In This Issue

From the Pastors

October Worship Schedule

BLC Anniversary

Scraps and Prayers

Music Ministry

Stephen Ministry

ELCA Advocacy

Stewardship Stream

Legacy Webinar

Volunteers Needed

Adult Ed Opportunity

Women of Welcome

Christmas Bazaar

Engagement Opportunities

COVID Vaccine Help

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 

Quick Links

Church Calendar

News & Events

Children's Ministry



Pacifica Synod News


Healthy Day Partners


ELCA Global Links

October 2022

News and Events

Dear People of Bethlehem,


Blessings in this Fall season. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your faithful giving to Bethlehem, just as we do each Sunday. But in this single letter we send out each fall, it is also time to look together with you, toward all that lies ahead. What will we do together as a congregation to further the gospel in this place? How will we move forward after two years of a global pandemic, to be the church in these new times? How will we extend our welcome to all, and tangibly help our community, and offer hope and healing to all who enter our doors?


One of the ways to discern where we are headed, is to take stock of our core values as a congregation and look at where we have been. Over the past year, there is much to give thanks for, and much that we have been able to accomplish. Just a few weeks ago, we gathered together for Bethlehem Serves, a testimony to the ways in which service to our community is embedded in who we are. We were able to offer in person Sunday School, and our high school students were once again able to go on summer service trip, demonstrating our deep value for education and faith formation. Worship attendance, both indoors and outdoors, has increased over the past few months, bearing witness to the truth that the Gospel and gathered community are central to who we are. 


There is no denying that the past two years have been difficult and our ministries have suffered, and we know that the same may be true for you and your families. And yet, we have been faithful, and resilient, and learned much along the way. These lessons will serve us well as we move forward and continue to be a congregation that blesses those within our walls and those beyond our doors. 


We wanted you to know, that for the past two years we have ended the year with a budget deficit.  The financial impact of those deficits was lessened thanks to surpluses from previous years, but those funds have dwindled. The constraints you feel in your personal budget with the increased costs of gas, food, and many other essentials, have been felt at church as well. Your council and church staff have been wise and careful with resources, particularly over the past two years of the pandemic, but in truth, we need an additional $42,000 annually to meet increased real costs, as well as our desire to reach further into the North County community, and welcome more people into this joyous, blessed faith community.


As the current faithful stewards of the ministry of this congregation, and as we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we bear a great responsibility and a great joy. In our hands, we hold a faithful legacy. How shall we live out that legacy together for the next 60 years? We thank you for all you have personally done with your time and talents to support this congregation. If you, and every giver in the congregation, could increase your pledge this year by $25, $50, or $75 a month, we would be able to balance our budget for the coming year. If you can increase your pledge by more than this, we can do even more ministry. If you, like many in the congregation give online, it can be easy to overlook reevaluating your pledge each year, and yet we encourage you to do so. If you are unable to increase your pledge, or must reduce it, we understand and are here to support you, and the pastors are always available to you. Times are hard for so many. Please also know that the Bethlehem Cares fund can assist you financially. We are here to hold one another up in good times and bad.    

Pledge cards will be mailed out to everyone on our mailing list, and they can also be picked up at church. We ask that you bring your completed card with you to worship on Commitment Sunday (October 16). If you are unable to attend, please feel free to return your card by mail, drop it by the church office, or pledge using the secure link below.    

BLC Pledge 2023

As we say each week, thank you for your stewardship. Thank you for your voice, for your ministry, for your giving, and thank you for laying your faith life at Bethlehem. We wouldn’t be church together without you. 


In Christ,  

Pastor Laura, Pastor Sam, and your Church Council     


October Worship Schedule

Sunday Morning Worship:

  • October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 - 9 AM and 10:30 AM

Worship usually takes place in the sanctuary for both services, and there is the option to sit outside in the eco-narthex as well. The livestream usually takes place during the 10:30 AM or as indicated.

Learning Circles take place during the 10:30 AM worship service. We have classes for ages 4 thru 6th grade and nursery services available, too! Email Constance if you have questions!

