"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

November 2018

News and Events

 From Pastor Sam

Dear Bethlehem,
It's hard to believe that it's November already. I saw my first Christmas commercial on TV the other day and almost couldn't believe my eyes.
October was a month of homecomings, as well as new adventures for me. I took a few days off to drive up to the Bay Area to see friends that still live there. Being back in Half Moon Bay for the first time since I helped my parents move back in June was a truly odd experience. It felt simultaneously familiar and foreign. I felt a sense of comfort and belonging, that was followed by the thought, "Oh yeah, you don't have a house here anymore." Driving by my old house was truly an odd experience. To know that different people, living different lives, creating different memories were living there now made me both happy and sad at the same time.
After my time off with friends I experienced another return, a literal "homecoming" at California Lutheran University. I cannot say that it was unchanged, but so much of it was the same that it too brought back many wonderful, and not so wonderful memories. I had the great honor of being this year's homecoming preacher and it was an amazing experience. To be able to preach for people who knew me before seminary was even on my radar was a blessing. And to have them do a double take at me in my alb and stole was very fun.
Homecoming weekend was followed immediately by Theoasis (theology in the oasis) which is the fall conference for the Pacifica and SW California Synods out in Palm Desert. It was a chance to learn, a chance to connect with other clergy, and a chance to for rejuvenation.
Throughout all of my travels, there was one feeling/emotion that united them all: gratitude. I was so very grateful to have grown up in such a wonderful place, and to still have friends in that area. I was so thankful that I had a college experience where I grew and learned; where I felt safe to try new things, and was stretched beyond my comfort zone. I felt so lucky to be called to this synod, to be colleagues with the other pastors of this area. And lastly, I felt incredibly blessed to have this home here at Bethlehem to return to.
It may sound trite or cliché, but research in positive psychology has identified again and again the benefits of gratitude. The benefits of taking time to think about all the things we have to be thankful for. Even in the midst of our most trying times, when hope seems farthest away, taking stock of what we have to be thankful for reorients our perspective. One of my favorite Christmas movies is White Christmas, and in it, Bing Crosby sings a song about just this topic: "When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings." In the midst of all that is going on around us in the world, I invite you to take some time to count your blessings. And if it is a person that you're are thankful for, tell them! Spread that gratitude around, you may not know just how much they need to hear that.
With a thankful heart,
Pastor Sam

 Children's Ministry

Upcoming Events and News
Children's Christmas Program: This year's program "Wombat Divine", is a heart
warming story set in Australia at Christmas time. Our performance will be on December
16th@ 9AM. Our cast will include children who are in our Learning Circles Program with
the help of a few 6th thru 8th graders. Casting for speaking parts is now underway. If
your child would like to participate, please contact Chris Matthews at
There will be three important rehearsal dates on December 1, 8, and 15 @ 10 AM. Rehearsals will last about 90 minutes. We could use some volunteers to help with costumes, props, etc. Join us for the fun!
Distribution of Children's Bibles: Does your child have his/her own Bible? Each year
we provide Bibles for all of our children, in Grades 3-6, who do not have one of their
own. If you would like your child to receive a Bible this year, please contact Chris
VBS Dates for 2019: VBS will be held on the first week of July! Mark your calendars!
This VBS will have an African Safari theme. Roar! Life is wild! God is Good!
Chris Matthews
Director of Children's Ministries
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

 Interfaith Thanksgiving Eve Service

 Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

Quilts and the October In-Gathering

Thank you to all for your generous donations for the quilts on the pews, soap and dollars to ship Lutheran World Relief (LWR) items worldwide.  We collected close to $2,800 for the quilts which will be used to buy batting, material and accessories to continue making quilts during 2019.   Additionally, you donated $400 which will be sent to LWR to assist them in shipping quilts, school bags, soap and other much needed items around the world.   We also sent the 100 school bags which were made during Bethlehem Serves Sunday, 41 quilts, and 340 bars of soap.  Another year where your generosity will make such a difference in the lives of others throughout the world.  As we receive updates on where our donated items are sent we'll send out updates for all to share.

Women's Christmas Bazaar

Sunday, December 2nd from 8:30 - noon in the Family Center.  Bring your Christmas shopping list.  What will be available - handcrafted items, baked goods, jam and jellies, Scholastic Books and pre-ordered SERRV products to mention a few items.
Crafters and Cooks -  Please consider contributing your beautiful handcrafts, delicious preserves and baked goods or any special skill you may have to sell at the Christmas Bazaar on December 2nd.  Please deliver baked goods or craft items to the Family Center on Saturday, Dec. 1st between 10:00 a.m. - noon or on Sunday, Dec. 2nd  before 9:00.  For information  or to make alternative arrangements, please contact Kim Oswald, rdoswald@aol.com or 760 634-2995.  Proceeds will benefit the ministries of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA.  Thank you for your support.  

Annual Meeting

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA  will hold their annual meeting at the end of January 2019.  The annual meeting will look at all aspects of funds and projects for 2018 as well as an election of officers.  A separate funds meeting will not be held this November.  All women of Bethlehem are invited to participate.

 Giving Tree

November Giving Tree

Our " Secret Santa" program which provides Christmas gifts for children and families in need has begun! Our emphasis this year is on teenagers, young adults and parents. Grocery store gift cards may also be purchased. Please sign out at the Giving Tree and bring the items back in one week. All gifts must be received by Sunday, November 25th so please be prompt in returning your gifts. Thanks for your participation!

Raise up the Roof! Es Por Los Ninos is a house in Tijuana, Mexico being renovated to be used as the drop center for children and youth living with HIV/AIDS. It provides support services with love and compassion. If you would like to help please make your tax deductible donation to BLC with the notation of Es Por Los Ninos. For more information check the website at www.californiaexn.org, see the Giving Tree or contact Cheryl Monreal at 760-942-1482.

We are also in need of new or gently used items of folding tables, card tables, folding chairs and ice chests (coolers) for both of the above programs.

 Women's Retreat

2019 Bethlehem Women's Retreat
God's Light Shines through Our Story
The 2019 Bethlehem Women's Retreat will be held at the Luther Glen Conference Center in Yucaipa, CA on February 1 - 3, 2019. Join us for a weekend of faith, fellowship, and fun!
We have a choice of two housing options available this year at two different prices. The conference center sleeps 40 persons and features comfortable rooms which each sleep 2 to 4 people. Each room has an attached bath. The cost for the conference center will be $180 per person for the weekend and includes bedding and towels. If you don't mind more rustic conditions and a short walk we also have available the cabins at Camp Yolijwa which have bunk beds and shared bathrooms at a price of $140. Bring your own bedding and towels for the cabins. The cost for all participants includes meals Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast. For more information contact Laure Reynolds or Rose Moldenhauer. Visit the Luther Glen website at http://www.lrcchome.com/about/luther_glen.php.
Sign-ups will begin in January. Sign up for the conference center rooms will be first come first serve based on when we receive your money.
Full and partial scholarships will be available.   Would you like to sponsor a scholarship?

 Choose To Serve (Outreach Ministries)

Upcoming Opportunities to Serve Others

November 7, 14, 28, 8:30-11:30am   Scraps and Prayers
November 19, 3:30-5:30pm   TACO        
November 24, 9:00-2:00pm   Pajama Project

The Center for Global Awareness

This is the 8th year that The Center for Global Awareness is hosting its International Market at the Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, December 2.  Items are from the Lutheran World Relief SERRV catalogue.  You will pick up and pay for your orders at the bazaar on Sunday, December 2.  Shop online at www.serrv.org. There are several ways to order: 

  • give your order to Dianne or ChaCha  by Sunday, November 18. 

You can also leave your order in the SERRV envelope on the table inside the church narthex by the conference room. Please include in your order:  your name, item name, catalog #, the number of those items you wish to order and price of each item.  For instance, if you want 3 scarves, be sure to include quantity, the price of one, and then the price of all 3. You will pick up and pay for your orders at the bazaar on Sunday, December 2. All orders must be returned by Sunday, November 18th. CGA donates all proceeds to Lutheran World Relief water projects.

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 this fall. 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
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.

Work days are regularly scheduled for the last Saturday of each month from 9:00 am-2:00 pm.

For more information, please contact Belinda Simonini at  belindasimonini@gmail.com .
Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl knitting group will meet again in January. If anyone world like to contribute items to sell at Women's Christmas Bazaar, Suzi Westmoreland will be collecting these. (suggested items include hats, scarves, potholders).  Please contact her at suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com

We are in need of knitters and crocheters to create shawls for our Prayer Shawl Ministry, as we are very low in supply.  Shawls are given, as available, to those who are in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. You may create these at home at your convenience. 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)

CRC's Holiday Baskets Needs Volunteers!  Holiday Baskets provides a dignified and free shopping experience to over 6,000 individuals in need.  Each year, CRC staff and volunteers transform the Del Mar Fairgrounds Grand Stand into a holiday pop-up shop, where participants can select holiday gifts, including blankets, outerwear, toys, bikes, infant and toddler items and more.  Each family also receives a 50-pound food box with all the fixings for a holiday meal, a chicken or turkey, fresh produce, and nutritious staples for two weeks.
This year, we are organizing a group from Bethlehem to volunteer together on Saturday, Dec 15 from 1-4 pm.  Please join us!  To sign up, contact Sheri Burtt at sherissb@gmail.com.

Also, one of the biggest items on CRC's donation wish list for Holiday Baskets is bikes of all sizes .  If one is gathering dust in your garage, please consider donating it.  Contact Sheri to arrange for a pick-up.  To see the entire donation wish list, visit  http://crcncc.org/wp-content/uploads/Holiday_Baskets_Wish_List_2018.pdf

 Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry

Last month seven members of our congregation completed the Stephen Ministry Training Class after 20 weeks of studying, classes, and practice. Three of these individuals will be commissioned as Stephen Ministers on Sunday, November 4 th , Mark King, Linda Inskeep, and Blair Lindberg. Please pray for these exceptional individuals as they extend their new caring skills to the church, their families, and the community.

If you are going through a difficult time in your life and would like the care of a Stephen Minister please speak with Pr Laura or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall, or Laure Reynolds.

Dear Lord, as our newest Stephen Ministers begin their first caring relationships, be with them in all that they do. Help them not to be anxious or fearful but to call upon you for strength, always remembering that their ministry is your ministry. Be with their care receivers as they open their doors and begin to walk the road to recovery. Bless these relationships that they may be a place of your love and healing. Amen

 Music Ministry


The choirs of Bethlehem will perform their annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 2nd @ 4 p.m. "Gloria! It's Christmas Time" features the Glorias of Vivaldi, Rutter and Raney along with many seasonal carols for your enjoyment.  The Good News Singers, Children's Choir, JuBellation Ringers, Children's Chimers and World Music Ensemble will perform with the sounds of instruments including trumpets, bells, organ, tympani and violins. In addition,  a special arrangement of Silent Night will be performed to highlight the 200th anniversary of this beloved carol. Come join us for an afternoon of beautiful Christmas music! A free will offering will be taken for Bethlehem's music department.
  Bethlehem Advocacy Team
Election Day - November 6, 2018:
Connecting our faith to our involvement in government
In the ELCA's Called To Be A Public Church, it states that "s cripture reveals God's presence in all realms of life, including political life. This church understands government as a means through which God works to preserve creation and build a more peaceful and just social order in a sinful world. The electoral process is one way in which we live out our affirmation of baptism to "serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus," and "to strive for justice and peace in all the earth."
"Voting is one of the most important ways Americans can be involved in our representative democracy. Through the simple act of casting an informed vote, we have the opportunity and responsibility to help make decisions that will affect our lives and the lives of our families for the next two to eight years."
Need more information about the issues on your ballot? Here are some online resources: (1)  voterguide.sos.ca.gov   (2)  lutheranpublicpolicyca.org   (3)  votersedge.org   (4)  ballotpedia.org
Need to find your polling place or check your registration?
Go to  sdvote.com
Need assistance to vote?
Contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com or (760) 753-7161

 Brew Boldly

" I'd rather my people were in the alehouse thinking of church, than in church thinking of the alehouse." - Martin Luther
Cost: $189.00
Fascinated with the unique craft of brewing beer?  Interested in the deep connection between Martin Luther and ale?  Join Luther Glen for the weekend to Brew Boldly.
This will be a fantastic opportunity to gather and brew together, learn and taste, study and explore, worship, wonder and relax! The event begins on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and will end on Sunday at 11am. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner on Saturday and Brunch on Sunday will be provided.  Contact Pastor Sam if you are interested.
 Interfaith Rotational Shelter
Just In!  BLC and Seaside Community Center will be hosting the homeless here in the Multi-use Room at BLC from March 24 through April 7, 2019. More details to follow.
Your coordinators, 
Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager

 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