"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

August 2019

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Summertime Greetings Bethlehem,
Okay, so fair warning, I'm going to nerd-out a little in this article. If Harry Potter isn't your favorite, I apologize, and you are by no means required to continue reading. This also will act as a "spoilers warning" for any who might be still working their way through the series.
For those of you who are still with me, I'll start by saying that Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood. My parents and I read all 7 books out loud together as a family. We would go to the local bookstore in Half Moon Bay for their big midnight release parties. It was a big deal for us. I recently checked off something that has been on my bucket list for years - going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Immediately I was transported into a world that I had dreamed of entering for years. We went first to Ollivander's wand shop. Sadly, I was not picked for the wand pairing presentation, but watching the joy on the faces of the two young girls who were chosen was even better. We went on one of the rides, and then I just wandered around, trying to soak it all in.
This experience reminded me of how much wonderful theology there is in the Harry Potter universe. I know that many religious groups in the past have fought to have the books banned because of whole sorcery and magic thing, but the powerful messages that it contains really do resonate with our faith. Many of the quotes uttered by Dumbledore could easily be attributed to Jesus and I don't think many people would notice! For example - "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Or ... "Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right." They don't all hold up as Dumbledore also said, "One can never have enough socks," since Jesus wore sandals and we all know the rule about socks and sandals.
Moving beyond looking at specific characters from the books, there is also an ever-present emphasis on the power of love. Love is what saved Harry from Voldemort (the main villain) when he was a baby. Love is what helped Harry overcome Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic. And it was because of his love for his friends that Harry sacrificed himself in the forest that night. If someone were to come up to me on the street and ask me to describe God in one word I would, without hesitation, answer "love." When asked what the greatest commandment of all was, Jesus responds "' You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
This experience of revisiting something so important in my life was truly profound. And making new connections between that and my faith has been exciting and thought provoking. But as I said before, you may not be a Harry Potter person. You might be more about the Chronicles of Narnia, or Percy Jackson, or Nancy Drew, or Lord of the Rings. But I would invite you to take some time this summer to revisit what it was that formed you; what it was that helped you to become the person that you are. Look for the guiding principles and messages, and how they connect with your everyday life, as well as your life of faith. You might be surprised by just how relevant these "childhood things" can be. 


Pastor Sam
 Summer Worship Schedule
We are very excited to announce that during July and August we will be moving to two worship services at 8:30 and 10 am. From 9:30-10 there will be learning circles for the kids, as well as adult education classes taught by different members of the congregation. The only exception to this schedule will be on Bethlehem Serves Sunday which will be August 18 th .  Please mark your calendars and spread the word!

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
"Roar" VBS: This year's VBS was a big success! We are blessed, to  have so many dedicated volunteers, who were willing to share their time  and talents with the children of our community! Thank you all for your  tremendous efforts! Thanks also to all who made generous donations, to our mission project, Smiles of Tecate! We raised more than $1500 to  support this worthy cause!
Learning Circles: Learning Circles is now on summer break. Our normal program will resume on September 15. If you are interested, in joining our team of teachers, for our upcoming fall semester, please contact: Chris Matthews at childrensministry@blcenc.org
Summer Schedule: Children will attend services, with their families,  throughout the summer. The nursery will be open at both the 8:30 and  10:00 services. Come join us at 9:30, in the Family Center, for a special  time of fun and fellowship each week!
Bethlehem Serves Sunday, August 18: This will be a wonderful  opportunity to be in service to our community! Come be a part of this  special event! Childcare will be available.
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 2019 BLC Financial Update

2019 BLC Financial Update

To keep you informed on our financial status, the Church Council is pleased to share that, through July, we are approximately $17,500 ahead of our bottom-line budget (this EXCLUDES the giving for HVAC replacement)! Three factors have contributed to this: first, steady member fulfillment of pledges and non-pledge gifts; a hand full of unplanned significant general fund gifts; and judicious spending. Thank you SO MUCH for your support! Continued support will remain important for our various ministries and, as you may know, summers often represent a swoon in giving, as we have seen somewhat so far. So please take advantage now of our electronic giving options (Give Plus+ app or on-line) to make a recurring commitment. THANK YOU!!

