Come Visit bethlehem

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

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

Coming Events

Advent and Christmas Worship Services

Our last Mid-Week Service will be held on Wednesday, December 18, at 7:00 p.m. for a time of contemplative worship and prayer. This service will include simple songs, scripture, silence, and an opportunity to participate at different prayer stations. People have experienced these services as a time to rest, reflect, and become re-centered in Christ in the midst of a busy season. This week’s theme is “Hold on to Hope”.

Christmas Eve Worship (December 24)

3:00 PM - Family Worship Service

10:30 PM - Candlelight Worship Service. Prelude begins about 30 minutes before the service starts.

Christmas Poinsettia Plants

This Sunday, December 15, is the last day to order a beautiful Christmas Poinsettia plant. Please complete the insert in the bulletin and place it along with payment in the offering basket.  

Help celebrate Bethlehem’s rich cultural diversity!

The Worship Planning Committee is asking members to help decorate the Christmas tree in our narthex by loaning an ornament or small decoration that celebrates your family heritage or places you have traveled. All ornaments will be returned. You may place your ornament or decoration on the tree at any time. Small tags will be available to identify your ornament with your name. Our usual cold weather items (like mittens, hats, socks, etc.) for the guests of SW Chicago Homeless Services will still be collected. A donation box is available near the Christmas tree.

"Do-it-Yourself Christmas Pageant" 

The entire congregation is invited to participate in a “Do-it-Yourself Christmas Pageant” on Sunday, December 22. Children and adults are invited to sign up to play a part in the program. The sign-up sheet will be in the narthex next Sunday, December 15th, as well as on the 22nd. Plan to arrive a little early on the 22nd to get into costume and receive your props. Narrator parts will be available to take home on the 15th for those who might want to practice at home. But, really, no practice is necessary! This has been a fun, interactive way to embody the good news of the birth of Jesus. All are invited!

2020 Offering Envelope Booklets

The 2020 offering envelope booklets are now available and located on a table in Good Samaritan Hall. Please do not use them before January 1 and then discard your remaining 2019 envelopes. Most envelope numbers have changed and if you use envelopes from the incorrect year your contributions will be credited to a different person. Those who signed up to “opt-out” of receiving offering envelopes and/or  electronic/credit card givers do not have offering envelopes. You will receive your donor number separately. Also, in order for your  contributions to be credited to the year 2019 they must be received by Tuesday, December 31. If you do not have offering envelopes assigned to you, and you would like to contribute to Bethlehem and receive a quarterly statement showing those contributions, please let Susan in the church office know and envelopes will be assigned to you.   

Cold Weather Gift Collection for SW Chicago Homeless Shelter

The Social Ministry is sponsoring our annual Christmas and cold weather gift collection for the SW Chicago Homeless shelter. As in previous years, we are asking for warm gifts such as gloves, hats and scarves. In addition, donations of new packages of men and women's underwear and socks are greatly needed. Look for the collection box in the narthex.  

December Adult Forum Topics

Rev. Dr. Ralph Klein will be leading the adult forums in December. Each week we will discuss two Psalms on the basis of brand new idiomatic translations by Ralph. There will be abundant time to think of the contemporary meanings of these Psalms. Adult Forum meets Sundays at 8:30 a.m. in the lounge. 

Advent Devotional Items

Advent devotional books and sticker calendars are available in the narthex. Help yourself to one!

There is also a large assortment of Advent and Christmas items (devotional books, child/teen/family oriented items, etc.) from previous years located on the information table in Good Samaritan Hall. Please feel free to take any of these items.

Do you do any Christmas shopping online? 

If you do then use Amazon Smile – it is an easy way to donate to Bethlehem. Every time you purchase something at, go to instead! Designate Bethlehem as your charity of choice and a percentage of each purchase price will be donated to Bethlehem. It couldn’t be easier to help support the church while just doing your shopping! Any questions, contact Susan in the church office. 

Christmas Sale Table

Please be sure to check out the Christmas sale table located in Good Samaritan Hall. You are encouraged to donate any treasures that you no longer use or need. One of them may be the perfect gift that someone is looking for!

Baptismal Garden Bricks

Looking for a truly meaningful gift for a friend or family member this year? An engraved brick placed in our beautiful Baptismal Garden would  make a perfect Christmas gift. Bricks are $50 each and order forms are  available from the church office. A lovely certificate for gift presentation is available from the church office. For more information, please contact Susan in the church office.

Feed My Starving Children Event

The congregation is invited to join our confirmation students for a service day at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora on Saturday, January 4, 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM. FMSC is a Christian non-profit organization committed to providing nutritionally balanced meals to children around the world so that every child may be whole in body and spirit. Volunteers pack dry food items into bags that are shipped to places suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition. We will leave Bethlehem at 10:30 AM, pack from 11:30 - 1:30 (bring a lunch), and then return to Bethlehem. Workers will need to be able to stand for the two hours of the packing. See Pastor Jennie for more information. Sign up with Pastor Jennie or in the narthex.

SW Chicago Homeless Services Dinner

Volunteers are needed to help provide the side dishes and desserts for the next dinner that we will serve at SW Chicago Homeless Services on Thursday, December 19. Our main dish will be fried chicken that we will purchase from Popeye’s. Please look for the sign-up sheet located in the narthex. Please contact Susan Evans in the church office with any questions.

Coat Donations

Just a gentle reminder as we transition into the colder weather if you decide to purchase a new winter coat this year, please consider donating your old one to SW Chicago Homeless shelter. Any donations of warm weather clothing/coats are greatly appreciated. All donations may be brought any Sunday and left on the bench outside of the church office.

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 service and 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.