Christ - Community - Connect
Weekly Newsletter and Prayer & Praise
September 10, 2020 
Transforming lives and making the Great Commission REAL!
The Weekly Newsletter and the Prayer & Praise are created with postings submitted by congregations. Please share with us so we can share with the entire Pacific Southwest District.
This Week
We're all set to start DCE's Etc. meetings again (virtually)! Our first meeting of the new "academic year" will be Thursday, September 17 at 9:30 am! Our opening Bible study will be led by District President Mike Gibson! Cheri Selander and Tim Kaufmann will lead the meeting following President Gibson's Bible study. Please RSVP your attendance with Rachel Klitzing at A Zoom link will be sent out Monday, September 14. We will determine whether we can meet in person in October as the date gets closer.
The Call Committee for the Associate Education Executive position is tremendously grateful for the candidates who invested time in the interviewing process. Throughout the process, we prayed that the Lord would lead us in the path that He would have us go. We interviewed exceptionally gifted leaders, however, after much discussion and prayer, we unanimously determined that we must put a hold on the search process. This decision was not made lightly.
During the next few months, we are going to re-evaluate the position description and needs of our district. While living through this pandemic has been tough for us all, we have also gained new insights into how the Lord is leading us into a new season of His church, including new priorities, new vision, and renewed zeal for Christ's mission. Throughout the final interviews, we realized that the position, as originally developed in January 2020, needs a "reboot" and realignment to where we believe the Lord is leading. Over the course of the next several months, we will prayerfully revisit the position description, and then seek the candidate for this critical area of ministry in the district. We hope and pray that you understand the difficulty with which we arrived at this decision, and the deep desire of us all to seek God's will and listen to the Spirit's promptings.
We know that many of you have prayed for this process, and we are thankful. We would ask that you continue to be in prayer for this process re-development! We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward.  If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Klitzing at

Grantparent 2020
Grantparent 2020

The Grantparent Mission Project is beginning its 19th year of providing tuition assistance to students in urban PSD Lutheran schools. This past school year, 65 students were sponsored through the support of sponsors and donors. What a blessing!

The Grantparent Mission Project, a mission of School Ministries of the Pacific Southwest District, looks forward to continuing to serve many more students this year. We are thrilled to be able to provide tuition assistance to students at the following schools in the Pacific Southwest District during 2020-2021:
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran School, Anaheim, CA 
  • Zion Lutheran School, Anaheim, CA 
  • Victory Christian Academy, Chula Vista, CA  
  • Pacific Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School, Gardena, CA 
  • St. John's Lutheran School, Hemet, CA 
  • Redeemer Lutheran School, Las Vegas, NV 
  • Christ the Cornerstone Lutheran Academy, San Diego, CA 
Anyone or any organization can sponsor a child ($600 a year for an elementary student, $1,200 for a high school student) or give a one-time donation of any amount, and it will go directly toward a student's tuition! The families of these students are so touched that others care enough to help send their children to a Lutheran school, where they receive a quality Christian education.
Would you consider supporting the Grantparent Mission Project? Now more than ever, many families possess a great need for tuition assistance at a Christ-centered school. The students and families benefit from your prayers and gifts in countless ways! God's blessings to you!

You can type right into this form, save it, and email it to us.
Scroll down just a bit to find Grantparent.
We would love to provide you with more information about Grantparent! Please contact for more information.
In the past month I've received phone calls from 5 different church workers who are on the edge and wearing out. Some are dealing with church leadership conflicts while others are facing crises in their homes. All of these situations are exasperated by the corona virus. These church workers are nearing the end of their emotional ropes. One sighed and said, "I'm worn out. I'm not sure how long I can go on."
New president to be elected February 6, 2021
Forty-two individuals have been nominated as candidates for election as the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, per Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Bylaws, and have allowed their names to stand for consideration.

Presidential nominations, per the LCMS Handbook, were submitted by LCMS congregations, the Seminary's Board of Regents and the Seminary faculty.

