Community Care

Bethlehem strives to be present and make a difference in our community. We have many ministries that reach out beyond our walls to meet needs where people are at in their lives.

Starfish Ministry

Bringing HOPE to the community, one person at a time.

In January 2011, two South Minneapolis churches, Bethlehem and Judson Memorial Baptist, began a new ministry called Starfish. The purpose of this ministry is to help families who are experiencing financial crises. Often the need involves shelter, such as help paying rent for a current month; transportation issues, such as car repair; utility bills; and/or food assistance.

Starfish is operated by volunteers. Each month on-duty volunteers receive phone calls from community members in financial crises. Meetings are held and decisions are made about what Starfish can do to help and how much financial help Starfish can offer.

Usually, the requests received in the first several days of the month exhaust the ministry’s budget for the month and the Starfish phone is “shut down” until the beginning of the next month.

Gift cards

“Starfish is of value to our community because it provides emergency funds

to individuals at risk of losing housing and utilities. Starfish is one of a few resources that will make rent payments directly to the landlord or the utility company to keep the individual housed and living with working utilities.

Often individuals are in temporary need of financial assistance due to change in employment, medical expenses, death in the family, or other event that has affected their level of income or expenses. Starfish provides financial assistance to one person at a time to bridge the gap to financial stability and provide hope to that individual and family for the future.”

—Mary (St. Joan of Arc Care Fund)

Ways to help bring hope to our neighbors through Starfish

REFER/SCHEDULE APPOINTMENT: To refer or schedule an appointment, call 952-686-4124.

VOLUNTEER: We would like volunteers to sign-up for a year. Volunteer duty is generally one month, two times per year. There is training on how to meet with the requester. Volunteers always work in pairs when meeting requesters and making decisions. Volunteers and donations make the work of Starfish possible.

DONATE: Donate online, or mail in a check to: Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities; Attn: Starfish Ministry; 4100 Lyndale Avenue; Minneapolis, MN 55409

The Gathering

Thursdays, 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Minneapolis Campus

The Gathering, coordinated by Avinity Senior Living, seeks to provide respite and support for caregivers of family members experiencing early to mid-stage memory loss while their loved one enjoys stimulating programming in a safe and welcoming setting.

To get involved, enroll a loved-one, or volunteer, please contact: Sarah Ethridge, Avinity Respite Solutions Coordinator (612-598-0670)

More Info
Gathering

Respite Programming Includes:

– Compassionate volunteers build personal relationships with program participants.

– Small groups of no more than 10 participants meet at the Bethlehems‘ Minneapolis Campus and are supported by partnering churches.

– Each Gathering session is carefully planned around themed activities that are designed to be socially and cognitively stimulating. Sessions are led by specially trained volunteers in collaboration with licensed staff from Avinity Respite Solutions.

– Participants enjoy a nutritious lunch and activities that nurture the body, soul and spirit.

– Participants pay a sliding scale session fee which is billed monthly.

– Prior to enrollment, a caregiver and their loved-one experiencing memory loss meet with an Avinity Respite Solutions professional for an assessment and conversation about how The Gathering can meet their needs.

– Support groups and resources are available to caregivers of Gathering participants.

Memory caregivers

Memory Loss Caregiver’s Support Group

1st Thursdays, 10:00 am–11:30 am
Minneapolis Campus

A support group, facilitated by volunteers, for caregivers of people experiencing early to mid-stage memory loss. Volunteer facilitators are trained by the Alzheimer’s Association.

To get involved, join the group, or volunteer, please contact: Sarah Ethridge, Avinity Respite Solutions Coordinator (612-598-0670)

More Info

Staff Contact

Director of Congregational Care Ministries

Diane Waarvik

Phone: 612-312-3375
Minnetonka Faith Community Nurse

Heidi Peterson

Phone: 952-935-3419 ext. 215
Administrative Assistant

Jennifer Harris

Phone: 612-312-3413