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Looking For Christian Public Leader? Teaching Congregations transitioned to Christian Public Leader at the end of the 2013 – 2014 academic year. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at

Teaching Congregations site list

Important Note

The Site List below is for the Teaching Congregations program. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at prior to contacting sites on this list.

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Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Address:4100 Lyndale Ave S
Baptized Membership:3619
Confirmed Membership:2633
Average Sunday Attendance:1373
Paid Staff:6 pastors and 24 full and part time staff
Access to Public Transit:Route: 3A Como-Marylnd/Dwtn Mpls/Target Field
4:00 PM depart from Como Av & Eustis St
4:10 PM arrive at 15 Av SE & 4 St SE

Route: 113B Ltd Stop / Grand / Lyndale-56th

4:15 PM depart from 4 St SE & 15 Av SE
4:50 PM arrive at Grand Av S & 41 St W
Congregation Description:We are a congregation of over 3500 members representing all age groups from throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Our ministry is summarized in our vision statement, which reads:
Bethlehem: connecting people with God, each other, and their mission in the world.

The ministry of Bethlehem Lutheran congregation began in a rented second-floor hall on Franklin Avenue in the heart of the city's Norwegian-American community on January 1, 1894.

The congregation became a spiritual home for Norwegian immigrants and Norwegian-Americans: workers and executives, families with children and young people new to the city, professors and students from a nearby seminary (later, Luther); Norwegian was the first language of worship and church business.

A pastor was called that fall and by 1899 the congregation had built a red stone sanctuary with a tall slender spire at the corner of 14th Avenue and 18th Street. This location, directly north of the present-day Franklin Public Library is now lost in the commons area of Interstates 35W and 94.

The congregation thrived. It weathered a gradual transition from Norwegian to English. Members played key roles in the beginnings of what later became the Ebenezer Society, Lutheran Social Service and Fairview Hospital, and were involved in other vital issues in the city.

In 1923, Golgotha Lutheran at 31st and Pleasant Avenue merged with Bethlehem, and in 1927 they moved south with the growing city, building the present sanctuary at 41st Street and Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis. The new worship space incorporated the altar painting and baptismal font from the old church. The stained glass windows were given by individuals and church groups and were dedicated in October 1929, two days before the stock market crash.

Outreach, both at home and abroad, was a part of the congregation's ministry from its earliest days. In 1923 Bethlehem's first commissioned missionaries, Pastor Irv and Nora Jacobson, were sent out from the congregation as missionaries to China. Several generations of their descendants are long-time members of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem continues to reach out from south Minneapolis and its two daughter congregations to other parts of the city, state and this country to the southern tip of Argentina and to the other side of the world in central Africa and India. Bethlehem members are connected to over 40 local and global mission partners.

Today, Bethlehem is an open, healthy congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with many opportunities for participation for both adults and children. We have a proud heritage and we are a thriving, vibrant community who welcomes all who enter our doors. Bethlehem is the place to be. Come and see!

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Congregation Keywords:urban, South Minneapolis, Purpose-driven history, east of Lake Harriet, in between East Harriet and Kingfield neighborhoods on Lyndale Ave. S

Mentor Pastor: Beth Warpmaeker
Years in Ordained Ministry:13
Years in Current Position:7
Previous Students Supervised:2
Autobiography:As a daughter of two Lutheran pastors, Rodney and Nancy Maeker, I was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonewall, Texas, and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. I graduated from Skyline High School in 1988 in Dallas, Texas, where my parents were pastors of Faith Community Lutheran Church, a predominantly African-American congregation in South Oak Cliff. In 1992, I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology and International Studies from Texas Lutheran University.
In August 1997, I received a Master of Arts Degree in Islamic Studies and a Master of Divinity Degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. My seminary internship was spent in the Middle East at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem and at Christmas Lutheran Church and the International Center in Bethlehem.
After graduation, I married Mark, who was at that time Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at New Hope Lutheran Church in Missouri City. Awaiting my first call, I served as part-time Interim Pastor at the University of Minnesota's Lutheran Campus Ministry; at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas; and at Living Word Lutheran Church, Katy, Texas. I also taught Theology part-time at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas. In 1999, I was called to Christ the King Lutheran Church as Associate Pastor and Campus Minister.
After the birth of our first child, Mark and I decided to move back to Minnesota to be closer to family. My mother, Nancy Maeker, is the Director of A Minnesota Without Poverty and formerly the Dean of Luther Seminary. My father, Rodney Maeker, was the Director of Cross-cultural Education at Luther.
After my husband received a call to Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, I was called to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in March 2005 as Pastor of Faith Formation which included Junior High and Adult Ministries. Recently, Bethlehem went through a restructuring as part of the new vision to Connect People with God, Each Other, and their Mission in the World. Now my call is as Pastor of Congregational Life and Outreach which oversees group ministries, care ministries, and global and local mission partnerships. Part of my call includes being a Doctor of Ministry student in the Congregational Mission and Leadership Program at Luther Seminary.
I continue to be involved in supporting Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem by serving as an Area Representative for Bright Stars of Bethlehem, a US-based non-profit which supports the ministries of the church with Pastor Mitri Raheb. My husband, Mark, is now the Executive Director of Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry. We have two children, Nathan (10 years old) and Jacob (6 years old). Both attend Xin Xing Academy, a Chinese Immersion School, and we live in Hopkins, Minnesota.