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

June 2016

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear members and friends of Bethlehem,
Now, it is ordinary time. According to the liturgical calendar, these Sundays of Pentecost from now until Christ the King Sunday in November are called "ordinary time". What do you do with your ordinary time? Have you had any lately? I have not. This fast paced life that many of us lead, the demands and schedules, the commitments and unexpected moments, do not allow for much ordinary time. I have a two fold prayer for this summer:
            Lord, grant us ordinary time. Time to simply rest, and rest in you. Time to breath, and pause from a pace you didn't design for us, and do not bless. May this summer allow time for renewal and grace. Time to hear your voice on the wind and be touched and healed by it. Amen
But I have a second prayer as well. A prayer for the enormity of God's grace in the world. A prayer for the certainty that God is always reaching for resurrection day. With God, nothing is ever ordinary. God's Spirit is always at work in the world.  
            Dear Lord, in you, nothing is ordinary In you, there is always extraordinary grace and always resurrection dawn. What compassion would you have us extend in your name? What new revelation of your grace will you reveal to us now? What call would you have us hear? Make us instrument of your peace and healers in a broken world. Surprise us Lord, with your grace.   Amen      
I have a few updates for you, on what is new at Bethlehem. Mary Shaima officially begins her work with us on June 1. For the next three months, she will be doing her final diaconal project at Bethlehem. She and I have been discussing the topic of liturgy as moral agency. How does what we do on Sunday morning, shape what we do the rest of the week? How does our worship shape us for service in God's world? Mary will be engaging with many of the ministries of the congregation. She will be with us full time this summer and I am looking forward to her energy and expertise. We are not paying her for this work, other than providing housing with a member of the congregation and covering basic living expenses from endowment funds. I am so grateful for her presence with us.
The personnel committee is continuing to move forward as we look toward new staffing. I have met twice with the Pacifica Synod staff to discuss the ministry site profile we completed and submitted in January. The synod is currently searching for names that would be a good fit for Bethlehem. This is a process that can take some time. I will keep you updated as information becomes available.
Thank you to all those who attended the Reconciling in Christ forum. We filled the room with people and questions and conversation. It was a lively and engaging beginning. If you missed this opportunity, do not worry, there will be others. If you have any questions, concerns or thoughts please contact me. I would love to be in conversation with you. The committee meets this week. Look for more opportunities for questions and conversation in the near future.
We are in the beginning stages of planning for some much needed upgrades to the Family Center. It is the oldest building on our property and in need of updating. The bulk of the work will be done next summer. The Early Childhood Center has been putting aside funds for building maintenance and upgrades for some time and now is the time to consider expending those funds. As details of the project become available, I look forward to sharing them with you.
Vacation Bible School will be July 5-8. The theme is Caves and we are excited. Registration forms are available in the narthex. Please invite your neighbors and the children in your life. We promise they will love it! Summer trip for our youth is coming up as well. They are headed to Berkeley.   Finally, mark you calendars for Bethlehem Serves on Sunday, August 21st. There is no greater joy for Bethlehem, than to be a community in service to the world. In this summer of ordinary time, may God grant you extraordinary grace. In this summer of ordinary time, may God pull us into extraordinary mission.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Laura      

From Your Congregational Council

Dear Members of Bethlehem,
Thank you for your faithful stewardship. Your generous and consistent investment of time, talents and gifts increase Bethlehem's ability to be Christ in the world so we may live out our call to demonstrate our love of God and our neighbor.
Bethlehem Lutheran was formed with a passion and desire to make a difference. With your support and partnership, Bethlehem has supported hundreds of outreach efforts, brought Christ's light to thousands, counseled friends and families, developed strong bonds in and around our community, provided Christian education to the young and young at heart. Together we've grieved, we've celebrated, we've rekindled hope and, thru Christ, have truly changed lives.
I'm inspired to trace it back to all of you who support the ministries of Bethlehem, who, one person at a time, courageously choose to be present to each other and to the community, to help others, to sacrifice, to be stewards. I marvel at the difference that a single person can make for so many.
As you know, your financial commitment allows the church to be fiscally responsible in supporting its mission and purpose. Great care was used in developing the congregation's budget, it was realistic about the challenges of aging facilities and rising costs, the congregation's ministry goals and its giving and revenue patterns. The congregation approved the 2016 Budget, its financial path forward, and committed its monetary support. 
I am pleased to report that our operating budget is currently in the black. Some of that is due to timing; our bottom line has benefited from savings due to the postponement of hiring an Assistant Pastor and forecasted but as yet unspent maintenance funds. We anticipate (and rely upon) projected increases in giving through the end of the year which will allow us to keep pace with our ministry goals.
We are grateful that pledged giving is on track with historical giving and for the wonderful partnership we have with the preschool and daycare whose income continues to underpin our ministry.
We are not out of the woods. Summer income typically suffers as vacations take congregants away from donation plates. Your help is needed to ensure we can keep our commitments. Please consider consistently committing funds using the online donation tool on our website or using catch-up payments when you are in town.
Refinancing the Sanctuary remodel loan has proven beneficial. We continue to carry the loan on our books and have been aggressively paying down the loan to take advantage of interest savings. Thank you for making that possible. A committee has been set up to address the current $36k shortfall. We can expect some creative and entertaining fundraising efforts aimed at closing that gap.
In all candidness, Bethlehem Lutheran depends on you and your faithful financial support. The finance team anticipates holiday-centric upticks in giving. We make financial commitments in reliance upon the financial commitments you have made to the church. Our congregation's ability to support the ministries and staff we value so highly are directly impacted by you. So, thank you, for making the ministries of Bethlehem possible. Thank you for your partnership and commitment to supporting the difference Bethlehem makes in the world.
Beth Nelson, Treasurer

Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News


Congratulations to our First Communion Class!  Working with the children and families who participated in this years First Communion Class was a joy! Your biblical knowledge was impressive. May you continue to grow in faith!


