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

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

July 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Dear Bethlehem,
As many of you know I recently returned from helping my parents move. I said goodbye to my childhood home (pictured below) of 19 years and helped them move into their new house in Ashland, Oregon. It was an emotional week and physically exhausting. By the time the movers arrived on Monday morning we had reached that stage in packing where you are no longer organized but are simply throwing stuff in boxes haphazardly. When it came time for my mom and I to leave with our two dogs I took a few moments to walk around the house one last time. As crazy or silly as it may sound I walked through and said goodbye to each of the rooms that had housed so many formative moments in my life, and I thanked the house for all it had done. It had provided us with shelter and warmth, a gathering place for family and friends, and most importantly it had provided us with a home.
But as sad as I was, there was an underlying feeling of peace that accompanied it. Because I knew that this phase of my family's life had come to an end, and it was time to let a new family make just as many wonderful memories in that place. And I knew that the memories that were formed in that place will forever be with me, be a part of me, be part of the story of who I am.
This week also happens to be VBS here at Bethlehem, and I have to say, I am more than impressed. The enthusiasm and heart of the volunteers, the decorations and set designs, the passion and love that are poured into this program are truly amazing. One of the Bible stories on our first day was the story of the Prodigal Son from the Gospel of Luke. As I was hearing it I suddenly had one of those lightbulb moments - just as the memories of my childhood home will always be with me no matter where I happen to call home, so too is God always with us. No matter how far afield we may stray, no matter the distance or time we spend traveling, we have a God who is committed to us, who sticks with us through thick and thin. A God who goes out ahead of us to guide us on our journey, stands behind us to urge us onwards, beside us to keep us company, and surrounds us with boundless love.
May your journey that we call life be blessed, and may you always know that God is with you through all of the twists and turns, valleys and mountains, and wherever you call home.
Pastor Sam

My childhood home in Half Moon Bay:

 Children's Ministry

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. 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

 Youth Ministry

Current 6th & 7th graders, get ready to go to Confirmation Camp!  We'll be heading to Luther Glen
July 15-20th. The cost for the week is $430 and scholarships are available.  We'll also be doing fundraising to bring down the cost for everyone!  The final $200 payment for the middle school Confirmation Camp trip is due Sunday, July 15th. Please remember to list your youth's name on the memo line. We'll also need drivers to transport youth to/from camp-please let me know if you're able! Please RSVP to Constance at

The dates for this year's Summer Service Trip are July 28 - August 4. We will be heading to Northern California to help with fire relief. All youth currently in 8th grade and above (college students welcome!) are eligible to go! The final $150 payment for the high school summer service trip is due Sunday, July 15th. Please remember to list your youth's name in the memo line. The total cost per youth will be $350 with scholarships available.  Please email Constance at

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA:
Mission Action and Giving Tree Schedule 2018

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           ELCA World Hunger Appeal // St. Andrew's Food Pantry
                          Cheryl Monreal
February         T.A.C.O.
                         Lori Cook
March              College Care Packages
                          Skye Svenningsen
April                 Mother's Day Thankoffering - Es Por Los Ninos                
                         BWELCA - Cheryl Monreal
May                  Center for Global Awareness
                         Dianne Nichols & Gail Winterbourne
June                 Student Health Care Project Clinics
                         JoAnn Daughtery
July 1st - 8th    Vacation Bible School
                          Chris Matthews
July 9th -         Bethlehem Serves
August 19th     Mike Notrica                  
August 20th-   Pajama Project Appeal
September       Belinda Simonini
October 1st -   Lutheran World Relief Ingathering: Quilts & Blankets
mid-October     Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group
mid-October -    Secret Santa
November       Cheryl Monreal
December       Creches from Around the World
                        Various church members         
Ongoing:         TACO (soup kitchen)

 Bethlehem Serves Day

Bethlehem Serves Day!  Come and help serve our community working alongside fellow church members.  Reserve the date, August 19th.  Arrive at 9:00 for a short service, then off to your project.  Come back at noon for a potluck: hamburgers and hot dogs.  Bring a fruit salad or other side dish or dessert for 8-10 people.  Project sign-up tables are set up every Sunday.  If you have any questions about it email Mike Notrica @ or see him at church.

God's Work, Our Hands T-shirts are available to purchase for our Bethlehem Serves Day on August 19th.  Contact Joanne Manzi at to place your order by July 22nd.  I will provide more info on sizing and price via e-mail.

 Giving Tree

For the five weeks leading up to the Bethlehem Serves Day , various organizations are going to tell you about their program.  The Giving Tree will discuss the projects. The money board will help collect needed funds and during the church services, various projects will be highlighted.
Bethlehem Serves Donations Needed!   The "Envelope Board" is an easy way to help support our day of service.  Just take an envelope and return it with that amount of money - for example, take Envelope #20 and return it with $20.00.  This helps us purchase supplies for the various projects.
BETHLEHEM SERVES DONATIONS NEEDED - FIRST RESPONDERS CARE BASKETS:   We are collecting items for the care baskets we make during Bethlehem Serves for first responders.  We can use: granola bars - protein bars - dried fruits - small packages of nuts - cookies - crackers & cheese - fresh "portable" fruit like apples - and grocery store gift cards of $10 or more.  We are also asking for homemade pies to add a personal touch - those are VERY popular!  Please bring donations to the Giving Tree basket in the entry way (bring pies on the Bethlehem Serves day, August 20th).  Thank you for your support!
TACO Donations for Bethlehem Serves:   travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, sunscreen, and deodorant are needed for the toiletries bags.  We have purchased the toothbrushes and toothpaste in small kits.  Collect them on your travels or pick up a few next time you're at Target.  THANK YOU!

 Stephen Ministry

Summer is Time for a Change

Summer is a time to change routines and take a vacation.  But it can also be a time to change jobs or retire.  It can be a time to move and change houses.  It can be the time your youngest child prepares to leave home for college.  If you are having trouble dealing with the changes in your life this summer please consider accepting the support of a Stephen Minister to help you through this difficult time. 

Stephen Ministers are trained caregivers, who will listen, encourage and, pray with you.  Men are matched with male Stephen Ministers and women are matched with female Stephen Ministers.  It's free.  It's confidential.  To find out more about Stephen Ministry please speak with Pastor Laura or with one of our Stephen Ministry Leaders Molly Hall, or Laure Reynolds.

 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 for July

TACO has 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 socks (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 cool 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  

 Music Ministry

August Music Happenings 
August 12 - Hymn Sing Sunday 
Favorite hymns from our ELW hymnal will be sung as part of our services. We are looking for a few people interested in sharing stories about their favorite hymns that day. Please contact our pastors or Mona Goetsch at if you are willing. 
Other hymns will be selected during the service. 
August 19 -  Bethlehem Serves Sunday 
Handchimes Sing-a-long with Senior Citizens.
Learn to play handchimes and then sing  and play old time favorite songs for the residents at the Olivenhain Senior Home . 
 Bethlehem Advocacy Team
Advocacy - Connecting Faith and Public Life

Presiding Bishop is troubled by the recent "Affording Congress An Opportunity To Address Family Separation" executive order.
The Rev. Amy Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy, asks "What is our relationship to government, as Lutherans? When do we submit, and when is resistance called for?"
ELCA Presiding Bishop expresses her dismay at the Supreme Court's decision concerning the president's authority to restrict travel into the United States.
Follow @ELCAadvocacy on Twitter. Contact Bethlehem's Advocacy Team at

 Community Resource Center (CRC)
What's Happening at CRC

CRC's Food Distribution Center provides food insecure households with access to emergency food sources, as well as on-going food assistance.  Although they receive fresh meat, dairy and produce each week from local grocery stores, the dry goods and personal care items are donated by community supporters.  Supplies of personal care items, such as shampoo, soap, cleaning supplies, diapers and more are critically low right now.  If you would like to help with this need, there is a "wish list" on Amazon: you can purchase from there and it will be delivered straight to CRC.   If you prefer to head out to your local store, items can be placed in the TACO box at the church (please label them as CRC donations).  As a reminder, CRC needs full size toiletries and TACO needs travel size ones..  Thank you for your support!
 Endowment Fund
Recent changes in tax policy have caused many Americans to wonder if their tax bill next year will go up, down or stay the same. But what about the long term? How do tax considerations impact your estate planning and your desire to leave a legacy gift to your church or other favored charities? There are many gift-planning strategies and tools you might find useful as a way to both reduce your tax bill and support the mission of the church. Here are just a few of the tools offered by the ELCA Foundation: charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts; donor-advised funds; and life estates. For more information about these and other gifting strategies that can benefit your heirs as well as your church, contact one of our congregation's gift planners: Greg Shepherd at 909-910-6823 or ; or Lisa Higginbotham at 773-380-2477 or

 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.

A reminder of future Work Days scheduled on Saturdays from 9:00 to 2:00:
July 28
August 25
September 29

For more information, please contact Belinda Simonini at

 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.

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Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster