Pastoral Announcements
We have a number of exciting opportunities for involvement here at Bethlehem in November, as well as a few changes to our COVID protocols that we wanted to be sure to inform you about.
Indoor Worship Sign-Ups: Starting in November, we will no longer be requiring sign-ups for our indoor worship service at 9 AM. Should it be necessary, we may still take down name(s) and contact information when you arrive so that we can contact trace, but this means you won’t have to sign-up ahead of time using the Sign-Up Genius link, as has been the practice for the past 15 months. We hope that this will allow for greater flexibility in how you choose to worship with us.
Communion: Given the current low COVID rates in North County, as well as vaccination numbers, we are able to resume the communion practice that was briefly reinstated this summer. Communion will be brought to you where you are seated. We cannot wait to resume this integral and holy aspect of our worship service that we have missed so much. Gluten-free wafers will be available as will a choice of grape juice instead of wine.
All Saint’s Zoom Worship: There will be only one worship service on November 7, and it will take place on Zoom at 9 AM. There will be no in-person worship service that day. This is the year that the New Life Band from Tanzania would normally be with us, but sadly, because of COVID, that is not possible. Thankfully, they have sent a video that we will use throughout our All Saints’ worship service. We look forward to seeing you virtually that day! The zoom link will be sent out later this week.
Wedding Reception (From Pastor Sam): Alissa and I cannot begin to say how thankful we are for the love and support that we have received from the members of this congregation. Because of COVID, our wedding ceremony had to be quite small and limited, but we are so excited to invite you all to join us for a reception, here at Bethlehem, starting at noon on Sunday November 14. The reception will take place immediately following the outdoor worship service. Please Note: There will be no indoor 9 am service that day. We will only have the 10:30 outdoor service. Please bring a chair and we will provide food and refreshments. Please sign up using the link below so that we can let our caterer know how much food to prepare. We can’t wait to celebrate with you all!
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.
Giving Tree
It is Secret Santa time again. We have three ways you can help this year.
  • We are asking for monetary donations to help Es Por Los Ninos (Its For The Children). This is an organization who help families with HIV/AIDS in Tijuana. They are in need of Baby Formula. Mothers with HIV/AIDS must feed their babies formula to prevent them from contracting AIDS.

  • For the local Secret Santa Project, we are asking for $25 Gift Cards for Target, Walmart, and the 99cent Store. You may also give any denomination of any grocery store gift cards.

  • If you would like to Help with the Teen Shelter in San Diego, we are again asking for Black or Navy Blue backpacks and L or XL Black or Navy Blue Hooded Sweatshirts and a deck of cards. The Teen Shelter could also use Men’s Crew Length socks.
You can donate to Es Por Los Ninos or Secret Santa by going the website and clicking on the contribute page. If you would like to write a check to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the memo, please write Es Por Los Ninos or Secret Santa in the Memo. Gift cards and clothing items can be dropped of at church on Sunday morning or during the week.

If you have any questions, please call (760) 942-1482.
Thank you for your Many Years of Support,
Cheryl Monreal

November Educational Opportunities
Exploring Personal Identity and Faith - We are excited to offer a new zoom educational opportunity at Bethlehem. Pastor Laura and Pastor Sam have been leading a 5-week study on the Enneagram as a tool to better understand ourselves, our faith, and the journey we share as community.

If you don’t know what the Enneagram is, do not fear, we will learn together. The Enneagram is a personality inventory with some similarities to the Myers-Briggs. We will begin by exploring the identity we all share as beloved children of God. Together we will discern our Enneagram types, and then begin to explore what this knowledge teaches us about ourselves and the faith journey that is uniquely ours, as well as the journey we share. Join us Wednesday, November 3rd, 10th and 17th at 6 pm on Zoom for the last three sessions. A Zoom link will be sent out with a reminder, a few days before each class.

Music Ministry
All Saints Day- November 7- Zoom Service featuring the New Life Band, Tanzania and the Children's Chimers: The New Life Band from Tanzania, Africa will join us this year through a video presentation in the ZOOM worship service at 9 a.m. This group has regularly performed at Bethlehem over the last ten years sharing their faith and music with our congregation. The service will begin with special music by our Children's Chimers led by Mark Weed. There will only be one service that day. 
Second Sabbath - November 14th - only one service @ 10:30 am: The Second Sabbath group will lead the worship service outside on November 14th. That day there will only be one "live" service which will be livestreamed for all to see. 
Bethlehem Christmas Concert - December 5 @ 2 pm: Choirs are busily preparing for Bethlehem's Annual Christmas Concert scheduled for Sunday, December 5 @ 2 p.m. This years' concert will be outside on the lawn and we will ask everyone to bring their own seats for the show. The concert will feature many of the groups from Bethlehem including the Good News Singers, World Music Ensemble, JuBellation Ringers, Children's Choir and Children's Chimers. Additional instrumentalists will add to the festive flavor. This is a free concert and will be recorded for later viewing.

ELCA Advocacy
ELCA Declaration on Indigenous People - The ELCA issued a declaration to Native American and Native Alaskan people to acknowledge the theological and Christian foundation of the Doctrine of Discovery, which has codified colonialism and religious intolerance as societal norms for more than 500 years.

"The Doctrine of Discovery created a theological framework that supported racism, colonialism, and the annihilation of Indigenous people," the declaration states. "Today it continues to support these evils and injustices found in our church, U.S. law, and legal interpretation. The Doctrine of Discovery has been pervasive throughout the world and has benefited the Church and ELCA Lutherans in every way."

To read the full text of "A Declaration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to American Indian and Alaska Native People," click here.
ELCA Supports Funding for Affordable Housing - With #BuildBackBetter negotiations nearing fruition, the ELCA joined nearly 30 national denominations, religious service agencies, & faith-based advocacy organizations – urging President Biden’s support for funding to expand affordable housing. “In the U.S. context, our direct experiences have shown us that addressing poverty and galvanizing economic mobility are not fully possible without basic access to a safe, secure, and affordable home.”

You can read the full letter here:
ELCA Advocacy Monthly Updates
“Advocacy in Quarantine” is on hiatus until the State legislature meets again in January 2022.

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
It’s been a long time since our last Adventure Ministry event and we are excited to announce our next outing.

We will be meeting at Liberty Station for a bicycle ride to the Maritime Museum. We will meet at 10AM on Saturday, November 13th in the parking lot at Cushing Road. Copy and paste the following link in your browser to view in Google maps.

The ride is flat except for the bridge overpass as we leave Liberty Station. We will not be riding on roads but on pedestrian/bike pathways. We will follow the path along the Harbor Island inlet and Harbor Island Drive to the Maritime Museum, about 3.5 miles one-way. We will return to Liberty Station and picnic on the lawn (socially distanced of course).

Bring sunscreen, water, snacks, and a picnic lunch. Please signup online so we know how many participants to expect. Also, we recommend that you wear a helmet when riding and bring a spare tube and patch kit.
Questions? Contact Dennis Astroth 858-354-3566
Pajama Project
The Pajama Project has just completed it's 25th Year!!! 

We are in the process of distributing 931 pairs of PJ's and 334 pairs of PJ Pants for a total of 1,265! All of this during another COVID year and done by the same 6 women who just keep washing, cutting and sewing their hearts out!  These women just won't give up on their mission of providing warm, comforting PJ's to children living with HIV/AIDS, who are in Family Shelters or whose families are financially very much in need.

The Pajama Project will be moving into it's 26th year of being sponsored by Bethlehem as a far reaching community outreach program. We will again be buying 3000 yards of flannel during Thanksgiving and look forward to continuing this ministry in it's 26th year at Bethlehem!
Warmly Yours,
Belinda Simonini
PJ Project Coordinator
Mental Health Resources
In this time of COVID, you may be struggling with isolation, worry, and your mental health. The Stephen Ministers and Parish Nurse are here to help and want to provide you with general information and resources for specific situations:

211 San Diego: Links San Diego county residents with health and social services and disaster alerts and resources. Just dial 211 on your mobile phone or landline.

San Diego Domestic Violence Council: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

San Diego Suicide Prevention and Support: 1-888-724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

For more information or if you would like a Stephen Minister, please contact one of the Stephen Leaders: Molly Hall, Laure Reynolds, Suzi Westmoreland or our parish nurse, Rose Moldenhauer.

Stewardship Stream
Tax-wise generosity allows your gifts to go further than they otherwise would. As we approach the end of 2021, here are some smart ideas for you to consider as you count your blessings and assess your tax situation:

  • Married couples filing jointly for 2021 can deduct as much as $600 of cash donations even if they don’t itemize. Similarly, the limit for singles is $300.

  • A tax provision popular with seniors known as a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD, allows investors 70 ½ or older to typically transfer as much as $100,000 a year directly from an IRA to a charity without owing taxes on the otherwise taxable IRA distribution. This transfer also counts toward the required minimum distribution for the year and can be particularly tax wise if you don’t itemize.

  • Don’t forget that gifts of appreciated property held longer than one year – stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc. – allow you to exclude the capital gain from taxable income while providing the full deduction for the property’s value if you itemize. The recently strong stock market may make this a great way to provide an extra gift, catch up on your 2021 giving, or prepay your 2022 pledge. Contact the church office to learn more about to accomplish this.

  • As with all tax planning, we encourage you to consult your tax advisor who is knowledgeable about your overall financial circumstances before making any tax-based final decisions.

On-line Giving – As you know we have rolled out our new Vanco on-line giving site through our website and the new Vanco Mobile app. Thanks to so many for making this change but, if you’re having issues, please contact the church office for assistance.

Thank you for your financial stewardship towards Bethlehem and its ministries that your gifts enable.
Endowment Fund
Endowment Fund Makes Grants! The Bethlehem Mission Endowment Fund was pleased to make two grants recently:

  • The Fund continues to support Emily Erisman in her seminarian pursuits. Her $2,600 grant covered certain unfunded expenses associated with her internship at a congregation in the Chicago area. We wish her continued blessings on her journey to becoming a pastor.

  • The family of one of our preschool teachers was granted a $4,500 scholarship to cover tuition for our preschool program. Thank you to Kelly Perez, preschool director, for identifying this opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our preschool families and the program in general.

For those not familiar with it, the Endowment Fund complements and supplements the mission of Bethlehem Lutheran Church through grants that enhance the ongoing ministry of the congregation or that develop new ministries. While the congregation is expected to meet the church’s operating budget with regular giving, the Endowment Fund offers another channel through which members can support ongoing ministries as well as encourages the development of new ministries. The Fund receives gifts from members typically as the result of planned giving and legacy bequests. 
If you have an idea for ministry expansion or enhancement that needs funding, please contact the church office to learn more about our grant request process.
Learn Americal Sign Language (ASL)
If you have ever wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL), now is your chance, in a friendly, supportive learning environment. The classes are designed for high school to adult learners.
Bethlehem ASL Classes: 
Most Thursdays from 6 to 7 pm Pacific Time
Our textbook is available on Amazon: "Learn American Sign Language" by James W. Guido
If you're interested in joining us, contact Suzi Westmoreland at 
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. 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. 
 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.