In This Issue

From Pastor Laura
July Worship Schedule
COVID Vaccine Help
Family Ministry
Pastor Laura's Anniversary
Adventure Ministry
Music Ministry
Stephen Ministry
Stewardship Stream
ELCA Advocacy
Engagement Opportunities
Pastor Sam's Sermon Blog
Global Mission "Global Links"
Bethlehem Cares Fund
Newsletter Archives
Contact Us

Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2
Pastor Sam Nelson
Associate Pastor
Ext 30
Constance Mithelman
Youth Director
Ext 12
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1 
July 2022
News and Events
Dear People of Bethlehem,

As I write this, we are in the middle of Vacation Bible School, learning about Joseph and his brothers in Egypt. Children are running all over the campus, full of joy and new songs and a great deal of love. It does the heart good. In the background, our nation continues to struggle through many desperately important issues and pain seems to be the primary outcome for us all. It feels discordant to me, even impossible, that both things can exist in the same moment. Yet, when I asked one of our 4 year olds today, what he learned at Vacation Bible School, he said, "I learned that God was with Joseph every, everywhere he was — even in jail." How unfathomable, but true that God is indeed in it all; at the center of our deepest pain and turmoil, and centered in our deepest hope and joy.
I am personally overjoyed that we as a congregation will be marching in the Pride Parade together. I hope you will be able to join us. Pride is yet another example of God’s "everywhere". Pride parades always exemplify the intersection of highest joy and honest sorrow. So much color and joy, yet hidden within it, the bittersweet honesty of what has been endured.
What wonderful permission we have been given by God, to not have to sequester ourselves in one single place; to not have to define ourselves, or our God, so narrowly. We can rather, expand our vision of where God will choose to be, until we become acutely aware that there is no place God’s love does not reside. I heard a theologian say, "Many people ask the question, where is God? The better question is, where isn't God?" That truth gives us permission to venture far and wide. We can venture into the simple joys of life: a good cup of coffee, or a beautiful sunset. There God will find us. We can dare to step into the fray of this world: the sorrow of injustice, the pain we ourselves bear. There we will find God. And in both places, we will be blessed.
Dear people of God, I offer you this blessing:

Go now with God, be not tempted to stay in the safety of known places. Move from where you are to where God points. Hasten from where you are toward a God who beckons.

Go now with God, be not tempted to go only in your time; when it suits; when it is sure. Bestir yourself now, for now is God’s time.

Go now with God, elect not to go alone. Give your allegiance, your destination to no other. Choose to go with God.

Go in the faith that there is no valley so low, no wilderness so vast, no passage so crooked, no way so confused, that God is not already there. Waiting to be with you.
I count myself blessed to be with you on the journey,
Pastor Laura
July Worship Schedule
Sunday Morning Worship:

  • July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
  • 9 and 10:30 am

Worship takes place in the sanctuary for both services, and there is the option to sit outside in the eco-narthex as well. The livestream takes place during the 10:30 AM service.
COVID Vaccine Help
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.

Family Ministry
Thank you for making VBS 2022 MONUMENTAL!!! - It was a gift to be together again after 2 years of Virtual VBS. Thank you to everyone for your generous financial and prayerful support as we shared God's love with 40 children from all over North County.

Join us for Beach Wednesdays at Moonlight!All youth (7th-12th grade) are invited to gather at Moonlight Wednesdays from 3-6 pm ending at Cali Cream (formerly Handels).

Find us right under the big palm tree!
There will not be a gathering Wednesday, July 13th and Wednesday, August 3rd.

Pastor Laura's Ordination Anniversary
Save the Date: Sunday, August 28, 2022

August 30, 2022 is the 25th anniversary of Pastor Laura's ordination. She has spent more than half of that time at Bethlehem! Please join us to honor and celebrate her 25 years of leadership and faithful service to God. Stay tuned for more details. We will honor Pastor Laura during and after worship.

If you have photos you would like to share for the celebration, please contact Carolin Meinhardt.

For general information, contact Suzi Westmoreland.
Adventure Ministry
Save the date! - We're planning a biking trip for the next Adventure Ministry event for September 24. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details.

Questions? Contact any of the Adventure Ministry leaders: Dennis Astroth, Eileen Lajimodiere, Suzi Westmoreland.

Music Ministry
Thank you to Bethlehem Musicians! - I want to take this opportunity to thank all the singers, instrumentalists, chimers, bell ringers and tech team who have continued to provide quality music for our services this season. We have learned to be flexible and keep finding new ways to experience the joy of music during the pandemic. I know that our music has sustained many in this difficult time.  
Bethlehem Summer Talent Show is Online! - Bethlehem's Summer Talent Show is on the Bethlehem Youtube Channel and can be watched by clicking this link:
Thanks again to all who participated and the tech team who set up sound for the show, live streamed and created this video! Special thanks to Joshua Hegg who gave permission for his music that was played during our intermission.  

Stephen Ministry
San Diego County Mobile Crisis Response Teams - San Diego County has launched a new Mobile Crisis Response team (MCRT) to deal with urgent calls that involve mental, behavioral, or substance abuse issues but do not necessarily need the intervention of the police or sheriff’s departments. If you or someone you know is involved in an urgent situation involving one of these issues, call the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at 888-724-7240 or text 741 741. Your call will be answered by a clinician who can authorize the deployment of a MCRT team, which consists of a clinician, a case manager, and a peer support specialist. This team will assess and deescalate the situation and connect the individual to appropriate resources if needed. This is a wonderful step forward in the treatment of Mental health issues in our county! 
Stewardship Stream
More Than Money - So much of our Stewardship conversation is centered around money that it can overshadow the incredibly important role that non-financial stewardship plays in our ministries. 
Think about the almost unquantifiable, yet real and tangible, stewardship that occurs every Sunday. We enjoy so many capable volunteer musicians throughout the year that not only present their talents during our services, but spend hours and hours planning and practicing their praise. Behind the scenes, but oh so critical these days, are the members of our tech and sound team - where would we be without them the past several years!
Bethlehem has consistently enjoyed volunteer congregational leadership through our Church Council positions, as well as members serving on other committees and helping to plan and organize congregational events. Their dedication in meetings, follow-through, and the related preparation is vitally important to the faithful and transparent decision-making and directing of our church.
We also enjoy the incredibly positive impact on our communities through volunteer leadership and participation in activities focused on our congregation (Tai Chi, Centering Prayer, Women of Welcome, Men of Bethlehem, Stephen Ministry); those beyond (ELCA Advocacy, St. Andrew’s Food Pantry, Bethlehem Serves); and everyone (Youth Summer Trip, Vacation Bible School)!
Thank you for the impact you make in these and so many other ways that transcend money!!
ELCA Advocacy
Bishop Eaton Issues Pastoral Message on SCOTUS Ruling Regarding Roe v. Wade - “As we live into this new legal framework, we can respond to and minister in the current situation, for instance, by ministering to individuals who seek abortions; advocating for laws that provide free or affordable health care, child care and education; providing and promoting sex education; continuing to be a community of discernment where thoughtful and diverse perspectives can be shared and heard; and advocating for state laws that provide legal, safe and affordable abortions, and against legislation that would outlaw abortion in all circumstances (p. 9).” Read the full statement here.
Urge Senate to Pass Climate Action in the Reconciliation Package - The House of Representatives has passed a reconciliation package that includes robust climate action. This special legislative process underway in Congress is being used to quickly advance high-priority fiscal legislation. The U.S. Senate now needs to take action and include provisions for clean transportation, coastal resilience measures and lessening carbon emissions throughout the United States. We need to encourage our senators to pass climate action in the reconciliation package in order to protect God’s creation and God’s people. Learn more here and send a customized message to your lawmakers through the ELCA Action Center.
“Advocacy in Quarantine” - Most of the bills/issues we have supported this session are still alive in the budget process. This is great news! (See last month’s issue of the Newsletter for details on the bills we supported.) The final budget should be negotiated before this Legislative session ends on July 1, 2022. The Legislature will then adjourn until the first week of August.
Advocacy in Quarantine will also take a hiatus during this time. See you in August!

ELCA Advocacy Monthly Updates

Follow us!
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
Pacifica Synod Bishop Andy Taylor: Facebook
For information or questions about Bethlehem’s Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn 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 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. 

Scraps and Prayers - This ministry sews quilts for people in need of comfort and care. We meet each Wednesday morning from 9am-11am in the Multi-Use Room. We need your help sewing and tying quilts. No experience necessary! Stop by for an hour or stay for the whole morning; we'd love to share our scraps and prayers with you. For more information, contact Bobby Allen at or Laure Reynolds at

 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:
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:

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 website. See the website for more details.