The Week At Bethlehem

December 8, 2019
  • Second Sunday of Advent

    December 8, 2019

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  • Worship Service

    December 8, 2019  8:30 am - 9:30 am

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  • Christmas Bazaar

    December 8, 2019  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Family Center

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  • Worship Service

    December 8, 2019  10:00 am - 11:00 am

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  • Christmas Choral Concert

    December 8, 2019  4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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December 9, 2019
  • Liturgical Arts

    December 9, 2019  10:00 am - 11:00 am

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  • Centering Prayer

    December 9, 2019  4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
    Multi-use Building

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December 10, 2019
  • Bethlehem Community Library

    December 10, 2019  2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

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  • Executive Committee Meeting

    December 10, 2019  6:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Conference Room

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  • Yoga

    December 10, 2019  6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

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  • Council Meeting

    December 10, 2019  7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Conference Room

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December 11, 2019
  • Scraps and Prayers

    December 11, 2019  8:30 am - 11:30 am
    Multi-use Building

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  • Tai Chi

    December 11, 2019  6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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  • High School Youth

    December 11, 2019  7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    Multi-use Building

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  • Comfort at Christmas

    December 11, 2019  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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December 12, 2019
  • Bethlehem Community Library

    December 12, 2019  11:30 am - 2:00 pm

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News & Notes


Sunday, December 1st
1st Sunday of Advent – services at 8:30 and 10:00 am

Sunday, December 8th
2nd Sunday of Advent – services at 8:30 and 10:00 am
Christmas Bazaar from 9:00 – 11:30 am in the Family Center
Bethlehem’s Christmas Choral Concert – “Rejoice! The Baby is Born” – 4:00 pm,
presented by the Good News Singers, Children’s Choir, JuBellation Ringers,
Children’s Chimers and World Music Ensemble.

Wednesday, December 11th
Comfort at Christmas – 7 pm – A service of healing and hope

Sunday, December 15th
3rd Sunday of Advent – services at 8:30 and 10:00 am – Children’s Christmas Program
Bethlehem Handcraft Olivewood sales between services

Sunday, December 22nd
4th Sunday of Advent – services at 8:30 and 10:00 am

Tuesday, December 24th
Christmas Eve Services at 10:00 am, 4:30, 7:00 and 9:00 pm
with “Children’s Service” at 4:30,

Wednesday, December 25th
Join St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church across the street for a 9:30 am service

Sunday, December 29th
One service at 9 am.

Sunday, January 5th, Epiphany
Regular services resume at 8:30 and 10:00 am

Proposed Changes to Bethlehem’s Constitution- At our annual meeting on January 26, 2020, the congregation will be asked to approve changes to Bethlehem’s Constitution. The congregation must be notified of the proposed changes at least 30 days in advance of the meeting at which the vote will be taken and be notified of the Congregation Council’s recommendation. The Council voted at its November meeting to recommend approval of the changes. A majority vote is required of voting members attending the meeting.

The changes are required to bring our constitution into compliance with language required by the ELCA. No other changes are proposed in our constitution. The only changes being proposed are those made by the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly in August 2019 and are part of mandatory language required to be included in the constitutions of all ELC congregations.

The changes are described in this document.

If you have any questions about the proposed changes or the process itself, contact Bob Michelet at

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:

Fall Giving Update– The Council is pleased to report a wonderful response to this fall’s stewardship conversation. Based on pledges received, we’re projecting a 2020 giving increase vs. the 2019 budget of 8.4%! This is within the 8% to 10% range that we had targeted to fund our library, landscaping and livelihood priorities. Thank you for your mission support and we’ll share more information at the Annual Meeting.

Year-End Giving Opportunity– Historically, financial contributions for Bethlehem spike upward around the holidays. If you are considering a special gift, or if you are contemplating fulfilling your 2020 pledge in 2019, consider doing so through a gift of stock, mutual funds, or ETFs that have appreciated on the strength of the stock market. In addition to supporting the church, you avoid capital gains that you would otherwise have to pay on the appreciation. (Be sure to check details with your tax advisor.) Contact Judy Foland, church administrator, to learn how this can be done.

Annual Christmas Concert– The choirs of Bethlehem will present their annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 8th @ 4 p.m. This year’s concert is called ” Rejoice! The Baby is Born!” Come hear the Good News Singers, JuBellation Ringers, Children’s Choir, Children’s Chimers and World Music Ensemble perform traditional carols in new and exciting arrangements. A free will offering will be taken for the music department.

Thank You for the Gift of Warm PJ’s This Season- The Pajama Project has distributed almost 1500 pairs of PJ’s and pajama pants to agencies who will be distributing them this holiday season. Here are some pictures of the children receiving their Christmas with Cheryl Monreal’s help at Es Por Los Nino’s.

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 $3,400 for the quilts which will be used to buy batting, material and accessories to continue making quilts during 2020. 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 150 school bags which were made during Bethlehem Serves Sunday, 57 quilts, and 133 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. We know that in the past year our quilts have been sent to Mali (Africa), Iraq and Tanzania.

Women’s Christmas Bazaar- Sunday, December 8th 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Family Center- Our annual Women’s Christmas Bazaar will be held Sunday, December 8th from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Family Center. Bring your Christmas shopping list. What will be available – handcrafted items, baked goods, jam and jellies, Scholastic Books, pre-ordered SERRV products, a gingerbread house (tickets available at the entrance to the Family Center) and our beautiful Opportunity Drawing Quilt to mention a few items. Come join us before or after your church service

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 8th. Please deliver baked goods or craft items to the Family Center on Saturday, Dec. 7th between 10:00 a.m. – noon or on Sunday, Dec. 8th before 9:00. For information or to make alternative arrangements, please contact Kim Oswald, or 760 634-2995. Proceeds will benefit the ministries of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA. Thank you for your support.

The Center for Global Awareness is again hosting its 9th International Market at the ELCA Women’s Christmas Bazaar on Sunday, December 8. Items are from the Lutheran World Relief SERRV catalogue and CGA donates all proceeds to Lutheran World Relief water projects. The SERRV catalogue will be available the middle of October and the entire catalogue is available online, Please include in your order: your name, item name, catalog #, the number of those items you wish to order and price of each item. You will pick up and pay for your orders at the bazaar on Sunday, December 8th. In order to ensure that your items are available for pickup at the Bazaar, orders need to be returned to Dianne Nichols ( or ChaCha Appel ( or you can also leave your order in the SERRV envelope on the table inside the church narthex by the conference room by November 17.

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA will hold their annual meeting at the end of January 2020. The annual meeting will look at all aspects of funds and projects for 2020 as well as an election of officers. A separate funds meeting will not be held this November. More information will be available in January on exact date, time and place. All women of Bethlehem are invited to participate.

Opportunity Quilt Drawing

Scraps and Prayers is offering an opportunity drawing for a beautiful San Diego themed quilt designed by a member of Scraps and Prayers. The suggested donation is $5 for each ticket or five for $20. Tickets will be available and the drawing will be held at the Christmas Bazaar on December 8th. Proceeds will benefit the ministries of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA.

Stephen Ministry

Holiday Stress?

When you find the busy pace of holiday preparations starting to take their toll, take a few moments to relax and release the stress.

Go outside. Take a walk. Breathe fresh air.

Turn off your devices.

Look at the stars.

Smell the roses, or the Christmas tree, or the gingerbread…

Look out the window, or at a treasured photo, relax your eyes.

Play with your pet.

Soak in the tub.

Eat your favorite food.

Take time for prayer or quiet contemplation.

Find joy and pleasure in the present and forget the To Do list for a moment.

Breathe deeply and let go of stress.

Adapted from at

Sunday Ride Ministry is a program we are starting at Bethlehem to lend a hand and a ride to church services for those in our church in need. If you can occasionally give a ride please sign up in the church entrance or contact Rose Moldenhauer

ELCA Advocacy Updates

Save the Date – Lutheran Lobby Day May 20, 2020

Join other Lutherans from around the state at the Capitol in Sacramento. The day will include information and training to prepare you meet with your legislators to advocate for faith-based issues. More information to follow. Contact Karin Kloehn if you have questions. You can read about Lobby Day 2019 here.

The Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California has set four legislative priorities for 2020. They are: Deep Childhood Poverty, Homelessness and Housing Insecurity, Immigration, and Food and Farming Policy. You can read about the work of LOPP-CA here.

ELCA Advocacy Updates for November

United Nations and State Edition and Advocacy Connections from the Washington, DC Lutheran Office of Public Policy.

Presiding Bishop’s Statement on Israeli Civilian Settlements The ELCA is “very disturbed by the November 18 announcement by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo that the Administration unwisely is changing current U.S. policy by stating that the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

Jublilee Year-End Report- read about all the great work of Jubilee USA in this year-end report.

Presidential Primary Election – March 3, 2020- This election will be here before we know it! Be sure your voter registration up to date. Check here.

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Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter

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