Dear Bethlehem, As many of you know I recently returned from helping my parents move. I said goodbye to my childhood home (pictured) of 19 years and helped them move into their new house in Ashland, Oregon. It was an emotional week and physically exhausting. By the time the movers arrived on Monday morning we had reached that stage in packing where you are no longer organized but are simply throwing stuff in boxes haphazardly. When it came time for my mom and I to leave with our two dogs I took a few moments to walk around the house one
Dear people of God, We enter now, a time in the liturgical calendar known as "ordinary time". It is neither Easter nor Pentecost, neither Advent nor All Saint's Day. From now through the fall, the church will be in "ordinary time". That title always cracks me up. Our lives as people of God have never been ordinary. The work of the Spirit in the church and the world is anything but ordinary. Bethlehem Lutheran is anything but ordinary. Here is an example of our particular "ordinary" life. Bethlehem's calendar this week: Monday: A young mother in our congregation will go to
Dear People of Bethlehem, I want to begin this, my first newsletter article to you all, with a word of thanks. The welcome that I have received at Bethlehem has truly warmed my heart and made me feel right at home. Your notes that were collected before my arrival were a wonderful source of joy as well as a list about a mile long of all of the wonderful foods I need to try and places I need to go in this new place that I now call home. I especially appreciate the grace that you have afforded me when it
Dear people of Bethlehem, Blessed time of resurrection; for that is always where we live as the people of God. Every step on our journey is a step after the empty tomb. We know no world that does not include a risen Lord. In the tumult of this life, we have the promise that redemption is possible. In the fear of this life, we have the certainty that Christ is present. We hear Jesus words, "Fear not. Come and touch the marks of the nails." Thomas doubted. He could not allow himself either hope or belief, until he touched Jesus himself.
Dear people of Bethlehem, Is it Spring yet? The signs are everywhere around us. In other parts of the country it's a little clearer: the snow melts, the daffodils push through the frozen ground, the trees begin to bud. But here in San Diego, seasons are marked differently; a subtle greening of the world. In our part of the world the change of seasons is more a matter of the heart, than the ground. Is it time? Time for resurrection and an empty tomb and a new day. Time to consider the post Easter journey already glimpsed on the horizon. We
Dear members and friends of Bethlehem, Lent literally means the lengthening of days as spring approaches. New seed in the ground, new shoots rising, more sun, resurrection and life. In your life and mine, God is always laying new seed in the ground. Always moving us toward moments of hope. Much new is happening around Bethlehem these days. Pastor Sam will be joining us in leadership beginning March 15. His first Sunday with us will be March 18th. His installation is scheduled for April 8th. We welcome his new voice and gifts. We will be bidding farewell to Mary Shaima on