Bethesda Lutheran Church, Rossburg
Part of the Faith Lutheran Parish of St. John's Cedarbrook and Bethesda, Rossburg
Sunday worship is at 10:30AM. Sunday school meets the second and fourth Sundays of the month from October through May. On those Sundays, students are released following the children’s sermon to attend Sundays school; otherwise they remain in worship.
Holy Communion is the first and third Sunday of the month, on festival Sundays, and on Christmas Eve.
Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church of Rossburg was officially established on Sunday, June 28, 1917 under the direction of Pastor E.J. Peterson from First Lutheran in Aitkin, MN. Originally, Bethesda was affiliated with the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church-Augustana Synod. Prior to incorporation, the Ladies’ Aid was formed in 1915 and worship was held in the homes until the church was built in 1921. For the first 68 years, the congregation held worship twice a month.
Over the years Bethesda has been served by the pastors of First Lutheran and also students of Northwestern Seminary in St Paul, the seminary of the Lutheran Church of America (LCA). The pastors offered Holy Communion four times a year, a common practice among Lutherans at that time, taught confirmation classes in Aitkin, baptized, married, conducted funerals and burials. In the early years worship was held in the homes during the winter months of January, February, and March. During the summer months, Bethesda often had seminary students.
Sunday school was an important part of the early years of Bethesda. The annual Christmas program provided a highlight for the whole community. Bethesda continues to hold Sunday school twice a month on the second and fourth Sundays. While the Christmas program isn’t as large as it once was, it still brings the community together to sing Christmas carols and worship God.
The annual Turkey Dinner was a popular staple in the community from 1959 to 2014. Even though they no longer are able to welcome people with this event, it is still a strong part of their history and identity.
The new handicap accessible addition was dedicated in 1995. This addition added worship space, a gathering room, indoor toilets, and additional room in the basement.
In 1995, Bethesda Lutheran and St. John’s Lutheran formed Faith Lutheran Parish. In 2002, they called Pastor Sandy Berg-Holte, who currently continues to serve the congregations.
On June 25, 2017, Bethesda Lutheran celebrated its 100th anniversary with a festival worship, Bishop Thomas Aitkin preaching, Pastor Sandy presiding, guests Mary Mergenthal (widow of Jennings Mergenthal, former lay pastor) and Darlene Mueneke (wife of Pastor Bob Mueneke, pastor friend of the congregation) participating, followed by a meal.
Bethesda’s Sunday worship is a traditional and liturgical service with a celebration of Holy Communion on the first and third Sundays of every month. Our service includes: singing favorite hymns, prayers, Scripture, Holy Communion, children’s sermons, and sermons based on the Narrative Lectionary.
Most ELCA congregations either use the traditional Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) or the newer Narrative Lectionary (NL), created by Luther seminary professors, to choose weekly Scripture readings. Starting with Genesis in September, the Narrative Lectionary works its way sequentially through Scripture focusing on favorite, or pivotal, stories celebrating Jesus’ birth at Christmas, focusing on Jesus in the Gospels until Easter, and then on the growth in the early church from the book of Acts after Easter. From Holy Trinity Sunday (May or June) through Labor Day, Pastor Berg-Holte offers a topical series of sermons based on the Small Catechism, books of the Bible, or the Lutheran Confessions—our topic for this summer in celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
Some of Bethesda’s traditions are: giving a faith chest at Holy Baptism, the blessing of backpacks to start the school year, the blessing of our high school graduates and the giving of a quillo (a quilt that folds into a pillow), and joint midweek Lenten suppers and worship.
Bible study meets Wednesdays at 10AM
Confirmation Classes for grades 7-9 available.
Quilters meet on alternate Mondays from January to Easter.
Council meets after worship on the second Sunday of the month.
Faith Lutheran Parish Board meets quarterly.