November 27, 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
Synod Worship and Thanksgiving Holiday Office Schedule
In celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Synod Office will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29. We will reopen on Monday, December 2. Blessings on your Thanksgiving!

Please note: there will be no synod mid-week worship today, Wednesday, November 27. Worship will resume on Wednesday, December 4 at 11:30 a.m. All are welcome!


First Call Theological Education Fall Event
Pacifica Synod first call rostered leaders, joined by other Region 2 first call pastors met in San Diego from November 11 to 14 to discuss a variety of transitions that are experienced throughout their congregations. Topics ranged from military personnel and their families to immigrants and the homeless. We visited Chicano Park, Survivors of Torture International, and Third Avenue Charitable Organization (TACO). 

We are thankful for the partnership of our congregations who hosted the event - Clairemont Lutheran and First Lutheran, and our local rostered and lay leaders who joined with us to share their knowledge, wisdom and stories - Pastor Shane Freiberg, Pastor Manuel Retamoza, Pastor Karla Halvorson, Pastor Sandy Bentz, Pastor Darin Johnson, Deacon Roberta Wall, Pastor Jonathan Doolittle, Pastor Kurt Christenson, Jim Lovell, Brad Young; along with Angela Jackson, Hannah DeMers, Deacon Taflin Fisher, Elena Enriquez and her team of cooks.

First Call Theological Education is made possible through congregational support and a generous grant from our partners in mission, Joel Wudel and the Mission Investment Fund. We are grateful for their partnership!

Photos at left - FCTE Fall Event participants; Pacifica Synod Bishop Andy Taylor preaching; blessing of Southwest California Synod Assistant to the Bishop, Reg Schultz-Akerson, who is retiring.
Photos at right - Pastors who have completed their First Call Theological Education (Pastor Jennifer Shaw of St. John's, Palm Desert is pictured third from left); Pastor Moses Barrios (Crave Life, Whittier) preaching.
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 20, 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

Retired Rostered Ministers & Spouses Luncheon - December 11

Pacifica Synod Grants & Scholarships
Latino Ministry Endowment Fund 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.

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.  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.
When you shop Black Friday deals at donates to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America PACIFICA Synod!
ELCA News & Resources
Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service
Hope for the Holidays
The holidays should be a magical, wondrous time, but this year in America, hundreds of children and families will be spending the holiday behind bars - because they crossed the United States border seeking protection.
You can bring joy and hope to families in immigration detention, and to children who crossed our borders alone, by joining LIRS's Hope for the Holidays annual campaign to send cards and gifts to families impacted by immigration detention. With your help, LIRS will ensure that every family in immigration detention receives a Christmas gift and thousands of other immigrants awaiting safety and protection in the United States receives a Christmas cards.  Together we can remind our brothers and sisters that they are not alone this holiday season.

Visit to:
* Watch the 2019 Webinar and learn more about the campaign
* Access the toolkit with details and sample messages for card-writing
* Donate to purchase gifts for families in detention

Link to toolkit: ensure delivery to children and families in time for the holidays, cards and donations must be sent in by December 6, 2019.

ELCA Advent and Christmas Resources

How will you welcome your friends and neighbors to worship this holiday season? To support your communication needs, the ELCA offers  several invitational tools specifically for congregations.  Add your congregation's location and service times to customizable posters, social media images, postcards and more.
These tools include:
  Visit and find links to a variety of communications support solutions. Thank you for the work you do to help engage your congregation, share the good news of Jesus Christ and welcome your community.

Portico Benefits Services News
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
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 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

ELCA Publications 
ELCA Seeds Monthly - November 2019

ELCA Administration Matters - November 2019

ELCA StewardNet - Fall 2019

ELCA Advocacy Connections - November 2019

ELCA Global Links - November 2019

LSS Gift Legacy News - November 2019

Prayer Requests
We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:  
  • For Cliff & Kaye Listug

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 -