Bethlehem Lutheran Church

800 Cass St. Monterey, CA. 93940

831-373-1523   †

Our mission "To worship God as a loving community that grows in faith and shares the Gospel of Christ."

BLC Family News & Events

Pastor's Letter

The Triple Win


My friend Jared, who was here with us on Easter Sunday, once said something like this to me, “You’re all about the triple-win, aren’t you Josh?” And, I said, “You’re right!” At the time, I was explaining how we could be able to use our facility to create a shared workspace for nonprofit owners. Most nonprofits run off of generous donations and fundraisers. They don’t always have a big enough budget to be able to afford their own offices or even the shared workspaces such as the Pearl Works. They could use our hall for events and activities as needed--It is an ideal location to serve any organization from Big Sur up into Salinas.

           Our Ministry Center, in the heart of Monterey, could become a hub where these servant-hearted folks work side-by-side and brand-new ideas would generate just because of their proximity. Picture it: A women’s group gets to know a leader of I-HELP at her desk and they naturally jump in to support each other; Young life and our youth group partner just because they see each other once in a while; mentors and sponsors and teachers share their ideas—guest presenters with a passion to support the community are consistently available… any group that fits under our mission “to worship God as a loving community that grows in faith and shares the Gospel” belongs right here.


           Similar to the Pearl Works, we could intentionally engage these leaders on a relational level—perhaps using Blue Zones’ “Friends at Five” to wind-down the day; a shared book club; or weekly nonprofit insights for both members of our church and members of this newly-formed nonprofit community. Perhaps, we could even get the Community Foundation involved! And, these nonprofit leaders would consistently be invited to church and other BLC events—already feeling at home right here. In this process, the church wins… the nonprofits win… and the community as a whole wins together…

That has been just one of the many ideas rattling around my head as I look forward to our future as a congregation. Another, more recent “Triple Win” thought came as a surprise: As I continue to engage the community with a heart that listens and is willing to serve, I have been led into some interesting places. This included a Human Trafficking workshop at the end of May as well as Narcan training that same day (it was a rough day, but now we have some Narcan our office and in the Ministry Center if needed).

           If you don’t know, there is a fentanyl crisis and human trafficking epidemic all around this area. During the training, the doctor pulled up a map of where overdoses happen here (between Pebble Beach and Salinas). They happen everywhere people live.

Monterey is also a hotbed for modern-day slavery (Desteney with the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center shared the map below, for more information contact her at There are ways to help (such as supporting Set Free Monterey Bay and other nonprofits). But, what really resonated with me that emotional day was the need to be proactive.

           The lead presenter of the workshop, Jesse Leon, would have probably never found himself as a slave to such a dire lifestyle if he had had just one adult there with him to walk him to the gas station to help him buy balloons. In various youth-ministry trainings I have done, they emphasize the fact that every child needs five adults to be there for them to help them learn and grow and mature in the faith so that they do not lose it.

           The best way to change the future—to end this suffering and these unholy practices—is to be there for the kids in our area. To do this, we cannot stay isolated or create a hidden place for them to stay immune from the world. They will be in the world one day or the next, whether we like it or not. And, it is our job to prepare them—to show them what a good world could look like and inspire them to make it themselves.

           God works through all of us in our vocations to care for each other.

So, the idea hit me: We need to be there for a school. A public school. (We need to be in the world and not of it.) Maybe Monterey High School because it’s so close… maybe somewhere else that I don’t know. There would be many ways to do this from sending notes to prayer walks to just praying in general.

If we brought this idea back to our facility (our resource)… We could have some sort of leadership training or tutoring to help the teenagers who dropped out for a year or two and now need to make it in a safe place without being embarrassed… they would be less likely to be persuaded into the trafficking field (which includes many normal-looking jobs) and/or become addicted to the drugs they think will help them escape it.

           An after-school program a few nights a week would follow my friend, Pastor Jeff’s, advice from last month. It would be adaptable, meeting the kids needs where they are. Unlike other ministries that I have inherited, I would be able to be there and to be the driving force behind it. It has minimal start-up costs. And, it is a way to be there for those who are alone and in need of help.

           Who knows? A high school afterschool program could easily turn into a full-sized program for all-ages. High schoolers need volunteer hours in this area and if we were hoping to do some sort of weekly VBS or afterschool Bible camp, I know childcare is a big need right here on our street. Talk about an intergenerational opportunity to “worship God as a loving community that grows in faith and shares the Gospel!”

           That sounds like a Triple Win to me.

           But, we still have a while to reflect and pray and regroup as we discern who God has called to be. Please, don’t be shy about sharing any of your ideas!!!

 In Christian love,

Pastor Josh Schmidt

President's Report

Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

                  As of Friday June 14, 2024, the school has moved out. We pray that CCAMB will be blessed as they move into their new digs at the Church of the Oaks. They outgrew us and will be able to enjoy a larger play area, better parking and much more. We pray for them and wish them the best. 

                  Vacation Bible School (VBS) is in full swing and we pray for the leaders and the students. I mention this because immediately following VBS we will be launching into a bunch of summer facility maintenance projects. 

                  With the school gone and VBS over, we will have most of the Ministry Center rooms empty and with easy access, we will clean the carpets via extraction. We will also have the hard floors stripped and waxed. There also might be a little touch up for the walls. This will be covered with the cleaning deposit from the school move. 

Upcoming Tasks:

We are forming a Ministry Center Renovation Team and complete some Summer/Fall projects which may include:

  • The security camera final wire pull cost of about $7,000
  • We just have too many people in the community with access to our buildings and too frequently our buildings are found open or unsecure. So, we intend to ready a Board approved key and code plan, rekey the facility and develop a procedure that includes a small group of individuals as Openers and Closers at about $2,000
  • Implement a kitchen check sheet & lock-up plan
  • Make a dump run and get rid of broken tables, chairs and more
  • Kitchen cleaning, window washing and the kitchen floor repaired – in our annual Contract
  • Buy new 5’ round tables 
  • Classroom 1 curtains/blinds

Other administrative type projects include:

  • Supporting our Financial Review Team (Bob and Sally McCully, Sonja Johnson, and Zach Kaufman) as they work to put financial policies and procedures in place.
  • Sacristy and office face lift: a little paint, some furniture replacement, finish the new filing system.
  • We will be looking at office staffing and work flow.
  • Human Resource compliance – we are close to being done.
  • An insurance review.
  • By-Laws review.
  • ECO Green energy and Lighting Project (we may have a grant for this).

                  Let’s seek our Lord, watch for new doors of opportunity opening, support Pastor Josh, and as he said in the last newsletter, build community and receive what God provides and be fed until we are full. 

Ken Goebel

Upcoming Events


June 24-28 - Vacation Bible School from 9:30 - 12:30

June 28 - 12:30 noon - Lunch

June 30 - Faith Lutheran Church 60th Anniversary celebration, after church

Serving Opportunities

July 14 - Women's I-HELP

July 23 and 24 - Men's I-HELP


July 2 - 1:00 - Youth Meeting

Happy Birthday!

June 25 - Amber Schmidt

July 6 - Kam Padlina

July 17 - Dorothy Johnson!!

July 18 - Sonja Johnson

July 23 - Brynn Kaufman

July 28 - Kevin Magnus

July 29 - Robert Kiskadden

July 31 - Will Goebel

Financial Report

Month of May

Beginning Balance


May Income


May Expenses


Ending Balance


Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Bob McCully

Youth Ministry

“The Youth Room” - July 2024

E3 Youth Ministry Update

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV

Bowling and Barbecue!

There is no doubt that it is imperative for us to gather on Sunday Mornings for worship, for too many reasons to list here. Having regular youth meetings for teens to interact with each other and God’s word in a similar fashion is also critical to their faith foundation. 

Sometimes, it is just as important for us to gather simply for fellowship and fun! These events are a great way to introduce new people to who we are in a less intimidating way than to invite them to a worship service or bible study. 

On June 12, our youth gathered at Monterey Lanes for bowling and a brief devotion on the story of the friends that brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, digging a hole through someone’s roof to lower him down since they couldn’t get through the crowd. It is with this kind of faith and determination that we should be seeking to reach our friends and neighbors with the Good News of what Jesus has already done for them.

We had 6 youth join in on the fun, one being a young lady that is a friend of June Harbaugh’s who had not been a part of any of our youth meetings previously. I pray that each of our youth would feel confident in inviting more friends, and that those friends will find a welcoming and comfortable place to spend time growing in their faith. Our next youth event is not on the books yet, but stay tuned for updates! 

On June 15, our youth hosted the (hopefully) First Annual Father’s Day Barbecue Fundraiser! 

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Sausages, sides, homemade cupcakes, and a great time of fellowship were on the menu. 

We had almost 40 people come and enjoy the picnic style atmosphere in the ministry center, complete with corn hole on the patio, and the grill filling the air with that signature summer cook-out smell. To-Go Boxes were also an option that a few people took advantage of. In all, we raised a little over $800 before expenses, all net proceeds going to help fund our trip to New Orleans for the National Youth Gathering next year. 

In all, we raised a little over $800 before expenses, all net proceeds going to help fund our trip to New Orleans for the National Youth Gathering next year. 

Congrats to Ray who won the Fire Pit and Smore’s Bundle

We are looking forward to doing it again, and can certainly see the potential for it to grow into a larger community event! If you weren’t able to make it this year, please keep an eye out for next years event details! We would love to have you join in on the fun! 

Please be sure to check out our Amazon wishlist for items that we can use for the youth room and as tools for ministry. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me (Crystal)!

Continually and always, thank you for your support, generosity and prayers. My sincere hope is that our Youth Ministry will not only be a blessing to the youth who attend, but to our congregation and the Monterey area. We are just getting started! 

By His Grace, 


Special Announcements

New Adopt-A-Family Plan

Dear BLC, it has been an honor to help so many families through our Adopt-A-Family program here at church. We have had baby showers; sponsored the sick; provided Christmas cards and gifts; and so much more!!! We have truly been there for those desperately in need, seeking our help, as a spontaneous grace into their lives.

Now, this program will mean even more. Instead of solely providing spontaneous gifts and checking in on families once-in-a-while, Bethlehem would like to give you the opportunity to grow in faith together with them. Now, instead of recommending a person or family for the church to follow-up with, you get to sponsor them! Pray with them. Worship with them. And, through our new application process, you can establish an action plan to both welcome them into our Christian community and support them in financial prosperity.

Please, pray for someone you would love to grow alongside and who may be in financial need as you preview our new Policy & Procedure; Application; and Action Plan available at the links below.

Copies of these documents are also available in our office or via email.

Policy & Procedure
Application Form
Action Plan
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