SYNOD & ELCA NEWS & NOTES
November 11, 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  terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org. 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
Synod Strategic Planning Survey Participation
On November 4, an email was sent to all Rostered Ministers and congregational lay leaders (for which we had been provided the email addresses for) asking for their participation in a survey. The information below was what was shared in the email. If you are a Rostered Minister in Pacifica or a congregational lay leader and did not receive (or cannot locate) this email inviting you to participate, please use the link below to share your feedback.


Dear Leaders in the Pacifica Synod,

At the direction of the Synod Council, we as a synod have entered into a time of discernment and strategic planning for the future of our life together. Your participation in the following survey, as leaders in the congregations and ministries of the synod, will help shape our future. Your feedback is important to us. Thank you for your leadership and for giving your time to this effort.

You can complete the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PacificaPlanning

The survey will remain open through November 15. All answers will be compiled by a third party and reported anonymously to the leadership of the Synod.

Thank you for participating.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Andy Taylor"

Invitation to Female Rostered Ministers - November 22 in San Diego
Female Rostered Ministers are invited to join this year's meeting of Lutheran Women in Theology and Religious Studies on Friday, November 22, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. We'll be meeting at the San Diego Public Library Central Branch, Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center (330 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101 under the theme "Lament and Praise: Transformation Out of the Depths." 

To register, click here:
 
In 2020 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in the ELCA and its predecessor bodies. This year, 2019, we mark the 40th ordination anniversary of Rev. Earlean Miller, the first African American Lutheran woman to be ordained in the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). In honor of this anniversary, we invite papers on women "on the margins" through the lens of "Lament and Praise: Transformation Out of the Depths." Two panels will address these topics.
 
For the first panel, speakers will address how have women participated in lament and praise. What are the narratives which contribute to this discussion of transformation, but may have been missed? How do we understand transformation out of the depths through our Lutheran theology-or have we become desensitized to it? 
 
Our second panel will engage with invited papers which focus more particularly upon lament, praise, and transformation through the lens of women of color, and African American women in particular. How do we offer praise for this milestone of ordination? What other moments should be marked in churches outside the United States? What transformations yet need to take place- or perhaps already are, but are being missed? What needs to be named and lamented in light of this milestone.
 
If you would just like to come to the dinner, please contact Heather Dean at Heather.Dean@elca.org
 
For questions on the content of the meeting, please contact the planning committee, Beverly Wallace (revbwallace@gmail.com), Kristin Wendland (kristin.wendland@wartburg.edu), and Rachel Wrenn (rachel.fuller.wrenn@emory.edu). 

PLTS Signs Along the Way - November 16 to 18
Deciding whether seminary education is right for you?
Visit PLTS for Signs Along the Way, a weekend visit and discernment retreat
November 16-18, 2019
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA

Please join us at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary for our weekend campus visit and retreat.
  • Explore your sense of call to ministry
  • Experience the Bay Area and what it's like to live and study at PLTS
  • Interact with current students, faculty, and staff
This event is offered at no cost to you, other than your transportation. Please speak with PLTS if you would like additional financial assistance for airfare.

Your time will include class visits, conversations with key staff and students, discernment activities, and exploration of the Bay Area.

For further questions, contact the PLTS Office of Admission at  510.559.2730 or at  admissions@plts.edu.

Latino Ministry Partnership Support Grants
The application period for the Pacifica Synod Latino Ministry Endowment Fund Partnership Support Grants is now open until November 30, 2019.

The Pacifica Synod Latino Ministry Endowment Fund, formed from a merger of the St. Mary's and Santa Ana Accounts by action of the Synod Council on March 12, 2005, provides assistance and support to congregations with existing Latino ministries and/or congregations intending to develop new Latino ministries.

Starting in 2019, we encouraged individual grants for Latino members of the Pacifica Synod using the funds for seminary and the TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) program.

Congregations grants must have a defined plan for an outreach, worship or other specific ministry. Our committee views these grants as a partnership with financial support from the Pacifica Synod, Latino Ministry Endowment Fund and additional resources of the Latino Area Ministry Committee as appropriate for both congregations and individuals.

For more information and to download an application, please click here.
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.

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.
ELCA News & Resources
From the Presiding Bishop
Season of Doubt

In her November column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton compares doubt to winter-it can seem long, cold, barren, isolating and lonely. But she reminds us that doubt is part of faith-and God will carry us through the winter. 

Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2oDi1dX and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/328m8wj.


ELCA Presiding Bishop's Veteran's Day Message


Bishop Eaton's message for Veterans Day 2019 | ELCA
Bishop Eaton's message for Veterans Day 2019 | ELCA

Portico Benefits Services News
Innovation Brings Low 2020 Health Rate Increase and More Support: If you haven't read about changes coming in 2020 to the ELCA Benefits Plan, click here to learn more. 

Dates for ELCA Benefits Plan Annual Enrollment for Congregations and Plan Members: Plan members have through this Wednesday, November 13 to make their selections. Note: If you're part of a sponsored couple, a call to the Customer Care Center can help you navigate some of the trickier details. Sign into MyPortico to learn more.

ELCA Primary Health Plan Wellness Dollars:
Plan members have until Nov. 30 to earn up to $400 wellness dollars that can be used for medical expenses. If your spouse is also on the health plan, they can, too. If you have already started earning, don't forget to complete your activities. If you haven't yet started, now is the time to begin. Click here to learn more. 

If you have any questions, the Portico Customer Care Center is ready to help. You can reach them by phone at 800.352.2876 or by email at mail@porticobenefits.org.
Lutheran Disaster Response - California Wildfires


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 ELCA.org/SOFIA to download or order many of these resources.

For Annual Report Covers and additional stewardship resources, go to  https://elca.org/Resources/Stewardship.

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.
2019 Model Constitution for Congregations Now Available
The 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA adopted a number of changes to the Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The 2019 Amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations document may be found here. The complete  2019 Model Constitution for Congregations is here.

Most changes relate to the merging of diaconal ministers, associates in ministry, and deacons into a roster of Ministers of Word and Service, and references to an ordained minister are changed to that of a Minister of Word and Sacrament. These provisions should be added even if a congregation does not currently have a person on one of the lay rosters under call.

It is recommended that ELCA congregations and synods review the adopted amendments for their constitutions as soon as possible after each churchwide assembly to incorporate the required changes and to consider the recommended changes.

If you have questions on updating your congregation's constitution, please contact Rachel Line at 714.692.2791 or by email at rachelline@pacificasynod.org.
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. 

For more information or to register, please visit the event website.
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 https://elca.org/gathering.

ELCA Publications 
 
ELCA Seeds Monthly - October 2019

   
ELCA Administration Matters - September 2019

ELCA StewardNet - Fall 2019

ELCA Advocacy Connections - October 2019

 
ELCA Global Links - October 2019

 
LSS Gift Legacy News - October 2019

Prayer Requests
We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:  
 
  • For Cliff & Kaye Listug
  • Trinity Lutheran in Hemet, celebrating their 105th Anniversary

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 - revvev@cox.net
W. San Diego Conf - The Rev. David Nagler - pastordave@christpb.org
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad - pastorjorstadsmlc@yahoo.com
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown - pastor@edenlutheran.net
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Matt Anderson - pastormatt@trinityvictorville.org
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Marty Jacobson - pastormartyclcrsm@gmail.com
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz - prjenniferblclosalamitos@gmail.com
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr - pastorcate@elclh.org
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher - kzurcher002@luthersem.edu