PSD School Ministries
June 3, 2020
PSD Schools Video
Our PSD Lutheran schools have done a phenomenal job of continuous student learning during this time of pandemic. Our principals, directors and teachers have pivoted with agility to remote learning at home, while keeping the relationships strong with the students and their families. Below is a video I am PROUD to share with you, showing the excellence with which our schools deliver their education, even in times of crisis!


~Rachel Klitzing, Executive Director of School Ministries
It's Time for Something that Only God Can Do!
Click here to read It’s Time for Something that Only God Can Do!
A Message to the Church Regarding Racism and the Current Crisis in our Nation by Rev. Dr. Mike Gibson, President of the PSD.
Spotlight on Our Schools
Thank you for joining us in prayer and thanksgiving to God for all of our PSD schools over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. What a year it has been! We will continue to pray for you over the summer. We look forward to starting up our prayers for specific schools again in August!
Join Rachel for her last Facebook Live this Friday!
Connections Break
Connections will not be sent next Wednesday, June 10. It will resume on Wednesday, June 17.
COVID-19 Resources
Please take some time to go through all of the resources that we have collected on the PSD COVID-19 website: . We are frequently updating this page with new and additional information, including details specifically for schools, so please check back often.

Letters have been sent to the three Governors of the states which make up the Pacific Southwest District. While the letters to Governors Newsom and Sisolak are very similar (co-signed by President Lange of CNH) in requesting their support for the church, the letter to Governor Ducey of Arizona was written to thank him for his continue support of the faith community.  Read Letters

As congregations and schools enter into the phase of re-orienting to our new reality one thing is sure, the Church will remain the steady Presence of Christ whether we are gathered in a building or scattered throughout the community. For this week's MISSION ESSENTIAL, we'd like to turn your attention to a book that has shaped innovative and connective ministries for the past 10 years. AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church  by Hugh Halter and Matt May speaks to the reality that the one-size fits all model of church doesn't really work in face of increasing cultural and social diversity. The church is both a gathered and scattered body, large and small in scale and scope of connection to its community. We've heard from many churches seeking to maintain both a gathered and scattered ministry post-COVID19. This book will help you explore new to reach people with the love of Jesus!  Book Link

We are excited to share with you a list of vendors who have access to supplies you may need as you begin to plan for reopening your schools. We have worked with several vendors to create special pricing or opportunities specifically for our PSD schools and churches.  Click here to be directed to the information form on our School Ministries website.

CDC Issues Guidance Regarding the Reopening of K-12 Schools, Summer Day Camps, and Child Care Programs
Click here for more information, including several links from the CDC, from Liebert Cassidy Whitmore.

The PPP loan forgiveness application is now available. See the Financial/HR section of the Coronavirus resources on the PSD website. In addition, the Treasury Dept. and Small Business Administration have released guidance regarding the good faith certification that the loan funds were truly needed by borrowers. Essentially, they have created a "safe harbor" provision where they will essentially accept that certification as-is for loans less than $2 million. See the Financial/HR section of the Coronavirus resources on the PSD website. Finally, PPP funds are still available -- see this recent article . If you haven't applied yet, there still may be time.

From Concordia Plan Services : The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued guidance to aid organizations that received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as they prepare to apply for loan forgiveness. The following resources can be accessed here directly:
  • Full text of SBA Guidance on PPP loan forgiveness.
  • FAQ on SBA Guidance on PPP loan forgiveness.
  • Review procedures and borrower responsibilities related to PPP loan forgiveness.
Please visit our website for additional information and frequent updates on COVID-related legislation.

The PSD has a webpage on reopening churches and schools that we are adding to often. Click here to go straight to it.

Check out our Learning at Home - COVID-19 Facebook album. We love the pictures schools are sharing with us! If you'd like to share your school's photos, please send them to


Grants assist ordained, commissioned, and lay workers in the LCMS impacted by the pandemic. You may qualify! Click here for more information.
Some Helpful Resources from LCEF and LEA
LCEF Webinar Series: Early Childhood Centers
Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) recently presented their COVID-19 early childhood center webinar series. Exceptional presenters shared practical and helpful advice to help early childhood workers and administrators navigate this difficult season.
If you weren’t able to make it, you can now access each presenter's recorded webinar presentation.
Megan Miessler 

Kathy Entzenberger

Bill Nau
The Lutheran Junior Honor Association (LJHA) Task Force has completed its work and is ready to initiate the organization in time for the new school year. LJHA is designed for Lutheran schools to recognize students who exercise leadership, servanthood, and discipleship, while excelling at academics and to foster these qualities through service projects and other activities. More detailed information is available here.

LEA is pleased to announce
Looking Back on Distance Learning 2020
If there was ever a school year that could benefit from a healthy debriefing, it’s this one. The year began in the classroom and finished in the home with much scrambling, innovation, and problem-solving in-between. Join Dr. Kim Marxhausen and four Lutheran administrators/teachers: Suzanne Braun, Julian Petzold, Krista Barnhouse, and Aimee Dierks as we seek, in three quick conversations, to examine and learn from a remarkable year full of twists and turns.

This year is an excellent example of how we wouldn’t want to go there if we could see the future. Yet, when we look back on how we handled things, we have an opportunity to see how God has helped us to grow. This group of educators found that meeting the emotional needs of their students and families became essential. This discussion points to a shift from helping students to fit a system toward adjusting the way of doing things to equip individual families.

Few people develop problem-solving skills outside of real-life problems. This year, with its abrupt pivot to new ways of teaching and learning, provided much opportunity to develop this skill. Our educators noticed new ways of staff collaboration, hidden gifts among teachers, and an abundance of actions offering support in a chaotic, emotional time. Click and listen to examples of Lutheran educators at their best.
When things go well, it is easy for parents and teachers to do their separate jobs and leave each other to their own work. The last few months reinvigorated the commitment of Lutheran educators to work in partnership with parents. Listen in as these educators discuss how they learned to equip families to teach everything from faith to reading to sex education. Perhaps this experience will rekindle a new kind of partnership between schools and families.

Four of the past discussions can also be found at LEA’s YouTube channel .

Other Resources from LEA (Lutheran Education Association):
Using Children’s Books to Teach Literary Theory in High School (Crystalee Calderwood in edutopia/Accomplished Teacher ).

Remote Learning and Mental Health: What Educators Need to Be Aware Of (Ray Bendici in Tech&Learning ).
TLC Grant Information
The July TLC Grant application window is now open.  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. More information on the purpose of the grant money is in the grant application packet. Since the inception of this grant in January 2016, $227,942 has been granted to 44 different schools in the district. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the education you share with your students.
Please click here to be directed to the application form.  The deadline to submit your application is July 31 . Recipients will be notified in mid-August.
Hearts for Jesus Update
Our Hearts for Jesus goal is to provide the funds for 1,500 children to attend Children’s Bible Clubs. To date, we will be able to support 860 children with the contributions received. Thank you to all who have supported this mission! It’s not too late to begin participating in the HEARTS FOR JESUS: Mission India project--even remotely! This is a great opportunity to help send children in India to Children's Bible Clubs!

Through the work of Mission India, children in India will get to hear the Gospel (many for the first time!) and share what they learn with their families. The ripple effect? Entire villages and communities hearing about Jesus and His saving grace.

There are still millions more children in India who haven't heard the opportunity to hear about Jesus. There's still time to help us reach them with the Gospel!  The cost for a student to attend the Children’s Bible Clubs is $24 for an entire year!

Here’s the link to all the information you need: . The site is password protected because of the sensitive nature of sharing Jesus in India and persecution of Christians, which is on the rise.

 If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Klitzing at or Ellen Pratt at . Thank you for getting involved!
Jubilarian Information
We are very excited for our All Workers Conference (AWC) in November 2020. The planning and hard work has already begun. We will be honoring Jubilarians at the AWC. Jubilarians are those educators on your staff who have completed 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years of service at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 
New this year… You will be submitting Jubilarian information using Google Forms. If you are an administrator, please identify those on your staff that will be a Jubilarian. Please click here to fill out the form. Submissions are due June 15, 2020.
God’s continued blessings on your ministry!
Lisa Rogers
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:

  • Aaron Partch, co-director at Concordia, Chula Vista, CA. Doctors discovered a brain tumor in Aaron and he recently had surgery. We ask for urgent prayers for Aaron's full recovery as well as prayers for the ministry at Concordia, Chula Vista.
  • thanksgiving for the years of service of all of our educators retiring at the end of this school year. God's richest blessings to you!
  • all of our schools, as you have end of the year activities, graduations, and other celebrations in different but still special ways this year.
  • Congratulations to all of our graduates--preschool, kindergarten, 8th grade, and high school!
  • the Lord to grant us His grace and peace. We pray for Him to give us new eyes to see. We pray that the power of the Spirit will 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.
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