"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 2019

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Easter Blessings Bethlehem,
I would first like to thank you all for making this year's Holy Week such an amazing experience. Your willingness to embrace the new aspects of worship that were introduced, your excitement around time honored traditions that we have, and the intentionality with which you engaged all of our worship services truly made the journey from table to cross to empty tomb a blessed one.
I'd like to share something that I've been mulling over for a little while now. Two weeks before Easter Sunday I had the great honor of officiating the wedding of one of my best friends. Neither the couple, nor many who attended were people of faith. Having grown up in an area that where going to church was not the norm, this was not altogether a new experience for me. In fact, it was a bit of an overwhelming transition for me when I went to seminary to be surrounded at all times by people of faith. But doing a wedding in this setting was definitely something new. After the wedding I found that many people didn't quite know how to approach me. They knew I was a pastor, which in their mind came with a number of preconceptions. We live in a time where the only exposure to church that some people get is from the media and pop culture, and let's be honest, oftentimes those portrayals of what it means to be Christian are not the most flattering. But they also knew I was best friends with the groom, which seemed to contradict many of those preconceptions. People couldn't quite reconcile their understanding of what a "pastor" was, with the person they saw dancing and telling jokes and being friends with people who do not live lives of faith.
As Christians, we are called by God to evangelize, to spread the good news. Now for some, that word "evangelize" can conjure up some discomfort, images of going up to random strangers and asking, "Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?" But it doesn't have to be that way. One of my favorite quotes comes from Francis Assisi who said, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words." I have no idea how many seeds I may have planted during that wedding weekend, or if anything will come from them, but I know that I conveyed God's love and grace to those people. Not by scolding them for not believing, or even having a heart to heart conversation to try and convert them. I did so simply by being myself, by loving and accepting them for who they are. And hopefully, I gave them something to think about. An image of what it means to be Christian that runs counter to many of the negative and harmful narratives that exist in the world today.
We are called to share the good news of Jesus, we are not called to convert, or force people to believe, or turn them into tithing church goers, we are simply called to bear witness to the saving grace and love of God. The rest of that is in God's hands. So, as you go about your day to day lives, I would encourage you to contemplate this image of evangelism, living into the words sung by Christians around the world: "And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love."
With resurrection joy and hope,
Pastor Sam

 New Member Sunday
New Member Sunday- June 16th, 2019 

Anyone interested in joining BLC please contact the church office at 760-753-1026, ext. 1 or info@blcenc.org. There will be an orientation meeting on Wednesday, June 5th at 6:00 pm in the Multi Use Center.  All are welcome to become a part of our church family. Please call with any questions or if childcare is needed for the evening

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
Second Annual Mini-Golf Outing Sunday May 26 @12 pm: Last
year's event was so much fun we decided to make it an annual event!
Mark your calendars and join us for an afternoon of fun and fellowship!
"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. Registration forms
are now available at blcenc.org .
Roar Volunteers: If you would like to spend a week sharing "God's
Love" with the children of our community, there are many ways to be of
service! Please prayerfully consider being a part of the VBS Team!
Volunteer Registration forms are now available at blcenc.org .
Roar Donations: If you would like to help make our Roar VBS a
success but perhaps are unable to volunteer your time. Making a small
donation of materials is a great way to be involved! We will be collecting
various items in the coming weeks. Here are a few items that would be
helpful. These items can be donated or borrowed and returned:
African themed art, African musical instruments, yarn, string, twine,
stuffed animals (lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, gorillas, monkeys,
etc.), towels, African themed fabrics, blankets and rugs, construction
paper, rolls of butcher paper, empty paper towel rolls, grass skirts,
misc. vegetation (potted plants, greenery etc.).
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Music Ministry

Bethlehem's Got Talent!

Our second annual Bethlehem's Got Talent! show will be held on Sunday, June 2nd @ 4 p.m. This concert gives the opportunity for all the singers, Instrumentalists,  dancers  and other acts from Bethlehem to share their talents  along with the choirs of Bethlehem.  If you play guitar, sing pop songs, dance ballet, tell jokes or do magic tricks this is your chance to perform!  Please contact Mona Goetsch at monagoetsch@gmail.com to let me know what you would like to do.  The  music for this concert  is sacred and secular so come and join us for a fun afternoon of music making!  In addition, the Youth group will be selling cinnamon rolls at the break to help finance their summer mission trip. 

 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

29:Eleven Maternity Home

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
May Giving Tree

Our May Giving Tree will support the 29:Eleven Maternity Home, a non-profit organization for women 18 and over who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Services include medical care, education, counseling, and life skills.

 Bethlehem Women's Retreat

Save the Date!   The next Bethlehem Women's Retreat is scheduled for May 1 - 3, 2020 at Luther Glen.
 San Diego Habitat for Humanity- Upcoming Opportunities
For those who are interested in volunteering onsite in the next month or so, San Diego Habitat has online registration here: 

If you would like to volunteer with other people from Bethlehem, contact 
Jim Mastrogany, james.mastrogany@gmail.com.
San Diego Habitat is currently building in Logan Heights and El Cajon, with build days Tuesdays - Saturdays. The work day is 8:15 am - 3:30 pm with a 30 minute lunch break at 11:30 am.  The minimum age to volunteer on the construction site is 16.
San Diego Habitat also has great volunteer opportunities in the ReStores with locations in Kearny Mesa, National City and Escondido. Volunteers are scheduled Tuesday - Sundays at each store. The ReStore shifts are 10am - 2pm and 2pm - 6pm on Tuesday through Saturday and overlapping shifts of 10am - 2pm and 12pm - 4pm on Sunday. Volunteer tasks at the ReStores include helping receive donations, organizing the store, pricing new items and helping customers to load purchased items. The ReStore is Habitat's biggest financial supporter and help is always needed there. The minimum age to volunteer at the ReStore is 14.
Women Build is coming up in May! This event promotes empowerment, solidarity, learning, and pride in our community. It encourages women (and men!) to give back and help San Diego Habitat make a difference in the lives of local families. It is San Diego Habitat's biggest event for the year, and each builder is asked to fund raise or donate $300, which helps Habitat build more here in San Diego. May 2 nd, 4 th, 9 th, 10 th, and 11 th  still have slots available. More information can be found here:  
For any questions regarding volunteering, please email   volunteerservices@sandiegohabitat.org

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29   8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
May 11    Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive for CRC
May 20   3:30-5:30pm   TACO        
May 18   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.   

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 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

Stephen Ministry

Spring is a time of new growth and renewal. A time to try something new! Maybe it's time to finally try Stephen Ministry. A trained Stephen Minister can care for you, listen to you, pray and encourage you. If you would like more information please contact Pr Laura, Pr Sam, or one of our Stephen Leaders, Laure Reynolds or Molly Hall.
 ELCA Advocacy 
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton addresses shooting at Chabad of Poway:
"When will we understand that when we kill another we are killing ourselves? When will we understand that an attack on one faith community is an attack on all? We ask, where is God? I say, do not lay this on the Holy One. We must take action and not vengeance. #synagogueshooting" (From her Facebook page)
Lutheran Lobby Day - California - Wednesday, May 29, 2019 
Join Karin Kloehn, our Pacifica Synod LOPP representative, and other Lutherans from across the state for a day of education and advocacy in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. ELCA National Advocacy Director Rev. Amy Reumann will be the featured speaker. Lobby Day is 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. Registration, accommodations, and details here. If you are planning to attend, please let Karin know: blcadvocacy@gmail.com or 760.803.7575
Read the ELCA Statement: " Commitment to Creation and Neighbor "
"Our church's commitment to persistent and resolute action on behalf of creation and our neighbor is deepening. We learn from one another's experience and expertise in climate and disaster response, practice leading climate conversations and communal discernment across the fault lines in our nation, and call our leaders to act."
ELCA Advocacy 
Here is the April Advocacy Update
Follow us!
LOPP- CA: Facebook, Twitter
ELCA Advocacy: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.

 Adventure Ministry
Adventure Ministry, Part 2

Grab your bikes and join us to ride off-road in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. 
We will have a beginner route and an intermediate route. Meet Dennis on Saturday, June 8th at 9 AM at the parking for Los Penasquitos Canyon on the east side off Black Mountain Road. Use this Google map link to see the parking area just to the west of the ball field: https://goo.gl/maps/uPAH26w58zG2 We will depart promptly at 9:15 AM.
The beginner route will be mostly flat, 6 miles round trip. We will bike to the waterfall and back. Bicycles with tires at least 1-1/2" to 2" wide are recommended. 
The intermediate ride will follow the beginner route but will climb up the service road to the mesa, follow the mesa, and drop back down single track to meet the group at the waterfall. Round trip distance of 9 - 10 miles. Mountain bike highly recommended.
Be sure to wear a helmet. Don't forget your sunscreen and plenty of water. Bring a snack as we will take a break at the waterfall. Children over the age of 10 can join, too.
If you don't have a bike but would like to experience the canyon, Eileen and Suzi will lead a hike to the waterfall. Meet at the same time and place as the bikers. 
For more information, contact:
Dennis Astroth dennis.astroth@gmail.com
Eileen Lajimodiere elajimodiere@gmail.com
Suzi Westmoreland suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

 Feed the Homeless Program

Bethlehem has volunteered to help with "Feed the Homeless Program" at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 12 noon. We are in need of volunteers. If you are able to participate please sign up today outside or contact Naida Malchiodi at naidalouise2@yahoo.com .  

 Dot's Garden

Dot's Garden

On Saturday, April 20, the Cub Scouts of Pack 774 weeded and cleaned up Dot's Garden. The Cub Scouts meet at Bethlehem monthly and once a year they give back to the church by helping with projects in Dot's Garden. Thanks scouts and leaders of Pack 774!

 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