Kids Sing: June 12   All BLC children are invited to sing. This will include the children from both the half-day and full-day preschools, and all of the children from Learning Circles. This should be lots of fun!


VBS Cave Quest: July 5th- July 8th @ 9 AM- 12 PM  Time is running out to register for VBS at the lower rate! Save $10 by registering before June 1st! We are beginning to fill up, registration will close when class sizes are reached!


Collecting Supplies for VBS:  Please read through this list and see if you might be able to help by donating or lending one of these items:


Paper Grocery Bags

Hoola Hoops

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil ( BBQ type, will be used to cover windows)

Cans of "Foam-in-place" insulation (used to make stalagtites/ stalagmites

Glow in the Dark Finger Paint

Beach Towels


Swim/ Pool Noodles

Crawl Through Tunnels



Spelunking Equipment

Climbing Equipment

Glow in the Dark Play-dough (Can be made easily at home)

"Black Light" light bulbs

Please bring items to church on Sundays, Be sure and label items that need to be returned.Please note,although we promise to do our best to take care of items lent to us, items might not return in perfect condition.


VBS Volunteers; VBS is a wonderful opportunity to share God's love with the children of our community. There are many ways in which you can help. If you are able to help out, in any way, please fill out VBS Volunteer Registration Form which can be found on the church website or at the Children's Ministry Table on Sundays. Please turn them in ASAP.


Please remember to visit the Children's Ministry Table, each week, to sign your children in. Sign in will be very quick and easy!



Chris Matthews

Director of Children's Ministries


IMPORTANT!! The departure date for the Summer Trip to Berkeley, CA has changed. Our new date of departure is Sunday, July 31st. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact Jonathan with any questions or concerns. There is still time to register but space is limited so don't delay! Updated forms can be found on the website under the blcym forms page.

blcym Scholarships Needed! Each year, blcym encourages all students in the ministry to attend the Summer Trip and each year, there are students that are unable to afford it. As a ministry, we do not want any of our students held back from the transformative experience of the Trip because of financial station and that is why we need your help. We are hoping to provide 3 scholarships (at $395 apiece) for this Summer Trip to Berkeley. Please contact Jonathan with any questions and prayerfully consider sponsoring a student in part or in whole. Thank you for all of your prayers!

Stephen Ministry

This month ten members of our congregation will complete the Stephen Ministry Training Class after 20 weeks of studying, classes, and practice. Please pray for these exceptional individuals as they extend their new caring skills to the church, their families, and the community. Those continuing on to become Stephen Ministers will be commissioned on Sunday, June 19.
If you are going through a difficult time in your life and would like the care of a Stephen Minister please speak with Pr Laura or one of our Stephen Leaders Dianne Nichols, Molly Hall, or Laure Reynolds.
                Dear Lord, as our newest Stephen Ministers begin their first caring relationships, be with them in all that they do. Help them not to be anxious or fearful but to call upon you for strength, always remembering that their ministry is your ministry. Be with their care receivers as they open their doors and begin to walk the road to recovery. Bless these relationships that they may be a place of your love and healing. Amen

 Giving Tree

The June Giving Tree donations are for Stand Down for Homeless Veterans (which began in San Diego 29 years ago), a 3 day event held in July in San Diego providing over 1000 homeless veterans (men and women) and family members with services such as shelter, clothing, legal/medical assistance, counseling and much, much more. See the June Giving Tree for more information about this important program as well as a hand out of items needed for Comfort Kits this year. A donation box is available on the wall of the Giving Tree table area for checks (please make them out to BLC with Stand Down in the memo line) and a large box next to the Giving Tree table for clothing and hygiene items. The 2010 Stand Down was featured on 60 Minutes, if you are interested in seeing the program it is available on-line for viewing at and we also have a DVD available for viewing, please contact Bill Miller to borrow it.  If you have any questions or want to coordinate delivery or pick up of items for the Giving Tree, please contact Bill Miller at or 760-729-5875 or Kim Oswald at or 760-634 2995.


Our stewardship chairperson, Dick Dubois, will be leading a discussion about gifts of time, talents, and resources at all three worships services on June 5th.

 Eagle Scout Ceremony

Our son, Paul Lindberg's, Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony of Troop 782 is taking place this Saturday from 10-11am in the Family Center at Bethlehem.  We wanted to extend an invitation to anyone from Church who might be interested in attending.  Refreshments will be served.

Mike and Blair Lindberg  

 Music Ministry

The Choirs of Bethlehem will present their Spring concert Celebrate With Praise !  on Sunday, June 5 at 4PM. The Good News Singers will be singing a medley of songs from Phantom of the Opera as well as choral favorites from this year's season. All choirs will perform including the Children's Choir, Children's Chimers, JuBellation Ringers, Good News Singers and the World Music Ensemble.  A free will offering for the music department will be taken at the concert.  Please join us for an afternoon of wonderful music!


S AVE THE DATE! Bethlehem will be holding an Oktoberfest celebration Friday, October 14. Details to follow.

 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