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 

Contact Us


Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2
Constance Mithelman
Youth Director
Ext 12
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministry
Ext 15
Quick Links

August 2017

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear friends of Bethlehem,

Just a short update this month.  Work on the Family Center is coming along very nicely.  Thanks to the labor and heart of many of the members of Bethlehem as well as professional labor we are ahead of schedule and on our way to completion.  When the people of Bethlehem put their hand to anything, the results are always exceptional.  I know I'm a little bit prejudiced, but it is true.  New play equipment has been installed in the playground, as well.  Our preschool programs will open in the fall with clean, new space and new equipment.  Our preschool is the largest ministry we have, serving hundreds of families in our community.  What a blessing to offer such a gift to our community. 
Our high school students and leaders have just returned from summer trip.  They exceeded expectations, as they always do, and blessed many.   Ask them about their trip.  They have amazing stories.  Constance is a gift to this congregation and to St. Andrews.  We are very blessed to have her.

Bethlehem Serves is coming up on August 20.  We look forward to a day when we can work together all across Encinitas for the sake of our community.  It is a day joy and service and wonderful fellowship.  Come and join us and bring a friend!  Many people are looking for a way to serve.  Invite them to come and join Bethlehem.  Join us on Sunday August 27th at Moonlight beach at 11 am for beach worship.  We will worship in the sanctuary at 8 and 9 am that morning as well.  Friday September 1, is Lutheran night at the Padres and we will be singing the National Anthem on the field.  Come if you like to sing, or come just for the game.

As this summer winds down, may God grant you grace and rest.  September is just around the corner.  Bethlehem is blessed to be a busy and active congregation.  Thank you for all that you do to further God's grace in the world.

Summer blessings,
Pastor Laura

Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News

Learning Circles: Our summer program continues, children ages 4-12 will meet in the multiuse building during the 9 AM service. The nursery will be available for children under the age of four. Our regular Learning Circles Program will begin on September 17.

Learning Circles Volunteers: September is fast approaching. This is the perfect time to prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer teacher in our Sunday school program. Your time and talents can be used to make a huge difference in the lives of our children at Bethlehem. We need at least 15 teachers to cover our Learning Circle classes this fall. There will be 5 groups, nursery, pre-k - kindergarten, 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 4th, and 5th - 6th. If you would like to volunteer
please contact Chris Matthews at

Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Youth Ministry

T hank you to all who contributed in anyway towards the inaugural 2017 Summer Mission Trip with Bethlehem Lutheran and St. Andrew's Episcopal. On Saturday, July 15th, 41 of us packed up our belongings and headed North for a week of service in the East Bay Area. We most certainly saw and heard the face and voice of God in those we served and talked to under highway overpasses, at the Bay Area Rescue Mission and throughout Berkley.  As the week progressed, we were no longer Bethlehem and St. Andrew's but rather, the church going out into the world together. The youth and I (Constance) are thrilled to embark on this new adventure as one youth group.

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

2017 Bethlehem Women's Retreat
For Such a Time as This
-Women's Voices-

Sign-ups will begin on August 13. Sign up for the conference center rooms will be first come first serve based on when we receive your money. Be sure to bring your checkbook!
The 2017 Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held at the Luther Glen Conference Center in Yucaipa, CA on September 15 - 17. Join us for a weekend of faith, fellowship, and fun!
We have a choice of two housing options available this year at two different prices. The conference center sleeps 40 persons and features comfortable rooms with private baths and includes bedding and towels. The cost for the conference center will be $175 per person for the weekend. We also have available the cabins at Camp Yolijwa which have bunk beds and newly renovated bathrooms at a cost of $140. Bring your own bedding and towels for the cabins. The cost for all participants includes meals Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast. Visit the Luther Glen website at
Full and partial scholarships will be available.   Would you like to sponsor a scholarship?

Stephen Ministry

Crises are inevitable.  Crises are turning points in our lives which bring change and make us feel unsure and unstable.  Some change is rather predictable and can cause developmental crises, such as getting married, starting a new job, having children, or getting older.  Other crises happen unexpectedly and are accidental crises.  How we respond to a crisis depends on several factors.
Factors Contributing to the Intensity of a Crisis:
  • The suddenness of the onset of the crisis
  • How healthy the individual is
  • The person's personality
  • Whether the person has a strong reason for living that gives purpose and meaning to his or her life
  • Whether the person has others to support him or her, such as family, friends, or a Stephen Minister
  • How effective the person's support is
  • Whether the person has experienced similar crises in the past and learned to cope with them
  • The severity of the crisis
  • The person's relationship with God
  • How much advance preparation the person had
  • Whether the person has unresolved issues from the past.

Each person will experience a crisis differently, but there are some frequently occurring responses.  Typically a crisis can bring a sense of failure or inadequacy, disorganization, preoccupation with one's own affairs, irritability, a reexamination of one's beliefs and values, and a reexamination of one's relationship with God. 


If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis a Stephen Minister can help support you through this time.  To learn more about Stephen Ministry please contact Pr. Laura or one of our Stephen Ministry Leaders, Laure Reynolds or Molly Hall. 


from Stephen Ministry Training Manual, Volume 1, Module 8

Endowment Fund

Mission Endowment Fund News
Each month, Bethlehem's Mission Endowment Fund Committee shares some thoughts and suggestions about planned giving from Greg Shepherd, the Pacifica Synod's gift-planning resource. This month's topic is "Ten Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan"
1.   New children, grandchildren or other heirs
2.   A move to a different state
3.   The sale or purchase of a major asset
4.   Reaching age 70½
5.   Your selected beneficiary is deceased
6.   Divorce or remarriage
7.   Substantial change in value of assets
8.   Adding a major property to a living trust
9.   Selected executor or trustee not available
10. Passage of time
For information on how to receive a "Will and Trust Workbook" or to seek assistance in reviewing your legacy plan, contact our gift planner, Greg Shepherd at: (909)910-6823 or

 Bethlehem Serves

Bethlehem Serves Day!  Come and help serve our community working alongside fellow church members.  Reserve the date, August 20th.  Arrive at 9:00 for a short service, then off to your project.  Come back at noon for a potluck: hamburgers and hot dogs.  Bring a fruit salad or other side dish or dessert for 8-10 people.  Project sign-up tables are set up every Sunday.  If you have any questions about it email Mike Notrica @ or see him at church.

Bethlehem Serves Donations Needed!  The "Envelope Board" is an easy way to help support our day of service.  Just take an envelope and return it with that amount of money - for example, take Envelope #20 and return it with $20.00.  This helps us purchase supplies for the various projects.
BETHLEHEM SERVES DONATIONS NEEDED - FIRST RESPONDERS CARE BASKETS:  We are collecting items for the care baskets we make during Bethlehem Serves for first responders.  We can use: granola bars - protein bars - dried fruits - small packages of nuts - cookies - crackers & cheese - fresh "portable" fruit like apples - and grocery store gift cards of $10 or more.  We are also asking for homemade pies to add a personal touch - those are VERY popular!  Please bring donations to the Giving Tree basket in the entry way (bring pies on the Bethlehem Serves day, August 20th).  Thank you for your support!
TACO Donations for Bethlehem Serves:  travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, sunscreen, and deodorant are needed for the toiletries bags.  We have purchased the toothbrushes and toothpaste in small kits.  Collect them on your travels or pick up a few next time you're at Target.  THANK YOU!

 Upcoming Events

  • Come join in the fun at the Lutheran Fellowship/Choir Night at Petco Park on Friday, September 1st. In addition to an evening of fellowshipchoirs from each of the participating churches are invited to perform the National Anthem with other Lutheran church choirs.  Our experience last year was beyond anyone's expectations and we all look forward to another awesome event! Joanne Manzi and Roger Lakey are coordinating ticket sales and Mona will lead choir efforts again this year. Contact Joanne at or Roger at for tickets or further information.
  • BLC's Oktoberfest/Reformation's 500th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, October 29th. More info will follow regarding food, activities and volunteering...plan on joining in on the fun!!

 Host an International Student

What a blessing it would be for you to become friends with an international student! For the past 14 years, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church has partnered with UCSD to host hundreds of these outstanding students and future leaders from all around the world.  This year, Bethlehem Lutheran Church has joined in partnership with SBPC to host students as well.
To host an international student, you choose a student from those who apply. You pick that student up from the airport and host them in your home for 3-6 days. You help them get acclimated to America, maybe help them get a bank account, get a cell phone, etc.  After this short stay, most families invite their students to family events, holidays, church, etc. You become their American family!
In the past few years, the hosting program has had more students sign up than there have been host homes. We are praying for an abundant supply of openhearted host families this year. Students are preparing to arrive soon.
International Student Outreach organizers and leaders are eager to hear from you! Contact  Carole Orness  or 619-985-2138 to sign up or ask questions.

 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  ,


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Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster