All posts by Pat Gustafson

Sharing God’s Amazing Love

Our Mission Statement says “The Mission of Bethel Wesley UMC is to invite and welcome everyone to experience and share in the amazing love of God through Jesus Christ.”

Let us fulfill our Mission by inviting all our friends and relatives, especially those who don’t attend any church at all; may God give us the courage to do so.

If you are interested in becoming a member of Bethel Wesley UMC, please contact the office at 309-764-0619 to speak with Pastor Stan.

From the desk of Pastor Stan . . .

Learning to Lead Like Jesus With Discipline—Chapter Six Takeaways
  1. Disciplined leaders establish regular routines that grow their devotion to Jesus.
  2. Disciplined leaders plant their lives by the water of God’s Word, and bear good fruit.
  3. Disciplined leaders are wise not to substitute their warm devotion for cold discipline.
  4. Disciplined leaders are influenced by other disciplined leaders.
  5. Disciplined leaders forgive quickly and remain grateful to God.
  6. Disciplined leaders walk with wise leaders, apply their words, and copy their actions.
  7. Disciplined leaders learn to listen to the Lord and receive His sweet love.
  8. Disciplined leaders are relentless in their pursuit of being still and knowing God.
  9. Disciplined leaders take the time to be present and to live in the present.
  10. Disciplined leaders work in a diligent manner that honors the Lord. <!–split–>
Learning to Lead Like Jesus with Gratitude—Chapter Seven Takeaways

1. Grateful leaders look to the Lord often with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving.

2. Grateful leaders have a pattern of ongoing thankfulness to God and people.

3. Grateful leaders celebrate Christ’s restoration of their lives and the lives of others.

4. Grateful leaders are thankful to God for a nation where we can enjoy the benefits of freedom.

5. Grateful leaders who work for the Lord are able to joyfully serve others.

6. Grateful leaders facilitate home environments of gratitude for their families.


National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6 to raise awareness of the important role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. We celebrate and thank our Parish Nurse, Kara Ade, for her professionalism and thoughtfulness. Also, to all the other nurses out there—have a HAPPY NURSE’S DAY!

New Hymn Titled “This Easter Celebration”

Just in time for Easter, popular hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn specifically for a season in which the Church and its members are dealing with the corona virus. Pastor Stan asks us to familiarize ourselves with the words to this song for the Sunday that we are allowed to go back into the church as a congregation. <!–split–>

“This new hymn,” Gillette writes, “is a prayer to be used in Easter 2020 worship services, while most churches are closed and people are remaining in their homes because of the pandemic. It can be used for online worship or in online written communications from a church to its members.”

The prayer, when put to music, can be sung to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation.” Gillette has given permission for churches to use the hymn for free during this unprecedented time.

                                             “This Easter Celebration”                                                                                  AURELIA D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)

This Easter celebration is not like ones we’ve known. We pray in isolation, we sing the hymns alone. We’re distant from our neighbors — from worship leaders, too. No flowers grace the chancel to set a festive mood.

No gathered choirs are singing; no banners lead the way. O God of love and promise, where’s joy this Easter Day? With sanctuaries empty, may homes become the place we ponder resurrection and celebrate your grace.

Our joy won’t come from worship that’s in a crowded room but from the news of women who saw the empty tomb. Our joy comes from disciples who ran with haste to see — who heard that Christ is risen, and then, by grace, believed.

In all the grief and suffering, may we remember well: Christ suffered crucifixion and faced the powers of hell. Each Easter bears the promise: Christ rose that glorious day! Now nothing in creation can keep your love away.

We thank you that on Easter, your church is blessed to be a scattered, faithful body that’s doing ministry. In homes and in the places of help and healing, too, we live the Easter message by gladly serving you.

COVID-19: Self-Care as a Form of Mental Health PPE

As we address the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adopted practices that support our safety and help reduce the potential for contracting the infection. While we have made our physical health a priority, it is equally important that we attend to our emotional health and wellness. With an influx of information about COVID-19 shared through multiple media outlets, coupled with drastic changes to our daily living, our worry and anxiety can be heightened. The American Psychological Association suggests several activities that help promote positive mental health during extremely stressful times. Please consider the following information as Mental Health PPE that can help prevent acute stressors from becoming long-term, chronic problems. <!–split–>

 Strategies to Help Manage Stress and CENTER Yourself During the COVID-19 Pandemic

C – CONNECT: While face-to-face contact is limited, staying connected with family and friends through phone calls and video chat can help promote emotional support and resilience during times of stress.

E – EXERCISE: Take time to integrate exercise into your routine. In-home workouts or going outside to walk or run can be beneficial. Moderate aerobic activity has shown to help improve mood and reduce stress.

N – NOTICE: Monitor yourself to notice any signs of growing fatigue or stress. Prolonged changes in mood and behavior can be a sign that we need to seek additional help.

T – TAKE BREAKS: Taking mini breaks to go for a walk, perform mindful breathing, or meditation can help improve energy and renew focus.

E – EDUCATE: Rely on trusted sources of information to educate yourself and others about COVID-19. Place time limits on your media intake as it can increase stress and anxiety.

R – ROUTINE: Many of us have experienced a disruption to our daily living. Establishing a consistent routine is important for our overall wellness. It’s important to maintain a regular sleep schedule, maximize healthy eating, and limit alcohol consumption.

When to Seek Help – Know the Warning Signs

Not all people respond to stress in the same way. Some common signs to watch for include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unable to stop thinking about the COVID-19 virus
  • Unable to stop think-ing about patients
  • Feeling more anxious than usual
  • Feeling more depressed than usual
  • Feeling more irritable than usual
  • Feeling more angry than usual
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating more than usual
  • Memory difficulties more than usual
  • Difficulty relaxing more than usual
How and Where to Seek Help:
  • UnityPoint Health – Robert Young Center. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms listed above, there is help out there. Please ask about our video and telephone care options by calling (309) 779-3000.
  • UnityPoint Health – Robert Young Center Crisis Hotline If you believe you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call the 24/7 crisis hotline at (309) 779-2999.
  • NAMI Iowa is offering a free and confidential mental health resource line for children and adults. The NAMI Iowa non-crisis resource line is available by calling (515) 254-0417.
  • Additional Resources:


Your Parish Nurse,   Kara