Bethel Lutheran Church is a “Welcome Place”. We are a congregation of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Meaning “House of God” in Hebrew, Bethel’s long history in Omaha begins on February 29, 1916. We were organized by the Swedish immigrant population with 44 charter members. Pastor John A Johns answered the call as our first pastor.
We celebrate worship services every Sunday at 10:30 am. Sunday School for all ages including an adult Bible Study is held before the service at 9:15am. There are also special services during Lent, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
We are proud of our mission work at Bethel. Our Ladies groups are dedicated to making quilts and assembling personal health kits for Lutheran World Relief. We also have a strong group of volunteers who dedicate their time serving Project Hope, Table Grace and the Siena Francis House.
Several special events and fundraisers are held at Bethel throughout the year. Including a Valentine’s Day dinner prepared and served by the youth, ice cream socials, and a garage sale fundraiser each fall. Our year concludes with a celebration of our Swedish heritage when we host a traditional Swedish Smorgasbord. The smorgasbord has grown each year and is now something the entire community looks forward to.
Special programs and activities for children and youth are held throughout the year. Confirmation classes are held during the school year for 7th & 8th graders. There is also an annual Halloween party, Easter Egg Hunt, and Christmas Program. The Sunday school year culminates with Youth Sunday in which the children conduct the service.
Bethel is very proud of its music programs. Our choir, band, brass ensemble and men’s ensemble are highlights of our ministry. Under the direction Dr. Stephen Lawrence, the choir has recorded their own CD and collaborated with other churches for local concerts. The Bethel Choir celebrates Mother’s Day each year with a “Service of Musical Praise” and Christmas with a “Lessons and Carols” concert.
Rich Sheridan was born in northern New Jersey. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Dover, NJ, and attended there with his family growing up. He would eventually attend Rutgers University to study psychology and German. As part of his time there, he spent one year studying at the Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany. Following his undergraduate studies, he moved on to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where he completed his theological studies and met Rebecca! He also attended the University of Chicago to obtain a master’s degree in clinical social work as part of a dual degree program between LSTC and the U of C. Rich interned at United in Faith Lutheran Church in Chicago. In 2013, he earned his credentials as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the State of Nebraska. He has provided psychotherapy to people living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and incarceration. He brings his learning and experience working with people on the margins of society into his work as a pastor. He also hails from a musical family, sings, and plays several instruments!
Rebecca Sheridan was born and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She was baptized at Lord of Love Lutheran Church in Omaha, and attended there with her family growing up. She would eventually attend Augustana College to study English education. Following her graduation from college, she participated in the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program. As part of this program, she lived in Obišovce, Slovakia for one year. During that time, she served at several Lutheran churches and ministered among the local refugee population that lived there. After her year abroad, Rebecca studied at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she completed her theological studies and met Rich! As part of her seminary education, she interned at Bethel Lutheran Church in St. Louis, gaining experience in both parish and campus ministry while there. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church of Swede Home in Stromsburg and Zion Lutheran Church in Benedict, Nebraska. She comes from a musical family, sings, and plays instruments, too!
Rich and Rebecca were married in 2010. They have two young daughters, Erin and Grace. They share one full-time position here at Bethel as well as serving one full-time position as Nebraska Synod Evangelists with our larger church body. It is a privilege, honor, and blessing to serve this church and work together!