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

May 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Dear People of Bethlehem,
I want to begin this, my first newsletter article to you all, with a word of thanks. The welcome that I have received at Bethlehem has truly warmed my heart and made me feel right at home. Your notes that were collected before my arrival were a wonderful source of joy as well as a list about a mile long of all of the wonderful foods I need to try and places I need to go in this new place that I now call home. I especially appreciate the grace that you have afforded me when it comes to remembering names. I have been doing my absolute best to retain as many as possible, but deeply appreciate your patience and willingness to remind me.
It's hard to believe that I have been serving here as pastor for a little over six weeks. My how the time has flown! Your participation in, and excitement around my installation service three weeks ago truly marked the day as a holy experience. In the time since I have also attended my first continuing education conference. All first call pastors are required to attend First Call Theological Education events, one in the fall and one in the spring, for their first three years of ministry. The topic of this conference was emotional intelligence and covered self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management. It gathered first call pastors from all 5 synods of Region 2 and was a great experience and opportunity to get to know more of my colleagues.
Coming up later this month is the annual Pacifica Synod Assembly. It will take place from May 18 th to 19 th at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert. Joining Pastor Laura and myself as your representatives will be Tom and Lori Wolf, Henna Hall, and Linnaea Erisman. The theme of the assembly is "Go & Tell - giving voice to faith, justice, and blessing" with a keynote address being given on those topics of faith, justice, and blessing. Pastor Laura will be serving as the resolutions committee chair.
This Easter season marks a time when we celebrate and marvel at the wonder of the empty tomb. But it is also a time that we are called to consider how we are church, the body of Christ in the world. Jesus spent the time between the resurrection and his ascension preparing his followers for what lay ahead of them - the task of continuing the ministry that Jesus had started. In this Easter season, how are you being called to act as the body of Christ to the world around you? How are you being called to embody his love and grace to your neighbors near and far? And how are you being called into community with your fellow siblings in Christ?
Easter Blessings,
Pastor Sam

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News

Mini Golf Outing Sunday, May 27 @ 12PM: We are planning an afternoon of family fun and fellowship. After church, we will meet at the Del Mar Golf Center for a round of Pelly's Mini Golf. Cost for a round of golf will be: Children $5.50; Adults $7.50. We have reserved a patio for lunch and fellowship. Pizza and beverages will be provided. Please let me know if your family will be joining us. This would be a great opportunity to invite a friend!  

VBS First Week Of July: Bethlehem Lutheran Church is pleased to announce this year's VBS "Shipwrecked" to 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. At Shipwrecked VBS, kids discover how Jesus rescues us through life's storms. Shipwrecked is filled with incredible Bible-learning experiences kids see, hear, touch, and even taste! Sciencey-fun gizmos, team building games, cool Bible songs, and tasty treats are just a few of the standout activities that help faith flow into real life. (Since everything is hands-on, kids might get a little messy. Be sure to send them in play clothes and safe shoes.) Plus, we'll help kids discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life-something we call God Sightings. Get ready to hear that phrase a lot! Registration forms for campers and volunteers will be available at , or in the church office.
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. None of our programs and activities would be possible, without the amazing help and support of this congregation. 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
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Youth Ministry

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!  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! $100 initial deposits are being accepted now. 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

May's Giving Tree will be hosted by The Center for Global Awareness. Each year, CGA highlights the need for access to clean water through the support of Lutheran World Relief. In May, we encourage each of you to give a donation that provides clean water to over 884 million people who do not have access to clean water. Contaminated water is a very real threat to these victims. Give Emergency Water, like a powerful water filtration system ($150) that delivers immediate, potable water to those in need. For $600 we as a congregation can give a Family Water System, that provides clean water for drinking, hygiene, and the opportunity for girls to receive an education. Give the gift of life! Please donate to our water project!

 New Member Sunday

April 22nd saw ten new families (29 family members from infants to retired) join Bethlehem.   Most of the families were joined by their sponsors for the celebration of their addition to the family of Bethlehem.

 Stephen Ministry

How Does Stephen Ministry Work?  When someone requests a Stephen Minister, Molly Hall, our Stephen Ministry Referrals Coordinator, will meet with that person, explain what Stephen Ministry is, and determine whether Stephen Ministry is the kind of care that person needs. Our Referrals Coordinator then matches that person with one of our available Stephen Ministers. Male care receivers are always paired with male Stephen Ministers and female care receivers are always paired with female Stephen Ministers. The Stephen Minister will then call that person and begin meeting with him or her for about an hour each week as long as the need is there. Everything a care receiver says to his or her Stephen Minister is kept confidential. The Stephen Minister doesn't try to solve problems; rather, he or she listens, cares, prays, and helps the care receiver find his or her path to healing and wholeness.

If you or someone you know is going through a crisis please consider having a Stephen Minister help you through this difficult time. To learn more about Stephen Ministry please contact Pr Laura or Pr Sam or one of our Stephen Leaders, Laure Reynolds or Molly Hall.

 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)

 TACO (Third Avenue Charitable Organization)

Help Serve at TACO

We will be going to help serve at TACO on Monday, May 21st.  Anyone interested should contact Lori Cook at 760 207-0432 by May 14th.

TACO Needs for May

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 long, cold, damp spring 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

Bethlehem Talent Show- June 4th-4 p.m.
Have you got talent?  Here's your chance to be part of Bethlehem's Talent Show on June 4th @ 4 p.m. This years annual Spring Music concert will combine the Choirs of Bethlehem with other talented individuals in our congregation. Your hidden talents of juggling, magic,  piano playing, dance--you name it---  can take the spotlight as part of our concert. All ages are welcome to participate. Please contact Mona Goetsch at for more information or stop me at church!
 Bethlehem Advocacy Team
Advocacy - Connecting Faith and Public Life

June 5, 2018 - Primary Election
  • Are you registered to vote? Not sure? You can check your status with the Registrar of Voters. Need to register? Do that here. The deadline to register for the June 5 primary is May 21, 2018.
  • Want a preview of the Ballot Propositions? Review them here.
  • Can you volunteer to work at the polls on Election Day? Workers are always needed and receive a small stipend for their service. Apply here.
ELCA Advocacy
BLC Advocacy Team Meeting - Monday, May 7, 2018 - 7:00pm
Community Resource Center (CRC)
What's Happening at CRC

The Community Resource Center is in need of volunteers to help sort food from the annual Stamp Out Hunger Postal Food Drive on May 12 th .  The food collected will be used at CRC to provide much needed help for families in need. At the Encinitas Post Office, volunteers are needed from 2-5 pm and 5-6:30 and at the Solana Beach Post Office, volunteers are needed from 2-4:30 and 4-6:30.  Volunteers working the second shift must be able to lift 50-75 lbs. repeatedly while loading trucks.  This is a great opportunity for families to serve together and space is limited.  If you would like to help out, contact Sheri Burtt at .
 BLC 2nd Annual Golf Tournament

 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.

Dear  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster