July 30, 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
Registration Now Open for Theoasis 2019

October 21-24, 2019
Embassy Suites, La Quinta
(Please note location change from last year)

"Unleashing the Saints "

A joint church leaders' event (a theological oasis): Rostered leaders, professional lay church staff, youth leaders, church administrators, office managers, outdoor ministry leaders, worship leaders... all are welcome!

This year's speakers will be 
Bishop Yvette Flunder, Founder and Senior Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ and the Presiding Bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries 
AND  Michael A. Mata, Community and Faith-Based Program Designer/Administrator and the former Director of the Transformational Urban Leadership Program at Azusa Pacific Seminary.
 Visit the  Theoasis page for speakers' biographies and more information.

Costs (Program and three meals, excluding hotel):
$250 (rostered leader, lay staff, ministry partner) 
$175 (retired rostered, interns, candidates 
and non-rostered spouses)
$75 Optional Golf Tournament

Online registration is NOW open. 
Receive a $25 discount when you register by September 21. 
Go to to register online.

Save These Dates - Bishop's Gatherings 2019
This fall's 2019 Bishop's Gatherings begin in September. Congregations are invited to send key lay leaders along with their pastors and deacons to a Bishop's Gathering. Other congregation members and friends are also welcome. You are welcome to attend the gathering on the date that works best for your schedule and location.

Below are the dates, times and locations of Bishop's Gatherings on the mainland that have been confirmed. We are grateful to our deans and host congregations for their help in planning this time together. Please check our website page often for times and locations for those yet to be announced.

Saturday, September 7
Big Bear Conference
10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
(Rostered Ministers @ 10:00 a.m./All at 11:00 a.m.)
First Lutheran Church
1207 W. Cypress Avenue, Redlands

Saturday, September 14
Saddleback AND Son & Surf Conferences
1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
(Rostered Ministers @ 1:00 p.m./All @ 2:00 p.m.)
Newport Harbor Lutheran Church
798 Dover Drive, Newport Beach

Sunday, September 15
East San Diego AND West San Diego Conferences
Time to be Confirmed Soon
Carlton Hills Lutheran Church
9735 Halberns Blvd., Santee

Saturday, September 21
Raincross Conference
1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
(Rostered Ministers @ 1:00 p.m./All @ 2:00 p.m.)
Eden Lutheran Church
4725 Brockton Avenue, Riverside

Saturday, October 5
Harvest Conference
Time & Location to be Confirmed Soon

Sunday, October 13
Rejoice Conference
Time to be Confirmed Soon
Messiah Lutheran Church
4861 Liverpool Street, Yorba Linda

Pre-registration is encouraged to assist our host congregations in planning. Registration information will be posted on our  website page  as soon as all locations are confirmed.

ELCA Coach Launch - September 26 & 27, 2019
What is coaching?
Coaching is an intentional relationship in which a trained coach uses powerful questions, strategic listening and accountability to uncover and utilize your strengths and insights to accomplish your goals.

How does ELCA Coach Launch equip coaches?
This course will introduce you to coaching basics and give you and opportunity to practice. Upon completion, you will have a framework to begin using these skills in formal and informal coaching relationship.

Who should attend?
  • Previously trained coaches seeking to update their skills.
  • Leaders interested in growing coaching skills in order to encourage others to live into their God-given vision.
  • Leaders working with those who want to move beyond stuck points to create new ways to accomplish God's purposes in the church and the world.
Event Fee
$250 per person
Event fee covers programming, resources and 2 lunches. Participants are responsible for travel and hotel costs.

Thursday, September 26
Registration 8:00 a.m.
Training - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday, September 27
Training - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Click here for a downloadable brochure with complete event information.
Online registration may be found at

Now Accepting Applications for 2019-2020 Agape House Faith and Vocation Fellowship!
Are you or do you know a young adult in the San Diego area who could benefit from a year of discernment and hands-on experience working in the community? The Agape House at San Diego State University has spots left for our 2019-2020 Faith and Vocation Fellowship cohort and would love to hook them up! This is a 10 hour-a-week volunteer position (with a living stipend) and includes mentoring and time with a peer cohort. Fellowships start in September. It is an AMAZING and powerful program. Fellows must be willing to work in church settings in the San Diego area but can be from any faith/spiritual/philosophical background. For a description of the position, click here . For more information or to nominate a young adult, please contact Dr. Melissa James at .

Welcome Ministry of El Cajon and  The Homeless and Justice Network of the ELCA
From the Rev. Dr. David L. Madsen - I am the Mission Developer for Welcome Ministry of El Cajon, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Corporation. Welcome Ministry is a Synodical Authorized Worshipping Community of the Pacifica Synod, ELCA. I am also an Episcopal Priest and serve as Rector at St. Albans Episcopal Church in El Cajon. Welcome Ministry proclaims the hope and love of a gracious God to all people, especially the refugee and the homeless. We are an ecumenical outreach of worship, mercy, and justice to the immigrant, refugee, asylee seeker and unsheltered homeless of San Diego East County. Welcome Ministry has two divisions. Welcome Church-A Church Without Walls began in 2016 in Wells Park, El Cajon with a holy Eucharist service followed by a "church picnic". The Joy Knight Memorial Refugee Task Force or Joy Force, develops trusting one on one relationships with refugees/asylees, unsheltered and economically vulnerable people who desire to improve their quality of life.

We practice direct engagement. We are involved in ministry that transforms lives dramatically, engages in direct confrontation when necessary, meets the needs of the hungry and the impoverished, and embraces ecumenical brothers and sisters in shared mission. We are blessed with Churchwide and synodical support, engaged with ecumenical partners and foundations. We are gifted with a variety off volunteer leaders who reflect transformation and peace in their lives.

Welcome Ministry is part of the Homeless and Justice Network of the ELCA. Videos of specific ministries of the Homeless and Justice Network of the ELCA give a glimpse of how these ministries work in creative and practical ways in specific areas of the country, and how they work together under a common dream and vision. They are introductory clips that give a picture of types of ministries that include Mission Developers from the West Coast to the East Coast and ministries throughout the USA. A playlist of these videos may be found here. The Network is directly connected in close partnership with the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA. Together they do the work that God has called them to do among God's people through radical relationships that include opening doors, softening hearts, embracing diversity, and telling the stories of all whom God made good. 

The Homeless and Justice Network of the ELCA recently met in Chicago for education, presenting their program through Churchwide. The Network is a coalition of ministries called to serve with people on the margins who are struggling with homelessness, poverty, and justice issues. This unique network is a ministry with, rather than for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and injustice. The network believes that all of God's children deserve an opportunity to gather and be the church together; in the walls or outside the walls. The H&J Network gathers together the pastors, mission developers, and leaders of these ministries to connect, refuel, bring new ideas to the table, share the stories that ignite passion, and equip leaders from within so as we stand on the margins with Jesus; all are included. This was in part, our work in Chicago with Churchwide.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference - Real Tools for Real Ministry
Pacifica Synod pastors, lay leaders, judicatory staff and anyone who is looking to learn more about stewardship in today's church context are encouraged to attend this conference that will take place September 30 - October 2, 2019 in San Diego.

For more information or to register, visit

Questions? Contact Tom Goellrich at .

Lutheran Social Services Project Hand Fundraising Effort
Lutheran Social Services Southern California (LSS) is initiating a GoFundMe Campaign to raise funds for Project Hand, their pantry located on the campus of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Chula Vista.  Project Hand has been serving the greater San Diego area for over 70 years.

LSS currently engaged in a funding effort to raise $50,000 for the purpose of keeping this pantry open and filled with food. They have operated on a deficit for generations, and thus need everyone's help to make contact with as many people and organizations as possible.

Here's how you can help:
  • Go to and become familiar with the campaign.
  • Be one of the first to make a donation of any amount to this cause.
  • Forward the link and flyer to people in your network and share on your social media.
  • Please print, cut and insert the side by side flyer in your church bulletin or post this full page flyer shown below (available in English and Spanish).
Workshop for Congregational Treasurers & Administrators - October 12

Workshop for Congregational Treasurers & Administrators

Saturday, October 12, 2019 
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning 
1801-C Parkcourt Place, Santa Ana 

$10 per person, includes refreshments, lunch and all materials.

Visit our workshop web page for updated information as it becomes available.
Registration for this event will open on August 2, 2019.

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.  Campus tours and workshops 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.

Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities

Tour, learn, share fellowship, and donate!

Our upcoming trip is planned for Friday August 2, 9 am - 8  pm when adults and youth are welcome to travel with AMMPARO. We have shortened the trip so more can attend.  We will meet at Clairemont Lutheran at 9 am (4271 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117) and spend the day at Instituto Madre Asunta, and Casa Migrante, returning to the US around 8 pm.  At each site, there will be chances to hear from those that work and those that have benefited from these ministries. We will play with the kids and provide a Bible related craft activity.  Please bring any school supplies as a donation.   A current passport is required, or a Real ID with a birth certificate. For more information, offer to drive, and to join the trip, please contact Pastor Nate Allen at or Pastor Karla Halvorson at by July 26.

Survivors of Torture is hosting a luncheon on September 10th to raise funds for their transformative and life-giving programs. Survivors was started by Lutheran pastors in San Diego, and aims to provide psychological and spiritual needs as well as medical and legal resources for victims of human trafficking and persons who have been harmed while seeking asylum or refuge. All are welcome to attend and take a seat at a table. Contact for more information. To learn more about Surivors of Torture in San Diego, tours are available by group request. Set one up with AMMPARO, and we'll take care of the organizing!!!

Please prayerfully consider learning more and participating with AMMPARO on tours, mission trips, and in mutual ministry with our partners in Mexico, including: Iglesia Luterana Mexicana (the Lutheran Church of Mexico), Casa de Migrante in Tijuana (a shelter and transformative program for migrant men), Instituto Madre Asunta in Tijuana (a shelter and school for migrant women and their children), Sirviendo Unidos para Baja California (a Lutheran organization that builds houses right outside of Tijuana), or Lantern Hill Ministries in Ensenada (a shelter and school ministry started by two pastors from the United States). Lantern Hill / Linterna del Camino on Facebook.  School supplies, monies, food, and clothing are very much appreciated to enable these ministries.

For more updates, visit the Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Network web page.
ELCA News & Resources
2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. Finding ourselves in Christ, the fifteenth Churchwide Assembly will be a time for us to be the living body of Christ guided by the Spirit and conformed to God's will.

Next week, voting members will convene on August 5-10 for the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. This will be the 15th gathering of the assembly, the primary decision-making body of the ELCA. This year's theme is "We are church," and voting members will spend the week participating in plenaries, discussions, Bible studies and worship while deliberating the work of the church. Pacifica Synod will send nine voting members to this assembly.

This year, voting members will:
  • Elect the presiding bishop and secretary. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, elected in 2013, is seeking re-election to a six-year term. Secretary Chris Boerger, elected in 2013, is retiring after this term. The secretary is elected to a six-year term.
  • Act on "Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action". The proposed social statement covers a range of issues in which the ELCA is called to action, including gender-based violence, workplace discrimination, economic inequality and more.
  •  Act on "A Declaration of Interreligious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America". The proposed document underscores the ELCA's long-standing commitment to interreligious relations and provides a framework for common application and theological reflection across the varied contexts of this church.
  • Vote on proposed budgets for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.
  • Review proposed amendments to the "Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America."
  • Consider a proposal that the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service be ordination and to no longer count deacons as laypeople for the representational principles.
  • Act on responses to memorials from synod assemblies.
Watch the livestream of the 15th Churchwide Assembly, August 5 through 10. 

More information and updates can be found on the Churchwide Assembly website.
ELCA Advocacy Update - July 2019
From Regina Q. Banks, Lutheran Office of Public Policy- California (LOPP-CA)

BUDGET GAINS AND LOSSES: During our Lobby Day last month we advocated for a Medi-Cal (California's low-income health care program) expansion that would cover all income-eligible people independent of immigration status. We, and our allies, were partially successful spurring an expansion that will cover those up to age 26. We also talked to legislators about the establishment of a clean, safe and affordable drinking water fund. The legislature agreed and chose to finance the measure with cap-and-trade funds as opposed to the Governor's proposed new fee on polluters. Finally, the legislature approved a significant expansion to the California Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a tent post for the End Child Poverty coalition to which we belong and was a huge win. Unfortunately, the expansion will not include those who file taxes with an ITIN. ITIN filers are primarily undocumented workers. Thank you to everyone who came to Lobby Day, made calls, wrote e-mails and prayed. We got both some significant wins and a clearer roadmap of the work ahead!

WORLD REFUGEE DAY ACKNOWLEDGMENT: June 20thmarked United Nations World Refugee Day. LOPP-CA acknowledged the day with partners such as St. Paul Lutheran Church of Lodi, CA, Organizacion de Trabajadores, Fuerzas Unidas and others in a march and prayer circle for the reunification of families being callously held in US detentions. We prayed together then marched to the US General Services Administration building in Sacramento where we prayed for the employees and our policy makers. 

SECOND MILE GIVING: Thank you so much to everyone- congregations and individuals alike- who participated in Sierra Pacific Synod's Second Mile Giving support of LOPP-CA in June. We are humbled by your generosity.

For a PDF version of the full ELCA Advocacy Update, click here.

ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza 2020

Main Event: January 31 to February 3, 2020
Intensive Care Courses: January 30 & 31, 2020
Hyatt Regency, Orange County - Anaheim, CA

The Extravaganza is the annual gathering of children, youth and family ministry leaders from across the ELCA. It is so much more than a conference: it's space to be stretched, it's worship, it's inspiring speakers, it's learning from colleagues across the country, it's sharing your insights with others, it's informative and transformative. The Extravaganza is renewing, educational and connects you with others...then sends you home strengthened for the ministry to which you have been called.

The Extravaganza is for the professional and the volunteer. It is for the old and the young. It is for the urban, the suburban and the rural. It is for pastors, it is for lay people. It is for all adult leaders who share in the adventure we call children, youth and family ministry! The Extravaganza is hosted by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network. 

Registration opens August 1. For more information, please visit the event website.
Prepare Now for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday - September 8
On Sunday, Sept. 8, congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will come together for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday. We hope you plan to join us!  As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors. On "God's work. Our hands." Sunday we join together as one church to help restore and reconcile communities in Jesus' name.

As you start to explore opportunities and begin making plans to participate in our dedicated day of service, please visit for helpful planning resources:
* Planning toolkit
* Worship resource
* Posters, door hangers and postcards

If your congregation cannot participate on September 8, please consider another day for your service activities.

Don't forget to share your congregation's participation with us! Send your stories and photos to so that together we can celebrate what God accomplishes through you.

Old Lutheran will once again have T-shirts and other items available for purchase. The bright-yellow theme provides a wonderful visual impact across the ELCA. The deadline for ordering your congregation's personalized T-shirts from Old Lutheran is August 13.

A hymn titled "God's Work, Our Hands" was selected as the winning entry in the ELCA's "God's work. Our hands." Sunday hymn contest. The selected hymn, written by Wayne Wold, references the official tagline of the ELCA and expresses how the people of this church live in service for the life of the world. The selected hymn includes music to a familiar tune as well as music to an original composition. The hymn is available as a year-round worship resource.

Sharing the love of Christ through service to our neighbors is work you do every day. We look forward to "God's work. Our hands." Sunday and doing this work together again this year.

ELCA Publications 

ELCA Administration Matters - July 2019

ELCA StewardNet - Summer 2019

ELCA Advocacy Connections - July 2019

ELCA Global Links - July 2019

LSS Gift Legacy News - July 2019

Prayer Requests
We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:  
  • For the victims, families, first responders and all affected by the tragedy at the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA.
  • For Pastor Carol Reed.
  • For 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voting members, visitors, volunteers and Churchwide staff members as they prepare for, travel to and attend the assembly in Milwaukee August 5-10, 2019.

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 -