Pacifica Synod News & Notes
January 29, 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 terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org. If you know of others who aren't receiving our emails, please share this with them and encourage them to contact us using the above email or sign up here.
Current Synod News & Resources
Installation Service - Saturday, January 30
Pastor Jasmine Bostock, Maluhia Lutheran, Waianae, HI
This Saturday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. HST/1:00 p.m. PST, we celebrate with Pastor Jasmine Bostock and the congregation of Maluhia Lutheran in Waianae, Hawaii as she is installed as their pastor. The service will take place over Zoom. For those who would like to join the Zoom presentation, you may contact Rachel Line at rachelline@pacificasynod.org to receive the Zoom link.

Please keep Pastor Jasmine and Maluhia Lutheran in your prayers as they begin their ministry together!
An Invitation From the Bishop
A Conversation with Congregational Presidents
January 30, 2021
Dear Congregation Presidents,

Thank you for saying “yes” when asked to serve as a Congregation President. I believe that Congregation Presidents are the unsung heroes of the church. You serve as the key lay leader, working with the pastors and deacons to set Council and Congregation meeting agendas, ensuring that the fiduciary responsibilities of the Council are met, while seeking to follow Jesus as Christ leads your congregation to serve your neighbors.

I would like to invite you to a Zoom meeting for Congregation Presidents in January. Our first meeting was held last night, but one more remains as listed below:

Saturday, January 30 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. PST

I would like to hear from you the particular strengths and needs of your congregation. You will have an opportunity to learn from other congregation presidents. And there will be some training for the work in the months ahead. Your feedback about strengths and needs will help the Synod as we seek to do what our mission statement calls us to do: equip, accompany and serve boldly, so all may experience God’s boundless grace.

You must register for the meeting here to be sent the Zoom link to join. I hope to meet with all of our presidents in January. You and your congregations are in my prayers. God bless you in the work you do.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Andy Taylor / he, him, his
Coaching for All Seasons:
Storytellers: Learning Through Perspective
Monthly Online Gathering for
Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 11 a.m. to noon PST
A monthly presentation –

Tyra Dennis is currently a music director/worship leader within the ELCA where she has had the opportunity to lead the music for many events including but not limited to the Middle School Youth Gathering hosted by LRCC, the Extravaganza, and the National Youth Gathering. She also made history by becoming the first African American Woman to lead the house band (and the youngest to lead it as well). She recently launched a new initiative called #CaliSTRONG, which bring high school students together from 3 synods (SWCA, Pacifica and Sierra Pacific) to discuss Jesus, justice, race, oppression and change. She believes that she was called specifically to the ELCA to do work that God has designed her to do, being reminded to worship from within. We have invited Tyra to share her unique story of spiritual growth in adversity and with us. 

We invite you to join us via Zoom on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 11:00-noon PST. Pre-registration is required to receive the link and may be done so here.

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 mikedeenna@gmail.com.

Growing Young Monthly Conversations
Continue February 4 and 9
Churches are both shrinking and aging as more young people disengage. Based on research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a plan that any church can use to involve and retain young people. Packed with ideas, Growing Young shows ministry leaders how to reach younger generations in a way that breathes life into the WHOLE church and deepen the faith of your young people as well as their connection and sense of belonging in your congregation.

Growing Young isn’t about changing youth ministry, 
it’s about changing church culture.

In November 2020, we held online presentations about the book Growing Young. We shared information and stories, as well as next steps in the Pacifica Synod’s commitment to walk with congregations in Growing Young. If you missed either of the presentations, you may find them on our Synod YouTube channel found here.

In January 2021, we began hosting monthly, online Zoom conversations, each focusing on one of the six Growing Young Core Commitments. Each of these free sessions will be offered once during the day and once during the evening through the month of June.

While reading the book Growing Young is not a prerequisite of participating in the conversations, reading the chapter that will be discussed is encouraged. The book may be purchased through Fuller Youth Institute, Amazon or your favorite bookseller. For those who use a Kindle, we have FREE download codes for those who would use them. Please contact Terri Robertson at terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org to have a code sent to you by email.

Below are dates and times of each of the sessions. Pre-registration for each session is required to receive the Zoom link to join. Please click here to register. Resources from past sessions may be found on our Growing Young webpage here.

Session One - Unlock Keychain Leadership (Chapters 1 & 2)
Resources from January sessions may be found here.

Session Two - Empathize with Today's Young People (Chapter 3)
Thursday, February 4 - 6:30 PM / Tuesday, February 9 - 11:00 AM

Session Three - Take Jesus' Message Seriously (Chapter 4)
Tuesday, March 9 - 11:00 AM / Thursday, March 11 - 6:30 PM

Session Four - Fuel Warm Relationships (Chapter 5)
Tuesday, April 13 - 11:00 AM / Thursday, April 15 - 6:30 PM

Session Five - Prioritize Young People/Families Everywhere (Chapter 6)
Tuesday, May 11 - 11:00 AM / Thursday, May 13 - 6:30 PM

Session Six - Be the Best Neighbors (Chapter 7)
Tuesday, June 8 - 11:00 AM / Thursday, June 10 - 6:30 PM

For more information about Growing Young or if you'd like to serve on this team, please email Terri Robertson at terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org.
2021 Pacifica Synod Assembly Information
Dear People of the Pacifica Synod,
 
On June 17, 2020, the Office of the Bishop announced that Synod Council voted to postpone the 2020 Pacifica Synod Assembly and designated Saturday, May 1, 2021 as the date for our next synod assembly. This one-day assembly will be held completely online and planning for our time together has already begun.  
 
Please begin to consider who your voting members will be, keeping in mind the following:
 
  • Voting members will need to be familiar with computers or tablets (such as iPads) and able to learn an additional voting program/app. 
  • As this will be a one-day assembly on a Saturday, consider electing people whose schedules have prohibited them from attending past assemblies during weekdays.
  • Each voting member will need to have their own device. Even if voting members live together, they cannot share one device. Each person needs their own device to vote.  

For more information about congregational fees, registration, and current updates, go to the 2021 Synod Assembly page on our synod website. Assembly invoices and voting member allocations have been mailed to each congregation, to the attention of the congregation treasurer. The early registration fee rate of $295 for congregations ends February 28, 2021.

Online registration of ALL voting members will open in early March 2021. Visitors to the Assembly will be able to view a livestream of the event and will not need to register for this online event.

2021 Assembly Resolutions and Memorials
Deadline February 1, 2021
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 2022, this Synod Assembly will consider both resolutions and memorials. For information and resources 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 1, 2021) for review by the Resolutions Committee and for placement in the pre-assembly materials. They may be mailed or emailed to the synod office at rachelline@pacificasynod.org, to the attention of the Resolutions Committee.

For complete information on the Assembly Resolutions/Memorial process, visit our 2021 Synod Assembly webpage.

Nomination Period for Pacifica Synod Council,
Discipline Committee and Churchwide Assembly
Voting Members Closes February 19
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, the Discipline Committee, or as a Voting Member at the next Churchwide Assembly. Elections to fill these positions will take place at the 2021 Synod Assembly on May 1, 2021.

A complete list of the open positions and descriptions of the duties of
each position may be found here.
 
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 Friday, February 19, 2021. Due to the online nature of the assembly this year, we are unable to accept nominations from the floor. The assembly rules will reflect this change. 

Questions about nominations may be directed to the Nominating Committee at office@pacificasynod.org.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Roundtable Gathering
Sunday, February 21
Pacifica Synod's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Workgroup will be hosting another monthly roundtable discussion group, under the leadership of James Tyler. The group will meet next on Sunday, February 21, 2021 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. NO in-person gathering will take place this month.

During this time together, several members of the group will present on a variety of topics.

If you would like to participate in this roundtable event, please email Terri Robertson at terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org to be sent the Zoom link. If you have suggestions for topics you'd like to hear about (or lead discussion on), please share that information with us using this same email.
Annual Reporting Reminders
for Congregations & Rostered Ministers
Congregational (Parochial) Reports
In December, the ELCA mailed the 2020 Congregational Report forms to all congregations. The mailing included Form A, Form C, the instructions, and the financial worksheet. In addition, the Congregational ID number and password for online reporting were included in the mailing. You will need these items to log in and file your report online. To do so, follow this link.

Since then, the ELCA has received some questions and feedback relating to the 2020 report and has shared the following recommendations as congregations complete Form A of their reports.

From the Office of the Secretary - Worship Attendance Calculation

We have discovered an error in the formula proposed in 7.c. for calculating average attendance. It does not accurately render an average for those congregations that had Sundays with “hybrid” (on-site + online) worship. Congregations should calculate the averages for on-site and online separately in 7.a. and 7.b. The combined average will be ignored this year, and will not appear on the congregation’s trend report.

Congregations filing their report online will see a message reflecting this information. However, for those congregations that submit paper/printed reports, please use the instructions above when completing your report.

From the Office of the Treasurer - Reporting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans

For congregations that received a PPP Loan that has NOT yet been forgiven

  • Record the amount of the loan that was received on Line 17e as a cash receipt
  • Record the loan as debt on Line 19

For congregations that received a PPP Loan that HAS been forgiven

  • Record the amount of the loan that was received on Line 17e as a cash receipt

The due date for these forms is February 15, 2021.  If you can't locate your login information, please contact Carol Youngman at carolyoungman@pacificasynod.org.


2021 Statement of Intent for Mission Support
Congregations are asked to submit their 2021 Statement of Intent as soon as your 2020 budget is approved. You may find a copy of the fillable 2021 Statement of Intent here for you to complete and return to the Pacifica Synod office as soon as you are able, if you haven't done so already. You can mail them to the synod office or email them to Terri Robertson at terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org.

We are excited to introduce one more resource provided by the ELCA for your use in your congregation - “Mission Support: A Deep Dive.” This flyer helps members better understand how the churchwide organization uses Mission Support, including the types of ministry that Mission Support makes possible. Click here to download your copy today!


Annual Reporting for Rostered Ministers
All rostered ministers in the ELCA are required to complete an annual report to the bishop. Follow this link to select the applicable report from the ELCA website page. This report is a fillable PDF. To ensure that your report is saved properly before sending or printing it, please follow the instructions below. 

  1. Right-click or control-click (on a Mac) on the file you want to use and select "save file" so it gets saved on your computer in a place you can find.
  2. Close the webpage! Don't type your answers in the webpage version!
  3. Find the file on your computer, and open it in Acrobat or Preview or another .pdf reader.
  4. Fill out a couple lines of the form. Save it. Close the file. Reopen it to see that the data is being saved correctly.
  5. Finish completing the file and save it.
  6. Find the file on your computer and attach it to an email sent to Bishop Taylor at andytaylor@pacificasynod.org.

Once completed, please return this form to the synod office by email (see above) or by mail to the Pacifica Synod office at 1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA, 92701. 
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 pastorlaramartin@gmail.com.

Global Mission Update - Hitoshi & Satoko Adachi
Pastor Hitoshi Adachi and his wife, Satoko, are currently serving as missionaries with the Japan Evangelicial Lutheran Church in Kumamoto, Japan. To learn more about what is taking place in their ministry, please click here for their January 2021 newsletter.
  
The brochure attached here details the Adachi's ministry in Japan and how to best support them. You can give through the synod office or mail your check to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009. Make checks payable to “ELCA Missionaries” with “(Hitoshi and Satoko) Adachi GCS2051” in the memo line. To donate by credit or debit card, go to https://community.elca.org/Japan or call 800-638-3522 and specify “(Hitoshi and Satoko) Adachi GCS2051”. To set up an automatic monthly bank withdrawal or to establish a covenant of prayer, communication, and support, please contact 800-638-3522, ext. 2657, or globalchurch@elca.org
From the ELCA & Other Partners

From the Presiding Bishop
Freedom

In her January/February column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the past year and looks toward 2021. The pandemic has taught us a lot about our church and about ourselves. We are connected. We are generous. We are freed to serve. 

You can read her column in English at https://bit.ly/38FNErx and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2N4Lcm9

Cal Lutheran's Fifty and Better Lectures
February 6 & 13
Cal Lutheran’s Fifty and Better program is commemorating Black History Month by hosting two lectures:
 
  1. Saturday, February 6th, Daniel Newman-Lessler will survey the lives and music of Black composers from all over the world.
  2. Saturday, February 13th, Eleanor Schrader will explore the career of Paul Williams, “Architect to the Stars.” 
 
These lectures are $8 each and are open to everyone. Registration is now open, and closes at 5 pm the day before each lecture.
 
To register, visit the website: https://www.callutheran.edu/centers/lifelong-learning/fifty-better/lecture-series.html. For a PDF flyer to share, click here.
Racialized Forgiveness - Dr. Myiha Cherry
Tuesday, February 16
The Harold Stoner Clark Lecture Series, endowed by the late Mr. Clark and sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at California Lutheran University, was established in 1985.

We couldn’t be more excited that we are hosting Dr. Myisha Cherry, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of California, Riverside on Tuesday, February 16 from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. PST for a Zoom webinar titled "Racialized Forgiveness".

The lecture is free, but registration in advance is required at: https://tinyurl.com/HSClecture
 
Abstract from the speaker:
I shall introduce a concept that I refer to as ‘racialized forgiveness.’ Cases that exemplify certain conditions which I take as paradigmatic of the problem of racialized forgiveness includes instances in which: (a) Who is forgiven and not is determined by the race of the offender; (b) Praise and criticisms of forgiveness are determined by the race of the victim; and (c) Praise and criticisms of forgiveness are, at least implicitly, racially self-serving. I argue that the practice of it is morally objectionable because of its psychological origins, moral failures, and negative effects. Accordingly, in order to dodge these dimensions, I’ll claim we need to practice forgiveness differently.
Cal Lutheran and PLTS
Lenten Devotional Daily Email
During Lent California Lutheran University and PLTS have a short daily devotional email from our students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends. These emails include a scripture/sacred text, reflection on the text and a prayer. The reflection may be written, video, art or something else creative. Our theme this year is: Power. Privilege. Presence. Click here to learn more about Cal Lutheran Lenten devotions and this year’s theme.
 
To sign up to receive these short daily emails, click here: http://bit.ly/CLUlentendevo
Portico Benefit Services - 2021 Updates
Benefits Calculators
Looking for the calculators to estimate the cost of benefits? You can now find them by signing in to the newly redesigned EmployerLink website, or on myPortico. They’ve been moved behind sign-in as part of our efforts to make our sites more secure. If you need assistance accessing them, or don’t have myPortico or EmployerLink access, contact the Customer Care Center at 800.352.2876 or your Portico Regional Representative, Andrea Arey at aarey@PorticoBenefits.org.

Health is on the way.
If the holidays or the pandemic have you tipping the scales a little more these days, ELCA-Primary health plan members can utilize Omada, a free innovative digital program designed to help create modest changes that promote weight loss and help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Omada’s specialized care programs offer eligible members individualized support to stay on track and maintain healthy habits. Learn more about Omada on myPortico.

Getting started on your taxes early?
The Richard R. Hammar Clergy Tax Guide and the Federal Reporting Guide for Churches are both available on myPortico at no cost to you.
 
Live Well, one small step at a time.
The tiniest things can combine to make a significant difference. This year, Portico invites you to check out 2021 Live Well. We’ll guide you through activities that might seem simple, but can get you on the path to feeling stronger, balanced, and more resilient. Featured this month: 3 ingredients for a healthy breakfast, tracking how much you spend on food, and how to savor your meals mindfully.
ELCA World Hunger's 40 Days of Giving
New Lenten Study and Other Resources
Over the last year, as the world has reeled from the effects of a deadly pandemic, we have seen the number of hungry people around the world rise, watched as food pantries and soup kitchens expanded to serve an ever-growing number of guests, and longed for the time when we “will hunger no more, and thirst no more … and God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 7:16-17).
 
Thank you for all you are doing in your congregation and community to continue God’s work and to share the grace and love of Christ. We invite you to continue your work by connecting your congregation to the church’s global work to end hunger and poverty during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving, which begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17.
 
To prepare, visit ELCA.org/40Days and download or order resources today. 
Lutheran World Relief Resources for Lent
Lutheran World Relief needs your help to bring real, tangible hope to our poorest neighbors. This Lent, your congregation can help by gathering and assembling Personal Care Kits. LWR has also created an accompanying full suite of Lenten resources called “Sensing Hope,” including a 5-week sermon series and small group study guide – all of which can be used digitally or in-person to nurture hope and action in your congregation.

Everything you need to get started can be found at lwr.org/lent. Join LWR in spreading Christ’s love and ushering in a new season: A SEASON OF HOPE.
ELCA & Other Partners
News & Ministry Links

ELCA Advocacy Connections - January 2021

ELCA Worship News - January 2021

ELCA Administration Matters - January 2021

ELCA Disability Ministries - Winter 2020

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

ELCA Global Links - December 2020

ELCA StewardNet - Fall 2020

ELCA "Seeds Monthly" Newsletter - January 2021

ELCA Good Gifts Newsletter - December 2020

ELCA Foundation "Insights" - November 2020

ELCA Lutheran Men in Mission Ambassador-Gram - January 2021

LSS of Southern California - 2020 Newsletter


Job Postings

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


Webinars and Other Events
Being Church
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Wednesday, February 3 at 11:00 a.m. PST
As our country continues to reel from multiple layers of turmoil, many of us are experiencing past and current trauma and shame triggered within us. Others of us may feel our inner life “shut down” completely in these challenging times. In both cases, the result is often the silencing of our voices, even a withdrawal from life. 

