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

September 2016

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear members and friends of Bethlehem,
Remember the quiet days of summer? They are no more. The Fall is a wonderful time of new vision, new plans and the consistent joy of the Spirit at Bethlehem. Much is happening.
Mary Shaima has completed her internship project at Bethlehem. I thank her for the gifts she has offered in worship, for working with Mike Notrica in Bethlehem Serves, for preaching so capably and for beginning Moonlight Wednesday's and for so much more. Her ministry in our midst has been a gift. As you know, at our annual meeting last January, we agreed to hire a pastoral associate to replace Pastor Daren by the 4th quarter of this year. Due to transition in the synod office at the election of a new bishop, we have not yet received sufficient names for an interview process. As a solution to the staffing gap, the council has decided to contract with Mary, beginning Sept. 1 through December 31, to fill the pastoral vacancy. After January 1, we may continue to contract her month to month by mutual agreement. Mary's willingness to serve at this time adds much needed ministry and gifts to the life of the congregation. Mary will serve in the areas of preaching, teaching, worship, pastoral care, service and justice. In addition to regular responsibilities, I have asked her to create a new bulletin design, work to enhance the beauty and functionality of the narthex space. She will be working to deepen our Bethlehem Serves partnerships and will also be teaching a class on Lutheranism 101 in early November. Her gifts are much needed and deeply welcomed.
As we continue our year long focus on the stewardship of our whole lives, we will be focusing for two weeks in late October on our financial stewardship, as we consider next year's budget and the ministry we will be supporting together in 2017.
I have been asked by Calvary by the Sea, Honolulu to return to the congregation and co-lead their Ohana (family) Retreat in early October. I will be using my two weeks continuing education time both to teach and to learn from this unique and gifted congregation. I look forward to bringing back to Bethlehem new insights and possibilities.
Bishop Andy Taylor will be joining us in worship and preaching on September 18th. Bishop Taylor was elected at our Synod Assembly in May and we are very blessed to be one of the first congregations to host him. That afternoon he will be leading a bishop's gathering and discussion at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, Poway. The bishop's gathering is open to the whole synod. I would invite you to attend, if you are able.
Our All Inclusive Church conversation continues. I will be leading a Bible Study on the scripture texts that specifically pertain to homosexuality. Come on September 7th or September 11th, with your questions and your Bible and we will be in conversation together about this important topic.   If you have not been able to attend either of the other forums, please also bring your questions or thoughts about the RIC process.
It is a busy time at Bethlehem. I know the same is true in your homes and at your places of work. As you do God's work with your hands in all the areas to which you are called, may God bless you with every good gift and offer you his peace and grace.
Thank you for your stewardship and God bless you in all that you do. I am looking forward to the ministry we share.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Laura

From Mary Shaima, Diaconal Associate

Dear people of God,
There is so much in my heart that I am excited to share!
I finished my diaconal project - a requirement of my candidacy process - on August 31 st and am completing the final paper and submittals. I will have the paper available via a link on our website when it's done. I am very grateful for the opportunity to return to Bethlehem to complete this important work that is showing great promise as a teaching tool for the wider church. Thanks also for your financial support, and to the folks who have provided my housing.
So what's next??
Bethlehem has contracted me to work as the diaconal associate through December 31, 2016. Though the call and search processes have taken longer than anticipated, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take all the time that is needed to find the right person for Bethlehem and for its mission. So given that delay, I'll be filling the void by working in several areas of Bethlehem's life together and in the world: preaching, teaching, site use, organizational work, mission, and our partnerships in the community, among "other duties as needed" as the saying goes.
My first learning opportunity for you will be later this fall (dates TBD) - three weeks on Wednesday evenings called "Lutheranism 101." We'll answer questions like "why Lutheran? What makes us Lutheran? Is Lutheranism still relevant?" and so on. We will gather at 6 PM for a meal and then have what Luther called "Tischreden" - Table Talk - on a topic of the basic tenets of Lutheranism. I'll have signups for dinner contributions once the dates are set. I hope you can join me for an introduction to our faith and a time to break bread together.
I ask your continued prayers for my process, and offer my prayers for Bethlehem's continuing to live into being church for the sake of the world. God is good, all the time!
In Christ,
Mary Shaima, Diaconal Associate

Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events And News

Learning Circles Fall Session: We will begin our fall session of Learning Circles on Sept. 11th. This session will be focused on Jesus. We will be using a new curriculum called DIG IN to the Life of Jesus.
Learning Circle Volunteer Meeting: On Tuesday Sept. 6th @ 7 PM there will be a meeting for those who are interested in volunteering their time and talents teaching our children each week. We are looking for those interested in making a 13 week commitment to teach a Learning Circle Class. This commitment can be shared with another teacher so that you would not have to teach every week. Please prayerfully consider joining us. Our children need you! If you are interested in helping out, but cannot make it to the meeting please contact me at:
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

Quilts on the Pews- Coming October 2nd and 9th
Scraps and Prayers, the Bethlehem quilting group, will display quilts in the sanctuary during the first two weeks of October. This year we will offer baby quilts and other specialty quilts to the congregation in exchange for a donation, which will be used to help us buy materials needed to make all the quilts during the year. If you would like one of the baby quilts or specialty quilts, please see Kim Oswald or any of the other Scraps and Prayers members on the 2nd or 9th. You may take your quilt home with you on those dates. Thank you for supporting this vital ministry!

