Social Justice

Recent Projects

Monthly--SOP Service Team Serves Lunch

The first Friday of each month, join Bethlehem's volunteers in preparing and serving a hot and hearty lunch at Some Other Place beginning at 10:30 am.

"Increasing Access to Justice:  Responding to Crime Victims of Family and Sexual Violence"
Navigating the justice system can be overwhelming even for the most tenured criminal justice professional but imagine being a victim of domestic violence whose introduction to the ‘system,’ generally, is abrupt and fearful.  The content of this seminar will inform criminal justice professionals on the importance of victim centered approaches, crime victims’ rights, and legal options to enhance the safety of victims of these crimes. 
Sponsored by the Texas Advocacy Project, the seminar was held at Bethlehem on March 9. 

Black Adoption Council
The Black Adoption Council of Southeast Texas Inc. is a charitable, non-profit organization established in 1983. The purpose of the Council is to recruit “forever homes” for minority children in foster care and to provide support services to families who adopt these children.

The Black Adoption Council of Southeast Texas Inc. held its 17th Annual “Forever Home” Banquet on Saturday, February 25, 2012, at Bethlehem. 

This year’s theme is “Eliminate Permanent Foster Care for Our Children.” We at Bethlehem are happy to share our space and wish the Council the best with their worthy work.

Act Local-Think Global
Bethlehem brightened the Christmas for 25 children and 19 elder adults through the Some Other Place Angel Tree.  Christmas Eve also brought surprises for another family adopted by folks in the congregation.  Additionally, members prepared and served lunch at the SOP center and hosted the Christmas party for a local health support agency.Twenty quilts served as the backdrop for Reformation worship on Oct. 30, a departure from the usual practice of displaying quilts on Palm Sunday and preparing them for shipment to Lutheran World Relief the following week.  These quilts were delivered to fire-ravaged west Texas and welcomed by our neighbors who lost their homes to wildfires this fall.  The quilting team also gathered donations of blankets to send with the quilts.  

Lutheran World Relief
The Quilting teams meet Jan. through Nov. on the last Wed. from 9:30- 11:30 in Fellowship Hall.  Some members sew quilt tops at home to bring in for assembly by the group.  The Quilters generally complete 3-4 quilts per meeting, accept donations of fabric, and can find a place for anyone who can tie a knot or cut fabric.
In addition to 35 quilts, they created 26 school kits and 34 health kits Lutheran World Relief
sends quilts and kits worldwide to alleviate suffering. Contact the church office to volunteer. 
Bethlehem additionally hosts LWR Fair Trade Fairs to support the  ELCA's commitment to global economic justice.  Click to learn more about Lutheran World Relief and its work.
See photos of LWR support events in the God's Work, Our Hands Gallery.
Some Other Place
Founded to serve the needs of those told they would have to go to "some other place" for help, Some Other Place is an ecumenical mission in urban ministry, providing meals, groceries, and varied types of assistance.  Bethlehem volunteers gather to serve lunch every second Friday in the SOP soup kitchen; to provide supplies to Henry's Place, a  SOP partner serving the homeless; to supply Christmas gifts for the Giving Tree; to work at the Christmas and Thanksgiving pantries; to gather groceries for distribution.  We also sponsor a booth at the Tasting for Some Other Place, the ministry's primary fundraiser, each August.  See photos of SOP support events in the Gallery.

Triangle Aids Network

Since 1987 Triangle Aids Network (TAN) has worked to provide community education and patient support in the region.  Since 1989, Bethlehem has assisted their efforts by providing lunches, and now snacks, for the clients' trips for treatment, assembling "kiddie kits" to entertain children accompanying their parents on these trips, holding fundraisers, and serving at and welcoming clients and their families to the annual Christmas party in Bethlehem's fellowship hall.
Ministry Partners
The commitment to families and healing prompted the move to share our facility with an Al-Anon group.  They meet weekly in the Fellowship Hall.
Garth House
The Mickey Mehaffy Children's Advocacy Program, known as the Garth House, provides counseling for children who may have been physically or sexually abused.  The Bethlehem congregation was honored to share our building with the Garth House counseling center as their facility underwent repairs, and we continue to keep their worthy work, their staff, and especially their young clients and their families in our prayers.