Second Harvest Food Bank

Mission Outreach — Serving with Other Organizations

Mission Outreach Ministries

Current Opportunities

Adult Mission to Mexico
Daily from September 28 until October 2
This event is from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM at Bethel/Offsite
Contact Tom Hoegel

This is our annual Adult Trip to Tijuana with Esperanza

Mission Outreach Ministries

Ministry Lead: Mark Evashenk

The following list of local, national, and international outreach & service ministries contains information on organizations that we actively support either by providing funds for their work or through volunteering locally.

Local Ministries

CIC (Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy) Ministries
Contact Chris Christensen

CIC (Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy)[Offsite Link] is a non profit agency formed in 1962 by Council of Churches and Evangelical Association to serve inmates, officers, and staff in the Santa Clara County jails and juvenile facilities. CIC Ministries depends on donations from local congregations and individuals to bring the Good News of the gospel to those behind bars.
CIC’s Programs Provide:
  • Weekly Bible Study provided by volunteers in the community
  • Coordination of Special Events (such as concerts, weddings, etc.)
Designated offering for January.

Crop Walk
Contact Dave Ahn/Craig Leventon

An annual walk each spring in the Rose Garden area of San Jose to raise money for hunger relief through Church World Service[Offsite Link]. Watch for details about the next Annual South Bay CROP Walk[Offsite Link] (held in the Spring) in the Sunday bulletin, weekly enewsletter and the top of this web page.
Help One Child
Help One Child, November 2015

Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter
Contact Alice Isaacson

Provides shelter and services to homeless men in Silicon Valley. Bethel prepares dinner the 3rd Sunday of each month, and hosts the Faith in Action Silicon Valley[Offsite Link] Rotating Shelter each May.

Family Supportive Housing (San Jose Family Shelter)
Contact Patrice Sera, Chris Freckmann

Family Supportive Housing (San Jose Family Shelter)[Offsite Link] provides temporary housing and assistance for homeless families in Santa Clara Co. The shelter serves more than 150 families each year; over two-thirds of its residents are children. In addition to housing in individual family units, 3 meals per day, infant and toddler care, and Head Start schooling, the shelter provides counseling, employment and housing search assistance, access to computers, parenting and life-skills classes, and aftercare case management for families who have left the shelter.
Every other month, a meal team from Bethel provides groceries and cooks breakfast at the shelter. Volunteers are needed for these breakfasts. Watch for specific dates in the Sunday bulletin, weekly enewsletter and at the top of this web page.
To help with a Sunday breakfast, contact Patrice Sera or Chris Freckmann.
Designated offering for February.

First Immanuel Clothes Closet
Contact Angela Brown

Bethel collects new and gently used clothing weekly to be given away to low-income families in downtown San Jose. Clothes Closet is a service of Community Outreach Ministry Endeavor[Offsite Link]

Habitat for Humanity
Contact Don Varney

Habitat for Humanity[Offsite Link] (East Bay/Silicon Valley)[Offsite Link] works in partnership with low-income families to build affordable, decent housing in Santa Clara County. Volunteers work side by side with homeowner families, using current skills or learning new ones. Watch for details in the Sunday bulletin, weekly enewsletter and the top of this web page for information on how you can help build homes in the upcoming months.
Designated offering for December.

Help One Child
Contact Melanie Hohengasser

Help One Child[Offsite Link] is a local ministry to children in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties who have been abandoned, abused, drug exposed, or endangered. Their primary goal is to encourage individuals and families in the Christian community to become licensed foster parents. Help One Child provides a network of support to these children and families, and teaches congregations how to be part of this network. Bethel hosts a Giving Tree each December to give Christmas gifts to foster children.
Cards for Vets
Christmas Cards for Vets, iServe, November 2014

iServe Sunday

Throughout the year, there are opportunities where worship will be in service to others and the community. Watch for specific dates in the Sunday bulletin, weekly eNewsletter and at the top of this web page.

The Lord’s Pantry

The Lord’s Pantry[Offsite Link] is a nonprofit, emergency food program located at 121 S. White Road in San Jose on the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church[Offsite Link] campus. They are an agency of Second Harvest Food Bank[Offsite Link], and provide groceries to families in need by referral. Each week Bethel members donate food, using the large donation bin in the narthex. Each November, we hold a turkey drive to support the families using the pantry.
Designated offering for November.

Mount Cross Ministries
Contact Holly Lofgren (Camp Contact)

Mount Cross, a Lutheran camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains with summer camps and retreat opportunities for congregations and groups, was dedicated in 1948 by a group of Lutheran pastors seeking a venue for youth to explore the outdoors and their faith. In addition to financial support, Bethel holds our annual Labor Day Retreat at Mt Cross. Our first LDR was held in 1959, and we have been going every year since. For more information visit the Mount Cross website[Offsite Link].

Contact Joann Weberg

The Bethel quilters create and send hundreds of quilts locally and all over the world all year. Read details at the top of this web page.
Designated offering for October.

packing carrots
Packing carrots for Second Harvest

Second Harvest Food Bank

Provides food to over 320 non-profit agencies in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, including The Lord’s Pantry. Groups from Bethel sign up for shifts to sort donated food. Bethel participates in food sorting at the warehouse several Saturdays a year. Watch the Sunday bulletin, weekly enewsletter and the top of this web page for upcoming dates and details. For additional volunteer opportunities at Second Harvest, visit their web site at[Offsite Link].
Designated offering for June.

Sunnyvale FISH Junque Sale
Contact Brad Martinson

Sunnyvale FISH Junque Sale is an annual event, the first Saturday in November, held at St. John’s Lutheran Church (corner of Manet Dr. and East Fremont Ave. in Sunnyvale.) Each year Bethel volunteers bring donations of their upscale “junque” (such as toys, books, telephones, kitchen gadgets, clothes, tableware, sports equipment, etc.— no furniture, TVs or computers) to St. John’s several days before the sale. Volunteer workers are needed before, during and after the sale. Watch the bulletin and newsletter for exact dates. Sunnyvale FISH[Offsite Link] is an organization sponsored by the Sunnyvale Area Ecumenical Parish. Their work is supported by more than 20 congregations in the community. Sunnyvale FISH provides emergency assistance, such as food and clothing, to people who cannot afford them.

Sunny View Auxiliary
Contact Eleanor Incerpi

Created to help and serve senior residents of Sunny View Retirement Community[Offsite Link] in Cupertino.

Walk for Water
Contact Robyn Winegardner

Volunteers walk one Saturday in April at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church[Offsite Link] in San Jose, in partnership with Silicon Valley Discipleship Walk for Water[Offsite Link] to provide clean water to communities around the world through Water Mission.

West Valley Community Services

West Valley Community Services, Inc. (WVCS)[Offsite Link] is a private non-profit, community based agency that has been providing direct assistance and referral services to the community for more than 35 years. We provide a continuum of basic needs, housing assistance and family support services including: information and referrals, food, clothing, shelter, affordable housing, financial assistance and case management.
Designated offering for July.
making blankets
Making blankets for homeless women, Feb 2016

Women of the ELCA
Contact Cindy Arnett

As a community of women created in the image of God, called to discipleship in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves to grow in faith, affirm our gifts, support one another in our callings, engage in ministry and action, and promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.
At Bethel, Women of the ELCA[Offsite Link] meets monthly to make blankets for the homeless in San Francisco. Watch for specific dates in the Sunday bulletin, weekly eNewsletter and at the top of this web page.
Designated offering for March.

National and International Ministries

Bread for the World Offering of Letters

Bread for the World[Offsite Link] is a nonpartisan citizen’s movement comprised of 50,000 people of faith, including 2500 churches. BFW seeks justice as a Christian voice for ending hunger. Members lobby Congress on legislation that addresses hunger in communities around the world.
Scheduled Offerings of Letters events are held in the Welcome Zone. Look for upcoming dates in the Sunday bulletin, weekly enewsletter and the top of this web page. Stop by after services to write a letter to your senator or representative. Sample letters, envelopes, stamps, address labels, and paper are provided.
Quilts for LWR
Quilts & backpacks for Lutheran World Relief, October 2015

Lutheran World Relief (LWR)">Lutheran World Relief[Offsite Link] works with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering. Bethel volunteers create school kits and health kits for LWR to be distributed worldwide.
Designated offering for September.

Mexico 2005

Mexico: Esperanza International — Bethel Mission to Mexico
Contact Tom Hoegel

Adult Mission to Mexico (Fall). Youth Mission to Mexico (Spring). Since 1990 Bethel Youth have taken an Alternative Spring Break and traveled to Tijuana, Mexico to join forces with Esperanza International[Offsite Link], or “Hope”, an organization that works to build houses, schools and centers for the local community. Bethel volunteers work side by side with low-income families and the Esperanza staff, mixing concrete, pouring tiles and beams, digging trenches, and a host of other challenging work. In the process, families learn the building process, which helps make their community more self-sufficient, and Bethel volunteers practice their Spanish, and touch the lives of our neighbors south of the border.
In 1995, due to popular demand, an Adult Trip was added. This is scheduled for 3 to 4 days in the Sep–Oct timeframe. Both drive or drive/fly options are available. These three days of work, laughter, growth and fun lead to changed lives on both sides of the border. Contact Tom Hoegel for more information. And don’t miss the video on our Mission to Mexico page!


Bethel financially supports 3 ministries in Tanzania. Bethel members visited Tanzania in 2006 & 2008. The hope is to renew this relationship through more trips.

Bethel School in Himo, Tanzania

Bethel School in Himo, Tanzania, was started by Pastor Godbless Mamkwe and his wife, Neema, to serve the AIDS orphans in their area. The school has both a preschool and primary school. 70% of the 200 students are AIDS orphans on scholarship.

The MaaSae Girls Lutheran Secondary School (MGLSS)

The MaaSae Girls Lutheran Secondary School[Offsite Link] (MGLSS) is a residential high school (Forms 1-6) for young women from pastoral tribes, such as Maasai, located in Monduli, Tanzania. Funding and scholarships for the school are administered by Operation Bootstrap Africa.

New Life Band

The New Life Band[Offsite Link] serves the youth of Tanzania through youth camps, school visits, conferences and concerts, and also through their new secondary school and vocational training Center in Arusha, Tanzania. The New Life Band will visit Bethel next in the fall of 2018.