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

November 2016

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear People of God at Bethlehem,
I write to you today on Reformation Day. On this October 31st, Pope Francis is worshipping with the Lutherans in Sweden to commemorate the Protestant Reformation. It is a historic day. The first time a pope has ever participated in a service commemorating the Reformation. The times, they are a changing. The joint document between the Catholic and Lutheran churches moving away from our differences and toward our common ground is entitled, "A Declaration on the Way." I love the title. We are on the way in God's church. Moving always, from where we are to where God points. From where we are to who the Spirit would have us be. What a wonderful opportunity.
We are on the way! 2017 will bring staff transitions and new energy and ideas as well as current gifts. We are also in a budget process. Budgets always cause us to consider priorities and vision and mission. A good thing for God's church. If you have not turned in your pledge card for this year, please do so by Sunday, Nov. 6th. If you are using our online giving option, you can do so online as well. The council meets Nov. 8th and we will be making budget and ministry decisions based on what you are able to give. Thank you for all that you do. If we are to stretch into next year's staff hiring and service to our community, it is going to require us all . As a guide, consider that an increase of $365 dollars a year, per family or individual would allow us to be fully staffed and fully fund our ministries. If you are already giving generously as a part of your faith life, please accept our gratitude and thanks for gifting the congregation and the world. If you have not yet discovered the joy of giving to a congregation in this way, please consider giving at any level this year.
We are on the way! This Friday, we will be having a mini-women's retreat at church focusing on light and hope in the coming Advent season and how we might best live into Christmas. Come and join us for fellowship, crafts, worship and conversation. All are welcome. Saturday and Sunday, Jonathan and Dawn Rundman will be with us in a synod wide event focusing on children's education and worship and music. Please see Mary Shaima's newsletter article for a link to the workshops. Saturday includes a podcast in which we are invited to participate! What a wonderful opportunity and we are blessed to be hosting the day. This Sunday, November 6th, at 11:45 am there will be a blessing of the animals. Please bring your: hamster, chicken, lizard, dog, cat or earthworm as we honor our relationship with the animals in our lives, name God's creation good and have a wonderful time!
We are on the way! We are continuing to move forward with our All Inclusive Church conversation. On Sunday Nov. 20th we will be asking for your feedback. During worship, a small questionnaire will be handed out. This is intended to give us a sense of how the congregation is feeling as we move toward the possibility of a congregational vote at our annual meeting. Your answers will determine our next steps. If you have not been able to attend any of the forums, or still have questions or comments or need more information, please do not hesitate to call me at anytime or contact any member of the committee. We are here to help. All are Welcome in this Place!
We are on the way! Advent is around the corner. John will cry out, as we make a way in the desert, a highway for our God. Young Mary and Joseph will journey to Bethlehem and find shelter for the birth of the child. And we will journey as well, into God's grace and purpose. Bless us as you step into God's leading. I am grateful for you all and for your courage and joy. I do not take lightly the blessing that it is to travel together.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Laura    


This Sunday, November 6th, at 11:45 am there will be a blessing of the animals. Please bring your: hamster, chicken, lizard, dog, cat or earthworm as we honor our relationship with the animals in our lives, name God's creation good and have a wonderful time!

From Mary Shaima, Diaconal Associate

Dear people of God,
It's been a great fall so far! This week is no exception:
*The Women's Mini-Retreat is this Friday, November 4 th at church from 5:30-8:30 PM
*Jonathan & Dawn Rundman will be with us next weekend for workshops, a concert, and leading worship (November 5 th & 6 th - signups for workshops here:
*My "Lutheranism 101" discussion and study starts this Wednesday, November 2 nd at 6 PM
And that's just the FIRST week of November. There's lots more happening as you can read further in this newsletter.
I think all of us associate November most particularly with Thanksgiving. It's become a once-a-year holiday for the United States. As Lutheran Christians, though, we know that thanksgiving is not just a holiday, but a way of life. In a way, it's another way to reframe stewardship: a life lived in grateful and generous response to God's love and grace.
I spend the holiday with friends, and their custom at table is for each person to offer what they are thankful for. Many of us do this, right? So I gave it some thought. I am thankful for many things, but this year what I am particularly thankful for is YOU. Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
This journey through seminary and towards rostered leadership as a deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America would never have been possible without your partnership and support. How great is it that you made the space for me to return and complete my project here? How great is it that you asked me to continue with you on a contract basis as we discern together what the next steps might be?
It's greater than I ever imagined. I was asked by a colleague recently how my project had gone, and I said it had exceeded all my expectations. Your interest, participation, and support not only made it possible, but made it one of the best experiences of my life. The staff at Augsburg Fortress have asked me to begin working on material that will make the connection between worship and the Word & Service (deacon) roster, using my project at Bethlehem as the framework. This is a tremendous honor, and without you it would not have happened.
I am reminded of St. Paul's words to the church at Corinth, so appropriate here:
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind- just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you, dear people. May Thanksgiving blessings be yours.
In Christ,
Mary Shaima

Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events And News
Christmas play "The Christmas S.O.C.C.E.R Team" will be on Dec. 11th@ 9 a.m.: This years Christmas play will be a multi-generational musical.That means the cast will include both children and adults. All ages are welcome to participate! If you would be interested in being a part of our play this year, please contact me ASAP @ Rehearsals are currently scheduled for Nov. 12th and 19th @ 10 -11:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. Dress rehearsal (entire cast) will be on Dec. 10th @ 10 a.m.. This rehearsal will probably be a little longer. I would hope to be done by 12 p.m. Besides cast members, we will also need some volunteers to help with costumes and props. So if musical drama is not your thing, there are many other ways you can be involved.
Distribution of Children's Bibles: If your child is in 3rd or 4th grade and does not have a bible of their own, we would like to provide one. Please let me know if you would like one for your child. Contact me @
Learning Circle Volunteers: We could still use a few more volunteers to help teach in our Learning Circle Program for the winter and spring. We will be shifting to a new lectionary based program beginning in December. We are so blessed to have Jonathan and Dawn Rundman in town this week on Saturday Nov. 5th to do a workshop. They are part of the creative team at "Sparkhouse" the publishers of our new program. Please come and enjoy not only the workshops, but the podcast and concert as well.

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

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Delivering LWR items
On Monday, October 17th a truck and SUV from Bethlehem Lutheran Church loaded with boxes traveled to Grace Lutheran Church in Escondido, met up with a semi-trailer starting the drive from San Diego up the coast and eventually to the LWR warehouse in Minneapolis.  The vehicles were loaded with the 100 school kits assembled and boxed during  Bethlehem Serves.  Also in the vehicles were projects completed by Scraps and Prayers - 39 quilts, 4 blankets, 73 bars of soap and twelve fabric kits.  After moving our boxes into the semi, it would be driving up to San Bernardino for the next pickup session.
We don't yet know where this year's school kits, quilts, etc will go  but in 2015 our quilts went to India and were sent worldwide; the new school kits were delivered to Mali, Haiti and Nicaragua.  Bethlehem continues to make a impact worldwide through the work we do in Encinitas.
Thank you to the congregation of Bethlehem for supporting such important work worldwide.

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA will meet on Wednesday, November 16th at 9:00AM in the multi-use building for a 2016 funds and projects status meeting and a preliminary look at 2017.  All women of Bethlehem are invited to participate.  The annual meeting of the BWELCA is planned for the end of January.

Looking Forward
Women's Christmas Bazaar  - Sunday, December 4th from 8:30 - noon in the Family Center.  Bring your Christmas shopping list.  What will be available - handcrafted items, baked goods, jam and jellies, special baskets full of Fair Trade products, Scholastic Books and pre-ordered SERRV products to mention a few items.
Crafters and Cooks - Please consider contributing your beautiful handcrafts, delicious preserves and baked goods or any special skill you may have to sell at the Christmas Bazaar on December 4th.  Please deliver baked goods or craft items to the Family Center on Saturday, Dec. 3rd between 10:00 a.m. - noon or on Sunday, Dec. 4th before 9:00.  For information  or to make alternative arrangements, please contact Kim Oswald, or 760-634-2995.  Proceeds will benefit the ministries of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA.  Thank you for your support.
Veteran's Day - On November 13th, in honor of Veterans Day, a photo display of all Bethlehem veterans will be placed in the eco-narthex.  Come honor those who have served in the United States military.  And remember to thank a veteran, particularly on November 11th - the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 - the armistice which ended "the War to end all Wars" was signed.
If you are a military veteran and have not yet given Bethlehem your photo, please contact Rose Moldenhauer, or Kim Oswald,, by November 9th.

Stephen Ministry

In This Season of Thanksgiving
Thank you Lord for sixteen years of Stephen Ministry at Bethlehem and for the opportunity to bring your healing love to the lives of people within and outside our congregation.
Thank you Lord for the fifteen active Stephen Ministers in our congregation.   Bless their ministry as they serve others with faith, compassion, and encouragement.
Thank you Lord for our Stephen Leaders who nurture and guide others to give and receive care.
Thank you Lord for our care receivers and for the courage they have shown in seeking care. Bring your comfort and healing to them as they struggle with the challenges of life.
Thank you Lord for helping us to be a caring and compassionate community where all who labor and are heavy laden can find rest. Amen.

 Giving Tree

Bethlehem is collecting leftover Halloween candy. We will be donating to TACO, the Wounded Warrior Center, and children living with HIV-AIDS in Mexico. Place your candy under the Giving Tree.


Secret Santa is in full swing. Please check the Giving Tree for opportunities to give Christmas cheer to those in need. This year we are having an emphasis on helping teenagers, the "forgotten children" at Christmas. Please sign-out for the person or item on the sign-out sheet at the Giving Tree. Bring your gift items back no later than December 3.


