"Caught in grace, created for service, called into community"
In This Issue

Sunday Mornings... 


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Rev. Laura Ziehl 
Senior Pastor 
Ext 2
Pastor Sam Nelson
Associate Pastor
Constance Mithelman
Youth Director
Ext 12
Judy Foland
Office Administrator
Ext 1  
Quick Links

September 2020

News and Events
From Pastor Laura
Dear people of Bethlehem,
I received a note this week. It was from a member of the congregation and in the letter were words of kindness and affirmation and support in these difficult times. It made all the difference for me. Those words are holding me up.  
In the beginning was the Word. I have been thinking of this verse from the first chapter of John this week. In the beginning of time, at the moment of creation, the first thing to move the world was the Word. Its power and grace as the Spirit moved over the waters. But I also hear things like, "Actions speak louder than words." I wonder if that is always true? I wonder afresh in this time of pandemic at the power and hope of the Word.
In this challenging time, most action has been taken from us: our places of work and school and worship. We cannot gather for Bethlehem Serves and weed planter boxes and wash cars and stuff backpacks for children. We cannot feed hungry people. We cannot even gather indoors for worship and drink bad Lutheran coffee while we watch children play. We cannot share the peace or even hug a loved one in a time of loss. It is painful, very painful.
Yet, from the beginning, there has always been another way to heal and bless, another means of grace. A way chosen by God, imbedded in the creation and in the sending of his son, the Word made flesh. Right now, it is our words that must carry the weight of grace and love and hope to the world. Right now it is our voices that must carry justice, support, compassion and comfort to those we love. Our strongest gift to each other, in this time, are words of hope carried across phone lines and internet and socially distanced conversations on the grass.
And John reminds us that is enough. More than enough. The power of the Word laid in the world is Jesus, the one who saves us all. And the Word became flesh and lived among us . . . full of grace and truth. May the words we speak now be full of grace and truth. May the words we speak bring comfort to the hurting. May our voices strengthen one another one the journey. May the crazy memes and comics we send one another add laughter to long days. And may our most important words, our strongest words, call us to hope and the promise of tomorrow.
The Word of God is among us now, among us still, full of grace and truth. Full of light in our darkness and hope for all that is yet to be.
Thank you for the words of comfort and support you have shared with me. Thank you for the words of healing and hope you offer each other. Together we lighten the darkness.
God bless you all,
Pastor Laura

 Update on Worship 

There are now three ways to worship at Bethlehem:
  • You may attend in person worship on the grass at 10AM.
-      In order to join us for in person worship you must sign up for either Sept. 6 and 20 or Sept. 13 and 27.
-      After a successful August, the reopening team has increased capacity to 60 for each outdoor worship service.
-      In order to accommodate as many people as possible and allow for social distancing and safety, we must still meet in two groups, now creatively renamed the "Grace" group, Sept. 6 and 20 and the "Hope" group, Sept. 13 and 27.
-      Masks are required at all times. Bring a chair, umbrella or hat, communion, bulletin and a smile.
-      Click here for the new link in SignUpGenius and reserve your place today.
-      There is a "What to Expect in Worship" letter and an Inflight Worship Video on our new outdoor worship orientation page on our website to assist you as you prepare for outdoor worship.
  • You may join us for livestream worship at 8:30AM.
-      In order to join the livestream click on this link here.
-      The link will not appear until we go live at 8:25AM. Fear not, we will be there.
-      You may use the chat stream to talk with other worshipers in real time. This is really fun.
-      With the addition of new equipment, we have significantly increased the quality of the audio and video in the livestream in recent weeks. Thanks to all who made this possible.
  • You may watch worship on demand at any time you like.
-      The livestream is immediately uploaded to YouTube at the close of worship.
-      You can access the recorded worship on our YouTube channel.
-      Or it will be available to you on our worship page on our website by midday on Sunday.
In this unique world, we are so pleased to offer you several ways to join us for worship. Our deep thanks to all those who have worked tirelessly and continue to do so every week, to make worship possible in this time. The opportunities above represent countless volunteer hours and the expertise, gift and grace of so many people. Thanks to: our worship team, music team, audio team, video team, ushers, hosts, liturgical bouncers, set-up team, reopening team, protocol writing team and medical team. God bless you all.

Family Ministry
Children's Ministry: This fall, Learning Circles will look a little different!
On Wednesday, September 9th from 4-6 pm we'll be doing a packet pick up of a month's worth of Learning Circles materials!  Email Constance to reserve your child's packet. On the 3rd Sunday of the month at 1 pm we'll be holding Zoom Learning Circles for PreK-K, 1st-2nd grades and 3-6th grade groups!  Watch for the zoom links in Constance's Children's Ministry email blast!
Youth Ministry: Do you have a 7th grader that wants to start Confirmation?  Contact Constance!  We'll be starting classes on September 15th.

 Music Ministry 

Music continues to thrive at Bethlehem!  After creating a virtual choir rendition of The Lord Bless You and Keep You the Good News Singers will be moving forward to create two more virtual choir renditions in the next few months. These selections will be for Reformation and the Christmas Concert  scheduled for December 6th @ 4 pm. This program will be a zoom presentation and include many musical acts from our choirs, handbells, chimers and other musicians from our congregation. The Good News Singers Sip and Sing Rehearsals will begin again on September 10 @ 7:30 pm via zoom.  If you are interested in participating in this group, please contact Mona Goetsch at monagoetsch@gmail.com
The JuBellation Ringers will begin "live" rehearsals on Thursday, September 10 @ 6 p.m. If you might be interested in playing handbells, please contact Kim Froke at kfroke@gmail.com  or Mona Goetsch. Videos of the handbells music will be presented in worship services this fall. The Children's Chimers will also meet "live" on Sunday, September 13 at 11:45 pm. Additional interested student ringers may contact Mark Weed at weedster1@gmail.com or Mona Goetsch. Both groups will be rehearsing outside and will be adhering to strict COVID protocol. 
The Children's Choir is working on their first virtual choir.  All videos for that song need to be submitted by September 10  to cbmeiny@gmail.com.  At this time the children's choir will only be meeting virtually to create new virtual choir pieces. If your child might be interested in being a part of a virtual choir, please contact Mona Goetsch. 

 Learn Americal Sign Language (ASL)  

If you have ever wanted to learn American Sign Language (ASL), now is your chance. We offer classes for high school to adult age learners:
Bethlehem ASL Classes: Every Thursday starting September 10 on Zoom
  • 5:30-6:00 pm: Pacific Introductory class using "Learn American Sign Language" by James W. Guido 
  • 6:00-7:00 pm: Pacific Review and Conversation Practice
 BLC Annual Golf Event
Golfers of all abilities are invited to attend Bethlehem Lutheran's Annual Golf Event. This year it will take place on Sunday, September 27th at St. Mark's Executive Golf Course starting at 2:00 pm.
So that we can provide a safe and fun event, Social Distancing and other appropriate health and safety measures will be in place. Such as, golfers from the same household will be paired together and, based on cart availability, individual golfers will have their own cart. Walking the course will also be an option. More details coming soon.
You can register one of two ways - pay via the BLC website or mail a check to the Church office.
Pay By Mail: Send a Check for $40 per golfer to: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 925 Balour Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024 (with "BLC Golf" in the Memo field). Make checks payable to Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Please also include, on a separate piece of paper, the name of each golfer, as well as, an e-mail address for registration confirmation and event details.
Pay On-Line: Click here for the GIVE NOW page or visit the BLC website and click on "Contribute" then select the GIVE NOW tab on the left side of the page. Once on the "Give Now" page, in the "Special Box" enter $40 per golfer and in the Memo Field to the right enter: "Golf [First & Last Name]" (enter name of each additional golfer as well). For donation frequency select - "One Time" then complete the payment process.
We look forward to seeing you there!

 Stewardship Educational Opportunity 

Looking to Deepen Your Understanding of Stewardship? Please join Stewardship Kaleidoscope this Fall for three consecutive Tuesday's: September 22, September 29, and October 6 at 8:30am. Each week you will hear theological, practical, and actionable perspectives and following the presentation we will have time in a live Q&A to share and learn further.
  • September 22nd hear from Eric Barreto of Princeton Theological Seminary on the Acts of the Apostles in the 21st century - imagination, vision, and creativity in responding to our call
  • September 29th we will learn with consultant Bonnie Ives Marden about the ways in which faith shapes our financial health, and get practical tools for church financial management
  • October 6th Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow will provide perspectives on engaging congregations across generations, cultures, and ethnicity to imagine building the church for forward thinking funding and functioning.
Go to Stewardship Kaleidoscope to register.  Contact Mark Stauffer if you have questions.
 Volunteer Opportunity
St. Andrew's is resuming the Saturday community meal project (with with COVID-19 safety precautions) starting the first Saturday in September.  Guests will be able to either take a shower, have a meal, or do both every Saturday morning.  Though we will be unable to cook and serve a complete hot breakfast as we did in the past, we will provide nutritious sack lunches that guests can pick up before or after their showers. Bethlehem has volunteered to provide 6 volunteers to prepare to-go lunches on the 4th Saturday of each month, starting September 26th.  We will start at 9:00 am. in St. Andrew's kitchen and should be finished by 10:30 or 11:00.  If you are interested in volunteering for this worthwhile project, please contact Naida Malchiodi by text (760-419-7832) or email (naidalouise2@yahoo.com) with your phone number or email address. 
 ELCA Advocacy 
Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Justice
On August 25, 2020 several members of Bethlehem's Advocacy Team joined many other people of faith in a nationwide candlelight prayer vigil. The vigil was held in solidarity with detained undocumented immigrants who are leading a hunger strike to protest the inhumane and unsafe conditions in ICE detention facilities. It was a very powerful experience. A video of the vigil is available here.
Advocacy in Quarantine - Every Wednesday at 12:00pm
Stay informed and join the vital work of Advocacy! The Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California hosts a ZOOM meeting each Wednesday at 12:00pm to provide an update on current legislative action and advocacy work. The meetings are 25 minutes long, and end with one or two suggested Action Items that will take you no more than 5 minutes to accomplish. More info LOPP-CA.
November 3, 2020 - Presidential Election
It is only 60 days until the election. Voting is our greatest right and responsibility in a democracy.
ELCA World Hunger In A Time of Pandemic
The Sierra Pacific Synod Hunger Network will present a virtual Hunger Education Hour on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:00am. You will be given ideas to equip yourself and your congregation to support this lifesaving work in a time of pandemic. To register, email Edie Lott at thelotts@gmail.com with your name, congregation and city. You will receive a Zoom Meeting Invitation the week before the event.
ELCA Advocacy Updates

Take the 2020 Census
The ELCA is a Census Partner, encouraging an accurate count, because it impacts a more just resource distribution and representation in the political process. For your neighbor and yourself - fill out your Census and encourage everyone in your community to be counted!
Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
Bishop Andy Taylor: Facebook
For information or questions about Bethlehem's Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at blcadvocacy@gmail.com.

 Giving Tree

Mission Action and Giving Tree Schedule 2020 - 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.
  • August 17 thru September - Pajama Project Appeal (Belinda Simonini) - 
  • September  to October 15 - Lutheran World Relief Ingathering:  Quilts & Blankets (Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group - uncertain at this time)
  • October 16 thru November - Secret Santa (Cheryl Monreal)
  • December - TBD

 Pajama Project 

The Pajama Project Continues! The Pajama Project is completing it's 24th year at Bethlehem! Yes, even amid a Pandemic we will be distributing the planned for 1500 pairs of PJ's in October. Although we only had February to meet as a group to cut out PJ's we have a very dedicated core group of sewers who have completed all of these PJ's!!
We owe our thanks to the following Volunteers: 
  • Margaret Dailey of Oceanside sewed 1000 pairs of PJ's and as many or more Masks for the community. Margaret devotes time, resources and Love to this ministry. Margaret was featured on Channel 10 News last year and served as The PJ Projects awesome ambassador!
  • Alice Norris of Tierasanta cut out hundreds of PJ's and sewed many herself while keeping all of the numbers and needs organized for us.
  • Pat Giebink of Del Mar has sewn PJ's for several years but this year outdid herself devoting her quarantine time to sewing over 350 pairs of PJ's!
  • Lori Lincoln expertly washed and ironed many bolts of flannel having done 75 last year!
  • Meagan Pierson, Elizabeth Chao and Peggy Murphy continued to sew PJ's during this difficult time.
Now we have used up all of our flannel and we will be buying 3000 more yards during the week of Thanksgiving at Joann's Fabrics best prices. Imagine how much it will mean to children in need to receive brand new, Made with Love, PJ's during this exceptionally difficult year. Please donate via check or on-line to Bethlehem with the memo/purpose noted as "The PJ Project" so that we can buy more flannel! We appreciate your help and the incredible dedication of the above volunteers!!! Contact Belinda Simonini, The Pajama Project Coordinator, pjproject92024@gmail.com (760-822-9573).

 Stephen Ministry

Do you need a Break? This has been a strange and unusual year. We are spending more time at home than we ever have before. We have fewer errands, appointments and social activities so are less busy than before. We sometimes find ourselves with periods of time with nothing to do.

And yet, we are more stressed than ever as we face the isolation from family, friends, and co-workers, the change of routine, the anxiety of looming illness, and the uncertainty of this time. We have missed favorite activities and family visits. Summer has passed with no break from work and no vacation.

So, give yourself permission to take a break now- a little mental holiday or staycation. We all occasionally need time away from our usual routine to relax and recharge. It may not be the same type of time off that you were used to in years past, but a morning off, an afternoon drive, or an evening stroll in a new location might help you get through this.

If you find yourself needing a bit more, perhaps it would help to talk with a Stephen Minister. Stephen Ministers are not counselors or professionals. Rather, they are caring members of the congregation who have been trained to listen and support others who are going through a difficult time. Do not worry that you do not know them, as your Stephen Minister will soon become a trusted friend. No not think, "I don't want to bother them," because each of our Stephen Ministers would be honored meet you.

If you would like to know more about Stephen Ministry please speak with Pr Laura, Pr Sam, or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall, Laure Reynolds, or Suzi Westmoreland. We would be happy to explain how the Stephen Ministry program works so that you can decide if it is right for you. All inquiries and conversations will be kept confidential. 

 Bethlehem Endowment Fund News 

Bethlehem Endowment Supports Seminarian: Last month the Bethlehem Endowment Committee recommended to the Church Council that they approve a grant request for $5,000 to defray seminary expenses for member Emily Erisman.  The Council did so with an enthusiastic unanimous vote!  We are pleased to again support Emily as she responds to God's pastoral calling.
The Bethlehem Endowment Fund exists to receive current or legacy gifts to support and expand the mission and ministry of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  To date, the Fund has been the beneficiary of some very generous legacy gifts and continues to welcome grant requests.  Please contact either of the pastors or any Endowment Committee member (Bob Michelet, Sandy Lakey, Dan Halvorson, Dave Porcelli, Mark Stauffer) with any questions about gifts or grants.

 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 chachapinillap@gmail.com.  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.

 Adventure Ministry 

Join us in outdoor adventures to make new friends, spend time with old friends, enjoy our beautiful area, and get some exercise, too. We plan to host an activity each quarter such as hiking, mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, camping and more. We welcome your ideas.
This ministry is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will start again when it's safe. Please check this site for updates.

 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: https://sinningboldlywithsam.wordpress.com/"

 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: https://community.elca.org/elca-email-subscriptions

 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 smile.amazon.com website. See the website for more details.

Dear  ,


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Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster