All posts by Pat Gustafson

February Fellowship Luncheon

The February Fellowship Luncheon will be Thursday, February 28 at Noon in the Activity Center. Cost is $5/person.

MENU:   Spaghetti Marinara,  Italian Meatballs,  Mixed Green Salad,  Garlic Toast Sticks,  Ice Cream and Homemade Cookies

Call Steve or Mary Ann Harvey to RSVP.


Vaping is the act of inhaling vapor produced by a vaporizer or electronic cigarette containing a liquid, concentrate or dry herb that is vaporized to form an aerosol mist.  Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated devices used to inhale a liquid solution, which typically contains nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals.  They can resemble traditional cigarettes, cigars, pipes or even everyday items like pens or USB memory sticks.  <!–split–>

Most e-cigarettes consist of four different components, including: a cartridge or reservoir, which holds the liquid solution (e-liquid or e-juice), a heating element (atomizer), a power source (usually a battery), and a mouthpiece.  In many  e-cigarettes, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge.  The person then inhales the resulting aerosol or vapor (called vaping).  The nicotine in e-liquids readily absorbs into the bloodstream stimulating the adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline).  Epinephrine stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.  As with most addictive substances, nicotine increases levels of a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine, which affects parts of the brain that control reward.  The more nicotine a person uses, the greater the potential for addiction.

E-cigarette use also exposes the lungs to a variety of chemicals, including those added to e-liquids, and others produced during the heating/vaporizing process.  Studies have found ingredients used in antifreeze and formaldehyde.  Others have found high levels of nickel and chromium as well as low levels of cadmium, a toxic  metal found in cigarette smoke that can cause breathing problems and lung disease.

Researchers also found that the liquid in e-cigarettes may contain artificial flavorings that, while safe to  ingest, are toxic to inhale.  This chemical, called diacetyl, is found in as much as 75% of e-cigarettes and is linked  to a disease referred to as “popcorn lung” or bronchiolitis obliterans.

The teen years are critical for brain development, which continues into young adulthood.  Nicotine affects the development of the brain’s reward system, so continued e-cigarette use can not only lead to nicotine addiction, but can also make other drugs more appealing to teens.  Nicotine also affects the development of brain circuits that control attention and learning.  Other risks include mood disorders and permanent problems with impulse control.

  • More than 2 million middle and high school students use e-cigs.
  • 16.2% of 12th graders in the U.S. report e-cigarette use in the past month.
  • 66% of teens who report using e-cigarettes say they smoke just flavoring, not nicotine.

Nicotine levels in e-cigarettes are often mislabeled.  Studies show wide-ranging nicotine levels in e-cigarettes and inconsistencies between the listed and actual nicotine levels in these products.  Contrary to popular belief, the FDA hasn’t found e-cigarettes to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit.  Instead of quitting, many e-cigarette users continue to use e-cigarettes while still smoking conventional cigarettes.

                                                                Your Parish Nurse,  Kara

Sources:  National Institutes on Drug Abuse, American Lung Association, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Milwaukee  Journal Sentinel               

Through a Glass Darkly (Editorial by Rob Renfroe)

Recently I read an editorial in the magazine Good News: Leading United Methodist to a Faithful Future. The article entitled, Through A Glass Darkly, focused on the Special General Conference to be held in February and the decision on human sexuality in our denomination as we move forward. Is there any hope? Yes, God is good and God is sovereign I believe he still has a plan for the people called Methodist.” Read it, pray about it and may the Holy Ghost lead you in forming an informative decision.   – Pastor Stan   <!–split–>

What will happen at the special General Conference this February? Right now, it’s anyone’s guess.  We see through a glass darkly, not able to predict with confidence what the delegates will do and knowing that God can always surprise us and provide a solution to our problems that none of us imagined.  Frankly, that’s what I’m praying for.

However, there are a few options that, at this point, seem most likely.  Two that we can take off the board are the Simple Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan.

The Simple Plan goes too far.  It redefines marriage as two adults, condones sex outside of marriage, prevents conservative annual conferences from refusing to ordain practicing gay persons, and allows pastors throughout the connection to marry gay couples.  Whenever similar proposals have come before General Conference in the past, they have been defeated by a wide margin.  The majority of the UM Church has not yet moved this far in a progressive direction.

The Connectional Conference Plan (CCP) creates three jurisdictions, each one with a different sexual ethic.  No coalition has formed to support it and no group is doing the hard work of promoting it to the rest of the church.  The CCP requires numerous constitutional amendments and there is little likelihood that a super majority of both General Conference delegates and then later of annual conference delegates around the globe will support it.

The plan with the greatest likelihood of passing is the Tradition Plan (TP).  It maintains our present position of affirming the worth of and welcoming all persons to the ministries of the church without allowing for practicing gay persons to be ordained or for our pastors to marry gay couples.  The Traditional Plan has several provisions that would allow the church to enforce the Book of Discipline more effectively when pastors and bishops violate our policies.  Each of these provisions will need to be approved individually.

Why is the TP most likely to pass?  Because it is most in line with what delegates have supported at every General Conference since 1972.  It was the plan that the majority of the delegates supported less than three years ago in Portland – most of whom will be voting again in St. Louis.  Whether all of the enhanced accountability measures can be passed remains to be seen.  But it is most likely that a Traditional Plan of sorts will prevail. And a Traditional Plan provides the most hopeful path to a faithful future for the United Methodist Church.

(part 2 continued in March Chimes)

Pantry Sunday

Remember to bring your food pantry items!  According to the Feeding America web site, 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger.  YOU CAN HELP!  Bring your donation any time, and place in the donation cart. We have two donation carts at Bethel Wesley:  one in the Activity Center (near the kitchen), and the other in the narthex (near coat racks).   Here’s a list of the top 20 food items recommended for donation:  <!–split–>


Canned beans

Canned chicken

Canned fish (tuna and salmon)

Canned meat (SPAM and ham)

Canned vegetables

Cooking oils  (olive and canola)


Dried herbs and spices

Fruit (canned or dried)

Granola bars

Instant mashed potatoes

Meals in a box



Peanut butter


Shelf-stable milk

Soup, stew, and chili

Whole grain cereal