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 

Contact Us


Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2

Pastor Sam Nelson
Associate Pastor
Constance Mithelman
Youth Director
Ext 12
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministry
Ext 15
Quick Links

September 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Greetings Bethlehem,
Some churches seem to go on hiatus during the summer, but that has not been my experience here at Bethlehem. The whole summer, but especially this past month have been full of so many exciting and wonderful things happening in our community.
I had the great pleasure of participating in my first ever Bethlehem serves and it was truly inspiring to watch. The first thing that struck me was how cool it was getting to see members who usually go to different church services, worshipping and serving together. It reminds us that even though our preferred worship times may be different, we are still one congregation, and on an even grander level, we are all part of the one body of Christ here on earth. During communion, we filled every inch of free real-estate around the perimeter of the sanctuary. One circle of community and joy as we celebrated the sacrament of holy communion together. The project I helped with was the car wash station in the church parking lot and we had a blast. Kids and adults working together, laughing and having fun; with quite a few water and soap fights that broke out spontaneously. The whole day acted as a microcosm of what I feel it means to be a Christian. We gathered together as a community, were fed through the Word as well as the bread and wine, and then we were sent out into our community to bear witness to the love and grace of God through our words and our actions. And then instead of going our separate ways, we returned once again to church to be fed (this time by delicious food from El Napolito) and be in communion with one another. This is the cycle of what it means to be church. We gather so that we might be sent out, and we are sent out so that we might gather again. My first Bethlehem serves will most certainly remain in my heart for years to come.
We have a number of new things happening at Bethlehem in September that I am incredibly excited about. Change is never easy (says the guy who got mad that his parents had the audacity to buy new silverware while he was away at his first year of college) and there will most certainly be a bit of an adjustment period as we enter into this newness. But all of it speaks to the vitality and forward-motion of our congregation. We have a new website that is simply breath-taking, and took countless hours to create. We have a new bulletin that will be reused from week to week on a seasonal basis that will help us to be better stewards - both of our financial resources, as well as our ecological resources. We have a new welcome ministry that will be focused on making Bethlehem even more hospitable to visitors than it already is. Each one of these is a testament to the vibrant life of our congregation, and the hope that we can put in tomorrow thanks to what God has already done in our lives.
It is a great honor getting to be church with you all, and for that I thank you.
Pastor Sam

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News

Family Movie Night Friday Sept. 14 @ 6 PM: This will be our first night of "Movies Under the Stars!" In keeping with our summer VBS theme "Shipwrecked" we will enjoy a "Disney Classic" Swiss Family Robinson! One of Disney's biggest and most fondly remembered hits, the spectacular screen version of the literary classic Swiss Family Robinson is full of breathtaking South Seas scenery, hundreds of exotic animals, and treacherous pirates. This heroic tale chronicles the courageous exploits of the Robinson family after they are shipwrecked on a desert island. 

Learning Circles: Our regular Learning Circles Program will begin on September 16. Learning Circles Volunteers: This is the perfect time to prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer teacher in our Sunday school program. Your time and talents can be used to make a huge difference in the lives of our children at Bethlehem. We pray for at least 15 teachers to cover our Learning Circle classes this fall. There will be 5 groups, nursery, pre-k - kindergarten, 1st - 2nd, 3rd - 4th, and 5th - 6th. If you would like to volunteer please contact Chris Matthews at

Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Youth Ministry

Current 7th and 8th graders and their families will have a Confirmation Orientation meeting Tuesday, September 25th at 6 pm. I will have a year long calendar available, including the dates of Confirmation Camp next summer. 
High School Youth Group meets Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm.

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA:
Mission Action and Giving Tree Schedule 2018

All through the year, the Giving Tree, at the entrance of the church, gives opportunities to help people. There are different projects, with different leaders, but the same heart.
January               ELCA World Hunger Appeal / St. Andrew's Food Pantry
                              Cheryl Monreal
February             T.A.C.O.
                           Lori Cook
March                  College Care Packages
                              Skye Svenningsen
April                    Mother's Day Thankoffering - Es Por Los Ninos                
                           BWELCA - Cheryl Monreal
May                       Center for Global Awareness
                            Dianne Nichols & Gail Winterbourne
June                      Student Health Care Project Clinics
                            JoAnn Daughtery
July 1st - 8th         Vacation Bible School
                                Chris Matthews
July 9th -              Bethlehem Serves
August 19th          Mike Notrica                  
August 20th -       Pajama Project Appeal
September 23rd    Belinda Simonini
September 30th-  Lutheran World Relief Ingathering: Quilts & Blankets
October  7th          Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group
October 14th  -      Secret Santa
November              Cheryl Monreal
December            Creches from Around the World
                            Various church members         
Ongoing:              TACO (soup kitchen)

 Women's Retreat

Women's Retreat

Save the Date!!!  Our next Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held February 1 - 3, 2019 at Luther Glen. Stay tuned for more details.

 Giving Tree

Giving Tree- Pajama Project (8/20 thru 9/23)

The Pajama Project will be shopping soon! There will be wonderful PJ's displayed on the Giving Tree later this month.  We have been busy sewing up all of the flannel that you helped us purchase last year and have nearly used all 4000 yards of it!  Will you help with a donation so that we can shop again when the price is the best of the year?!  The organizations and individuals that we give these "Made with Love for You" PJ's to have come to count on them for the Christmas that they provide to children much in need and they appreciate them so much!

Please make checks payable to Bethlehem Lutheran Church with "Pajama Project" noted in the memo line or donate on-line through Bethlehem noting your gift as specific to the PJ Project.  Thank you for your continued support of this wonderful project in it's 22nd Year at Bethlehem!
Belinda Simonini
Pajama Project Coordinator

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

September 5, 12, 19, 26, 8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
September 17, 3:30-5:30pm   TACO               
September 29, 9:00-2:00pm   Pajama Project

Scraps and Prayers

This group sews quilts, and assembles school bag and fabric kits for people in need.  We meet each Wednesday morning from 8:30-11:30am in the Multi-Use Room.  We need your help cutting, sewing and tying quilts.  No experience necessary!  Come along for an hour or the whole morning; we'd love to share our scraps and prayers with you.  For more information, contact Kim Oswald at or Laure Reynolds at

TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

We will be going to help serve at TACO on Monday, September 17th. Anyone interested should contact Lori Cook at 760 207-0432 by September 10th.

Pajama Project
Making hundreds of pajamas for kids in need, Pajama Project is truly a work of the larger community. People from Bethlehem and from all over the community come regularly throughout the year to create these wonderful pajamas.  If you can spare time to come join us, we'd love to see you! Come for a little while or spend the whole day. Any time you can share with us is truly appreciated. We will serve lunch for volunteers during the  noon  hour.  If you'd like to help in another way, we are always looking for someone to provide lunch for our hard working volunteers by bringing in food or donating money which we'll use to pick up something local. No matter the size, all donations are a great benefit.  If you like to sew, or know someone who does, we have kits available to take home and construct.

Work days are regularly scheduled for the last Saturday of each month from 9:00 am-2:00 pm.

For more information, please contact Belinda Simonini at .

Prayer Shawl Ministry

We are in need of knitters and crocheters to create shawls for our Prayer Shawl Ministry, as we are very low in supply.  Shawls are given, as available, to those who are in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. You may create these at home at your convenience. Patterns are available at  
Here is a quote from their website: "Shawls...made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.  They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles."  
Contact Janet Mastrogany 619 980-8671 

St. Andrews Food Pantry

St. Andrews food pantry needs our help.  Every Thursday morning  a team meets at Gelsons market in Carlsbad to pick up food and transport it back to the food pantry. If you can devote one Thursday a month to this project your help would be appreciated. If interested please contact Bob Moran at St. Andrews at 760-487-1630 or

CRC (Community Resource Center)

New and Used Bikes Needed!   Community Resource Center's Holiday Baskets provides a dignified and free "shopping experience" for families in need during the holidays. One of the biggest items on the CRC's donation wish list is bikes of all sizes for children or adults. If you have one gathering dust in your garage, please consider bringing joy to someone this Christmas by donating it to CRC. Contact Sheri Burtt at for more information or to arrange for a pick up. To view the complete Holiday Baskets Wish List, visit
 The Center for Global Awareness

SAVE THE DATE!! The Center for Global Awareness will again be sponsoring the United Nations International Day of Peace on Friday, September 21, 2018. Our celebration will be held at the Grauer School, 1500 S El Camino Real, in Encinitas from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 pm. This year's theme is "Be the Peace" and guests will enjoy food and wine/beer tastes at no cost, and live music in the patio. The program in the Great Hall will showcase a live set by popular musician, EMILY AFTON, along with international and local speakers. Be part of the peace that will be celebrated around the world on September 21. Bring your friends!
Contact Dianne Nichols,, for further information.

 Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry
When Someone Asks Us to Pray

James 5:16   Pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
Occasionally we are called upon to pray for other people, but often this request makes us uncomfortable. A major reason people are reluctant to pray with others is their uncertainty as to how to go about it. They are unsure about why they should pray with others, when to pray, how to pray, what to pray about, and even where to pray.

When another person requests a prayer you might be tempted to immediately fold your hands and begin praying. But remember that prayer should meet the other person's needs. One process which some find helpful is building a prayer. As you build a prayer, you discover the needs of the individual by asking open-ended questions, enabling the person to express his or her real concerns. A good start might be something like: "I would be glad to pray with you. Before I do, I'd like you to share with me what you're thinking about and what your needs are at this time." As they share their concerns, you have information you can use in building a prayer that meets their needs.

If this type of extemporaneous prayer still makes you nervous, you can always choose a prayer from a prayer book, from the front of the hymnal Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the book of Psalms, or the Lord's Prayer. As you pray, both you and the person for whom you pray will find strength and assurance, knowing that your concerns are left in the hands of God, who is love.

Adapted from Christian Caregiving, a Way of Life, by Kenneth C. Haugk
Romans 8:26-27   the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God,who searches the heart, knows what is the mind

 Music Ministry


Bethlehem's Music Ensembles will be starting up in September. Here is your opportunity to  serve through music in our worship services!
Childrens Choir : first rehearsal Sept. 9 @ 10:00 a.m. -Family Center. Contact Mona Goetsch at

Childrens Chimers:  first rehearsal Sept. 9 @ 10:30 a.m. - Family Center Kitchen.  Contact Mark Weed at

Second Sabbath:  first rehearsal Sept. 10 @ 6:30 p.m.- Sanctuary.  Contact Marilyn Stenoien  at

Good News Singers:  first rehearsal Sept. 13 @ 7:22 p.m.- Sanctuary.  Contact Mona Goetsch at

JuBellation Ringers: first rehearsal Sept. 20 @ 6:00 p.m.- Family Center.  Contact Kim Froke at

 Bethlehem Advocacy Team
Advocacy - Connecting Faith and Public Life

Draft Statement on Women and Justice
If you were not able to attend our workshop on this Draft Statement, there is still time to read and respond on your own. Individual responses will be accepted through September 30, 2018.
Voter Registration Drive
The Bethlehem Advocacy Team will offer Voter Registration on Sundays between services beginning September 9th. You can also check your registration status or register online at
More from ELCA Advocacy
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at

 Acolyte Training
If your child is in 2nd through 6th grade and they are interested in serving as an  acolyte , please plan to attend the BLC Acolyte Training Session scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd immediately following the 10:30 service in the Sanctuary. Hope to see you there! If you have additional questions, please contact Kim Hogelucht, BLC's  Acolyte  Coordinator, at  or call 858-349-6831.

 Church Property Maintenance Requests

Notice something on our church campus that needs fixing? Concerned about lighting, air conditioning/heating, water, etc.? We have a property manager who can take care of your concerns. Please call or leave a message with the church office (760-753-1026) or email and someone will get back to you.

 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