Any questions please call Cheryl Monreal at (760) 942-1482. Thank you!

 Music Ministry

Mark you calendars for Bethlehem's Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 4th @ 4 p.m.  The concert " International Christmas" will feature carols from many different countries including Mexico, Nigeria, France, Russia and Egypt.  Come here the Children's Choir, Children's Chimers, Good New Singers, World Music Ensemble and JuBellation Ringers. 
 San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association
Everyone is invited to this event hosted by the San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association.  As the Bethlehem representative to this organization, I encourage all of you to attend this program which addresses the important topic of refugees in San Diego that will be presented by David Murphy, executive director of the San Diego International Rescue Committee.  It is a pertinent topic, one that is relevant to San Diego and the global community.  It will be meaningful!  Set aside the time on November 20 to attend!

The San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association (SDIMA) will be hosting the 29th annual Thanksgiving Eve Celebration on Wednesday, November 23, at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, 1613 Lake Drive, Encinitas, CA.  The program begins at 7 p.m.  We all share "An Attitude of Gratitude" with our community.
This annual event bring people of various religious communities together to enjoy a night in harmony. This popular community event includes words and music from many leaders of different faiths as well as the famous Interfaith Choir. There are representatives from many types of faiths, temples and churches and civic leaders, sharing words of encouragement, gratitude and thanks. It's truly an uplifting and wonderful evening and everyone in the community is invited.
Attendees are encouraged  to bring and donate a homemade pie for a delicious and fun social time after the service.  If you would rather buy a pie at Mama's Kitchen, we are extremely excited to announce that we will join forces with them again this year for our 2016 Pie in the Sky fundraiser.  Contact information:  Mama's Kitchen Events:  Pie in the Sky.  There will be coffee, tea, and a variety of pies:  pumpkin, apple, pecan, and cherry.  If you are thankful for all you have in life and enjoy a nice slice of pie, then this event is for you!


This is the 6th year that The Center for Global Awareness is hosting its International Market at the ELCA Women's Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, December 4.  Items are from the Lutheran World Relief SERRV catalogue.  You will pick up and pay for your orders on December 4.
Shop online at or view items in the catalogue which will be available on Sunday, October 30 along with order forms.  
Catalogues will also be available at the Women's Retreat.
There are several ways to order: 
*   email Dianne Nichols at or 
Cha Cha Appel at
*   give orders to Dianne Nichols or ChaCha Appel 
  •   leave order in the SERRV envelope on the table inside the church narthex.    


Please include in your order:  item name, catalog # and price.

CGA donates proceeds to  Lutheran World Relief water projects.
All orders must be returned by Sunday, November 13.


The San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association (SDIMA) invites you to their monthly meetings to explore and learn about other religious beliefs and to openly discuss their doctrines and teachings.  Our membership includes individuals drawn from all major faith traditions, who not only benefit from personal spiritual growth through interfaith engagement but are also part of a movement promoting understanding and the importance of spiritual life in our community.  Meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month at Seaside Center for Spiritual Living 1613 Lake Drive, Encinitas, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00.  A lunch is provided.   If you would like further information, please contact Dianne Nichols, the representative for Bethlehem Lutheran Church at .

 Interfaith Homeless Shelter 

Bethlehem will be partnering with Seaside Center for Spiritual Living - Community Church (SCSL) this December in hosting the Interfaith Rotational Shelter.   Bethlehem will coordinate the first week (12/4 -12/11) and SCSL the second week (12/11 - 12/18).  Volunteers are needed to provide meals and to serve as overnight hosts. Please go to SignUpGenius at to sign up now! Or look for Blair or Diane in between services in the upcoming weeks. Cash donations are gladly excepted as well. Interested in helping? Contact Blair Lindberg (858-663-5681) at or Diane Langager (760-271-2072) at


We will be going to TACO to help serve the meal at First Lutheran Church in San Diego on Monday, 11/21, at 3:30.   We are missing a few of our regulars this month and hope to have a few more new volunteers.   Please call Lori Cook for further information, directions and to let me know that you will be able to come.   760 207-0432   Hope you can join us!

 Upcoming Dates to Save

Here are our Advent and Christmas dates as well as our annual congregational meeting in January:
November 27 - 1 st Sunday in Advent
December 4 - Women's Bazaar
December 4 - 4 pm Christmas concert in the Sanctuary
December 14 - 7 pm Comfort at Christmas Service in the Sanctuary
December 18 - 5 pm potluck dinner in the Family Center followed by Christmas caroling
December 24 - Christmas Eve services at 5, 7, 9 & 11 pm
Christmas Day - one service at 10 am
New Year's Day - one service at 10 am
January 8 - Regular services resume
January 22 - 9 am Annual Meeting

 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.

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Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster