Latest District News
August 22, 2023

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Ministry Development: Emmanuel, Maui

Two weeks ago today, the lives of the people on Maui were profoundly impacted by fires. Slowly, day by day, often imperceptibly, hope and healing are returning.


A team of six has been on the island, assisting the people of Emmanuel, Maui, in the mission of bringing God’s mercy to the survivors of the 3 wildfires. The largest consumed about 80% of Lahaina. At the invitation of the CNH leadership, the team: Chris and Jeanette Singer, Deaconess Kathy O’Day of Lutheran Church Charities; Rev Ralph Schmidt of Orphan Grain Train; Rev Rod Hall, and Rev Mark Hannemann, LCMS pastors and licensed counselors arrived on island on or about August 16. This team has worked with Emmanuel Lutheran Church to assess and work to meet needs.


A ministry of gift cards, care, a relational listening ear, basic needs supplied and equipping of congregational members is commencing. Direct care is being brought to the leaders of Emmanuel Lutheran Church and School.

Click here to learn about the work that is currently being accomplished.

Click here for suggestions on how you can support during disasters.

If you would like to know more or to schedule a Lutheran Early Response Team training event for the congregations in your area, please contact CNH District Disaster Response Coordinator,

Rev (em) Phil Zabell

Pictured above are Emmanuel leaders and staff flanked by Kathy O’Day from Lutheran Church Charities and Rev. Rod Hall, former pastor at St. Mark’s Sunnyvale and licensed counselor. 

Meet Our Speaker for This Year’s Pastors’ Conference

Rev. John Arthur Nunes, PhD, is a Lutheran pastor in Santa Monica, California and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy. He has served as the President of Concordia College New York, as the President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief, and as a professor at Valparaiso University.


Remember to register before September 15th.

Click here to register.

What: CNH District Pastors' Conference

When: Monday, October 9, 1:00 PM PDT - Tuesday, October 10, 1:00 PM PDT

Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton, 101 McInnis Pkwy, San Rafael, CA 89502  

Installation at Messiah Lutheran Church, Ewa Beach, HI

On Sunday, August 20th, the pastors of the Lutheran Mission Council of Hawaii gathered to install Pastor Brad Zerkel as the long-term interim pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Ewa Beach. Pastor Zerkel arrived from Independence, Missouri and was treated to a Tongan choir, luau and fellowship to remind him he isn't in Kansas (City) anymore. 

Pastor Lloyd Willweber (EM), vacancy pastor at Messiah the last four months was the liturgist, Pastor Mark Zier, Christ Lutheran in Hilo, was the preacher. Two of his seminary classmates were also in attendance: Pastor Christian Rasmussen, Our Redeemer, Honolulu and Pastor Jaim Gann, Grace, Chester, VA.

In attendance: Jaim Gann, Christian Rasmussen, Brad and Donell Zerkel, Mitch Gowen, Mark Zier, Stephen Becker, Bob Mabry, Will Pierce, Dan Truesdell, Lloyd Willweber, Clarence DeLude.

St. John’s Bakersfield LERT Team Rebuilds Four Homes in Pond, CA

When residents of Pond, California, had their homes flooded twice in one week in March 2023, the LERT group from St. John’s in nearby Bakersfield saw the opportunity for local service. In conjunction with a nationwide group, God’s Pit Crew, local LERT volunteers first helped “muck out” the houses, then helped rebuild during July and August.

Most days the temperatures were well over 100 degrees, but the hot, hard work continued. On August 13, the residents of all four rebuilt homes were able to celebrate the return to their homes after five months of living elsewhere. Well done, team, and to God be the glory!

Retreat Ministry at Shepherd's Canyon

A special retreat from October 31-November 4 is planned for clergy couples who are dealing with prodigal sons and daughters. The retreat will be led by Rev. Dr. Mark Hannemann, LPC, LMHP, CLC and Jill Dodge, LCSW, a long-time Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat Counselor. 

The cost for this 4-day retreat will be $1000 p/person plus travel. Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat will arrange transportation from the Phoenix airport. This retreat is limited to only four couples. 

Click here for more details.

Upcoming retreats are scheduled for September 18-24, October 9-16, and November 6-13. All of these retreats are available. Scholarship funds are available as well.


If any CNH pastors and wives would like to attend, we ask that they contact the CNH office. We (CNH District) can scholarship the first two couple's tuition, room and board for the retreat. Air or car travel to Phoenix will be at the couple’s expense.

Click Here for Previous Articles, Issues And Events!

Called to Glory Notifications

As pillars of the faith get called back to their heavenly home, we want to honor and acknowledge the legacy they leave behind and the impact they had within our congregations. Therefore, we have created a new memorial notification section in the InTouch. If you would like to include any upcoming memorials, please click here to send the name, date of death, and date of service so that we may include them in an upcoming issue of the InTouch. We will still continue to send a Flash for pastors and called workers as well.

Pastor David Shoemaker, pastor emeritus, Sonora, CA, was called to glory on Monday, July 31, 2023. A private Celebration of Faith will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2023, which would have been the Shoemakers’ 61st wedding anniversary.

Pastor Philip Ilten, pastor emeritus, Arroyo Grande, CA, was called to the arms of Jesus on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Funeral arrangements are pending.

District Resources

Click here for our International Mission Partners

Click here for the Board of Directors Minutes (Current through June 2023)

Click here for Calls, Vacancies, and Roster Updates 

Click here for prayer requests

Click here for the latest Job Opportunities

Click here for our 2020-2022 Sermon Series

Click here for the Monthly Set Apart to Serve (SAS) Report (June - July 2023)


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