Who Are We?

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is a community of faith, joined together in Christ through baptism.  We include people of all ages.  Some are new to the church.  Others were born into it.  Some are lifelong Lutherans.  Others have joined us more recently.  Together, we practice our faith through:

  • Worship the Living God: Worship glorifies God and gathers us together where we are transformed by word as well as baptism and communion and prepared to serve. Learn moreRead Our News
  • Grow in Faith and Discipleship: We cultivate multiple ways to learn about and deepen faith for people of all ages and life stages, as well as those with varied faith experiences. Learn more | Read Our News
  • Live our Faith in Daily Life: We develop multiple points of connection between faith and daily life that extends beyond worship. Learn more | Read Our News
  • Care for One Another: We build and foster intergenerational relationships within the BLC family to cultivate a faith community in which each person is valued as a fellow child of God. Learn more | Read Our News
  • Serve our Neighbor: We reach out to the world for the purpose of serving our neighbors near and far, especially those who are marginalized and easily forgotten. Learn more | Read Our News

 

Bethlehem Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Upstate NY Synod of the of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

 


Worship

Worship the Living God

Worship glorifies God and gathers us together where we are transformed by word as well as baptism and communion and prepared to serve.

 “For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5

 What does this mean?

Worship is the heart of our congregational life from which everything flows. Worship provides an experience of the living God that deepens our faith and calls us to action in daily life. Worship shapes us with beautiful music, well-prepared leadership and thoughtful preaching. Worship stretches us to experience the living God in new ways but is always grounded in forming community and witnessing to an authentic Lutheran understanding of faith in Jesus Christ. Worship is energetic, thoughtful, intentional, and full of joyful noise.

 What else could this mean?

As God’s people, we are always changing and being made new.  As we listen to one another, as others join our community of faith and bring their own gifts and perspectives, we will live more deeply into what it looks like to love and serve God.  We are always listening for what God is calling to next.

READ MORE IN OUR NEWS

Grow

Grow in Faith and Discipleship

We cultivate multiple ways to learn about and deepen faith for people of all ages and life stages, as well as those with varied faith experiences.

  “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-27

 What does this mean?

We provide opportunities for people to grow, learn, be challenged by and be invigorated in their faith in Jesus Christ and God’s free gift of grace made known in him. We reach out to people who are new to or curious about Lutheran Christianity and welcome and integrate them into congregational life. At the same time, we seek for all members to continually develop in their journey with Christ. Age-appropriate and intergenerational learning experiences are provided throughout the week, and encouraged for all according to their interest. Parents understand that they serve as role models and primary teachers for their children about the faith. They are encouraged and supported in this vocation by being actively engaged in their own faith development.  The foundation for faith development is Biblical and consistent with Lutheran Confessions.

What else could this mean?

As God’s people, we are always changing and being made new.  As we listen to one another, as others join our community of faith and bring their own gifts and perspectives, we will live more deeply into what it looks like to love and serve God.  We are always listening for what God is calling us to next.

READ MORE IN OUR NEWS SECTION

Live

Live Our Faith in Daily Life

We develop multiple points of connection between faith and daily life that extends beyond worship.

 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.” 1 Peter 4:10-11

 What does this mean?

God sends us into the world and equips us for action – in our community, in our schools, at our work, in our homes and everywhere we live. Serving, learning, sharing, growing and inviting others to join with us in all we do is vital to who we are as Christians. We witness to our faith through our words and actions and encourage members to humbly minister in their daily lives in ways that serve real and known needs. In all our life, we seek to steward God’s abundance.

 What else could this mean?

As God’s people, we are always changing and being made new.  As we listen to one another, as others join our community of faith and bring their own gifts and perspectives, we will live more deeply into what it looks like to love and serve God.  We are always listening for what God is calling to next.

READ MORE IN OUR NEWS SECTION

Care

Care for One Another

We build and foster intergenerational relationships within the BLC family to cultivate a faith community in which each person is valued as a fellow child of God.

 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 13:34

 What does this mean?

Relationships matter for us. We know and love one another. We value one another even when we don’t agree. We share our joys and concerns.  We pray for one another. We encourage each other to share our gifts with the church and community. Building relationships, growing new friendships and expressing care and support for one another is the work of the entire congregation.

What else could this mean?

As God’s people, we are always changing and being made new.  As we listen to one another, as others join our community of faith and bring their own gifts and perspectives, we will live more deeply into what it looks like to love and serve God.  We are always listening for what God is calling to next.

READ MORE IN OUR NEWS SECTION

Serve

Serve Our Neighbors

We reach out to the world for the purpose of serving our neighbors near and far, especially those who are marginalized and easily forgotten.

 “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:13-14      

What does this mean?

By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world today. We do this as part of a wider church as well as through our own congregationally-based ministries. We give permission to members to start ministries consistent with the teachings and traditions of our faith. We listen for the Spirit’s guidance, the congregation’s discernment and our neighbor’s needs to identify the life cycle of each ministry. In doing this we are attentive to the gifts and passions of congregational members and allow ministries to grow, adapt or end. We seek partnerships with others for the purpose of service. In all our ministry, we seek to manifest the gifts of the Spirit for the sake of our neighbors.

What else could this mean?

As God’s people, we are always changing and being made new.  As we listen to one another, as others join our community of faith and bring their own gifts and perspectives, we will live more deeply into what it looks like to love and serve God.  We are always listening for what God is calling to next.

READ MORE IN OUR NEWS SECTION