December 20, 2019
We are pleased to share with you the following news, information and ministry opportunities taking place within our synod and throughout the ELCA. Our e-newsletter is distributed semi-monthly in two separate issues. One issue includes Pacifica Synod and ELCA news items, along with prayer requests. The second issue contains ministry celebrations, events and opportunities, and positions within our synod and beyond.

If you have items to share about the ministries happening through your congregation, please email Terri Robertson at If you know of others who aren't receiving our emails, please share this with them and encourage them to sign up here.
Pacifica Synod News & Resources
Christmas Greetings!

The Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning (synod office) will be closed Tuesday, December 24, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020. The office will resume regular hours on Thursday, January 2. In the event of an emergency, please call 714.805.9518 and you will be connected with a staff member. Please note: there will be no midweek worship on Wednesdays, December 25 and January 1.
Pacifica Synod Professional Ethics and Boundaries Workshop - January 7
On Tuesday, January 7, 2020 we will be hosting a workshop for rostered leaders. This is a part of continuing education in the Pacifica Synod.

Hope Lutheran Church in Temecula (29043 Vallejo Avenue, Temecula) has graciously agreed to host us. We will meet beginning at 10:00 a.m.and conclude no later than 3:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per person, which includes lunch and snacks. 

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged and may be done online here. Please register by Friday, January 3, 2020.

*As a reminder, ALL rostered leaders in the Pacifica Synod are encouraged to keep their boundaries training current. Please be sure to attend a training workshop every 3 years.

If you have registration questions or need assistance, please contact Carol Youngman in the synod office at  
Synod Youth Ministry Leader Lunch with the Bishop - January 9

To RSVP, email Terri Robertson at
Day of Theological Reflection 2020  - February 6

Lutheran Evangelism: A Crucial Conversation
Day of Theological Reflection 2020
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Faith Lutheran Church
28200 Portsmouth Drive, Menifee (Sun City)

Pacifica Synod rostered ministers and lay leaders are invited to gather on Thursday, February 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Menifee. F acilitators/speakers for the day will be the Rev. Dr. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen and the Rev. Dr. Gerald Sharon. Biographical information on both speakers may be found on the event website.

Registration, check-in and coffee begin at 9:00 a.m
Program Times: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

$40 Registration Fee*, which includes lunch and program
*For those needing financial assistance, a reduced registration fee of $20 is available during online registration

Register online here through February 3, 2020

Schedule for the Day (subject to change):
9:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration
9:30 a.m. Welcome/'Beginning the Conversation'
10:00 a.m. 'An Experiential Conversation'
11:10 a.m. 'A Theological Conversation'
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. 'A Formative Conversation'
2:30 p.m. Head Home

To help us plan for lunch, you are encouraged to register online (see above) in advance. For registration questions, please contact Terri Robertson by email at

Apply Now for the Pacifica Synod Youth Team!
Our Mission is to encourage, empower, and support youth to be full participants in the varied ministries of the ELCA, Pacifica Synod, conferences, and individual congregations, utilizing their God-given gifts and talents as they are called by God.

Pacifica Synod Youth Team Members are elected or appointed to serve the youth and congregations within the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA. Through servant events; consulting teams; youth gatherings for High School, Middle School, and Elementary-aged youth; as well as being present and being a voice at Synod Assembly and serving the Assembly as needed; our mission is to encourage, empower, and support youth to be full participants in the varied ministries of the ELCA, Pacifica Synod, conferences, and individual congregations, utilizing their God-given gifts and talents as they are called by God. The Pacifica Synod Youth Team will share an inclusive environment and listen to the young people in the Synod continually, gathering data as to the needs, insights, and strengths of youth, and sharing that data in appropriate places.

Team Member Requirements:
  • Youth must be in High School (or the equivalent) at the time of election/appointment. 
  • Adults serving on the team must be at least 21 years old and agree to a background check. 
  • Everyone serving on the Synod Youth Team must be an active member of an ELCA Congregation or a Synodically Authorized Worshiping Community within the Pacifica Synod.
Term length is two years, with the option to be elected to a second term. A Senior in High School will be eligible for a one-year term. The Youth Team positions that will be open in 2020 are as follows:
  • President (Must be filled by someone who has served as President-Elect)
  • Multi-Cultural Rep
  • Definitely-Abled Rep
  • Social Media Rep
  • W. San Diego Conference Rep
  • Harvest Conference Rep
  • Big Bear Conference Rep
  • Saddleback Conference Rep
  • Son & Surf Conference Rep
  • Rejoice Conference Rep
  • Hukilau Conference Rep
  • Adult Advisors
A complete description of all positions may be found here. To download an application, click here. Applications must be received by December 31, 2019 for review by the current Youth Team members. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Terri Robertson at 714.352.8732 or by email at

Pacifica Synod Grants & Scholarships
Warner Trust Fund Grants

The application period for the 2020 Charles and Mable Warner Trust Fund Grant administered by the Pacifica Synod is now open. Click here to download an application. The application deadline is January 15, 2020.

Charles and Mable Warner were members of First Lutheran Church, Los Angeles. They had no children and loved their church as evidenced by the following quote from their will:

"...The entire remainder of the trust estate shall go and be distributed to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Southwest, Los Angeles, California, with the request that such estate be used in the construction of Sunday School facilities and to further youth Christian education."

As legal successors to the Southwest Synod, the principal was divided among the five ELCA synods in Region 2. The principal from the fund has been placed in the ELCA Mission Investment Fund and the interest is made available annually in March, as grants. Depending on interest rates we anticipate receiving about $15,000 on our investment this year that will then be distributed as grants.

The Warner Trust Fund Committee, appointed by the Pacifica Synod Council, is empowered to review all grant applications and recommend grant awards. The Pacifica Synod Mission Funds Committee provides final approval of grant awards. Any grant recipient will not be eligible the next year but may apply again in the third year.

If you have any questions, please contact Terri Robertson by email at or by phone at 714.352.8732.

Stephen Ministry Training Scholarships 

Stephen Ministry Training Scholarships are available annually to Pacifica Synod congregational lay leaders to support attendance at the Stephen Ministry Leader's Training Course typically held in Anaheim during the month of February. This scholarship is made possible by the Cathryn W. Wright Bequest specifically designated for Stephen Ministry lay leaders. It is expected that congregations send a pastor and two to four lay leaders for the training.

The next local Stephen Ministry Leader's Training Course will take place on February 16-22, 2020 at the Doubletree Anaheim in Anaheim. The early registration deadline is January 7, 2020.

For more information about Stephen Ministries, please go to their website at For training course information and to receive a registration packet, click here or call Stephen Ministries at 314.428.2600.

The synod scholarship program will provide the following:

1. $800 scholarship per lay leader, available for up to three lay leaders per congregation. Additional $285 scholarship per lay leader for non-commuters will be added.

2. $1,000 per congregation toward your congregation's enrollment in the Stephen Series, if not currently enrolled. The Leader's Training Course is designed for congregations enrolled in the Stephen Series.

3. $400 travel assistance per lay person for up to three people for Hawaii congregations.

The annual application period is September 1 to January 15. Funds are distributed in January. The current Stephen Ministries Grant application form may be downloaded here.

If you have any questions, please contact Terri Robertson by email at or by phone at 714.352.8732.
Inter-Lutheran Emergency Response Team News
The Inter-Lutheran Emergency Response Team is a collaborative ministry between Lutheran Social Services, the Pacifica and Southwest California Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Their mission is to equip Lutheran congregations and entities to prepare for and respond in the event of a disaster.

California Lutheran University
Thriving Leadership Formation (TLF) Program Cohort Leaders Needed
#ELCA folks in Regions 1 & 2: 
  • Are you interested in leading a small group of Pastors, Deacons and/or Church (lay) Leaders? 
  • Would you like to form meaningful and trusting relationships with God, yourself, and others? 
  • Do you feel a desire for more prayer, discernment, and accountability within ministry? 
  • Would you like to be in a small group with others from across states/synods/regions?
If any of these questions spark something in your soul, we'd love to have you consider a role as an At-Large Cohort Leader for the Thriving Leadership Formation (TLF) Program. We are looking for people who want to gather a type of leader (women in ministry, leaders of color, LGBTQ+, First-Call Clergy, Rural Ministry, Urban Ministry or YOUR idea!) #CLUconnect

Learn more about TLF and what it means to be an At-Large Cohort Leader:

Pacifica Synod Assembly 2020

Mark your calendars for the 33rd Annual Pacifica Synod Assembly in 2020.  We are excited to be welcomed by our university, California Lutheran University and will be holding a joint assembly with the Southwest Callifornia Synod.  Pre-assembly activities will take place on Thursday, May 28.  Business will begin Friday, May 29 and conclude on Saturday, May 30.   Look for more details in the coming months.

Nominations are now being accepted for Synod Council and Committees.
For more information, click here.

Save the Dates for Anti-Racism Training

Please save the dates for Pacifica Synod's Anti-Racism Training event at Luther Glen scheduled for Monday, April 27 through Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Watch for more information to come in the months ahead.
When you shop Christmas deals at donates to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America PACIFICA Synod!
ELCA News & Resources
Bishop Eaton's 2019 Christmas Message
Below please find ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton's 2019 Christmas video message. 
Printable PDF documents of her message are also available:

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Christmas Message 2019 | ELCA
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton: Christmas Message 2019 | ELCA

"Midnight Stillness"
In her December column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the mystery of the season: the expectation and longing of Advent and the true gifts of Christmas-"the helpless baby in a wooden manger, a broken man on a cross."

Read her column in English at and in Spanish at

ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team Accepting Applications
The ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team is composed of twelve high school youth from across the ELCA who have been identified as leaders in congregations and/or synods, and who desire the opportunity to dig more deeply into their own leadership and faith formation. Each year, six youth are added to this team as six participants are sent out from the team to discover new opportunities for leadership.

The Youth Core Leadership Team exists to provide leadership development opportunities to high school youth, to plan and lead the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit, and to serve as a focus group for ELCA Churchwide Ministries as they strive to do ministry with youth more effectively.

The application period for the Youth Core Leadership Team is open through January 15, 2020. Youth who apply should be engaged in their faith life and actively involved in a local congregation.  We seek applications from youth currently in 9th and 10th grades. We value diversity across ethnicity, abilities, gender, and geographic locale.

For more information about the team, what to expect, and how to apply, please go the website page at
ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission Application Period Open
Applications for the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program are now open, and you can invite young adults on this yearlong journey abroad.

If you know young adults age 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the priority deadline of Jan. 15, 2020. Talk to them personally about what this opportunity will mean for their faith, identity, career and understanding of God's work in the world. 

Through YAGM, young adults will learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as they walk alongside global church companions. They'll become immersed in a new community and form deep relationships. And they'll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more at

Young adults will find relevant opportunities for professional experience, including:
  • Health and human rights: health care, HIV and AIDS, homelessness, immigration and refugees; 
  • Education: fine arts, youth education, childhood education, working with people with disabilities or who are differently abled; 
  • Environmental justice: agriculture and farming, development, environment; 
  • Professional support: office work, communication, technology, finance; 
  • Congregational ministry: children's ministry, Christian education, youth ministry, congregational ministry, camp ministry
Around the world, host families, churches, workplaces and communities are ready to welcome YAGM volunteers. Don't wait - spread the word now! The priority deadline is January 15, 2020. Applications will be open until Feb. 15, 2020.

Mission Support and Annual Report Resources Now Available
The ELCA website now provides many items that may be used in your congregation to share information and stories about the Mission Support that you contribute to the Pacifica Synod and the ELCA. 

The publication Stories of Faith in Action and the resources that go along with it (including videos and bulletin inserts) are designed to share how important your weekly offering in your congregation is in sustaining and growing God's mission. Visit to download or order many of these resources.

For Annual Report Covers and additional stewardship resources, go to

Congregations are asked to submit their  2020 Intent for Mission Support to the Pacifica Synod by January 31, 2019. A fillable form may be downloaded here . The form can be mailed to the Pacifica Synod office or emailed to

For a PDF version of  this document, click here.
ELCA Youth Ministry Network 2020 Discipling Cohorts Now Forming
Youth Ministry Leaders - let's be honest. Life in ministry can be exhausting.
  • Do you wish you had time to focus on a professional goal or project?
  • Are you considering a new vocational call?
  • Do you need time to deepen your own spiritual life before you can walk alongside others?
If so, you are invited to join an ELCA Youth Ministry Network Discipling Cohort group.  Discipling Cohort groups, facilitated by a trained peer coach, gather about once a month (most likely online) for an intentional time of spiritual and vocational growth. Participants will support each other as each cohort member creates a three-year personal development plan.

Peer Coaches are a critical part of the Discipling Cohorts Initiative. Coaches will participate in a training during the 2020 Extravaganza and then accompany your cohort on a year-long journey of growth.
ELCA 2021 Youth Gathering Announces Theme

ELCA Youth Gathering
June 29-July 3, 2021
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The ELCA Youth Gathering team announces the theme of the 2021 Gathering, "boundless: God beyond measure," based on Ephesians 3:19 CEV.  "I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is."

Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering. Through days spent in interactive learning, worship, Bible study, service and fellowship, young people grow in faith and are challenged and inspired to live their faith in their daily lives.

An important part of the Gathering's ministry are the two pre-events, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE), a faith formation and leadership development event primarily for youth of color, and the tAble, a gathering that gathers, blesses and empowers youth with disabilities.

For more information about the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering, go to

ELCA Publications 
ELCA Seeds Monthly - December 2019

ELCA Administration Matters - November 2019

ELCA StewardNet - Fall 2019

ELCA Advocacy Connections - November 2019

ELCA Global Links - December 2019

LSS Gift Legacy News - November 2019

Prayer Requests
In our synod e-newsletter,  prayer requests may be shared for our synod's rostered ministers, spouses, key lay leaders and congregations.

 Prayer requests included are subject to the following guidelines:
  • Only the names of those to be prayed for will be included in our communications. Additional information (with permission) may be shared with the bishop or synod staff, but will not be publicized.
  • Those being prayed for must have provided the requester with explicit permission for their names to be shared with the synod.
  • Names will remain in the synod communications for one month, unless we are notified by the Conference Prayer Coordinator to extend the request.
  • Prayers MUST be added through your Conference Prayer Coordinator, who will submit the prayers to the synod office for distribution.
The following people are serving as your Conference Prayer Coordinators:
E. San Diego Conference - The Rev. Richard Vevia -
W. San Diego Conf - The Rev. David Nagler -
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad -
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown -
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Matt Anderson -
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Marty Jacobson -
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz -
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr -
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher -