In This Issue

From Pastor Laura
May Worship Schedule
COVID Vaccine Help
BLC Women
Music Ministry
Ministry Opportunity
Stephen Ministry
Stewardship Stream
ELCA Advocacy
Adventure Ministry
Family Ministry
Engagement Opportunities
Pastor Sam's Sermon Blog
Global Mission "Global Links"
Bethlehem Cares Fund
Newsletter Archives
Contact Us

Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2
Pastor Sam Nelson
Associate Pastor
Ext 30
Constance Mithelman
Youth Director
Ext 12
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1 
May 2022
News and Events
Dear People of Bethlehem,

I find myself in a place to give thanks to God for all that has been and all that is yet to be. I remember as a child standing at the very edge of the diving board. My toes curled over the board, my arms poised above my head, too afraid to dive in, but too uncomfortable to stand there cold and wet, with the scratchy board under my feet and my heart in my throat. There was nothing to do, but take to the water. The space in between was never meant to last. It feels like its time to take to the water. To enter into tomorrow’s blessing, whatever it may be. There is some apprehension to be sure, but this space was never meant to last.

And I am grateful. For what has been and for the lessons along the road. And more grateful still for the anticipation, the newness in the air. It is time for God’s new thing and we are blessed to be a part of it — together. It is time to plant something and I can feel it rising among us. It seems we are always running after the Spirit, because she has wings, and we do not.

But beloved of God, we have an unsurpassed gift in one another, and that is the gathered community. It is our greatest gift and our deepest asset. We cannot do this alone. Individual spirituality is an important gift, but it is the community we desperately need now. And that, the pandemic has taught us. We must come together and tell the old, old story and sing together our deepest songs. We each bring our own wisdom, compassion and courage and we need each other if we are to live into God’s new and unfolding grace. And so we come together bearing our individual stories, for the sake of all that we might learn in each other’s company. Together we sing the songs of this new day and together we have the gifts and strength for all that lies ahead. Together, we serve and bless this world. If you have not come to church in awhile, I invite you, for the grace you will find here and the grace you will offer us. If you are with us each Sunday, God bless you for the gift you give us. The swimming pool of my childhood was never as joyous as when it was full of too many kids, all drenched together. In the waters of baptism we are drenched together in grace. And that is how God meant it to be. All are welcome!

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Laura
May Worship Schedule
Sunday Morning Worship:

  • May 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
  • 9 am - Indoor Worship and Livestream
  • 10:30 am - Outdoor Worship
COVID Vaccine Help
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.

BLC Women
Dear Women of Bethlehem,
Please join us on Saturday May 14th for a time of rest, laughter, joy and conversation. The last two years have isolated us from one another in so many ways. As women, that isolation can be particularly difficult. As women, we need one another’s hearts, stories and support to carry us on the journey. We are so looking forward to welcoming your heart and your story to the journey we all share. There will be time for worship, good food, deep learning and heart conversation. And of course, there will be coffee. It won’t be the same if you are not with us. We look forward to welcoming you. 
Women of Welcome Half-Day Retreat
Saturday, May 14
10 am - 2 pm
We’d like to invite you to be part of the first event
for Bethlehem’s new women’s ministry: Women of Welcome
A Half-Day Retreat at Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Please join us for Laughter, Lunch, and Life!

There is no cost for this event. Please register by May 8th. There is a signup sheet at church host table or you may signup online clicking here.
Music Ministry
May Musical Moments -  The choirs of Bethlehem, through video and live performances, helped to create the moods beginning with Palms and Passion to Easter Resurrection. A big thank you to all who participated in these efforts.  It was a glorious Holy Week!
Here is the musical calendar for May: 
  • May 1- JuBellation Ringers 
  • May 8- Mother's Day featuring the Children's Choir and Chimers 
  • May 15- Duet - Anselona/Goetsch
  • May 22 - Good News Singers and Duet - Thibault/Reynolds 
  • May 29- Second Sabbath 
Bethlehem Talent Show - June 12 @ 4 pm - Bethlehem's Music Ministry is hosting the annual Spring Talent Show on June 12@ 4 p.m. We are looking for videos of unique acts from our congregation. The concert will be a combination of live and video performances  for an afternoon of merriment for all. Please submit your videos to Now is the time to highlight your dog, make a craft, dance, perform a magic trick, or demonstrate a science experiment. We encourage everyone to participate!

Ministry Opportunity
St. Andrews Food Pantry Drive! - Continuing our long partnership with St. Andrews Episcopal community feeding ministries, we will be collecting food May 8-15 for the food pantry. The pantry accepts all canned and shelf stable food, and is in need of:
  • Peanut butter, canned stews with meat, tuna, canned chicken, spaghetti sauce, chili, canned vegetables.
  • Condiments such as ketchup, mayo, hot sauces.
  • Snack bars and school lunch items.
  • Adult size disposable underwear.
  • And any other canned or shelf stable foods!
You may drop off your food directly into the marked SUV in the visitor parking spot on Sunday mornings or leave it in the church narthex near the St. Andrews basket.
If you prefer, you may donate funds directly to the pantry. They depend upon monetary donations to purchase particular foods.

Click here to go to the donation page on our website.
Questions? Contact Cynthia Heigold
Stephen Ministry
It seems that too many of us have family members facing dementia or Alzheimer's. It can be overwhelming. You are not alone. Your Stephen Ministers are here to help and so is the Alzheimer's Association. Join us for a free one-hour presentation about Alzheimer's, dementia, and the Alzheimer's San Diego chapter, which provides support in many ways including classes, support groups, and a 24-hour hotline.
Stephen Ministry presents "Alzheimer's Help"
Monday, May 16, 7 pm on Zoom
If you would like to join the presentation, please contact one of the Stephen Minister leaders and we will send you the link: Molly Hall, Laure Reynolds or Suzi Westmoreland.
Stewardship Stream
Have you had an event recently that spurred your thinking about estate planning? Perhaps it was an article that you read or an unfortunate story about a friend whose parent passed without providing guidance as to how their worldly goods should be stewarded?

Take a step toward addressing that responsibility on Sunday, May 15 by attending a seminar on “How Your Charitable Heart Can Leave a Legacy”. This informative, one-hour session will take place immediately after the 10:30 am outdoor worship service in the sanctuary. Our presenter will be Lisa Higginbotham, a Regional Gift Planner with ELCA Foundation with deep experience in estate planning and a passion for helping others sort through gift planning opportunities. She will highlight the theology supporting legacy planning, debunk planning myths, describe how planned giving supports the work of the church, and answer questions you may have about various strategies you may have heard about. What’s more, Lisa will talk about how she is available to work with you on thinking through your plans – free of charge!

The seminar will also be presented via zoom on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm (a live session, not recorded) if you can’t attend the in-person presentation on Sunday May 15 after the 10:30am service.

Please let Judy in the church office know which session you will be attending. We will provide a light lunch to those attending on Sunday, and we will send a zoom link on Tuesday, May 17 to those registered for that session.
ELCA Advocacy
Lutheran Lobby Day – May 18 – Advocate with us! We will gather virtually on Zoom to pray, learn, and meet with California’s legislators. Come advocate with us – we’ll teach you how! Free registration and more information here. Important note: We had some glitches in our early registration process. If you have registered but have not received an email confirmation, please register again. Thank you.
California Senate Budget Priorities Harness California’s Wealth to Bolster Families, Businesses, and Invest in Major Issues - Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senate Budget & Fiscal Committee Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) announced the second phase of the Senate’s “Putting Wealth to Work” budget proposal, which would continue to prioritize a more equitable economy to benefit struggling and middle class families and build historic levels of reserves. Highlights of the plan include major investments in education, climate adaptation and resiliency, healthcare, housing, mental health, homelessness, public safety, workforce, and California families. Learn more here.
Results of the Bethlehem and St. Andrews Meeting - We had an enjoyable ad productive meeting of members of Bethlehem and St. Andrew’s congregations. We agreed to move forward with plans to work together on issues of affordable housing and support for their new Neighborhood Center. Watch for more news about this in the future! If you would like more details, please email If you attended the meeting, but did not receive the follow-up notes, please email Karin Kloehn at
Presiding Bishop Eaton message on Fair Housing For All -“April is Fair Housing Awareness month and we must continue the Lutheran tradition of being advocates for fair housing legislation and tackle the legacy of segregation, housing discrimination, and ongoing disparities of homeownership for persons with disabilities, or based on race and gender.” View the Bishop’s full video message here.
Report from Ecumenical Advocacy Days - Fierce Urgency: Advancing Civil and Human Rights - The 2022 virtual gathering of EAD was educational and inspiring! It included workshops on such topics as advocating for immigrant and other human rights, confronting the nuclear threat, climate stewardship as spiritual practice, and advocating for voting rights. On Wednesday, April 27, hundreds of advocates met virtually with their state representatives in Washington, D.C. to urge support of the “Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act” (H.R. 5746).

Ask your Members of Congress to restore funding for Augusta Victoria Hospital - Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) is operated by the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem. It started in partnership with the United Nations in 1948 as a major medical facility in Jerusalem to care for Palestinian refugees. Today, most of the patients served by the hospital need specialized, lifesaving care. Please ask your U.S. senators and representative to support a transfer at least $120 million to USAID to meet urgent humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people in 2022. More information here.
“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 Monthly Updates

Follow us!
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
Pacifica Synod Bishop Andy Taylor: Facebook
For information or questions about Bethlehem’s Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at

Adventure Ministry
Save the Date! Our next adventure will be a walk over the bridges of San Diego in the Balboa Park area: 
Saturday, June 11
8 am Meet at Bethlehem to carpool to Balboa Park.
Plan to spend the morning walking and then join us for lunch, if you want.
Look for more details in the June newsletter. You can always contact the leaders for more information: Eileen Lajimodiere, Suzi Westmoreland. Hope you can join us on June 11!

The April Adventure at Oceanside Harbor was delightful! Here are a couple of photos:
Family Ministry
Save the Date! - Join us for the return of in-person VBS this summer! It's going to be MONUMENTAL! June 27-June 30th. For registration, click here! Interested in volunteering? Fill out the Volunteer Registration Form and Constance will be in touch!

Confirmation Camp - Do you have a current 6th or 7th grader? Sign up for Confirmation Camp with Constance! July 10-15th at Luther Glen!

High School Summer Service Trip - Current 8th graders through Freshmen in College - Join us for a trip to the Navajo Reservation in Rock Point, AZ! July 30-August 6th. I will be coming up with a contingency plan, as the Navajo Nation has their own COVID guidelines and restrictions we will honor. RSVP to Constance!

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.

Please be aware, there will be no practices between May 11 and June 6.

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 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. 

Scraps and Prayers - This ministry sews quilts for people in need of comfort and care. We meet each Wednesday morning from 9am-11am in the Multi-Use Room. We need your help sewing and tying quilts. No experience necessary! Stop by for an hour or stay for the whole morning; we'd love to share our scraps and prayers with you. For more information, contact Bobby Allen at or Laure Reynolds at

 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:
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:

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 website. See the website for more details.