Founded in 1873 as the Norwegian Lutheran Church of Porter. Bethel Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southwest Minnesota Synod.


205 Spruce Street

P.O. Box 126          

Porter, MN 56280

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Bethel Lutheran Church, Porter, Minnesota

January 26, 2020
The Third Sunday after Epiphany

Today’s gospel reading narrates a strange fishing expedition. Jesus utters simple words that change human lives: “Follow Me and I will make you fish for people.” No glitz, no slick marketing, no extravagant claim; only these words: “Follow Me.”
    Here is the mission that flows from the watery pool of our baptism into Christ. The Christian community goes forth and invites others to see what good things God offers in the waters of rebirth, in the scriptures, in the holy supper, in the community of faith. People can be “caught” in many things. What happens when they are caught in the net of God’s mercy?

Jesus Calling The Disciples is a painting by Connie Wendleton

Almighty God, You sent Your Son to proclaim Your kingdom and to teach with authority. Anoint us with the power of Your Spirit, that we, too, may bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to the captive; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Isaiah 9:1-4
Psalm 27:1, 5-13
1 Corinthians 1:10–18
Matthew 4:12-23

Festivals and Commemorations this week

The faithful are remembered on the day of their death, the day they are born anew in heaven. The "c" indicates an approximate date.

January 26  Timothy, Titus, and Silas, missionaries

On the two days following the usual date for the Conversion of Paul, his companions are remembered. Timothy, Titus, and Silas were missionary coworkers with Paul. Timothy accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey and was commissioned by Paul to go to Ephesus, where he served as bishop and overseer of the church. Titus was a traveling companion of Paul, accompanied him on the trip to the council of Jerusalem, and became the first bishop of Crete. Silas traveled with Paul through Asia Minor and Greece and was imprisoned with him at Philippi, where they were delivered by an earthquake.

January 27  Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, witnesses to the faith
On this day the church remembers three women who were companions in Paul’s ministry. Lydia was Paul’s first convert at Philippi in Macedonia. She was a merchant of purple-dyed goods, and because purple dye was extremely expensive, it is likely that Lydia was a woman of some wealth. Lydia and her household were baptized by Paul, and for a time her home was a base for Paul’s missionary work. Dorcas is remembered for her charitable works, particularly making clothing for needy widows. Phoebe was a diakonos, a deaconess in the church at Cenchreae, near Corinth. Paul praises her as one who, through her service, looked after many people.

January 28  Thomas Aquinas, teacher, died 1274
Thomas Aquinas (uh-KWY-nus) was a brilliant and creative theologian of the thirteenth century. He was first and foremost a student of the Bible and profoundly concerned with the theological formation of the church’s ordained ministers. As a member of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), he worked to correlate scripture with the philosophy of Aristotle, which was having a renaissance in Aquinas’s day. Some students of Aristotle’s philosophy found in it an alternative to Christianity. But Aquinas immersed himself in the thought of Aristotle and worked to explain Christian beliefs in the philosophical culture of the day.