Pacifica Synod News & Notes
December 23, 2021

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
From the staff of the Pacifica Synod Office of the Bishop, we wish you and your loved ones a blessed and safe Christmas season. We are grateful for our partnership together in ministry to share Christ's love with others.
Please note that the Pacifica Synod office will be closed Friday, December 24, 2021 through Monday, January 3, 2022. The office will resume regular hours on Tuesday, January 4. In the event of an emergency during this time, please call 619.333.0828 and you will be connected with a staff member.
Bishop Andy Taylor
Pastor Terry Tuvey Allen
Pastor Tom Goellrich
Pastor JP Sabbithi
Rachel Line
Carol Youngman
Terri Robertson
Christmas Greetings from Bishop Andy
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” -- Matthew 1:18-21
Dear People of the Pacifica Synod,
God be with you as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, this Christmas. I have found myself reflecting on Mary and Joseph this Advent season. When both were engaged, neither knew what their future would bring. The appearance of the angel Gabriel in Luke 1 tells how Mary discovered she would become an unwed mother. The above passage from Matthew tells us that Joseph decided to quietly get out of the engagement once he learned she was pregnant. But God had other plans in mind. Despite the difficulties ahead, God asked Mary and Joseph to put their faith in the one who promised to save God’s people. They did so and are remembered as models of faith for Christians like us.
We are facing continued difficulties ahead. The omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, and we are not sure how great a toll that will take on our health care system, nor how deadly this variant might be. Our country continues to be divided politically, and often we cannot come together to make important decisions. Many in our world struggle with loneliness and anxiety, as months of living apart from each other to protect our physical health has taken a toll on our mental health. It is into this world that Jesus Christ is born anew not only at Christmas, but every day.
This Christmas, I encourage you to do as Mary and Joseph did and put your faith in the God who saves us. I pray that you will see signs of Christ’s presence as you go through times of difficulty, signs that give you peace. I pray that Christ will help all of us love each other so much that we will listen to each other and live out the unity Christ alone can bring. I pray that the healing power of Christ’s resurrected presence will fill us with hope as we continue to seek to protect ourselves and our communities from the effects of the virus.
Joseph was told by the angel: Mary will bear a son who will save God’s people from their sins. That Son has saved us and will continue to be with us each and every day. Jesus will bring the gifts of hope, love, and peace, even in the midst of difficulties. 
God bless you as you celebrate Christmas this year. God nourish you with faith, such as the faith that sustained Mary and Joseph. And God be with you in 2022 and beyond, filling you with joy, hope, peace, and love.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Bishop Andy Taylor/he, him, his
Pacifica Synod of the ELCA
 Coaching for All Seasons:
Monthly Online Gathering for Pacifica Synod
Rostered & Lay Leaders
Thursday, January 6, 2022
11:00 a.m. to noon (PST) / 9:00 a.m. (HST)

Pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom link to join. Click HERE to register.
Beginning in 2022 – Pacifica Coaching will host Coaching for all Seasons on the FIRST THURSDAY of the month at 11 a.m. PST/9 a.m. HST. 

Join us in January as we explore author Adam Grant’s Ted Talk:
"How to Stop Languishing and Start Finding Flow.
Have you found yourself staying up late, joylessly bingeing TV shows and doom scrolling through the news, or simply navigating your day uninspired and aimless? Chances are you're languishing, says organizational psychologist Adam Grant -- a psychic malaise that has become all too common after many months of the pandemic. He breaks down the key indicators of languishing and presents three ways to escape that "meh" feeling and start finding your flow.

Brought to you by your Pacifica Synod Coaching Team to support Synod leaders during challenging times. Each monthly offering brings a presentation on a current topic and an opportunity to discuss it in a small group facilitated by an ELCA coach.
Pacifica Synod has invested in training coaches to work with rostered and lay leaders one-on-one or in groups. A coach's role is to support leaders in naming challenging issues and identifying constructive responses to them. 
For more information:
Click here to view our Synod Coaching web page for resources as well as previous presentations. 
If you would like more information about coaching, please contact Deenna Eley, Pacifica Synod Coaching Coordinator at
Celebrating Ordinations & Installations
in Pacifica Synod
This month, we've had the opportunity to be with many of our Rostered Ministers and congregations as they celebrated the following ordinations and installations:
Pastor Carole Parmeter Dyer
Installed as Pastor
of Mt. Calvary Lutheran, Cypress
December 11, 2021
Pastor Maggie Goodwin
Installed as Pastor of
Salem Lutheran, Whittier and Whittier Presbyterian
December 12, 2021

Pastor Jennifer Garcia
Ordained at St. Paul, Fullerton
December 18, 2021
Pastor Jennifer Garcia
Installed as Associate Pastor of
First Lutheran, Fullerton
December 19, 2021
Sharing Our Faith Stories
Evangelism Curriculum Training
for Congregation Leaders
Evangelism doesn't have to mean handing out pamphlets or cornering strangers at the mall.
Pastor Jennifer Garcia, Associate Pastor of First Lutheran in Fullerton and a member of the Pacifica Synod Evangelism Team, is offering a Bible study curriculum for Pacifica Synod congregations to use during the Easter season about sharing our faith stories in a more relational way.
Interested in hearing more? Pastor Jennifer will lead this study over Zoom for anyone in the synod interested in using it later in their congregations. It will take place over six weekly sessions on Wednesday evenings from January 19 through February 23, 2022 from 7-8 p.m. PST/5-6 p.m. HST (don't worry - it ends before Ash Wednesday). There's no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom link to join.
Reflections on Practical Ecumenism
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
San Diego LARC (Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic) is holding, hosted by Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran, La Mesa on January 19th, 2022. This will be an in-person event, also available for online streaming.

Download a PDF flyer to share HERE.
To register to attend, go to
2022 Pacifica Synod Assembly News!
Important Synod Assembly Registration Information
In January, all congregations will be sent information about congregational voting member registration. This will include the number of voting members assigned to your congregation, as well as an invoice to take advantage of the early congregational registration fee of $525 (for up to 3 voting members). To take advantage of this discount, the invoice must be paid by February 28. Beginning March 1, the congregational fee will increase to $550. Online registration of voting members and visitors to the Assembly will open on March 1.

**Please note - ALL 2022 Synod Assembly attendees must provide proof of full COVID vaccination or negative test, as per Synod Council vote.
The Deadline for Presenting a Resolution or Memorial to the
2022 Pacifica Synod Assembly is February 19, 2022
The resolutions process enables individuals or recognized groups within the synod to bring a request for action or a request for a statement to be made by the Synod Assembly. Since the ELCA Churchwide Assembly meets in the summer of 2022, this Synod Assembly will consider both resolutions and memorials. For information about the differences between a “resolution” and a “memorial,” please visit the ELCA Office of the Secretary webpage found here.
Resolutions and memorials may be submitted by a congregation of the Synod, a Ministry Team, an ELCA institution or agency, a conference, or the Synod Council and must be signed by the appropriate leadership (i.e., president, chair, dean, etc.). Individuals may submit a resolution/memorial with the signatures of 10 other members of the Synod. The maker(s) of the resolution/memorial must be identified separately from the required signers.
Resolutions/memorials are to be submitted in writing 90 days in advance of the Synod Assembly (by February 19, 2022) for review by the Resolutions Committee and for placement in the preassembly materials. They may be mailed or emailed to the synod office at to the attention of the Resolutions Committee.

For more information about resolutions and memorials, click here.
Nomination Period for Pacifica Synod
Council & Mission Funds Committee Now Open
Are You Feeling Called to be a Leader in the Pacifica Synod?
·    Do you feel called to do more in Pacifica?
·    Do you want to do something new in Pacifica?
·    Do you think you could be a leader for change in Pacifica?
·    Perhaps you are being called to be a leader in the Pacifica Synod.
The Nominating Committee of the Pacifica Synod invites members of Pacifica Synod congregations to prayerfully consider if God is calling them to serve on: 
·    Synod Council
·    Mission Funds Committee
Elections to fill these positions will take place during the 2022 Synod Assembly from May 19-21, 2022. Descriptions of the duties of each open position can be found using the links below. 
Any congregational member in good standing may self-nominate or be nominated to open positions by completing the online nomination form
Nomination forms for all positions must be received no later than Tuesday, February 15, 2022. Biographical forms must be received no later than Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Those who wish to be considered for open positions who have not submitted their form by March 1 will need to be nominated from the Synod Assembly floor per S9.03.02*** and must be accompanied by a written nomination containing the signatures of no less than 10 persons entitled to vote at the assembly for the nominee.

For a complete listing of open positions and position descriptions, click here.
Warner Trust Fund Grant
Application Period Now Open through January 15
The application period for the 2022 Pacifica Synod Warner Trust Fund Grants is now open until January 15, 2022.
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 $20,000 on our investment this year that will then be distributed as grants.

More information about these grants and the application may be found here. 
Living the Resurrection
Upcoming Zoom Conversations & Exploration Workshops
Living the Resurrection is a vitality initiative to help congregations thrive through processes, workshops, keynotes, consultations, and coaching developed by the Rev. Dr. Marjorie Funk-Pihl while she served the Southwest California Synod as director for Evangelical Mission. Although she had led medium-sized congregations for more than 20 years, she was challenged by how to help smaller monocultural congregations located in large multicultural neighborhoods. She created Living the Resurrection to help these congregations. 

Now California Lutheran Homes and Community Services (CLH), an independent not-for-profit social ministry organization that provides assistance for those in need of housing and human services through partnerships with church congregations, community-based organizations, and local agencies, will collaborate with Living the Resurrection to make the 18-month Living the Resurrection program more accessible to small-to-medium-sized congregations in Southern California.

Is it Time to start Living the Resurrection?

Exploration Workshops
In-Person January 8, 2022 in Santa Ana, RSVP by January 4
In-Person January 15, 2022 in Glendale, RSVP by January 11

Want to experience what it’s like to be part of a Living the Resurrection Learning Community? Sign up and attend this workshop. You’ll get an overview of the whole process as well as a chance to practice using a couple of the skills!  Go to scroll down to the “upcoming events” and click on “Exploration Workshop” and RSVP. If it will help your discernment, invite Pastor Marj to a zoom meeting with your council!

Questions about Living the Resurrection?
Contact Pastor Marj Funk-Pihl at
From the ELCA
From Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
The Cross is the True Gift of Christmas
I remember this jarring image: It was the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my home congregation. A banner depicting Mary and Jesus in the manger had been hung from the ceiling at the front of the nave completely obscuring the large suspended cross. I had seen that banner on Sunday mornings, but on this Christmas Eve in the semidarkness something else appeared. A spotlight that illumined the cross now shown on the banner with the effect of making the outline of the cross appear as the background of the Christmas scene.

Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
This is our second pandemic Christmas. We thought this would be over so long ago. And still, we wear masks; we're physically distant; we can't be with friends and family as we used to do. And also, there's so much that's broken in this world, so much that tells us, “Why have hope? Just give up.”

But we have a hope that's stronger than any of this, stronger even than death. The hope of God comes in the form of a tiny baby, a helpless child; nevertheless, who grew to a man and in his fragile strength was willing to die on the cross and was raised again.

I don't know what next Christmas will bring. I don't know what New Year's will bring. But I do know we have hope.

St. Paul put it this way:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Merry Christmas, dear church.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

For downloadable PDF versions of this message in both English and Spanish, click here.
From ELCA General Counsel
Re: Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy Plan
From the General Counsel of the ELCA:

Your congregation may have received information from the Boy Scouts of America (the “BSA”) including a “Plan Solicitation” package concerning voting on its proposed chapter 11 plan of reorganization (the “Plan”) and/or whether your congregation wishes to opt out of the treatment provided in the Plan for “Chartered Organizations.” We have prepared the information below to help member congregations. It is not legal advice and should not be considered as such. Please retain and consult with an attorney if your congregation needs or wants legal advice concerning the BSA and its Plan. 

Update from ELCA General Counsel on December 10, 2021:
The voting deadline for the Boy Scout bankruptcy plan has been extended until December 28.  
Lutheran Disaster Tornado Response
On the night of Dec. 10 and early morning of Dec. 11, an outbreak of at least 30 tornadoes swept through six states. So far, 94 people are reported dead across five states, more than 80 of those in Kentucky. For those unaccounted for, search-and-rescue operations are underway. Homes and businesses were destroyed, and over 300,000 people were without electricity.
Lutheran Disaster Response is collaborating with the Indiana-Kentucky Synod and other partners in the area to assess the damage and develop an immediate and a long-term response plan. Your gifts to support these response efforts will empower our partners to meet survivors’ immediate and long-term needs. Given the extent of the damage, recovery will take years as thousands of homes will need to be rebuilt or repaired. With your support, Lutheran Disaster Response can accompany survivors on the long road to recovery.
Portico Benefit Services Updates
Being Here Podcast – New Episodes
Being Here, a podcast that explores real world issues and topics important to professionals in the faith community, has added three new episodes. Join host the Rev. Melissa Pohlman, as she welcomes three new guests to share their experiences and points of view on navigating retirement; Christian conversations about racial justice; and creative approaches to innovative ministry. Being Here invites us to learn together, listen to each other, grow together, and move forward together — stronger, more resilient as a unique community.
ELCA Medicare-Primary Transition to Humana Prescription Drug Program
Steps members should take now:
  • Refill current prescriptions
  • Watch the mail for a new Humana ID card
  • Look up medication with Humana
  • Set up Humana Pharmacy mail-delivery account by calling 1-800-379-0092
  • Ensure local pharmacy is in network
Virtual Workshop Series on Retirement Readiness
Look for more information about 4 new webinars coming in January! 
Important Self-Care after the Holidays
After the holidays when you have time to catch your breath also provides an opportunity for you to focus on your own self-care. Now is the time to block out some time on your calendar in January to schedule your wellness exam, review your retirement account, schedule an appointment with a Portico financial planner, and refamiliarize yourself with all that your benefits plan has available to you to help you be well in order that you can serve others.

Andrea Arey, Regional Representative, Regions 1 and 2
Portico Benefit Services / A Ministry of the ELCA
Young Adults in Global Mission
Application Deadline February 1, 2022
After a two-year pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program is preparing to send volunteers out into the world again! Applications are now open, and you can invite young adults on this journey abroad for the 2022-2023 program year.

If you know young adults aged 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the deadline of Feb.1, 2022. (Priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2022.) Talk to them personally about what this opportunity will mean for their faith, identity, career and understanding of God’s work in the world. You can share these videos about the YAGM experience.

YAGM volunteers will begin in August 2022 and will be placed in one of nine country programs.

Through YAGM, young adults will learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as they walk alongside global church companions. They’ll become immersed in a new community and form deep relationships. And they’ll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more at

Download a poster to share in your congregation HERE.
ELCA 2022 Youth Gathering News!
Important Registration Update
The Gathering leadership has decided to change the end of regular registration to Jan. 21, 2022. Originally, our regular registration deadline was Feb. 21. This change allows our planning teams more time to plan for you and your congregation next summer. Regular registration is $390 per person. For more information on registration, please visit the Gathering’s website.

Upcoming Key Dates
  • Jan. 21, 2022 - Regular Registration ends (NOTE THE EARLIER DATE!)
  • Jan. 22, 2022 - Servant Companion applications close
  • Jan. 22, 2022 - Housing Assignments released (for Early Bird registrants)

Top Ten Things to Know as You Start to Prepare
Many congregations are just now getting ready to attend the 2022 Gathering, so if you haven’t started, you aren’t behind! The Gathering team has put together a list of 10 things you should know as you prepare to get your group together for next summer. There are resources, ideas and pro-tips galore! Download the list here.

Getting Ready Materials
Getting Ready Materials (all free to download) are now available here!

Gathering Webinars
The Gathering webinars provide lots of valuable information. If you missed any of them, they are still available to be viewed using the link below. You can also register for upcoming webinars.: The next webinar on Mass Gathering will be held on Thursday, February 17.

To find out more about the 2022 Youth Gatheing, check out the Gathering website or contact Molly Farrin, Pacifica's Gathering Synod Coordinator. Molly's role is to answer your questions and help your journey to the Gathering be as smooth as possible.
From Our Other Partners
"Designing Faith Formation for the Future"
ELCA Christian Education Network Webinars
January 13 and March 10
The Christian Education Network of the ELCA is sponsoring two "Designing Faith Formation for the Future" webinars in partnership with Lifelong Faith Associates.

The first will be on Thursday, January 13 at 5:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. HST.
"Building Community and Relationships" with Jane Angha

The second will be on Thursday, March 10 from 5:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. HST
"Formation for Christian Living" with John Roberto

Each webinar is $12 ($10 for CENetwork members).

Registration for all webinars is now open and may be found at

More information about the webinar topics may be found at

A downloadable version of the flyer below may be found here.
Cal Lutheran's Fifty and Better (FAB)
Upcoming Events
Registration is now open for Cal Lutheran's Fifty and Better’s January Lectures beginning January 5th and 6-week Winter Session beginning January 18th.

Visit the website ( for registration details. Virtual lectures in January are $10 each, and one is free! Courses in the Winter Session are $40 each, or purchase 3 and get 2 free! All courses will be offered virtually, and two will can be attended simultaneously in-person.  
LRCC In-Person Winter Events
Family Winterfest 2022

Get away for the weekend with a family trip to El Camino Pines and Luther Glen Farm for Family Winterfest 2022!

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

El Camino Pines Family Winterfest begins Saturday, January 15 and ends on Monday, January 17, after worship and an early lunch.

Luther Glen Farm Family Winterfest begins Saturday, February 19 and ends on Monday, February 21, after worship and an early lunch.

El Camino Pines & Luther Glen Farm Cabin Price: $160 per adult
Luther Glen Farm Retreat Center Price: $210 per adult

For more information and to register, click here.

High School, Middle School & Elementary School Winter Retreats

Various dates at both El Camino Pines and Luther Glen Farm

Price: $160 per youth 
$125 per adult chaperone

For more information or to register your group, click HERE!
ReconcilingWorks 2022 Sunday Worship Resources
"ReconcilingWorks wants to celebrate with your faith community and is excited to offer these resources. Many RIC communities celebrate RIC Sunday on the last Sunday in January. This year, that lands on January 30, 2022. ReconcilingWorks encourages you to celebrate on a date that is meaningful for your community. Be sure to use this day as a time to recommit to your partnership as a RIC faith community, discern ways to live into your RIC partner commitments, and set new milestones for the year to come." Learn more here.
ELCA & Other Partners
News & Ministry Links

ELCA Advocacy Connections - December 2021

ELCA Worship News - Nov 2021

ELCA Administration Matters - Nov 2021

ELCA Disability Ministries - Oct 2021

ELCA World Hunger "Go & Do News" - Nov 2021

ELCA Global Links - December2021

ELCA "Seeds Monthly" Newsletter - December 2021

ELCA Foundation "Insights" - November 2021

ELCA Lutheran Men in Mission Ambassador-Gram - October 2021

Job Postings

Church Secretary/Office Manager (Part-Time)
Emanuel Lutheran, La Habra
Emanuel Lutheran Church in La Habra, a warm and welcoming church, seeks an energetic and organized people/person for part-time (M-Th, 24 hours per week) Church Secretary/Office Manager position.

Visit their website at for more information and the complete job description.
Director of Music Ministries (Part-Time)
Good Shepherd Lutheran, Claremont
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Claremont is seeking a Director of Music Ministries.
This position’s primary responsibilities will be to coordinate with the Pastor in providing leadership to all music ministries at Good Shepherd. The preferred applicant has proficiency in piano or organ, experience leading choirs/praise bands, broad knowledge of church music styles (classical, contemporary, folk and gospel) and the role of music in Lutheran worship, matching music with the themes of the church year.

Click here for a complete position description.

Resumé, cover letter and references should be submitted to Good Shepherd via mail to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 1700 N. Towne Ave. Claremont, CA 91768, or email

This is a part-time position (20 hours/week) – payment is competitive based on experience and ability.
Worship Leader (Part-Time)
Lutheran Church of Our Savior-Spirit of Hope,
San Bernardino
Lutheran Church of Our Savior-Spirit of Hope, San Bernardino is seeking a part-time Worship Leader. The primary responsibilities of the part-time worship leader will be to lead the contemporary, prayer and praise worship services, and grow the music ministry at Lutheran Church of Our Savior – Spirit of Hope. The Leader needs to work closely in communication with the church secretary and is responsible to the Pastor and Church Council. The Worship and Music Committee is involved in helping to plan our worship ministry. Proactive communication and planning are essential.

For a position description, click here.

Please send resumes to If you have any questions regarding the position, please call 909-882-2961.

Webinars and Other Events

2022 Ignite the Church Conference
February 8-10, 2022
SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where do we go from here?
Since February 2020, the Church has been enduring unprecedented seismic shifts. In response, a new Hybrid version of the grassroots Ignite the Church Conference will gather next February…In-Person in sunny Orlando AND Online…to reflect on the theme: SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where Do We Go From Here? The theme is grounded in the witness of Psalm 46: 1-2 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and the mountains shake." Four large group sessions will focus on the following shifts: Public Church (Robin Steinke and Winston Persaud), Hybrid Church  (Joe and Jess Liles), Adaptive Church (Tod Bolsinger), Thriving Church  (Stephanie Spellers). Ten 90-minute workshops will dig deeper into these shifts to offer encouragement, inspiration, and challenge for church leaders.
To register and learn more about the presenters, workshop options, and other details go to The Online option will provide live and recorded access to each large group session and the post-conference Resource Page. The Online option is FREE…with a suggested donation $30 to the ELCA Fund for Leaders invited. All proceeds continue to benefit the ELCA Fund for Leaders which has received $13,000 from the Conference in just the past two years.
Stephen Ministry Bridge Leader's Training Course
Synod Scholarships Available
Stephen Ministries St. Louis is now training caring ministry leaders through a live, interactive online training experience called the Bridge Leader’s Training Course (BLTC). This event fully trains Stephen Leaders—the pastors, church staff, and lay leaders who begin and lead Stephen Ministry in their congregation.

The BLTC draws on newly redesigned and updated Stephen Ministry resources to equip participants with the skills and know-how to lead all aspects of their congregation’s Stephen Ministry. This includes training a team of congregation members as lay caregivers (called Stephen Ministers), matching them with hurting people in the congregation and community, and offering ongoing guidance and support to Stephen Ministers as they provide one-to-one, Christ-centered care to people experiencing a wide range of life difficulties.

Established in 1975, Stephen Ministry is a lay caring ministry being used by thousands of congregations of all types, sizes, and settings—across the US, Canada, and 30 other countries. Stephen Leaders in these congregations have equipped more than 600,000 people as Stephen Ministers, who in turn have cared for millions of people in need. The new training and resources carry this ministry into the future, preparing congregations to meet the ministry challenges of an ever-changing world.

To learn more about Stephen Ministry, visit or call (314) 428-2600. Additional information about the Bridge Leader’s Training Course is available at

Did you know that the Pacifica Synod offers scholarships for lay persons attending Stephen Ministries training? These are available through the Cathryn Wright Fund. More information about the scholarship and the application to apply may be found on our synod website here.
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
2022 Events Update
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center is pleased to announce that we will conduct three sessions of our Mediation Skills Training Institute in person in 2022! 
Registration is open for all five sessions scheduled for next year: March 14-18 (online), May 9-13 (online), June 13-17 (in person in Fort Mill, SC), August 1-5 (in person in the Chicago area), and November 14-18 (in person, location TBD). 

Once we have finalized arrangements with the host churches, we will post the sites at For current details please consult the MSTI Brochure.

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

  • Pastor David Jorstad
  • Pastor Joel Martyn
  • Pastor Lee Rozen
  • Pastor Woody Hall
  • For the Afghan people, our allies, and vulnerable populations in the midst of this humanitarian disaster.
  • For the people of Haiti in the face of earthquakes, tropical storms and political unrest.
  • Those affected by wildfires, floods, tropical storms and other natural disasters, as well as emergency personnel responding to these situations.
  • For those in countries facing political and civil unrest - Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti, Myanmar and others.
  • For peace in Palestine and Israel and for those who have lost loved ones and their homes due to violence and unrest.
  • Our nation and its leaders.
  • Those affected with the COVID-19 virus and those who have lost loved ones.
  • Our healthcare providers, first responders and all who continue to care for those battling COVID-19.

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. David Mattson -
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz -
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Anne-Grethe Nielsen -
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher -
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701