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

June 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Laura

Dear people of God,

We enter now, a time in the liturgical calendar known as "ordinary time".  It is neither Easter nor Pentecost, neither Advent nor All Saint's Day.  From now through the fall, the church will be in "ordinary time".  That title always cracks me up.  Our lives as people of God have never been ordinary.  The work of the Spirit in the church and the world is anything but ordinary.  Bethlehem Lutheran is anything but ordinary.  

Here is an example of our particular "ordinary" life.  Bethlehem's calendar this week:

Monday:  A young mother in our congregation will go to the infusion center as she battles pancreatic cancer.  I ask your prayers for Donna Hackett, for her husband and their young daughters and all those in our congregation who are battling cancer.  

Tuesday:  We will serve as a polling place and assist this community in our common civic responsibility.  

Wednesday:  At 6:00 pm, we will host a Ramadan dinner with our Muslim brothers and sisters and honor our shared faith in a loving God.  All are welcome to attend!  

Thursday:   Mary Ontiveros, a daughter of this congregation, and her fiancé Rachel will be married at Bethlehem.  We celebrate with them. 
Saturday:  Many of us will attend the Barn Raising at Luther Glen and support the camp and farm.  

Sunday:  We will gather, once again, to give thanks to the risen Lord for the gift and grace of this "ordinary" life we have been given.  This life full of promise and grace, filled with tears and hope.  What a blessing is ours, to share the journey together. 

Just another ordinary week at Bethlehem Lutheran. :)

The pace at Bethlehem does not slow during the summer, but changes to a different cadence.   Here are some upcoming events as the summer unfolds.  

July 2 - 6:  Vacation Bible School from 9 - noon.  Our theme is Shipwrecked and we look forward to welcoming close to 150 children.  If you would like to volunteer for the fun, volunteer forms are due by Sunday June 10.  If you have never volunteered before, please join us.  Registration forms for children and volunteers are available in the narthex.  If you know children who would be blessed to attend, please pick up a form for them.

July 15 - 20:  Confirmation Camp for our middle school students at Luther Glen.

July 28 - Aug. 4:  Summer Mission trip for our High School students and leaders.  We will be helping to rebuild after the devastating fires in Santa Rosa. 
Sunday Aug. 19:  Bethlehem Serves!  The best Sunday of the year.  We will have a brief service at 9 am and then head off in groups to serve our community.  Many projects are available on campus as well.   Watch for signups coming soon and plan to stay for potluck and fellowship afterwards.

Sunday Aug. 26:  Beach worship!  We sill worship in the morning at Bethlehem, and the last service of the day will be a joint service with St. Andrews on the beach.  All are welcome.

A thought as I close.  I travelled, last week, to rural Nebraska for a family funeral.  Page, Nebraska is a small town of 130 persons, steeped in community and history and surrounded by corn fields and green rolling hills.  I returned to Encinitas, and met this week with the principal at Ocean Knoll elementary school to discuss the needs of their immigrant families and learn of the many ways we can help.  We can help by providing snacks for their summer program, hosting an event in the fall to prepare parents and children to re-enter school, driving children with medical needs to Rady's children's hospital and so much more.  It is a long way from Page, NE to Encinitas, CA.  On the surface we have little in common.  Yet, as I sat in their sanctuary last week, and in ours today, it feels remarkably the same.  I can feel the presence of the same gracious God, the hearts of the same people seeking grace and hope in times of difficulty and times of joy.  
I find myself thankful today for the whole family.   For our connectedness and the common hope we share.   I find our common humanity, miraculous -- and I give thanks for you.   In this "ordinary" time of grace, may God bless you on the journey.   May the summer stretch before you with moments of simple rest and times of rich service.

A fellow partner on the journey,
Pastor Laura

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News

VBS Registration Deadline June 15: This year's VBS "Shipwrecked" will be held the first week of July 2018. Join us on July 2-3 and 5-6 for  an exciting adventure! The adventure starts at 9 am and will end at 12
noon each day.

In order to prepare for VBS, it is critical to have an accurate count of  campers and volunteers well in advance! Deadline for registration  is June 15th. (Registrations received after June 15 will only be accepted
if space is available and will be subject to a $5.00 late fee.) Registration  forms for campers and volunteers are available at, or in the  church office.

Items needed for VBS: If you have any large or small (fake) tropical  looking plants, we could use for decorations, bring them to church. If  you need them back, please let us know. Also if you have any vintage
looking pieces of luggage or chests, nautical items, ropes, netting,  wooden buckets, etc., we would love to borrow them as well. Your help  in providing these items will help keep our cost for decorations under
control and would be greatly appreciated!

VBS Volunteer Training Dates: All volunteers must attend one of the  two training meetings. The first meeting will be held on Saturday, June  16 at 10 am. The second training meeting will be on Tuesday, June 19  at 7 pm.

VBS Set-up: VBS set-up will begin on Friday, June 22 in the afternoon.  Set-up will continue throughout the week before VBS. If you would like  to help, please fill out a volunteer form and return it to the church office  no later than June 15.

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

Come to Worship this Sunday Hungry and with a Dirty Car!

The youth will be serving cinnamon rolls and washing cars this Sunday, June 3rd from 9 am - noon to raise money for summer trips!  Suggested donation is $1/roll and $10/car.

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 next $100 payment for the middle school Confirmation Camp trip is due Sunday, June 17th. Please remember to list your youth's name on the memo line . 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 next $100 payment for the high school summer service trip is due Sunday, June 17th. 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
midOctober     Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group
midOctober -    Secret Santa
November       Cheryl Monreal
December       Creches from Around the World
                        Various church members         
Ongoing:         TACO (soup kitchen)

 Giving Tree

The June Giving Tree features the California State University San Marcos Student Health Care Project  The Student Healthcare Project is staffed by volunteer nursing faculty, volunteer MDs and NPs, graduate and undergraduate nursing students. The Student Healthcare Project provides free medical care and manages acute and chronic diseases.

There are currently four clinics operating throughout San Diego County. The clinics focus on providing free walk-in and appointment care for unsheltered, uninsured and underinsured residents. The clinics are funded through grants and donations.  Bethlehem members can help by donating supplies such as gauze, bandaids, packages or small bottles of Tylenol, aspirin and other over the counter medications.  Many of these supplies can be purchased at the 99 Cents store.  Stop by the giving tree to see the full list.  Another option is to donate Amazon or Target gift cards and the clinic director will order supplies on line.

 Common Ground

COMMON GROUND,  the high school youth group of Bethel Lutheran Church in Cupertino, California,  is bringing their high energy message including the music of today's top Christian artists and original videos and dramas to Bethlehem on Monday, June 11th @ 7pm.   Come enjoy an evening of fun entertainment - ALL ARE WELCOME!  
We are also looking for host families to provide overnight housing for the group - if you are able to provide a bed or two for 2, 3, or 4 people, please let Pastor Laura or Joanne Manzi know.

 Stephen Ministry

Stressed? Discouraged? Lonely? Sad? Don't Suffer Alone.
Help Is Available.

Sometimes we fall into a trap where we think it's a sign of weakness to ask for help. So when we're stressed, discouraged, lonely, or sad, we try to keep our struggles hidden and are reluctant to ask for help. However, that's not God's plan. Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." God wants us to care for others-and allow others to care for us in our time of need.

If you're sad or struggling inside, don't suffer alone. Ask for help. We've got a team of Stephen Ministers who are ready to provide confidential one-to-one care, encouragement, and support to help you through a tough time. Find out more about Stephen Ministry by talking with Pr Laura or one of our Stephen Leaders, Laure Reynolds or Molly Hall. Our Stephen Ministers are ready to bring God's love and care into your life.

 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)

Help Serve at TACO

We will be helping to serve the evening meal to the homeless again on  Monday, June 18.  I will be out of town but Bev Laning will be coordinating and providing rides as needed.  Please contact her at  760 212-3947 if you are able to help.   Thank you!
Lori Cook   760 207-0432 

TACO Needs for June

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

Come hear the First Annual Bethlehem Talent Show on Sunday, June 3rd @ 4 p.m.  Not only will our choirs perform, but many soloists, dancers, guitarists, and pianists from our congregation will show their musical talent.  Support our congregational members in a friendly environment. 

A free will offering will be taken for the music program. 
 Bethlehem Advocacy Team
Advocacy - Connecting Faith and Public Life

Advocacy News

VOTE!  Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - California Primary 
Women and Justice Draft Social Statement Event
  • June 16, 2018 - 9:00am to 11:00am
  • Rev. Gloria Espeseth will offer guidance on:
    • How to read and comment on the Statement as an individual
    • How to be a facilitator for a group study on the Statement
  • Read more about the process and the Statement at
Explaining policies that separate children and families
  • This article, from the ELCA Director of Migration Policy, is helpful in understanding the issues facing children and families arriving at our borders
Read more about ELCA Advocacy
Sign up to receive updates
For more information about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, email Karin Kloehn 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
Each  month,  Bethlehem's  Mission  Endowment  Fund Committee shares some thoughts and suggestions about planned giving. This month's topic is "What More Can Be Done?"
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

 The True Meaning of Generosity

The True Meaning of Generosity

I recently read an article in  The Week  magazine where the writer, Christian B. Miller, through examples, helped me better understand this most important virtue.  Mr. Miller briefly writes about Bill Gates who has donated $29 billion, "Jones" who gave away his CD collection, "Amanda" who has donated over the years to charities and "Professor Smith" who offers after hours tutoring to his students.  And then asks the question - Are Bill, Jones, Amanda and the Professor generous?  At a high level one can certainly say yes, but as the writer digs into the true meaning of generosity, it gave me pause.
You can read the entire article by clicking on the link 

-Dick DuBois

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21

 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:
June 30
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