BLC Celebrates 60th Anniversery

Did you know that Bethlehem turned 60 this year? To honor and commemorate that wonderful milestone in the life of our congregation, we have the pleasure of welcoming two familiar faces as guest preachers for our fall stewardship emphasis.


On Sunday, October 9th, Bishop Dave Nagler will be with us. Bishop Dave served Bethlehem both as an intern, as well as a first call pastor. There will be a small meet-and-greet reception following the 10:30 am service.

On Sunday, October 16th we will celebrate Commitment Sunday and Pastor Mary Shaima will be our preacher for the day. Pastor Mary embodies the majority of Bethlehem’s 60-year legacy as she grew up in the congregation, and has served in countless ways, most recently by doing part of her field education with us. She now serves at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Stevenson, WA.

Scraps and Prayers

Quilts on the Pews October 9th - Scraps and Prayers quilting ministry will display quilts for only one Sunday this year. A portion of the quilts will be available for you to take home, in exchange for a donation to our ministry. Payment may be made in cash, via credit card, or through your Vanco account. Proceeds will be used to buy fabric and supplies. Thank you for your support.

Music Ministry

Choirs in Full Swing! - Many ensembles have begun rehearsals and are preparing for performances in October. Here is their performance schedule: 


  • October 2 - Good News Singers
  • October 9 - Children's Choir 
  • October 16 - World Music Ensemble
  • October 23 - JuBellation Ringers 
  • October 30 - Good News Singers 


Rehearsals are : 

  • Jubellation Ringers, Thursdays 6:00- 7:15 p.m. Family Center
  • Good News Singers, Thursdays 7:22- 8:40 p.m. Sanctuary
  • Children's Choir, Sundays 10:00-10:30 a.m. Family Center 
  • Chimers Sundays, 11:40 - 12:15 pm.(after the last service) Family Center 
  • Second Sabbath will start up again in January 2023 


The Christmas Concert Choir Retreat will be on Sunday, October 23 from 1-4 p.m at Bethlehem. All Christmas Concert Choir music for the Good News Singers will be introduced at this rehearsal. Here is your chance to join the choir and just sing for the holiday season!!! Please contact if you're interested in joining us! 


Our Christmas Concert " A World of Christmas" is scheduled for Sunday, December 4 @ 4 pm. Mark your calendar and join us for this free concert. 

Stephen Ministry

Please join your Stephen Ministers for a Zoom presentation to learn about The Elizabeth Hospice and the services they provide to the community including hospice care, palliative care, and grief support:


Elizabeth Hospice and Stephen Ministry

Monday, October 17, 2022

7 - 8 pm PDT


If you would like to join us, contact any of the Stephen Leaders: Laure Reynolds, Molly Hall, or Suzi Westmoreland or send an email to

ELCA Advocacy

Vote Your Conscience - You are invited to a virtual evening with Regina Q. Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, on Thursday, October 20 at 7 pm to explore the California Ballot Propositions from a faith perspective. For more information and registration, click here or on the image.

Register to Vote - November 8 is Election Day! - You can register to vote, check the status of your registration and get helpful ballot and voting information at the Registrar of Voters website:


Poll Workers Needed - Be a poll worker and be part of American democracy in action! More information here.


“Advocacy in Quarantine” - Our weekly information sessions have finished for 2022 and will resume with the new legislative session in January 2023.

ELCA Advocacy Monthly Updates

U.N. and State Edition

Advocacy Connections


Follow us!

LOPP- CA:  Facebook, Twitter

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter

Pacifica Synod: Facebook, Twitter

ELCA Advocacy: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

ELCA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


For information or questions about Bethlehem’s Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at

Stewardship Stream

As you read above in the letter from the pastors and church council, planning for 2023 is underway, and we invite you to consider making a pledge for the coming year. The ministries of this congregation are funded entirely by your giving, and pledging is a practice that helps us as a church plan for the year to come. It is also a way for each of us to faithfully consider how best to give thanks for the blessings God has laid in our lives, and live into our call to be gracious stewards of those resources. Rather than focus on that which we don’t have, or fearfully guard what we do have (a theology of scarcity), we are called to look at the bountiful resources that God has laid in our lives, and recognize all that we do have (a theology of abundance). Through the spiritual practice of stewardship we strengthen our relationship with God, place our trust and faith in God, and grow in gratitude and thanksgiving for God.


The slide below is the current Bethlehem budget in narrative form. Please keep this in mind as you begin to consider your pledge for the coming year. For a quick snapshot about these different areas of the budget, click here for more information.

Legacy Planning Webinar

Planning Your Legacy-

Presented by the ELCA Foundation and The Stelter Company

When: Wednesday, October 19 at 4 pm,  Central Time

Where: Zoom webinar


Register Here


The current economic landscape may influence your estate planning and charitable giving. Join us for our next webinar, which will highlight key details of the current economic climate, give you an overview of what you need for a solid estate plan, and teach you how to leave a legacy to support ELCA ministries while also saving on taxes.


Lynn M. Gaumer, J.D.

Senior Gift Planning Consultant, The Stelter Company

The Rev. John Eggen, CFRE

Director of Gift Planning, ELCA Foundation

Volunteers Needed for Sat. Breakfast at St. Andrews

Volunteers Needed! Saturday Breakfast at St. Andrews - Our mission to feed the hungry a hot breakfast each Saturday is starting back up again, and the kitchen at St. Andrew’s is now open for business. Bethlehem will be preparing breakfast on the 4th Saturday of each month. We need 6 volunteers to crack and scramble 6 doz. eggs, cook 60 hash browns, 13 lbs. of bacon, make 80 pancakes and serve up plates with a smile! Click below to volunteer!

Sign up to Volunteer

Adult Education Opportunity

Beautiful and Terrible Things – Book Discussion Group - How do we as Christians respond to the realities of suffering, grief, and tragedy? Is it okay to be angry at God? How do we maintain hope in the midst of despair? How does our belief in Jesus impact our understanding of death and loss? 


Join us as we delve into these questions and more in our next adult education class, where we will read and discuss select chapters from Christian M. M. Brady’s book Beautiful and Terrible Things. This class will be offered in a hybrid format – you may choose to attend either in person, or via Zoom. To sign up please talk with Pastor Sam/Pastor Laura or contact the church office. You can purchase the book on your own, or if you’d like the church to order it for you, the cost is $16.


  • Dates: October 26, November 2, 9, 16, & 30
  • Time: 6:30 – 8 pm

Women of Welcome

Bedtime Story Night - Friday, November 4 - 6 - 8 pm - BLC Sanctuary


Celebrate your inner child. Bring your favorite children’s book to share. Women and girls of all ages are invited! Bring your favorite beverage and we will provide snacks. No signup needed, just come as you are (or in your jammies)!


Questions? Contact Cynthia Heigold

Christmas Bazaar

Calling all makers, bakers and crafters! - Start your creative juices - will you share your talents and make something to donate for the Christmas Bazaar on December 4? We are looking for arts and crafts, woodworking, pottery, baked goods, jams or preserves, whatever you create!

To help us plan for the bazaar, please follow the link below and let us know of your interest. (Please note, we are looking for an expression of interest, not an obligation.)

Sign up for Bazaar

Something New at the Bazaar: Mrs. Claus’s Closet! - Please donate your new and ‘like new’ items for ‘Mrs. Claus’s Closet’. We are looking for small gift items such as candles, candle holders, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, collectibles, small household items, special dishes, stationary, flower pots, vases, fancy food (shelf stable). Clear out your storage closet of those gifts you were thinking of re-gifting! No clothing, linens, or bulky items please. During the bazaar, people can leave a monetary donation of their choice in exchange for any items in Mrs. Claus' Closet.

Bring your items to the church during the month of November and place in the basket in the narthex. Items which are not sold during the bazaar will be donated to a local charity shop.

Questions? Contact Laure Reynolds

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. 

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

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.

 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.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church