Pacifica Synod News & Notes
August 21, 2020
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 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 Synod News & Resources
Coaching for All Seasons
Monthly Online Gathering for
Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
As Lutherans, we learned early the pivotal question, “What does this mean?” Recently, life around us prompts us to ask that question in the context of racism and white supremacy. Bishop Andy shared stories that helped define his journey toward greater racial understanding and introduced members of the Synod’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group.

Members of this working group will join us for our next gathering on September 1 to share resources with us to help us examine the historical beginning of these issues. If we are to effect real, lasting change, we must all understand the origins of the problem. Where, when, how and why did it all begin? We must work and reason together to be a part of the necessary changes. You are invited to join us in this great effort to confront racism in our country. Do not let this movement of change leave the Church behind. Participants who register ahead of time will be emailed supplemental resources to help dig deeper into the history of race and white supremacy in America. Following the Working Group’s presentation, we will break into small groups for coach-led conversations relating this information to your circumstances. We will conclude with a debriefing to share the small groups’ experiences.

The September 1 forum is the third in the monthly series Coaching for All Seasons that began in July. Click here to view our Synod Coaching web page and access the resources from previous presentations. Our Pacifica Synod Coaching Team designed this forum to provide encouragement and support to Synod leaders as we navigate the unknown. Each month, participants will hear a brief presentation related to how we currently are called to be Church. Then they will have an opportunity to be in a small group discussion facilitated by an ELCA coach. We are creating a safe space for processing our responses to uncertain times and for discerning steps forward in our unique contexts.

Pacifica Synod has invested in training coaches to work with rostered and lay leaders one-on-one or in groups. Coaching provides an opportunity for rostered and lay leaders to experience a partnership focused on the unique objectives they want to achieve. A coach’s role is to support a leader in naming challenging issues and identifying constructive responses to them. Pacifica Synod coaches are volunteering their time to create presentations and coaching opportunities that provide a hands-on resource for addressing your challenges.

Our next meeting will be via Zoom on Tuesday, September 1, 11:00-noon Pacific Time. Mark your calendars for the first Tuesday of each month and look for future announcements.

 If you are interested in participating in this gathering or would like information on having a coach, please contact Deenna Eley, Pacifica Synod Coaching Coordinator at
Synod Work Towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
On June 15, Bishop Andy shared a letter with our synod, inviting us to work together for racial justice. If you missed this, you may read the Bishop Andy's full letter here. The Pacifica Synod Council has released a Racial Justice Statement and encourages congregations and individuals to join them in taking the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge.

We also have created a synod web page with information and anti-racism resources for individual and congregational use. We will continue to add resources, so check back often. If you have resources to recommend or would like to share stories about how you or your congregation are currently working towards equity, diversity and inclusion, please contact Pastor Lara Martin at
2020 Pacifica Synod Notebook of Reports
Now Available for Download
In June 2020, we announced the postponement of our 2020 Pacifica Synod Assembly until May 1, 2021. Despite this postponement, we have prepared a 2020 Notebook of Reports to share with you. This document contains four of our usual assembly notebook sections, as follows:
·    Section 1 - Cover & Introduction
·    Section 2 - Congregations, Rosters & Anniversaries
·    Section 3 - Finance & Budget
·    Section 4 - Reports
These documents are available for download on our website, either as a full notebook, or individually by section. Follow this link to take you to the Synod Assembly page to download your copy today!

From the ELCA & Other Partners

Region 2 Community/Parish Nurses Event
RSVP for an email Zoom link to

Learn more about ELPNA on their website or Facebook page.
Hunger in the Time of COVID-19:
Life for Today and Hope for Tomorrow
Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel TV host; the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); and the Rev. Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod, invite you to an online benefit — the first of its kind — for ELCA World Hunger. Our goal is to raise $250,000 to confront hunger in the time of COVID-19.

When: Thursday, Sept. 24, 5:00 p.m. PDT
Where: Zoom virtual event

We are in a historic moment, facing a once-in-a-century pandemic and a global change in hunger unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. Domestically and internationally, hunger is increasing at alarming rates. At this event, you will learn about the unique ways ELCA World Hunger is responding. Our hosts will also discuss the ongoing root causes of hunger and poverty addressed in Rick Steves’ recent special Hunger and Hope: Lessons From Ethiopia and Guatemala. And you will hear from ELCA World Hunger partners on the front lines of the current hunger crisis, who will tell you firsthand how your gifts make a difference.

We are called by God to share hope in this time of challenge. Join us to face this global hunger crisis head-on and to continue moving toward a just world where all are fed.
ELCA Life of Faith Initiative
The Life of Faith Initiative is a grassroots effort within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). All advocates of equipping all God’s saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:12) are welcome to participate in the initiative, whether you are part of the ELCA or not.

The purpose of the Life of Faith initiative is to stir up a culture change that frees us to make the service by the baptized in the arenas of daily life the central focus of the church’s mission.

This initiative intentionally builds on the premise and success of the ELCA’s Book of Faith initiative, which pioneered a grass-roots movement embracing a common vision in which all are invited to open scripture and join the conversation. The Life of Faith initiative connects the Book of Faith initiative to the many and varied forms of service to neighbors through family, workplace, school, local community, and world. Each expression of the church is encouraged to develop approaches and resources in order to make the Life of Faith initiative a vital part of its reason for existence.

if you’re interested in learning how to support the ministry of the baptized in all the arenas of daily life, check out the Life of Faith Initiative website for more information and an introductory video. You can also download a printable PDF flyer to share with others here.
Immigrant Justice: A Vigil
Friday, August 21 - 7:00 pm
Immigrant Justice: A VIGIL
Friday, August 21, 2020
7 pm PDT /10 pm EDT
Virtual Nationwide Vigil
Register to receive Zoom link:

We hold this space in solidarity with undocumented immigrants who are holding a hunger strike while being detained in ICE custody under inhumane conditions at the Yuba County Jail and at Bakersfield's Mesa Verde Detention Facility. The Lord's Prayer, in different languages, will be at the center of this Vigil. 
All are welcome, regardless of faith affiliation. 
Please come. 
Please share. 
Clergy, please wear vestments or collars.

Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California
Ballot Measure Events
Racial Equity Now: Yes on 16!
Tuesday, August 25, 3:00 p.m.
For Pastors, Deacons and Lay Leaders*

What can your church can do to support Black liberation? Regina Q. Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California, will address this pressing question by way of policy analysis. In 1996, CA voters passed Proposition 209, banning affirmative action in California’s public institutions. Twenty-four years have passed, and now Proposition 16 will allow California voters to decide whether this ban should end or continue to stand.

During the forum, we will dig into the text of both propositions and reference ELCA social statements. Attendees will leave with the skills to do a policy analysis training with their own congregations.

*By registering, you affirm your commitment to work toward racial equity and agree to dialogue with respect and readiness to roll up your sleeves and get to work. This is not a space where the value of racial equity or the issues faced by people of color will be debated. 
Expand the Vote: Yes on 18!
Wednesday, August 26 at 4:30 p.m.
For high schoolers, young adults and youth leaders

Who gets to vote in our country and why? Should the vote be expanded to include more young people? In this policy discussion with Advocacy Fellow Nicole Newell, we will dig into the history of voting rights and the statements of our faith with respect to Proposition 18, which would allow some 17-year olds to vote some of the time. Prop 18 will be on the November 2020 ballot. 
Adult Bible Study Explores
Foundation for Sanctuary
A new study, titled “Transformed Community: Freed and Empowered for Radical Welcome,” will be released as a collaborative effort of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries, and the ELCA/AMMPARO.

In six sessions, participants will explore their relationship with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in relation to biblical stories of generosity, inclusion, compassion, justice, and forgiveness. Centered on Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds,” the Bible study will assist groups to:
  • Recognize how transformed understandings of generosity, inclusion, compassion, justice, and forgiveness make Christian community an agent of God’s love;
  • Be encouraged in the experience of community and inspired to trust in the countercultural ways of God’s will, especially with regard to the realities of refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers;
  • Commit to engagement and action to energize the community as God’s agent of change in the world with respect to refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers.

The study is designed to prepare congregations to discern how being part of a sanctuary denomination can shape their life in community.

Although we live in a time of change, we know that the mission and work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has been a constant for over 80 years. We hold true to our identity: grounded in the gospel, LIRS has been and will continue to be about bringing hope to the world by serving vulnerable refugees and migrants.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Virtual Book Series
On Tuesday, August 25th at 3pm, New York Times editor and author Jia Lynn Yang will discuss her new book, “One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965”

Framed movingly by her own family’s story of immigration to America, Yang’s book is a sweeping history of the twentieth-century battle to reform American immigration laws that set the stage for today’s roiling debates. A deeply researched and illuminating work of history, “One Mighty and Irresistible Tide” shows how Americans have strived and struggled to live up to the ideal of a home for the “huddled masses,” as promised in Emma Lazarus’s famous poem.

The session will be moderated by Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

More information about the book and author here:

Register today and be sure to check out our other upcoming sessions with authors on our website at
ELCA commemorates 500th anniversary
of Luther’s The Freedom of a Christian
This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s treatise The Freedom of a Christian. To observe this milestone, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), invites the church to read, study and reflect on this Lutheran witness of the Christian faith.
In his work, Luther spoke of how God liberates us in Christ to live generously and courageously in service of our neighbor’s liberation, confident that God’s mercy will free us all.
“Christian[s] … do not live in themselves but in Christ and their neighbor, or else they are not Christian,” Luther wrote. “They live in Christ through faith and in the neighbor through love. Through faith they are caught up beyond themselves into God; likewise through love they fall down beneath themselves into the neighbor — remaining nevertheless always in God and God’s love.”
To commemorate the anniversary, the ELCA has developed a study guide and other resources, available at, to deepen readers’ engagement with the 500-year-old text. As a partner in this project, Fortress Press has generously made available a complimentary download of the treatise, available through 2020.
In her introduction to the study guide, Eaton writes, “In this treatise, Luther describes a ‘happy exchange’ wherein Christ sets us free by taking upon himself humankind’s sin, pain and judgment, and in return giving us his liberating life. … We are empowered in turn to use our freedom to serve our neighbors, whoever they may be. This message remains timely when voices that marginalize certain people, or preach contempt, hatred and violence, dominate our public discourse. How do we hear and trust this word from God today, and continue to serve God’s life-giving work?”
“Today, as in Luther’s day, our faithful response to the uncertainty and death-dealing forces in our world is to proclaim that which is sure and life-giving for all,” Eaton writes in her introduction. “Freed in Christ, we resist the temptation to turn inward in despair by turning outward in love and service to the world. Siblings in Christ, rejoice! We are no longer captive, but free.”
The Freedom of a Christian treatise, study guide, case studies and information about submitting contributions are available at There you will also find a case study video featuring Pastor Manuel Retamoza, St. Andrew's Lutheran, San Diego.
"God's work. Our hands." Sunday
Service in the time of COVID-19
On Sunday, Sept. 13, congregations will observe “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. This year our church — and our world — are living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing has changed the way we worship and serve. But the need is great, and God’s church is at work.

This year, we encourage you to participate in acts of service in compliance with local health guidelines. Acts of service can happen online, or you can contribute to a project from your home or from a safe physical distance while wearing a mask. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors — even if these acts of service look different this year.

Get ready at

The Christian Education Network of the ELCA has also put together a list of ideas for adapting "God's work. Our hands." Sunday in a Pandemic. You can find that information (and other ideas) on their website here.
ELCA & Other Partners
News & Ministry Links

Lutheran Social Services of So Cal - August 2020

ELCA Advocacy Connections - August 2020

ELCA Worship News - August 2020

ELCA Administration Matters - July 2020

ELCA World Hunger "Go & Do News" - July 2020

ELCA Global Links - July 2020

ELCA StewardNet - Summer 2020

ELCA "Seeds Monthly" Newsletter - August 2020

Available Positions & Opportunities

Youth and Family Coordinator
St. Paul Lutheran, Fullerton
St Paul Lutheran Church (SPLC) in Fullerton is seeking an enthusiastic, creative and energetic individual for a position leading our Youth and Family Ministries. The Youth and Family Coordinator (YFC) will be responsible for designing programs that engage, guide and mobilize the gifts of others to develop multi-faceted programming that includes spiritual formation, education, mission, service, fun and outreach. This position will require flexible hours including Sunday morning worship, weeknights, weekends, and potentially full weeks for retreat/mission trips.

Candidates will have a heart for youth, a passion for Christ, a faith perspective in agreement with the teachings of the ELCA Lutheran Church that includes both a personal and social understanding of faith, an awareness of the struggles and faith questions of modern youth and young adults, and create a safe space of inclusion and diversity.

A complete position description may be found here. In addition, those interested are asked to complete and submit this application.
Director of Faith and Community Relations
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is seeking a Director of Faith and Community Relations. The Director of Faith and Community Relations creates opportunities and strategies to build relationships that secure faith and community-related support for the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. 

A complete position description may be found here. Interested applicants are asked to send a resume and cover letter to

Webinars and Other Events
Here to Serve: Being Church in the Times of Crisis
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. PDT
You are invited to join this weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in times of crisis, as well as an opportunity to be in small group discussions with an ELCA group coach facilitating the conversation. All of this is designed to help us process our feelings in this strange and fearful time and to create a space where we can each name our next most faithful step forward in our unique context. You are welcome to share this invitation with any other ELCA leader, rostered or lay. #ELCAChurchTogether

How do we as individuals prepare ourselves to be leaders in this space? How are we as individuals called to be church with all people? How does this internal work transform us as leaders? How can we utilize our platform within our congregations to create space for dialogue that leads to action?

The next gathering is scheduled for Wednesday, August 26 with a presenter TBD.

Below is the link for each Wednesday's Zoom meeting. For a list of upcoming topics and recordings of prior meetings, go to

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church in Times of Crisis - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: August 26, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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We are excited and honored to offer you a FREE book in preparation for the ELCA Coaching online gathering on September 9 -- What If I Said Yes? The House That Love Built" -- with Sarah Jackson from Casa de Paz.

The House that Love Built is the quintessential story of one woman's questioning what it means to be an American - and a Christian - in light of a broken immigration system. Through tender stories of opening her heart and home to immigrants, Sarah Jackson shines a holy light on loving our neighbor.

If you submit your request by Sunday, August 30, a book will be mailed out on Monday, August 31, thanks to the incredible generosity of our presenter, Sarah Jackson! We recommend submitting your request as soon as possible, as we know the mail is slower in many places lately.

For those who would like to donate to this entirely volunteer-run ministry, you may do that here: tax-deductible donation helps provide visits, shelter, meals, transportation, and emotional support to those impacted by migrant detention.

You may also listen to chapter 1 of the book here: (There's a link at the top of that webpage.)

Excerpts from the book:

“I remember the first time a guest asked me, “Why are you doing this?” His first language was French, which I didn’t know, but his second language was Spanish, which was my second language, too. We struggled to communicate, and I had trouble finding the words to describe my faith to him. “Porque . . . porque . . .” I stammered, and finally landed on something I knew to be true: “Porque usted es mi familia.” You’re my family. That seemed about right. He nodded, smiling. I decided then it was more important that people in our care experience the love of God instead of hearing any words about God. I fell back on the old saying I’d learned as a homeschooler, something ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Speak the gospel, and when necessary, use words.” 

“A young man from Africa came to stay after being released from detention. After dinner, he said softly, “It feels like home here.” He had no idea how deeply those words went into me. To know we belong, to know we matter, to know we’re worthy of kindness, even from a stranger—isn’t that what we all want? When we create that kind of space—one where people feel they’re home, even for a few hours—together we experience a bit of heaven on earth. I believe that every small act of hospitality is a step forward toward Jesus’ desire: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, NIV). When someone is treated the way God values them, we all taste something of heaven.”

We are looking forward to having Sarah with us on September 9. Mark your calendars for that Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. PDT. You can find that weekly login information on the home page of the ELCA Coaching website:
California Lutheran's Fifty and Better Fall Session
Registration Opens August 19
Cal Lutheran’s Fifty and Better (FAB) program offers university level courses and interactive seminars (all with no tests and no homework) to individuals 50 years of age and older, online via Zoom.  Our next session is September 8-October 20.  Six lecture courses are scheduled. Katherine Zoraster will delve into Art in Post-War Europe & America, Dr. Matt Curtis will discuss the evolution of Homo sapiens during the late Pleistocene, Dr. David Parsons will explore the visual culture of the 1960s through an interdisciplinary lens, Dr. Robert Doyle will unpack political ethics, Cary Ginell will examine the Beatles’ recording career in the studio and Martin Ritz will take a look inside terrorism. These lecture courses will meet for two hours each week using Zoom. Fifty and Better students use the chat function in Zoom to communicate with their faculty during class sessions.
Companion seminar courses are being offered with three of the courses. They are designed to promote in-depth discussion of the subject between the instructor and students (using cameras and microphones). Seminars will meet one hour each week and are limited to 15 students each.
Lecture courses are $35 each. Seminars are $25 each. Registration opens August 19th

It will be an exciting session that you won't want to miss!  Check us out on the web at Fifty and Better.   

If you or any friends (with without Cal Lutheran affiliation) want to be added to the email list for information on on the Fall 2020 session, email

Models of Older Adult Ministry Conference
Monday, September 21
Register online at
To download a printable PDF of this document, click here.

Registration Now Open for
Workshops to Continue Learning from
"Truth and Healing for the Sake of Indigenous People"

September 16 - Movements in Indian Country  
October 14 - Indigenous Thought and Theology 
Wednesdays, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Pacific

Please join Other+Wise and our promotional partners, ELCACoaching, New Story Festival, and Briarwood Leadership Center, for two more Indigenous-centered Zoom workshops with our founder and director, Vance Blackfox.

These sessions will be the perfect follow-up to the webinars you attended with Vance previously – especially for those of you looking to grow your solidarity with Indigenous peoples.

Movements in Indian Country
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PDT
There are countless challenges facing Indian Country today, and Native-serving organizations are constantly working to keep up with the frontline Indigenous leaders, activists, and movements that are responding to these challenges. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), these movements are usually unknown to the general population because non-Indigenous people either haven’t had to care or don’t know they should care. And those who do care often don’t know where to begin learning and engaging. Movements in Indian Country will provide you with a starting point for supporting a range of justice efforts in Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Thought and Theology
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PDT
Indian people have unique and beautiful ways of understanding and interacting with the world. Indigenous wisdom – as it relates to being in relationship with other created beings, Mother Earth, and Creator – should be centered in the work to provide better care for our home and relatives. Indigenous Thought and Theology will be a helpful introduction to this wisdom and ways of understanding.

These workshops are provided at no cost. Attendees are invited to offer a financial gift in appreciation for our time of learning and listening together at

For a downloadable PDF flyer, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vance at
PLTS Founders' Day 2020
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
of California Lutheran University
invites you to attend

Founders’ Day
Online via Zoom Webinar
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

9:00 a.m. - Gathering of Community
9:30 a.m. - Welcome and Distinguished Alum Awards
10:00 a.m. - Lecture with Q&A
11:00 a.m. - Worship
 Zoom Link Coming Soon

Climate Justice, Racial Justice and Divestment: The Call of the Church

Our moment in time is pivotal. Movements around the globe are aligning for powerful action toward climate justice, holding racial justice at the heart of the struggle to protect Earth’s fragile climate. Bill McKibben is recognized around the globe as a foremost leader in that struggle. His address will draw the links between racial justice, climate well-being, divestment/reinvestment, and the call of the church.

For speaker information, please visit the event web page. This event is free and open to the public. If you are able, please make a gift to the PLTS Seminary Fund to support our events and educational programs. 

Please contact Khushali Sharma at or (510) 559-2732. 
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Mediation Skills Training Institute Fall Session
Please join us for one of the two remaining sessions of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) that are scheduled before the end of this year: October 5-9 and November 16-20, 2020. This workshop equips participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Given that this event will be conducted remotely, participants will need a device with both a camera and microphone in order to participate fully.

For details and a registration form, please consult this MSTI Brochure. A complete list of our upcoming 90-minute webinars and our popular daylong workshops — including Conflict Transformation SkillsHealthy Congregations, and Leadership and Anxiety in the Church, which are perfect for groups — can be found on the LMPC Events Calendar

Questions? Call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507, or email us at

We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • The family and friends of the Rev. Laura (Laurie) Line
  • The family and friends of the Rev. Dr. Albert Stott
  • Ron and Lisa Higginbotham
  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • 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 -
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 -
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701