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Pastor's Letter



Most of my childhood was spent growing up with my family in a parsonage in Iowa. We had a ranch-style house and a nice yard. We would drive up the long driveway at the end of a one-way street and into the garage. After you shut the garage door and before you would enter the house, you would see a boat that my dad had inherited from his dad. The boat was named “Tomorrow.”

Tomorrow received its name because that is when my father and grandfather would go fishing: tomorrow… tomorrow… tomorrow… never Today. I saw that boat every day for over a decade going back-and-forth to church or school or work, it stayed right there, living up to its name, maybe tomorrow we would go fishing.

We never did and now that boat is sold away.

If I ever get a boat, I’ll name it Today.

God offers us every moment as a precious moment in our life. It can be spent in a way that honors him or you can lose that moment forever. We are called—each and every one of us—to a certain time and a place to serve in a special way that is uniquely ours. You will be able to minister to people I will probably never meet. And, you could say, “Oh, I’ll get around to it tomorrow.” But, let me be the voice that whispers into your ear and says, “Why not today?”

We have so many things going on at Bethlehem these days that we needed to send this second newsletter out to you! Whether it’s attending service (in person or online); praying with us; helping I-HELP; serving at coffee hour or during the service; financially supporting the ministry; joining a leadership team; or the Board of Directors, right now is a moment that God is calling you.

And, I hope you can come fishing with me today!

--Pastor Josh Schmidt


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Youth Update Aug 2023

Free Lutheran Youth (FLY) Convention took place July 3-8. What an incredible experience! Each of our youth, Caitlin, Christopher, and Julian heard Scripture presented in ways they’ve never heard or seen before. From the daily Bible Study on Biblical heroes who needed and received restoration, and the Daily workshop on Identity in Christ, to the evening presenters doing art, comedy, musical performances and illusions all illustrating this concept, and the sessions on various topics in between, the message of restoration through Christ was made real in the hearts and minds of over 2200 youth.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 1:2

Your incredible generosity of financial support and prayer support allowing us to go on this incredible adventure are so greatly appreciated. 


Vacation Bible School: Twists and Turns VBS was amazing!  We had as many as 9 kids join us for a week of games, bible study, fun challenges, and learning through the life of Peter that Jesus is with us, and loves us, no matter how many twists and turns we experience, even the ones we create ourselves.

It would not have been possible without the sacrifice of time from all of our volunteers to make the week happen:

Marilyn Maxner               The Goebels,

The Boones                        Caitlin

The Harbaughs                 Pastor Josh

Julia                                      Karla

Alan                                      The Padlinas


All who supported us in prayer and through financial contributions.

Also, a huge thank you to all who supported us in prayer and through financial contributions, and to Brynne and the Evangelism Committee for doing the behind the scenes work to include VBS in the budget so that we can provide this outreach and faith growth experience to the kids and families that join us each year.

What a blessing to be part of a community of people who value the younger generation so much. Though you may not hear it directly from them often enough, your pouring out into their faith lives and journey to becoming the future leaders of our church makes a huge difference and does not go unappreciated.

Looking ahead:

·        Confirmation; Christopher and June Harbaugh will be starting their final year in confirmation classes on Aug 31. Please continue to keep them in prayer as they continue this instruction into our Lutheran faith. 

·        Youth events/meetings: We are looking forward to events such as lock-ins and youth fellowship opportunities, as well as at least monthly meetings in the Youth Room to dive into scripture and learn how it applies to our lives today.

Let's Go to Bethlehem

Member Affirmation Sunday

Now is the time to be part of something!!!

September 10th, you are invited to affirm your faith and membership together with us at Bethlehem. Whether you have been a member for your whole life or just started coming and joined relatively recently, today we stand in faith and pledge to be one family of God together. New members will be welcomed to come forward while we all confess who God has called us to be together here at Bethlehem.

The following questions will be asked and answered in confidence in Christ:

Do you in the presence of God and this congregation acknowledge the gifts that God gave you in your Baptism? Yes, I do. Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways? Yes, I renounce them. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, and in the Holy Spirit? Yes, I believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Do you hold all the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God and the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, drawn from them and confessed in the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true? I do.

Do you intend to hear the Word of God and receive the Lord’s Supper faithfully? I do, by the grace of God. Do you intend to live according to the Word of God, and in faith, word, and deed to remain true to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, even to death? I do, by the grace of God. Do you intend to continue steadfast in this confession and Church and to suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it? I do, by the grace of God. Do you desire to become a member of this congregation? I do.

Will you support the work our gracious Lord has given this congregation with your prayers and the gifts God has given you? I will, with the help of God.

Upon this, your confession of faith, I acknowledge you publicly as a member of our church and welcome you to receive the means of God’s grace here with us!!!

Another opportunity for you:

Dear clergy and church musicians,


Attached is a flyer for the Camerata Singers auditions for the 2023-2024 season. Rehearsals start in September. Please share with your congregation who would enjoy the experience of singing in a community choir of long standing and high quality in Monterey County.


Camerata Singers Audition flyer - Copy.docx


Thank you and blessings to you.



Click here to visit: camerata singers

Every year Bethlehem elects their Board of Director and Endowment Fund Committee positions. If you can think of any faithful members who may be called to help our church in a leadership capacity please reach out to Pastor and let him know so that he can work with the Nominating Committee to reach out to them. Names will be released in late September or October with voting on October 22nd.

Fresh flowers on the altar have been a long-standing tradition at Bethlehem, but they have become too expensive. The cost went up this year from $50 for two bouquets to $80.

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