It's why we're here! It begins with Jesus changing the hearts and lives of communities like BLC, and continues as we respond to the call to serve God by serving others, and transforming this world into a place that closer resembles the world that God intended. Here are some of the ways that we do that here...
In 2004 a group of 13 clergy from different churches met to consider opening the doors of their facilities to feed and house the homeless in our communities in the coldest months of the year. This collaboration of congregations provided food, housing, hospitality and a sense of dignity to men, women, and children who were homeless. After 3 short years, The Gathering Inn had grown and evolved into a year-round program, now with over 40 churches in Placer County opening their doors and hearts to provide a home cooked meal and a loving place to sleep each night.
Bethlehem is blessed to be a part of this phenomenal organization. Through a team of incredible volunteers and sometimes outside sponsorship, BLC hosts the Gathering Inn at least once a month, sometimes more frequently. We cook, we serve, we fellowship.
Each year around the commemoration of St. Francis we celebrate our connection with all creation. The unconditional love we give and receive from our animals can draw us more deeply into the circle of life. Join us in appreciating and blessing our animals, accompanied by music, refreshments, and fun. Bring your animals to be blessed in person or a picture of your animal to be blessed. We will also have an altar for pictures of our deceased loved one as well. All animals are welcome- large and small, furry, feathery, finny, and slithery. Let us celebrate the bond of creation together!
BLC partners with Rise Against Hunger each year to battle hunger around the world. We package 10,000 meals at each event in under 2 hours! It's an amazing event that is open to any who would like to join. St. Luke's Episcopal, Auburn, has joined us in this effort. You can too!
We meet the first and third Tuesday of every month, January through November, from 9am to noon in the fellowship hall. We make a very basic quilt that is either sent to Lutheran World Relief or the Lutheran mission on the Navajo reservation. No quilting experience necessary. If you can baste or tie a knot, you can help us quilt. We also always keep a few quilts here for people in emergencies as they provide a sense of support and comfort.
The Auburn Interfaith Food Closet was incorporated in 1998. Currently, there are eighteen sponsoring churches who operate it. It is a demonstration of the belief that we have a moral and spiritual obligation to aid residents of our community who are hungry and in need. The food we provide meets the USDA daily nutrition requirements for each person in the family. Here at BLC we collect food and store it in a cupboard in Fellowship Hall, and our children and youth go Trick or Treating for Cans throughout our neighborhood to help out each year too!
Over the centuries shawls have come to symbolize shelter, peace, and spiritual sustenance. Now, thousands of knitters and crocheters are creating hand-made shawls for people in need. This has grown into an international cause, with countless numbers of shawls being given to grateful recipients around the globe. Bethlehem is proud to be a part of this great need. Many shawls have gone to our church family, military hospitals, and Auburn Faith Hospital Infusion Therapy Center. If you or someone you know need a prayer shawl, or would like to join us or lean how to make one, please let us know!
Everyone is invited to join us at the Community Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day from 2:00 - 4:00 PM right here at BLC. There is no charge, and the only requirement is to bring yourself! We serve a traditional turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings, along with the famous mashed potatoes prepared by Pioneer United Methodist Church. If you cannot attend but would like a meal just call the office and we will deliver it! We also offer free transportation to the Community Christmas Dinner. And we're always looking for volunteers!
This very active team consists of many volunteers that help fill needs of various sorts within members of our congregation, shut-ins and others that may need care. The following Care Ministry volunteer opportunities are available to anyone who would like to get involved and help:
Home, hospital and long term care facility visitations
Donate greeting cards and send them to shut-ins
Making and delivering holiday favors
Delivering prayer shawls
Preparing and delivering food
Transportation to and from church
Entertainment (playing games or taking a shut in for a ride or outing)
Home communion (Pastor Ron will train)
Dying support (respite, bedside sitting)
Serve at the prayer bench on Sunday morning
Each November we have a Craft and Bake sale which includes everything from jewelry and quilts, to jams and Lefse, and everything in between; with most of the proceeds going to the charities the BLC women support.