"Caught in grace, created for service, called into community"
In This Issue

Sunday Mornings... 

  8:30am and 10:00 am


Learning Circles 

(Pre - 6th)

10:00 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  
Quick Links

February 2020

News and Events

From Pastor Laura 

Dear member and friends of Bethlehem,
February brings both Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. There could hardly be two more discordant ideas in our culture. Valentine's Day is a day of candy hearts and flowers and cards. Beyond the commercialization, it is an opportunity to tell those whom we love how deeply such a thing is true. I have already purchased my Valentine's Day candy hearts in the tiny boxes. I did so, because there was a national shortage of these last year - - - which was a travesty. It is not that they are necessary in any way, but they have become a tradition in our family and I wanted to send them to my college age daughters as a way of transporting my love to San Francisco and Dubuque, Iowa.  
Ash Wednesday, on the other hand, is a day of ashes and repentance, a day of confession and introspection. Ashes rarely make it into a Hallmark card. It is a day intentionally stripped of trappings and left empty, for the sake of the heart. But if you are Lutheran, or Catholic or Episcopalian for that matter, you might be able to hold See's Candy in one hand and ashes in the other. You might be able to live with the complexity of loss and love and recognize that they are, on most days, one in the same thing.
We have Ash Wednesday traditions in my family as well. Ashes are burned from last year's palms. I do this in the back yard - - very safely I might add. Mixed with oil and readied for the congregation, I have more stories of love on Ash Wednesday, than I do on Valentine's Day. My grandmother died the day before Ash Wednesday, and I burn ashes to honor her and remember the hope and certainty of her faith. I had surgery myself on Ash Wednesday some years ago. I carried ashes to pre-op with me that day. Each year, I have the privilege of placing ashes on your foreheads. I see in your eyes, the stories you bring to the moment. "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." It is so jarringly honest. The most powerful, hopeful moment is when I place ashes on the forehead of someone who knows, just as I do, that they will claim that promise before next year's Ash Wednesday.
And it is a promise. A promise that God holds every day in his grace. A promise that, though dust we may be, we are beloved of God. Loved so much, that all our dusty moments and all our failings are blown away by his mercy. We are loved so much that God would hold us even unto eternity.
So maybe, in the end, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday are not so discordant. "Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
Happy Valentine's Day and Blessed Ash Wednesday,
Pastor Laura

 Annual Congregational Meeting
The 2019 Annual Report for the January 26 annual meeting is available on-line here. The changes to Bethlehem's constitution were approved at the meeting. The changes are described in this document. If you have any questions about these changes, contact Bob Michelet at bobmichelet@gmail.com 
The new 2020 Congregational Council was approved:
  • Returning members: Mea Hall, Stephen McMahon, Karen Saake, Marti Willey, Naida Malchiodi, Sue LaClaire, and Dave Ensburg
  • New members: Suzi Westmoreland, Melissa Ontiveros, Mike Lyons, Derrick Oien, and Tucker Oien
  • Departing members: Carole Orness, Mark Stauffer, Tom Wolf, and Henna Hall
Learn American Sign Language
Learn American Sign Language (ASL): Whether you are a novice, an expert, or need a refresher, please join one or both of our ASL classes. The classes are designed for high school age and above. Our goal is have fun, learn to communicate with the Deaf community, and learn about Deaf culture. For more info, contact Suzi Westmoreland: 760-505-3365 or suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com .
American Sign Language. Thursdays in the Multi Use Building. 5:30-6:30 pm for Introduction to ASL and 6:30-7:30 pm for Review and Practice.

 Stephen Ministry- Spiritual Gifts

Lenten Course for Personal and Spiritual Growth: Join us this March as we offer Discovering God's Vision for your Life: You and your Spiritual Gifts. During this eight hour class you will find clues to your spiritual gifts using the Haugk Spiritual Gifts Inventory and other activities then we will explore ways to further develop and use your gifts. The class will run from 11:00 to 1:00 on the first four Sundays in March. A registration fee of $20 will cover the cost of books and materials. The last Sunday to register is February 9. For more information contact Laure Reynolds at 760-271-3359 or 

 Adventure Ministry

Adventure Ministry - Early morning hike and breakfast - February 29: Want to make your weekend longer? Get up early to hear the frogs and birds serenading us on a hike. Followed by a tasty breakfast. Join us for the hike or breakfast or both. All are welcome. Saturday, February 29 @ 7 am: Meet for a hike through Annie's Canyon, North Rios Avenue Trailhead, Solana Beach. (Take 101 south, east on Lomas Santa Fe, north on North Rios Avenue). 9:30 am: Breakfast at Claire's on Cedros, 246 North Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach. Contact Dennis Astroth, Eileen Lajimodiere, or Suzi Westmoreland for any questions. Upcoming adventures planned for May 16, July 18, September 12, and November 7. Details to come. 

 2020 Offering Envelopes Delayed

2020 offering envelopes are delayed due to printing issues at the company supplying the envelopes. Temporary offering envelopes are available in the office for those who prefer to use envelopes. Many members and friends of Bethlehem have signed up for direct deposit for their contributions. Offering gifts can be made electronically, either on our website at www.blcenc.org by clicking on the contribute tab, or by using the Give Plus Church mobile app. There are options for one time donations, as well as recurring gifts and special offerings.
 Family Winterfest
LutherGlen Farm
February 7-9, 2020

You are invited to join Pastor Laura at LutherGlen farm for retreat February 7-9, 2020. All are welcome: families of any size, children, individuals, younger and older adults. LutherGlen is a retreat center, located 2 hours Northeast of Encinitas on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest, near Oak Glen. It is a working farm with goats and sheep, as well as a welcoming staff and a beautiful retreat center offering gracious hospitality.  
The theme is "Under Construction: Ephesians 2:10 - We are w hat God has made us." Please visit their website at: https://lrcchome.com/fam ily-winterfest to register. See you there!

 Family Ministry News

Winter Retreats are Coming!
It's time to go to Luther Glen for a weekend to unplug, remember what is important and discover new ways God is at work in us!
High School: February 15-17
Middle School: March 6-8
Cost: $145 (scholarships available)
RSVP to Constance ( cmithelman@blcenc.org) ASAP
Family Winterfest at Luther Glen
The whole family is invited for a weekend getaway to camp!
The kids will have activities planned by LRCC staff and the parents/guardians will be having devotional time with Pastor Laura who was asked to lead the retreat this year!
February 7-9
Cost: Adults (12+) $105
Children (4-11) $95
Toddlers (3 and under) Free
Family Max: $350
RSVP to Constance ( cmithelman@blcenc.org) ASAP
Save the Dates/RSVP
Vacation Bible School 2020 at Bethlehem!
June 29-July 2nd.
Confirmation Camp 2020: July 12-17th
All current 6-7th graders
Cost: $435 (with scholarships available)
High School Summer Service Trip 2020: July 31- August 8th
Current 8th graders - Current Freshmen in college
Cost $450 (with scholarships available)

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

The Annual Meeting of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA  was held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.  The following were elected as our officers for 2020:  President - Kim Oswald, Vice-President - Bobby Allen, Secretary - Lynne Miller, Treasurer - Dana Roberts.   Thank you to all who participated in a lively discussion of our direction in 2020.
Eleventh Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA
Ring in the New Year by Registering for Gathering 2020
 July 16-19, in Phoenix, Arizona 

Women of Bethlehem - Act Now.............Act Soon
Join over 5,000 women from across the U.S. and the globe for worship, praise, learning, service and  fel lowship at the Eleventh Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA July 14-16, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Women will explore the triennial's theme "Just Love" through Bible study, keynote presentations, servant events, business meetings and more. 
Scholarships are available from the Women of Bethlehem as  registration is $375, day registration is $200.  Please contact Bobby Allen ( roberta798@aol.com ) for more information from one who has attended this very affirming event in the past.  Maybe rent a van to drive together???  Maybe rent a place together??? Lots of potential as Phoenix is so close.  Think about it.  Act!

 Giving Tree

February's Giving Tree is for TACO:   Please check the Giving Tree in the narthex for suggestions of things that TACO needs for the over 200 people that come there for meals, hygiene items (must be new & unopened), disposable razors, clothing of all kinds, shoes, 6 packs of men's crew sox (women prefer them because they're warmer) and anything WARM, like coats, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts (preferably w/a hood), sweat pants, thermal tops & pants, scarves, hats & gloves. Large size is good. Plastic rain ponchos, blankets & sleeping bags are always needed & always in short supply. Many of our guests are literally living on the street and have to find ways to keep warm through long, cold, damp winter nights near the ocean in San Diego. Plastic rain ponchos can be purchased for $5-8. Thank you all so much for being the caring & loving congregation that you are! Call w/questions or comments: Lori Cook: (760) 207-0432.
Mission Action and Giving Tree Schedule 2020 - 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 -  Youth Camps & Service Trips (Constance Mithelman)
  • February - T.A.C.O. (Lori Cook)
  • March - College Care Packages (Skye Svenningsen)
  • April - CSUSM Student Healthcare Project (JoAnn Daughtery)
  • May - Mother's Day Thankoffering (BWELCA)
  • June - Center for Global Awareness (Dianne Nichols & Gail Winterbourne)
  • June 29 to July 15 - Vacation Bible School/Youth Camps & Service Trips (Constance Mithelman)
  • July 16 to August 16 - Bethlehem Serves (Beth Nelson)
  • August 17 thru September - Pajama Project Appeal (Belinda Simonini)
  • September  to October 15 - Lutheran World Relief Ingathering:  Quilts & Blankets (Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group)
  • October 16 thru November - Secret Santa (Cheryl Monreal)
  • December - TBD

 Bethlehem Women's Retreat

2020 Bethlehem Women's Retreat
He is the Potter and We are the Clay
The 2020 Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held at Luther Glen Conference Center in Yucaipa, CA on May 1 - 3, 2020. 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 $195 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 $125. 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 the middle of March. 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?

Scraps and Prayers

NEW - we are adding a once a month SATURDAY Scraps and Prayers beginning May 9th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. in the MUB. These Saturday sessions will be in addition to the weekly Wednesday morning meetings of Scraps and Prayers.  
Join us in tying quilts and laying out already cut quilt squares for quilts.  Come for some fun and conversation and learning a bit more about how the many quilts you see on the pews in October are put together.  We will be meeting on the second Saturday of May, June, July, August and September.   If you are a sewer and want to see what we do and perhaps take a quilt kit home to sew, we would love to have you join us.  No sewing skills required - as many of us can attest.  Come one, come all - if you can tie your shoes, you can tie a quilt.  Come try a new way to spend your Saturday morning.  If you have any questions, please contact  Bobby Allen, roberta798@aol.com or Kim Oswald, rdoswald@aol.com.

 Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministers: The After People
People often ask, "What exactly is a Stephen Minister?" One way to put it is that Stephen Ministers are the After People.

Stephen Ministers are there:
...after the phone call you hoped you'd never get.
...after the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life.
...after the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you've held at bay come crashing in on you.
...after the doctor says, "I'm sorry. But there's nothing more we can do."
...after the nursing home director says, "Welcome to your new home."
...after the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away-and the house suddenly seems empty.
...after the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
...after the baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible.
...after you find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
...after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times. But you still need to talk it out.
Stephen Ministers are the "After People." They are ready to come alongside you-or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives-and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed. If you would like to know more about having a Stephen Minister please contact Pr. Laura, Pr Sam, or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

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 outside or contact Naida Malchiodi at naidalouise2@yahoo.com .

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)
TACO serves meals to the homeless at First Lutheran Church in San Diego on the third Monday of each month.  We're recruiting more volunteers, so if you'd like to join us, please contact Lori Cook at 760-207-0432.  Car pooling is available.  As the weather begins to cool, donations of sweatshirts, sweatpants, blankets and sleeping bags are much appreciated.  Donations can be left in the box marked TACO in the narthex or contact Lori.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
In 2019 we distributed 18 shawls and 6 scarves/hats to graduating hight school seniors. In addition over 50 hats (primarily the prodigious accomplishment of the Westmoreland family!) have been given to Cheryl Monreal's projects and/or sold at the church bazaar to benefit the Women's ministries at BLC. 

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!

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
 ELCA Advocacy 
Save the Date - Lutheran Lobby Day May 20, 2020
Join other Lutherans from around the state at the Capitol in Sacramento. The day will include information and training to prepare you meet with your legislators to advocate for faith-based issues.
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California has set four legislative priorities for 2020. They are:
  • Deep Childhood Poverty
  • Homelessness and Housing Insecurity
  • Immigration
  • Food and Farming Policy. 
We will be coordinating a group from Bethlehem to attend Lobby Day. If you would like to receive additional information about attending (as it becomes available), please email Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com and ask to be added to Bethlehem's Advocacy Team Email Group. You can read about Lobby Day 2019 here. (Please note that all arrangements will be at your personal expense.)

