December 18, 2018
Pacifica Synod e-News
We are pleased to share with you the following news, information and ministry opportunities taking place within our synod. If you have items to share about the ministries happening through your congregation, 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 sign up here.
Pacifica Synod News & Resources
Christmas Greetings and Holiday Wishes
On behalf of the Pacifica Synod staff, we wish you and your family a blessed Christmas season. We are grateful for your partnership in ministry and hold you in our prayers in the New Year ahead.

The Synod Office will be closed from Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, January 1. We will return on Wednesday, January 2. Midweek worship will not be held on Wednesday, December 26.

Should an emergency arise during this time, please call 657.223.3651 and a staff member will assist you.
Apply Now for 2019 Robert L. Miller Scholarship Awards
Applications are now being accepted for the Robert L. Miller Scholarship. Guidelines for applying are as follows: 
  • Applicant must be an active member of a Pacifica Synod congregation.
  • Applicant must be officially entranced by the Pacifica Synod Candidacy Committee. 
  • Applicant must be officially affiliated with and registered at an ELCA seminary in an approved degree or TEEM program, leading to becoming a rostered leader in the ELCA (Word and Sacrament/Word and Service.) 
  • Funds may only be used for books, tuition, or costs directly related to Seminary Education in the ELCA, as funds are deposited directly with the Seminary in the student's account.
For more information and to download an application, click here. The deadline to apply for Spring 2019 funding is January 15, 2019.
Call for Resolutions for the 2019 Pacifica Synod Assembly
The 2019 Pacifica Synod Assembly will be held May 10 & 11, 2019  at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert.  The deadline for submitting resolutions is FEBRUARY 11, 2019. 
If a resolution comes in after this deadline, it will be submitted to the Pacifica Synod Council Secretary and will be brought to the floor of the assembly and will require a two-thirds vote by the assembly to be considered. 
For detailed information on resolutions, please see this document.
Please submit all resolutions to the Pacifica Synod office by mail  (1801 Park Court Place, Bldg C, Santa Ana, CA 92701)  or by email ( ).
For questions about resolutions,  please contact the Rev. Laura Ziehl at 760.814.5141.
Pacifica Synod Funds for Mission - Grant Opportunities
Stephen Ministry Training Scholarships
Pacifica Synod is pleased to announce available scholarships for the Stephen Ministry Leader's Training Course to be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Anaheim, February 3-9, 2019.  The synod scholarship program will provide the following:
  1. $800 scholarship per lay leader, available for up to three lay leaders per congregation. Additional $285 scholarship per lay leader for non-commuters will be added. 
  2. $1,000 per congregation toward your congregation's enrollment in the Stephen Series, if not currently enrolled. The Leader's Training Course is designed for congregations enrolled in the Stephen Series. 
  3. $400 travel assistance per lay person for up to three people for Hawaii congregations.
For more information or to apply, click here.

Latino Ministry Endowment Fund Partnership Support Grants
The Pacifica Synod Latino Ministry Endowment Fund, formed from a merger of the St. Mary's and Santa Ana Accounts by action of the Synod Council on March 12, 2005, provides assistance and support to congregations with existing Latino ministries and/or congregations intending to develop new Latino ministries.

New for 2019, we will also encourage individual grants for Latino members of the Pacifica Synod using the funds for seminary and the TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) program.

Congregations grants must have a defined plan for an outreach, worship or other specific ministry. For more information or to apply, click here.

Warner Trust Fund Grants
Applications are now being received for the Charles and Mable Warner Trust fund proceeds being administered by the Pacifica Synod. The application deadline is January 15, 2019.  Charles and Mable Warner were members of First Lutheran Church, Los Angeles. They had no children and loved their church as evidenced by the following quote from their will:

"...The entire remainder of the trust estate shall go and be distributed to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the Southwest, Los Angeles, California, with the request that such estate be used in the construction of Sunday School facilities and to further youth Christian education."

As legal successors to the Southwest Synod, the principal was divided among the five ELCA synods in Region 2. The principal from the fund has been placed in the ELCA Mission Investment Fund and the interest is made available annually in March, as grants. Depending on interest rates we anticipate receiving about $9,000 on our investment this year that will then be distributed as grants. For more information or to apply, click here.

Ministry with Migrants, Asylum-Seekers and Refugees
What can we together do to assist immigrants and refugees?  

We can begin by networking, discovering what other congregations and organizations are already doing, and coming along beside them to help. 

The AMMPARO Network of Pacifica Synod invites you to share how you or your congregation are already involved and what you would like to see happen in ministry with immigrants and refugees.  Please complete this short survey.  We will share the results with everyone who completes it.  Welcome to the Network! 

Ministry with Immigrants and Refugees Survey (right click on underlined words and open link in new tab)

Our Pacifica Synod opportunities to assist: 
1)  Christ Lutheran, as part of Safe Harbors- Pacific Beach is asking for help in their welcome and housing of immigrant families. Contributions by check can be made payable to Christ Lutheran Church, with "Safe Harbors - Pacific Beach" in the subject line.  Members of Christ also offer to teach any interested congregation how to host asylum seekers. For more information, please contact Jacqueline Hanson at
2) The Pacifica Synod AMMPARO network is working to raise funds for the salary for a teacher for one year at Instituo Madre Asunta, the women and children's shelter in Tijuana (connected to Casa de Migrantes). We are hoping each congregation will raise between $400 and $800. Checks should be sent and made payable to the Pacifica Synod. Please indicate clearly that this is for Tijuana Shelter Teacher's Salary. 
3) The Pacifica Synod AMMPARO network will host a meeting of congregations and individuals interested in ministry with immigrants and refugees in February.  Please contact Pastor Karla Halvorson (see below) if you would like to attend. 

Questions regarding survey can be directed by email to Pastor Karla Halvorson at .

Ecumenical Prayer Service - Sunday, January 27 - San Diego

Sunday, January 27, 2019
3:00 p.m.

Clairemont Lutheran Church, 
4271 Clairemont Mesa Drive, San Diego

Free. Open to all.

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Assisting Bishop 
of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

If you have questions, please contact the Rev. Eleanor Ellsworth
diocesan ecumenical officer 
Region 2 News
Word and Service Summit 2019
When:   January 29-31, 2019
Where:  Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA
Who: Deacons, Synod Staff, Bishops, Seminary Faculty, and Churchwide Colleagues

In 2016 a unified Word and Service Roster (Deacon) was created through a vote of the Churchwide Assembly. This recent change is an opportunity for ministry leaders to come together for the sake of our public witness to ask, what does this mean?

We believe a ministry of Word & Service is a vital part of our Church's call and witness in the world. How will we work together to ensure this new roster thrives for the sake of the world?

This will be a time of intentional conversation, in which together, we prayerfully find our common ground in ministry. We'll acknowledge where we've been, where we are, where we are being led, and how to move forward into action to the glory of God for the sake of the world. Join us in worship, prayer and conversations.

For event information and to register online, click here.

Paul and Norine Nelson Memorial Campus Ministry Grant
The application period is open for the Paul and Norine R. Nelson Memorial Endowment Fund Grant for campus ministries in California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii. Grants are provided to assist ministry site to engage in creative and intentional outreach with young adults in a college or university community.

The applicant must be an ELCA ministry site in California, North Nevada or Hawaii. The application deadline is January 15, 2019. The maximum amount to be granted to any one ministry will be $5,000. The actual award amounts will depend on the number of qualified applications received. To download an application and instructions, please click here.

Day of Theological Reflection & Dialogue
Thursday, February 7, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Hope Lutheran Church, Temecula

32nd Annual Pacifica Synod Assembly
  Friday, May 10 to Saturday, May 11, 2019
  Hope Lutheran Church
Palm Desert

ELCA News & Resources
A Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Christmas Message 2018
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Christmas Message 2018

View & download a video message from Bishop Eaton
Download English PDF | Download Spanish PDF

"From Cradle to Grave" - Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
In the December issue of Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on Christmas, a time when "God reversed the cradle-to-grave progression." We are on a joyful journey, where we are loved, we are alive and we are free to greet this holy season. 

Read her column in English at and in Spanish at

ELCA Fund for Leaders Scholarships
The ELCA Fund for Leaders is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that provides scholarships for future ELCA pastors and deacons who attend ELCA seminaries. In 2019, the Fund for Leaders is prepared to offer full-tuition scholarships to more students than ever before!

The Fund for Leaders has an open application process that allows all eligible candidates to apply online directly to Fund for Leaders to be considered for a full-tuition scholarship. These scholarships will cover the full cost of seminary tuition for the duration of coursework. Eligible candidates must apply and receive an offer of admission from one or more ELCA seminaries, must be planning to enroll full-time in the fall of 2019, and must be in good standing in the ELCA candidacy process. Recipients of Fund for Leaders scholarships may apply their full-tuition scholarship at any ELCA seminary that has offered them admission.

If you are discerning a call to rostered ministry in the ELCA, please visit today to learn more and to apply. The application period for this year is open now through February 11, 2019. 

Lutheran Social Services Update - Fires in California

The rampant fires in California have been extinguished. Thousands of people have been displaced, homes damaged or destroyed, vehicles incinerated, and family heirlooms lost forever.

The damage is enormous, and the response needs to be huge as well. After emergency relief, the process of long-term recovery begins. Lutheran Social Services of Southern California is prepared to step in at this juncture.

We work with Lutheran Disaster Response national and Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, alongside the communities, providing case management on an individualized basis. We help move victims from the pain of what they lost, to the options for a new plan through which they can move into the future.

Your donations are essential, and can offer relief, and case management for the many in need.  Please help the thousands of people who have been displaced by donating today through one of the agencies below.

Ronald S. Drews

Looking for That Last-Minute Gift?
ELCA Good Gifts - Gifts That Give Back
Struggling to find the perfect gift? Or tired of shopping for someone who has everything they need? Shop ELCA Good Gifts and choose a life-changing, charitable gift - such as a goat or water well - and donate in honor of someone special.

With each gift, you can personalize a free card to share the news. More importantly, your gift creates transformative change in the lives of people around the world. God's love for us through the gift of Jesus Christ is priceless - and by supporting our neighbors in need, we are sharing God's love with others. Click here to start shopping!

Lutheran World Relief Gifts
This holiday season provide a family with a lasting source of nutrition and income with Lutheran World Relief's LWR Gifts! A hearty goat, a wooly sheep or a clucky hen and chicks can provide farmers with milk, eggs, wool to make warm blankets and sweaters and fertilizer for crops.

Your generous gift is meaningful in more ways than one. As these animals multiply, so will the fruits of your compassion. Families everywhere share a common desire to provide for their children and loved ones in the best way they can. Your LWR Gifts help them do just that.

Visit to learn how you can transform lives for good.

ELCA Publications 

Seeds for the Parish - Fall 2018

ELCA Administration Matters - December 2018

ELCA Advocacy Update - December 2018

Celebrating Ministry Together!
Installation Service - Pastor Tim Mason, Incarnation, Poway
We celebrate with Pastor Timothy Mason and the congregation of The Lutheran Church of the Incarnation in Poway, as he was installed as their Associate Pastor on Sunday, December 9. Congratulations and blessings on your ministry together!

God's Work. Their Hands.
Lutheran Church of the Desert, Joshua Tree provides an annual Thanksgiving meal for the community. This year, they served a total of 189 meals. Lutheran Church of the Desert serves this meal in cooperation with the Community Food Pantry of Joshua Tree, who is housed in their building. While they didn't start serving until 4 p.m.on Thanksgiving, that didn't stop people from lining up shortly after 1 p.m.

Welcome, Desmond Howard Martin!
Congratulations to Pastor Lara and Rene Martin on the birth of their son, Desmond Howard Martin. Desmond arrived two weeks early on Sunday, November 11, 2018, at 1:03 p.m., weighing in at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and 20 inches long.  Both parents, big brother Dietrich and baby Desmond are doing great.

Events & Opportunities
Mission Trip to Haiti - January 2019
On January 3-9, 2019, Pastor Nate Allen (Clairemont, San Diego) will be leading a trip to Haiti along with his father, Phil Allen. 
They will be meeting with leadership of the Lutheran Church of Haiti as well as local churches, and will be meeting with staff from the Lutheran World Federation in Haiti to see what work they are currently doing in the country.  This will be Pastor Nate's third time going/leading trips to Haiti.  
Their goal is to go into the trip with open minds and hearts to build relationships with the people there, learn from them about being church in a changing context, and also to ask them directly how to best help them when they return to the United States.  
This opportunity is a a wonderful experience that can change those attending as individuals to see the wider world context and to learn from our neighbors what it means to be Christian and Lutheran today.  They will grow in compassion and love as a result.
Pastor Nate would like to open up this chance to anyone in the Synod who may be interested in going along.  They have also applied for a GEM grant to help cover some of the cost of the the trip.  Total cost for the trip is estimated to be about $1,200 BEFORE  any scholarships.  

If you are interested or need more information, please contact Pastor Nate by email at or by phone at 626.627.5802.

Latino Young Adult Holy Land Pilgrimage 2019
LRCC Family Winterfest 2019

Get away for the weekend with a family trip to El Camino Pines Family Winterfest or Luther Glen Family Winterfest!

Come with your whole family, or come alone and meet some new friends! Children will have their own activities led by the LRCC staff. Enjoy a weekend of family, fun and fellowship! Adults meet separately with a keynote speaker.

For more information and to register, click here.
LRCC 2019 Winter Retreats

Come to El Camino Pines & Luther Glen where we will be given a deeper understanding of the God that has already named and claimed each one of us, with a love too abundant to comprehend.  Our Winter Retreats at both sites feature special programming designed by our year-round staff.

Friday to Sunday retreats run from 7 p.m. on Friday evening through lunch on Sunday. 
Saturday to Monday retreats run from 4 p.m. on Saturday through brunch on Monday.

Come with your youth group, come by yourself or invite a friend and be ready for a weekend you won't forget. More information and registration can be found online at

Prayer Requests
Below, please find prayer requests for our synod's rostered ministers, spouses, key lay leaders and congregations here in our synod e-newsletter.

We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:

All those affected by Borderline Bar & Grill shooting and the California wildfires.

 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. Karen Marohn -
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad -
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown -
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Scottie Lloyd -
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Brenda Bos -
Son & Surf Conference - The Rev. Brian Taylor -
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr -
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher -