September 23, 2018

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10:00 a.m. Worship

with Holy Communion


9:00 a.m. Learning Hour

for Adults & Confirmation Class


8922 Little River Turnpike
Fairfax, VA 22031
Office: 703-978-3131

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Featured Reflection

A highlight from our monthly newsletter


What is BLC's Mission and Vision?

Dear Bethlehem, I m sorry I m
guessing you may have been asked some
form of this question a time or two in
recent years, as you ve journeyed
through pastoral and congregational
changes. I know that our most
official mission statement is Building lives worship, mission and connection. But honestly, I haven t talked to too many who have much to say about it, or even know it.

Anyway, I am asking a different kind of question; I m not wondering if you can recite what was voted on a while back (if you voted on it)...

Here are my working definitions of mission vs. vision statements:

A mission statement says who we are (right now) . It s not about what we fancy ourselves to be, or where we ve been in the past. Rather this reflects who we are as God s faithful people
in this moment. Bethlehem is a lot of good this moment. Amid all our hopes and dreams for the future, and any sadness or frustrations about the past, who are we right now? How would you answer that about BLC? (It may be helpful to get at this by trying to imagine how God as opposed to me or you might describe us right now: beloved, forgiven, welcoming, quilted together in love, etc.)


Then, a vision statement says "where we are going". Like Moses or Martin Luther King Jr., we might not ever get there. But a vision statement is most definitely clear about our
direction. My favorite example from the secular world is Micro- soft: Their vision statement a view years ago was, to put a Microsoft computer in every home in America. Probably not possible they might not ever get there but you know exactly where they're going and what they re all about. What is Bethlehem definitely all about, even if we have yet to arrive?

How I would love to retreat to the mountains for a couple days with you all and delve into this conversation at one of our Lutheran camps, with a bible and a guitar nearby, sipping coffee or wine. But alas, life is busy. And we probably need to settle for a virtual fireside chat...


So I am asking a couple things of you:

  1. 1)  Please pray about this for a least a day, first.

  2. 2)  Then, write a bit about who Bethlehem is right now as God's

    faithful people in Fairfax. What are the unique gifts that

    describe (Mission)

  3. 3)  Write a bit about what you believe God is calling us to be all

    about. Where are we going? (Vision)

  4. 4)  Pray and let this marinate for at least another day before

    hitting the final send. (Think of this not as homework with a deadline, but soul work).

May I share your responses?

This article is also posted on our BLC sermon blog (, so that dialogue can happen there, too.

Grace and peace, Pastor Dan


To read more from the monthly BLC newsletter....