Outreach

Listening. Learning. Changing. Growing.

To be the church of Jesus in this time and place means listening and learning, changing, and growing. It requires us to get outside the walls of the church building and engage in mutual conversations with our neighbors. In the public square, we learn about ourselves, our world, and our God.

Jesus calls us to join in the spiritual practice of boundary-crossing. With a focus on housing, race, and care of creation we dig deeper into how we are neighbors with each other and our surrounding community both local and global. We will acknowledge how historically our volunteering and charity has played its part in white supremacy. We are only free when we are all free, so let us together become something new, holy, and healing.

Local Partners

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat’s mission is to “eliminate poverty housing from the Twin Cities and to make decent, affordable shelter for all people a matter of conscience.”

We have partnered with Habitat for 25 years. We understand that Minnesota has a history of racial covenants that has denied homeownership to many. Recently Habitat stated, “At Twin Cities Habitat, we believe closing our community’s racial homeownership gap is a critical component of building a Minnesota where everyone can thrive. We have a lot of work to do to see that vision come to life.” We support Habitat’s mission by being involved in their home builds and by giving financially.

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Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative

Beacon’s vision is for all people to have a home, and for this to happen “our many faiths call us to create more equitable communities.” Beacon’s interfaith collaborative of nearly 90 congregations works to end homelessness through housing, shelter and advocacy. We as a congregation commit to joining Beacon’s approach of “tak[ing] personal, public, and financial risks in the fight for justice. We go big. We go bold.” We do this alongside Beacon through advocacy, hosting Families Moving Forward, and financial support.

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Zoom House

Zoom House’s mission is “to partner with those in housing transition by providing safe, affordable housing, and fostering a community of growth, kinship and creating home.” Zoom House has twenty-two apartments in the Lyndale neighborhood where they invest in lives and transforming futures. Bethlehem financially supports the work of Zoom house and engages in additional support when asked such as donations, promotion of events and volunteer work.

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Our Saviour’s Community Services

“Increasing skills. Improving lives.” Our Saviour’s opens the doors to those looking for housing and supportive services, as well as to those seeking English language support. They offer emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing to single adults in the community who are without a place to call home. Our Saviour’s works with individuals to equip people to find and establish permanent housing. The English Learning Center provides classes for learning English language skills to immigrants and refugees. The staff also serves as a resource to support families in their pursuit to live and thrive in Minnesota. 

Bethlehem has a long history of partnering with Our Saviour’s through financial support, serving on the board, and working directly with individuals utilizing the different services provided.

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Global Partners

Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry (LPGM)

“Envisions a world where relationships transform boundaries, and where all people have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.” 

Our engagement with LPGM focuses on international development with a focus on education as well as transformative travel. We currently have two education-based trips with LPGM: One to Guatemala where we focus on climate intervention, and the second to India where we focus on interfaith dialogue. Both trips focus on learning how folks around the world are combating issues of injustice and how we can apply what we learned back home as we are co-creators in healing the communities within which we live.

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Global Health Ministries

This Lutheran nonprofit is committed to improving health for people around the world. GHM partners in 13 countries, from El Salvador to Zimbabwe, supporting hospitals, clinics, and community-based outreach – all focused on improving health. GHM’s approach includes shipping donated medical supplies and equipment, providing scholarships for training doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers, and providing grants that support grassroots efforts to improve health.

In 2019, Bethlehem’s Opening New Doors capital campaign funded a new well at Ejeda Hospital in southwestern Madagascar, improving the hospital’s capacity to deliver quality healthcare and ensuring that the community has access to clean water. 

Bethlehem has had a meaningful, ongoing relationship with GHM for decades, with members serving on the GHM Board in its earliest years and supporting early initiatives. Bethlehem is in partnership with GHM today through our financial support, onsite engagement opportunities at their warehouse in Fridley, and through the annual Women’s Day of Service event. 

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Holistic Ministry of Children of the Horn of Africa (HMCHA)

HMCHA is a non-denominational Christian ministry founded by Megersa Kumbi in 2007. HMCHA’s mission is to transform the lives of children through education, mentoring, financial support and community. Additionally, HMCHA has built a bridge that saves lives every year and provides clean water to four villages, as well as a community center with a library, computer lab and playground. 

Bethlehem engages with HMCHA through financial and material support. Bethlehem also has a group of consistent congregation members that go to Ethiopia almost every year to maintain relationships with those on the ground. 

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Upcoming Opportunities

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Wed, September 2 @ 2:00 pm

Beacon Now: Emerson Village

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Thu, October 1 @ 6:30 pm

Bold Conversations Series: Asking the Hard Stuff

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Thu, October 1 @ 8:30 am

Rent Day of Action

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Sun, September 13 @ 12:00 pm

Celebration Sunday Supply Drive

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Sun, September 13 @ 12:00 pm

Celebration Sunday Supply Drive

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From January 30th-February 5th, 2020, a group of Bethlehem young adults went with our partner LPGM to Guatemala to learn from Community Cloud Forest Conservation. This video and photos by Juliet Farmer and song by Siri Undlin, beautiful captures this boundary-crossing experience.

Digital Library

Check out our Digital Library with a series of discussion guides centered around race, housing, sexuality, God, relationships, care of creation and more! From books and podcasts to videos, we have a variety of mediums to pick from!

Please note, you must use a Gmail account to get access, then use the Classroom code: hroeajn

Resource of the Month: August

Housing: Beacon Interfaith Housing Collective, “Rooted in Home“, By Dylan Novacek

Race: New York Times, “How a New Wave of Back Activists Changed the Conversation” By Jenna Wortham

Care of Creation: MN Interfaith Power and Light “Minnesota religious, spiritual leaders call on top state officials to oppose Line 3 after police violence” By Devon Cupery

Local Food Shelves

Bethlehem engages with both ICA and CES through food donations, monthly volunteer shifts, as well as financial support. 

Community Emergency Services (Minneapolis):

CES meets hunger where it is a critical need, on client’s food shelves with Home Delivery to the homebound and Meals on Wheels to seniors. CES fosters community among its clients, because a strong community is the best hope for sustainable relief from hunger and poverty.

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Intercongregation Communities Association (Minnetonka)

ICA’s mission is to uphold the dignity of our neighbors in need as they strive for self-sufficiency, and share the ongoing work of assisting our neighbors in partnership with the congregations, organizations, businesses, and individuals in our communities.

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Staff Contacts

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Co-Lead Pastor

Ben Cieslik

Phone: 612-312-3406
Director of Service Learning

Ellen Weber

Phone: 612-312-3372