"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

March 2019

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Dear Bethlehem,

"What are you giving up for Lent this year?" It's become a common phrase in our society, even among those who do not regularly attend a worship service of any kind. Lent has embedded itself in our collective conscience as a season of solemn sobriety, of restraint, of self-denial. People treat it almost like a workout regimen, or a life style challenge - 40 Days to a Newer and Better You! People give up chocolate, or Facebook, or soda. All good life choices, but are they really getting at the heart of the season? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making these kinds of improvements in your life, and if it's Lent that motivates you to do so, more power to you! But what happens when those 40 days are done? Ideally the practices that we engage in will result in a change that is more permanent, but that is not always what ends up happening.
Historically, Lent is the season of catechumenate, a time for newcomers to Christianity to spend learning and growing in their faith that would culminate in being baptized during the Easter Vigil. The result was that the whole 40 days of Lent became seen as a time to spend getting closer to God, to growing deeper in relationship with the divine, and a part of that involves clearing out aspects of our lives that separate us from God. Now I don't want to imply that giving up chocolate won't help you get closer to God. You might very well create some new psalms of lament during the process. But I would encourage you to spend a little bit of time thinking about what it is that separates you from God. What is it that keeps you from placing your trust fully in Christ? What tendencies or habits do you engage in that leave no room for the Holy Spirit to blow freely through your life? It might even involve taking on a spiritual practice, as opposed to giving something up. Beginning to do something that you wish you did more often or want to be better at: daily meditation, prayer, studying scripture every day, seeking out one person to do a random act of kindness for.
The point of Lent is not to see how strong our wills are, how determined we can be to deny ourselves something we love for 40 days, and then to simply go back to normal life come Easter. The point is to engage in true self-improvement, a spring cleaning of the soul if you will. To find ways that we might be transformed on this pilgrimage to Jerusalem. So, I will ask you a different question: "How will you be changed by Lent this year?"

Pastor Sam
 Lent and Holy Week Schedule
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE - Imposition of Ashes
This Wednesday, March 6th @ 7 pm in the Sanctuary
WEDNESDAY EVENINGS IN LENT (March 13th - April 10th)
6:00 - 6:30 pm - Worship - Holden Evening Prayer in the Sanctuary
     6:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Soup Supper & Education in the Family Center
During Lenten education we will take up one subject a week:
Faith, Saints, Psalms, Women of the Bible, Care of Creation.
Donations received during the Lenten Evening Services
will go toward funding for the Family Center Patio Restoration Project.

HOLY WEEK:         
EASTER EGG HUNT - Saturday, April 13th
10:00 am - 3 years old through 6th grade
PALM SUNDAY - April 14th.
No 8:00 am service
9:00 and 10:30 am - Choir Cantata (No Communion).
MAUNDY THURSDAY - April 18th, 7:00 pm -
Holy Communion Service
GOOD FRIDAY - April 19th, 7:00 pm -
Service of Tenebrae
EASTER VIGIL - April 20th, 7:00 pm -
A service of shadows, light, sacrament and celebration
EASTER SUNDAY - April 21st,
Holy Communion at 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30 am
 Landscape Work Party
Landscape Work Party
9AM, Saturday, March 9

Bring your clippers, weed removal tools, gloves, and water and join us for our first property landscape maintenance event. Snacks and coffee will be provided. Questions? Contact Dennis at 858-354-3566. Hope to see you there!
 MOB Work Party
MOB Work Party
9AM, Saturday, March 16

The Men of Bethlehem (MOB) will have their first work party to begin refurbishing the family center patio area on Saturday, March 16th at 9 am.  We will be painting so please dress accordingly and hope to see you there! 

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
Mardi Gras / Carnival Tuesday March 5: Last year's event was a great evening of family fun!  We had a great time, including music from a "live" Dixieland band in the family center, a mini  parade to the sanctuary, followed by "hands on" experience playing Brazilian carnival music. If  you would like to volunteer to help make this year's Mardi Gras / Carnival a success, please  contact me, Chris Matthews at  childrensministry@blcenc.org .
Easter Egg Hunt April 13 @ 10 AM: Join us for this fun annual family event!
"Roar" VBS July 1-3, and 5th: This year's "Roar" VBS will be the "mane event" of the summer!  This epic African adventure engages the whole herd. At Roar, kids will explore God's goodness  and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers them through this wild life.
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Youth Ministry

Calling all 6th graders! It's time to get ready for Confirmation! Please send an email to Constance (cmithelman@blcenc.org) so we can get you on all of the communications regarding Confirmation Camp and Class!

Calling all current 6th and 7th graders! Confirmation Camp is fast approaching! There is a $100 deposit due on March 5th for Confirmation Camp at Luther Glen July 14-19th.

All current 8th graders - current freshmen in college, the Summer Service Trip of 2019 will be August 3-10th. We are going to New Mexico to do some accompaniment work with Border Servant Corps. There will be an informational and fundraising meeting Sunday, March 17th at 10:30 am.

 Music Ministry

Musical Group Performance Schedule for March

March 3- Second Sabbath
March 10- Good News Singers
March 17- Children's Chimers
March 24- JuBellation Ringers
March 31- Children's Choir and Luther College Band Ensemble 

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

The Bethlehem Women of the ELCA held their Annual Meeting on February 27th.  The officers for 2019 are:  President - Kim Oswald, Vice President - Bobby Allen, Secretary - Lynne Miller and Treasurer - Dana Roberts.  Thank you to all who attended.  Look for a new May Giving Tree program to support and for continued contributions from the Women to the ministries at Bethlehem.

 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

Mother's Day Thanksoffering

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)

 Giving Tree

March Giving Tree is for COLLEGE CARE PACKAGES  

It's time to celebrate our youth and remember them in our prayers and actions as they pursue their education. During the month of March, please consider giving a monetary donation so we can purchase snacks, supplies and postage to make the day a bit brighter for about 25 college students. The care packages will ship in early April. Thank you for your contributions and please contact Skye Svenningsen if you have any questions or a student to add to our list.  310-916-6256  or skyesven@gmail.com

 Luther College Concert Band

Luther College Concert Band 

Luther College Concert Band is coming to San Diego County as part of the ensemble's 2019 Southwest Tour.  The Concert Band will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 30th at Calvary Lutheran Church in Solana Beach and will be open to the public.  They will also be performing here at Bethlehem the following morning during the 9 and 10:30 services.
Host families are needed for the student members for one night only on March 30th.  If you can provide a bed for 2 or more students or need further information, please contact Joanne Manzi (760) 814-8125 or jhmanzi@yahoo.com.  Students can share beds if it is a queen or king-size bed.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me...THANKS!  Joanne

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

March 3   9:00-11-00am Prayer Shawl Ministry
March 6, 13, 20, 27   8:30-11:30am  
Scraps and Prayers
March 18   3:30-5:30pm   TACO        
March 30   9:00-2:00pm   Pajama Project

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)

Socks & underwear are always needed for our friends at TACO, especially as the weather turns cooler. They need men's white athletic tube socks and men's briefs in all sizes. There will be a large black plastic tub labeled TACO in the Narthex for your donations. Let's see if we can fill that tub to overflowing!!   Thank you so much!!
Alternates for Serving at TACO- We also need a few people who would be willing to be "on call" to come help serve the meal the 3rd Monday of the Month if we are short of people. We have to be there by 3:15 and are done serving at 5:30. I generally have room for a couple of people in my car and we do have a good time! If you are interested and/or have any questions, please call me, Lori Cook, at 760 207-0432.   Thank you so much!

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.  Next meeting will be Sunday, March 3.  

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 

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  bobpatmoran@cox.net

CRC (Community Resource Center)

The Community Resource Center is in need of volunteers to help sort food from the annual Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on May 11th. This is the largest one-day food drive in America, and CRC will be the recipient of food that comes to the Encinitas and Solana Beach post offices, providing critical supplies for their food pantry. Volunteer opportunities are available in the afternoon at both the Encinitas and Solana Beach post offices and some strong volunteers able to lift 25-50 lbs. are especially needed. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Sheri Burtt at sherissb@gmail.com for more information.

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

Why Do We Have Stephen Ministry?

People sometimes ask, why do we need Stephen Ministers-don't we have pastors to provide caring ministry? The simple answer is that our pastors are like firefighters-when a crisis happens, they rush to the scene to put out the fire. But, shortly after that, another fire will break out in our congregation and they'll rush to that scene. They still will provide care to the victims of the first fire, but their time quickly becomes consumed by the second, third, and fourth fires. This is on top of their other duties as pastors.

This is where Stephen Ministers come in. Our Stephen Ministers are people who come in after the fire is put out (and sometimes before) and help the victims sort through and clear the debris and begin to rebuild. Stephen Ministers continue to provide care as long as needed during the rebuilding process-one month, two months, six months, possibly a year or more. They provide the steady, consistent, one-to-one follow-up care that our pastors want to, but simply cannot provide.
To learn more about Stephen Ministry please talk to one of our Stephen Leaders Molly Hall, or Laure Reynolds.

 ELCA Advocacy 
ELCA Advocacy Update

ELCA Responds to National Emergency
The ELCA stands against policies that hurt asylum seekers. Read our reaction to the National Emergency. "Love, not fear, lives out our Lutheran faith."
ELCA Advocacy's 2019 Policy Priorities
A comprehensive look at the Policy Priorities including the ELCA teaching documents that guide our work. 
ELCA Advocacy 
Lutheran Lobby Day - California - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 
Regina Banks, the new Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California has scheduled a Lobby Day at the Capitol in Sacramento for Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Details will follow, but you may want to save the date. Lobby Days are designed to allow citizens to meet with their state legislators to discuss issues of importance to them. It is a powerful experience to be able to express our faith-based positions on policies to our representatives.
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.
 Interfaith Rotational Shelter
Bethlehem InterFaith Rotational Shelter 2019
Good News! BLC will be hosting the Interfaith Shelter at Bethlehem again this year! For those newly interested, we partner with the Interfaith Shelter Network which is a collaborative effort through local congregations, human services agencies and government entities to provide shelter, services and resources to the homeless San Diegans throughout the region. The shelter is coordinated at BLC by Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager.
Bethlehem will be hosting the shelter in the Multi-Use Room beginning March 31-April 14th. Seaside Community Church, who partners with us, will be taking the first week this year. We will be taking the second week, Sunday, April 7 -14, providing all of the volunteer efforts for food, dinner prep etc.
Church volunteers set up temporary housing in the Multi-Use Room (MUR) and Family Center (FC). The guests arrive daily at 5:30 pm at the MUR. They eat dinner nightly in the Family Center at 6:30 pm, then retire back to the MUR for the night. The guests leave early in the morning (7:30am) for employment, seeking employment, or for school and are not allowed to stay in the shelter during the day. There are a variety of ways you can volunteer to help with the shelter.
Set up ~ Donate Food ~ Be A Greeter ~ Serve Dinner ~ Overnight Hosts ~ Laundry ~ Transportation ~ Take-down ~ Cash Donations
For more information and to sign up to volunteer go online to:
www.signupgenius.com , register to join, then search "Bethlehem Lutheran Church IFS 2019" If you are already registered, you should receive an invitation in the mail.
Online not for you? Contact Blair Lindberg, 858-663-5681, or yourblairness@gmail.com
Thank you to all who make this such a successful and rewarding venture for many each and every year!!
Blair and Diane
Blair 858-663-5681 yourblairness@gmail.com
Diane 760-271-2072 dslangager@icloud.com

 Adventure Ministry

Welcome to Adventure Ministry!
Join us in outdoor adventures to make new friends, spend time with old friends, enjoy our beautiful area, and get some exercise, too. We plan to host an activity each quarter such as hiking, mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, camping and more. We welcome your ideas. Our first event is:
Saturday, March 23
9 am.
Hiking at Annie's Canyon Trail
Solana Beach
Meet us at the start of the trail.
This 1.4 mile hike is moderate to strenuous.
See the website for complete details:  https://www.sanelijo.org/act
Contact the Adventure Ministry leaders if you have questions, ideas, or for more information. We hope you can join us!
Dennis Astroth:  dennis.astroth@gmail.com
Eileen Lajimodiere:  elajimodiere@gmail.com
Suzi Westmoreland:  suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

 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.

 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, 
https://www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/program/dollars_details/index.html   or contact your Thrivent congregational advocate, Dennis Astroth at 858-354-3566, or dennis.astroth@gmail.com.

 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.

Dear  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at www.blcenc.org


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster