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

Memorial Service

Our prayers and sympathy are extended to the family of Virginia Hoylman who passed away on November 3.  A memorial service for Virginia will be held at Bethlehem this Saturday, December 8, at 11:30 a.m  

Interested in Joining the Church Property Team? 

The property committee is looking for new members. This committee is charged with the maintenance of our facility and grounds. The committee works with routine maintenance, as well as special projects. The committee makes decisions about projects, finds bids (as needed), recruits volunteers to help, and assures projects are brought to completion. If you'd like to be part of this committee, you are invited to a meeting on Sunday, December 16 at 9:30 a.m. If you are willing to be called upon by the committee to help as needed, please speak with Bill Brown, property chair, or Pastor Jennie.

Mid-Week Advent Services

Our Mid-Week Advent Services continue this Wednesday when we will gather at 7:00 p.m. for a time of contemplative worship and prayer. The services will include simple songs, scripture, 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. An Advent Bible Study will follow the service at 7:30 p.m. for those who are interested. 

Food Sunday and Aluminum Can Recycle Day

This Sunday, December 9, is Food Sunday and Aluminum Can Recycle day. You are invited to place the non-perishable food items to be donated to the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry in the basket in the narthex. You may put your aluminum cans into the collection can which will be located at the south garden parkway and then brought to the recycling center. 

Santa Lucia

Our annual Santa Lucia celebration will be held this Sunday, December 9. 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.

SW Chicago Homeless Services Meal

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 20. 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.

Instant Christmas Pageant

The entire congregation is invited to participate in an “Instant Christmas Pageant” on Sunday, December 23, at both the 8:15 and 10:45 services. Kids and adults will show up, choose a part and a costume, and then work together to act out the story of Christmas. There will also be parts for readers. Plan to show up a little early that day to get your costume on and join in the fun! Any questions? Talk to Pastor Jennie.

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. 

Mitten Tree

The Social Ministry is sponsoring our annual Christmas and cold weather gift collection for the PADS 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 tree in the narthex the first week of December.  

Baptismal Garden Bricks for Christmas

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.

Bethlehem Cookbooks

Just a gentle reminder that the Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church Cookbooks are available for purchase. Each of these beautiful hard cover books contains three hundred delicious recipes including appetizers, soups and salads, breads, beverages, main dishes, desserts and many more. Each book is $15 and would make a wonderful holiday gift (teachers, neighbors, hostess gifts, etc.). To purchase a book (or several!) please contact Susan Evans in the church office.

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.