Serving the World

Global Mission Sunday

Each February, Bethlehem celebrates Global Mission Sunday, which lifts up an issue of social justice and asks our disciples to learn more about the issue, rally around and work to help dissolve it, and celebrate the culture wherein the issue lies. On Sunday morning, there is a festival with service and education opportunities for adults and children, cultural food to sample, music, and art.

In recent years, Global Mission Sunday has focused on World Hunger, the plight of Refugees, Malaria, and Immigration and Latino Issues.

Interested in volunteering for GMS? Click here to fill out the volunteer form.

Lutheran World Relief

LWR logoBethlehem supports LWR through our tithes and offerings.

Lutheran World Relief is a non-profit organization that works with local partners to provide lasting solutions to poverty, injustice and human suffering.

How LWR Started

More than half a century ago, World War II left an estimated one-fifth of the world’s Lutherans homeless. Here in the United States, Lutheran churches in at least 20 states mobilized to help in Europe through a new agency called Lutheran World Relief.

The recipients of LWR’s aid have changed — as has much of our operations — but in thousands of parishes, in millions of offerings and in uncounted prayers, US Lutherans have supported LWR’s work ever since.

With a commitment to end suffering, LWR’s work took shape.

Initially prompted by sending aid to their German and Scandinavian kin, American Lutherans soon realized that aid could be shared fairly only on the basis of need. Hungry refugees all over Europe cried out for help. Service to all suffering people became a vital part of Christian witness. Local partners were responsible for using the shipments wisely.

A growing expertise, the will to help, and ties to overseas missions soon called LWR farther afield. In the late 1940s, 800,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes by the creation of the state of Israel. From the early 1950s in Hong Kong, Korea and Bangladesh, Asia was a continent of considerable strife. During the 1970s and ’80s, civil wars and drought made Africa the new concern.

Around the world, LWR shares far more than relief supplies.

With 100 local partners, LWR works to improve harvests, health and education in some 35 countries each year. LWR partners train local women and men to produce local foods, dig low-cost wells and protect and restore their local environments. Some partners are small village groups on the edge of the Sahara. Others are nationwide programs that may reach across the Andes.

For more information or to give to LWR, visit

Global ELCA Initiatives


We are a church whose unity is in Jesus Christ, who gathers us around word and water, wine and bread.

The ELCA has deep, long-standing relationships with Lutheran churches around the world. Many of them are fast growing and deeply connected to the heart of their communities. People gather with one another for worship and fellowship. They also seek justice, restoration, education and healing each day in the name of Jesus Christ.

For more information on supporting the ELCA in its Global outreach and support, visit the ELCA website.