All are invited to worship at Bethlehem on Sundays at 9:30 AM.
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. Bethlehem is a Reconciling in Christ congregation. We welcome into full participation in our life and ministry
- People of all races and ethnic groups
- Families of every kind
- People with differing abilities
- People of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions
The best way to get to know us is to come and see!
This month our congregation is experimenting with a congregational Sabbath. Most of our non-worship and learning events are suspended for the month. This might not mean much to your monthly schedule, but what might it mean for the feeling around church as a whole? How might we use this as an opportunity to re-connect with people apart from the business of the church? How does it feel to show up on Sunday morning and not be worried about the “to-do” lists of our shared ministry? How does it feel to show up and not feel guilty or overwhelmed? How might our shared Sabbath encourage you to make spaces for rest and renewal in other aspects of your life?
Turning Points Devotional Book
This year Lent begins on Wednesday, February 26. Our Lenten Theme will be “Turning Points.” We will focus on turning points in our lives, as well as in our relationship with God. When have we had to turn from sin? When has God called us to change direction? When was a time we began to conceive of God differently? What change came into our life that challenged or strengthened our faith? This year we will provide a daily devotion book written by members of our congregation. If you would be willing to write a short story or reflection about a turning point in your life, please contact Pastor Jennie for more details.
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 the Southwest Chicago Homeless Services shelter on Thursday, January 16. Our main dish will be baked ham. Volunteers will also be needed to help serve. Please look for the sign-up sheet located in the narthex. Please contact Susan Evans in the church office with any questions.
2020 Offering Envelope Booklets
There are still many booklets of the 2020 offering envelopes that have not been picked up yet (located on the table just inside the door going into Good Samaritan Hall). Please take a moment to stop by and pick your booklet up and if you happen to see one that belongs to someone who you see is in church today please take a minute to give it to them.
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.
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 Pastor@bethlehem-chicago.org
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
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 email@example.com
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!
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.