Pacifica Synod News & Notes
August 31, 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
Tuesday, September 1 at 11:00 a.m.
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.

Pacific Lutheran University's 2020 Annual
Lutheran Studies Conference
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher
to the Whitest Denomination in the US 
with author Rev. Lenny Duncan 

This year's Lutheran Studies Conference focuses on systemic racism and will involve opportunities for reading, reflection and commitment to action for individuals and their faith and/or educational communities. We will be guided in this work and reflection by Rev. Lenny Duncan, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Church of America (ELCA). The conference will include:

  1. Keynote Address on October 1st at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Lenny Duncan will be speaking on his book, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US (2019). This webinar will be held virtually via Zoom.
  2. Adult Forum book discussions for Congregations on September 20th & 27th at 9:00 a.m. Forums will focus on Chapters 1, 9 and 10, and will be facilitated by Dr. Marit Trelstad, PLU Chair of Lutheran Studies. Please encourage your congregation to read ahead!
  3. PLU Chapel on September 30th at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Lenny Duncan will be preaching with University Pastor Jen Rude. 

You are invited to read Rev. Duncan’s book with us in preparation for the conference events. Registration for all events is required. Please join us!

The conference is free and open to the public and is made possible by the generosity of the anonymous donors who endowed the University Chair in Lutheran Studies.
Supporting the Work of Lutheran Disaster Response
Lutheran Disaster Response brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. When the dust settles and the headlines change, we stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need. In addition to their work around the world, LDR is currently assisting with two recent disasters response efforts.

California Wildfires
Fueled by a heat wave and ignited by lightning strikes, some of the worst wildfires in California’s history have erupted across the state. At least four people have died, tens of thousands of people are under evacuation orders, over 1 million acres have burned, and more than 1,000 structures have been destroyed and thousands more are threatened. Some evacuees face the difficult decision of whether to stay in a shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with Lutheran Social Services of Southern California and Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, along with the three California synods (Sierra Pacific, Southwest California and Pacifica), to assess the situation and determine the best ways to respond. We expect immediate needs to include food and other life necessities, as well as emotional and spiritual care for those who have been traumatized. Long-term recovery assistance may include rebuilding and repairing homes.

Hurricane Relief
Hurricane Laura, a powerful Category 4 storm, has hit Louisiana and parts of Texas with devastating force, causing at least three deaths, major damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. With extremely dangerous storm surge and winds of at least 150 mph, it’s one of the most powerful storms to hit the area in a century, and it left widespread destruction in its wake.

Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (Upbring) and the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southwestern Texas synods, which are assessing the immediate needs and initiating a response. While the extent of the damage is not yet known, we will accompany devastated communities from immediate relief through long-term recovery.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference 2020
The 2020 Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference is going virtual! Please mark your calendars for the dates below. All times are Eastern Daylight Time. Hear from leading thinkers exploring the opportunities for growth in stewardship even in the midst of profound social change.

The 2020 conference will be virtual. We will be together September 22, 29 and October 6th from 11:30 – 1:30 EDT.

September 22nd - Eric Barreto
Weyerhauser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary

September 29th - Bonnie Ives Marden
Leadership consultant and financial stewardship practitioner. Author of Church Finances for Missional Leaders.

October 6th - Bruce Reyes-Chow
Senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, CA. Author, speaker, former PCUSA moderator.

Virtual connection information will be sent to registered participants in advance of each weekly event. In order to register, go to StewardshipKaleidoscope.orgVideos will be available afterward for those registered.

Conference Registration Fee:
Three weekly events for $45 including access to recordings of the speakers and the question and answer session following the final week of the series.

Conference Scholarships
Scholarships are available from the ELCA.  Please contact

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Virtual Book Series
On Tuesday, September 1st at 12:00 p.m. PDT, author Karen Gonzalez will discuss her book, “The God Who Sees: Immigrants, The Bible and the Journey to Belong”

Mrs. Gonzalez offers a moving and persuasive analysis of immigration through a faith perspective, focusing on Biblical stories of migration: Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Ruth and more. These intrepid heroes of the faith cross borders and seek refuge. As witnesses to God’s liberating power, they name the God they see at work, and they become grafted onto God’s family tree.

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

The next gathering is scheduled for Wednesday, September 2 at 11:00 a.m. PDT
The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 1: Rituals of Renewal
with the Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin

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: September 2, 2020 11:00 a.m. PDT
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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+16699006833,,180439412#,,1#,648160# US (San Jose)
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    +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
  Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160
ALOA Webinar
Long Term Care in a Pandemic
ALOA (Adult Lutherans Organized for Action) offers monthly one-hour webinars on specific topics meaningful to older adult ministry leaders in congregations, as well as interested individuals. Each will include an interview with a thought leader working with older adults, and will be archived for future viewing. Webinars are offered free of charge. Information about their next webinar is listed below. You can also find the archive of previous webinars here.

Long Term Care in a Pandemic: 
A Look at Decisions about Nursing Homes & Assisted Living 
September 24, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. PDT

Daily life in the time of COVID is challenging for many seniors, but for those who may need rehab or nursing home placement, the decision making process is very challenging. Alice H. Hedt, former Long Term Care Ombudsman for the State of Maryland will look at concrete steps that those needing placement and their families/friends can take that will help in making essential decisions. Topics include:

  • How to find information on nursing homes and COVID cases
  • Questions to ask when needing rehabilitation
  • Exploring in-home alternatives to facility placement
  • Communication strategies when loved ones cannot have visitors
  • Congregation support for those in long term care – ministry opportunities in the pandemic

You’ll hear about resources and strategies to help those of us who have to make difficult decisions now and to equip the rest of us who may need long term care in the future.
Register now – you’ll receive a confirmation email and information on how to join the webinar. If you can’t attend now, register anyway and you’ll be notified as soon as the recording and resources are available on our website.
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
  • 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