We have different gifts, according to grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. -Romans 12:6-8
Bethlehem offers many opportunities for you to serve according to your gifts and grace given to you. Please explore our different ministries where your gifts can make a difference below. To get more information on any of the following, please contact the Church Office using our Contact Us Form, by phoning 847-426-7311 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This special team of people have a heart for sharing the Gospel of Jesus with other people. Once a month this small team of passionate believers go out to public places (e.g. the mall, fast food restaurants) with the intention of finding someone with whom to share the fact that salvation is a free gift through faith in Jesus.
Annual Couples Retreat
Every spring married couples of Bethlehem head to a beautiful retreat center on the shore of Lake Geneva just over the border of Wisconsin. The retreat begins on Friday evening and ends Sunday just before noon. The couples enjoy fun, food, and games, along with a few informal learning sessions that are intended to enhance their marriages. An ample amount of “free time” is included in the weekend as well.
At Bethlehem we believe that God’s people are intended to enjoy the company of one another in recreational settings and activities. A planning team is committed to creating a variety of regularly scheduled activities, many of which take place outside of the church setting.
Recent examples include wine and cheese party, progressive dinner, bowling, Cougar’s’ game, bingo, white elephant bingo, Easter breakfast, mailboat tour, pizza party, Thanksgiving Dinner for seniors.
This Care Team provides loving attention to individuals who are going through difficult or stressful times. The Care Team visits, calls, sends cards, brings meals, and provides general TLC to those who are experiencing extra burdens in life.
On the first Sunday of the month, just after the 10:30 a.m. worship service, a Prayer Team meets to pray. The team prays for the ministry of Bethlehem; for those who are facing difficulties or health issues in life. Individuals and families are always welcome to come and be prayed for in person at this special time of prayer.
This class is led by American Council of Exercise Certified Fitness Instructor Linda Bryant two or three times a week. Mature adults achieve overall wellness by learning about healthy lifestyle choices. Men and women of any age that want to get moving and have fun refresh and enhance their vitality and inner-health.
The Pilates based workout benefits include muscle strengthening and stretching to develop the body’s core, mobilizing the spine, and building agility, flexibility, balance and coordination, thus improving their internal and external body. Chair used for stability and all activities are chair or standing based.
The Women’s Guild – Lutheran Women’s Missionary League
Conducts fundraising projects such as the Spring In Rummage Sale and the Dickens Soup and Sandwich Luncheon and Bake Sale that contribute to worthwhile causes such as the FISH (Friend I Shall Help) Food Pantry, and many others. The Guild also sponsors fun activities such as White Elephant Bingo.
Quilters and Sewers
Make about 200 custom quilts a year for those in need. Quilts are provided to Lutheran World Relief, veterans and their families, and victims of natural disasters.
Hearts in Service
This ministry strives to identify ways we can help members of the community. They have helped countless people in need through donations to their Mission of the Month and have recently included collections
for the F.I.S.H. (Friend I Shall Help) Food Pantry and collecting Christmas gifts for AID which empowers and provides special services for individuals with disabilities, mental illness and more. Please contact the Church Office if you want to help out with H.I.S. Ministry and Mission.
The “Living Waters” Food Pantry
Jesus said, “When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat.” At Bethlehem we seek to serve the community by offering a Food Pantry. The “Living Waters” Food Pantry is open every other Wednesday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. No qualifications need to be met by our patrons. All are welcome.
Heritage Fest Pop-up Bible School
Bethlehem Back to School Event
Once a year, just before the school year begins, Bethlehem opens its doors to students from the community whose families may find it difficult to afford school supplies for the upcoming school year. Students who come receive several school supplies at no cost.
Sisterhood of Stitchers Serving Our Savior S.O.S.
In the winter, S.O.S. hand knits and crochets a treasure trove of articles of warmth and comfort. Warm lap afghans, scarves, hats and mittens are given to those in need, such as those in our own Cherished Place and at our “Living Waters” Food Pantry, the Association for Individual Development (AID) in Elgin and group homes in Galena. Baby blankets and tiny hats are constructed for St. Alexius Hospital special care nursery all year long. Knitted prayer shawls are always ready for anyone in need of their comfort. If you would like to help either knit or crochet, they will be truly thankful. They have yarn, knitting and crochet needles, easy to follow patterns ready for you to use and help available if you need it.
“Band of Brothers” Comfort Dogs
The unique, calming nature of comfort dogs are a bridge for compassionate ministry, opening doors for conversation about faith and creating opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Spring In Rummage Sale
This is more than just your run-of-the-mill rummage sale, it is a community event. This is one of the biggest and best rummage sales in the area. Everything is laid out in an orderly fashion. The neighborhood not only shops at this rummage sale but they look forward to to visiting with others who attend this event year after year for decades. There are three areas to shop. The big room has everything including toys, clothes, dishes, shoes, hats, handbags, and other things too numerous to mention. The upscale room has jewelry, paintings, antiques, collectibles and specialty items. In the garage you will find lounge chairs, desks, beds, sleds, fishing gear, tools and all that house and manly stuff. On Saturday there is the customary bag sale.
Dickens’ Soup & Sandwich Luncheon
People can enjoy a pleasant luncheon and support our community following the Dickens’ Christmas Parade. Every penny taken in is donated to the F.I.S.H. Food pantry. The food being served is funded by proceeds of the Dickens’ Bake Sale held the same day and by donations from Thrivent and a local business which also provides help for the event.
Singers from the congregation accompanied by our organists and pianists perform at special events like the Christmas Concert and at selected worship services, especially at our Traditional worship services.
Messengers Praise Band and Singers
The congregation at our Contemporary worship service sings along as the band and singers perform Contemporary Christian Music live on stage and at special events such as the Fourth of July parade. The band includes instruments such as guitars, drums, and keyboard.
Bethlehem Christmas Live!
This free event includes guided 30 minute outdoor walking tours of live acting scenes with a spiritual and social message: Christ lived and died for our sins. Watching Bethlehem Christmas Live! bring to life events before, during and and after the birth of Christ gives viewers of all ages a positive spirit through the holiday season. The tours are followed by indoor family activities like crafts and cookie decorating with refreshments and a special visit with Santa Claus.
The public is invited to our annual Christmas Concert followed by a social time with light refreshments. Music and songs are performed by the Bethlehem Choir, The Messengers Praise Band and Singers and by the Sunday School children. Everyone is invited to sing along with traditional Christmas carols.
Students at all grade levels and GED students are welcome to get free tutoring assistance by a former College teacher and GED tutor. Focus is on math and language arts but other academic help is offered.