ASSEMBLY 2018 NEWS!

The 2018 Pacifica Synod Assembly will meet at Hope Lutheran in Palm Desert for a two-day assembly May 18-19, 2018. Our theme for the Assembly is "Go and Tell: Giving Voice to Faith, Justice and Blessing".

Below you will find updated information about the assembly including registration, hotel accommodations, assembly schedule, etc. As new details become available, they will be updated on our 2018 Assembly page on our Synod website.
Online Registration Closes May 1
Online registration for voting members and guests is now open. 
Registration instructions to guide you through the process may be found here. Please use the worksheet to assemble the information you will need BEFORE you go online to register. Once you have your information compiled, follow this registration link to begin the registration process.  Please keep in mind that payment of the early bird registration invoice did not register individuals from your congregation. You will still need to go online and register each person.

Online registration closes on May 1.  After that date, you will need to contact Terri Robertson in the synod office about your registration options, which may involve waiting to register on-site at the assembly. Please help save time and register online prior to May 1.

If you have questions about your Synod Assembly invoice or registration for the assembly, please contact Terri Robertson at  terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org .

On-Site Assembly Registration & Check In
This year's assembly format is much different than previous years. Since we are opening the assembly at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 18 (rather than the usual 1:00 p.m.), streamlining the on-site registration and check-in process is imperative to being able to begin our assembly on time, with an accurate credentials report, and with a quorum of voting members in attendance.

In order to do so, voting members must be checked in by 8:30 a.m. on Friday in order to be counted for the first credentials report. Registration will open at 7:00 a.m. on Friday to allow attendees to arrive early, check-in, and share in fellowship and hospitality prior to the beginning of the assembly.

For those who are arriving on Thursday, May 17, we encourage you to come by Hope Lutheran between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. in order to check-in or register that evening. This will allow you to sleep a bit later on Friday morning and will help our registration process run smoothly.

Registration will take place on the outdoor courtyard between the Worship Center and Hope Center. Hope Lutheran is located at 45900 Portola Way, Palm Desert.
Pre-Assembly Reports/Assembly Notebook
The pre-assembly reports (a.k.a. the Assembly notebook) will be available on or after Monday, April 16. All congregations, rostered ministers, and registered participants will receive an email with the links to download the contents to a tablet or computer to view or print. They will also be posted on the Synod Assembly web page.

If you will be viewing these reports on your tablet or computer during the assembly, you are highly encouraged to download everything in advance of your arrival.
New for This Year - Assembly Guidebook App
This year, we are excited to share that our synod assembly materials will also be available through a free app that you can access through your phone or tablet. Using the Guidebook App, all of the resources included in our assembly notebook will available at your fingertips, plus much, much more.

Watch for information to come in the weeks ahead of how you can connect with our synod assembly guide through this app. This interactive resource allows updated documents, photos and notifications to be shared immediately with other assembly participants and encourages interactive participation throughout the event.

Budget and Resolutions Hearings by Video Conference
To better prepare yourself for discussion on Resolutions/Memorials and the Synod Budget, there will be hearings offered prior to the assembly using video conference via GoToMeeting. Two identical sessions will be offered for each hearing. If you are interested in participating, please choose the one more convenient for you. 

Resolutions/Memorials Hearing
Saturday, April 28
Session One: 9:00 a.m. (PDT)
Session Two: 10:30 a.m. (PDT)

Budget Hearing
Saturday, May 5
Session One: 9:00 a.m. (PDT)
Session Two: 10:30 a.m. (PDT)

Each session will last one hour and is limited to 25 participants. Registration in advance is required. To register, please contact Terri Robertson at terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org or at 714.692.2791. Once registered, you will be sent a link with further instructions.

Resolutions/Memorials may be found in Section 6 of the Pre-Assembly materials. The Budget may be found in Section 3 of the Pre-Assembly materials (Pre-Assembly materials will be available on April 16).
Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice Conversation
In November 2017, the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice released the Draft of a Social Statement on Women and Justice. We have been invited to read and evaluate the draft, with the comment period open until September 30, 2018.

On Friday morning of the Assembly, we will spend some time in conversation about this draft. To facilitate that conversation, you are encouraged to download a copy before you arrive at the assembly.

The Draft, along with an FAQ, overview, brochure and information about how to participate in the comment period can be found here. Limited copies will be available at the assembly.

Hotel Accommodations Near Hope Lutheran
This year, since our assembly is not being held at a hotel, we are not locked in to meeting a minimum number of reserved rooms at ANY hotel. Assembly attendees are encouraged to stay where it works best for them and investigate the wide variety of options there are for accommodations in the Palm Desert area.  

That said, there are a few hotels in the area who are working with us to offer group rates for those attending our Synod Assembly. Each is listed below, along with their rates, group codes, contact information and deadline to obtain the rate.  Please note that the deadlines vary.  All five of the hotels listed below offer free breakfast, free parking and free internet access.

Embassy Suites, Palm Desert
74700 CA 111, Palm Desert
King - $129 to $149/Double - $139 to $159
Deadline for Group Rate: 4/24/18
Group Code: None
Phone: 760.340.6600
Click HERE to reserve a room online

Holiday Inn Express, Palm Desert
74675 CA 111, Palm Desert
King/Double - $109
Deadline for Group Rate: 5/2/18
Group Code: PSA
Phone: 760.340.4303
No link to reserve a room online

Best Western Plus, Palm Desert
74695 CA 111, Palm Desert
King/Double - $109
Deadline for Group Rate: 5/2/18
Group Code: None
Phone: 760.340.4441
Click HERE to reserve a room online

Homewood Suites, La Quinta
45-200 Washington Street, La Quinta
King - $89/Double - $99
Deadline for Group Rate: 5/2/18
Group Code: PSE
Phone: 760.391.4600
Click HERE to reserve a room online*
*You must click "Add Special Rate Codes" and type PSE to access rates

Hilton Garden Inn, Rancho Mirage
71700 CA 111, Rancho Mirage
King/Double - $89
Deadline for Group Rate: 4/20/18
Group Code: PSEL18
Phone: 760.776.9700
Click HERE to reserve a room online

Major Events Schedule 
The schedule for the major events of this year's assembly is currently as follows below. Please know that these times are subject to change, as planning for the assembly continues.

Thursday, May 17
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.   Registration at Hope Lutheran Church

Friday, May 18
7:00 a.m.     Registration Opens
9:15 a.m.     Opening of the Assembly/Business Meeting 1
11:00 a.m.   Keynote #1
12:00 p.m.   Lunch & Conference Breakouts
1:15 p.m.     Elections
1:30 p.m.     Keynote #2
3:00 p.m.     Large Group Workshop
4:10 p.m.     Dinner on Your Own
7:15 p.m.     Worship

Saturday, May 19
7:00 a.m.     Registration Opens
8:00 a.m.     Business Meeting 2
10:20 a.m.   Keynote #3
12:00 p.m.   Close of the Assembly

Special Guests
2018 Synod Assembly ELCA Churchwide Representative
Mr. William "Bill" Horne, ELCA Vice President
Mr. William "Bill" Horne II was elected to serve a six-year term as ELCA Vice President at the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. Bill Horne grew up as a member of the National Baptist religious tradition and became a Lutheran while serving in the United States Air Force in 1982. Bill has served as congregational president in two ELCA congregations in Florida and is currently a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Clearwater, Florida. He served as a member of the Florida-Bahamas Synod Council and later as Synod Vice President.

Bill served on the ELCA Church Council, 2009-2015 and was a member of the ELCA Theological Education Advisory Council, 2013-2015. He is currently serving as a member of the ELCA Inter-Religious Task Force and of the Lutheran Services Florida Board of Directors.

His post military retirement career has been in public management. He was appointed by the Clearwater City Council to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer (City Manager) of the city with responsibility for all departments except the City Attorney's Office. He is directly responsible for 1,746 employees and accountable for the annual operating and capital budget of $441 million dollars. Bill was selected as Interim City Manager in 2000 and later appointed to the position of City Manager in 2001.

Bill served as a Colonel in the United States Air Force. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Tulsa, a Masters in Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University, and a Masters in Political Science from Auburn University in Montgomery.
Providing Assembly Hospitality
As is our tradition, we invite congregation members to bake and bring donations
of cookies for our hospitality room at the assembly. These baked goods sustain our voting members and guests throughout our time together. This is a great way to involve those who can't be with us at the assembly. Your cookie donations may be sent with your voting members and dropped off at the hotel when they arrive. Thank you for your faithful baking!
Youth Voting Member Activities & Friday Night Housing
Following the 2011 Synod Assembly, the Pacifica Synod Council approved the addition of one voting member for each congregation who brought a youth (Confirmed through age 17) or young adult (ages 18-30) as a voting member to synod assemblies.

Congregations are encouraged to seek out youth or young adults who may be willing to serve as voting members and include them in congregational registration and housing arrangements. If housing a youth with your other voting members is a challenge, youth are invited to spend Friday night with our Synod Youth Team members sleeping on the floor of Hope, Palm Desert's Youth Room for FREE! All they will need is a sleeping bag and pillow.

After worship ends on Friday evening, the Synod Youth Team will be hosting fellowship activities at Hope Lutheran, along with providing snacks and drinks. All youth attending the assembly are invited to be with us for the fellowship time, even if they have other housing arrangements. Those not spending the night at the church will need transportation later in the evening to rejoin their other congregational members.

In order for us to plan for the activities and overnight accommodations, youth interested in participating are asked to make arrangements in advance by  contacting Terri Robertson by May 10 at 951.205.1391 or by email at  terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org

Hawaii Equalization Subsidy
Voting members from our Hawaii congregations are entitled to receive a Hawaii Equalization Subsidy towards their airfare and ground transportation to/from the assembly, up to a maximum amount of $450. To apply for reimbursement, the congregation's registration fee must be paid, voting members registered online (after March 1) and this Hawaii Equalization Form completed and returned to Terri Robertson in the synod office along with all receipts. These may be sent by mail to the address below or by email to terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org.

Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash