The Week At Bethlehem

February 22, 2020
  • Pajama Project

    February 22, 2020  7:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Family Center and Multi-use Building

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  • Feed the Homeless

    February 22, 2020  9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    St Andrew's Episcopal Church, 890 Balour Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA

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February 23, 2020
February 24, 2020
February 25, 2020
February 26, 2020
  • Scraps and Prayers

    February 26, 2020  8:30 am - 11:30 am
    Multi-use Building

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  • Ash Wednesday - Imposition of Ashes

    February 26, 2020  7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

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February 27, 2020
  • Bethlehem Community Library

    February 27, 2020  11:30 am - 2:00 pm

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  • ASL - Introductory Class

    February 27, 2020  5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
    Multi-use Building

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  • ASL - Review and Practic

    February 27, 2020  6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    Multi-use Building

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News & Notes

The 2019 Annual Report for the January 26 annual meeting is available here. The changes to Bethlehem’s constitution were approved at the meeting. The changes are described in this document. If you have any questions about the proposed changes or the process itself, contact Bob Michelet at

Learn American Sign Language (ASL): Whether you are a novice, an expert, or need a refresher, please join one or both of our ASL classes, starting this Thursday, January 30 in the Multi Use Building from 5:30-6:30 pm for Introduction to ASL and 6:30-7:30 pm for Review and Practice. The classes are designed for high school age and above. Our goal is to have fun, learn to communicate with the Deaf community, and learn about Deaf culture. For more info, contact Suzi Westmoreland at (760) 505-3365 or

Lenten Course for Personal and Spiritual Growth: Join us this March as we offer Discovering God’s Vision for your Life: You and your Spiritual Gifts. During this eight hour class you will find clues to your spiritual gifts using the Haugk Spiritual Gifts Inventory and other activities then we will explore ways to further develop and use your gifts. The class will run from 11:00 to 1:00 on the first four Sundays in March. A registration fee of $20 will cover the cost of books and materials. The last Sunday to register is February 9. For more information contact Laure Reynolds at 760-271-3359 or

Adventure Ministry – Early morning hike and breakfast – February 29: Want to make your weekend longer? Get up early to hear the frogs and birds serenading us on a hike. Followed by a tasty breakfast. Join us for the hike or breakfast or both. All are welcome. Saturday, February 29 @ 7 am: Meet for a hike through Annie’s Canyon, North Rios Avenue Trailhead, Solana Beach. (Take 101 south, east on Lomas Santa Fe, north on North Rios Avenue). 9:30 am: Breakfast at Claire’s on Cedros, 246 North Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach.Contact Dennis Astroth, Eileen Lajimodiere, or Suzi Westmoreland for any questions. Upcoming adventures planned for May 16, July 18, September 12, and November 7. Details to come.
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:

LutherGlen Farm
February 7-9, 2020

You are invited to join Pastor Laura at LutherGlen farm for retreat February 7-9, 2020. All are welcome: families of any size, children, individuals, younger and older adults. LutherGlen is a retreat center, located 2 hours Northeast of Encinitas on the edge of the San Bernardino National Forest, near Oak Glen. It is a working farm with goats and sheep, as well as a welcoming staff and a beautiful retreat center offering gracious hospitality. The theme is “Under Construction: Ephesians 2:10 – We are what God has made us.” Please visit their website at: to register. See you there!

2020 offering envelopes are delayed until late January due to printing issues at the company supplying the envelopes. Temporary offering envelopes are available in the office for those who prefer to use envelopes. Many members and friends of Bethlehem have signed up for direct deposit for their contributions. Offering gifts can be made electronically, either on our Stewardship page at by clicking on the contribute tab, or by using the Give Plus Church mobile app. There are options for one time donations, as well as recurring gifts and special offerings.

Family Ministry News

Winter Retreats are Coming! It’s time to go to Luther Glen for a weekend to unplug, remember what is important and discover new ways God is at work in us!

High School: February 15-17
Middle School: March 6-8
Cost: $145 (scholarships available)
RSVP to Constance ( ASAP

Family Winterfest at Luther Glen. The whole family is invited for a weekend getaway to camp! The kids will have activities planned by LRCC staff and the parents/guardians will be having devotional time with Pastor Laura who was asked to lead the retreat this year!

February 7-9
Cost: Adults (12+) $105
Children (4-11) $95
Toddlers (3 and under) Free
Family Max: $350
RSVP to Constance ( ASAP

Save the Dates/RSVP:

Vacation Bible School 2020 at Bethlehem!
June 29-July 2nd.

Confirmation Camp 2020: July 12-17th
All current 6-7th graders
Cost: $435 (with scholarships available)

High School Summer Service Trip 2020: July 31- August 8th
Current 8th graders – Current Freshmen in college
Cost $450 (with scholarships available)

Bethlehem Women of the ELCA

The Annual Meeting of the Bethlehem Women of the ELCA was held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. The following were elected as our officers for 2020: President – Kim Oswald, Vice-President – Bobby Allen, Secretary – Lynne Miller, Treasurer – Dana Roberts. Thank you to all who participated in a lively discussion of our direction in 2020.
2020 Bethlehem Women’s Retreat – Becoming – He is the Potter and We are the Clay: The 2020 Bethlehem Women’s Retreat will be held at Luther Glen Conference Center in Yucaipa, CA on May 1 – 3, 2020. Join us for a weekend of faith, fellowship, and fun! We have a choice of two housing options available this year at two different prices. The conference center sleeps 40 persons and features comfortable rooms which each sleep 2 to 4 people. Each room has an attached bath. The cost for the conference center will be $195 per person for the weekend and includes bedding and towels. If you don’t mind more rustic conditions and a short walk we also have available the cabins at Camp Yolijwa which have bunk beds and shared bathrooms at a price of $125. Bring your own bedding and towels for the cabins. The cost for all participants includes meals Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast. For more information contact Laure Reynolds or Rose Moldenhauer. Visit the Luther Glen website at
Sign-ups will begin in the middle of March. Sign up for the conference center rooms will be first come first serve based on when we receive your money.
Full and partial scholarships will be available. Would you like to sponsor a scholarship?
NEW –  SATURDAY Scraps and Prayers beginning May 9th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. in the MUB.   Join Scraps and Prayers in tying quilts and laying out already cut quilt squares for quilts.  Come for some fun and conversation and learning a bit more about how the many quilts you see on the pews in October are put together.  We will be meeting on the second Saturday of May, June, July, August and September.  If you are a sewer and want to see what we do and perhaps take a quilt kit home to sew, we would love to have you join us.  No sewing skills required – as many of us can attest.  Come try a new way to spend your Saturday morning.  POC is Bobby Allen, or Kim Oswald,
Eleventh Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA
Ring in the New Year by Registering for Gathering 2020
July 16-19, in Phoenix, Arizona
Women of Bethlehem – Act Now………….Act Soon
Join over 5,000 women from across the U.S. and the globe for worship, praise, learning, service and fellowship at the Eleventh Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA July 14-16, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Women will explore the triennial’s theme “Just Love” through Bible study, keynote presentations, servant events, business meetings and more.
Scholarships are available from the Women of Bethlehem as registration is $375, day registration is $200. Please contact Bobby Allen ( for more information from one who has attended this very affirming event in the past. Maybe rent a van to drive together??? Maybe rent a place together??? Lots of potential as Phoenix is so close. Think about it. Act!
February’s Giving Tree is for TACO: Please check the Giving Tree in the narthex for suggestions of things that TACO needs for the over 200 people that come there for meals, hygiene items (must be new & unopened), disposable razors, clothing of all kinds, shoes, 6 packs of men’s crew sox (women prefer them because they’re warmer) and anything WARM, like coats, jackets, sweaters, sweatshirts (preferably w/a hood), sweat pants, thermal tops & pants, scarves, hats & gloves. Large size is good. Plastic rain ponchos, blankets & sleeping bags are always needed & always in short supply. Many of our guests are literally living on the street and have to find ways to keep warm through long, cold, damp winter nights near the ocean in San Diego. Plastic rain ponchos can be purchased for $5-8. Thank you all so much for being the caring & loving congregation that you are! Call w/questions or comments: Lori Cook: (760) 207-0432.

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.

  • January – Youth Camps & Service Trips (Constance Mithelman)
  • February – T.A.C.O. (Lori Cook)
  • March – College Care Packages (Skye Svenningsen)
  • April – CSUSM Student Healthcare Project (JoAnn Daughtery)
  • May – Mother’s Day Thankoffering (BWELCA)
  • June – Center for Global Awareness (Dianne Nichols & Gail Winterbourne)
  • June 29 to July 15 – Vacation Bible School/Youth Camps & Service Trips (Constance Mithelman)
  • July 16 to August 16 – Bethlehem Serves (Beth Nelson)
  • August 17 thru September – Pajama Project Appeal (Belinda Simonini)
  • September to October 15 – Lutheran World Relief Ingathering: Quilts & Blankets (Scraps and Prayers Quilting Group)
  • October 16 thru November – Secret Santa (Cheryl Monreal)
  • December – TBD


Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministers: The After People: People often ask, “What exactly is a Stephen Minister?” One way to put it is that Stephen Ministers are the After People.
Stephen Ministers are there:
…after the phone call you hoped you’d never get.
…after the divorce papers are served and the bottom falls out of your life.
…after the funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in on you.
…after the doctor says, “I’m sorry. But there’s nothing more we can do.”
…after the nursing home director says, “Welcome to your new home.”
…after the last child honks the horn, waves, and drives away-and the house suddenly seems empty.
…after the gavel goes down, the handcuffs go on, and your loved one is led away.
…after the baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible.
…after you find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
…after your family and friends have heard your story one too many times. But you still need to talk it out.
Stephen Ministers are the “After People.” They are ready to come alongside you-or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives-and provide comfort and support for as long after as needed. If you would like to know more about having a Stephen Minister please contact Pr. Laura, Pr Sam, or one of our Stephen Leaders, Molly Hall or Laure Reynolds.


ELCA Advocacy

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.
The Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California has set four legislative priorities for 2020. They are:
  • Deep Childhood Poverty
  • Homelessness and Housing Insecurity
  • Immigration
  • Food and Farming Policy.
We will be coordinating a group from Bethlehem to attend Lobby Day. If you would like to receive additional information about attending (as it becomes available), please email Karin Kloehn at and ask to be added to Bethlehem’s Advocacy Team Email Group. You can read about Lobby Day 2019 here. (Please note that all arrangements will be at your personal expense.)
2020 National ELCA Advocacy Priorities: Read about the ELCA Advocacy identified areas of priority for our work together on the federal level. “These priorities reflect ELCA Advocacy commitments for faithful and timely attention to pressing concerns that affect our neighbor’s well-being and the wholeness of creation,” says the Rev. Amy E. Reumann, Director of ELCA Advocacy.

Reminder: Presidential Primary Election Date – March 3, 2020:

The BLC Advocacy Team will have a table of Voter Registration and Election Information between services for the next few weeks. Stop by for information, conversation, and chocolate!
Check your voter registration status here. Additional voter and election information can be found at
ELCA Advocacy January Update: U.N. and State Edition
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Recent Statements:
Pastoral message on the Iran Conflict – January 9, 2020
Response to the President’s “Peace to Prosperity” document – January 28, 2020
Follow us!
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Facebook, Twitter
For information or questions about Bethlehem’s Advocacy Team, contact Karin Kloehn at


Interfaith Rotational Shelter 2020

Hey Bethlehem! 📢 Ready to Make a Difference?!

It’s that time again for BLC to host the homeless!

Please bring your friends and Join us on March 1-14 for” Bethlehem’s InterFaith Rotational Shelter 2020!

For those newly interested, we have partnered with the Interfaith Rotational Shelter Network (IFSN) for the past 10 years. IFSN is a collaborative effort through local congregations, social service agencies and local government entities to provide shelter, services and resources to homeless San Diegans throughout the region. BLC is part of the North County Coastal Section and the shelter is coordinated at BLC by Blair Lindberg and Diane Langager.

This year BLC will be hosting the shelter in the Multi-Use Room starting Sunday, March 1st through March 15th. We will be taking the first week, Sunday thru Saturday, March 1-7, providing all of the volunteer efforts for meals, laundry night, overnight hosts, etc.

Seaside Community Church partners with us and will cover the second week.

Church volunteers set up temporary housing in the Multi-Use Room (MUR) and dining area in the Family Center (FC) the Saturday before, February 29. The guests arrive daily at 5:30 pm at the MUR. They eat dinner nightly in the Family Center at 6:30 pm, then retire back to the MUR for the night. The guests leave early in the morning (by 7:30 am) to go to work, seek employment, or go to school (…yes, we house families too!). Guests are not allowed to stay in the shelter during the day.

There are a variety of ways you can volunteer to help with the shelter.

Here is a short list:
Set up/ Take-down ~ Prepare & Serve Dinners ~ Donate Food ~ Greeter ~ Overnight Hosts ~ Laundry ~ Transportation ~ Cash Donations

Interested in learning more or to sign up to volunteer, Go Online to:
2. register first to join Sign Up Genius (Only requires your email address and No they won’t send you extra emails)
3. Search “Bethlehem Lutheran Church IFS 2020”

If you are already registered? You should receive an invitation by email.

If Online is Not for You?

Text or call Blair Lindberg at 858-663-5681 (leave a message) and she’ll be happy to help sign you up!
And a BIG THANKS goes out to all those volunteers who make this important ministry happen! 🙏 🙏 🙏 We couldn’t help our friends make their way back on their own without you!

Prayer Shawl Ministry – We have distributed 18 shawls and 6 scarves/hats to graduating high school seniors in 2019. In addition over 50 hats (primarily the prodigious accomplishment of the Westmoreland family!) have been given to Cheryl Monreal’s projects and/or sold at the church bazaar to benefit the Women’s ministries at BLC.

We meet casually 3-4 times a year, in-between church services on Sunday mornings. Our next meeting will be in Feb, date TBD. Novice and experienced knitters welcome. And of course, please continue to knit at your leisure at home!

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