The majority of the quilts from Scraps and Prayers are made for Lutheran World Relief. In past years we have offered these quilts to the congregation in exchange for a donation to the Lutheran World Relief shipping fund. This year LWR has requested that we send them the quilts instead of money.  So - SOMETHING NEW this year.  The LWR quilts will be displayed on the pews for all to see but will not be offered to the congregation. Instead, they will be blessed on October 9th and then sent on their way to LWR for distribution around the globe.
Along with the quilts, school bags, and fabric kits which we send to Lutheran World Relief we are also collecting full size bars of soap through October 11.   Bring one, bring ten, bring all the full size soap bars you want - please put them in the Women's Basket under the Giving Tree Table.  As always, your support is very much appreciated.
Scraps and Prayers Saturday Quilting Workshop
For those of you who have been interested in Quilting with Scraps and Prayers but cannot make our regular Wednesday morning gatherings we are now holding a special Saturday morning quilting workshop. Join us on Saturday, October 15 from 9 am to 12 noon in the Multi-Use Room. We will show you how to lay out a quilt, sew the quilt top, and then tie the quilt. Non-sewers as well as sewers are welcome. No previous experience is necessary.

Bethlehem Serves Note
400 school bags were put together during our 2016 Bethlehem Serves Sunday.  100 are ready to ship out with our quilts, fabric kits and soap in October to Lutheran World Relief.  150 were driven to Central City Lutheran Mission in San Bernardino on August 22nd.  100 of the 150 school bags heading to Es Por Los Ninos were picked up on August 21st by Oscar who has been volunteering with the organization for 13 years.  The remaining 50 school bags will be delivered by Cheryl Monreal.  Thank you again for your gift of time and money which will provide students with new rulers, crayons, pens, pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, notebooks and just about everything to have a good start to the new school year. 

Stephen Ministry

We All Know Someone.....
Someone in crisis who doesn't know where to turn.
Someone who is tense, upset, worn out-needing someone to talk with, someone to care.
You'd like to help.  But how?
There are three easy steps.
1. Listen and care for your friend in your own relationship together.
2. Mention Stephen Ministry and ask your friend for permission to share his or her need with someone who can help.  Be sure to tell them that all information will be kept confidential.
3. Once permission is given, report his or her need as promptly as possible.  You can do this by speaking with Pr. Laura or with one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.  Molly Hall, our Referrals Coordinator will then contact your friend to explain Stephen Ministry, answer questions, and determine if your friend is a good candidate for Stephen Ministry.  Your friend does not need to be a member of Bethlehem to receive care.

 Giving Tree

This month's Giving Tree is for the Pajama Project. See the table for more information about how you can help.

 Music Ministry

It's time for the music groups of Bethlehem to begin rehearsals.  Joining one of these groups can be a wonderful way to share your musical talent, meet new people. and feel part of a community.  Please consider joining one of the many groups available. On Sunday, Sept. 11th, the music directors will be highlighting the bell/chime and choral programs between services.  Stop by and try out ringing a chime or handbell and talk to the us about the schedules for the school year. 
Here are the first rehearsals for each group.
JuBellation Ringers - first rehearsal on Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 6 p.m.
Good News Singers - first rehearsal on Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 7:22 p.m.
Second Sabbath has already started their rehearsals with two more before leading worship on Sept. 11th. They are on Monday Sept. 5th and Sat. Sept. 10th.  They lead worship one Sunday every odd numbered month.
Childrens Choir - first rehearsal on Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 10 a.m.
Children's Chimers - first rehearsal on Sunday Sept. 18 @ 10:30 a.m.
The Christmas Concert will be on Sunday, December 4th @ 4 p.m.


Over 50 people from Bethlehem will be attending the Padres/Rockies game on Friday, Sept. 9th @ 7:40 p.m. Twenty five people have signed up to be part of  the Lutheran choir that will be singing the national anthem LIVE that evening.  The music needs to be memorized for the performance.  A rehearsal to run through the parts will be on Sunday, September 4th at 10 a.m. in the Family Center.  If you need music, please contact Mona Goetsch at Singers will need to be at the stadium by 6:30 p.m. Still interested in attending, please contact Roger Lakey at or Joanne Manzi at
 San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association
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.   The next meeting is Wednesday, September 7.  Issam Lagrichi from the North County Islamic Foundation will speak.  If you would like further information, please contact Dianne Nichols, the representative for Bethlehem Lutheran Church  at


A BIG TACO Thank You for all the toiletry items, underwear, sox & money that have been contributed the past couple of months for TACO on Bethlehem Serves Day!!
On Tuesday, 8/23, we delivered 10 big boxes & 1 BIG tub (thanks to Elizabeth Drum!) of hygiene bags to TACO.  There were 251 bags w/8 items in each, so 2008 individual items!!  They were thrilled to get them and anxious to start passing them out to our guests on Friday, 8/26.  TACO sends many thanks to our wonderful & generous congregation... and I cannot begin to thank you enough!  We are truly blessed to belong to such a wonderful congregation!   Lori Cook
As you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.    Matthew 25:40

SAVE THE DATE!!  TACO's Fall Fundraiser will be Oktoberfest with Craft Beers, Brats 'n Tacos at Calvary Lutheran Church, 424 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach on Saturday, Oct, 1 fm 3-7PM.   $35/person, $40 at the door.  Any questions, call Lori Cook, 760 207-0432.


The  Bethlehem Oktoberfest event has been cancelled so we can support the TACO Oktoberfest event on Saturday, October 1 in Solana Beach.

 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