"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 2021

News and Events
 From Pastor Sam
September Greetings Dear People of Bethlehem,
I have recently become a diehard fan of the show Ted Lasso on Apple TV. Anyone in need of a good laugh (and I think that's pretty much everyone these days) definitely needs to check it out. It is absolutely hilarious, and results in me genuinely laughing out loud multiple times per episode. The show follows the titular character Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis), a college football coach from Kansas, as he embarks on a new adventure - coaching Premier League Football in London for AFC Richmond. Now apart from the fact that he knows nothing about European football (soccer to those of us on this side of the pond), he faces a number of other hurdles as well, including needing to learn what basically amounts to a whole new language. Yes, even though they speak English, there's a different word for just about everything. Jerseys are called kits, cleats are called boots, and cookies are called biscuits just to name a few.
But despite the cultural divide, Ted is able to establish relationships built on trust and mutual respect with pretty much everyone he encounters. After a particularly bad play, Ted asks one of the players, who oddly enough is named Sam - not sure if God was pointing this lesson at me directly or what, but I sure took note - he asks Sam if he knows what the happiest animal on earth is. Sam says no, looking quite nonplussed and bewildered. Ted answers, "It's a goldfish. Know why? Because goldfish only have a 10-second memory. So go out there and be a goldfish!" The lesson behind this being, we're all going to make mistakes. And the more Sam fixates on his mistakes, the more he gets stuck in his head, the worse he is going to play. Instead, he should simply shake off those bad plays. Let them blip out of existence as all things do in the mind of a goldfish once every ten seconds.
I think that this can teach us a lot about how God's grace works. Whether it's on the football pitch, or in our living rooms, or while we are at work or school, not a single one of us is perfect. We are all going to mess up, make mistakes, fail to live up to expectations (whether they are someone else's or our own). And the radical, unfathomable, unreasonable nature of our God is to forgive us every single time. Now, that doesn't mean that we can just run around doing whatever we want, unbothered by the consequences because we know God will forgive us. But it does mean that beating ourselves up over our mistakes, reliving them again and again, getting stuck in those shame and guilt spirals is not at all how God wants us to live. God wants us to live knowing, that although we are not perfect, we are perfectly loved. And when we do mess up, or fall short, that we should trust in that abundant grace, get back up, and try again.
Blessings, dear goldfish of God,
Pastor Sam

 September Worship Schedule

There are four ways to worship at Bethlehem:
  • Indoor worship at 9 AM.
  You will be asked to sign-up for this worship ahead of time using this Signup Genius link. Attendance will be limited to 70 people.
- Masks are required for the duration of our indoor worship services. You may remove them to take communion. We have returned to our BYOC (bring your own communion) practice which means you are once again free to bring whatever elements speak most to your heart! We do ask that you bring white wine for the sake of the upholstery on the pews.
- We will keep our current socially distanced seating model for the time being. Upon arrival you will still check in with the host and be directed to your seats by an usher.
-     For more guidance click on What to Expect When You Come to Indoor Worship
  • You may attend in person worship on the grass at 10:30 AM.
-  You are no longer be required to sign up for outdoor worship.

-  Masks will be required during arrival and departure, and anytime that you are talking or interacting with people outside of your worship pod. Once seated, you may remove your mask if you are vaccinated. Please bring your own communion supplies for this service as well, and we ask that you do your best to maintain social distancing before and after the worship service.

-  For more guidance click on the updated What to Expect When You Come to Outdoor Worship. 
  • You may join us for livestream worship currently at 9 AM
-      In order to join the livestream click on this link here.
-      The link will not appear until we go live 5 minutes before the start of worship/ Fear not, we will be there.
-      You may use the chat stream to talk with other worshipers in real time. This is really fun.
  • 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.

 Covid Vaccine Appointment Assistance

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.

 Bethlehem Serves
Mark your calendars for Bethlehem's Day of Community Service on Sunday, September 19.  Arrive by 8:45 am for the outdoor 9 am service. 
Participants  will be choosing from twelve projects/activities with all but one being outside. Projects will be on campus (School Bags for Lutheran World Federation/ Ocean Knoll School, hygiene kits for T.A.C.O., Car Wash for St. Andrews Food Pantry, Prayer Shawl Ministry, Scraps and Prayers Quilter Group, Plants for the Neighbors, First Responder Baskets) and  the Community Resource Center, Rancho Coastal Humane Society, Ocean Knoll School Gardens and Swami's Beach Park.  Look for the e-blast and sign up sheet that was posted on August 26 for more detailed information or click on the tab on the Bethlehem website home page to sign up for your favorite project.
Due to COVID restrictions, participants will pick up a "bag of gratitude" for their service instead of lunch.  Questions?? Contact Steve or Mona Goetsch: solanagoetsch@gmail.com or monagoetsch@gmail.com.  If unable to participate that day,  please take time to serve others in your own way. 

 Giving Tree

Upcoming Giving Tree Ministries:
  • September 19:  Bethlehem Serves  Lead By:  Mona Goetsch
  • October 3 & 10   Lutheran World Relief Ingathering: Quilts
    Lead By: Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group
  • October 17 - November 30:   Secret Santa  Lead By: Cheryl Monreal
  • December : Happy Advent/Merry Christmas/Joyous New Year
 Stewardship Stream
The use of our electronic giving options by Bethlehem has been of vital importance during these pandemic times. Thank you to all of you who have either continued to give electronically, or who have signed up to do so. In an effort to continue to make our electronic giving platforms as easy as possible to use, and more flexible when different needs arise, we are excited to tell you about some enhancements to these tools that you use to financially support Bethlehem!
Our Give Plus+ App is being replaced by the Vanco Mobile App! To begin using it:
  • Starting September 1 and no later than September 30, download the "Vanco Mobile" app from your App Store using your smartphone or tablet
  • Search for Bethlehem Lutheran Church Encinitas by name (please be aware that there are other possible "Bethlehem" churches)
  • If you already have an account, your User Name and Password remain the same. And any prior online account information, including recurring gifts, will automatically carry over
  • If you don't have a Vanco account, follow the app's simple "Sign Up" prompts to enjoy the ease of electronic giving!
In addition, the donation page on the BLC website will soon be getting a facelift! When you go to the website and select "Contribute", you'll see a new and improved user interface.
The following features remain true for both giving methods:
  • Use a checking account, or credit & debit cards
  • Choose to cover the credit card transaction fee
  • Make recurring or one-time donations
  • Give to the general or various special funds
  • All Vanco Mobile and website donations are consolidated and will appear on your giving statements
Questions? Call the church office and we'll help!
 Music Ministry
MUSIC GROUPS ARE BACK! - September is the return of Music group rehearsals at Bethlehem. Here is the schedule of performances and practices.
  • The World Music Ensemble will be performing at the outdoor service on September 12th. Come enjoy our liturgy enhanced with instrumentation from that group!
  • The Children's choir will begin rehearsals on Sunday, September 12th @ 10:05 -10:30 am.  on the outside patio behind the Family Center.  They will be performing for services on October 10th. 
  • The Children's Chimers will begin rehearsals on Sunday, September 26th @ 11:40 am. outside. They will be performing for services on November 7th
  • The Good News Singers begin rehearsals on Thursday, September 12th @ 6 pm. They will meet outside in front of the sanctuary. First performance is on October 3rd.
  • The JuBellation Ringers begin rehearsals on Thursday, September 23th @ 7:15 pm.  They will meet in the Family Center. First performance is October 17th
 ELCA Advocacy 
Vote in the California Gubernatorial Recall Election -All voters have been mailed a ballot. Return your ballot or vote in person by September 14, 2021. The ELCA's social teaching, as described in the social message on "Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy" holds that all residents of the United States have a responsibility to make government function well-not to abandon our democracy but to engage it in a spirit of robust civic duty.
If you have any questions about your ballot or voting, visiting the Registrar of Voters at sdvote.com or call 858.565.5800
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) - Help our Afghan allies. "When I was a stranger, you welcomed me." Rooted in faith, LIRS believes that we are called to welcome those fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in the United States. Driven by our faith and our nation's values, LIRS works to protect and embrace refugees, migrants, and children seeking a new life in America. LIRS has concrete ways you can act, donate, or advocate to support incoming Afghan Allies, Special Immigrant Visa holders, who are being evacuated to the United States. Visit the LIRS website for more information.
"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.
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.

 Stephen Ministry

Save the Dates! - Stephen Ministry invites you to join two mental health learning opportunities presented on Zoom:
Monday, September 20th, 7 pm: Learn about three new apps from the San Diego Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The apps provide resources for navigating the behavioral health scene for adults and children and navigating the California special needs education system.
Monday, October 4th, 7 pm: Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) training, an educational program designed to teach lay "gatekeepers" the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond.
NoteYou can choose to join these sessions with or without video.
If you're interested in attending one or both of these sessions, please call the church office or contact one of our Stephen Leaders: Molly Hall, Laure Reynolds, or Suzi Westmoreland at suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com
 Adventure Ministry
Adventure Ministry September event is postponed. Due to the rise in COVID cases caused by the Delta variant, we don't feel it is responsible to hold an official Adventure Ministry event right now. We are disappointed because we love seeing all of you!
If you would like to be updated on future events, Please contact one of the leaders:
Dennis Astroth - dennis.astroth@gmail.com 
Eileen Lajimodiere - elajimodiere@gmail.com 
Suzi Westmoreland - suziwestmoreland@hotmail.com 
 Future Educational Opportunity
The next Zoom meeting of Acting on Our FaithFollowing Christ Together in the Face of Racism will be on Tuesday, October 5th. More details will follow in the October newsletter.

 Parish Nurse 

Anyone interested in a recertification  of CPR with AED please contact Rose Moldenhauer rosemoldy@cox.net. The class will be one hour by zoom and 1/2 hour safe, hands on practice. Date to be determined. 
Website Update
As you may be aware, it is not currently possible to access our website using the Google search engine. We are aware of this problem and are working to address it. Unfortunately, the malware that is present in the system cannot be easily removed. We have increased security on the website and are working to correct the problem. It is very frustrating for us all. Until the problem is corrected you can simply access the website directly at www.blcenc.org.

Our apologies for this inconvenience.

 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 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. 

 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  ,


Thank you for registering with our e-mail announcement and update service at www.blcenc.org


Yours in Christ

Bethlehem Lutheran Webmaster