All posts by Pat Gustafson

Young Adult Ministry

An organizational meeting was held on Sunday, April 26th to dream about activities and opportunities for young folks at Bethel Wesley. We are thinking about a name for this group, and in the meantime are planning some exciting fellowship and mission activities. The first event will be a potluck at 6:00 PM on Sunday, May 31st followed by some lively Christian music, singing and dancing.  All of us came to church when someone invited us. So, spread the word!! Calendars of future events will be distributed on the 31st. We will focus on food, fellowship, community events, and mission opportunities as we strengthen our relationship with God and each other. All are invited, so invite everyone!

Vacation Bible School

This year we will combine with Riverside United Methodist Church (712 16th Street, Moline) for Vacation Bible School.  The dates are Monday-Friday, June -22-26, from 6-8 pm.  The theme is “Journey off the Map.”  Registration forms are available at the church.  Sign up early!

11 Lessons for Graduates and You

Graduation is a time when many contemplate their future and purpose. It can be both a time of great excitement and worry. I certainly remember the anxiousness I felt after graduation. So whether you are graduating high school or college, know a graduate or perhaps you are graduating to the next level of your life and career, I wanted to share 11 lessons from The Seed that I hope will empower and inspire you on your journey. <!–split–>

  1. You are here for a reason and the most important thing you can do in life is to find, live and share your purpose. It’s the one thing in life that truly matters, and if you don’t pursue it, everything else is meaningless.
  2. Follow your passion. It so often leads you to your purpose. You may not know what your passion is right now. That’s ok. The important thing is to make it your life mission to find it, live it and share it. To help find your passion, seek out jobs and experiences that allow you to use your strengths and gifts. Do what energizes you.
  3. Beware of hobbies. Just because you love spending time on Facebook doesn’t mean you would enjoy working for the company. And just because you love to cook doesn’t mean you would enjoy owning a restaurant. For example, I owned restaurants but I realized I didn’t love the food business. I loved the service and marketing aspect of the business.
  4. Quit for the right reasons. Don’t quit because work is hard or you’re experiencing challenges. Quit because in your heart you know there is something else for you to do. Quit because you are not benefitting yourself or the organization you work for. Quit because you are absolutely certain you are no longer supposed to be there.
  5. Learn from every job and experience. Every job, good or bad, prepares you for the work you were ultimately born to do.
  6. Your current job may not be your ultimate purpose but it can serve as a vehicle to live and share your purpose.
  7. Whatever job(s) you take after graduation simply decide to serve. When you serve in small ways you’ll get more opportunities to serve in bigger ways.
  8. Your dream job is likely not the one you dreamed about. So often we end up in amazing careers that have nothing to do with our college degree or childhood dreams.
  9. The quest for your purpose is not a straight line. It is filled with mystery, signs, obstacles, victories, dead ends, delays and detours. Your job is to stay optimistic and faithful on your quest
  10. Don’t rush the future. There is a process that seeds must go through in order to become all they are destined to become, and you must go through this same process to become the person you are meant to be and do the work you are meant to do. You may want things to happen NOW but more than likely if you got what you wanted NOW you wouldn’t be ready for it. The purpose process prepares you, strengthens you, shapes you and grows you to be successful, not in your time, but in the right time.
  11. Be the Seed. Seeds surrender themselves to the ground so they can be used for a greater purpose. Wherever you work, decide to plant yourself where you are and allow yourself to be used for a greater purpose. When you plant yourself and make a difference you grow into the person you were born to be and produce a harvest that will benefit others and change the world.

Taken from

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

Finding Time To Exercise

Finding the time to exercise is often as much of a challenge as a new aerobic workout.  In fact, the number one reason given for not exercising is lack of time.  That’s why it is important to come up with a regular exercise schedule – one that lets you know where and when you’re planning to work out each week.   <!–split–>

Of course, plans can change but it’s better to skip a scheduled exercise session than to have no schedule at all.  If you save your workouts for whenever a spare moment “pops up,” you’ll end up exercising infrequently.  Your own schedule might involve a variety of workout times, morning workouts on some days, for example, and lunchtime or after work exercise sessions on other days.  The key is to find a blend that works for you and to stick with it.  You may find it helpful to mark your calendar and schedule your planned workouts in advance.  Keep track of how often you work out.  It is important to find an exercise schedule that fits your lifestyle and includes activities you enjoy.   There are many new pedometers and step counters available to help you keep track of your activity.  They can be fun to use and motivate you to increase your activities.  If you are not used to doing any type of exercise activity, start with walking.  You can start at just a few minutes a day and work up to the recommended 30 minutes per day.  Your stamina will improve as you continue any exercise program.  Warm weather is on the way!  Sunshine and flowers will be here.  What better way to brighten your day than to take a walk and enjoy the sun and flowers of spring!

Young Adult Depression:  Not Just Another Bad Mood

Depression is the most common emotional problem in adolescence and young adulthood, and yet it is difficult to diagnose because young people are notorious for their moodiness.  The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that up to 8% of American young adults suffer from major depression, but many parents don’t recognize the signs.  According to a 2009 survey, about 20% of high school students have considered suicide.  Each year, 8-11 in every 100,000 young adults do take their own lives, as many as those who die from all natural causes combined.  Depression can also result in intense family conflict, poor choice of peers, marginal or no personal achievements and poor coping ability, all of which can have a lasting effect on a teenager’s life.

Warning Signs

Mood Changes:  Irritability, angry outbursts, sad sullen or weepy periods, withdrawal.  Keep in mind that family conflict can cause young adult depression, but young adult depression can also cause family conflict.

Changes in Appetite:  Sudden over or under eating; significant gain or loss of weight.  Eating disorders are frequently  accompanied by depression.

