"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

June 2021

News and Events
 From Pastor Laura
Dear people of Bethlehem,
In this season of the church, we have moved from Ascension Sunday, to Pentecost, to Trinity Sunday. The Holy Spirit has central place in all three. Ascension Sunday: "You will be visited by the Holy Spirit, not many days from now." Pentecost: the rush of a mighty wind and the gift of the Holy Spirit to the new church. Trinity Sunday: "You must be born of water and the Spirit."   No coincidence I think, that in this season of our lives, it is time to think of the Spirit. We are moving from the restraint of the pandemic, to the new day opening before us.
The times they are a changing. Like the time of the new Pentecost church, the ground doesn't feel fully solid under our feet. But I'll tell you this: we are living in solid grace. It's seeping in through the walls and coming up from the ground. God is up to something. And woe be unto us if we miss it. These moments don't come along very often. Moments when we can choose a new direction. We have been forced this year to call full stop on almost everything. And now we get to write the next chapter. What a gift! And woe be unto us if we squander this God given opportunity, and go back down the mountain the same way we came up. Woe be unto us if we return to the well-worn path, without considering the new Spirit blowing around us. Wouldn't it be a waste if we blindly rush back to the way it always has been, rather than consider the way God would have us be.
Where might the Spirit be blowing now? - What have we learned? What have we gained? What have you gained? What do you want to keep from the last year? What do you want to jettison? Make a list. See what God tells you. Might there be yet more room for rest, or gratitude, or vision.
And what of the church? This sacred work we share. You know the seven last words of the church have always been, "We've never done it that way before." Meaning - so let's not. This last year, "We've never done it that way before" has been our mantra. And we have said - Yes, let's do that! And it has been creative and joyous and exhausting and Spirit filled - and I'm not ready to give it up. I welcome the new path, the new vistas, the new direction, the new Spirit. If you've got a fantastic idea, something you've been holding on to for the last year, call me, call Pastor Sam. Dear people of God, who shall we be now? I can't wait to find out.
As is always true this time of year, it has been the season of butterflies on campus. Mourning Cloak butterflies are bursting the confines of their chrysalis, daring to spread wide their wings in defiant determination to claim hope and renewed promise. They have become, for me, a knowing of the promise of resurrected day. The certainly of hope made real. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. These butterflies named for grief, have dared to break open the grave clothes and break into new day.

And so too shall we. We have journeyed this wilderness together and you are my hope in this new day. What mighty plans does God have for us? I can't wait to find out!
In Christ,
Pastor Laura

 June Worship Schedule

Beginning June 20 indoor worship will resume at Bethlehem. For more information on the new schedules and signup requirements, please refer to the e-blast Outdoor and Indoor Worship Services at BLC.

 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.

 Family Ministry
Ocean Knoll is running their summer program and they need our help!  Bethlehem is on snack duty!  During the month of June, please bring individually wrapped snacks (granola bars, crackers, etc.) to church!  Have questions?  Contact Constance!
 Music Ministry
Pandemic Palooza - The choirs of Bethlehem invite you to watch their Spring Concert called Pandemic Palooza on YouTube beginning June 5th. Since March 2020, the choirs have produced 33 videos by  the Good News Singers, World Music Ensemble, Children's Choir, JuBellation Ringers, and Children's 
Chimers.  All videos will be posted in a movie for your viewing pleasure.  A program showing recording times will be included with the video. On Sunday, June 6th @ 4 pm you may also attend the AFTERGLOW PARTY on zoom to share your thoughts about the concert  and talk about future music happenings at Bethlehem.  The link for the program will be posted by June 4th.

A Special Thank You to Our Young Musicians - I want to give a special thanks to the Weed, Draskovic, Porcelli, Shohab/Louie, Olson and Kershbaum families who have continued to participate in the Children's Choir, Children's Chimers and the Children's Christmas program through the last 15 months.  Your children have given the congregation the special gift of music through childrens voices and have brought such joy to our worship services.  We appreciate you!!!
 June Educational Opportunity
Acting on our faith: Following Christ Together in the Face of Racism
"Faith in Action,"  Bethlehem's antiracism listening, learning and action group continues to meet monthly and all are welcome.  In June we will continue our learning through a structured conversation of the book, Be the Bridge - Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation. Suzi Westmoreland is leading this discussion and in June we will be discussing Part 2 (chapters 4-6). If you want to read the book you can order it at Be the Bridge.  If you just want to drop by and join the conversation that is fine too!
Our next session will be Tuesday June 1 at 6:00pm.  The Zoom link can be found on a previous e-blast or by contacting 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 [email protected] 
 ELCA Advocacy 
Lutheran Lobby Day 2021 a great success! Over 100 people, including eight members of Bethlehem, attended Lobby Day on May 19. It was a day filled with fellowship, education, motivation, and action!
Our keynote speaker, Rev. Cornell Brooks, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School, spoke about our biblical imperative to fight for social justice and inspired us with his passionate call to action as faith-based advocates.
Each attendee was scheduled to visit their state legislators (or a member of their staff.) We spoke with them about four bills that were currently in Appropriations: AB221: Emergency Food4All, SB464: Food4All, AB937: The VISION Act (Immigrant rights) and SB691 CalEITC Expansion (Expanding eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit).  The visits were surprisingly effective, even in our virtual format. As of Thursday, May 20, 2021, 3 of our 4 active bills passed out of the Appropriations Committees to the floor of their respective houses. (AB221, SB242, AB937). And SB 691: CalEITC Expansion is now held in Senate Appropriations, but the accompanying budget ask is still active. It's no coincidence that our Lobby Day was scheduled one day before these important committee decisions. Our voices mattered in these committee votes.
In between our legislative visits, we had the opportunity to attend six different workshops presented by ELCA leaders. The workshops were stimulating and encouraging on the subjects of Youth and Young Adult Advocacy, Advocacy 201, Legislative Budget Advocacy, The Lutheran Perspective on Advocacy, Antiracism: Racial Justice Ministry, and Local Advocacy and Organizing.
It was a truly inspirational day! I hope you will consider joining us in May 2022!
"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.
ELCA Advocacy Update:Advocacy Connections
ELCA Advocacy Update: United Nations and State Edition

Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
Bishop Andy Taylor: Facebook
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at [email protected].

 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, Pr. Sam or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall, Suzi Westmoreland, or Laure Reynolds.

Stewardship Stream 

Take Bethlehem on Vacation!  "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."

One of the occasional positives from the pandemic has been Bethlehem's increased adoption of electronic giving. Over 70% of our offerings now come in this way and, as a result, you people of Bethlehem continue to be tremendously generous - THANK YOU. We are grateful for those who have taken advantage of one of the following ways to give.   For your convenience, particularly as you vacation this summer and visit friends and family, our electronic giving options are listed below:
  • You can download the FREE app "GivePlus+" wherever you get your apps (Google Play Store or Apple App Store). After you launch the app, you will be prompted to find your church - Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 925 Balour, Encinitas. The easiest way to use the app is to set up an account using your email address, although you have the option to just "Give Now." Select General Operating for your regular giving to Bethlehem, indicating whether your gift is a recurring or one-time one.   Once you have the app set up, it's easy to contribute to other ministries listed on the app for Bethlehem.
  • You can also log on to the Bethlehem website, select "Contribute" and then "Give Now" to access the same system as the app, though the website view looks different. Both the GivePlus+ App and website list many of the ministries and funds at Bethlehem.   However, if you want to contribute to either a ministry or fund that is not specifically listed (e.g., Easter, Lent, Ocean Knoll, St. Andrews Food Pantry, etc.), the website accepts an entry for "Special" and you can type in your intended purpose or fund. Unfortunately, the app doesn't have this functionality.
You are more than welcome to mail in or drop off checks to the church office, either with or without a "church envelope." And, of course, if you attend one of our in-person worship services, you can do it the old fashion way when we "pass the hat!" At the check-in table you will find a basket for your donation.
Bethlehem has a tremendous opportunity to minister to so many within and outside our church. Your financial support makes this all possible and we so much appreciate that!

 Parish Nurse 

Anyone interested in a recertification  of CPR with AED please contact Rose Moldenhauer [email protected]. 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
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 [email protected].  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

[email protected]