"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

December 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Laura

Dear Bethlehem People,
Greetings to you this Advent season. We are in a time of holy anticipation of the birth of the Christ child in our midst. I write this letter from my father's hospital room at Green Hospital. His room overlooks the ocean; its beauty a stark contrast to those in pain on the other side of the glass. But then again, maybe that is as it should be - a reminder that God's grace is always present, even in difficult day. Every Good Friday is accompanied by an Easter sunrise. Every dark night accompanied by a rising dawn, and in this season, a bright star in a darkened sky, reminds us that God has come again to be with us. Emmanuel, we are never alone. We are never absent of grace.
Like the shepherds and the Magi, in this holy season, we are, all of us, seeking Bethlehem. Seeking the place of our hope and joy. Seeking the warmth of a place where we might be welcomed in grace and find the peace for which we yearn. I saw a facebook video this week of prayer quilts from all over the ELCA, being handed out to CLU students. They called it project "Wrapped in Love". So is the promise of the birth of the child. As the newborn child was sheltered from the stable's chill in a blanket, so too are we wrapped in God's love. We who journey to the manger. As members and friends of this church community, we are more blessed than most, we do not have to go far to find "Bethlehem". At Bethlehem, we experience God's love in the beauty of last Sunday's choir concert, in the upcoming Comfort at Christmas Service on Dec. 18 for those who are grieving, as we carol to the homebound on Dec. 9, as we feed the hungry with St. Andrews, as we gather on Christmas Eve to hold light in our hands and welcome the child.
We don't have to go far to see the Holy Child among us already.   We see him in the faces of the hungry people we feed, in the faces of children receiving Christmas presents this year because of our partnership with Es Por Los Ninos, in the faces of families receiving food, clothing and gifts, from the Holiday Baskets Project of the CRC. We see him as we worship together, sing together and pray together each and every week.
"Come to Bethlehem to see
him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord the newborn King."  
Come as you are. In your joy and in your sorrow. In your uncertainty and in your exultation. Come if you are afraid, come if you are wiping away tears. Come if you want a place to experience joy or community. Come if you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt or your finest Christmas sweater. Come for the music, the candles, the Word and the grace. - Come, because there is no better place to be at Christmas, than Bethlehem.  
All are welcome. A blessed Advent to you all.
Pastor Laura
*Sunday, December 2nd

1st Sunday of Advent - services at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:30 am
Christmas Bazaar from 8:30 am - noon in the Family Center
Bethlehem's Christmas Choral Concert - @ 4:00 pm - presented by the Good News Singers, Children's Choir, JuBellation Ringers, Children's Chimers and World Music Ensemble.
*Sunday, December 9th

2nd Sunday of Advent - services at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:30 am
Olivewood sales between services
Christmas Caroling to homebound and others beginning at 4:30 pm with a potluck following
*Sunday, December 16th

3rd Sunday of Advent - 9:00 am- Children's Christmas Program and
8 & 10:30 am -"A Christmas Carol"
*Tuesday, December 18th

@ 7 pm - Comfort at Christmas - A service of healing and hope
*Sunday, December 23rd

- 4th Sunday of Advent - One service at 10 am
* Monday, December 24 th

- Christmas Eve Services at
10:00 am, 4:30, 7:00 and 9:00 pm with
"Children's Service" at 4:30,
Children's Choir at 7:00,
*Tuesday, December 25t

  Join St. Andrew's Episcopal Church across the street for a 9:30 am Christmas Day service
*Sunday, December 30th

One service at 10 am.
Brunch at Kai's at 11:30 am. Please sign up if you plan to attend.
Sunday, January 6th, Epiphany - Regular services resume at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:30 am

 "Light in the Darkness" Advent Conversation

"Light in the Darkness"

Advent Conversation
Jamie Newcomb
Pastor Laura
Pastor Sam
Thursday, December 6th, 13th, 20th
@ 7:00 pm
Meet in the Multi Use Building  

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
Children's Christmas Program: This year's program "Wombat Divine", is a heart-warming story, set in Australia at Christmas time. Our performance will be on December  16th@ 9AM. Our cast will include children who are in our Learning Circles Program with  the help of a few 6th thru 8th graders. There will be two important rehearsal dates on  December 8 and 15 @ 10 AM. Rehearsals will last about 90 minutes. We could use  some volunteers to help with costumes, props, etc. Join us for the fun!
No Learning Circles on December 23 and 30: We will only have one service at 10 AM on both of these dates. We will not have Learning Circles so that out teachers will  have an opportunity to worship.
VBS Dates for 2019: VBS will be held on the first week of July! Mark your calendars!  This VBS will have an African Safari theme. Roar! Life is wild! God is Good!
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 BLC Family Movie Night

BLC's Family Movie Night featuring THE STAR , A Tale of Faith & Friendship will be held on Friday, December 7th @ 6pm.  This holiday season, witness the story of the first Christmas...through a whole new set of eyes...it's sure to become a family favorite!  Rated PG.

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Women's Christmas Bazaar

Thank you to all who shopped and contributed their time and talents to our annual Christmas Bazaar on Sunday.  It was a wonderfully successful morning for all of us.  

Annual Meeting 
of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

All women are invited to the annual meeting which will be held  Wednesday, January 30, in the Multi-Use building at 9AM.  We are electing our officers for 2019, determining our budget, the organization which we will support for our Mother's Day Thanksoffering and more.  For more information, contact Kim Oswald at rdoswald@aol.com or (760) 634-2995.

 Giving Tree

As with last couple of years, we are going to reach out and help raise money for a building project for a center to support those living and discriminated against with HIV/AIDS in Baja California.  Please check the Giving Tree for more information.  Any questions please call Cheryl Monreal at (760) 942-1482.

January Giving Tree

ELCA World Hunger // Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church Community Food Pantry Appeal.  Accepting food donations during January to assist Saint Andrew's Community Food Pantry.  Requested items - canned items: vegetables, fruits, tuna, spaghetti sauce, beans, and peanut butter AND dry items: rice (1 lb bag), spaghetti, instant rice, cereal, macaroni & cheese, instant soup/top ramen and dry milk packages.  Please pick up a shopping list at the Giving Tree and return to the basket under the Giving Tree.    For additional information, please contact Kim Oswald or Cheryl Monreal. 

 Women's Retreat

2019 Bethlehem Women's Retreat
God's Light Shines through Our Story
The 2019 Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held at the Luther Glen Conference Center in Yucaipa, CA on February 1 - 3, 2019. Join us for a weekend of faith, fellowship, and fun!
We have a choice of two housing options available this year at two different prices. The conference center sleeps 40 persons and features comfortable rooms which each sleep 2 to 4 people. Each room has an attached bath. The cost for the conference center will be $180 per person for the weekend and includes bedding and towels. If you don't mind more rustic conditions and a short walk we also have available the cabins at Camp Yolijwa which have bunk beds and shared bathrooms at a price of $140. Bring your own bedding and towels for the cabins. The cost for all participants includes meals Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast. For more information contact Laure Reynolds or Rose Moldenhauer. Visit the Luther Glen website at http://www.lrcchome.com/about/luther_glen.php.
Sign-ups will begin in January. Sign up for the conference center rooms will be first come first serve based on when we receive your money.
Full and partial scholarships will be available.   Would you like to sponsor a scholarship?

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

December 5, 12, 19, 26  8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
December 17 3:30-5:30pm   TACO        
December 22 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 rdoswald@aol.com or Laure Reynolds at laurereyn@roadrunner.com.

TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

Socks & underwear are always needed for our friends at TACO, especially as the weather turns cooler this fall. They need men's white athletic tube socks and men's briefs in all sizes. There will be a large black plastic tub labeled TACO in the Narthex for your donations. Let's see if we can fill that tub to overflowing!!   Thank you so much!!

