"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 2019

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Summertime Greeting Bethlehem,
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." - Matthew 18:1-5
I am writing this newsletter article in midst of the amazing, exhausting, wonderful insanity that is our VBS program. This year we have almost 100 kids in attendance in our program and it has been absolutely awesome. I've had so much fun getting to do the opening skit as the somewhat gruff Safari Sam, who ultimately becomes friends with a visiting "sound-ologist" (our very own Music Man Chris Matthews). As well as getting to lead the Imagination Station and do experiments with the kids. We've done baking soda volcanos, milk kaleidoscopes (or as I like to call them cow-leidoscopes), and various dry ice experiments.
The pureness of the joy, love, and excitement that these kids have is contagious. I couldn't help but hear the words from Matthew's Gospel ringing in my ear throughout this week. I was sitting in the back pew waving to the kids as they were leaving one day, giving high fives to some, and one little boy who couldn't reach decided to blow a kiss instead. When we were working on the cow-leidoscopes I warned one group not to stir the colors too quickly because doing so results in everything turning brown. One of the 4-year-old girls responded, "Yeah, but it's a brown we all helped make together!"
Often, as adults, we think that we are the ones with all the knowledge, and that it is our job to teach the younger generations. And while that definitely is part of what we are called to do, we can often lose sight of all that they have to teach us. The wisdom that comes from some of these kids is both humbling and inspiring. I invite you to come to church this Sunday and experience some of it for yourself!
Pastor Sam
P.S. Just as a reminder, we begin our new summer worship schedule this Sunday! Worship services are at 8:30 and 10:00 with educational opportunities for both kids and adults from 9:30-10:00.

 Summer Worship Schedule
We are very excited to announce that during July and August we will be moving to two worship services at 8:30 and 10 am. From 9:30-10 there will be learning circles for the kids, as well as adult education classes taught by different members of the congregation. The only exception to this schedule will be on Bethlehem Serves Sunday which will be August 18 th .  Please mark your calendars and spread the word!

Youth Ministry

Cinnamon Roll Sale and Car Wash on July 7th

For service trip fund raising, we will be selling cinnamon rolls and washing cars on VBS Sunday, July 7th!

Are you a Thrivent member and have Action Dollars still up for grabs?  The youth can use them!  Food is the second biggest expense on our service trips and $250 goes a long way in feeding 40 teenagers!  Contact Constance at   cmithelman@blcenc.org  if you're a Thrivent member!

 Hymn Sing Sunday

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA- 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

29:Eleven Maternity Home

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)

 Bethlehem Women's Retreat

Save the Date !   The next Bethlehem Women's Retreat is scheduled for May 1 - 3, 2020 at Luther Glen.

 3rd Annual BLC Golf Tournament

Save the Date 3rd Annual BLC Golf Tournament. Sunday, September 15th starting at 2 pm.  St. Mark Executive Golf Course (San Marcos.)  Golfers of all abilities are welcome!  More details and sign up info coming soon!
 San Diego Habitat for Humanity- Upcoming Opportunities
For those who are interested in volunteering onsite in the next month or so, San Diego Habitat has online registration here: 

If you would like to volunteer with other people from Bethlehem, contact 
Jim Mastrogany, james.mastrogany@gmail.com.
San Diego Habitat is currently building in Logan Heights and El Cajon, with build days Tuesdays - Saturdays. The work day is 8:15 am - 3:30 pm with a 30 minute lunch break at 11:30 am.  The minimum age to volunteer on the construction site is 16.
San Diego Habitat also has great volunteer opportunities in the ReStores with locations in Kearny Mesa, National City and Escondido. Volunteers are scheduled Tuesday - Sundays at each store. The ReStore shifts are 10am - 2pm and 2pm - 6pm on Tuesday through Saturday and overlapping shifts of 10am - 2pm and 12pm - 4pm on Sunday. Volunteer tasks at the ReStores include helping receive donations, organizing the store, pricing new items and helping customers to load purchased items. The ReStore is Habitat's biggest financial supporter and help is always needed there. The minimum age to volunteer at the ReStore is 14.
Women Build is coming up in May! This event promotes empowerment, solidarity, learning, and pride in our community. It encourages women (and men!) to give back and help San Diego Habitat make a difference in the lives of local families. It is San Diego Habitat's biggest event for the year, and each builder is asked to fund raise or donate $300, which helps Habitat build more here in San Diego. May 2 nd, 4 th, 9 th, 10 th, and 11 th  still have slots available. More information can be found here:  
For any questions regarding volunteering, please email   volunteerservices@sandiegohabitat.org

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31   8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
July 27   9:00-2:00pm  Pajama Project
July 27   9:00am- 12 noon  Feed the Homeless (at St. Andrews)

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)

Third Avenue Charitable Organization (TACO): We are collecting travel size toiletries for TACO again this summer. All items need to be unopened and nothing sharp. Please put them in the box in the entry which will be labelled TACO. Thanks to everyone for you continued support of TACO. You are much appreciated!! If you have any questions, please call me, Lori Cook, at 760 207-0432.

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
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 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!

Contact: Sheri Burtt at sherissb@gmail.com.

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 Ministry eNews
July 2019
If you're stressed....
....and cannot cope....
....a Stephen Minister....
...can give you hope!  
Summertime Stress Slowing you Down? We like to think of summer as being a relaxing, enjoyable time. But hurts, struggles, crises, and problems don't take a vacation. Many times our difficulties seem even worse during the summer because everyone else seems to be enjoying life while you are feeling down. A Stephen Minister can help. 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 talk with Pr. Laura, Pr. Sam or one of our Stephen Ministry Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.
 ELCA Advocacy 
"Responding to our sorrow with action"
Recent news stories of appalling conditions at immigrant detention centers and of deep human sorrow on our country's southern border have many of us desperate to be part of change. Here are some ways Lutherans have responded and continue to respond.  

Additional ELCA resources on immigration, migrant, and refugee issues:
AMMPARO Migrant Children
ELCA Advocacy Updates for June
United Nations and State Edition and Advocacy Connections from the Washington, DC Lutheran
Office of Public Policy
Jubilee USA Action Items
Bethlehem is a Jubilee congregation, which means that we support Jubilee in their efforts to address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world. Here are some of Jubilee's current action items.  
Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.
 Adventure Ministry
Adventure Ministry - Out to Sea!
Bring (or rent) your kayaks or stand-up paddle boards and join us to cruise:
Oceanside Harbor
Saturday, September 14
10 am
Meet near Boat Rentals of America on the south side of Oceanside Harbor near the lighthouse. You can bring your own board or boat and launch from their dock, or rent from them. Check Groupon for 2 for 1 coupons.
Important! If you bring your own kayak or board, bring a life jacket. You must have a life jacket on board in Oceanside Harbor.  If you want to join us but don't want to get your toes wet, we are renting a party boat and have room for 10, first come, first on board:)   Cost is $12. 

For more information about Adventure Ministry, contact:
Dennis Astroth dennis.astroth@gmail.com
Eileen Lajimodiere elajimodiere@gmail.com
Suzi Westmoreland suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

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

 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.

 Looking For New Acolytes

Looking for New Acolytes

We are currently recruiting new acolytes to help with the church services each Sunday morning. Children from 2nd to 6th grades are welcome to become an acolyte. A training session will be scheduled to instruct and practice exactly what an acolyte does. It is a fun way for the children to become more involved in the church service. Please contact Julie Draskovic at  juliedraskovic@yahoo.com  if you are interested.

 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 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.

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