PSD School Ministries
January 6, 2021
We have all lived through and survived one of the most challenging years ever! Think about it… I bet in less than five seconds you can think of at least three very prominent issues that surfaced in 2020, most of which we would rather leave right there – behind us, in the rearview mirror.
But, stop right there, and now ponder this…I bet in less than five seconds you can think of at least three very POSITIVE things that happened in 2020…families drew closer and learned new skills as they stayed home more; you witnessed children having an “ah-ha” moment; teachers you saw quickly adjusting and changing course with new protocols; children adapting to a new normal; teachers doing some heroic and creative work under unusual circumstances; the Gospel message getting into the homes of numerous families because of virtual (remote) learning, virtual Advent and Christmas programs, etc., etc.
Everyone I know was ready to turn the page and leave 2020 behind. Me too! I simply, however, want us to remember that the best of human nature can surface in the toughest of times. For some, the interruption of the pandemic became an introduction to something amazing, which might have never happened in the busy routines of our normal lives. Let’s carry this with us into 2021.
I have been praying for you every day over Christmas vacation, and have prayed for renewed strength and joy for you in your ministry. A year ago, we could not have imagined how Psalm 46 would become such an amazing rallying cry of hope, but it is one of the many Scripture passages that has meant the most to me this past year, and I cling to it now as we start a New Year! “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will NOT FEAR…The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress…come behold the works of the Lord…Be still, and know that I am God…” (Select passages from Ps. 46.)

Thank you for all you are doing to support the ministries entrusted to you. May Christ continue to be your refuge and strength as you serve Him. (John 16:33) ~ Rachel Klitzing
Spotlight on Our Schools
We will resume our school prayer schedule next week!
January Devotion on Website
The January devotion is now up on our website. It is a video devotion from Rev. Calvin Kapels from Christ Lutheran Church and School, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, and titled This New Year is a Bounce Back Year! Click here to view it! Thank you, Pastor Kapels, for reminding us that through the power of God, we can bounce back in a big way this year.
Early Childhood Directors Conference
Three Important Changes to the EC Directors Conference on Thursday, January 21, 2021:
  1. The conference will be virtual rather than in person (interactive - via Zoom).
  2. This highly valuable conference will be offered at NO COST because we deeply desire all of our early childhood directors to attend and receive support, encouragement, practical tools and tips for leading and communicating, and spiritual nurture. Please use the money you would have spent on the conference to pay for a sub (if applicable) so that you can attend. You will still need to register to attend so we can send you the link to login, but there are no costs or fees. The district is absorbing the cost because we want to support YOU! (Those who have already registered and paid will be reimbursed.)
  3. The schedule has changed! Here is the new schedule (PST):

9:00-9:45: Welcome and Bible Study – Mary Wolfinbarger & Pastor Glenn Lucas
9:45-10:00: Break (grab a snack)
10:00-11:00: Session One – Dr. John Eckrich (“Spiritual Wellness & Self-Care”), Grace Place Ministries
11:00-11:15: Break (grab a cool glass of water or other beverage)
11:15-11:45: Session Two – Dr. John Eckrich
11:45-Noon: Break (grab your lunch or snack)
Noon-1:00: Session Three – Counselor Sara Marko (“Connect & Be Present”), St. John’s, Orange
1:00: Closing – Rachel Klitzing 

National Lutheran Schools Week 2021
Happy New Year! The 2021 National Lutheran Schools Week (NLSW) celebrations will soon be upon us and we are excited to celebrate along with you! If there was ever a year to celebrate Lutheran education and the work of our amazing educators, the 2020-2021 school year is certainly it. We are looking forward to seeing the ways that you celebrate Lutheran education!
National Lutheran Schools Week
Theme: “Sent to Serve”
Verse: Matthew 20:28 ESV
Dates: January 24 – 30, 2021
A number of great ideas have already been shared on the LuthEd Facebook Group regarding how schools will be celebrating the week, and a few new and unique ones are listed below. Be sure to check out the resources on as well as the LuthEd Facebook Group to help with your final planning!
  1. New Dress Up Days (Essential Worker, “Zoom Meeting”, etc.)
  2. Virtual Visits with a Concordia University
  3. Mail Thank You Notes to Pastors, Church Workers, etc.
  4. Martin Luther, Jesus, Pastor/Principal/Teacher Drawing Contests
  5. Make and Deliver (Socially-Distanced) Something (Hot Chocolate, Card, etc.) to Your Neighbor
We would encourage you to share the daily chapels from the LCMS international center (LCMS Facebook and KFUO Radio) even though we will not have choirs or other NLSW-specific events this year.
Especially this year, we know that our schools throughout the country will be celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week at different times and on different dates. However, we encourage you to follow, like, and tag the LCMS School Ministry social media accounts and use the “#NLSW21” and “#LuthEd” hashtags for anything related to the 2021 National Lutheran Schools Week celebrations throughout the year!
If you have any questions about the ideas or resources listed above, please let us know. Thank you in advance for celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week again this year!
Matthew Bergholt
Manager, Online Support and Services
The Lutheran Church­—Missouri Synod
TLC Grant Application Open
Applications are now being accepted for the January 2021 TLC Grant. This grant has been established as a gift to the Church for the continuing of excellent Lutheran education in the Pacific Southwest District. This grant is a competitive grant based on the strength of the application. It is open to all Pacific Southwest District Lutheran schools, K-12. Since the inception of this grant in January 2016, $252,342 has been granted to 44 different schools in our district. Click here for more information and the simple application. The deadline is January 31. In the spirit of the season, if you are reading this, be the first person to respond to Rachel and you'll receive a $25 gift card to a place of your choice. Grant recipients will be announced in mid-February, with the grants awarded immediately. Grant requests will be made twice annually – in January and August.
Hearts for Jesus - Lead a Child
We encourage you to take a look at the information for LeadaChild on our School Ministries website. LeadaChild is our Hearts for Jesus unified mission project recipient for the 2020-2021 school year. Now more than ever the need for Christian Lutheran education in these areas of our world is great! Please take some time to review this information and plan how your school will support Hearts for Jesus this year!
LCEF Webinars
The year is 2021 and not much has changed. When the pandemic hit, many believed it would come and go in the blink of an eye.

The reality is quite different—we are now living in a new normal, and even as things change around us, one thing that does not change is Christ and Christ alone. With that in mind, you are invited to participate in two upcoming webinars in the winter series, “Coping with the New Norm.”

These webinars are free of charge and all you have to do is register. They will be 45 minutes long and will allow for 15 minutes of questions. These webinars will also be recorded if you are unable to attend. There is limited space, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible.

Technology + Church - How to Keep Christ at the Center in the Digital Age 
Rev. Trevor Sutton and Seth Hinz
Tuesday, January 19, 2 pm Central

As technology continues to evolve and change, churches are realizing that technology will continue to be a part of ministry even when people can be face-to-face. How do you keep Christ at the center even in a digital age? What technology should your church consider for the future? Join Rev. Trevor Sutton and Seth Hinz as they tackle these two questions and many more.

’How Ya Doin’?’ Assessing and Planning Wellness
Darrell Zimmerman
Thursday, January 21, 2 pm Central

Many people have gone above and beyond their normal duties as the community adjusts to various mandates in response to COVID-19. In the midst of all these changes, how are you doing? Have you stopped to evaluate? Are you taking care of yourself? Join Darrell Zimmerman of Grace Place Wellness as he addresses how to assess and plan your wellness using Galatians 5 and a handy checklist you can use today.
News from TEC21
Our 2020/2021 cohorts are well underway in 27 TEC21 innovation centers, and we are actively forming our 2021/2022 cohorts. Save one or two spots now for a cohort near you by registering with your name. Ensure your teachers don’t miss out on targeted, highly relevant learning during the most dynamic period of change and discovery we’ve experienced in the 12 years of the TEC21 Workshop Program. Our coaching platform is a series of face-to-face workshops scheduled throughout the school year and held during the school day. These energetic, content-rich sessions are facilitated by Lutheran school educators who are passionate—now more than ever—about integrating technology into the school classroom to engage and motivate kids.

Register with your name to save spots for one or more of your teachers. To register, click here.

To learn more, click here to download the TEC21 one-sheet. 
Happy New Year from Lutheran Hour Ministries
Due to restrictions put in place because of COVID-19, the Tournament of Roses Parade was not on the streets of Pasadena on New Year’s Day 2021 for the first time since 1945. 

While this year’s postponement has left a void in our annual New Year’s Day morning tradition, watch the video below to see why the Lutheran Hour Ministries float has been the longest-running religious float, and currently the only Christian float, in the parade for the past seven decades. 
New Call Document Revision
Dear Administrators,
The Commissioned Minister Call Document has been revised for 2021. The new version is 4.9.2 and is the only version to be used from this point forward. Please share this information with anyone at your school or church who will be preparing Commissioned Call Documents in the future. The sign-in and password remain unchanged. Contact Ellen Pratt if you have any questions at or 949-854-3232 ext. 224. 
Prayer Requests
  • For a blessed start to 2021 for you, your family, your students, and their families. 
  • For the family of Alice Koehnke. Alice went to be with Jesus on December 15, 2020. Alice was a long-time 3rd grade teacher at St. John's, Orange, and she also served at First, Manhattan Beach, and Immanuel, Redondo Beach. We pray for peace and comfort for all of Alice's family, which includes her daughter Gretchen Cariker, who also teaches at St. John's.

Schools we are praying for the week of January 10:
Victory Christian Academy, Chula Vista, CA
Christ Lutheran School and Preschool, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Preschool & Kindergarten, Moreno Valley, CA

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 Tuesday of each week.
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