Our mission "To worship God as a loving community that grows in faith and shares the Gospel of Christ".

BLC Family News & Events

Pastor's Letter

Teaching by Example

“Today we are going to ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones,’” Rev. Dr. John Nunes said as he began his presentation for regional pastors in San Rafael on the morning of Monday October 9, 2023. When we gather together it helps us to realize that we are not alone and to remember that the Church is not just a building in our neck of the woods. During this time together the Rev. Dr. was charged with teaching us how a Scriptural, Lutheran, Christian church body is meant to understand a few secular concepts.

As Nunes’ talk continued, the genius of his mentorship was shown rather than said:

1)    He modeled learning with one of the first questions by taking notes from his pupil’s statements, encouraging him, and sharing how he might use them in future presentations. Whether or not he was actually interested, he taught us that we should be ready and open to excitedly learn from each other and grow together.

2)    Later, he brought up a panel of four or five individuals with different backgrounds and identities so that they could discuss their life stories—sharing with us how to listen and to learn from those who are different than ourselves in an encouraging and open dialogue.

3)    He also discussed how he often gets together with one of his colleagues for debates on the Concordia University Irvine Campus. They pick a topic (usually something relevant) and study it. Then, they draw to see who argues which side. Then, they switch sides halfway through, not revealing their own opinion until the end. This reminded me of something Plato or Aristotle once said, “True wisdom is found in being able to understand someone else’s opinion while still being able to disagree with it.” Nunes is able to model proper civil discourse in this way.

“Eat the meat and spit out the bones,” this idea as well as his others of

1) learning, 2) listening, and 3) understanding, are concepts that are meant to be brought with us as Christians who interact with the world.

When the Monterey Plaza hosted a Fall Mixer for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, I wanted to see what “meat” there was and which “bones” I would rather just spit out. I learned about different organizations in the area (including All-In Monterey which our Evangelism Committee hopes to help); I listened to faith-life stories from a handful of people (three of them told me about their baptisms and one of them might even bring her mom to our church when she visits!); and I understood where others might be coming from even if I disagreed with them.

Most of all, though, I just hoped to model—to show—what it would look like for a Christian to be there for them: The Church in the community, a divine light piercing through a secular fog. And, you know what? I was welcomed. I felt appreciated. I belonged. This is because when you model who we are to be—to show it instead of just talk about it—the world gets a glimpse of the One who first loved them and made them and died for them… in order to rise for them too.

Although they might not understand it right away, even the most fallen person begins to recognize that there is some sort of familiarity within you. They were made to know the One who sent you.

I am honored to serve alongside you because I see this in you too,

--Pastor Josh Schmidt


Upcoming Events

October 29 - Reformation Sunday

October 29 - Oktoberfest, 11:30am-1:30pm

November 5 - All Saints' Day

November 19 - Thor's Baptism, 10am with reception

November 23 - Thanksgiving Day

November 26 - New Years' with potluck and Taiko Drummers

December 10 - Picture Day! After church until 1pm.


November Birthdays

November 18 - Deidra Ellinghausen

November 18 - Thor Lochlann

November 26 - Ray Brockett

November 27 - Ewald Hueffmeier


President’s Report

Dear Family and Friends of Bethlehem Lutheran Church,

Christmas is fast approaching! …..Wait a minute, there is so much coming first, so much to get involved with. We have our Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving, and a fun-packed Advent season and not to mention our growing Sunday Services and Fellowship hours. There are new members to meet. Invite someone to lunch or over for dinner. Reach out and embrace your church!

We just had a great Voters meeting. Record numbers of you all showed up to vote and hear all the good stuff that is going on. We elected officers on to the Board of Directors and the Endowment Committee. 

With positions to be determined, the new Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2024, will be as follows;

·       David Boone

·       Bob McCully

·       Ed Nipper

·       Alan Laden

·       Ken Goebel

We also welcome back Zack Kaufman to the Endowment Committee.

Whether you just filled a position or have been filling a role for a while, we all thank you all and pray you flourish in Christ as a member of his body here at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. 

On a financial note: Our Endowment Fund is growing, and we remain debt free. However, our plate offerings are down and quite a bit under budget. Conversely, our budgeted operational spending is also underbudget. The Security System project remains underfunded; out of the voter approved $21,500, we have about $2,500 more to raise and there is the matter of the cost of the last wire pull, which we budgeted $1,500 for, and this may cost an additional $5,000. We can also use prayers for our physical facility as we have had some unexpected cost for a major under-cement leak and now a refrigerator just failed us, replacement may cost $4,000 to $5,000. The next project, a shared CCAMB project, is a gate to keep our kids in and define their play area. To the extent that God has blessed us financially, we could use some help. 

Abundant Blessings, 

Ken Goebel, Board President


You're invited to our annual Oktoberfest

October 29th from 11:10am-1:30pm

where there will be brats, German music, and plenty of family fellowship! Reserve your spot today by contacting our office, replying to this email, or signing up online at:


Contact the office, reply to this email, or inform Karla if you would like to volunteer.


Please join us as we celebrate

Harry's 95th birthday!

Sunday, November 5 at 2pm

Faith Lutheran Church (in the annex)

We will enjoy some cake and snacks

RSVP To: Najoo

najooruediger@gmail.com or

text 831-402-1253

Darla Vining and Kevin Magnus

invite you to join them for the baptism of


The event will be held during the

Sunday church service on November 19, 2023 at 10:00am.

Reception following directly after the service.



With so many new members, it's time to update our BLC Family Directory!!!

If you and your family would like to be included, please make sure to be here December 10th after church (between 11:15am and 1pm) for PICTURE DAY. More information on cost etc will be available closer to the date.

We can't wait to see you and your smiling faces there!!!

If you or your entire family cannot attend in person, please email a photo to pastor@blcmonterey.org with the contact information you would like to include in our directory (address, phone number, email) as well as a statement of written consent to share.

A note from CCAMB:

We had a lovely month learning about God’s fall world, we visited "The Farm" in Salinas, measured and played with pumpkins; finished up our weather unit in science; and learned our add ends up to 10 and the clock.

The end of October marks the end of our first official quarter.

October will end on a high note with Mr. Goebel coming to tell us about how to make the festivities of Oktoberfest on All Saints/ “Dress like a Saint” Day, October 30th and Merrill Gardens inviting the school a Magic Show on the 31st!

Bethlehem thank you for showing all these littles such love and care!

Evangelism Committee Report

The Evangelism Committee is thankful to all those in our congregation putting in such effort to make the Oktoberfest a wonderful event. We are excited to have the public invited and look forward to welcoming them in our doors for fellowship, good food, and fun. Thank you to each of you who is giving your time, talent, and/or treasure to make this a successful event.  

In our recent committee meeting we were able to discuss current Evangelism activities and priorities, and developed some promising plans. I'll discuss each in more detail below:

Currently BLC provides meals for our I-HELP groups 24 times a year (twice a month), when in recent years they were only provided for 12. This is a big increase in effort and resources needed, for a mission for which we already struggled to find enough volunteers. To address this, we will be creating an I-HELP committee of congregation members who currently play an integral role in providing I-HELP meals, to see if we are able to meet the need. We would love other congregation members to join us in our committee, or to provide one or more meals during the year. If you can do either, please let Brynn know (brynn.s.kaufman@gmail or (209) 609-6271).  

BLC is continuing to support families in our Adopt-A-Family program with whom we have developed relationships and are providing support as they grow in their Christian faith. We look forward to offering another Christmas "giving tree" to provide our congregation as an opportunity to support some of these families, and also to provide funds for Pastor's discretionary fund so that he can address needs and opportunities as they arise. 

The Evangelism Committee is also aware of new housing communities that are coming to our region - the Dunes in Marina, South of Tioga in Sand City, and September Ranch in Carmel Valley - and recognize that together with our fellow regional Lutheran churches we should invite our new neighbors to join us in our congregations. We are developing ways to reach out to these new individuals and families. If you are aware of new housing that we have not yet noticed, please let us know.

As always we welcome anyone who would like to join in our committee. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions by getting in touch with chair Brynn Kaufman (brynn.s.kaufman@gmail or (209) 609-6271).

From Your Worship Committee

Knowing where we are in the service is a piece of cake for those of us who worship at Bethlehem regularly. But not so much for non-Lutheran visitors. If you notice a worshipper who seems a bit lost, it would be thoughtful to offer help. Show him where we are in the liturgy. Help her find a hymn. Help them use the ribbons in the hymnal to easily find the way between liturgy and hymns. Visitors have remarked how much they appreciated when they received that help. Thank you.

Jean Goebel, Marilyn Maxner, Melody Nelson, Lindamarie Rosier, Pastor Josh Schmidt

The Road through Malachi

"Life is hard.

Add together the soul-numbing monotony of the daily grind and the normal experiences of life's disappointments to the acute suffering that comes with broken health, broken relationships, or broken spirits, and sometimes life is overwhelmingly difficult...

Perhaps you are going through a divorce, or battling loneliness or abandonment, or experiencing profound physical or emotional distress for which there is no cure, or a deep spiritual turmoil from which there seems no way out. It is natural during such hard times to become hardened to God and to others in response.

How can I know that God really loves me when everything around me is far less--or far worse--than I had hoped and prayed for?" --Iain M. Duguid

That is the question faced in the opening passage of the Minor Prophet, Malachi.

Let's explore God's answer together ONLINE ONLY at 6pm Wednesday nights in October.

Here's the link!

As we continue our sermon series: 

Gospel Partners: The Book of Philippians,

I encourage you to pick up N.T. Wright's Paul For Everyone: The Prison Letters it provides a clear and easy understanding of the letter in the original context and practical application.

Gospel Partners

The book of Philippians has been called “The Epistle of Joy” and “A Letter of Partnership.” As Paul writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit, he reveals the truth that when we work together to share the faith—even in our sufferings—we find a sort of joy!

There is nothing greater than trusting in Jesus, even if you are in chains…. Even if you were to die, Jesus gives you life.

Our Wednesday night online Bible Study has already sojourned through this book together and now I am excited to see how God will work through His Words to move you to be partners in the Gospel together.


Reformation Hospitality

October 29th | Reformation Day

Revelation 14:6-13

Philippians 2:14-30

Matthew 11:12-19


LSB 578 Thy Strong Word

LSB 607 From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee (Martin Luther)

LSB 613 To Thee, Omniscient Lord of All (Martin Luther)

LSB 656 A Mighty Fortress


“Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” Philippians 2:14.


Reformation Hospitality

Martin Luther’s house was full of hustle, bustle, and hospitality. Almost daily, he would have his table talks with his students and his friends at his house down the road from the school. Although he didn’t always write his lectures down, his pupils often did and they are preserved for us in Luther’s Works.


This October, we remember how the Christian Church is meant to be studious in God’s Word together, full of Christian hospitality.


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