Pacifica Synod News & Notes
July 1, 2020
We share with you the following news, resources, information and event updates taking place within our synod and throughout the ELCA. If you have items or information to share, please email Terri Robertson at . If you know of others who aren't receiving our emails, please share this with them and encourage them to contact us using the above email or sign up here .
Current News & Resources
2020 Pacifica Synod Assembly Postponed to 2021
The following announcement was shared with our synod on June 17. For a printable version of this letter, along with Frequently Asked Questions about this postponement,
please click here .

Dear People of the Pacifica Synod,

As you know, the 2020 Synod Assembly scheduled to take place at California Lutheran University at the end of May was postponed due to COVID-19. We thought about rescheduling to August. However, we believe that the best advice will continue to deem it unwise to gather together in large numbers.
At a special Synod Council meeting held on Saturday, June 13 for the sole purpose of discussing this issue, the Synod Council passed the following motion:
Due to the extraordinary circumstances of a global pandemic, Synod Council votes to postpone the 2020 Pacifica Synod Assembly to May 2021 and combine it with the
regularly scheduled 2021 Pacifica Synod Assembly.

What Does This Mean?
(An excellent Lutheran question.)
During this time of physical distancing for the sake of the health of the neighbor, an assembly of the voting members of the Pacifica Synod is not possible in person. 
We considered holding our assembly via Zoom. While this platform is being used successfully for smaller meetings, the expertise to conduct a synod assembly, in which everyone can hear and be heard to conduct the business of the synod is currently beyond our expertise. We need time for the synod staff and Assembly Planning Team to acquire the knowledge, skills, and technical equipment to successfully host an assembly on-line.  The Synod Council has decided that the best way forward would be to plan now to hold the 2021 Pacifica Synod Assembly on Saturday, May 1 online either via Zoom with individual voting members attending from home, or at different satellite locations where smaller groups could gather (if allowed by public health regulations).  If we use satellite locations, the locations will be connected with each other either through Zoom or another platform. This plan will allow time to obtain the necessary tools, expertise, and training for staff and voting members. 
This decision was not made easily. We thank the Synod Council and staff for many hours of deliberation to find the best solution to a problem none of us could have foreseen.
Frequently Asked Questions are listed below. For additional questions, please reach out to your pastor, conference dean, or the Office of the Bishop.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Andy Taylor (he/him/his)                               Lori Herman, (she/her/hers)
Pacifica Synod Bishop                                               Pacifica Synod Council Vice President
Coaching for All Seasons: "Leading Like Moses"
Monthly Online Gathering for
Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
Here to Serve: Coaching for All Seasons
Leading Like Moses: Understanding Change and Transition
in the Journey to a New Beginning
July 7, 2020, at 11:00-noon via Zoom
In mid-March, we all began a journey that’s starting to feel like 40 years in the wilderness! Join your colleagues to explore how we experience change and transition…and how we can make that experience easier. Together we will watch a video based on William Bridges’ groundbreaking work on navigating external changes and the often-unsettling, internal transitions they cause. Following the presentation, we will break into small groups for a coach-led conversation relating this information to your unique circumstances. We will conclude with a debriefing to share the small groups’ experiences.     
The event on July 7 inaugurates a new monthly gathering. Our Pacifica Synod Coaching Team has designed a forum to provide encouragement and support to Synod leaders as we navigate the unknown. Each month, participants will hear a short presentation related to how we currently are called to be Church. Then they will have an opportunity to be in a small group discussion facilitated by an ELCA coach. We are creating a safe space for processing our responses to uncertain times and for discerning steps forward in our unique contexts.
Pacifica Synod has invested in training coaches to work with rostered and lay leaders one-on-one or in groups. Coaching provides an opportunity for rostered and lay leaders to experience a partnership focused on the unique objectives they want to achieve. A coach’s role is to support a leader in naming challenging issues and identifying constructive responses to them. Pacifica Synod coaches are volunteering their time to create presentations and coaching opportunities that provide a hands-on resource for addressing your challenges.
Our first meeting will be via Zoom on Tuesday, July 7, 11:00-noon Pacific Time. 
Coaching for All Seasons is a Monthly Online Gathering
for Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
1 st  Tuesday at 11:00-noon Pacific Time via Zoom
Starting July 7, 2020 
If you are interested in participating in this gathering or would like more information, Deenna Eley, Pacifica Synod Coaching Coordinator at .
Synod Work Towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
The May 2016 Pacifica Synod Assembly adopted a “Resolution to Confront Racism and White Privilege.” This work was initiated with the formation of the “Pacifica Synod Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group” to:

  1. “Identify and share high quality educational tools and events to raise awareness of racism, white privilege, and Christ-centered paths to liberation of oneself, church and society”;
  2. Guide “the Pacifica Synod of the ELCA to offer support for multicultural and multilingual ministry to engage and integrate congregations and leaders with nearby populations and to commit itself to provide accessible and affordable synod assembly and education events to less affluent leaders and congregations”;
  3. Support the Pacifica Synod to “bear persistent public witness in solidarity with oppressed people in this and other countries for the transformation of society toward the domination-free reign of God in Christ.”

Since then, we have held workshops at synod assembly and half-day seminars for church leaders to hear first-hand stories of our synod and regions and to grow awareness of racism and white privilege among the unique populations whom we serve. Since the pandemic led to a disruption of in-person events in 2020, we are in the process of developing online resources and rescheduling of the April 2020 in-person anti-racism training, tentatively planned for summer or fall of 2021.

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 .

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 .

Portico's Being Academy Course
Promoting Diversity, Creating Inclusion
Interested in creating a community of equity and justice? Whether you’re looking to understand your own blind spots, foster conversation in your congregation, or build a culture where all can belong, a new Being Academy course  Promoting Diversity, Creating Inclusion , featuring educator Aparna Rae, offers practical exercises and thought-provoking questions that can help. Though some of the course is directed at developing a diverse workplace, Portico believes the tools and topics are of value for church leaders in this important time. 

Portico members with ELCA-Primary health coverage can  access the course here  or via myPortico. If you waive health coverage or have ELCA Medicare-Primary coverage, The Big Know (Portico’s partner and Being content developer) has made the course available at no charge to everyone for a limited time to support learning and promote equity. Click  here  and scroll to the bottom of the page – you will be asked to sign up before you can begin the courses.
Have You Taken the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge?
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
In 2019, at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members  adopted a resolution  designating June 17 as a commemoration of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Congregations of the ELCA are encouraged to mark this day of penitence with study and prayer.

As church we are called to confess the sin of racism, condemn the ideology of white supremacy, and strive for racial justice and peace. Beyond statements and prayers, we are called to also act and respond to injustices. We invite you to visit the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge web page to learn more about the pledge and commit to one or more of the actions listed.
Celebrating 50 Years of Ordained Women
With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the ELCA gives thanks to God for the ministry of women. In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely.

As part of this anniversary year, we lament that women have been barred from serving and have been bullied, dismissed and excluded. We also celebrate the gifts and service that women have brought to our church and our world as pastors.

Congregations are encouraged to hold commemorative events throughout the year! Visit the ELCA's web page for resources to help congregations observe these anniversaries, including a five-session adult forum, a four-session Bible study, and a liturgy with Scripture and hymn suggestions.

Click below for Bishop Eaton's video thank you to pastors as we celebrate the 50/40/10 Anniversary of the ordination of women.
From the Presiding Bishop
SCOTUS Decision on LGTBQIA+ Rights
June 24, 2020
“ELCA social teaching supports human rights for all people, regardless of their sex (biological), gender, or sexuality. This stance is rooted in respect and welcome for all people as created in the image of God and evident in the ELCA’s longstanding commitment to protecting civil and human rights”  ( Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action , 2019).
As National Pride Month is celebrated across this country, I rejoice in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that employment discrimination on the basis of a worker’s sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court’s decision is an important recognition of equal protection under the law for LGBTQIA+ people and for all. 
LGBTQIA+ people are not faceless or nameless. They are our children, parents, siblings and colleagues. They work hard and pay taxes. They serve in our congregations and communities. Our life together is enriched. They are us. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling brings us a step closer to realizing our founding conviction, “ We  the people of the United States.”
St. Paul writes, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). The June 15 decision brings the civic body a step closer to the cherished American value of equal rights for all. There is more work to be done to guarantee equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people beyond the workplace — in housing, medical care and military service. We are committed to this work as we celebrate, during Pride Month and all year round, the gifts of our LGBTQIA+ siblings.

In Christ's peace,

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

Celebrating the Ministry of
Atonement Lutheran in San Diego
On Sunday, June 28, Atonement Lutheran Church, San Diego, held a final virtual worship service of Holy Closure attended by current and former members. Pastor Cyndi Jones led worship, Bishop Andy Taylor preached, and former Pastors John Spann, James Jerpseth, and former Interim Pastor James West either gave or sent in greetings.

Following the service, two separate small groups, socially distanced, were able to walk through the campus to share in a final blessing, led by the Bishop. Atonement Lutheran was organized in 1960 and has served the community faithfully for 40 years.
Pacifica Synod Office Closed Friday, July 3
The Pacifica Synod Lutheran Center for Mission and Learning will be closed this Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day.

We will resume regular office hours on Monday, July 6. We wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

Available Positions Around the Synod
Digital Ministry Coordinator/
Congregational Ministries Liaison
Christ Lutheran, San Diego

Christ Lutheran in San Diego is seeking a part-time (15-20 hours per week) Digital Ministry Coordinator/Congregational Ministries Liaison. A complete job description may be found here .

Please email your resume to by July 1 to be considered.

Preschool Director
King of Glory, Fountain Valley

King of Glory is searching for the next person who will be responsible for the direct leadership of our year-round, full day preschool. The Preschool Director will be responsible for administration, curriculum, staff development, and age-appropriate Christian education of our infant - preschool age children. This position requires strong leadership skills, good communication skills, a non-anxious presence, confidentiality and strong Christian behavior. The Preschool Director reports to the Pastor. 

This is a full-time, exempt, benefits-eligible position. Compensation commensurate with education and experience. A full job description may be found here .

Interested parties should send resumes to Deacon Leah Lind at .
Fight Isolation Among People With Disabilities
The Governor’s California Volunteers office, , working with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), on June 12th launched the “Fight Isolation Among People with Disabilities” campaign. It’s part of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor campaign that initially focused on older adults and how we can all safely help our communities in response to COVID-19.

Below is a poster to share on your congregation's social media pages and website. To download the poster, use this link -
Webinars and Other Events
Here to Serve: Being Church in the Times of Crisis
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. PDT
You are invited to join this weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in times of crisis, as well as an opportunity to be in small group discussions with an ELCA group coach facilitating the conversation. All of this is designed to help us process our feelings in this strange and fearful time and to create a space where we can each name our next most faithful step forward in our unique context. You are welcome to share this invitation with any other ELCA leader, rostered or lay. #ELCAChurchTogether

On July 1, we will hear from Rev. Paul Andrew Johnson about serving a Native American congregation as a white, gay, cisgender male pastor . He is, first and foremost, a child of God humbled by God's loving grace and forgiveness. He is honored to serve as pastor to the  Lutheran Church of the Wilderness in the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans community  in Bowler, Wisconsin. In addition to being a pastor, Paul also enjoys being an uncle, gardener, avid reader, and occasional crafter. He dreams of one day owning a tiny house with a huge garden for him and his German Shepherd, Bucky.

Paul Andrew Johnson graduated from Wartburg in 2015 and waited 2 years for a call. As an openly gay man, it was difficult to find a congregation that would be open. The Lutheran Church of the Wilderness had been waiting for years for a pastor. The Spirit intervened and connected this unlikely pairing. It has been an interesting journey of lifting one another up and working through issues of unique forms of shame surrounding identity.

How have we  been  church, with individuals and with communities?  How are we  being  church? H ow are we  called to be  church with all people, with creation, and in an ever-changing world?