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA- Giving Tree 

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA:
Mission Action and Giving Tree Schedule 2019

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.

ELCA World Hunger Appeal // St. Andrew's Food Pantry
Cheryl Monreal

Lori Cook

College Care Packages
Skye Svenningsen

Celebration of Lent

29:Eleven Maternity Home

Center for Global Awareness
Dianne Nichols & Gail Winterbourne

July 1st-8th
Vacation Bible School
Chris Matthews

July 9th-Aug 18th
Bethlehem Serves
Beth Nelson

Aug 19th-Sep 22nd
Pajama Project
Belinda Simonini

Sep 23rd-Oct 12th
Lutheran World Relief Ingathering: Quilts & Blankets
Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group

Oct 13th-November
Secret Santa
Cheryl Monreal

Community Resource Center (CRC)
Sheri Burtt

T.A.C.O. (soup kitchen)

 Giving Tree (Aug 19th-Sep 22nd)

The Pajama Project is  close to completing  it's 23rd year!
Look for our PJ's displayed later this month on the Giving Tree.  There is an endless request for the PJ's, quilts and pillowcases that are made.  This ministry truly provides COMFORT to many in need in our community and beyond and is made possible by this Bethlehem Outreach Ministry.
We will be shopping again for 3000 yards of flannel and need your help in funding our purchase!  Please donate online with "Pajama Project" noted in the "special" area and we will be sure to receive your donation before our Flannel Frenzy Shopping Spree!
Check out pillow case making on Servant Sunday or stop into one of our two remaining work days on Saturday August 24th or September 28 to lend a hand and see what it's all about!

Warmly yours,
Belinda Simonini
PJ Project Coordinator 

 Bethlehem Women's Retreat

Save the Date !   The next Bethlehem Women's Retreat is scheduled for May 1 - 3, 2020 at Luther Glen.

 3rd Annual BLC Golf Tournament

Save the Date!  Bethlehem's 3rd Annual Golf Tournament.  Sunday, September 15th starting at 2 PM.  St. Mark Executive Golf Course.  Best Ball format - golfers of all abilities welcome.  See flyers in the church entry.  Sign-ups will start 3 weeks prior to the event.
 Bethlehem's Mission Endowment Fund 
"Maintaining Financial Health"
Bethlehem's Mission Endowment Fund Committee is sponsoring a series of three forums this Fall on "Maintaining Financial Health," providing Bethlehem members of all ages with information, suggestions and tools to develop and implement financial plans appropriate for their stage in life.
Just as we recognize the importance of maintaining healthy bodies through our health ministry, and healthy minds through education for all ages, we also believe in educating and encouraging our members to maintain financial health.
The forums will be at 11:30am on these Sundays:
Sept. 15 - Retirement planning - options for planning to create the retirement you want
Oct. 13 - Family financial planning - starting early on a program that anticipates medium- and long-range needs
Nov. 10 - Estate planning - planning for disposition of assets according to one's wishes
Do you have questions on any or all of these topics? Then we want to hear from you. Send us the topics and/or questions you would like covered at these sessions. E-mail them to bobmichelet@gmail.com
And mark your calendars to attend one or more of the forums.

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

August 7, 14, 21, 28   8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
August 24   9:00-2:00pm  Pajama Project
August 24   9:00am- 12 noon  Feed the Homeless (at St. Andrews)

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 rdoswald@aol.com or Laure Reynolds at laurereyn@roadrunner.com.

TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

Third Avenue Charitable Organization (TACO): We are collecting travel size toiletries for TACO again this summer. All items need to be unopened and nothing sharp. Please put them in the box in the entry which will be labelled TACO. Thanks to everyone for you continued support of TACO. You are much appreciated!! If you have any questions, please call me, Lori Cook, at 760 207-0432.

Pajama Project
The Pajama Project Kicks off it's 23rd Year!

We distributed 1235 pairs of PJ's and Sleep Pants last October and are ready to wash flannel and begin again!

We will begin our"Work Party Days" this month, our schedule for the year is below.  Come to cut out PJ's and make "kits" to be taken home to sew.  We Always need more sewers if you, or someone you know, would like to sew these cozy PJ's, which warms the heart, ours and the recipients! 

We also always need volunteers to provide lunch on one of our Work Party Days for 8 to 20 hard working people.  Please contact Belinda Simonini if you are willing to help with this.

2019 Work Part Days:  Drop in and stay as long as you would like between 9:00 and 2:00 on these Saturdays:  February 23, March 30, April 27, May 18, June 15, July 27, August 24 and September 28

Thank you for your support of The Pajama Project Bethlehem!
Warmly Yours,
Belinda Simonini
Prayer Shawl Ministry

Five new beautiful shawls were added to our inventory. We have already distributed three shawls this year. If you know anyone who would benefit from receiving a prayer shawl (if he/she is going through a particularly difficult or joyful time), please contact janet.mastrogany@gmail.com,  Please continue to create at home at your own pace - & if you are interested in learning how, we will pair you with an experienced knitter/crocheter! We meet every other month 9-11 at church (before or after your favorite service) for a casual drop in opportunity to knit/crochet and visit together.   

Patterns are available at  www.shawlministry.com 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   janet.mastrogany@gmail.com 

CRC (Community Resource Center)

Did you know:
Last year, 138 homeless individuals obtained permanent housing through CRC's case management and housing assistance?
Over 500 households visit CRC monthly to receive healthy food, nutrition resources, benefits assistance and education?
Last year, 150 people found safety in CRC's domestic violence shelter, receiving help and counseling to get back on their feet?
CRC works to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in North County San Diego. As a provider of integrative services, CRC's programs include a domestic violence emergency shelter, hotline and prevention/education outreach; a Therapeutic Children's Center; professional counseling; legal advocacy; food and nutrition distribution center; homelessness prevention; and rental and housing assistance. All of CRC's programs are designed to assist participants to successfully navigate their paths of safety, stability & self-sufficiency. CRC relies on our community support. Click here to see the many ways in which you can help CRC to help those in need!

Contact: Sheri Burtt at sherissb@gmail.com.

Es Por Los Ninos
Es Por Los Ninos is a binational non-profit organization helping children, women and adolescents infected with the AIDS virus in Baja California Mexico.  Lacking financial resources and education, this vulnerable population is struggling to survive.  For 20 years, the members of Bethlehem have supported Es Por Los Ninos, by donating clothing, supplies and money, including gifts from our Secret Santa program and school bags assembled during Bethlehem Serves.  Donations are welcome at anytime; please call Cheryl Monreal for more information.
Contact:  Cheryl Monreal   760-942-1482

 Stephen Ministry

What would I Say to a Stephen Minister?
How could one help me? Why would I confide in a stranger?
In our society we are taught to keep our worries and troubles private, to not admit weakness, and to solve problems by ourselves. But, sometimes having someone trustworthy to share your concerns with can ease your journey and help you recover quicker.
A Stephen Minister is not a therapist or a professional counselor. In fact, a Stephen Minister generally does not work with someone who needs professional help. A Stephen Minister is a member of the congregation who has been trained by Stephen Leaders to care for a person who is going through one of life's crises, like illness, divorce, grief, or unemployment.
A Stephen Minister is an individual who is particularly loving, patient, prayerful, and encouraging. They are trained to listen non-judgmentally, to maintain strict confidentiality, and to support you as you work your own way through a difficult situation. Most importantly, each Stephen Minister has a deep desire to be of comfort and service to others and consider it a great honor to be trusted enough to be allowed into a caring relationship with you.
And, once you have met them they are no longer strangers.
If you would like to know more about Stephen Ministry please speak with Pr Laura, Pr Sam, or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds, or visit the Stephen Ministry website at stephenministries.org.
 ELCA Advocacy 
Congressional August Recess Opportunity
August Recess is a great opportunity for local advocates to engage with elected officials, ask questions and share concerns. Here are some questions and talking points to get you stated. Our  August Recess Guide  contains tips for communicating with your elected officials and candidates this month.
"Responding to our sorrow with action"
July 12, 2019 Update on additional ways to respond to the current immigration crisis.
"Not Waiting For The Next Tragedy" - Action on Gun Violence
"Our national reality is that the next tragedy can happen at any moment." says John Johnson, ELCA Advocacy Program Director for Domestic Policy. "Where is Congress? Where is the president? The realities of gun violence are not adequately in the forefront of policy discussion." Read more here. You can read the ELCA Social Message on Community Violence here.
ELCA Advocacy Updates for July
United Nations and State Edition and Advocacy Connections from the Washington, DC Lutheran
Office of Public Policy
Jubilee USA Action Items
Bethlehem is a Jubilee congregation, which means that we support Jubilee in their efforts to address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world. Here are two recent updates from Jubilee:
Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.