Lack of Interest:  No longer enjoying social activities, hobbies or sports.

Bad Sleep Patterns:  Difficulties falling or staying asleep; excessive or diminished sleep.

Changes in Energy Level:  Frequent fatigue, agitation or restlessness.

School Problems:  Difficulty focusing or concentrating; feeling fuzzy; unable to sustain mental effort; decline in grades;  misbehaving; refusal to go or disinterest in school.

Self-Criticism:  Taking blame for things that are not their fault; intense dissatisfaction with their appearance or other attributes.

Rumination:  Worrying or obsessing about problems.

Inability to Cope:  Overwhelmed by everyday stresses; difficulty recovering from a significant event or problem; pessimism or negative thinking.

Recurrent Thoughts about Death or Suicide:  Morbid interests; self-injurious behavior.

Aches and Pains:  Physical discomfort without medical causes.

Successful treatment can be achieved by parents and physicians asking direct questions about the young adult’s general level of happiness, moods, activities, achievement and problems.  Offering to help will open the door for the young adult to contact you later should the young adult ever suspect that he/she might be depressed.  Keep in mind that a family history of depression is a risk factor.

Parents are advised to make efforts to talk to their young adults even if they are initially rebuffed.  Be careful not to minimize their young adult’s moods as “just a phase” or “hormonal fluctuations” and be alerted to the possible seriousness of their young adult’s difficulties.

If you have a young adult that is seriously depressed, it is a good precaution to lock up all medications, remove guns from the house and institute more careful supervision to prevent the young adult from engaging in reckless behavior.

The good news is that young adult depression is quite treatable with medication and individual and/or family therapy.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

Flowing With Pastor Flo – May 2015

Well, church family, we have come through the Seasons of Advent (All Saints, Thanksgiving), Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, (Holy Week; Ash Wednesday, Lenten Services, Good Friday) and Easter! Whew! Seems like a lot but they were times of enrichment and growing  closer in and to Christ.  After May 24, which is Pentecost, we will be in Ordinary time and we will start all over again.  The Christian Church year focuses on the life and ministry of Jesus. The sequence of festivals from Advent to Resurrection Sunday (He is alive  indeed, Hallelujah!)  becomes an annual spiritual  journey for worshippers as they kneel at the manger, listen on a hillside, walk the streets of Jerusalem, hear the roar of the mob, stand beneath the cross, and witness the resurrection! The rest of the church year provides opportunity for us to reflect on the meaning of the coming of Jesus and his commission to his people to be a light to the world.  Let us not forget all we have done together this Christian year.  I hope I have helped each of you to learn a little more about the Christ we serve. <!–split–>

I am now in the back of the boat taking some much needed rest for the mind, body and spirit.  I’m not literally in the back of the boat but figuratively, meaning I am resting in the arms of our Lord.  When my vacation time is over, I hope and pray to be renewed and                  refreshed.

Let me leave you with an article I read in the Alive Now and it ministered to my soul, I pray it will do the same for you.

God, your people are broken, bodies shattered by  accident, grappling with illness, slowed by injury. God, your people are broken, spirits burdened with care, aching from loss, shadowed by grief. God, your people are broken, bowed with fatigue yet longing to help and needing to touch. God, your people are broken, and you call us together to be your body – a body broken.

God, your people are broken, and we find in each other agents of healing and voices of hope. God, your people are broken, hearts stretched wide to hold the stories of lives that are shared. God, your people are broken, given as gift one to another, learning together what it means to be whole.

Loving you all, your sister in Christ,

Pastor Flo

Lenten Service

Every Sunday evening beginning February 22 (the First Sunday in Lent) until Palm Sunday, March 29th, from  5:00-6:00 pm., we will have a Lenten Service with a different Pastor each week bringing the Lenten Message.  Our District Superintendent will kick-off the event on Feb 22nd.   See you Feb. 22 for our first Lenten Service of the Lent season!

Valentine’s Day Tips

Whether you plan to celebrate on your own or with someone special, use these tips to give a gift of health to you or  someone you love on Valentine’s Day and all year long.  <!–split–>



  • Make A Date With Your Heart! February is American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to start taking steps to be heart-healthy. Prevent and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Limit alcohol use.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Be active.  Eat healthy.


  • Consider making a healthy meal for Valentine’s Day. Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables, and make less sugary sweets for an overall healthy Valentine’s Day.


  • Protect yourself from the cold and flu.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick.
  • Get your flu vaccine.


  • If you are going on a romantic getaway, be prepared.
  • Are vaccinations required?
  • Are there special items such as sunscreen or insect repellent that you will need?
  • If you take medications, do you have enough for the trip?
  • If you’re going on a cruise, learn the sanitation inspection scores for specific ships. Know what’s happening en route or at your travel destination.


  • If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. It is also the third leading cause of preventable death. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not drink


  • Gear up.Are you considering a new, potentially risky, or unsafe activity? Be sure to use appropriate safety gear, including seat belts, life vests, and helmets to help prevent injury.
  • Watch the sparks.If you decide to cook a romantic dinner, light some candles, or have a cozy fire, don’t leave them unattended.
  • Be aware.Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence, including intimate partner violence, than men. Risk factors such as drinking alcohol and using drugs are associated with a greater likelihood of violence.


  • Consider that your valentine may have allergies, asthma, diabetes, or other health conditions. You can be sensitive to your valentine by finding out if certain foods, flowers, pets, stuffed animals, or anything else might affect his or her health.

For more information go to:

Your Parish Nurse, Kara

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 19th – A Day of Service

“I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope:   The Essential Writings and Speeches  <!–split–>

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope:  The Essential Writings and Speeches


“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.


“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.


“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.