Christ - Community - Connect
Weekly Newsletter and Prayer & Praise
September 3, 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

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. Click on submit when you have entered all the information. You will receive a confirmation by email. 
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
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. 
This season has revealed many challenges. Many have experienced a strain on face-to-face relationships that are now pushed into on-line connections or socially distanced gatherings. For some congregations, "scattered" church has been the norm from the start. Remaining connected outside of the Sunday morning gathering has always served to deepen the critical social bonds among members of these churches. This week's interview is with one of the amazing speakers for our District All Workers Conference in November. Ashely Paavola is the Director of Youth and Family Ministry at All Nations Church in St. Louis. On this call she is joined by her husband and the Pastor of All Nations, Rev. Chris Paavola. Together we discuss the blessings of using the family/community model of creating and maintaining strong relationships through small groups and scattered ministries. Join us as we continue to grow in our understanding of how to navigate and integrate to the gathered/scattered reality of ministry in 2020!  Watch Video
Individuals and congregations who would like to provide financial assistance in support of on-the-ground ministry in disaster areas may send your contributions to the Pacific Southwest District office, 1540 Concordia, Irvine, CA 92612 or through electronic means at
Contributions will be divided between the California Nevada Hawaii District for wildfire relief and to the Southern District for Hurricane relief who will ensure that those with the greatest need receive the assistance. Thank you for your partnership and your support of our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

Teladoc has activated their natural disaster hotline for general medical care at no cost for individuals who have been displaced or impacted by the wildfires (in California, Colorado and Oregon) and Hurricane Laura (in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas).  
Natural Disaster Hotline:  855-225-5032
  • This service is available to any individual impacted during the emergency, and is not tied to current Teladoc membership, client or health plan accounts.
  • Current Teladoc members must use the hotline to receive services free of charge. If they contact us through their normal channels or group setup, they will be charged the standard visit fee based on their eligibility.
  • Individuals registered through this channel will not be associated with a paying group. Eligible members that register through this channel will need to re-register with their existing group account to use Teladoc in the future. 
  • "Alexa, play The Lutheran Hour Podcast"
  • "Alexa, play Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries Podcast"
  • "Alexa, play The Lutheran Hour American Forces Network Podcast"
  • "Alexa, play Reflections from The Lutheran Hour Podcast"
  • "Alexa, play Action in Ministry Podcast"
  • "Alexa, play Speaking of Jesus Podcast"
It's that easy!
Lutheran Hour Ministries is a trusted resource in global media that equips and engages a vibrant volunteer base to passionately proclaim the Gospel to more than 136 million people worldwide each week. Visit
Education in the Practice of Intentional Interim Ministry
No need to travel. This Training Has Come to Southern California!
Taking this course in "Basic Training in Transitions" will help you navigate congregational dynamics and aid you in being a transitional leader and intentional interim. Because all ministry is essentially transitional, this course is appropriate for both settled and interim pastors.
  • "Congregational Dynamics and Transitions"-  12 live, online sessions beginning in October for 90-minutes  on Tuesdays at 12:00 PM (noon) as follows:  Oct 13, 20, 27; Nov 3, 10, 17; Dec 1; Jan 12, 19, 26; Feb 2, 9 (12 sessions)
  • "Field Practice"
  • "The Transitional Leader"- a full, face-to-face week at the PSD Office May 10-14, 2021, from noon on Monday to noon on Friday
PSD Conferences
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!

Michael Powers was Ordained and Installed on Sunday, August 23 at First Lutheran Church in Monrovia.


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.
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