In this session (6 of 7), Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin will reflect on one of Francis Weller's five gates of grief: "The Places That Have Not Known Love," inviting us to turn toward those tender, wounded places within, and engage in a practice of self-compassion, creating the conditions in which grief, forgiveness, and community can pour God's healing waters on our wounded souls and help us find and strengthen our voices and reinhabit our lives more fully.
 
To watch the previous sessions:
 
 
 
 
 


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

We understand a number of folks are unable to make this day and time each week. We record the main session and debrief time and share each recording with supporting documents here, typically by the following week: https://www.elcacoaching.org/podcasts/media.
 
You can also find a list of upcoming topics and presenters on the home page of our website: https://www.elcacoaching.org/.


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


ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: February 3, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. PST
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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    +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
 Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160
Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences
Virtual Winter Retreat
Join the LRCC crew for a Virtual Winter Retreat!

While it is still unsafe for us to gather at El Camino Pines & Luther Glen Farm, we are bringing camp to you! Broken up into weekly episodes for you to enjoy with your family or youth group, three video workshops will explore the different aspects of our theme verse Romans 12:12.

                    -Joyful in Hope 

                               -Patient in Affliction 

                                         -Faithful in Prayer

Each video workshop will be led by a different LRCC staff member and released here and on Facebook. 

Workshops will be released on three consecutive Fridays starting with February 5th.
Each video is catered to children and adults of all ages. Experience them with your church or family. You can download each workshop here and use them for your virtual Sunday School or youth group. 

Join us for a live Zoom Celebration on February 27th at 3 pm.
An Hour of Grief Tending
First Saturdays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. PST
An Hour of Grief Tending
First Saturdays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. PST
(This is a recurring meeting, online via Zoom)
Presenters - Terry LePage and Lynne Prechel

Registration Link:

Grief is the body's natural response to what we've loved and lost. Death, global and national crisis, trauma, climate change, and more can bring suffering. We lose our way when we avoid dealing with our grief.

When we grieve in a safe community environment, we find ourselves supported by others who suffer as we do. Grieving alone in private, while considered appropriate by our society, cuts us off from the arms of the community who grieve with us.

In the group, you can choose to participate in any or none of the activities. We are here to walk with you, offer love and support, share your sorrows, and extend empathy. Come and join our community - one time or many times. You are welcome here.


Terry LePage creates spaces for connection, healing, insight, and inspiration. With a PhD in chemistry and a Masters of Divinity, she combines heart and head in teaching and facilitation. She has worked as a transitional minister and hospice chaplain. She lives
in Southern California and is currently working for worker and immigrant rights and leading groups for Nonviolent Communication, Way of Council, Grief Gratitude and Courage (for grief in addition to personal bereavement), and Staying Awake
(to racism and injustice). She finds inspiration in the wild lands of coastal California and in her native garden.

Lynne Prechel is a spiritual director, retreat leader, spiritual formation teacher, and Deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She works with people in 12-step programs, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, those facing death, and all those who
grieve losses. The earth is her home and she relishes time outdoors in communion with God.
LSS Southern California Estate Planning Series
Continues February 10, 2021
LSS is offering a no-cost comprehensive Estate Planning seminar to our network of donors and partners. This five-session series begins December 16, 2020 and will continue once monthly through April 2021.

This is an opportunity for you to take a serious look at your financial portfolio, preparing for unexpected costly situations ahead, providing for your loved ones who will survive you, and making certain your legacy of giving is honored through gifts to the charities you have supported across the years.  

Joshua Anderson, an Estate Planning Attorney and Partner with McIntire Anderson, and Lisa Higginbotham, our local ELCA Regional Gift Planner will lead each of these sessions.

The dates of each session are below. Each gathering is from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. PST.

February 10 - Wills, Trusts & Probate...Oh My!
March 17 - Love is Eternal...Community Property Isn't
April 14th - You're Set...What's Next?

For seminar details and registration, please visit lsssc.org/estate-planning.
For a downloadable PDF flyer to share with others, click here.
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Presents
Michael Spezio will present "Humility as Inclusive Empathy: Theory of Mind and Imaginaries of the True Self" Friday, February 19, at 2 p.m., Pacific time. He will talk about empathy, theories about what it is and how our research with L'Arche and Homeboy Industries approaches those theories, and the implications for our understandings of self and other.  This free Zoom webinar is hosted by the Center for Advanced Studies in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). Register by completing this form to receive the link on February 19. 
 
“CASIRAS is using these webinars to engage further in the advanced science-religion dialogue that is at our core," said CASIRAS President Gayle Woloschak. "We look forward to Dr. Spezio's presentation as he has been a provocative thinker in the field and has published his work in the Zygon Journal over the years." 
 
Spezio is associate professor of psychology, neuroscience, and data science at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. He directs the Laboratory for Inquiry into Valuation and Emotion (the LIVE Lab) and his research focuses on emotion as the cognition and consciousness of valuational representations of self and others in decision making. His work has an interactionist perspective that takes relationality as the central category for understanding the human mind and brain, especially in the connection of valuation, empathy, theory of mind, and ethical formation for virtuous autonomy. The LIVE Lab uses mixed methods including long-form interviews, computational linguistics, cognitive computational modeling of choice, fMRI, and EEG.  
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center Training Events
The next available sessions for our most popular workshops are Conflict Transformation Skills (Feb. 13), Healthy Congregations (Feb. 18), Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (March 1-5), and Leadership and Anxiety in the Church (March 10). 

Beneficial for clergy and laypersons alike, these training events help participants deal more effectively with unresolved conflict that threatens the fellowship and mission of their church. A significant discount is available for groups of four or more (excluding the 5-day Mediation Skills Training Institute).  

Online registration is now available directly on Lombard Mennonite Peace Center's website at https://lmpeacecenter.org/ticketspice/. Take advantage of this opportunity for spiritual and professional growth and register today! For more information, please consult the attached brochures or contact the office of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org or 630-627-0507. 
Stephen Ministry Interactive Online
Bridge Leader's Training Course
Are you looking to begin Stephen Ministry or to train additional Stephen Leaders for your Stephen Ministry? The Stephen Ministries organization is offering a new way to equip Stephen Ministry leaders during this time, when it isn’t possible to attend an in-person Leader’s Training Course.

The Bridge Leader’s Training Course (BLTC) is an interactive online training experience to equip laypeople, pastors, and other church staff as “Stephen Leaders,” the ones who lead Stephen Ministry in your congregation. Participants meet over Zoom in cohorts of 20 people with two experienced trainers from Stephen Ministries for highly personalized training. During ten 2½-hour sessions over the course of five or ten weeks, trainees learn through presentations, discussions, videos, breakout activities, Q&A times, and more, gaining the knowledge and tools they need to lead Stephen Ministry in their church.

For more details about the BLTC, visit www.stephenministries.org/bridge or call us at (314) 428-2600 and ask to speak to someone on the Distance Learning Team.

Pacifica Synod congregations - watch for information soon about the synod's Stephen Ministry training grant program for lay ministry leaders.
Enriching Spirituality in Older Adulthood
"Living Life Fully"
Thursday, February 18
ALOA's monthly webinars offer a presentation on a single topic by an expert in older adult ministry. They're free and last about an hour. The next webinar, entitled "Living Life Fully" will be held on Thursday, February 18 at 10:00 a.m. PST.

As you enter or are already into retirement, how do you serve.....yourself? Your family? Your church? Your community?

In the first in a series of presentations, Deaconess and RN Penny Cedel will share information geared to help you understand your gifts & talents and how they can be utilized best, plan for the complicated or emotionally heavy decisions you need to make as a gift to your family and be sure your wishes are carried out. The key is to plan and express your wishes now while you are healthy, rather than have determinations made by someone who might not have your roadmap.

There is homework, so be ready to do some thinking, planning and organizing.
We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • The family and friends of Pastor Richard (Dick) Mathison.
  • Our nation and its leaders.
  • 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 - revvev@cox.net
W. San Diego Conf - The Rev. David Nagler - pastordave@christpb.org
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad - pastorjorstadsmlc@yahoo.com
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown - pastor@edenlutheran.net
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Matt Anderson - pastormatt@trinityvictorville.org
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Marty Jacobson - pastormartyclcrsm@gmail.com
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz - prjenniferblclosalamitos@gmail.com
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr - pastorcate@elclh.org
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher - kzurcher002@luthersem.edu
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701
714.692.2791