During the next phase of the search, the Presidential Search Committee will evaluate each of the candidates and will recommend at least five candidates from the list of nominees to the four electors. Electors meet Feb. 6, 2021, to elect the new president. The four electors include one vote from the Board of Regents voting as a group, one vote from the LCMS district president serving on the board as a voting member, one vote from the chairman of the LCMS Board of Directors and one vote from the LCMS president. The election of the president requires three of four elector votes.

The new president will succeed Dr. Dale A. Meyer, who retired June 30. Meyer became the Seminary's 10th president in 2005. Dr. Daniel Preus is currently serving as interim president of the Seminary.

Current information about the Seminary's presidential search can be found at
College-age and older men and women are invited to Contemplate, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis' visitation event that provides prospective students an opportunity to learn more about life at the Seminary and the preparation that leads to service as a pastor or deaconess. While this event normally occurs on the Seminary campus over the course of several days, due to concerns about the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, this one-day, free event will take place online on Friday, October 2.
During this virtual event, participants will engage in sessions that focus on the spiritual and personal aspects of the decision-making process, as well as learn about the academic program, field education, vicarage or internship year, financial aid and housing. They also will walk through the admissions process, learn about the St. Louis area and meet with admissions officers. Deadline to register is Thursday, September 17. Register Today!
You are invited to join us for Here We Still Stand 2020, a free digital conference being held October 16-17.  1517 will bring you a two-day online streaming experience focused on the Gospel truths reclaimed in the Reformation. Plenary speakers from across the United States will deliver unique messages focused on the theme, "The Freedom of the Christian." With extra LIVE events and interviews added in throughout this two-day experience, 1517 hopes to center you on the life-giving news of God's grace towards sinners.  

This is a one-of-a-kind celebration and we are excited to offer it completely free to you. You can learn more about the conference and register for this online event by visiting Watch promo video.
Iowa, Texas, and Louisiana are in desperate need of volunteers to help with the recovery efforts following two natural disasters.  To volunteer, follow the links below to connect with the point of contact from each state. 
Click here to volunteer in Iowa
Click here to volunteer in Louisiana
Click here to volunteer in Texas
Thank you for your willingness to serve in this capacity.
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Valencia, CA is closing. They have several church items available: new chairs; altar; pulpit; baptismal font; etc. If interested in any of these items, please contact Deacon Barry Beckett at 661-810-0995.

Resource Links
These short videos from Lutheran Church Extension Fund were designed to move your ministries forward according to God's will.
A planning guide for PSD Early Childhood Centers, Elementary Schools, and High Schools to reopen for Fall 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic has escalated into a humanitarian crisis in India impacting the poorest of the poor. Many of our ministry partners in India are already responding - and they are pleading for help. A gift of $40 will feed a family of 4 for 4 weeks. Will you help them? Donate Now
Previously Posted

New School Year Blessing
New School Year Blessing

Friends in Youth Ministry - we are in the process of updating our contact information for all who serve in youth ministry, children's ministry, family ministry, etc.  If you serve your congregation in this area and are NOT on the Roster of Synod could you please email your contact information - Name, Congregation, Position, Preferred Email - to and we will be sure you are listed on our distribution list. If you are on the Roster of Synod and have not updated your CMIF we encourage you to log onto the Church Worker Update website to do that right away.  If you need assistance with that you can email Kim. Thank you!
Please join us for a Breakfast Bible Study at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach on Saturday, September 12.  The topic is "Luther's Heidelberg Disputation / The Theology of the Cross" by Caleb Keith.  Caleb is a Summa Cum Laude and Honors Scholar graduate of Concordia University Irvine and holds a MA in systematic and philosophical theology from the University of Nottingham.  He is husband to Erika, father to Esther and Emerson, and co-hosts the podcasts "Thinking Fellows" and "Outlaw God" for the 1517 Podcast network.  Breakfast with grab-n-go burritos starts at 8:30 am in the Fellowship Hall followed by the presentation at 9:00 am.  RSVP for breakfast at 714-846-6330 or  COVID-19 precautions will be followed.  For those who cannot attend in person, the study will be live on Zoom.  Please visit our website  and look under Events, Upcoming Events for information on how to participate.
You are invited to participate in the Lutheran Hour Ministries Grand Canyon District Golf Outing being held on Saturday, October 7 at Palmbrook Country Club, Sun City, AZ.  Cost for 18 holes of golf; cart and range balls; and box lunch is $65.00. Cost for lunch only is $15.00. Check-in is at 6:30 am with a Shotgun Start at 7:30 am. Lunch will be served immediately following golf. To Register contact : Diana Strahl at 623-341-7717 or email  Mail check payable to LHM Grand Canyon District to Diana Strahl, 6466 W. Diana Ave., Glendale, AZ 85302.
You're invited to join us virtually on Saturday, September 26, 7:00 am - 10:00 am PST and hear from our Lutheran Hour Ministries leaders! You will hear about featured products; learn about programs; and attend a Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age training session.  Participants will attend virtually from home. Every registered participant will receive a link to the live streamed event.
Included will be:
  • Opening Devotion led by Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler
  • Ministry Updates from Kurt Buchholz and Rev. Dr. Tony Cook
  • Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age presented by Rev. Dr. Jason Broge
Register now using District 26 Southern California - for California and Nevada; and using District 43 Grand Canyon - for Arizona.  
Click on submit when you have entered all the information. You will receive a confirmation by email. 
PSD Conferences
Equipping for adaptive, innovative missional leadership

Mission West Online Conference is a unique West Coast partnership in equipping leaders for mission in today's changing landscape, hosted by the PSD, NOW, and CNH Districts of the LCMS. Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted TerritoryVice President and Chief of Leadership Formation at Fuller Seminary will be our keynote speaker.

Join us on Saturday, October 17, 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Mission West is offered FREE to you and your leaders in congregations and ministries. Please share this information with your leaders. 

Let us know you are interested in attending this event by filling out the RSVP form! You will be added to the Mission West email list so that you don't miss future updates!  Event RSVP

Visit\missionwest for updated information as it is made available. 
The Pacific Southwest District
2020 All Worker Conference is ON
as a Live-Stream Event!  

Since we cannot be confident that COVID realities will allow us to gather 1,300 people safely into a ballroom in Palm Desert on November 22-24, we have made the decision to not meet at a single location.  Many of you are familiar with the Willow Creek Leadership Summit which is broadcast live from one location to viewing locations across the country.  It is our desire to offer the All Worker Conference (AWC) in the same way.  We pray that groups of pastors, educators, DCEs, music directors, and more will, by November, be able to safely gather at "watch locations" throughout the District, providing participants with the opportunity to engage around content and to enjoy the fellowship of others.  Larger church and schools staffs may want to just stay at home and become their own watch-location, inviting others in their area to join them. Our planning team is working hard to put this new design together.  We are contracting with a firm that has a long history of producing conferences of this nature so that we can ensure that the AWC is done in an excellent way.  The AWC team is thrilled to confirm that our speaker team is on board: Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Tim Elmore, Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing, Mr. Prashan De Visser from Sri Lanka, and Ashley and Chris Paavola.  Watch for more information, registration materials, and watch-locations locations in your area.  Please join us in praying for this new All Worker Conference format, for the team that is working hard and fast to make this course correction, and for the blessings that all of us will experience together.
Pacific Southwest District
Wednesday, June 23 - Friday, June 25, 2021
Faith Lutheran Middle & High School, Las Vegas, NV
Our triennial District convention will be held in a new location in the Summerlin area of metro Las Vegas. This incredible facility showcases how God is at work in amazing ways in our District - don't miss it!

Rev. KC Jenks was Installed on Sunday, September 6 at Our Savior First Lutheran Church in Granada Hills. His son, Rev. Tim Jenks, who is the Circuit Visitor, conducted the Installation.

Rev. KC Jenks (right)

Pastor Richard Z. Meyer and Palisades Lutheran Church are celebrating a very special anniversary this Sunday, September 13. Pastor "RZ" was ordained exactly 67 years ago on this date in 1953, and a special online SERVICE OF CELEBRATION can be accessed this Sunday at The service will be posted at 10:30 am and will stay up at the Palisades Lutheran website the following week. A Zoom reception for Pastor RZ and his wife Carrie will follow the service.
A native New Yorker, Pastor RZ has served his entire ministry in the Pacific Southwest District: at Historic First Lutheran Church in Pasadena, where he was ordained; Prince of Peace Lutheran, San Diego; Atonement Lutheran, Woodland Hills; and finally Palisades Lutheran in Pacific Palisades, where he is currently Pastor Emeritus. While serving these congregations, Pastor RZ was also active in work on behalf of the entire District as a Member of the District Board of Directors, District Vice-President, and Director of the District Youth Board. After retiring he served for an additional twelve years as Director of Interim Ministries for the District. Pastor RZ's distinguished career also includes co-founding Lutheran Border Concerns Ministry, teaching Old Testament courses at Concordia University Irvine, and serving on the editorial board of "This Is the Life", a popular LCMS television ministry.
You are invited not only to watch the service but to also join the Zoom reception for Pastor RZ and Carrie this Sunday morning: simply email, and you will receive a Zoom link for the reception. Other greetings and best wishes may be sent directly to Pastor RZ at or to his home at 16790 Edgar Street, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272-3225.
Along with many people throughout the Pacific Southwest District, Palisades Lutheran Church thanks God for the many years of outstanding and faithful service rendered to the Lord by our dear and beloved friend Pastor Richard Z. Meyer.

Christina Spallek (UPDATE), wife of Rev. Peter Spallek, is home from the hospital. She is resting comfortably and the family is rallying around her. The biopsy results show that she has stage 4 Colorectal cancer which has spread to her liver and lungs.

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,
We cry out to you for mercy during these difficult days. Please, O God, 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 - ambassadors of reconciliation.  Empower us for action that we will do more than talk - for it is time to act.  May we 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.  We pray this in the powerful name of the Savior of all, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.

Coronavirus - Please be in prayer: 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, 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.
Recently during his Facebook Live broadcast, President Gibson invited all of us to join him each day at noon for a time of prayer on behalf of PSD Congregations and Schools.  Simply set your phone alarm for noon and take a moment to unite your hearts with many others across our District.

Join us in praying:  Pour out, O God, the power of your Spirit upon our congregations and schools as we proclaim together the message and hope of Christ.

This week, along with PSD School Ministries, we specifically pray for:
  • Little Palms School, Mesa, AZ
  • Faith Middle School & High School, Las Vegas, NV
  • Faith Academy & Preschool, Las Vegas, NV
CONTINUED PRAYERS                                        
Rev. Edward Ambrose - vascular/orthopedic issues
Jo Ambrose - fighting bone cancer
Owen Arizmendi - battling Krabbe Leukodystrophy
Rev. Charles Brady - recovering from two strokes and neurological issues
Dora Collins - chronic pain due to auto-immune issues
Rev. Alfonso Conrado - dementia, paralysis and diabetes
Noah Gerdes - recovering from Valley Fever
Rev. Dave Gruenhagen - fighting cancer
Rev. Michael Harnack - suffering from CIDP
David Hendry - suffering from dementia
Kim Ingwersen - battling ALS
Rev. Ray Kibler blood cancer, immunodeficiency, severe side-effects
Jenny Lawson - fighting cancer
Marla Lichtsinn - fighting cancer
Rev. Johnny Lopez - fighting cancer
Rev. Harry Matelski - recovering from heart surgery
Susan Matelski - inoperable deteriorating spine
Mark Nadeau - fighting cancer
Rev. David Peterson - renewed health
Rev. Hal Teuscher - fighting cancer
Rev. Rex Umbenhaur - fighting cancer
Is there something exciting happening in your congregation or school? Let us know so we can celebrate with you! Does your church or pastor have a blog, vlog, or do you live stream your services? Let us know so we can help drive engagement! Visit the Around the PSD page on our website to hear some great stories. You can submit your story from this page. Please Note: This is not an events page. 
Pacific Southwest District-LCMS