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

Sunday Mornings... 


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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

July 2021

News and Events
 From Pastor Sam
Summer Blessings Bethlehem!
As the world has continued to open up over the past several weeks I have found my response to it all to be very interesting. At certain times, I find that I can basically pretend that the past 15 months never happened, and slip right back into "business as usual" without so much as a second thought. When I catch myself in those moments, I am usually surprised that I don't feel more awkward or uncomfortable, and I'm amazed at how ingrained certain patterns or behaviors can become in the human brain. But then there are other times, when a "return to normal" feels utterly foreign and I find myself very unsure of how to behave or feel. And in those moments, I find myself wondering if I'll ever be able to return to how I was before COVID, and whether or not this is a permanent change. Interestingly, though, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to which situations feel fine, and which feel odd. So, I've been doing my best to simply notice those feelings as they arise, trying not to label them as "good" or "bad," but simply as "mine." What's even more confusing is when both happen at the same time, as they did just two weeks ago when we welcomed people into the sanctuary for Sunday worship for the first time in 462 days. It simultaneously felt so wonderful and normal, but also a little bit overwhelming and stressful.
I would venture a guess that I am not alone in this somewhat disjointed experience of the world.   My hope, as we emerge from the COVID-crisis, is that we be as kind and gracious with one another, and with ourselves, as we possibly can. To be understanding that everyone will be coming from different places, moving at different paces, and feeling any number of different emotions at any given time. Some people might be ready to just jump right in, while others will need to ease themselves in step by step. Some will feel comfortable in certain situations, but like a fish out of water in others. I especially want to encourage you to be kind to yourself. To check-in with yourself from time to time; see how you are feeling and what you are comfortable with. The collective trauma that the past 15 months has affected each and every one of us in different ways. And what we need most right now, is not to rush blindly back to normalcy, but to be thoughtful and intentional about how we reengage, and kind and gracious with one another as we do so.

On a more personal note:
As many of you already know, Alissa and I are going to be getting married very soon! Due to COVID, we weren't sure that we were going to be able to gather in the way we wanted, so we decided to have a very small ceremony that will be held on Friday July 16th.
Sadly, we are unable to invite everyone we care about to that service, so we are planning to have a reception here at Bethlehem on Sunday November 7th. Please mark your calendars for a day of celebration, fellowship, and some delicious food and drink.
More details will come as we get closer to the event, but until then but until then, please visit our website: www.theknot.com/samalissa
We look forward to celebrating with you, and please hold us in your prayers and send your love on the 16th!

 July Worship Schedule

There are four ways to worship at Bethlehem:
  • Indoor worship at 9 AM.
  You will be asked to sign-up for this worship ahead of time using this Signup Genius link. Attendance will be limited to 70 people.
-     For more guidance click on What to Expect When You Come to Indoor Worship 
  • You may attend in person worship on the grass at 10:30 AM.
-      You are no longer be required to sign up for outdoor worship. 
 -      For more guidance click on the updated What to Expect When You Come to Outdoor Worship letter.
  • You may join us for livestream worship currently at 9 AM
-      In order to join the livestream click on this link here.
-      The link will not appear until we go live 5 minutes before the start of worship/ Fear not, we will be there.
-      You may use the chat stream to talk with other worshipers in real time. This is really fun.
  • You may watch worship on demand at any time you like.
-      The livestream is immediately uploaded to YouTube at the close of worship.
-      You can access the recorded worship on our YouTube channel.
-  Or it will be available to you on our worship page on our website by midday on Sunday.

 Covid Vaccine Appointment Assistance

If you need help navigating the Covid-19 vaccine sign up process, we are here to help. Our Stephen Ministry/Parish Nurse team can assist with:

  • Finding out your eligibility to receive a vaccine.
  • Helping you find a vaccination site and make an appointment.
  • Assisting with transportation to the site.

Please call the church office, (760) 753-1026, and we will get you the help you need.

 Music Ministry
The Pandemic Paloosa, featuring most of the performing groups of Bethlehem is available for your viewing pleasure using the  link: https://youtu.be/ht7zqGNHsvE.  I hope you enjoy watching the 34 videos that were made during the 15 months of COVID restrictions.  

Services will now include a LIVE congregation indoors during the taping of the service for livestream ( 9:00 am)  and one outdoor service(10:30 am).  Two cantors will be leading the congregational  singing and will provide special musical offerings for the summer months.  In addition, Second Sabbath, our contemporary music ensemble, will be leading  all worship services on July 25th.  

This years Summer Talent Show, Live on the Greenwill be a live performance featuring a variety of congregational members.  The show is scheduled for August 15 @ 4 pm. and the audience will be invited to bring their own chairs, beverages and snacks for the performance. This will be a fun time for all!  Please contact Mona Goetsch@ monagoetsch@gmail.com if you are interested in participating.  I am looking for a variety of talent--- instrumentalists, singers, comics, bands, even dog tricks!!
 July Educational Opportunity
Acting on our faith:
Following Christ Together in the Face of Racism
We are continuing our book read of Be the Bridge by the Latasha Morrison.  Suzi Westmoreland continues to facilitate deep and meaningful discussions for us as we move our way towards being more educated and living more fully into a racially just and equitable family of God.
Join us on Tuesday, July 20th at 6:00pm for our final discussion about Be the Bridge.  We will be covering Part III: The Bridge to Restorative Reconciliation.  If you have read the book, join us!  If you haven't read the book, join us!  Please also bring ideas for future books, discussion topics, etc. and we will spend some time imagining our way forward in this work. Look for an e-Blast reminder for the Zoom link or call the church office. 
If you have any questions about the group, or have something you would like to share or discuss, contact Ron and Sue Dwyer-Voss at  ron@pacificcommunitysolutions.com and suedwyervoss@gmail.com
 Adventure Ministry
 Save the Date! Adventure Ministry is coming back. We're planning our first adventure:
  • When: Saturday, September 11 @ 10 am
  • Where: Oceanside Harbor Paddle
  • What: Meet at the Boat Rental Shop near the lighthouse. You can bring your own watercraft or rent there.
 ELCA Advocacy 
Videos from Lutheran Lobby Day 2021 - You can share in the inspiring experience of Lobby Day by viewing three videos on the LOPP-CA website. Hear the opening remarks of Bishop-Elect Megan Rohrer (Sierra Pacific Synod), our incredible keynote speaker, Rev. Cornell Brooks, and Regina Banks, Director of LOPP-CA, leading Advocacy 101 workshop.
I think you'll see why it is such an exciting and informative day, and I hope you will consider joining us for the next Lobby Day in May 2022!
Statement on World Refugee Day (June 15, 2021) - In a joint statement addressing World Refugee Day, the ELCA and Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service (LIRS) share their commitment to empowering those driven from their homes by conflict, persecution, poverty, and climate change, continuing to honor the Lutheran legacy of generous and compassionate welcome for those who seek refuge in our communities.
Presiding Bishop issue pastoral message on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (June 18, 2 021) - Read Bishop Eaton's statement which says, in part "As children of God, we give thanks for all of the LGBTQIA+ people who experience God's calling to the holy work of parenting. In particular response to the June 17 Supreme Court ruling on Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the ELCA stands with our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ and reaffirms our commitment to equal protection, opportunities and responsibilities under the law (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, p. 33)."
AMMPARO Network - The ELCA AMMPARO network stands for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities. Information may be found on their webpage at  elca.org/ammparo.
Pacifica Synod has an active AMMPARO Network that meets monthly over Zoom. Their next meeting is Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. All are invited to attend using the info below:
Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Zoom Meeting
Saturday, July 10, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Meeting ID: 815 7711 0996
Password: AMMPARO
"Advocacy in Quarantine" - Every Wednesday at noon. You can join this weekly Zoom meeting to hear an update on current legislative priorities from Regina Q. Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy- California. These quick 30-minutes sessions include a specific action you can take in support of our efforts to end child poverty, fight for water justice, and support equitable reform of housing, hunger, and immigration policies.

Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
Bishop Andy Taylor: Facebook
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.

 Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry is Your Ministry - You play a vital role in Bethlehem's Stephen Ministry and your support is important to our success.
Here is what you can do:
  • Pray for God to bring hope and healing to hurting people through our Stephen Ministry.
  • Accept care from a Stephen Minister during your time of need. God doesn't expect you to bear your burdens alone.
  • Tell a friend, neighbor, coworker, or relative who is hurting about Stephen Ministry.
  • If you are a compassionate person and a good listener, prayerfully consider becoming a Stephen Minister. Our next training class will start in January.
If you would like to know more about Stephen Ministry please contact one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall, Suzi Westmoreland, or Laure Reynolds.

 Giving Tree

Dear Members of Bethlehem, I want to thank you for making our first virtual May Giving Tree in support of the Baby Drive for Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) such a success.  We raised just over $1,800.  To help put that in perspective, that was 10% of the funds raised by STEP in May.  STEP is so grateful.
What has the generosity of our SoCal community meant to the junior enlisted members of the military?.  I asked one of the STEP Directors to send some information about the impact of STEP program.  This is her write up.
Baby items, especially for brand new babies, are often the monthly expenses that puts our young families over their budget. Over the years we have found that many families "budget" for the newborns, but rarely budget enough, or accurately. And never for any unexpected expenses like formula.
A few years ago, a young family, with 2 kids under age 5 came to us for support. Dad was a Marine, E5, and they had done a great job managing their budget and saving, even on their single income. They also decided to not have any more children and took medical steps to ensure they did not.
It was a BIG surprise when mom found out she was pregnant with her 3rd, and an even bigger surprise to learn it was twins. Not part of their life or financial plans! But they made adjustments and prepared for the inevitable. 
When the babies arrived, they struggled with breast feeding and had to be put on formula. But formula was over $300 a month for two. So, for the first time ever, mom signed up for WIC and tried to get the formula through that program. But, the only two formulas available the babies were allergic to. The one formula they were not allergic to, was not available through WIC. That's how they ended up at STEP.
The unexpected expenses for the twin girls set their budget over the cliff by $400. STEP was able to purchase formula for six months, supply three months of diapers and a donor gave them a $100 monthly Target gift card for six months. That support, coupled with a social worker who every month checked in on their progress, got them in a safe, debt free place. Now those babies are almost 4 years old and thriving.
So, $1,800 in donations and baby items can change the course for one family's life or can provide some extra support for a dozen young families with babies. Every monthly food distribution also includes diapers for those who need it. We give every new mom all the basics: wipes, diaper rash cream, lotion, shampoo ... what can easily be $40. It's not a huge amount but it's a big relief to not have to worry about. That's what all of your support does!
What you do matters!!!  Thank you from the Women of Bethlehem for your support.

Stewardship Stream 

Stewardship Kaleidoscope The goal of our stewardship ministry is to help God's people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents, and finances God has entrusted to them.
Stewardship Kaleidoscope (S-K) is an annual conference offering excellent plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and incredible networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity. The ELCA has partnered with leaders from across the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) to help participants explore stewardship in its many colorful dimensions.
This year's conference is September 13 through 15 in Northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. We are excited that one of the conference's worship services will be led by ELCA's Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton!
In addition to in-person attendance, S-K is offering a virtual registration for $115 that will include the Bishop's message in addition to all plenary and worship experiences plus four pre-selected workshops. You can learn more by going to www.stewardshipkaleidoscope.org, or reach out to Mark Stauffer with questions.

 Parish Nurse 

Anyone interested in a recertification  of CPR with AED please contact Rose Moldenhauer rosemoldy@cox.net. The class will be one hour by zoom and 1/2 hour safe, hands on practice. Date to be determined. 
Website Update
As you may be aware, it is not currently possible to access our website using the Google search engine. We are aware of this problem and are working to address it. Unfortunately, the malware that is present in the system cannot be easily removed. We have increased security on the website and are working to correct the problem. It is very frustrating for us all. Until the problem is corrected you can simply access the website directly at www.blcenc.org.

Our apologies for this inconvenience.

 Learn Americal Sign Language (ASL)  

If you have ever wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL), now is your chance, in a friendly, supportive learning environment. The classes are designed for high school to adult learners.
Bethlehem ASL Classes:  
Most Thursdays from 6 to 7 pm Pacific Time
Special In-Person Class:
Thursday, July 29, 2021, 6 pm Pacific Time 
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
On the grass
Wear your mask and bring a chair or blanket.
Our textbook is available on Amazon: "Learn American Sign Language" by James W. Guido
If you're interested in joining us, contact Suzi Westmoreland at  


 Opportunities to Engage 

Qigong/Tai chi -The weekly Qigong/Tai chi practices at our church is available by Zoom.  You are able to join online from your computer on Wednesdays at 6 pm. Also, Chacha is having a Friday at 9 am practice by Zoom. These practices are moving meditation practices that focus on relaxation, breath, and visualization while carrying out gentle movements.  Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is necessary.  If you are interested in joining please e-mail Chacha at chachapinillap@gmail.com.  Please let her know which of the practices or if you would like to be invited to both practices. She will send an e-mail invitation with the zoom link. 

 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/"

 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: For 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.

 Newsletters 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.


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.

Dear  ,


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


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster