"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

February 2019

News and Events

 From Pastor Laura

Dear people of Bethlehem,
I saw a sign today that read, " Every moment matters, including this one. " How true. Time is precious and the grace we are offered in every moment, and how we use those moments, even more precious. I was reminded of that, in a very personal way this week. A member of our congregation, Donna Hackett, died this week. She is young, she left young children, and I have known her since she was a girl herself. As the sun set that day, I looked out my office window at the striking colors of the sky, and thought to myself, "Donna would have loved this." I was grieving and angry and hurting that this privilege was taken from her, and quietly guilty that the privilege was mine. In that moment, came a text from another member of the congregation who knows the family well. The text read, "What a beautiful sunset, rest in peace Donna." And suddenly, it was a moment to cherish, as well as to grieve. A moment to count grace, as well as sorrow. I left my office and walked out to see the colors of the sky and I gave thanks. What a privilege are the moments we have.
Our new year has begun. What moments will this new year bring? We have just finished our annual meeting and have much to celebrate. Our youth ministry has increased by 25%, our preschool programs are enrolling and will soon be full. Pastor Sam is approaching his first full year of ministry with us. The Men of Bethlehem, (MOB) is up and running and they are working to refurbish our patio. Adult education is meeting at Swami's, with 30 people attending. We are reaching out to Ocean Knoll English Language Learning Students in new ways, as well as TACO and the many other outreach ministries of the congregation. Music continues to be our greatest joy, and gathering for worship our greatest gift.
A brand new ministry is beginning among us. Adventure Ministry will be an opportunity to gather with other members to go hiking, paddle boarding and much more. You might also want to join a group that is newly providing meals for the homeless at St. Andrew's Episcopal church once a month. Our ministries are ever expanding. Where will you spend the moments God has given you? Whether hiking, ASL class, choir, feeding ministry, . . . or the many places you offer and receive grace; I give thanks for you and the light you bear to the world. I give thanks for Donna and the light she offered the world.
May the hours of this week, be of gift and grace for you. Thank you for your partnership in this ministry we share.
In Christ,
Pastor Laura
 Theology on Tap
Theology on Tap
"It is better to think of church in the ale-house than to think of the ale-house in church."
- Martin Luther
Bethlehem has started a new adult education opportunity. The class will meet periodically for 4 or 5 weeks at a time. While relating to each other thematically, each class is meant to be self-contained, which means you don't need to worry if you can't come to all of the sessions.
We will discuss the nature of God, tackling questions like, "Does God have a gender?" and "Is God all powerful?". The fourth and last meeting for our first series will be on  February 13 th from 7 to 8:30 pm.
We will be meeting at Swami's Café and Bar on Encinitas Blvd next to the Trader Joe's - 1506 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024.
We hope you can join us!

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
No Learning Circles on February 3. Learning Circles will resume on February 10.
Mardi Gras / Carnival Tuesday March 5: Last year's event was a great evening of family fun!  We had a great time, including music from a "live" Dixieland band in the family center, a mini  parade to the sanctuary, followed by "hands on" experience playing Brazilian carnival music. If  you would like to volunteer to help make this year's Mardi Gras / Carnival a success, please  contact me, Chris Matthews at  [email protected] .
Easter Egg Hunt April 13 @ 10 AM: Join us for this fun annual family event!
"Roar" VBS July 1-3, and 5th: This year's "Roar" VBS will be the "mane event" of the summer!  This epic African adventure engages the whole herd. At Roar, kids will explore God's goodness  and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers them through this wild life.
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Music Ministry

Special Music Ensembles for February

Our ensembles are ready to perform and will be featured as special music this month. Here is the schedule of performing groups.
Feb. 3- Childrens Chimers
Feb. 10- Childrens Choir
Feb. 17- World Music Ensemble
Feb. 24- JuBellation Ringers

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Annual Meeting 
of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

All women are invited to the annual meeting which will be held  Wednesday, February 27th, 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  [email protected] or (760) 634-2995.

 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

Mother's Day Thanksoffering

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)

 Luther College Concert Band

Luther College Concert Band 

Luther College Concert Band is coming to San Diego County as part of the ensemble's 2019 Southwest Tour.  The Concert Band will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 30th at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach and will be open to the public.  They will also be performing here at Bethlehem the following morning during the 9 and 10:30 services.
Host families are needed for the student members for one night only on March 30th.  If you can provide a bed for 2 or more students or need further information, please contact Joanne Manzi (760) 814-8125 or [email protected].  Students can share beds if it is a queen or king-size bed.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me...THANKS!  Joanne

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

February 6, 13, 20, 27   8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
February 18   3:30-5:30pm   TACO        
February 23   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 [email protected] or Laure Reynolds at [email protected].

TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

Socks & underwear are always needed for our friends at TACO, especially as the weather turns cooler. 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
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
[email protected]
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 [email protected],  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.  Next meeting will be Sunday, March 10.  

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   [email protected] 

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  [email protected]

CRC (Community Resource Center)

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 [email protected].

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 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 or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.
 ELCA Advocacy 
ELCA Advocacy Update

Check out some of the Lutheran legislators who are serving our country in Congress.
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy (LOPP) advocates with and on behalf of others in the quest for economic justice, the protection of human rights, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship of God's Creation.  Read more about LOPP-CA here, or ask Karin Kloehn, a member of Bethlehem, who is a Pacific Synod Representative on the Policy Council for LOPP-California.
Each year churches from around the world mark a week to pray together for Christian unity. You can download the devotions here, including one by The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA Presiding Bishop.
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at [email protected].
 Interfaith Rotational Shelter
Bethlehem InterFaith Rotational Shelter 2019
Good News! BLC will be hosting the Interfaith Shelter at Bethlehem again this year! For those newly interested, we partner with the Interfaith Shelter Network which is a collaborative effort through local congregations, human services agencies and government entities to provide shelter, services and resources to the homeless San Diegans throughout the region. The shelter is coordinated at BLC by Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager.
Bethlehem will be hosting the shelter in the Multi-Use Room beginning March 31-April 14th. Seaside Community Church, who partners with us, will be taking the first week this year. We will be taking the second week, Sunday, April 7 -14, providing all of the volunteer efforts for food, dinner prep etc.
Church volunteers set up temporary housing in the Multi-Use Room (MUR) and Family Center (FC). 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 (7:30am) for employment, seeking employment, or for school and 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.
Set up ~ Donate Food ~ Be A Greeter ~ Serve Dinner ~ Overnight Hosts ~ Laundry ~ Transportation ~ Take-down ~ Cash Donations
For more information and to sign up to volunteer go online to:
www.signupgenius.com , register to join, then search "Bethlehem Lutheran Church IFS 2019" If you are already registered, you should receive an invitation in the mail.
Online not for you? Contact Blair Lindberg, 858-663-5681, or [email protected]
Thank you to all who make this such a successful and rewarding venture for many each and every year!!
Blair and Diane
Blair 858-663-5681 [email protected]
Diane 760-271-2072 [email protected]

 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 [email protected] 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 [email protected].


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 [email protected].

 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

[email protected]