Alternates for Serving at TACO- We also need a few people who would be willing to be "on call" to come help serve the meal the 3rd Monday of the Month if we are short of people. We have to be there by 3:15 and are done serving at 5:30. I generally have room for a couple of people in my car and we do have a good time! If you are interested and/or have any questions, please call me, Lori Cook, at 760 207-0432.   Thank you so much!

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  belindasimonini@gmail.com .
Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl knitting group will meet again in January. If anyone world like to contribute items to sell at Women's Christmas Bazaar, Suzi Westmoreland will be collecting these. (suggested items include hats, scarves, potholders).  Please contact her at suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

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  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 

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  bobpatmoran@cox.net

CRC (Community Resource Center)

CRC's Holiday Baskets  provides a dignified and free shopping experience to over 6,000 individuals in need.  Each year, CRC staff and volunteers transform the Del Mar Fairgrounds Grand Stand into a holiday pop-up shop, where participants can select holiday gifts, including blankets, outerwear, toys, bikes, infant and toddler items and more.  Each family also receives a 50-pound food box with all the fixings for a holiday meal, a chicken or turkey, fresh produce, and nutritious staples for two weeks. This year, we have organized a group from Bethlehem to volunteer on Saturday, December 15th and we have filled all our available volunteer slots for that time.

Holiday Baskets still needs donations of new and gently used items for the 6,000+ people in need they will be serving this year.  Please see the complete donation wish list at  http://crcncc.org/wp-content/uploads/Holiday_Baskets_Wish_List_2018.pdf. Donations may be dropped off at the Del Mar Fairgrounds between 9am and 8pm from Dec 7-13.  Questions?  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

Stephen Ministry
For the Holidays- Give Care

For most of us Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate the season. This year, in addition to giving gifts to your loved ones also consider giving care.
Care to visit someone who is lonely and feels forgotten by all the festivities.

Care to listen to someone who is hurting and is having difficulty finding a reason to celebrate.

Care to share the burden of someone who is overwhelmed by preparations for the season.

Care for the children of a busy mother so she can shop by herself.

Care for someone who cannot be left alone- an ill family member, a frail elderly person, a special needs child- so that their caregiver can attend to their own needs.

Care enough to refer someone to Stephen Ministry. A person does not need to be a member of Bethlehem to receive the care of a Stephen Minister. Before making a referral, please remember to ask the person's permission first.
For more information about Stephen Ministry please contact Pr. Laura or our Stephen Leaders Molly Hall and Laure Reynolds.

 Interfaith Rotational Shelter
Interfaith Shelter Network Update - Housing the Homeless at BLC 

With the Season of Advent having arrived, has anyone else missed getting ready for hosting our homeless friends which BLC has done the previous 2 years at this time? For those who haven't yet heard, our turn at hosting has been delayed this year to late in the Lenten Season.  So mark your calendars to join us in volunteering fun - making and sharing a meal, staying overnight, donating items, and helping out our homeless friends - this coming March 31-April 14, 2019.  More announcements for sign ups in the New Year!  Many Blessings to All for your generosity in giving throughout the year. Merry Christmas!   Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager, Co-Coordinators of IFSN at BLC

Learn American Sign Language (ASL)

Another opportunity to learn American Sign Language (ASL)!

The Westmoreland family will be offering ASL classes again in 2019:

Thursdays for nine weeks starting January 10 through March 7, 2019, in the Multi-Use Building. 

Introductory class from 5:30 to 6:30 pm

Intermediate class from 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Cost: $20 includes the book. $5 if you already have the book.

To sign up contact Suzi Westmoreland at 760-505-3365 or suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

 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 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.

 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, 
https://www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/program/dollars_details/index.html   or contact your Thrivent congregational advocate, Dennis Astroth at 858-354-3566, or dennis.astroth@gmail.com.

 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  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at www.blcenc.org


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster