October 4, 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 Closes October 14!

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 closes October 14, 2019.
Go to to register online.

Please note: No discounted rooms remain at the Embassy Suites, La Quinta. You may still contact them to see if rooms are available at another price or check with other local hotels.  If you are looking for a roommate, you may contact Rachel Line in the synod office to add your name to the interest list.

You're Invited to a Strategic Planning Workshop - October 21, Palm Desert
Pacifica Synod Professional Leaders are invited to attend a workshop at St. John's Lutheran Church, 42695 Washington Street, Palm Desert, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 21, to help the Pacifica Synod in our Strategic Planning process. This invitation is particularly for those who will attend Theoasis, which begins at 5:30 a short drive away from St. John's, but is open to all professional leaders. 

We will be led by consultants Evan Moilan and Paul Marsh from the firm Gronlund Sayther Brunkow, which has worked with the Rocky Mountain and Texas Gulf Coast Louisiana Synods to put together their strategic plans. The process will ask intriguing and unusual questions about the Synod, to elicit what we feel are the strengths of our common ministry, what are our core values, and what might be growing edges for the coming years.

We want to involve as many professional leaders as possible: pastors, deacons, youth workers, and other lay staff workers. Please decide to arrive in the Coachella Valley early enough to participate in this workshop, and then join us at the Embassy Suites in La Quinta for "Unleashing the Saints", our 2019 Theoasis conference.

If you plan to attend, please email your name and congregation name/city to the Pacifica Synod using the email to RSVP. Thank you!

God's Mission. God's Church.
Bishop's Gatherings 2019

Two 2019 Bishop's Gatherings remain. 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 the remaining Bishop's Gatherings on the mainland. We are grateful to our deans and host congregations for their help in planning this time together.  There is NO cost to attend, however, pre-registration is strongly encouraged to assist our host congregations in planning.

Registration is open now at

Saturday, October 5
Harvest Conference
9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon
(Rostered Ministers @ 9:30 a.m./All @ 10:30 a.m.)
Lutheran Church of the Incarnation
16889 Espola Road, Poway

Sunday, October 13
Rejoice Conference
1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Rostered Ministers @ 1:30 p.m./All @ 2:30 p.m.)
Messiah Lutheran Church
4861 Liverpool Street, Yorba Linda

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 topics of the day and other information as it becomes available.
Pre-registration is required. Click here to register by October 8, 2019.

Portico Benefits Services Annual Enrollment Open Now
During the period of October 1-25, the congregations, institutions, and agencies of the Pacifica Synod will be asked to select which Portico health care plan and level they wish to offer their rostered ministers and sponsored lay employees. The Pacifica Synod Council recommends either Gold+ or Silver+ Level A Plans. 

The attached chart explains the different plan options.

Reminders from Portico:
  • Oct. 1 - 25: On behalf of your organization, you'll need to designate your 2020 ELCA-Primary health benefit selection on EmployerLink.
  • Oct. 29 - Nov. 13: Your plan members will make their benefit selections.
All registered EmployerLink users, can now download and share your organization's Custom Comparison Report and Spreadsheet with those who make benefit and budget decisions. This PDF report and Excel spreadsheet can help your team review options, estimate costs, and decide which ELCA-Primary health benefit option to offer for next year.
Remember that these files contain personal information about your sponsored plan members, so it's important to store copies in a secure location.

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

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.
Lutheran Social Services Walk to Fight Poverty - October 5 & 26

"Catechism Revisited: On Tour" - October 19
For a PDF version of this flyer, click here.

Pacifica Women of the ELCA Annual Convention - November 1 & 2
Ladies... You Are Invited! Our convention site - King of Glory in Fountain Valley - is just off the 405 Freeway and easy to find! Treat yourselves November 1 & 2 to two days of inspiration, conversation, and fun! 

Check our website - - for registration and other details, especially our speakers. We will add a schedule soon. It's more fun to travel together, so fill up your cars and come on over!

We are excited to announce...! Our churchwide representative, Sara Larson, will be joined by Wartburg Professor Charlene Rachuy-Cox in a collaborative presentation for our keynote! New King of Glory Deacon Leah Lind and Pastor Dianne Finnecy (Spirit of Peace, Big Bear City) will lead two Bible Study breakout sessions. Pastor Jennifer Schultz (Bethlehem, Los Alamitos) and Pastor Kinndlee Lund (King of Glory) will lead our worship. Check out for bios and pictures. 
To download a PDF of this flyer,  click here . The registration form for the gathering may be found  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.

Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities

Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Network Update - October 2019

Under the current Administration's policy, thousands of asylum-seekers who would otherwise be awaiting their asylum hearings in the United States are being forced to wait in Mexico. Their names are on an informal list which is now more than 9,000 names long. Approximately 40 people are allowed to come to the border to make their appeal to begin the asylum process per day. This leaves thousands of asylum-seekers, men, women, children, families waiting for months to be able to approach the US border.

The strain on charities and non-profits in Tijuana is immense. We've seen this firsthand at Instituto Madre Asunta, a shelter for women and children, and Casa de Migrantes, a shelter for men.

Members of our synod have had a long and healthy relationship with these two institutions. We've seen their good work firsthand on many occasions and we want to ease their burden and assist them in any way we can.

Both institutions are full beyond capacity, the women and children's shelter about three times their normal guests. Yet they continue to shelter, feed, educate, and assist with legal, psychological, and medical needs.

Because the needs have increased beyond the need for one teacher, we urge ongoing donations to Instituto Madre Asunta's ( general fund to help meet the needs of asylum-seekers and migrants as they see fit. 

We also continue the work of the Pacifica AMMPARO Network on this side of the border. We encourage you to contact your local Rapid Response network ( and see how you can be involved.

If you would like more information about what you can do to help your local community or those across the border, please email us at AMMPARO Network Pacifica Synod, ELCA at

In Christ,
Pastor Karla Halvorson, member, Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Network.

For more updates, visit the Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Network web page.
Earthquake Preparedness and Safety
For a downloadable version of this flyer to share, click here.

ELCA News & Resources
From the Presiding Bishop
We are to be bold.

In her September/October column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, saying the actions taken were based on "our scriptural and confessional understanding of who God chooses us to be." In Milwaukee, she says, "we stepped out in faith." 

Read her column in English at and in Spanish at

ELCA Presiding Bishop Issues Pastoral Message on Racism and White Supremacy
September 13, 2019

"There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

"Racism - a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice - is sin, a violation of God's intention for humanity" (Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, 1993).

Dear Church,

Centered in Christ, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly was significant in many ways: worship, thoughtful deliberation and prayer led to the adoption of memorials and resolutions that will shape this church for years to come. Among these decisions, this church was called to address the deadly power of racism and white supremacy. Martin Luther's clear exposition of the gospel - that God justifies, that we are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that grace is a gift - not only makes it possible to engage in this work but gives us a framework in which to do it. The doctrine of justification is a great leveler. It acknowledges that no one group of people can claim supremacy over others. We are all deeply in need of grace, and God gives this gift to all. Standing equally under the judgement and promise of the gospel, we, as a church, can recognize the overt and covert ways that a culture of white supremacy denies full humanity to all people, and we can work to dismantle it. (Read more...)
2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly

Churchwide Assembly Summary of Actions
More than 900 voting members met August 5-10 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee for the ELCA 2019 Churchwide Assembly. This was the 15th gathering of the assembly, which is the primary decision-making body of the church. In addition to participating in worship and Bible studies, voting members deliberated and took actions regarding the work of the church. Read a summary of the key decisions that were made to further the mission and ministry of the church. 

Sanctuary Denomination
Voting members of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved a memorial that declares the ELCA a sanctuary denomination. The ELCA is the first North American denomination to declare itself a sanctuary church body. As a sanctuary church, the ELCA is committed to serving and supporting migrant children and families in communities across the country. The ways we practice sanctuary will look different for everyone, but welcoming people is not a political issue for us - it is a matter of faith. Talking points, videos, posters and educational resources are available at

Bishop Andy Taylor shared his thoughts about this decision on August 13 in a blog post entitled "A Sanctuary Church Body: What Does This Mean?"

  • Reelected on the first ballot the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton to a six-year term as ELCA presiding bishop.
  • Elected Deacon Sue Rothmeyer to a six-year term as ELCA secretary. Rothmeyer, currently serving as Executive for Administration with the Office of the Secretary, was installed during the assembly's closing worship on August 10 and will begin her term November 1.
Churchwide Assembly Photo Albums
Browse hundreds of photos from each day of the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee. You can find these albums on the ELCA's Facebook page.

More information and videos of the recorded plenary sessions, can be found on the Churchwide Assembly website .

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. 

Early registration discount ends October 15. For more information, please visit the event website.
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
New Tools for Congregations
Has your congregation struggled to manage membership data?  Does your website need a fresh look?  Are you looking for easier ways to connect with members and the community?

In March 2018 the ELCA introduced as an ELCA preferred vendor for electronic giving. Featuring online, mobile and text giving options, is now expanding its product line to offer website services and church management software to ELCA congregations at a low cost. 

Learn more by joining us for a free webinar on  Thursday, October 17, at 12 p.m. Pacific Time 

Register here to join the webinar.  Click here to learn more information about as an ELCA preferred vendor. 

We look forward to having you join us for the introduction of these new services!

ELCA Publications 
ELCA Seeds Monthly - September 2019

ELCA Administration Matters - September 2019

ELCA StewardNet - Summer 2019

ELCA Advocacy Connections - September 2019

ELCA Global Links - September 2019

LSS Gift Legacy News - September 2019

Prayer Requests
We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:  
  • For the family and friends of Pastor Carol Reed.
  • The families of victims of and all affected by Hurricane Dorian.

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 -