April 7, 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
Joint Easter Message from the Episcopal, Lutheran,
and Roman Catholic Bishops
Our Dear Sisters and Brothers, Siblings in Christ:

As we approach the life-giving events of Holy Week our minds and hearts are drawn to the great mystery of God’s love for us. As we walk with Christ on the way to Jerusalem we are edified and united in this journey by His strength and teaching. We witness His betrayal, arrest, passion and crucifixion motivated only by His love for us. We rejoice at the hope of eternal life given to us as He overcomes all adversity and bursts forth from the tomb on Easter Morning.

During this unprecedented time in living history when the whole world is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic we walk with you on the journey to Easter. We know of the suffering you are undergoing in so many different ways, but we urge you not to lose hope in the bright promise of tomorrow which Christ won for us by the cross and His rising from the tomb.

As your bishops we urge you to remain steadfast to the call we have all received of faithful, servant discipleship. Just as the Apostles were confused and in panic at the Lord’s passion, but restored by His living presence at the resurrection, so must all of us, fearful and perhaps doubting at this time, remain faithful to Him who is our hope and our glory.

We wish you God’s blessings for this Easter Time and assure you of our prayers for you and your families.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!


Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy
Roman Catholic Bishop of San Diego

The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Rev. Andrew A. Taylor, Bishop
Pacifica Synod of the ELCA

A PDF version of this letter may be downloaded here.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities
Is the spirit calling you to action? If you're looking for ways to help with the COVID-19 effort, there are several opportunities, many of which you can do from home.

People are helping from home by sewing masks, making protective equipment for health care providers, phoning people to check on them, donating, helping people connect through video calls, or even helping to develop 3D-printed ventilators.

Outside the home, people are delivering groceries and meals, donating blood, helping with food pantries, and providing translation services.

If you are hearing the call, below you will find a list of websites and Facebook pages to help you find volunteer opportunities.

San Diego Community Volunteers for Coronavirus Response is a Facebook page of organizations and community efforts looking for volunteers, and volunteers looking for places they can help. It has an associated Google Doc that summarizes many of the opportunities.

The San Diego Coronavirus web page has information on volunteering, including food banks and blood donations.

Caremongering North County is a Facebook page that focuses on organizing community resources in San Diego county in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Riverside University System's Coronavirus page has a "volunteer" link for medical, and some non-medical, volunteers.

The Riverside University Health System is calling for donations of protective gear , including homemade masks.

https://serve.ca.gov , a California state government web site, has a list of ways to help.

The Hawaii Coronavirus Support Network Facebook page doesn't strictly focus on volunteer opportunities but does have some discussion of them.

JustServe.org is a search engine for volunteer opportunities. It has instructions here for finding opportunities you can work on from home and opportunities specific to Coronavirus/COVID-19. San Diego County has created its own JustServe page: http://justserve.org/sdcounty

Updated Apr. 4, 2020
Our thanks to Jeff Cours, a Synod Council member and a member of St. Peter's by the Sea, San Diego, for compiling this list.
Payroll Protection Program Updates
Last week, we sent out an email containing information and resources about the recently passed Payroll Protection Program and its potential impact for congregations. If you missed that email, you can access it by clicking here .

As banks and SBA lenders work to provide access to this program, several items have changed or been added since last Friday. They are:

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.

Being Church in the Time of COVID-19
ELCA Coaching Ministry - Here to Serve
Weekly Virtual Gatherings of ELCA Leaders
Wednesday, April 8
11 a.m. Pacific/1 p.m. Central
ELCA's Coaching Ministry continues to offer a safe and brave space for congregational leaders across the country to gather for topical presentations, followed by a time of sharing in small groups.  Please join us Wednesday of Holy Week, April 8, as we welcome Rev. Dr. Phil Hirsch, Executive Director of the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA, as our guest presenter. He will speak to us on the topic of " Hope and Holy Week ."
Phil was elected by the ELCA Church Council at its November 2018 meeting and started his role February 1, 2019. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, in 1986 and his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1990. The seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries. Phil earned his Doctor of Ministry in homiletics from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, in 1997. Prior to serving on the Churchwide staff, he served as a congregational pastor in Virginia and New Jersey and also as the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Metro D.C. Synod. At the beginning of his ministry with the national office, Phil said:

"I am grateful for this opportunity to help serve and lead the church in its mission in the United States. I believe that Jesus Christ is the light of the world and the hope for our broken humanity. I am confident because I know the Holy Spirit always gives us wisdom, power and love far greater than the challenges we face." 

We look forward to hearing an inspirational message from Phil, followed by breaking into small groups for each of us to share and discover our next faithful step in our own contexts, as we navigate together finding Hope in the midst of a Holy Week shaped by the reality of COVID-19.

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19 - Weekly Meeting for ELCA Leaders
Time: Apr 8, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 180 439 412
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Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California
Wednesdays at Noon

Dear Advocates, 

In response to COVID-19, we are hosting live advocacy updates on  Wednesdays at noon . During the calls, we will answer questions about our state and federal legislative processes and direct quick advocacy activity. Please see the links below. 

Our Wednesday Zoom call will consist of 25 minutes of updates and instructions. We will then ask you take 5 minutes to make a call or two to our policymakers on the issues we highlighted. You can then return to your life knowing a little more and having done something for the wider community. The login will remain the same throughout. We begin on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 and are scheduled through the end of April. 
Advocacy does not stop during crisis. It takes a different, more urgent form. We know that there are communities that struggle with food access, air/water quality, and poverty on a regular basis. These communities suffer the most in moments of crisis, and we must work to make sure their interests are held at the center of relief and aid packages. 


Regina Q. Banks
Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California

Topic: Advocacy in Quarantine

Time: Beginning Mar 25, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
    Every 7 days, until May 6, 2020, 7 occurrence(s)
    Apr 8, 2020 12:00 PM
    Apr 15, 2020 12:00 PM
    Apr 22, 2020 12:00 PM
    Apr 29, 2020 12:00 PM
    May 6, 2020 12:00 PM

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 389 725 625

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Meeting ID: 389 725 625
Find your local number:  https://zoom.us/u/acjYkUn43s
Lutheran Disaster Response
Church in a Time of Crisis
People all around the world have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which now has over 1 million recorded cases globally. It has impacted our daily lives and how we go about our days. Schools, businesses, restaurants, and even churches are having to change how they operate in order to avoid crowds of people. The ELCA’s global companion churches are among those taking steps to raise awareness about the pandemic and adopting new practices in order to continue their missions while staying safe and practicing physical distancing. This just goes to show that it will take global unity to slow the spread of the virus. We must come together, although not physically, and each do our part to protect ourselves and those around us.

We have collected stories from around the globe to show how the ELCA’s companions and partners are handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

View the presentation  here .  Use your mouse to explore the world, rather than the arrow buttons at the bottom of the presentation.

by Louisa Ishida on April 6, 2020
Mission Investment Fund and ELCA Federal
Credit Union are Offering Special Assistance
As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mission Investment Fund and the ELCA Federal Credit Union remain trusted partners of the members, pastors, congregations and ministries of the ELCA. As the investment and lending ministry of the ELCA, MIF has resources that can provide much-needed help for customers that may be experiencing financial hardship at this time—the congregations and ministries that have MIF loans as well as individual and congregation investors. The ELCA Federal Credit Union, too, is able to provide similar assistance to its members—ELCA pastors, members, congregations and ministries.

The Mission Investment Fund is providing no-penalty access to term deposits for customers who need emergency access to their funds at this time. For congregations and other ministries that need assistance with loans, MIF can offer such relief as:
  • Deferral of loan payments
  • Interest-only loan payments
  • Loan modifications
  • Lines of credit
  • New emergency loans

To learn how MIF can help, contact MIF via phone, 877-886-3522, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central time). Reach MIF via email at mif.customerservice@elca.org or mif.loans@elca.org .

The ELCA Federal Credit Union is providing similar assistance.  For members of the Credit Union who need emergency access to their funds at this time, the Credit Union is providing no-penalty access to certificates of deposit . For individuals, congregations and other ministries needing assistance with loans, the Credit Union is prepared to offer:
  • Deferral of loan payments
  • Interest-only loan payments
  • Loan modifications
  • Expedited credit card issuance and lines of credit
  • Expedited personal loans
  • New emergency loans

To discuss assistance from the ELCA Federal Credit Union, call 877-715-1111 or send an email to info@elcacu.org .
Portico April Updates
People of God, these are interesting times to be in ministry. As you master many new skills and carry concerns about your people, your church’s finances, and your own family, please know that Portico is here to walk with you. Portico plan members, sign in to myPortico for these timely resources: 

A new  hub on myPortico  details financial and health resources specifically related to COVID-19, including:
  • updates on how the CARES Act can provide financial relief for congregations
  • telemedicine and emotional health support options for ELCA-Primary and ELCA Medicare-Primary plan members
  • answers about managing or adjusting flexible spending accounts
  • financial resources from the ELCA Retirement Plan Recordkeeping Services Provider, Fidelity
This  16-minute video  (filmed March 26) offers:
  • perspective on the investment markets and how we navigate volatility
  • ways to remain emotionally grounded as retirement account balances fluctuate
  • resources Portico offers to help you through these uncertain times

Unfortunately, due to the evolving impact of COVID-19, we have made the decision to suspend our in-person educational events, including the Planning for Retirement Seminars in Oregon on June 18 th  and in California on July 30th.  Videos of past webinars are available on myPortico , or ELCA Retirement Plan members are encouraged to call a Portico Financial Planner at  800.922.4896 .
Need to talk with your personal Regional Representative? Andrea Arey can be reached at 949/338-9573 or aarey@porticobenefits.org

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