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church in Times of Crisis - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: July 1, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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Navigating Paycheck Protection Program
Loan Forgiveness Webinar
Lutheran Services in America has organized a webinar on Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness and is inviting all Synods, Congregations and ELCA organizations:  
Wednesday, July 1 st – 10:00 a.m. PDT
Title: Navigating PPP Loan Forgiveness - What you need to know

Description Jack Rybicki, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Managing Principal of Industry and lead of CLA’s COVID-19 Response Team, will lead a timely webinar on how to navigate the loan forgiveness provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program. This insightful webinar will be interactive and respond to your questions about the PPP and how to make informed decisions to maximize loan forgiveness. Mark your calendar for 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 1. This session is designed for CEOs, CFOs and others responsible for PPP program in your organization.

Registration Link:

Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor
Thursday, July 9
Join us and our ecumenical partners for a special training,  Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor , on Thursday, July 9 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. PDT.

This online training event is jointly hosted by The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Both Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, plus advocacy leaders from both denominations.  will be part of this time of exploring the nature of faith-based advocacy, the issues to which we can speak, and the ways we can make our voices heard.

Rostered ministers, Lutherans,  Episcopalians and friends are welcome to the free webinar and will leave with tools and inspiration to make a difference. 

Register here using this link -  
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center Events
Please join us for one of the many events that we have planned from July through December of this year, including traditional events that we haven't presented for a while, as well as brand new webinars on timely topics. A sampling of a few imminent events is listed below (some events will be repeated in future months):

Meditation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (August 3-7, 2020): This intensive 5-day event helps clergy and other church leaders deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.

Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches (July 18):  Sessions include "Finding Renewal in Conflict" and "How to be Effective when People are Angry," among others. Groups are especially encouraged to register for this event!

Healthy Congregations (July 21) :  Participants will learn how to keep anxiety within their congregations from becoming infectious, put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, focus on strengths, and more! This workshop is also especially well suited for groups who are members of the same congregation.

Breaking Free: Finding Resilience in an Era of Collective Trauma (July 16 & July 30) Grounded in Family Systems Theory, and offered in the context of COVID-19 and the aftermath of George Floyd's tragic death, Breaking Free will help participants identify the impact of trauma on themselves and others, discuss strategies to break free from trauma, and find resilience.

We are pleased to announce the return of one of our more popular seminars: Leadership and Anxiety in the Church (LAC) on August 19, 2020 via Zoom video conferencing. This webinar is comprised of a series of PowerPoint presentations that look at the challenges posed by rising levels of anxiety in churches and in society as a whole. Works of art from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern eras are integrated to help facilitate theological reflections on the themes being presented. Like the two workshops listed below, LAC is particularly effective when members of the same church attend as a group. We encourage church leaders to organize a group and register for one (or more) of these outstanding seminars today!

Further details and registration information for these events and others will be made available on BrownPaperTickets (some events still pending). We also encourage you to visit for the latest updates, call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507 or by email at .
We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • The family and friends of Bill Aanestad, husband of former synod staff member Dorothy Aanestad, as they grieve his death.
  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • Reverend Ron and Paula Rennegarbe
  • Those affected with the COVID-19 virus and those who have lost loved ones
  • Our healthcare providers, first responders, essential workers and all who continue to serve so that others can remain safely at home

In our synod e-newsletter, prayer requests may be shared for our synod's rostered ministers, spouses, key lay leaders and congregations.

 Prayer requests included are subject to the following guidelines:
  • Only the names of those to be prayed for will be included in our communications. Additional information (with permission) may be shared with the bishop or synod staff, but will not be publicized.
  • Those being prayed for must have provided the requester with explicit permission for their names to be shared with the synod.
  • Names will remain in the synod communications for one month, unless we are notified by the Conference Prayer Coordinator to extend the request.
  • Prayers MUST be added through your Conference Prayer Coordinator, who will submit the prayers to the synod office for distribution.

The following people are serving as your Conference Prayer Coordinators:

E. San Diego Conference - The Rev. Richard Vevia -
W. San Diego Conf - The Rev. David Nagler -
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad -
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown -
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Matt Anderson -
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Marty Jacobson -
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz -
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr -
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher -
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701