PSD School Ministries
July 21, 2021
Ministry Focus Website
We would like to make you aware of a website called MinistryFOCUS. This is a grassroots volunteer organization within the LCMS that strives to alleviate the burdensome educational debt of pastors and other called workers. Since 2015, they have provided nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $500,000 to Lutheran called workers, helping them focus less on money and more on ministry, so that faith is strengthened and more people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. On this site you have the opportunity to request support for your educational debt or provide financial support to help MinistryFOCUS offer assistance to those in need. 
TLC Grant
The TLC Grant is an educational grant on behalf of the Trinity Lutheran Church Educational Endowment Fund (Reseda, CA). This grant has been established as a gift to the Church for the continuation of excellent Lutheran education in the Pacific Southwest District. This is a competitive grant based on the strength of the application and is open to all schools, K-12. Since the inception of this grant in January 2016, $276,842 has been granted to 45 different schools in the district. You are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the education of your students!
There are only two weeks left to submit your grant applications. Your requests should be innovative and have an impact on your school community. Please click here to be directed to the application form. The deadline to submit your application is July 31Recipients will be notified of grant awards in mid-August.
Hearts for Jesus Update
Thank you to all of our schools who contributed to Hearts for Jesus this year! We know it was a challenging year to collect offerings, but thank you to those who made this project a priority! To date, $20,569.66 has been contributed towards our $30,000 goal! We know God has great plans for these contributions and we are excited to share them with LeadaChild for the students and teachers in their Lutheran schools! If you have not yet sent your contributions, please mail them ASAP! Any donations received after July 30 will be credited to next year’s project. We will share the details on the 2021-22 Hearts for Jesus unified mission project with you in August! Thank you again to all who have supported!
Lutheran Educators Conference (LEC) 2021
This November, LEC will be held on-site at the JW Marriott Desert Springs! We are super excited about this! Our theme this year is Limitless from Ephesians 3:20-21. We look forward to a time of Spiritual Nurture, Professional Growth, and Fellowship. Your LEC Committee is focusing this year’s speakers and sessions into three specific topics: Mental Health, Digital Awareness, and Racial Relationships. Our mental health sessions will focus on caring for yourself and your students as we move forward. The screen time awareness sessions will focus on healthy ways to work with your students regarding screen time, setting healthy boundaries, and creative ways to work with necessary screen time. These session times will be geared toward early childhood through high school teachers and administrators. We are excited to welcome back Dr. Kim Marxhausen, who will speak to our Early Childhood attendees on the mental health and digital awareness as it specifically relates to early childhood classrooms and teachers. Your LEC Committee is working hard to create a wonderful experience as we come back together to celebrate being Lutheran educators! You won’t want to miss this year’s conference!
The cost for LEC this year will be $150 per person and hotel rooms will be $104 per night. Be sure to mark your school calendars for November 21-23 to allow for all of your staff to be able to attend and participate in the conference this year! It will be an extra special gathering to be sure!
Making Jesus Real EC Curriculum
The Making Jesus Real curriculum for Early Childhood centers is now complete! Rachel Klitzing sends her sincere thanks to Felix Rivera from Bethany Lutheran Church, Long Beach, CA, for producing this series, and to Pastor Seth Moorman from Bethany and Mary Wolfinbarger from Abiding Savior Lutheran Preschool, Lake Forest, CA, for their starring roles and behind the scenes work to complete this wonderful series! The Making Jesus Real series was designed to support early childhood through second grade teachers who do not come from a Lutheran background, Lutheran training, or haven’t taken a course in teaching faith to children, so that they can understand and learn more about the doctrine of the LCMS and be confident as they teach Bible stories in their classrooms. We strongly encourage all of our preschool through second grade teachers and directors to go through this free training prior to starting their school year! You will find the complete course hosted on the School Ministries website using this link
Fall Testing Information
The fall testing dates for our schools using the ITBS tests will be October 25 – November 5, 2021. The material orders will be sent to schools currently testing with ITBS by the first week of August. We encourage you to check your test supply inventory so you are prepared to fill out your order form when you receive it in your inbox. If you wish to begin Fall Testing with ITBS, please email to be added to that distribution list. 
For schools currently using NWEA MAP testing, you should be receiving emails directly from NWEA regarding testing for the 2021-22 school year. If you haven’t been receiving emails from NWEA, please contact Nancy Barber. If you would like information on becoming a MAP testing school, please contact our new representative, Vince Barns, directly. Contact information for both Nancy Barber and Vince Barns is on the Assessment page of our School Ministries website.
Educator of the Year 2021
Thanks to those of you who have already nominated a deserving educator and/or administrator for this prestigious district award. Please nominate NOW, while you have some time this summer!

Each year, we wish to honor exemplary educators in the Pacific Southwest District who exhibit exceptional leadership, teaching skills, and total commitment to Christ and the ministry of our Lutheran schools. We are asking for your help in identifying those who represent this spirit of dedication, commitment, and excellence. The 2021 Educators of the Year will be recognized at the Lutheran Educators Conference (LEC) banquet Monday evening, November 22, 2021, in Palm Desert, CA.
Below are the links to the nomination forms for the 2021 PSD Educators of the Year. This is an open nomination system. You may nominate in any or all of these four categories. The deadline for submitting nominations is August 31, 2021. 

April - August 31: Nomination period
September: Educator of the Year committees meet to determine finalists in each of the four categories
September/October: Evaluations/interviews completed regarding the finalists
Late October/Early November: Committees select winners
Sunday, November 21: Honorees are recognized at LEC

Nomination Forms:
Thank you for your participation in honoring our outstanding educators in the PSD!
Prayer Requests
  • Please join us in praying for Rev. John Durkovic. John suffered a stroke last week, was hospitalized and is now in skilled nursing. Please pray for Pastor Durkovic's recovery and for his wife, Nancy, as she cares for him. Nancy is the Preschool Director at Circle of Love Lutheran Preschool in Manhattan Beach, CA.
  • Join us in praying for the Administrators Leadership Conference that begins today!
  • We pray for wisdom and discernment surrounding all the decisions and planning for the upcoming school year.
  • Join us in praying for congregations, high schools, elementary schools, and early childhood centers searching for administrators, directors, teachers, and staff for the 2021-22 school year.

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