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

February 2018

News and Events

From Pastor Laura

Dear members and friends of Bethlehem,
Lent literally means the lengthening of days as spring approaches.  New seed in the ground, new shoots rising, more sun, resurrection and life.  In your life and mine, God is always laying new seed in the ground.  Always moving us toward moments of hope. 
Much new is happening around Bethlehem these days.  Pastor Sam will be joining us in leadership beginning March 15.  His first Sunday with us will be March 18th.  His installation is scheduled for April 8th.  We welcome his new voice and gifts.  We will be bidding farewell to Mary Shaima on Feb. 11th as we give thanks for her and as she begins her new journey.  This last month, the Hands of Peace and Choose to Serve events brought new voices to our campus and new opportunities and new ways to reach into our community and our world. 
Over 100 people joined us for the Hands of Peace event.  We broke bread together as Christians Jews and Muslims.  We laughed and learned together and gave thanks for our work together for the sake of peace in our world.  There was an energy in the room that only happens when we risk crossing barriers for the sake of our common hope.  Our Choose to Serve event welcomed 20 leaders from organizations all over North County who came and shared with us the many opportunities and good work being done in North County with hospice, refugee assistance, emergency preparedness, foster children, feeding ministry and so much more.  It was a day of energy and mutual gratitude.  Both events were gift and seed.    
Ash Wednesday will be February 14th this year, on Valentine's Day.  Easter Sunday will be April 1st, on April Fools Day.  Clearly God has a sense of humor!  We gather on Ash Wednesday for the imposition of ashes made from the palms of last year's Palm Sunday.  Ashes are not simply a symbol of our sin, they are more clearly a symbol of our mortality.  We are indeed dust and to dust we shall return.  It is that recognition of our mortality, that gives life its weight of blessing and grace. 
Our lenten soup suppers start Wednesday, February 21st.  We will gather for a shared meal at 6 pm.  It's a wonderful time for conversation and fellowship.  Come straight from work, bring the kids and we will have dinner ready for you.  At 7 pm, we gather in the sanctuary for Holden Evening Prayer.  Certainly the most striking liturgy in the Lutheran Church.  It is powerful in its simplicity.  At 7:30 pm, we gather for learning.  This year, Jamie Newcomb will bring his substantial gifts as a professional actor and lead us in an evening of theatre, followed by conversation led by me around a different theme each week: Journey, Time, Grief, Gratitude and Hope.  Join us for powerful conversation.
Lent is a time to pause and consider the gift of the faith we have been given.  The relationship in which we stand.  As we take time to listen in this season, may we hear God's voice.  What new seed and grace might God be planting even now?  Together we are participants in God's intentions for tomorrow.  Thank you for this journey we share.
Blessed Lent,
Pastor Laura  

 Lent and Holy Week Schedule

Imposition of Ashes
(Wednesday, February 14th @ 7 pm in the Sanctuary)
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS IN LENT (February 21st - March 21st):

6:00 - 6:45 pm: Soup Supper in the Family Center

7:00 - 7:30 pm: Worship - Holden Evening Prayer

7:30 - 8:30 pm:  Education - Jamie Newcomb will bring his substantial gifts as a professional actor and lead us in an evening of theater, around a different theme each week: Journey, Time, Grief, Gratitude and Hope.
Donations received during the Lenten Evening Services
will go toward supporting Hands of Peace.

HOLY WEEK:                   
EASTER EGG HUNT -  Saturday, March 24th
10:00 am - 3 years old through 6th grade
PALM SUNDAY  - March 25th
8:00 am - Service of Holy Communion
9:00 and 10:30 am - Choir Cantata (No Communion)  
MAUNDY THURSDAY -   March 29th
7:00 pm - Holy Communion Service  
GOOD FRIDAY - March 30th
7:00 pm - Service of Tenebrae  
EASTER VIGIL - March 31st
7:00 pm - A service of shadows, light, sacrament and celebration  
Holy Communion at 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 am  

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
Mardi Gras / Carnival Tuesday, February 13th @ 6:00 to 7:00 PM: Join us for a family-friendly night of music, food and community! This year's event will include live entertainment provided by Bethlehem's own Dixieland band! Interactive fun for all! Bring a picnic dinner for your family. We will begin in the Family Center at 6pm.
Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 24th @ 10 AM: Mark your calendars, this will be a morning of family fun!
Vacation Bible School July 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th: This year's VBS is titled "Shipwrecked".
Come for an adventure on an uncharted island where kids survive and thrive! The kid's will be anchored in the truth that Jesus carries them through life's storms!
Be A Children's Ministry Volunteer: If you are looking for a fun and rewarding way to serve at  Bethlehem, please consider donating your time and talents to our Children's Ministries. None of our programs and activities would be possible without the amazing help and support of this congregation. Be a part of the fun in 2018! If you would like to know how you can be of service contact: Chris Matthews at
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Youth Ministry

Middle School and High School Winter Retreats

Mark your calendars for the Middle School and High School Winter Retreats at LRCC where the youth will discover what it means to be ENGAGED in their lives as disciples of Christ.

High School: February 17-19
Middle School: March 9-11

Cost: $139

We will need drivers as well.  Please RSVP to Constance at .

Summer Service Trip

Summer Service Trip dates have been released!
Saturday, July 28-Saturday, August 4

Interested in chaperoning?  Email Constance at

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

The Annual Meeting of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA  was held on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.  The following were elected as our officers for 2018:  President - Kim Oswald, Vice-President - Linda DuBois, Secretary - Lynne Miller, Treasurer - Dana Roberts.   Thank you to all who participated in a lively discussion of our direction in 2018.

 Stephen Ministry

New Stephen Ministry Training Class

Later this spring we will begin a new Stephen Minister Training Class.  In addition to offering this class to new Stephen Ministers, this year we are opening up the class to anyone in the congregation who would like to improve the listening and caring skills that you use in your own life- either in your personal life or in the ministries you are part of within the church or community.
We will begin the class sometime after Easter.  The cost of the books is $50.  If you are interested please contact one of our Stephen Leaders: Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.

 Endowment Fund


Each  month,  Bethlehem's  Mission  Endowment  Fund Committee shares some thoughts and suggestions about planned giving. This month's topic is "Re-gifting" .
Did you receive a gift for Christmas that you did not need? Did you "re-gift" it to someone else? Re-gifting, once frowned upon, has become an acceptable practice in recent years. Re-gifting has always been acceptable to God. When blessed by God with more gifts than we need, He asks us to share those gifts with others, especially those in need. We also have the opportunity to joyfully leave a final gift through our estate to loved ones and to the continuing work of God's church.
We call this type of re-gifting "planned giving." With the help of our congregation's gift planners, Lisa Higginbotham and Greg Shepherd, you can learn about ways to re-gift assets to the church without reducing gifts to your loved ones. You also can hear about ways to reduce estate costs and at the same time provide for ministries for which you have a passion. For further information about creating your gift plan, contact Lisa Higgenbotham at 805-910-5048 or; or Greg Shepherd at 909-910-6823 or  

 Giving Tree

January Giving Tree - thank you  to all who picked up a list and/or bag and brought items back for Saint Andrew's Episcopal Church Community Food Pantry during January.  St. Andrew's is so appreciative of all that we do to support their food bank.  And a bit of a reminder - year round you can drop off food items for St. Andrew's.  We have a dedicated basket in the narthex -  put the food you bring in the basket and it will be taken across the street to St. Andrew's.    Thank you for your contributions and for participating in this important ministry in our community.

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.

 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

 TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

TACO needs our help!   Since the weather has turner cooler, our TACO guests are in need of warmer clothing and blankets. Blankets should be single size and easy to roll up and carry during the day. Clothing suggestions are flannel shirts, sweatshirts, preferably with hoods, scarves, gloves, thermal underwear, warm sox, men's underwear (various sizes, boxers & briefs), gently used bras and toiletries. Thanks to all of you for caring about those less fortunate!  God's blessings to all.   Lori Cook,  760 207-0432.

 Music Ministry

The  St. Olaf Concert Choir from Northfield, MN will be performing on February 10 @ 3:00pm at the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe.  Tickets for this event are $40/adults and $10/students. Come hear this world-renowned choir. You won't be disappointed.  A group from Bethlehem has purchased tickets and will be attending the concert. 

 Mardi Gras Party!

Let's Party!
Join us for a family friendly night of music,  food and community!

Tuesday, February 13 th from 6:00-7:00pm
Featuring Chris Matthews
(aka the Music 
Man) and his Dixieland Band

Interactive fun for all!

Musical instruments will be provided.

Bring a picnic dinner for your family !

 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.

Dear  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster