Bethlehem Lutheran Church

                                   and Early Childhood Center

"Caught in grace, created for service, called into community"
In This Issue

Sunday Mornings... 

Worship Services   8:00am, 9:00am, and 10:30 am


Learning Circles 

(Pre - 6th)

9:00 am


(7th - 12th)

10:30 am


Contact Us


Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2
Jonathan Garman
Youth Director
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministry

Quick Links

April 2017

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear people of Bethlehem,
The theme for this year's summer mission trip is, "I am doing a new thing, do you not perceive it!" Isaiah 43:19 . Such is the nature of our God. God is always doing a new thing. God is always moving us toward new day. As we near the end of Lent and anticipate an Easter dawn, Easter's promise is just that, God will make us new. God will make the earth new. Raising life from death and hope from despair and love from all that this world would array against it. Easter is God's insistence that nothing can restrain his love and grace. He will do a new thing!
We are doing a new thing at Bethlehem as well. This week we are pleased to welcome our new youth director, Constance Mithelman. Constance has degrees in Religion and Women's and Gender Studies from Augustana College. She worked, until a year ago, as the Youth Director at Hope Lutheran Church, Temecula. Constance's parents are both Lutheran pastors and after college she spent a year in the Lutheran Volunteer Core. While in LVC she taught 2nd grade in the International Community School in Atlanta, GA. Constance brings energy, confidence and joy when she enters a room. She is certain of her faith, her love of youth ministry and her desire to be of service in God's world. She invites young people to do the same. We are very blessed to have someone of this caliber coming to lead our youth ministry. St. Andrews is equally excited. Constance is exceptionally equipped to lead this ministry in this time of transition. During her interview, she offered her philosophy of youth ministry. I quote her here, in part: "It takes a village to raise youth in today's society. It takes all of us -- their parents, role models and adults of greater faith communities to remind them they are loved exactly as they are. They are forever cleansed the the Holy Spirit and given the most perfect, holy and adequate identity of all, Child of God." She goes on to speak of the need to build bridges into the world and to reach out into our community to be of service to all. Constance will be joining us full time beginning May 1st. Please welcome her when you see her and introduce yourself.  
Holy Week is coming soon. Please invite all the children in your life to the Easter egg hunt on April 8 at 10 am. That is the day before Palm Sunday. Note the date change from last year. Our cantata and service of holy communion will be on Palm Sunday at 9 and 10:30 am. It will be a powerful service as we enter into Holy Week. Note that there will be no 8 am service that day. This year's Easter Vigil will be on the theme of the breath of the Holy Spirit. There will be flowers, baptism, music, word, joy and a bagpipe! Please bring a potted, flowering plant with you to Vigil this year. What you bring will be the flowers that decorate the sanctuary for Easter Sunday -- which is so Bethlehem. All flowers are welcome!
Several saints of Bethlehem have joined the great cloud of witnesses in these holy days. Most recently, we have lost our dear brother Chuck Ades. We give thanks for his deep faith and life and we commend him to God's grace. Chuck was a nurseryman and he could grow anything. As the flowers come in this Easter, I will think of Chuck and they will honor his life and faith. His strong tenor voice now sings with the host of heaven. Dear Easter people, the tomb stands open and Christ is raised, and so too is Chuck, and so too shall we be!
Blessed Easter to you all,
Pastor Laura

From Mary Shaima, Diaconal Associate

I'm writing this having just returned from a couple of weeks' vacation, starting in Berkeley for a wedding and ending in the Northern Wasatch mountains of Utah.
It was my own time of renewal - so appropriate during Lent!  I had scheduled it based on other folks' calendars, but it turned out to be God's timing.
We've been hearing stories of renewal and transformation the last few weeks: the woman at the well, the man born blind, and Lazarus.  I preached on the man born blind last week in Utah.  As he told his story over and over, his understanding of Jesus changed.
As I traveled around northern Utah, I taught the same things I've been teaching for a while, but my understanding of how God is working in the world was changed - expanded, actually.
I saw this too in the flora and fauna of the area too.  Even though I was skiing in falling snow, still the daffodils and hyacinth were stubbornly pushing through.  The little marmot who lives under a tree on the mountain came out every morning, hoping that maybe the snow had disappeared overnight.  All of creation was literally groaning, waiting for spring!
I loved seeing both seasons straining simultaneously to be seen and heard.  I stood in the space between, hoping for cold, dry snow yet irresistibly drawn to the birds' songs and the creeks made from the abundant snowmelt.
"See, I am making all things new," says the Lord.  In these last weeks of our Lenten journey, look for where God is making all things new.  Even in the smallest of places, new life springs up, reminding us of God's unending love and care.

