April 1, 2020
Pacifica Synod News & Notes
We share with you the following news, resources, information and event updates taking place within our synod and throughout the ELCA. If you have items or information to share, 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 .
Current News & Resources

Care Connections Network and
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Huntington Beach
Assisting Older Adults and At-Risk Individuals 
In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have recognized that our older adult population in particular may need additional support. We are excited to introduce a partnership effort consisting of Lutheran Disaster Response, Care Connections Network (CCN), Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (LCR), Pacifica Synod, City of Huntington Beach, Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, and Waste Not OC. Thanks to this innovative public/private partnership, we will be able to address unmet immediate and longer-term nutritional needs of our older adult and at-risk population.

CCN and LCR are taking the lead in creating a centralized point of contact for those in need of assistance, as well as those looking to support the response with services such as meal/supply delivery, screening calls or providing donations. Waste Not OC’s culinary food repurposing kitchen partners are currently producing 500 nutritious, vacuum-sealed meals available for unsupported older adults and others at-risk, which our non-profit partners will make ready for distribution to program recipients beginning Monday, March 30. Plans for increased meal production continue as food sourcing is identified and additional partnerships develop.

There are various ways for congregations to participate to serve their communities depending on the level of need. Those congregations interested in participating in this program can call Pastor James Pike at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection 714-962-5005 or Carolyn Ross at Care Connections Network 714-962-9346. If you are interested in volunteering and/or donating to this effort, you can find out more information by calling 714-752-0406 or emailing hbresponds@gmail.com .

If you are an older adult or at-risk individual and in need of essential assistance in the City of Huntington Beach, please call the Senior Center in Central Park at 714-536-5600. Those in the cities of Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Westminster or Newport Beach can call 714-584-0570 for assistance. Our Staff Team continues to provide screening, resources and a variety of essential services to our homebound older adults.
COVID-19 Assistance for Congregations & Employees
Congress has passed three acts recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provide significant assistance that is available to churches, religious organizations and their employees.

The ELCA has provided the following summary document, " Update and Resources on COVID-19-related Benefits for ELCA Congregations, Synods, Other Ministries and their Employees ". This document, along with other resources, may be found on their Public Health page on the ELCA website at  https://elca.org/publichealth

Funerals in the Age of COVID-19

Live Complimentary Webinars

April 2 - 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. PDT
  • Casper ter Kuile, Sacred Design Lab
  • Alua Arthur, Going with Grace

Register for free by clicking here .

*Please note: the webinar is limited to 500 live attendees, and anyone trying to get in when a seat opens up will automatically take that seat. However, the webinar is being recorded and you will be sent a link to the webinar, in its entirety, after it has concluded and the file is available to us.

April 3 - 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. PDT
In this webinar, we review the restrictions on funerals and other death rituals in the COVID-19 environment and what these restrictions mean for families and communities. We explore the affects these changes have on the well-researched therapeutic value of funerals and offer suggestions of alternative rituals that may be helpful to the intimate network of the deceased. 
•   Ken Doka, PhD, MDiv, Sr. Bereavement Consultant to HFA
•   Brad Speaks, Owner, Speaks Chapels
•   William Villanova, President, Frank E. Campbell – The Funeral Chapel in NYC
Learning Objectives
  1. Indicate ways that current restrictions on gatherings and travel may affect the therapeutic value of funerals—possibly complicating the grief of survivors;
  2. Discuss special issues that might arise regarding funeral practices due to death from COVID-19;
  3. Identify the psychological, social, and spiritual benefits of funeral services, describe practices that typically enhance the value of funeral services for mourners, and suggest ways those practices might be incorporated during the COVID-19 crisis; and
  4. List and evaluate alternatives for traditional funerals in times of travel restrictions and COVID-19. 

For more information, to register or to view the recorded webinar, click here.
Lutheran Social Services Donation Requests

From Lutheran Social Services of Southern California:

As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches epic proportions, many of our friends, colleagues and family members have found themselves without employment and essential needs. 

Our care centers in Thousand Oaks/Ventura County, San Diego County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County (Central City Lutheran Mission) have seen unprecedented numbers of new and unduplicated clients coming through their doors. As you can imagine, their ability to care for these individuals while still maintaining the health and safety of our own volunteers and employees, many identified in high risk categories, has been significantly affected. As such, we are in immediate need of the following:

*non-perishable food items (pop-top cans, tuna, soup, ramen)
*pre-assembled bagged lunches and food to go 
*personal protective equipment (masks, gloves)
*cleaning supplies (bleach, Lysol, hand sanitizer)
*paper goods (paper towels, toilet paper, forks, bowls, plates, hand wipes)
*volunteers (see individual sites for timing)

Most importantly we need volunteers to help facilitate distribution of these items, particularly in Chula Vista . While we are actively working to update our website and business continuity plans with the latest city, state and federal guidelines, these in-kind and volunteer resources are needed immediately. Please contact our offices directly for additional detail and ways in which you can assist. 

Project Hand
Chula Vista, CA
Volunteer/Donation Contact: Eleanor Slaughter

LSS Ventura County
Thousand Oaks, CA
Volunteer/Donation Contact: Nathan Hickling

LSS Riverside
Riverside, CA
Volunteer/Donation Contact: Deniece Marshall
Central City Lutheran Mission
San Bernardino County, CA
Volunteer/Donation Contact: @Claire Sekafetz

Kristal Shipp
Vice President, Community Engagement
p. 714-685-1800 – c. 310-751-8000 – e kshipp@lsssc.org

From Portico Benefit Services
As we feel the evolving impact of COVID-19 on our lives and communities, Portico is here to support you. The health and well-being of our members is paramount. We encourage you to use your ELCA-Primary health benefits to help you and your covered family members stay well — physically as well as emotionally. Please refer to the March 16 th   email to members from myPortico with links for options for care, testing costs, emotional support, and CDC guidelines. For congregations, this is the link to the ELCA Resource for guidance to our faith community: https://www.elca.org/publichealth
You can always reach out to the Portico Customer Care Center, 800.352.2876, or your Regional Representative, Andrea Arey, 949.338.9573 or email at aarey@porticobenefits.org
Online Giving and
Resources for Navigating Financial Challenges
From Tithe.ly:
Ten Ways To Keep Your Church Healthy and Discipled During the Outbreak

Posted by Vanco:
COVID-19: eGiving in Times of Crisis

Both Tithe.ly and Vanco are preferred vendors of the ELCA. For more information about either of these vendors, please go to https://elca.org/preferredvendors.

Event Updates
2020 Joint Synod Assembly
On March 18, 2020 - Bishops Andy Taylor and R. Guy Erwin issued the following statement regarding the 2020 Joint Synod Assembly scheduled for May 28-30 at California Lutheran University:

As we live into a new "abnormal" with COVID-19, social distancing, and cancelling of most events in our lives, we wish to inform you that the joint Pacifica and Southwest California Synod Assembly scheduled for the end of May has been postponed.

We are working with the Synod Assembly Planning team, the staffs of both synods, and California Lutheran University to see what options there may be to hold the assembly in August. While there will be questions on the postponement, we ask for your patience and prayers as the staffs and planning teams work out the details.
It seems everything is changing by the hour. But in the midst of this uncertainty, we hold on to the never changing love of God and the promise that we do not walk this untrodden path alone.

We will keep you informed as more details become available.
Bonhoeffer Festival - ONLINE - April 16
From Dr. Thom Johnson, Director
Center for Lutheran Studies, Claremont School of Theology

This year’s Bonhoeffer Festival has been moved to an online event. We will be using Zoom to host the event on April 16 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. and will still have Dr Barbara Lundblad as our keynote speaker and still have our respondent panel.

See below for the link for those wanting to join us live via Zoom on April 16. You may join as early as 1:00 p.m., with the program beginning at 1:30 p.m. We will also be recording it and make it available on the Center for Lutheran Studies Facebook page and mail out a link to it for everyone to enjoy at a later date.

Time: Apr 16, 2020 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 892 002 4039
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Habitat for Humanity and Thrivent Worldwide - Viet Nam

You can make a world of difference for a family in need of a safe, decent place to call home.

Join my Habitat and Thrivent Worldwide team to Hoa Binh, Viet Nam.
Our team will be immersed in a new culture and share an experience like no other!

Dates: September 19-27, 2020
Cost to participate in this trip to Hoa Binh, Viet Nam:
  • Thrivent Benefit Member: $1020 plus airfare.
  • Nonmember: $1520 plus airfare. (It’s easy to become a member!)

Together, Thrivent and Habitat for Humanity help families in need of a safe and decent place to call home. Be part of the solution to sub-standard housing by getting involved.
Make time for this life changing experience.

For more information on this specific trip, or to join the team, contact Lynn Marecek at lynn.marecek@gmail.com . Virtual Information Meeting: Sunday, April 19 at 3:00 p.m. Contact Lynn for the Zoom link.
Other Event Updates
Global Women's Tea - April 20
Messiah Lutheran Church, Yorba Linda

Undoing Racism Retreat - April 27 to 29
Luther Glen Farm
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701