What's Happening Now
Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church has five separate scholarship awards available to full time students in accordance with the policy filed with the Church Council. On Sunday, August 13, scholarship checks will be awarded to those college students who applied for these scholarships.
Evening in the Garden
Our next “Evening in the Garden” will be held on Wednesday, August 16, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket, or use one of ours, and a dish to share if you are able. Invite your friends and neighbors to join us for a lovely evening of food, fellowship, music and vespers in our beautiful baptismal garden.
It’s (almost) back to school time! Kids of all ages are invited to bring their backpacks and school bags to worship on Sunday, August 27, for the annual backpack blessing. We will offer our prayers for children, teachers, administrators, and school staff as a new school year begins. Invite your friends and neighbors to come have their bags blessed, too!
Phone Prayer Group
You are invited to be part of a group that meets by phone at 6:45 a.m. every Wednesday for prayer. This is a wonderful way to pray together from the comfort of our own homes. The group shares their prayer concerns for themselves and for others and grows in faith together. Want to learn more? Talk with Pastor Jennie.
Are you interested in donating blood and becoming partners in saving lives? Bethlehem Lutheran in collaboration with Morgan Park Ward (LDS) and the American Red Cross is supporting a Blood Drive on Thursday, October 12, which will be held at Morgan Park Ward, located at 11107 S. Vincennes Ave. If you are at least 17 year’s old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health, you may be eligible to give blood. Giving blood is safe, simple, and helps save lives. Each pint of blood that is donated may be helping as many as three people. Please look for the sheet located in the narthex to indicate your interest in participating. You will be contacted closer to the donation day to schedule an appointment time.
Share the Harvest Garden
Be sure to take a moment to see our wonderful Share the Harvest Vegetable Garden on the southeast side of the church. There is a wonderful variety of delicious veggies that will all be donated to our local food pantries. A big thank you to all the volunteers for who have spent many hours planting, weeding and watering. Additional volunteers are always needed and very welcome! If you are interested in helping, please speak to Marilyn Klein.
Fair Trade Products
Did you know that Equal Exchange products are available each Sunday (and everyday) at Bethlehem for self-serve purchase? Items are on display in the coffee cup cabinet near the kitchen. Choose from a delicious selection of coffees, tea, hot chocolate, and other assorted items. After making your choice, put your check/cash in an Equal Exchange envelope found in the blue plastic pouch. Then either put the envelope in the offering plate during church or turn it in to the church office. By enjoying Equal Exchange products, you join a movement to support small-scale farmers. You help to create change with your everyday choices, and you make a powerful difference in the lives of small farmer co-ops around the world.
Summer Sunday Fellowship
Following the 9:30 a.m. summer worship services you are invited to stay for a time of fellowship. Join us for coffee and treats served in the fellowship hall and if it’s nice outside feel free to take your conversation and sweets out to our beautiful baptismal garden and sit for a while. Please consider signing up to host one Sunday. A sign-up sheet is located on the counter in Good Samaritan Hall.
Centering prayer is a practice that is designed to build mindfulness to the presence of God. Our bodies and minds are often busy and distracted to the point that we can miss what is right in front of us. Centering prayer helps us learn how to quiet our bodies and minds to become centered in the reality of God’s presence in our lives. You are invited to practice centering prayer each Sunday morning at 9 a.m. starting on June 11. Weather permitting we will meet in the baptismal garden. Pastor Jennie will offer guidance for those who are new to the practice. Centering prayer is finished at 9:15.
Get to Know Your Neighbor Challenge
At the recent On the Table conversations around racial equity and inclusion, it was noted that we often do not know even our closest neighbors, particularly if our neighbors are of a different race. The Peace Center Team invites everyone in our congregation to participate in a "get to know your neighbor" challenge this summer. You may engage this challenge in whatever way you choose. Perhaps you'd like to invite one or two neighboring households over for an evening in your yard. Maybe your block has not had a block party in many years and you'd like to work with others to plan one, assuring that everyone is included. Maybe you'd like to invite a neighbor to one of the upcoming Evenings in the Garden. Or perhaps you will simply make a point to introduce yourself to a neighbor you do not know. However you choose to "get to know your neighbor," you'll be invited to share the story of your experience at our Peace Day celebration in September.
Also, be looking for another set of peace circles around the issue of racial equity and inclusion at the end of August.
The Prayer Chain continues to be a vital part of the prayer life of our church. Please contact Laurie Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests.
2018 ELCA National Youth Gathering in Houston, TX
Hey, students entering 8th-12th grades, you are invited to be part of an amazing event next summer. 30,000 Lutheran teenagers from around the country (and the world) will be gathering in Houston, TX, for worship, speakers, service, and fun! A mailing went out with more details; you can also find info on the youth page. Let Pastor Jennie know if you're interested by August 15th. Registration is due on September 15th. This Changes Everything!
Sign the Greeting Cards
Just a gentle reminder for everyone to stop in Good Sam Hall after worship on Sunday mornings and sign the “Get Well” and “Thinking of You” cards that are sent out each week to Bethlehem members, family and friends. We have been told so many times how this ministry, spearheaded by Larry Poetzinger, is so meaningful and uplifting to those who receive the cards – it expresses to them that they are not alone, that they have not been forgotten, and that someone cares about them. On each card is a beautiful picture and words of comfort and inspiration – all they need is your signature! Please take a moment on your way out to help in this important effort. Also, if you know someone who would benefit from receiving one of these cards please contact Larry or the church office and we will be happy to include them.
Men's Discussion Group
The Bethlehem Men’s Discussion Group meets on Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. at Markland Hubbard Gourmet Provisions Shop located at 1739 W. 99th Street. We come together to share our own insights with the other participants for the benefit of all. All men are invited to join!
Credit Card Donations
An important update regarding credit card donations. Effective immediately, it is now possible to donate to the church using MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit cards. You’re invited to go to our website, bethlehem-chicago.org, click first on “Donate Now,” then on “make a donation” for more information, to register and to donate.
Food Sunday and Aluminum Can Recycle Day
(2nd Sunday of every month)
Sunday, August 13, is Food Sunday and Aluminum Can Recycle day. You are invited to place the non-perishable food items to be donated to the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry in the basket in the narthex. The Social Ministry is encouraging participation by asking that on Food Sunday you bring food items which correspond to the following last name guide: A – E cereals, F – J vegetables, K – O pasta and rice, P – T soup and sauces, and U – Z snacks.
You may put your aluminum cans into the collection can which will be located at the south garden parkway and then brought to the recycling center.
(3rd Sunday of every month)
Sunday, August 20, is PADS Sunday when you are invited to bring personal care items such as small travel size soaps, shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste and socks, shoes, clothes/coats, towels, blankets, and sleeping bags (clothing, etc. items do not have to be new). Facility items such as paper plates, cups, bowls, napkins, dishwashing/laundry soap, toilet paper, coffee, lemonade, and condiments such as salad dressings, ketchup, and hot sauce are also especially needed. Please place donations in the basket located in the narthex.
PADS DONATION LIST
The following is a list of personal and facility items that are especially needed – some that you probably already have in your closets – they do not have to be new.
Backpacks/Duffle Bags (greatly needed – imagine having to carry everything that you own with you!)
Clothes – both men and women
Socks/Shoes (all types – dress, casual, athletic, boots)
Undergarments – should be purchased new
Small personal/travel size soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. (whenever you stay at a hotel grab all the small bottles that you can!)
PADS Facility Items
Paper Plates/Bowls/Cups (please not styrofoam)
Liquid Hand Soap
Dishwashing Detergent/Laundry Detergent
Kitchen serving items such as – plastic pitchers, lg. plastic bowls, platters,
Salt and Pepper Shakers (the picnic kind)
Condiments - Bottles of Hot Sauce/Salad Dressings/Ketchup/Mustard
This list is suggested items – if you have something that you think they can use – they probably can! Please donate it. THANK YOU!