2020 National ELCA Advocacy Priorities: Read about the ELCA Advocacy identified areas of priority for our work together on the federal level. "These priorities reflect ELCA Advocacy commitments for faithful and timely attention to pressing concerns that affect our neighbor's well-being and the wholeness of creation," says the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy.
Reminder: Presidential Primary Election Date - March 3, 2020:
The BLC Advocacy Team will have a table of Voter Registration and Election Information between services for the next few weeks. Stop by for information, conversation, and chocolate!

Check your voter registration status here. Additional voter and election information can be found at sdvote.com
ELCA Advocacy January Update: U.N. and State Edition
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton's Recent Statements:
Pastoral message on the Iran Conflict - January 9, 2020
Response to the President's "Peace to Prosperity" document - January 28, 2020
Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.
 Interfaith Rotational Shelter 2020
Hey Bethlehem! ��
 Ready to Make a Difference?! 
It's that time again for BLC to host the homeless! 
Please bring your friends and Join us on March 1-14 for" Bethlehem's InterFaith Rotational Shelter 2020!    
 For those newly interested, we have partnered with the Interfaith Rotational Shelter Network (IFSN) for the past 10 years. IFSN is a collaborative effort through local congregations, social service agencies and local government entities to provide shelter, services and resources to homeless San Diegans throughout the region. BLC is part of the North County Coastal Section and the shelter is coordinated at BLC by Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager.

This year BLC will be hosting the shelter in the Multi-Use Room starting Sunday, March 1st  through March 15th. We will be taking the first week, Sunday thru Saturday, March 1-7, providing all of the volunteer efforts for meals, laundry night, overnight hosts, etc.

Seaside Community Church partners with us and will cover the second week.

Church volunteers set up temporary housing in the Multi-Use Room (MUR) and dining area in the Family Center (FC) the Saturday before, February 29. The guests arrive daily at 5:30 pm at the MUR. They eat dinner nightly in the Family Center at 6:30 pm, then retire back to the MUR for the night. The guests leave early in the morning (by 7:30 am) to go to work, seek employment, or go to school (...yes, we house families too!). Guests are not allowed to stay in the shelter during the day.

There are a variety of ways you can volunteer to help with the shelter.

Here is a short list:
Set up/ Take-down ~ Prepare & Serve Dinners ~ Donate Food ~ Greeter ~ Overnight Hosts ~ Laundry ~ Transportation ~ Cash Donations

Interested in learning more or to sign up to volunteer, Go Online to:
1. www.signupgenius.com
2. register first to join Sign Up Genius (Only requires your email address and No they won't send you extra emails)
3. Search "Bethlehem Lutheran Church IFS 2020"

If you are already registered? You should receive an invitation by email.

If Online is Not for You?
Text or call Blair Lindberg at 858-663-5681 (leave a message) and she'll be happy to help sign you up!

And a BIG THANKS goes out to all those volunteers who make this important ministry happen! �� �� ��
 We couldn't help our friends make their way back on their own without you! 
Blair and Diane

 Pastor Sam's Sermon Blog

Did you miss one of Pastor Sam's sermons?  Want to double check if he actually said what you think he did?  Accidentally fall asleep and want to go back and read the section you missed?  Check out all of Pastor Sam's sermons on his blog at: https://sinningboldlywithsam.wordpress.com/"

 Sunday Ride Ministry

Sunday Ride Ministry is a program we are starting at Bethlehem to lend a hand and a ride to church services for those in our church in need. If you can occasionally give a ride please sign up in the church entrance or contact  Rose Moldenhauer  rosemoldy@cox.net.

 Global Mission "Global Links" E-Newsletter

Rooted and built in Jesus! This is the core of our work as the ELCA walks with more than 80 companion churches in other countries to participate in God's reconciling mission through proclamation and service. Participating in these relationships, ELCA members see how people's lives are touched by the gospel, how their lives are transformed and renewed, and how their communities live in hope. If you would like to receive the ELCA Global Mission e-newsletter "Global Links", please click on the following link to subscribe:  https://community.elca.org/elca-email-subscriptions

 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

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  ,


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


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster