Christ - Community - Connect
Weekly Newsletter and Prayer & Praise
August 27, 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
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.
Paid Sick and Family Leave under the FFCRA
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed in March and includes provisions that provide additional paid sick leave and family medical leave to employees who meet certain qualifications. Concordia Plan Services has invited the law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. to share more details about this legislation and answer your questions on Tuesday, September 1 at 11:00 am PacificRegister Here
  • "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
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
Engage in International Mission Work in this Time of COVID
You and your congregation are invited to join District President Mike Gibson in a simple and important International Mission Project during this COVID season - providing motorbikes for Hmong ministers being trained as Lutheran pastors in Vietnam and Laos. President Gibson has been engaged in serving and resourcing the Hmong people of southwestern China, the Miao, since 2003, including the placement of over two dozen motorbikes for pastors.
This project is in support of the international work of missionary Rev. Dr. Fungchatou Lo and his family, an LCMS Hmong Pastor headquartered in Thailand, training and equipping pastors throughout Southeast Asia. The goal is to provide these precious Gospel-proclaimers with the ability to travel more easily on narrow muddy paths in the mountains as they move between villages. In July, the ministry of these Hmong pastors resulted in 52 baptisms, 40 of them children! You are encouraged to watch this brief video to learn more about this effort and see some of the incredible baptisms. 
The goal is to provide motorbikes to six pastors who are currently under Dr. Lo's mentoring. You can sponsor a motorbike for only $1,500. Invite your congregation to participate by posting this article and video link on your church website, social media and in your bulletin and newsletters.
Please send your tax-deductible donations to: Mission of Christ Network, P.O.Box 533, Concordia, MO 64020. To give online: Earmark: Lo family-Gospel Motorbikes
Dr. Lo is a mission partner of Mission of Christ Network ( MCN is an intentional Gospel proclaiming mission agency created by LCMS congregations and individuals to primarily send lay missionaries to areas of the world where the LCMS has a reduced or no longer has a mission presence. President Gibson serves as a member of the MCN Board of Directors.
There are numerous wildfires burning within the State of California.  Currently, there are three major fires burning in Los Angeles County alone; thankfully, none appear to be burning near populated areas. We also have had a series of earthquakes over the last couple of days in Baja California that were felt in the San Diego area. If any churches, church workers, or congregational members are affected by a disaster, (i.e. wildfire, earthquake, etc.)  please contact Rev. Rick Stark, Director of Disaster Response at 619-318-0533 so that the District may evaluate a response and assist in any way possible. 
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. 
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
The PSD-LWML will be hold a Women's Retreat entitled "Women in Mission", February 19-21,2021 at the Hampton Inn in Las Vegas, NV. The Keynote Speaker will be Karol Selle. For more information and to register visit the PSD-LWML website and click on the Events tab. Visit Website
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.


Family of Rev. Dr. Ray Halm (UPDATE), who was Called to Glory on Tuesday, August 4. Dr. Halm served as Concordia University Irvine's second president from 1980 to 1998.  Trinity Lutheran Church, Bend, Oregon invites you to celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Ray Halm on Friday, August 30 at 1:00 pm. Live-stream Service
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.

Pastor David Peterson asks for prayer for renewed health and a thank you for health workers and excellent medical support.

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. 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