Bethlehem Serves

One Sunday a year in mid-August, Bethlehem gathers on a Sunday morning that we might go out in the community to serve. Rather than a worship service on that day, it is the service of our hands, as close to 200 of us go out to 15 projects all over North County. We work at the Rancho Costal Humane Society, the Olivenhain Guest Home, the Community Resource Center and much more. We make toiletry kits for the houseless and school bags for children in need. Then tired and full of joy, we come back for a shared meal. What a gift!

Contact: Mike Notrica –

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Community Library

Bethlehem Lending Library is located in the Multi-Use Building and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30pm – 5:00pm. We provide service to the community, mainly grade school aged children (kindergarten – 8th grade). Younger children visit as well. We accept gently used children’s books, and volunteers are welcome too!

Contact: Nancy Harig

Pajama Sewing Project

Meets one Saturday a month, Family Center

During 2017, the Pajama Project’s amazing volunteers sewed 510 pairs of flannel pajama pants for teenagers in need in our community and 812 pairs of children’s pajamas. The garments were distributed through various social service agencies, churches and military organizations in San Diego County. Over 200 pairs of pajamas were distributed to the Santa Rosa, CA fire victims and pillowcases made during Bethlehem Serves were distributed to victims of hurricanes in Texas and the Gulf Coast.

Contact: Belinda Simonini,

Center for Global Awareness

The Center for Global Awareness, CGA, was established as a reflection of the 2004 Parliament of World Religions conference in Barcelona, Spain. Its goal is to connect cultures, promote peace, and bring local solutions to global issues. Each year, CGA focuses its commitment to access to clean water for developing countries through the BLC Giving Tree and Lutheran World Relief. For the past 12 years, CGA has hosted the International Day of Peace on September 21, a community event that promotes peace and understanding in our world as established by the Parliament of World Religions.

Contact: Dianne Nichols –

Interfaith Shelter

Sign in online at Sign Up, then search BLC Interfaith Shelter 2019 to sign up to volunteer. Or here is the link:
// . Those new to Sign Up Genius, please email Blair Lindberg at and she will send you an invitation to join.

Once yearly at BLC we are happy to be a host shelter for San Diego County’s Interfaith Shelter Network (ISN) rotational program. For two weeks of the year we take a turn along with other churches around the county hosting homeless individuals, couples, and families finding themselves in a period of transition with no current permanent housing. During this time our guests sleep on comfortable beds which we set up in divided cubicles on campus. We provide food for all meals and offer a full hot dinner complete with a prayer and fellowship nightly. All services are done by BLC members and friends on a volunteer basis. Experiencing friendships made as God’s hands in our world is a joy we find very rewarding!

We hope you’ll sign up and join us next time!

Contact: Blair Lindberg

Walking School Bus

We are blessed to partner with Ocean Knoll Elementary School in many ways; one of those is the walking school bus. Parents drop children with us in the morning and the children are escorted to school by volunteers in yellow safety vests. The children arrive safely and traffic is much reduced on a congested and difficult street. And as a perk, they draw chalk drawings on our walkways. Sometimes the smallest things are the big things.

School kit assembly

Lutheran World Relief

The women’s group gathers information from Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to communicate charitable opportunities to the congregation. Our Scraps and Prayers group creates many quilts each year for the LWR Mission Quilt Ministry, as well as fabric kits and school kits. LWR is an international nonprofit organization, working to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world’s most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

Contact: Laure Reynolds

Food Pantry

Our food donations support the food pantry at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church which distributes food to many local families and seniors in need.  There is a collection basket in the Narthex to place your donations.  Donations should consist of shelf stable products such as canned, dried and packaged food or meals. Also, $10 and $25 grocery store gift cards are much needed for emergencies.

Top Items Needed for St. Andrews Food Pantry:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Rice
  • Evaporated Milk and Powdered Milk
  • Canned Pinto Beans and Dry Beans
  • Tomato Sauce and Stewed Tomatoes
  • Canned Fruit and Vegetables
  • Oatmeal and Cereal
  • Spaghetti
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Top Raman and Instant Soup
  • Tuna

Contact: Kim Oswald


Third Avenue Charitable Organization ministers to the homeless population and is located at First Lutheran Church at 3rd and Ash Streets in downtown San Diego. This ministry is supported by many Churches and social groups around San Diego County. Members of Bethlehem are scheduled to serve dinner the 3rd Monday of each month at 3:30 pm. No cooking is involved — all that’s needed is a friendly face and willing hands. Our group is coordinated and chaperoned. If you have questions or need a ride please contact Lori Cook. We hope to see you there!

Contact: Lori Cook 760-207-0432

Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is located in the narthex of the church. All through the year, the Giving Tree provides opportunities for the Congregation to help people. There are different projects, with different leaders, but the same heart. Thanks for taking a slip of paper from the tree or signing up for a project on the clipboards below the tree.

Contact: Kim Oswald

Giving Tree Schedule

Sage Garden

The Sage Garden Project is a program that brings gardens, cooking classes, and nutritional science – as well as opportunities for physical activity and exercise – to targeted elementary schools. The goal of the program is to reduce the incidence of diabetes. Because the disease is developing at an epidemic rate in the Hispanic/Latino population, schools with a large percentage of these students are targeted for participation.

We have been the blessed to be on the schedule for Bethlehem Serves day for several years.  Volunteers help maintain the school garden, complete adult required  projects and deep clean out nutritional science lab. During the summer months we have a weekly volunteer day in the garden on Friday mornings from 9-11 to help maintain the garden while the students are on summer break. Participant share in the harvest at the end of their shift. All are welcome!

Contact: Karen Saake
Master Gardener, Sage Garden Project
(760) 815-4912

Jubilee volunteers signing up


Connecting Faith and Public Life

As members of the ELCA, we believe that through faithful advocacy we can work for change in public policy to help advance the common good. We work through political channels on behalf of the following biblical values:

  • Peacemaking
  • Hospitality to strangers
  • Care for creation
  • Concern for people living in poverty

On the ELCA Advocacy website you can:


Scraps and Prayers

Meets every Wednesday 8:30 to 11:30am, Multi-Use Room

Quilts, crafted in love and prayer.

This group of Bethlehem Women sews quilts, and assembles school bag and fabric kits for people in need. We meet each Wednesday morning from 8:30 to 11:30am in the Multi-Use Room.  We need your help cutting, sewing and tying quilts. No experience necessary! Come along for an hour or the whole morning; we’d love to share our scraps and prayers with you!

Contact: Kim Oswald or Laure Reynolds

Scraps and Prayers Projects

Prayer Shawls

The prayer shawl ministry shares fellowship while creating shawls and scarves for members of our congregation who are facing times of change or challenge. The prayer shawl ministry welcomes all knitters who are interested in contributing to our mission, whether beginner, expert, or anywhere in between.

Contact: Janet Mastrogany

Community Resource Center (CRC)

Bethlehem supports CRC, a social service agency in Encinitas with a mission of ending hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in San Diego’s North County.  They have numerous volunteer opportunities for individuals, as well as groups, and Bethlehem contributes volunteers for a project at CRC during “Bethlehem Serves” Sunday, as well as CRC’s annual Holiday Baskets event.  In addition, donations of food, clothing , household goods and money benefit CRC’s many programs, including a food distribution center, domestic violence shelter and three resale stores.  Visit to learn more!

Es Por Los Ninos

Es Por Los Ninos is a binational non-profit organization helping children, women and adolescents infected with the AIDS virus in Baja California Mexico.  Lacking financial resources and education, this vulnerable population is struggling to survive.  For 20 years, the members of Bethlehem have supported Es Por Los Ninos, by donating clothing, supplies and money, including gifts from our Secret Santa program and school bags assembled during Bethlehem Serves.  Donations are welcome at anytime; please call Cheryl Monreal for more information.

Contact:  Cheryl Monreal   760-942-1482

Saturday Community Breakfast

In association with St. Andrews Episcopal Church, BLC volunteers on the fourth Saturday every month to prepare, cook and serve a hearty breakfast to 80-100 local folks in need, including fresh fruit, eggs, pancakes and (everyone’s favorite!) over 16 lbs of bacon. Volunteers provide additional services of mobile showers, toiletries, haircuts, and fresh clothes.

St Andrew’s Saturday Breakfast Program is held at 890 Balour Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024, 9-11 am Saturdays.

Contact: Naida Malchiodi