and Pastor Scot Sorensen.
The Process: In September ten local and regional architectural firms were given a Request for Proposal (RFP) and submitted their interest and qualifications for the Bethel Idea project. Those proposals were reviewed and three firms were selected to enter a design competition. The three competing firms were Aro Eberle Architects/Cunningham Group, BWZ Architects and Strang Inc. They were all provided the Master Site Plan document submitted to the city and asked to provide exterior elevations and floor plans. In early November all three architectural firms presented their design proposals to the committee.
The three proposals were then submitted for peer review. The peer review noted such things as total square footage, code compliance and cost estimates. The ingress and egress of each design was submitted to the City of Madison traffic/parking for their review.
All three designs, and all three firms showed creativity as well as demonstrated experience in working with client, community and city. All three firms were enthusiastic about the possibility to partner with Bethel in this project.
The Selection: After several meetings, detailed peer review and honest conversation the Committee recommends Aro Eberle Architects/Cunningham Group to be the Architect of Design for our Bethel Idea. Their stated goals for the project are:
These goals are met in a design with a tapered building off of Carroll Street which serves as welcoming arms and provides logical entry way for the entire campus. The design also features one-way entrance to the underground parking garage off of Johnson Street and one-way exit onto Gorham Street.
The design creates a strong, efficient circulation spine between the new and existing building. It provides an open, yet secure outdoor daycare space maximizing daylight. There is a new, welcoming entrance off of Carroll Street with a shared public garden inviting pedestrians on to the campus. There is a centralized vertical circulation that will efficiently serve all levels. There is a clean and separate vehicle circulation between parking garage and day care drop off.
The design has some downsides that will need to be addressed. The short-term surface parking count is low, only 12 space. There is along travel path for day care drop off. An additional stairwell will be needed to service the third level where the gymnasiums are located and the central stairwell will need be enclosed. As currently drawn the third floor extends over the property line and more restrooms will be needed on the third floor, too.
Even with the stated downsides of the proposed design, the selection committee did not see those as insurmountable obstacles.
Executive Summary Capital Campaign Consultant Selection Process
The Selection Team: Barb Armstrong, Bob Westervelt, Ed Young and Pastor Scot Sorensen
The Process: After reviewing references, four national firms were selected to be interviewed; Horizons Stewardship, Kairos & Associates, James D. Klote & Associates, and RSI Stewardship. The interviews were held in October and three of the four firms sent the consultant who would be assigned to Bethel for the interview.
The Selection: The selection team was impressed with three of the four firms interviewed. The relative costs of each of those three firms were similar. In the end, the selection came down to “fit” and “feel.” Two finalists were chosen and more reference checks were researched. Both received glowing referrals from congregations who would choose them again. In the end, the selection team chose Kairos & Associates and the Rev. Blair Anderson to be Bethel’s ministry partner in leading our capital campaign.
The Phases: There will be four phases to the campaign. Phase One is the Listening Phase. During this time period in the winter/spring small group and individual interviews will be held, along with a full congregational online assessment. Phase Two will be to take the learning’s from the Listening Phase and apply them to the Preparing Phase. At this time in the spring/summer the appeal will be designed and the leadership team recruited and trained. Phase Three is the Inspiration Phase where communication of the Bethel Idea, the vision and our Biblical, faithful response as stewards will be explored. Finally, during the Fulfilling Phase commitments will be received and celebrated and a long-term tracking strategy implemented. This final phase will take place in the fall.
From Pastor Scot Sorensen, November 21, 2012 Bethelite:
At a Special Congregational Meeting in May, the Church Council was charged by the Congregation to move forward with the Bethel Idea. I want to take this opportunity to share with you the progress that has been made.
On September 11 an information and organizational meeting was held to launch all of the Building Sub-Committees. These sub-committees (listed on the Bethel website), are Child Care, Congregational Use, Education, Food Service, Parking, Recreation & Sports, and Operations Development. Subsequently, one more Sub-Committee has been added, Luther's Table. They continue to meet regularly and if you are interested, I encourage you to go the Bethel website, read the background and progress to date and then contact: email@example.com.
Another group that has remained busy is the former Urban Site Committee, now named the Site Preparedness Committee. This group is charged with the relocation of the Steensland House and is shepherding that process forward. They also were charged with doing the research for architecture selection and to bring that selection to the congregation. This fall, a number of architectural firms were invited to participate in, what I will call, a sort of design competition. Three local firms were chosen to submit their vision of the Bethel Idea. Those three designs are now under independent peer review and will subsequently be evaluated by the Committee. Their recommendation will be brought before the congregation.
Yet another group that has been at work is the Capital Campaign Research team. This group's recommendation is that Bethel engage the services of a stewardship consultant to assist with a capital campaign. Over the past few months a number of national stewardship firms were researched and four were interviewed. Their selection will also be coming before the congregation.
In early January, both on a Sunday morning at the 10:15 am Adult education time slot, as well as at other times during the week and possibly throughout the month, an update from all of these groups will be brought before the congregation in open forum settings. Then, at the Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 27, the congregation will have an opportunity to vote on the Architect for the Bethel Idea, as well as select the Stewardship Consulting firm to assist with our capital campaign.
These are exciting days in the life of Bethel. God has put a passion within our hearts to love and serve our neighbor in new and old ways. God has invited us to continue this 160 year journey of being a blessing of God on the corner of Wisconsin and Johnson and around the world. Even after Architects have been selected and a Capital Campaign firm chosen, our work will be just beginning. A myriad of details still need to be determined as the scope and shape of the Bethel Idea continues to be formed. Your voice, passion and participation are needed and I invite you to connect with any of the sub-committees, and most importantly, I would ask you to be in prayer… pray as together we continue to discern God's promised and preferred future for Bethel Lutheran Church.
- Pastor Scot Sorensen
Paul Moen - Chair
Vern Leibbrandt, Tim Semmann, Bev Thom - Assistants to Chair
Congregational Use - Al Schultz
Operations Development - Kevin Gould
Childcare - Jenee Jerome
After School / Summer Programming - Dennis Barber
Recreation & Sports - Norv Bernhardt
Parking - Dan Murray
Food Service - Nancy Young
Luther's Table - Gisela Kutzbach
If you would like to join a subcommittee, send your name, contact information and subcommittee preference to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Site Readiness Committee(formerly the Urban Site Committee): Jill Derr (chair), Randy Alexander, Vern Leibbrandt, Paul Moen, Peder Moren, Tim Semmann, Diane Wiedenbeck, Fred Zimmermann, and staff members Darren Chicks, Alice Mowbray, Pastor Scot Sorensen.
Results of the Special Congregational Meeting – May 20, 2012
Reports were received from Jill Derr, Chair of the Urban Site Committee, and from Pr. Sorensen, on the current discernment process for the expansion. Following a question and answer period, all three motions were approved by the Bethel membership in attendance. With this congregational affirmation, Bethel Lutheran Church will continue to be a vibrant community of faith, centered in worship, growing in discipleship, serving with Christ-like love. New areas of mission, ministry and service will be open to us as even more people come to find hope, health, compassion and community here on the Bethel campus.
Shortly, a Building Committee will be formed that will have the task of developing sub-committees that will work to define the various areas of the Bethel Idea. If you have a strong interest in one of these areas, or a general interest and just want to help, please sign-up:
· Education & Child Care
· Community Center
· Congregational Uses
· Recreational & Sports
· Underground Parking
· Food Service
If you would like to help, please sign-up at the Reception desk, or through the Urban Site Committee email: email@example.com . Please include your name, email and phone.
Special Congregational Meeting
May 20, 2012 2:00 pm ‐ 4:00 pm
Three motions for consideration will come before the congregation:
Motion No. 1 The congregation of Bethel Lutheran Church reaffirms their support of the Bethel Idea.
Motion No. 2 The Church Council is empowered to form a Building Committee and all necessary subcommittees to move the Bethel Idea forward so that Schematic Design drawings may be brought before the congregation at a future date for congregational approval.
Motion No. 3 The Church Council is empowered to form a Capital Campaign selection committee who shall research capital financing options and bring before the congregation a capital campaign plan proposal.
The next step in this on-going discussion of planned expansion for Bethel's downtown campus will focus on Deep Listening Bible studies for Bethel members April 18 - May 9, developed and written by Pr. Sorensen. --Urban Site Committee
Deep Listening Bible Study, April 18 ‐ May 9
Beginning April 18, Pr. Scot will lead this four week Bible Study. For the past several years, the Bethel Idea has stirred the hearts and imaginations of the Bethel community. Now it is time for the Bethel community to gather together in a short season of Bible study and discernment to gain focus for the next steps. You will be asked to listen deeply to the scriptures and one another as we collectively discern God's preferred and promised future. Besides a weekly study led by Pr. Sorensen, every existing group will be encouraged to use prepared studies and response forms as the process of discernment moves forward. Wednesday nights, Dinner 6:00 ‐ 6:45, Study 6:45 ‐ 7:45 pm.
Here are the comments received during the four week Deep Listening Bible Study sessions. Thank you for your participation and intentional discernment during this early stage of the Bethel campus expansion process.
Letter from Senior Pastor Scot Sorensen, Church Council President Vern Leibbrandt, and Urban Site Committee Chair Jill Derr to Bethel Lutheran Church Community
Letter from Bethel Church Council President, Al Schultz to City of Madison Dept of Planning and Development RE: Intent, Bethel Expansion, PUD-GDP
Land Use Application to Madison Plan Commission
Zoning Text – Bethel Lutheran Expansion; followed by a Site Plan, Parking Level layouts, First-Second-Third-Mezzanine Floor Plans, Elevation from (South direction)Carroll St - from (East direction)Johnson St - from (North direction) Entry Court next to Sanctuary - from (West direction) Gorham St, Building Sections, Massing Elevation – from Johnson St & Gorham St
For further information and questions, please email
Urban Site Committee | Email