June 2018

Pastor Loren Mai        In mid-May, we learned that Bethany Lutheran Church was approved as an intern-ship site in partnership with Luther Seminary. We also found out that Bethany Church was assigned Phillip Hett as an intern for the 2018-2019 academic year, as we had hoped. We rejoice that Phil has been endorsed for internship by the Central States Synod Candidacy Committee, and we are grateful that he has been assigned to Bethany Church. We look forward to a year of internship (beginning in June 2018)—that will be shared with Bethany Home—as Phil continues his interim ministry as Chaplain there.

       What does this change in status mean? A number of changes will occur. In the near future, we will have a “Service of Beginning” for Phil during a Sunday morning worship service. An internship committee has been formed to oversee the program here at Bethany and to assist Phil in setting learning goals. There will not be great changes in responsibilities for Phil, but the internship year is very much a time of learning—even after five years of employment at Bethany Church. He will be ex-posed to the breadth of ministry in this congregation. He will be required to com-plete at least one “internship project.” As his supervisor, I will be required to attend two Cluster Meetings with Phil, and we will have weekly meetings or check-points. And, for this year, Phil will have a different title; he will be called a “Pastoral In-tern.”

       It is an exciting time for Bethany Lutheran Church, as we prepare for Phil’s intern-ship year. It is also an exciting time for Phil and Kim and their daughters, Jill and Abigail. When Phil has completed this internship, we trust that he will be approved for ordination into the ministry of the Lutheran Church. It continues to be my hope that we of Bethany Church, as well as the staff of Bethany Home, will share in Phil’s learning and growth, and that we will support Phil Hett and his family with prayer and encouragement. We rejoice together that Phil is now taking the next big step on his journey of life and faith.

Pastor Loren D. Mai


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own in-sight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

       And we are off!!!! My internship has officially begun! June 1 marks the beginning of my year long internship and the last leg of my seminary journey!

       In the fall of 2014, I started my seminary career at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. It has been quite a journey. I am in the distance program which is a blended model with online classes mixed with on campus intensives. Over the past four years, I have traveled to campus in St. Paul seven times, (I have two more trips to make this year), I have taken a lot of theology, history, ministry, worship, etc., I have learned both Greek and Hebrew, and I spent a semester traveling to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita twice a week for chaplaincy training. That was intense!

       I often wondered over the years if I would make it but now, here we are. It is the last leg of the journey. I am very fortunate to be doing my internship work at Bethany Lutheran and Bethany Home. For most seminarians, it does not work out this way as they are re-quired to relocate to a new context for internship. I am very thankful to the seminary and the synod for allowing me to do this.

       With that said, it will be a new adventure for us all. My job title at Bethany Church has changed to Pastoral Intern. There is an internship committee in place to help guide me in the right direction. I will also be taking on some new adventures during the year as it will be a chance for me to try a few new things. Plus, I will continue my work at Bethany Home as the Interim Chaplain, and I still have some seminary classes to complete before I graduate next May.

       The journey continues. I could not have made it this far without the support of my amazing wife, my friends, family. Thank you also for the mentoring and support from Pastor Mai, Pastor Bill Buschbom and Joyce Peterson. I am also very, very thankful to the wonder-ful people here at Bethany Lutheran Church. I am thankful for your prayers, encourage-ment, and support to both me and my family. This is a wonderful place to work and serve the Lord. May the Holy Spirit guide and lead us during this journey and forever.

       What happens next? As I said, I will be trying a few new things during this internship year. Keep your mind and heart open to this. With the Lord’s help and a little help from my friends here at Bethany Church, I will graduate from Seminary in May 2019, then ordination and, well, wherever the Holy Spirit leads us next. Praise be to God!

Phillip Hett