 Adventure Ministry
Adventure Ministry - Out to Sea!
Bring (or rent) your kayaks or stand-up paddle boards and join us to cruise Oceanside Harbor on Saturday, September 14, at 10 am. Meet at Boat Rentals of America on the south side of Oceanside Harbor near the lighthouse. You can bring your own board or boat and launch from their dock, or rent from them. Check Groupon for 2 for 1 coupons.
Important!  If you bring your own kayak or board, bring a life jacket. You must have a life jacket on board in Oceanside Harbor. If you want to join us but don't want to get your toes wet, we are renting a party boat and have room for 10, first come, first on board.  ��  Cost is $12. For more details and to sign up, contact:
Dennis Astroth dennis.astroth@gmail.com
Eileen Lajimodiere elajimodiere@gmail.com
Suzi Westmoreland suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com Cell: 760-505-3365 

 Feed the Homeless Program

Bethlehem has volunteered to help with "Feed the Homeless Program" at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 12 noon. We are in need of volunteers. If you are able to participate please sign up today outside or contact Naida Malchiodi at naidalouise2@yahoo.com .  
 San Diego Habitat for Humanity- Upcoming Opportunities
For those who are interested in volunteering onsite in the next month or so, San Diego Habitat has online registration here: 

If you would like to volunteer with other people from Bethlehem, contact 
Jim Mastrogany, james.mastrogany@gmail.com.
San Diego Habitat is currently building in Logan Heights and El Cajon, with build days Tuesdays - Saturdays. The work day is 8:15 am - 3:30 pm with a 30 minute lunch break at 11:30 am.  The minimum age to volunteer on the construction site is 16.
San Diego Habitat also has great volunteer opportunities in the ReStores with locations in Kearny Mesa, National City and Escondido. Volunteers are scheduled Tuesday - Sundays at each store. The ReStore shifts are 10am - 2pm and 2pm - 6pm on Tuesday through Saturday and overlapping shifts of 10am - 2pm and 12pm - 4pm on Sunday. Volunteer tasks at the ReStores include helping receive donations, organizing the store, pricing new items and helping customers to load purchased items. The ReStore is Habitat's biggest financial supporter and help is always needed there. The minimum age to volunteer at the ReStore is 14.
Women Build is coming up in May! This event promotes empowerment, solidarity, learning, and pride in our community. It encourages women (and men!) to give back and help San Diego Habitat make a difference in the lives of local families. It is San Diego Habitat's biggest event for the year, and each builder is asked to fund raise or donate $300, which helps Habitat build more here in San Diego. May 2 nd, 4 th, 9 th, 10 th, and 11 th  still have slots available. More information can be found here:  
For any questions regarding volunteering, please email   volunteerservices@sandiegohabitat.org

 Bethlehem Cares Fund

Bethlehem Cares Fund: F or members of Bethlehem, we have a fund to assist you with temporary financial needs such as medical, home, family or personal needs.Contact Pastor Laura, Pastor Sam, Rose Moldenhauer or Molly Hall. If you are able to contribute to the fund please mark your gift to BLC with the notation Bethlehem Cares.

 Church Property News/Maintenance Requests

The parking lot will be sealed and striped the last week of August. The south parking lot will be closed to parking on Monday and Tuesday, August 26 and 27. The north parking lot will be closed to parking on Wednesday and Thursday, August 28 and 29.
The Sanctuary roof will be replaced with new shingles beginning Tuesday, September 3 rd . The work is expected to take 7 - 10 working days.

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 property@blcenc.org 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 Newsletter Archive  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 sbreding@cox.net.


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 smile.amazon.com website. See the website for more details.

 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 Stewardship 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.

Dear  ,


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Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster