Come Visit bethlehem

Worship Service is held at 9:30 am every Sunday in the summer months (from Memorial Day to Labor Day), and at 8:15 am and 10:45 am the rest of the year.

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

Coming Events

Commitment Sunday

Please return your time/talent sheet and commitment card on Commitment this Sunday, November 11.  If you have any questions about service opportunities or ways of giving, please contact any member of the committee: Pastor Jennie, Sara Flores, Ralph Klein or Jane Sims. 

Semi-Annual Congregation Meeting

The Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting to approve the 2019 budget will be held on Sunday, November 18, at 9:15 a.m. in between worship services.

Sundays Together - Thanksgiving Fair

On Sunday, November 18, join us for a Thanksgiving Fair for Sundays Together. The fair will begin immediately following the congregational meeting and will include fun hands-on gratitude activities for all ages. Come learn creative ways your family can give thanks during the holiday season, as well as incorporate the practice of gratitude into your daily life. Do you have ideas for things to be included in the fair? Talk with Pastor Jennie.

Beer & Hymns!

Join us on Wednesday, November 28, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. for an evening of fellowship and hymn singing at Open Outcry Brewing Company (10934 S. Western). David will lead us in a variety of different hymns. Song sheets will be available. Open Outcry serves many different kinds of beverages (including non-alcoholic ones), as well as great food. The venue is family friendly, so feel free to bring the kids! There is no parking lot, so you might want to carpool. This event is part of our intentional outreach to our community. Do you have a neighbor you’d like to get to know better? Or someone you think might be interested in getting connected to a faith community of faith? Or a young adult who would enjoy singing in a taproom? Invite them to this fun event!

Save the date for Christmas Decorating! 

You are invited to join the group of Santa’s elves in decorating the church sanctuary on Friday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m. It takes many hands each year to “magically” transform the sanctuary for Advent and Christmas and there is a job for everybody and every-ability! Bring the kids and make preparing the way for the celebration of Jesus’ birth a family fun event. Christmas tree and garland “fluffers” are especially needed!  

SW Chicago Homeless Services Dinner  

We are still in need of a couple of people to cook the pot roasts (we need 7-8 cooks using your own favorite recipe) and make desserts for the dinner that we will serve at SW Chicago Homeless Services on Thursday, November 15. The pot roasts have been ordered and will be ready to be picked up from church on Tuesday morning after 11:00 a.m.  

Pre-Holiday Altar Clean-Up

You are invited - and needed - to join us on Saturday, November 17, at 9:00 a.m. to help clean and polish the altar area as well as the sacristy.  We plan to be all finished by 11:00 a.m. Feel free to bring your favorite cleaning supplies - or use ours!  

The Season Advent

The season of Advent begins on Sunday, December 2. The four-weeks of Advent are a time of waiting and preparation, not only for the celebration of Christmas, but also for God to break into our lives in a new way. As you consider how you will observe Advent this year, you are invited to purchase a copy of "While We Wait," a book of daily Advent devotions and Advent activities for individuals and families. Books are available for $5 beginning today. 

Santa Lucia

Our annual Santa Lucia celebration will be held on Sunday, December 10. Rooted in the Swedish tradition, but touching on many different cultures, Santa Lucia is a celebration of Christ’s call to shine our light of faith in the world. The Santa Lucia ceremony will take place immediately following the 8:15 worship service, beginning at approximately 9:15 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by a reception with coffee and Christmas cookies in Good Samaritan Hall. Donations of homemade cookies would be appreciated. For more information, please contact Diane  

Viggiani at 708-372-4550.

Amazon Smile

Do you do Christmas shopping online? If so, 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. 

SW Chicago Homeless Services Needs

A group from Bethlehem served our first dinner of the season at SW Chicago Homeless Services in October. While setting up for the dinner we realized that so many of the things that we needed and have usually been there – were not, or were in very limited supply. For example, in order to have enough salad dressing for the night it was necessary to add water to the few bottles that were there in order to thin it out so we would have enough. All the normal condiments such as hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, dressings are needed. They usually make up a batch of lemonade, but there wasn’t any lemonade mix. Paper products such as cups, bowls, and small dessert size plates were also not there and very needed! We invite you to help us re-stock these shelter essentials. Please place all donations in/by the basket located in the narthex. We thank you for your help!

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.