The Vision, Mission, and Commitments below give us clear direction about where we are going, what we are doing, and how we will carry out ministry together.
Where we are headed
VISION: Bethlehem Lutheran Church exists to equip every child of God to follow Jesus.
What we do
MISSION: Following Jesus means we
- WORSHIP the Living God
- GROW in Faith and Discipleship
- LIVE Our Faith in Daily Life
- CARE for One Another and
- SERVE Our Neighbor
How we do the work
COMMITMENT: Called by the Holy Spirit, trusting in the grace and love of God, each of us will
Cultivate a safe environment that enables us to take risks and step outside our comfort zone.
We know that we have been given the gifts of God’s forgiveness and grace and are called to share them with others. We understand that people often react or don’t act at all because of fear. We want to create a church that believes a glorious failure is better than a mild success. We accept the changes that come as we find new ways to show and share God’s love in this time and place. We extend grace to all and believe that we are all trying our best.
Meet people where they are at all ages and stages of life.
We believe that BLC should reflect the gifts, experiences, faith stories and cultures of diverse ages and multiple generations. We desire to create an environment that encourages us to intentionally work, play, and worship alongside one another. We need to be aware of who’s missing and intentionally create spaces where we can learn from each other and share life together.
Recognize our God-given talents and put them to work in the world.
We believe that we all have gifts to share. We strive to use those gifts in the ministry of BLC and throughout God’s Kingdom. We value everyone’s contribution and understand that there are many different ways for us to respond to God’s gracious love, including through our daily actions as parents, family members, friends and employees; our commitments as citizens and community members; our efforts in social service and volunteerism; our voices offered in public witness for justice; and more.
Teach, encourage and learn from one another.
We take joy and comfort in the Word of the Lord. We know that a deep understanding of God’s Word prepares us to be witnesses in speech and in action of God’s rich mercy in Jesus Christ. We are curious about the perspectives of others and seek to find new voices to expand our understanding. We learn through many different means, such as Sunday School and Adult Education programs, book studies and discussion groups, personal daily devotionals, and conversation with family or friends.
Understand that we are in a relationship with the wider church.
We know that we cannot be church alone and we support the ELCA vision of fostering unity among the children of God for the sake of the world. We desire to develop our relationship with the Upstate Synod, the church-wide organization, and global partners. We understand that each congregation has a variety of gifts and we seek to use BLC’s unique gifts in cooperation and support of the wider church. This means facilitating the ecumenical and interreligious work of congregations, synods and church-wide ministries, supporting the reception of our full communion agreements, and accompanying others, including our interreligious partners.
Provide and allocate resources to fulfill our vision and mission.
We recognize that we are called to be faithful stewards of the tangible gifts God has so abundantly given to us, including financial resources. We strive to practice generosity in our daily life and in the life of the congregation. We understand that we should use all that God has entrusted to our care – our time, our talents and our treasures – to love God and our neighbors.