Come Visit bethlehem

Worship Service is held at 9:30 am every Sunday.

Strong in Faith. Boundless in Love. Bold in Service.

Coming Events

Confirmation Class

Confirmation classes for students in grades 6-8 will begin this Sunday, September 22, at 10:45 a.m. with an orientation for students, parents, and mentors.  Please contact Pastor Jennie with any questions.

Sunday School

Our Sunday School program for pre-school through grade 5 will begin on October 6 at 8:30 a.m. 

Bethlehem Nursery

Bethlehem's nursery provides a safe and fun environment for kids up to age 5 during worship services. A staffed nursery makes it possible for the parents of young children to participate fully in worship, knowing their little ones have a place to get their wiggles out. With the move to one service, we hope that more people will be available to volunteer in the nursery about once every two months. If you would like to help or want to learn more, please speak with Janet Kirby or Pastor Jennie.

Join the Bethlehem Choir

All God’s critters got a place in the choir! The adult choir has begun and we need YOU! If you have ever considered sharing your voice and talents with the choir, please join us. Rehearsals are every Thursday from 7:00-8:30 pm, allowing for a break from hectic schedules for an enjoyable period of fun, fellowship and music-making. If your schedule doesn’t allow for a rehearsal every week, please talk to David Ritter or any choir member to see what might work best for you. But please do consider singing with us.

Be part of the weekly Adult Forum! 

Adult Forum begins this Sunday, September 22, at 8:30 a.m. in the lounge. Our topic will be the ELCA Churchwide Assembly’s memorial declaring the ELCA to be a sanctuary church. Future topics will include: Do Politics Belong in Church?, Trouble Passage in the Bible, and Teaching Children about Racism. If you have a topic or bible passage that you would like discussed at Adult Forum please email Jay Gyarmathy at

Leadership Community Event

A Leadership Community Event will be held on Monday, September 23, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. All committee chairs, council members, ministry leads, or others interested in our shared congregational mission are invited to attend. We will look at goals for the coming year, coordinate events and calendars, and offer spiritual encouragement to one another in our shared ministry. If you plan to attend, please let Pastor Jennie know so we can be sure to have enough materials.  

Discipleship Group

A new discipleship series will meet on Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m. beginning September 25 through October 30. This six week series will explore what it means to be good “stewards” (or managers) of God’s gifts of time, health, skill, resources, and the earth. You do not need to attend all six weeks; come as you are able! A sign-up sheet will be available in the narthex.  

Pet Blessings

On Saturday, October 5, you are invited to bring your furry, scaly or feathered members of your family for a special pet blessing in the Baptismal Garden at 2:00 pm. Animals should be properly socialized and on leashes or in cages. Animals that don't travel well are invited to be present and blessed by means of a photo. 

SW Chicago Homeless Meals

We will soon once again begin serving dinner at SW Chicago Homeless Services located near 71st and Kedzie on the third Thursday of each month thru April for approximately 40 people. Volunteers will be needed to help provide the main dish, side dishes/dessert and to serve the meal. Each month a menu will be determined and a sign-up sheet will be available for those who are willing to prepare one of the dishes or who are willing to go to the shelter and serve. All food should be fully cooked prior to the event and just need a quick warm up if needed. We will need no more than six people to serve each month and we will car-pool to the shelter as parking is limited.   

Our first serving date will be Thursday, October 17, and the main dish will be sloppy joes. We will need about 12 lbs. so please make up 2 lb. batches. Please look for the sign-up sheet in the narthex. Recipe sheets for the sloppy joes will be located by the sign-up sheet. Please contact Susan Evans in the church office if you have further questions.

Men's Discussion Group

Join the Men’s Discussion Group every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Markland Hubbard located at 1739 W. 99th Street. Join them for fellowship, conversation, coffee and sweet treats.

Click here for this month's calendar.

Welcome Statement

We invite you to explore the faith community of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chicago. We are a Christian community committed to welcoming all, worshiping God, growing in faith, and loving and serving others with the love of Christ. We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Bethlehem is a Reconciling in Christ congregation. We welcome into full participation in our life and ministry

  • People of all races and ethnic groups
  • People of all ages and economic levels
  • Single parent and double parent families; people without children; single individuals
  • People with differing abilities (Bethlehem is handicapped accessible)
  • People of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

We seek to be a community that is boundless in love. You are welcome here and invited to grow in faith, love, and service within this community of faith.

About us

Our mission is to be Strong in Faith. Boundless in Love. Bold in Service. 

Bethlehem is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, rooted in the Beverly -Morgan Park neighborhood on Chicago's far southwest side. Born through the consolidation of two congregations in 1997, we have a history that extends back to the foundation of our predecessor congregations in 1977 and 1875.

Today we thrive as a flexible, mission-spirited congregation that seeks to put our faith into practice in daily life. Bethlehem values hospitality and genuine care for others. Our worship is at once reverent and comfortable. We value strong preaching that connects the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our lives and world. We read the Bible as God's good news for all. 

We value the gifts of people of all ages -- children, elders, young adults, and every stage in between. We strive to be a community that knows how to talk together about important topics in ways that are respectful of all voices. The best way to get to know us is to come and see! 


  • Jennie English-dumont


    Pastor Jennie began her ministry at Bethlehem in 2008. She is a passionate preacher, a committed teacher, and loves watching people use their God-given gifts at Bethlehem and in the world. A native of the northwest side of Chicago, she enjoys living in Beverly with her husband and their young daughter. She served her first call in Grand Forks, North Dakota, for almost 7 years. She is a graduate of Luther Seminary (M.Div.) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Th.M. in Old Testament), as well as Gustavus Adolphus College. She enjoys gardening, reading, running, live music, and spending time with family and friends. 

    Contact Pastor Jennie at

  • David ritter


    David has served as Bethlehem's organist since 2011. In 2013 he became the Director of Music. David seeks to enhance the congregation's worship experience each week through music. Working with the Pastor and the worship committee, he selects hymns and songs from a variety of different traditions and cultures. He directs the choir, which not only provides a musical offering most weeks, but also helps to lead the assembly’s singing and worship. He enjoys working with other musicians in the congregation whenever possible. 

    David is a lifelong Lutheran with 45 years of experience as a church musician. He has served congregations of various denominations in the Midwest and southeast and is a graduate of Indiana University (MMus) and Valparaiso University. He is also a full time CPA and enjoys singing in the Apollo Chorus of Chicago.




    Susan Evans has worked as Bethlehem's faithful office manager nearly since the start of the consolidated congregation. Hers is the friendly voice you hear when you call the church office. She manages the congregation's communication via the weekly worship bulletin, monthly newsletter, regular email blasts and more. She keeps everything at Bethlehem running smoothly. 

    Contact Susan at


We're glad you found us! Below are some questions we often get from visitors and newcomers, along with our responses. If you have other questions or need information you cannot find on our site, please call or send us an email. We'd love to hear from you and hope to see you soon!

Do I have to be a Lutheran to attend services?


Nope. We welcome visitors from all faith backgrounds, as well as visitors who don't currently subscribe to any particular religious faith and just want to hear and know more about the Christian faith. Even our members come from very diverse religious (and non-religious) backgrounds.

How should I dress for Sunday services?


Be yourself – be comfortable. You will see worshipers in anything from jeans to their "Sunday Best".


Should visitors or newcomers participate in communion?


It is up to each individual worshiper. We practice open communion every Sunday, welcoming all who believe in Jesus to join in communion at the Lord's table. This includes welcoming children of all ages at the table.


Am I expected to put something in the offering plate?


We do not expect visitors to contribute an offering. Offerings are given of free will and are not considered payment for attending services.


Can I bring small children to Sunday services?


Please do! Many families with small children regularly worship together in the sanctuary during Sunday services. If you prefer, children 4 and under may spend service time comfortable and well-supervised in the nursery. Little ones typically return for the Children's Sermon and join their parents for communion. The nursery is attended during the 10:45 am service during the school year and at the single 9:30 am service during the summer, though it is available to you and your child at any time.


I have many questions about religion and what spiritual path is right for me. How do I find answers to these questions?


Questions and the discourse they provoke are important parts of helping each of us define who we are and what choices to make. Our Pastor would welcome your call or email to discuss your questions and offer spiritual guidance. Click on the "Contact Us" section of this site for Pastor Jennie's contact information. You may also find that attending services and joining one of our small discussion/study groups will bring the clarity you seek. Whether it's one-on-one with our Pastor, within a small group, or just between you and God...keep asking those questions!


Driving Directions

Click here for Mapquest Driving Directions to help you find your way from home to our neighborhood. Please use our driving directions below and refer to the dashed red lines on the map to the right for the most direct route to the church once you are in the neighborhood. Our directions (and map) consider one way streets, dead ends and traffic barriers which mapquest does not.

Most Direct Route

From Western Avenue: East on 91st St., then right (south) on Oakley Ave. 3 blocks to the church which is on the south east corner of 94th and Oakley.

Street parking is permitted without restriction in our neighborhood.

Our building is handicap accessible. A wheelchair ramp is located at the Oakley worship entrance.