April 17, 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 contact us using the above email or sign up here .
Current News & Resources
From Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
"Freed to Serve"
In her April column for  Living Lutheran , ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on this paradox found in Martin Luther’s treatise  On the Freedom of a Christian : “A Christian is lord of all, servant of all, completely free of everything. A Christian is servant, completely attentive to the needs of all.”

Read her column in English at  https://bit.ly/2XkCvqQ  and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/3aSOcJ6 .
Online Security Webinar
Tuesday, April 21
Do you receive emails asking you to send money or trying to trick you into giving up sensitive information?

Do you know what to do if your data or the congregation’s data has been breached?

Do you want to learn how best to protect yourself and the church from online threats?

Please join us on Tuesday, April 21, from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time for a free webinar for ELCA congregations and synods.

Chris Hueneke, information security advisor for the ELCA churchwide organization, will host the webinar, covering these topics and more. You'll learn how to avoid phishing email attacks, protect sensitive data and prevent malware infections, and what to do if your data has been breached.

This event requires no registration. On the morning of April 21, simply go to  this link  and click on the field marked "Join the event."

You'll be connected immediately. If you have any questions, please contact techtraining@elca.org .
Bonhoeffer Festival Recording
From Dr. Thom Johnson, Director
Center for Lutheran Studies, Claremont School of Theology

If you missed yesterday's Bonhoeffer Festival online event, you may view the Zoom recording here . A password is needed to access the recording and that password is O4=N*5R0
ELCA Social Message Feedback Needed
Dear church,

The idea of government was already very much in focus because this was an election year, and the pandemic has focused it more so. But what does the ELCA teach about the nature and function of government in relation to God’s purposes? What is a faithful Lutheran response regarding citizenship and civic engagement?

To help guide our church on these questions, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly asked for the preparation of a social message. At this time, the message is in draft form. Through May 27, you are invited to provide feedback on how to strengthen the message.

I invite you to click here to read “A Draft Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy.” To offer feedback, please fill out the survey . You may also choose to email comments to draftsocialmessage@elca.org . The comment period ends May 27. To learn more about what social messages are, click www.elca.org/socialmessages .

In light of the feedback, the message will be revised and presented to the ELCA Church Council for a vote in June. Upon its adoption, the message and a study guide will be released over the summer, along with a Spanish translation.

To learn more about this social message and the process of its creation, please visit its  webpage , which features “ Frequently Asked Questions . "

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this project—it’s through the wisdom of the full church that a strong message will be created.

God’s peace,

Rev. Roger A. Willer, Ph.D.
Director for Theological Ethics
Office of the Presiding Bishop
ELCA Paycheck Protection Program Updates
The ELCA has new resources available addressing Paycheck Protection Program loans for churches. An updated FAQ document and a video to explain the process are now available.

If your congregation is having a difficulty locating a lending source, please contact the synod office for a potential resource. You can also search lenders on the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program page on their website.

We are working hard to keep up with any changes or additional information on this program. In addition to our Pacifica Synod COVID-19 web page , the ELCA continues to update their Public Health web page with information on this program as well as many other COVID-19-related resources. Please check these often and contact the synod office with any questions you may have.

Congregational (Parochial) Report Filing
The ELCA continues to process 2019 Congregational (Parochial) Reports, Forms A & C. To date, they have received forms from approximately two-thirds of ELCA congregations.

The 2019 data included in these reports will be used to allocate voting members for the 2022 Churchwide Assembly, so it's important for all congregations to be included. If your congregation has not yet submitted your reports, we encourage you to do so online through May 31 at at  www.elca.org/congregationreport .

If you can't locate your congregational ID number or password to file online, please contact Carol Youngman in the synod office at carolyoungman@pacificasynod.org .
Lutheran World Relief
75K Face Mask Challenge
Join the 75,000 Face Mask Challenge! COVID-19 is threatening vulnerable communities, and Lutheran World Relief urgently needs cloth face masks to send to them. The cloth mask you sew in your living room will provide love and protection to a neighbor in need halfway around the world. How many will you make to help stop the spread?

Sign up for more info.  www.lwr.org/masks.
ELCA World Hunger
Domestic Hunger Grants
ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, clean water, housing, job readiness, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger - for good.

The application period for this year's grant requests has been extended to June 1, 2020. To learn more about the ELCA Domestic Hunger Grant Application essentials, click here
We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • Reverend Joe Ramnarine and his family
  • Reverend Ron and Paula Rennegarbe
  • Those affected with the COVID-19 virus and those who have lost loved ones
  • Our healthcare providers, first responders, essential workers and all who continue to serve so that others can remain safely at home

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
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.
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701