PSD School Ministries
Connections
October 28, 2020
This week's devotion comes from Dr. Steve Christopher, principal at Mt. Calvary, Diamond Bar, CA. Thank you, Steve, for sharing this with us!
Spotlight on Our Schools
Please join us in praying and thanking God for the following schools this week:

Child of Faith Early Learning Center, Huntington Beach, CA
Redeemer Lutheran Preschool, Huntington Beach, CA
Christ the King Lutheran Preschool and Kindergarten, Newbury Park, CA
Update on Fires in Orange County, CA
Below is an update from Tuesday afternoon. We will continue to share updates on our Facebook page.

The Silverado Fire in the Irvine, CA, area has burned more than 12,000 acres, and is currently at 5% containment. At least 70,000 homes have been evacuated in Irvine, with 8,000 evacuated in Lake Forest. Some evacuation orders were recently lifted in Irvine. Winds and unhealthful air quality continue in the region; the strong winds are expected to lessen this afternoon.

The Blue Ridge Fire (previously called the “Green” Fire) in the Yorba Linda, CA, area has burned more than 15,200 acres, and is at 0% containment. Homes in the area continue to face an immediate threat, with ten damaged so far. Evacuation orders are in place for areas of Yorba Linda, Brea, Chino Hills and Diamond Bar.

Updates from area churches and schools:
  • Crean Lutheran High School experienced some fire damage earlier today to vegetation directly adjacent to campus. The athletic complex on Portola sustained $50-60,000+ damage yesterday, consisting of a storage outbuilding, irrigation equipment, fencing, security cameras, vegetation and some sports equipment. St. Pauls-Irvine, who worships on Crean’s campus, was able to remove their trailer with worship equipment from the campus before fire encroached.
  • Concordia University-Irvine (CUI) and the Pacific Southwest District (PSD) office continue to face no threat from the Silverado Fire at this time. In-person classes at CUI will resume on Wednesday, and employees will be allowed to return to work on campus. On Wednesday the PSD office will also resume its limited in-office operations plan in place due to the pandemic.
  • Orange Lutheran High School reports some students needing to leave campus due to home evacuation orders in Yorba Linda.
  • Salem - Orange reports they are doing well but their campus is closed due to power outages, winds and smoke. Horse trailers are lined up there to help evacuate equines as needed. They have a number of folks involved as firefighters / first responders.
  • Peace – Tustin reports they are on the edge of an evacuation warning area. Members are safe with one who has had to evacuate so far, but several members in the warning zone who will need to evacuate if it becomes mandatory.
  • Abiding Savior – Lake Forest reports the church is fine but they have members and school families that have had to evacuate their homes. Many children spent the night in hotels last night. Their school is open primarily to provide a place for the children during the day as parents deal with the implications of being evacuated. Almost all of their students are in attendance.
  • Christ – Brea reports they are fine, dealing with smoke but with no members in the areas that have had to be evacuated.
  • Edgewater – Eastvale reports they have not experienced evacuations, but they have members fighting the fire, and with one of the firefighters injured in the Silverado Fire yesterday a close friend.

Your continued prayers on behalf of these communities, first responders, churches and schools are very much needed and appreciated.
PSD All Workers Conference 2020!
Check out the video above all about the All Workers Conference (AWC) on Monday-Tuesday, November 23-24! Click here to register for the conference.

We are thrilled to be able to bring you a wide variety of sessions for the various ministry positions in which you are serving. Several more workshops have been added since last week, so please check the AWC website!

One of the benefits of our online conference this year is that you, as a registered attendee, will have access to the conference “hub” (website) through February 2021. AWC may look different this year, but we are excited about all that is in store for you! The excellence and commitment to supporting and equipping you for ministry while also resourcing our congregations and schools for making the Great Commission REAL remains our highest priority!

AWC Host Sites
The 2020 All Workers Conference online format doesn't mean personal engagement isn't possible. We pray that groups of pastors, educators, DCEs, music directors, and more will safely gather at host sites, providing participants with the opportunity to engage around content, enjoy the fellowship of others and worship together. Larger church/school staffs may want to stay on campus and become their own host site, inviting others in their area to join them per their county's guidelines.

Interested in being a host site or just want to know more? Check out this information on the AWC website and learn about the place, technology and connection guidelines for host sites. Interested in hosting? Email awchostsites@psd-lcms.org. A listing of available host sites where you can join your colleagues is coming soon!


Thankoffering for AWC
Again this year, we will be collecting our Thankoffering to assist students attending one of our Concordia’s who are preparing for a vocation in church work, and who are children of church workers. Because this year our conference is virtual, please collect your Thankoffering in advance ($1 per year of your ministry service) or collect it at your watch site on Nov. 23, and then send it in the envelope that each school received in the mail to School Ministries, Pacific Southwest District, 1540 Concordia E., Irvine, CA, 92612.

#awclcms
Synod Statistics Due Monday!
THANK YOU to the 95 schools who have reported their statistics!

The reporting period closes this coming Monday, November 2, so PLEASE make time to gather your statistics and enter them into the system this week. If you need helping logging in, please contact the LCMS Church Information Center at 888-843-5267 or you can email rosters.stats@lcms.org.
 
We appreciate your attention to this important matter – we are looking for 100% reporting from our PSD schools! We will continue to make phone calls this week. Please know that these calls are intended to be helpful. Synod is asking us to contact all of our schools to request this important information. Thank you so much for your understanding of the importance of reporting.

Reporting from Synod*:
95 schools submitted – 20 schools to go!
ECE - 50 submitted/15 to go
Elementary - 40 submitted/4 to go
HS - 5 submitted/1 to go
83% Reported
*This is the Synodical counting of schools
School Services
Our deepest gratitude to the 34 early childhood centers, 27 elementary schools, and six high schools who have partnered with School Ministries and sent in their School Services contributions! As of this date, we have received $79,885 for K-12 School Services and $19,990 for Early Childhood School Services, for a total of $99,875! Praise be to God! Thank you for your partnership!

It is our hope that the remaining early childhood centers, elementary schools and high schools who have not yet partnered with us, will do so in the months ahead. At a time when so much of what had been routine and predictable has become uncertain, our School Ministries office has made it our goal to maintain a consistency of service to you and your school. We strive to provide you with timely, credible, and relevant information about the developments that impact our schools. We are proud of our membership with CAPSO, AZ CAPE, and NV CAPE. We communicate with the state legislature key agencies, the Offices of the Governors, the WASC Accreditation Commission for Schools, and the California Interscholastic Federation. Your partnership is instrumental in making all of this happen. If you would like to confirm if your school has contributed, please contact Kim Violette. Most importantly, thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!
Revised Congregational Treasurer's Manual Now Available
The newly revised Congregational Treasurer's Manual is now available online from the Synod website at lcms.org. This is a comprehensive, valuable resource that provides all kinds of information related to church and school administration. Recent updates and revisions include links to COVID-19 resources, updates to benefits offered by Concordia Plans, updates to contribution and Social Security limits, and much more.
 
The content for the Treasurer's Manual is accessible directly online, downloadable in PDF format. The Pacific Southwest District also has a small supply of printed copies (which include a CD version of the manual). Cost is $7 plus shipping, and the CD-only version is free. Contact Cathy Korp, PSD CFO, at cathy.korp@psd-lcms.org to order.
A Free Lutheran Middle School Gathering
The Florida/Georgia District is hosting a free virtual Middle School Gathering on Saturday, November 7, from 6-9 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will be about three hours total, including a live meet ‘n greet with the band, Bread of Stone. The Florida/Georgia District has worked with Bread of Stone for about five years, and have found them to be just about perfect for their youth events. The speaker is Dr. Jacob Youmans, along with his daughters Maile and Leilani. Jake served in the PSD and is currently serving at Concordia University Texas. We are excited that the FL/GA District has invited our participation in the PSD! Click here for more information, including an awesome promo video about the event. Invite your Middle Schoolers to be a part of this!
Free Literacy and Language Arts Resources
We have become aware of some outstanding resources for your PreK-8th grade classrooms from our partners at Zaner-Bloser. These will be helpful to supplement your Language Arts, Reading, and Handwriting lessons, and to share with parents of your students.
Reminder: Complete California Sexual Harassment & Abuse Prevention Training
California SB 1343 amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act regulations to require California employers (including churches and schools) with five or more employees to provide sexual-harassment-prevention training to all workers by January 1, 2021 (as amended by SB 778), and every two years thereafter. Employees are required to complete one hour of training every two years while supervisors are required to complete two hours every two years or within 6 months of taking on a supervisory position. There are many online, in-house and other options available. One option for churches to consider is CongregationU, who offers online training with sensitivity to a church’s unique setting. For schools, an option is the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore who offers online, in-house, and train the trainer resources. An additional resource to check is your insurance company who may have their own trainings, or can refer you to third-party resources.
Prayer Requests
  • For all those affected by the fires in Orange County. We pray for our churches and schools in the fire areas, for evacuated and other affected residents, for the injured firefighters, and for safety and strength for all the firefighters and other first responders.
  • For Tuesday's election. We pray for integrity of the process and for our country as we elect leaders and vote on local issues.

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,
We cry out to you for mercy during these challenging days. Lord, please heal our land, bring peace to our neighborhoods and cities, and tear down the walls of hate and injustice that divide us. Raise up your church to be a life-giving force and ambassadors of reconciliation. Empower us for action that we may model for our world the oneness in Christ, who alone is the hope of the world. Give wisdom to our civil authorities and faith leaders to make decisions and lead in directions that will result in repentance, healing, forgiveness, new directions, and peace. Father in heaven, we pray for our police officers and fire fighters. We ask for your protection, provision and encouragement for our first responders who serve our communities faithfully and sacrificially, facing risks every day on our behalf in order to preserve the peace, our lives and property. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Schools we are praying for the week of November 1:
St. James Lutheran Preschool and Kindergarten, Imperial Beach, CA
St. John’s Lutheran Preschool, Montebello, CA
iRemnant Preschool, Fullerton, 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 anna.preus@psd-lcms.org 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