Christ - Community - Connect
Weekly Newsletter and Prayer & Praise
September 17, 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

The events of 2020 continue to be a test of the resolve and resiliency of Christ's Church. It's important for us to heed the words author Tod Bolsinger, who writes "Leadership in the past meant coming up with solutions. Today it is learning to ask new questions that we have been too scared , too busy, or too proud to ask." On October 17 we'll acknowledge some of these questions and begin discovering some of the new pathways in mission and ministry that God is revealing in this unprecedented time.

The Mission West Online Conference is a live-broadcast conversation with Tod Bolsinger, author of "Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory," plus live conversations with faith-based leaders in healthcare, government, and community engagement.

You AND the members of your congregations are invited to JOIN US ONLINE on Saturday October 17 from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Please share the invite and encourage each person to register individually. Some are choosing to hold a socially-distanced view party at their church, which is great way to remain connected! Either way, click on the links below for more information or to register for this event. Mission West is a FREE event, in partnership with the Pacific Southwest, California-Nevada-Hawaii, and Northwest Districts of the LCMS.

Visit psd-lcms.orgmissionwest for updated information as it is made available. 
The 5th annual Latinx Leadership Conference hosted Concordia University Irvine is slated for Saturday, October 24 from 8:30 am-11:00 am. This year's conference has two firsts--for the first time, it's virtual. And, for the first time boys are included, hence the new coed name Latinx. Designed to help high school students as well as students currently enrolled in community college looking to transfer--along with their parents--the event features keynote first-generation U.S. Congressman Lou Correa (CA 46), inspiring speakers, a parent panel, and a virtual Information Fair. The conference is free but does require registration. Visit to register and for information.
Careful, not fearful has been one of our guidelines here throughout the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit us hard in March, we had no reason to think that Best Practices for Ministry would be affected. Yet here we are, six months later, still wondering how we could safely gather over 2,500 people on our campus. After much thoughtful prayer, we have decided that for the sake of your safety, the safety of your loved ones, and the safety of our communities, we feel that it is best to cancel Best Practices for Ministry in February 2021. Please know that we continue to pray for you and your loved ones daily. The joy that comes with being reunited with you each February will be greatly missed. In the meantime, ministry is still happening! Canceling BPM does not mean that ministry is done. Hear this clearly: "You Are Not Alone."  As we are able to determine information for 2022, we will be sure to keep you updated. - Pastor Jeff Schrank
The 23rd Annual Interim Ministry Seminar/Retreat is scheduled for January 18-20, 2021 (date subject to change due to COVID restrictions) at St. Anthony's Retreat Center in Three Rivers, CA. Our featured speaker will be Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Executive Director of Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty, speaking on the topic "Spiritual First Responders-Discipleship and Mission for the 21st Century."  The seminar is sponsored by the PSD, CNH and NOW Districts. Watch for more information.
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.
Resource Links
These short videos from Lutheran Church Extension Fund were designed to move your ministries forward according to God's will.
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
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
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.
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.

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!

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.

First Responders - For 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.

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:
  • St. Paul's Lutheran School & Early Childhood Center, Orange, CA 
  • Grace Lutheran Preschool, Corona, CA
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 - hospitalized on 9/15/20
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
Christina Spallek - 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