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What to expect if you are visiting or new members

First time visiting Bethlehem Lutheran? We would love to speak with you. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions.

 

Attending a church service for the first time can be a nervous experience. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Bethlehem Lutheran and our services.

 

What are services like at Bethlehem?

We have an "early service" at 8:00 a.m. and a "late service" at 10:15 a.m. Bethlehem is a "liturgical" church which means our worship has a set pattern to it handed down to us over the centuries. But within that Lutheran tradition, we worship in many ways—blue grass, gospel, jazz, Taize, in addition to traditional Lutheran.

wm w 2011 congregationBoth services have a similar structure and include prayer, singing, bible readings, and a message from our pastor or deaconess. Everyone, children and adults alike, are welcome to celebrate Holy Communion each Sunday. Both wine and white grape juice are available; there are also gluten free wafers available—just let the communion assistant know you would prefer gluten free. More detailed information on the Lutheran liturgy and Lutheran worship can be found in About Us/Who we are and in Worship & Music. A more detailed description of some of the musical groups that help lead worship can be found in Worship&Music/Music. The services last approximately 60-75 minutes, depending if there are baptisms, confirmation, recognitions or other additional parts added.

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In the summer months (June, July and August), worship is held outside in the Ropte Pavilion on the first Sunday of the month. Please check the worship schedule to confirm which service will be outside.

 

 

Learning hour

There is a learning hour for both children and adults in between the services (9:10 a.m.-10:00 a.m.). Join us for coffee in the Fellowship Hall and then for Adult Forum in the Fireside room (library next to the Fellowship Hall). BLC FSR TVconf 2015 1For our youth, Sunday School information can be found here and on specific prekindergarten to grade 5, middle school/confirmation, and high school faith formation pages. During the summer, there is Summer Sunday school for the children and a coffee hour for adults during this time. More complete information on the learning program at Bethlehem can be found in Faith Formation Overview and in youth ministry overview.

 

 

Additional questions and answers

What should I wear?

You are welcome to Bethlehem as you are. Some of our members wear jeans, shorts and T-shirts or sweaters and others wear ties, suits or dresses. Come as you are comfortable!

 

Am I welcome with small children? Is there nursery care available?

Yes! Nursery care is provided on Sunday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Parents may sign their child into the nursery while they are attending a worship service, fellowship time, adult education hour, or serving as a volunteer. Greeters will be happy to direct you to the nursery which is located off the fellowship hall.

 

2015 KidsBusyBagsBethlehem Lutheran Church values the importance of children and strives to include them in our worship. Children of all ages are invited to come forward at both services for a special message and prayer geared just for them. We also understand that children wiggle and squirm, get fussy, and say unexpected things at unexpected times, all of which we warmly accept. To help occupy busy hands, we have Busy Bags in the back of the sanctuary. By welcoming children in our services, we hope to develop and nurture their love for God and desire to worship, as well as create an intergenerational community that worships together.

 

 

What programs are available for youth and young adults?

Bethlehem has a very active program under the leadership of Pastor Peterson and Deaconess Kristen. There is a confirmation program for students in grades 6-8 and an active high school group for grades 10-12. The youth have their own dedicated room with comfy sofas, tables and big screen TV.

In addition, we have various groups and activities for young adults and for young families. Bethlehem uses the Cross-generational ministry concepts so please check out the various programs under Pre-Kindergarten through HS (Youth) and Young Adults, Worship & Music, Faith Formation, Mission, Connect and Gather. Feel free to contact the BLC office, Deaconess Kristen or Pastor Peterson for more details.

 

How do I get to Bethlehem and where do I park? Are there ADA accommodations?

Please view our directions page for detailed map and directions. Our parking lot is accessible from both Pratt St. and 15th Ave. ADA accessible reserved parking places are available on both the east and west sides of the church. The parking lot on the west side of the church by the main entrance contains two handicapped parking places with curb ramps and five places reserved on Sunday mornings for visitors. There is more parking on the east side of the church with another three reserved handicap parking places close to the east entrance door. In the rear of the church between the main building and the Bethlehem stable is the main parking lot near the north entrance. There are also some on street places usually available on Pratt St. All of the church facilities are on one level. There are ADA compliant bathrooms located down the hall to the left of the main entrance.

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Map of BLC showing entrances and key areas.

 

Who goes to Bethlehem?

Our congregation has members of all ages and walks of life. Regardless of your age, gender, race, or sexual orientation, you are welcome at Bethlehem!

 
What if I am interested in becoming a member of Bethlehem?

If you are interested in becoming a member or have recently become a member, you are welcome to join our next New Members Class. These classes are scheduled throughout the year as needed to introduce new or perspective members to the ELCA and Bethlehem Lutheran Church. We explore the history, beliefs, and traditions of Lutheranism, as well as the history, vision, and goals of Bethlehem. Please contact us or speak with Pastor Peterson to learn when the next New Members Class will be held.

 

For more answers to questions and information, please Contact Us.

 

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Who goes to Bethlehem?

Our congregation has members of all ages and walks of life. Regardless of your age, gender, race, or sexual orientation, you are welcome at Bethlehem!

 

 

What if I am interested in becoming a member of Bethlehem?

If you are interested in becoming a member or have recently become a member, you are welcome to join our next New Members Class. These classes are scheduled throughout the year as needed to introduce new or perspective members to the ELCA and Bethlehem Lutheran Church. We explore the history, beliefs, and traditions of Lutheranism, as well as the history, vision, and goals of Bethlehem. Please contact us or speak with Pastor Peterson to learn when the next New Members Class will be held.

 

 

For more answers to questions and information, please Contact Us.

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