Mary Shaima, Diaconal Associate

Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News

Easter Egg Hunt: This years Easter Egg hunt will be held on Saturday April 8th @ 10 AM. Come join us for wonderful morning of family fun!
Vacation Bible School: This years VBS will be the adventure of a lifetime! Bring your child to the ancient city of Rome! Traveling back into Bible times - without setting foot outside our community. Each day, your children can become part of history as they see, hear, touch, and even taste what it was like to live in Rome during Bible times! You'll explore authentic Marketplace shops, visit the
Apostle Paul (who's under house arrest), sneak to the cave where the Underground Church meets, take part in games, dance to lively Bible songs, and sample tasty tidbits as you discover more about the early church. These experiences make God's Word come alive with new meaning for all who participate! So mark these dates on your calendars: June 26 - 30. The adventure starts at 9 AM and will end at 12 noon each day. Registration forms and more info can be found on our website at or click on the links below:

Click here to view and print the VBS Registration form

Click here to pay the VBS registration fee using your credit card
on our Online Giving page - just enter your total registration fee
in the SPECIAL block and note 2017 VBS REGISTRATION in the
memo line.

Volunteers needed: VBS is a great opportunity to share God's
love with the children of our community! A successful VBS
program requires the gift of the time and talents of many.
Prayerfully consider joining in on the fun! Let us know about your
commitment to help out, click here to download and fill out the
Volunteer Registration Form.

Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Women of Bethlehem...It's time to do something for yourself.  
From July 13-16, join other women of faith at the Tenth Triennial Gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Spend time with women of bold faith and courage and listen to inspiring speakers and be uplifted at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Sound interesting?  Of course it does!  Come join real women talking about our faith. About our doubts and challenges. About joy and what inspires us. We'll experience simple conversations between friends-old and new-that will develop into a movement sweeping the church, inspired and infused with the Holy Spirit. Contact Kim Oswald ( for more information.  Scholarships are available.

Save The Date!  The next Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held on September 15 - 17, 2017 at Luther Glen.  Put it on your calendars!

Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry is Your Ministry
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12
"Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing." 1Thessalonians 5:11
                Stephen Ministry is your ministry. It belongs to all of us at Bethlehem, not just to the pastor, Stephen Leaders, or Stephen Ministers. Your support is important in a number of ways. Stephen Ministry needs your prayers: for the Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers, for the care receivers, and for the healing God is working through each caring relationship. Stephen Ministry needs your support to foster a more caring environment at Bethlehem. Remember the "one another" passages as you meet, greet, and talk to people. Take time to listen and care for those around you. Remember also to think Stephen Ministry. Always be conscious of those around you at church, home, work, and elsewhere. You are the eyes and ears of Jesus. When you see someone going through a difficult time, tell him or her about our Stephen Ministry and connect the person with a Stephen Leader. When you encounter a difficult time yourself, be receptive to care. Allow yourself to be ministered to by those around you, and possibly by a Stephen Minister.
                If you are interested in knowing more about Stephen Ministry, please contact one of our Stephen Leaders, Laure Reynolds or Molly Hall, or one of our Stephen Ministers, Frank Belock, Kathleen Dabbs, Mea Hall, Dan Halvorson, Scott Havenor, Marla Keith, Beth Nelson, Annmarie Robbins, or Suzi Westmoreland.

 Dot's Garden

Evening in the Garden - Friday, April 21st, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 pm provides an opportunity to raise funds for our wonderful preschool building and playground. Help Dot's Garden grow. You can sample wines from wonderful wineries and taste beer, while munching on a selection street tacos and other tasty treats, all amid the ambiance of our wonderful Dot's Garden. Corey Leal, performs acoustic guitar. Click the link below to RSVP.

 Giving Tree

Do you remember all of the work it took to set your kids up the first time they moved away?  Not just the material goods, but also all of the moral support and advice they needed?  Now, think of all of the kids that don't have the benefit of a supportive family to turn to.  After that, you will want to check out the Giving Tree for the month of April!  The BWELCA is proud to be sponsoring Just in Time for Foster Youth.  JIT's mission is to engage a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being.  The program often starts with meeting an emergency need, such as rent assistance or a bus pass or setting up a first apartment. As they establish trust and build friendships, they address other needs such as money management, education support, and college graduation, job skills, networking, meaningful employment, reliable transportation, and health and well-being.  We will be collecting items to assist in this mission, such as housewares, bedding, and Target gift cards.  Choose something from the tree, and bring it back next Sunday!  For more info on this amazing program, as well as very informative videos  on the difference they are making, check out, or contact Dana Roberts (, 760-822-4765) with any questions.

 Golf Fundraiser

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
SCRR Fundraiser

1st Annual Golf Tournament

Sunday, May 21st
1:30PM Lunch (grill item, chips and drink)
2:00PM Start time

$60pp ~ Best Ball Play

Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course
1580 Sun Valley Road
Solana Beach, CA  92075

Prizes for:
Longest Drive ~ Closet to the Pin

Sign-up deadline - May 13th

Sign-up Contacts:
Roger Lakey - - 760-525-8345
Joanne Manzi - - 760-814-8125

 Cub Scouts in Dot's Garden

On Saturday, March 18, the Cub Scouts of Pack 774 weeded, raked, and spruced up Dot's Garden. Pack 774 holds their meetings at Bethlehem and to show their appreciation they perform a service project annually in Dot's Garden. We really appreciate the great work that they do every spring! If you have a boy entering 1st grade up to and including 4th grade who would be interested in joining the Cub Scouts contact Sierra Izzard at

 Music Ministry

The Good News Singers and Children's Choir will perform the Easter cantata The Passion and the Promise on Palm Sunday, April 9 at the 9 and 10:30 a.m. service. Come hear and participate in the powerful story of Holy Week accompanied by narrators and orchestra.  To accommodate the ensemble, the 8 a.m. service has been cancelled that morning. Communion will be served at both the 9 and 10:30 services.

 Newsletter Now Available on Our Website

Have you missed one of our monthly e-newsletters? Have you wished you could open up that newsletter again to get that bit of information you were looking for? Well, now you can. On our home page,, there are links available to view current and past newsletters.

 Need Help?

Join us in meeting the needs of our north county community. The new Resource Book in the church office has resources that can help those in need. Be equipped to help those who may be experiencing hard times. If you know of a helpful resource or are having difficulties finding the help you need, please contact Sarah Breding at


We have also put the resource listings on our website. Click here to check out the many resources available to assist you. 


Bethlehem is now participating in the AmazonSmile program. This is a great way to easily benefit our congregation when you are shopping online. Bethlehem will receive 0.5% of the price of eligible online purchases automatically when you use the website. See the website for more details.

 Thrivent Financial

Choice Dollars
The Thrivent Choice® program lets eligible members recommend where some of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans' charitable outreach funds go by directing Choice Dollars®. Bethlehem Lutheran is an eligible recipient of these funds.
For more information click on the link below.
or contact your Thrivent congregational advocate, Dennis Astroth, at 858-354-3566, or

 Online Giving

Online Giving, a Green Path to Stewardship


We are always looking for ways to make giving more convenient and environmentally friendly. With today's online financial tools, it has never been easier to set up and track regular giving, special offerings and donations to specific areas. Just follow the easy steps provided with our new online service and you will be surprised at how easy it is to be a regular giver at whatever level seems right. We have expanded on the services provided by the same Minnesota-based online service that has managed our electronic giving for a number of years. They serve thousands of churches, and the service is secure, maintaining privacy. 


How to get started...
You may access the online service by clicking on the link on Bethlehem's web page Once you are on the site, you may use your checking account, or your debit or credit card information. If your cards are on a mileage program, you can gain frequent-flier miles while helping support the ministries of Bethlehem.

Dear  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster