PSD School Ministries
August 26, 2020
A large paper banner hung inside the new 7th grade classroom with the words painted in turquoise poster paint, "Welcome, Mr. Thomas!" A similar paper banner in beautiful script hung at a welcome luncheon with the words, "Welcome Ms. Sanchez!" A very colorful poster hangs on the door of a classroom which states, "Welcome, Redeemed Children of God!"

How are you welcoming new teachers to your school? How are you welcoming new students to your classroom? Are you welcoming them as Jesus welcomed children...and the crippled...and the outcasts of society? Are you welcoming your students this year as precious children of God, whether they are 3 or 13; 7 or 17? And each day, do you begin by welcoming the Lord into your midst in your classroom or office?
Jesus said, "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." -Matthew 18:4-5
Welcome to a new school year!

By God’s grace, we welcome in the new 2020-21 school year – a year that is beginning like no other, after a school year which ended like no other! Yet, amidst the craziness and uncertainty of all that has swirled around us every day since about March 17, we know that God is in the midst of it all! “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

Since this is the start of a school year like no other, we know that we have some amazing opportunities to share Jesus’ love and saving message with our children and their families. They need this message now, like at no other time! Lutheran schools are connecting places where opportunities abound to build a network of friendships and relationships in Jesus.

Lutheran education is about nurturing and serving those already in the faith, but it is also about the wonderful occasions to be used by the Holy Spirit to connect with someone who does not know Jesus. Our heart and passion is to be especially for those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Those who serve in Lutheran schools (that’s you!) touch lives and seek to make an eternal difference. In this way, by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through you, you help to secure each child’s future – for eternity! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

It is my prayer for each of you that you take time to make yourselves available to God to be used for His purposes as you reach and serve students and their families in the many things you do and ways in which you interact with children and parents.

Thank you for your leadership as we navigate our way through this year with God's guidance and assurance that He is always near. Have a wonderful school year!

Spotlight on Our Schools
Please join us in praying and thanking God for the following schools this week:

Hilltop Christian Preschool, Cottonwood, AZ
Christ Greenfield Lutheran School and Preschool, Gilbert, AZ
Christ Lutheran School and Preschool, Phoenix, AZ

Below are photos from Christ Greenfield Lutheran School and Preschool, Gilbert, AZ:
Below are photos from Christ Lutheran School and Preschool, Phoenix, AZ:
One of the Preschool 3’s classes making play dough.
Finishing a puzzle in preschool.
Making a joyful noise in the Preschool 2’s class!
It’s good to be back in 5th grade!
One of CLS' three 3rd grade classes on the day they received their Bibles.
A birthday surprise for Miss Chapman from her 2nd graders!
PSD Schools in the News
Ramona Lutheran Christian School in Ramona, CA, was selected as one of nine schools in America to talk directly with astronauts on the International Space Station via Amateur Radio. The confirmed date will be announced the week of October 5, 2020. This activity is part of the ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Program, which promotes learning opportunities as part of the STEM initiative. Ramona Lutheran students will be talking to Commander Chris Cassidy (US Navy Captain and SEAL). Click here for the latest local article.

St. John's Lutheran School in Orange, CA, made local and national news on their first day of in-person school this week. Click here and here to read and watch.
For Admissions Directors
Admissions Directors: Our next Zoom meeting with Rachel Klitzing will be Tuesday, September 1, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Please be prepared to share one challenge and one idea for the new school year or how you are welcoming families back. If you are a new Admissions Director or have not been receiving emails regarding these Zoom meetings, please email to be sure you are on our distribution list.
Hearts for Jesus News
One final update about the Mission India Hearts for Jesus mission project that has just ended.

Consider the number – 1,178 children. This is the number of children who will be able to attend Children’s Bible Clubs because of the generous gifts received for Hearts for Jesus.

Now consider the number - 2,357 children. We’ve received confirmation that the contributions sent to Mission India have received a matching grant and now 2,357 children will be able to attend Children’s Bible Clubs where they will hear of the love of Jesus and the Gospel message. Thank you to all of the students, parents, families, teachers and friends of Hearts for Jesus for this amazing gift.

Our 2020-2021 Hearts for Jesus unified district mission project is LeadaChild. LeadaChild is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS and is a non-profit charity and a charter member of the Association of Lutheran Mission Agencies (ALMA). LeadaChild supports project sites in five world regions - Central America, Middle East, West Africa, Asia, and South America. Their vision is that all children have a hope and future in Jesus Christ. Contributions to LeadaChild provide scholarships, school registration, and supplies for children so that they can attend Lutheran schools and after-school programs. Click here for their website. We will be sharing more information about our efforts soon!
New Article from Dr. Tim Elmore
Click here to read How to Prepare Gen Z for the ‘New Normal’ After the Pandemic by Dr. Tim Elmore.
PPE Purchase Opportunity
From Dr. Ron Reynolds, Executive Director of California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO):

I’ve received multiple inquiries from colleagues wishing to obtain information about the web portal for the online purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) set up by the state, in partnership with the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. A link appears below. Please note that prices are not set by the state. Rather, the site operates as an online marketplace: 
Interested in the Colloquy Program?
Have you considered completing your Colloquy? The Pacific Southwest District would like to help! The district now has a grant program to provide scholarships of up to $500 per class for all PSD educators enrolled in the program. You can apply for the scholarship prior to the beginning of each class in your coursework. For more information on the Colloquy program and to get started in the program, please go to and click on the Colloquy button. To submit an application for scholarships once you are enrolled in the program, please click here. For more information and to submit your application, please email
Remote Fall Testing with NWEA
NWEA has shared with us that they have some additional guidelines for remote MAP testing this fall. Here is a link to that information on their website. They are also offering a webinar to offer support and guidance for remote testing. You can access that information here. If you have an account with NWEA, you should be receiving some of this information. If you have not received it or if you are interested in knowing more about MAP testing, please contact
TEC21 News
We have a few “empty seats” in the PSD just waiting for a few great teachers to step in this year and learn some VERY practical and applicable tools, apps, programs, ideas, etc.

Seats for this coming year’s TEC21 cohorts have been filling up all summer long. In some locations there is still room and time to join before the first workshop takes place in September!

The experience of rolling out emergency remote learning plans last school year reminded TEC21 facilitators of two very important things very quickly:

1. Our teachers need to be competent and confident in using technology to enrich their instruction.
2. Our teachers need a network of others to learn and grow from that is outside of their own buildings.

TEC21 is an investment in your school, teachers and students. Consider joining our monthly workshops, designed to prepare and equip teachers to effectively integrate technology into the shifting landscape of today's classroom. Your District Education Executive would love to see every school take full advantage of this professional development opportunity!

Register your teachers here:! Many schools use Title money to pay for some or all of the registration fee. Click here to download a cover letter and a non-religious description of the program to submit to your Title officer:   
Click here to download the TEC21 flyer.
Rev. Dr. Ray Halm Called to Glory
Rev. Dr. Ray Halm was Called to Glory on Tuesday, August 4. 
Dr. Halm served as Concordia University Irvine's second president from 1980 to 1998. As Concordia's longest serving president, his legacy left an indelible mark on the campus and set the young university's course for growth. Dr. Halm's impact went far beyond the physical campus. His life and ministry left a profound impact on generations of students, church workers, and church leaders.
Dr. Halm was preceded in death by his first wife, Darlene, with whom he had two children, Heather (Halm) Stueve and Shawne (Halm) Moore. He is survived by his second wife, Jean, both children, and several grandchildren.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Bend, OR, invites you to celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Ray Halm on Sunday, August 30, at 1:00 pm.
Cards may be sent to:
Mrs. Jean Halm & Family
20486 Timberline Court
Bend, OR 97702-9303
Prayer Requests
Each week, prayers of thanksgiving and prayers for teachers, administrators, support staff, pastors, students, and families of the Lutheran schools, early childhood centers, and churches of the Pacific Southwest District are listed. To include names on the list, please send information to by noon on Wednesday of each week. This week we pray for:

  • many of our PSD schools that have started or are starting school this week. We pray for a great 2020-21 for all of our educators, students, and families!
  • the power of the Spirit to root out the seen and unseen sins of ignorance, intolerance, hatred, and racism in our world and in the Church. We pray that we will celebrate God’s unique creation in each person, race, and culture, knowing that we are more complete as people when we stand together. Lord, bring hope and healing to our cities, states, nation, and world. 
  • COVID-19 -- for infection rates to slow and cease; that those who have been infected will heal quickly; that healthcare staff and first responders will be sustained as they carry this very heavy burden; that our churches, schools and preschools would be sustained and reliant on our loving God and His guidance; for courage and peace for our pastors, lay leaders, church and school administrators, faculties, and all church and school workers who are making difficult decisions and creating innovative solutions for continuing to reach people for the sake of the Gospel; for our federal, state and local leaders to seek God's will as they make important decisions and take actions against this disease; for God to bring many, many people to faith through this situation, and that His Church would be more effective than ever in sharing the Gospel with the lost and loving our neighbors.

Schools we are praying for the week of August 30:
Atonement Lutheran School and Early Childhood Center, Glendale, AZ
Trinity Lutheran School and Preschool, Litchfield Park, AZ
Ascension Lutheran School and Preschool, Tucson, AZ
School Ministries, Pacific Southwest District-LCMS
1540 Concordia Drive East, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone 949-854-3232 | Fax 949-854-8140

Rachel Klitzing, Executive Director of School Ministries