Come Visit bethlehem

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

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

Coming Events

We have two special training opportunities coming up: 

Counter Training

Special Training Day for Counters, November 10: A Training Day for our Counters will be held next Sunday, November 10, following worship. If you are currently a counter or would like to learn more about how to serve in this role, you are strongly encouraged and invited to attend. Susan Anderson will be the instructor for this event. Please see Susan Anderson, Mary Ann Luciano Smith, or Moe Gavin with any questions.  

Worship Assistant, Lector, Acolyte and Usher Training

Please join the Worship Planning Committee for a Volunteer Training on Sunday, November 17, following worship. Since we have moved to one service, this will be an opportunity to refresh our practices for worship assistants, lectors, ushers and acolytes. Even if you are not a current worship volunteer but would like to learn more about how to participate in worship, feel free to join us. Also, please join us for Fellowship Hour, as refreshments will be provided by the Worship Planning Committee.

Beer & Hymns – It was so much fun last year, we just have to do it again!

Join us – and invite your friends - for an evening of fellowship and singing at Open Outcry Brewing Company (10934 S. Western) on Monday, December 2, from 6:30 -8:00 p.m. David Ritter will lead us in a variety of different hymns and holiday songs. Song sheets will be available. Open Outcry serves many 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 a very small parking lot, so you might consider carpooling. This is the second Beer & Hymns event as 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? Or a young adult who would enjoy singing in a taproom? Invite them to this fun event!

Commitment Sunday

Commitment Sunday is November 24th. The Stewardship Committee invites you to prayerfully consider your financial commitment to Bethlehem’s mission and ministry for 2020. Please pick up your stewardship packet today. Every packet that is picked up helps us to save on postage. Thank you for your faithful generosity to our shared mission! 

Semi-Annual Congregational Budget Meeting

The Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting to approve the 2020 budget will be held on Sunday, November 24, at 10:30 a.m. following worship. The adult forum hour on Sunday, November 17, will focus on going through the proposed 2020 budget in preparation of the vote the following week. 

Thanksgiving Fair

On Sunday, November 24, after the semi-annual meeting join us in Good Samaritan Hall for our annual Thanksgiving Fair. There will be many ideas for ways to incorporate gratitude into your Thanksgiving Day celebrations, as well as into daily life. We will have hands-on activities for all ages. If you have an idea for something to be included in this year’s Thanksgiving Fair, please speak with Pastor Jennie.   

Advent Preparations

Advent preparations will also begin after the semi-annual meeting. Volunteers are needed to help move boxes of Advent decorations from the basement to Good Samaritan Hall. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Christmas Decorating

All are invited to a fellowship event to help decorate the sanctuary for Advent on Sunday, December 1 following worship. It takes many hands to transform the sanctuary and there is a job for everyone and for every ability. Fellowship Hour will include a potluck brunch. You are invited to bring a dish to share and make this a special day to begin the Advent season. A sign-up sheet for the potluck is available in the narthex.  

SW Chicago Homeless Services Dinner

Volunteers are needed to help provide the main dish, side dishes and desserts for the dinner that we will serve at SW Chicago Homeless Services on Thursday, November 21. Our main dish will be pot roast with vegetables (potatoes & carrots), as well as applesauce, salad, rolls and desserts. We will purchase the pot roasts and will need numerous people to prepare approximately 30 lbs. of meat (7-8 roasts) using your own favorite recipes.

*If you plan to purchase your own roast instead of using one that we provide, please let Susan know that before Friday, November 15. 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.

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.