January 3, 2019
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
Register Now for Day of Theological Reflection - February 7
Christ's Welcome for All People:
Biblical Hospitality and Building Equity in the Church

Thursday, February 7, 2019
9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Hope Lutheran Church
29043 Vallejo Avenue, Temecula

Pacifica Synod rostered ministers and lay leaders are invited to gather on Thursday, February 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Temecula. Bishop Andy Taylor will lead us in biblical reflection on the church's core practice of hospitality, laying the groundwork for us to more fully offer God's welcome to all.

Engaging our own diversity of identities and experiences, we will reflect on the ways our awareness and our stations in society help or hinder our welcome. These include systemic privileges, internalized bias, and patterns of organizing church and society. We will take home clarity and steps for how we intend to build awareness and equity in our ministries and communities. 

Registration, check-in and coffee begin at 9:00 a.m.
Program Times: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Bishop Any Taylor, Pastor Nate Allen, Pastor Darin Johnson, Pastor Lara Martin and Rene Martin.

The $30 Registration Fee* includes lunch and program.  *For those needing financial assistance, a reduced registration fee of $20 is available during online registration only. Online Registration is open through January 31, 2019.  Online registration is open through January 31 and is strongly encouraged to help us plan for lunch. 

Registration, check-in and coffee begin at 9:00 a.m
Program Times: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Facilitators: Bishop Andy Taylor, Pastor Nate Allen, Pastor Darin Johnson, Pastor Lara Martin and Rene Martin. 

Follow this link to register now!

For registration questions, please contact Terri Robertson at 714.352.8732 or by email at .

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. 

Congregational Survey
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.  

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

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

Pacifica AMMPARO Network Updates
Members of the Pacifica Synod AMMPARO network, have visited the shelters for migrants in Tijuana and strive to have an on-going, supportive relationship with these organizations.

In September 2018, Pastor Nate Allen from Clairemont Lutheran Church, led a group from Pacifica Synod and the ELCA AMMPARO network to Instituto Madre Asunta, a shelter for women and children in Tijuana.  This shelter is associated with Casa de Migrantes, a ministry of the Scalibrini Order of the Catholic Church. We met with the Mother Superior and social worker and learned about a specific need for a teacher for the children in the shelter.  

We were informed that the salary for a teacher in Mexico is about $400 per month (about $4,800 per year).  We hope to raise at least one year's salary by asking each interested congregation to raise between $400 and $800.  The first installment will be sent in early 2019.

Congregations may send checks, payable to the Pacifica Synod, 1801-C Park Court Place, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Please be sure to include in the memo section "Tijuana Shelter Teacher's Salary".  For more information about Instituto Madre Asunta, please visit the following website and Facebook page:
Visiting the shelter : Pacifica Synod members are invited to visit the women and children's shelter on Friday, January 25 at 12 noon, gathering at Clairemont Lutheran   ( 4271 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego). Please c ontact Pastor Nate Allen at  if you would like to go and if you can drive.  Remember you will need your passport! 
Join us for a planning/networking meeting on Saturday, February 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at San Marcos Lutheran Church (3419 Grand Ave, San Marcos). Please RSVP and send items for discussion to .  Please contribute $10 per person for lunch and refreshments. 

Other Pacifica Synod opportunities to assist: 
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

LIRS & AMMPARO Update on the Border and Caravan
Recently, representatives from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), ELCA AMMPARO, and other leaders participated in a webinar to share an update on the critical situation on the Border and the Caravan. View the webinar (you'll need to register to view) and download the presentation to learn how we as a church are continuing to accompany refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers, and how you and your ministry can get involved.

Ecumenical Prayer Service - Sunday, January 27 - San Diego
Year-End Financial Reminders
IRS 2019 Mileage Rate
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the 2019 standard mileage rates. Beginning January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 58 cents per mile for ministry or business miles driven, up from 54.5 cents for 2018
  • 20 cents per mile driven for medical, up from 18 cents for 2018 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, unchanged from 2018
Charitable Gifts: Date of Delivery Rules
The IRS's basic rule is that a gift must be "delivered" to the church by December 31 for it to count as a contribution for that year. The date of delivery depends on how the gift was made and delivered. Here is a quick summary of the year-end cutoff for various gift delivery methods:
  • In Person - Physically received by the church by Dec. 31
  • US Postal Service - Postmarked by Dec. 31
  • Private Delivery Service such as FedEx or UPS - Physically received by the organization by Dec. 31
  • Credit Card - "Fully processed," i.e., approved by the credit card issuer by Dec. 31
Contributions made by credit card
Contributions made to the church by credit card are deductible as a charitable contribution in the year that the charge is made. Therefore, contributions made by credit cards that are processed by midnight on December 31 will be deductible for the tax year. Charges processed any time after that will be deductible for the new tax year.

Contributions made by check
When a member mails a check to the church on the last day of the year, a postmark on the envelope of December 31 will be sufficient evidence that the gift was mailed on the last day of the year. Therefore, the contribution qualifies for a charitable deduction in that year.

Information provided by Clergy Financial Resources -
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
Robert L. Miller Scholarship Grants
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 hereThe deadline to apply for Spring 2019 funding is January 15, 2019.

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.

Region 2 News
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.
32nd Annual Pacifica Synod Assembly
  Friday, May 10 to Saturday, May 11, 2019
  Hope Lutheran Church
Palm Desert

ELCA News & Resources
ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team Accepting Applications

The ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team is composed of twelve high school youth from across the ELCA who have been identified as leaders in congregations and/or synods, and who desire the opportunity to dig more deeply into their own leadership and faith formation. Each year, six youth are added to this team as six participants are sent out from the team to discover new opportunities for leadership.

Applications for the ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team are continuing to be accepted through January 15. For more information and the online application visit Those selected for the Youth Core Leadership Team will be notified by February 1st. Please email with questions about the application process.
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

ELCA Publications 

Seeds for the Parish - Fall 2018

ELCA Administration Matters - December 2018

ELCA Advocacy Update - December 2018

Celebrating Ministry Together!
ELCA Youth Leadership Summit Reflections

We give thanks for our Synod Youth Team members who represented Pacifica at the ELCA's Youth Leadership Summit in at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Ashland, Nebraska on November 1-4, 2018. Penelope Barrios from Crave Life Ministry, Whittier (left) and Marit Hendrickson from First, Redlands (right) were participants and Gabriel Mark from Mission, Laguna Niguel (middle) serves on the ELCA's Youth Core Leadership Team, which planned and led the event. We are pleased to share Penelope's reflections on the event:

I would like to share with you a little bit about my personal experience at the ELCA Youth Leadership Summit 2018.

After participating in the 2018 ELCA Youth Leadership Summit, I was able to learn about the many ways our church is helping the world. Through the different activities and learning experiences it is clear the church is making a huge impact all over the world. This summit also allowed me to gain a better understanding about the power and meaning of advocacy. The various speakers at the summit provided their ideas and perspective of different topics and how they are helping their communities. Through their presentations, I was able to learn more about how impactful it is to work on making a difference within one's community. Their seminars showed how a Youth Leader, like me, can become a strong advocate and help my community. This summit also and most importantly allowed me to come closer to God and see how our church is merging service and faith in order to better the world.

As the multi-cultural representative for the Pacifica Synod, the topic of racial justice provides valuable knowledge that better equipped me to be an advocate for such ideas. I really appreciate this type of cultural awareness because I feel we are recognized and our voices and presence in the church matter. I am so grateful for this experience because for me this Youth Leadership Summit was a life changing event. I am proud to represent the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA.

Penelope Barrios
Synod Youth Team Multicultural Representative
Pacifica Synod, ELCA

Events & Opportunities
Marty Haugen and Bob Hurd Concert - January 12 - Upland
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

PLTS - Signs Along the Way - March 8-11, 2019
Deciding whether seminary education is right for you?

Join others for Signs Along the Way, a weekend visit and discernment retreat at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley on March 8-11, 2019.

Explore your sense of call to ministry, experience the Bay Area and interact with the PLTS community. Lodging and meals provided. Travel scholarships are available!

Register now at or by calling 510.599.2730.

Save the Date! Western States Youth Gathering 2020

Prayer Requests
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. 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 -