The 2018 Synod Assembly was held on the campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks with the theme "Love & Serve: God, Neighbor, Creation." The Synod Assembly is the highest legislative body in the Synod, and is composed of voting members from each congregation, along with rostered ministers, visitors, and guests who gather to conduct business and celebrate the many ministries of this synod. 

95 SWCA Synod congregations were represented. 428 persons were in attendance, including 79 non-voting visitors.

The voting membership consisted of 110 Ministers of Word and Sacrament, four Deacons, 24 members of Synod Council, and 211 congregational lay voting members. Of the voting membership, 191 were male and 158 were female. 89 were persons of color or whose first language was other than English, and nine were 30 years of age or under.

Our Churchwide Representative and Keynote Speaker was Prairie Rose Seminole,  Program Director for the American Indian and Alaska Native Ministries of the ELCA. Bible Studies were lead by members of the SWCA Synod Green Faith Team. For more information and ongoing updates about 2018 Assembly events, please see the synod website .

Assembly Notebook

In accordance with the  Becoming a Lutherans Restoring Creation Synod  and  Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change  resolution passed by the 2016 Synod Assembly, individual printed assembly notebooks were not provided to Assembly Members. In addition to the Guidebook application, downloadable PDFs are available at the links below.

The updated Guidebook App can be downloaded   here , and a web version  is available here.

Elections and Resolutions & Memorials
Elections were held for the following Synod Council positions, as well as for Voting Representatives to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which will gather August 5 - 10, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Members-at-Large: Ana Nieva; Rev. Ryan Chaddick; Rev. Pam Challis
Youth Representative: Kir'ra Hemphill
2019 Churchwide Assembly Voting Representatives: Rev. James Boline;
Rev. Jennifer Chrien; Michael Metzger; Deacon Lynn Bulock; Cheyenne Boykin; Wanda Rosado-Martinez
San Gabriel Conference Representative: Cortni Rahn
Central Coast Conference Representative: Laura Krueger
The Churchwide Council Member from the SWCA Synod will be chosen at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly from the two nominees elected at the 2018 Synod Assembly: Carol Bjelland and Valerie Shaw.
2018 Clarence E. Anderson
Peace and Justice Award
Emily Ann Eastwood, recipient of the 2018 Clarence E. Anderson Award, served as Director of the Reconciling in Christ Program of Lutherans Concerned/North America from 2002 to 2004 and as Executive Director from 2004 to 2014. She is credited with bringing the principles of faith-based community organizing, major donor fundraising, and widespread volunteer training to the welcoming movement across denominations. She led Lutheran coalition efforts to achieve policy change in the ELCA in 2009 allowing for the call, ordination and consecration of otherwise qualified candidates for ministry in publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships, and allowing for same-gender marriage within the church.

The Clarence E. Eastwood Award was established in 2011 in honor of Clarence's commitment to the work of peace and justice. Please see the 2018 Assembly Guidebook for more information about its history and this year's recipient .
2018 Grant Recipients
2018 Charles and Mable Warner Grants 
(to be used for the construction of Sunday School facilities
and to further youth Christian education)

·       Church of the Master, Lancaster 
·       Grace, Bell (Spanish Congregation) 
·       Fruit of the Spirit, Torrance 
·       St. Matthew's, North Hollywood

2018 Mission & Ministry Grants 
(to be used for mission outreach as defined in the synod's mission goals)

·       Adore, Los Angeles 
·       Angelica, Los Angeles 
·       Another Level, Los Angeles 
·       Christ, Long Beach 
·       Church in the Foothills, La Canada 
·       Eagle Rock, Los Angeles 
·       First, Inglewood 
·       Grace, Bell 
·       Grace, Culver City 
·       Hill Avenue Grace, Pasadena 
·       Holy Trinity, Inglewood 
·       Lutheran Retreats, Camps, and Conferences, Frazier Park 
·       Maritime Ministry, Long Beach 
·       Messiah, Los Angeles 
·       New City Parish, Inglewood 
·       Our Redeemer, Oxnard 
·       Pueblo De Dios, Compton 
·       Resurrection, Redondo Beach 
·       Trinity, Long Beach

Consider how a Synod Grant could benefit your ministry, and plan your Mission & Ministry or Warner Trust Fund grant application in advance! An invitation to apply for either of our two grant programs will be sent to congregations, institutions, and agencies towards the end of the year, as well as posted on the website. 
Assembly Worship
The Land's First People:
Honoring Native Neighbors
During our Assembly Service of Worship with Holy Communion, we honored the original inhabitants of the lands that make up our synod ad and committed ourselves to new levels of respect and regard.

The service featured Native American flute music, drums, and dancing, and was led by Bishop Guy Erwin (Osage Nation of Oklahoma) and  Prairie Rose Seminole  (Affiliated Tribes of ND) from the ELCA Churchwide offices. Also featured was Danza Azteca Yolotlketz ally, an Aztec dance group of first, second, and third-generation Mexican Americans. They practice at Iglesia Luterana Fe y Esperanza, one of our synod’s new start congregations.

A worship offering of $3,480 went towards the Bishop’s Mission Fund to support new start congregations within the Southwest California Synod.

Southwest California Synod of the ELCA| (818) 507-9591||