Pacifica Synod News & Notes
July 9, 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 . We will be publishing a compilation of some of the usual Synod Assembly reports, financial and statistical information in early August. They will be sent out by email and posted on our website to download.

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
Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representations and Opportunities
Join the Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Network this Saturday, July 11 at 10:00 a.m. to hear what's happening in our immigrant/asylum-seeking community and how the Lutheran church can be involved. We will hear from those in the affected communities, receive political updates, and find out ways we can work alongside our immigrant brothers and sisters. Below is the information to join the Zoom call.

Saturday, July 11, 10 am 
Topic: Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Zoom Meeting
Time: Jul 11, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time 

Meeting ID: 815 7711 0996
Password: 609387  
Contact Pastor Karla Halvorson for more info 858-442-6761 or Deacon Roberta Wall 

Coaching for All Seasons
Monthly Online Gathering for
Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
1st Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. to noon (PDT)
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 inaugurated a new monthly gathering. Click here to view our Synod Coaching web page and view the resources from July's 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 next meeting will be via Zoom on Tuesday, August 4, 11:00-noon Pacific Time. 

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.
Racial Justice Statement of the Pacifica Synod Council
The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon (Sean) Reed, and George Floyd are among the most recent in a long history of too many similar tragedies. In June, we also joined in remembrance of the Emanuel Nine, nine African Americans killed by a young, self-professed white supremacist during Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, and we recall, with sadness, that their killer was once a member of an ELCA congregation. And we clearly see that some people are more likely to be stopped or killed by police, to suffer from illnesses including COVID-19, and to be denied loans, housing, or a greater income, and to face other discrimination because of the color of their skin.

Christ died and rose again to make all people one with God. As Ephesians 2:13-14 reminds us, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” If we are all children of God, then it is a sin against God and our neighbors to stand by, indifferent to a society that causes some to suffer more than others, and that unjustly benefits some more than others.

We are called to repent. As Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton said in her  sermon  for Trinity Sunday, “Until the white majority feels within their soul that the pain and suffering of black and brown people is our own pain and suffering, it will not be safe to be black or brown in America.” And we are called to act. We must change ourselves and our society. We are called to join in God’s work of breaking down the dividing walls in our society and making us into one.

We ask each person in our synod to personally commit to the difficult and necessary work of repentance and change. To learn about the history of racial discrimination and its lingering effects, and to take steps to change them. To be better citizens and to better manifest our love for our neighbors and God. We also ask each of our synod’s congregations to commit to this work. To develop an anti-racism plan and to partner with racial justice organizations. To be God’s church in the world.

Please join us in taking the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge . Our churchwide and synod offices have resources to help us, which may be found at  and . Our synod’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group will add more resources over time. Bishop Andy Taylor recently sent a  lette r  inviting us to work together for racial justice, which we echo.
We, the members of your synod council, have committed to doing this work in the synod, in each of our own congregations, and in our lives. The Office of the Bishop’s staff has joined us. Will you join us, too?

Bishop Andrew Taylor
Lori Herman
Angela Jackson
Tom Pankow
Dámaris Allen
Maura Beland
The Rev. Linda Brown
The Rev. Pongtep Chutimapongrat
Jeff Cours
Becky Draper
Anthony Eder
Mark Fornwall
Freya Hendrickson
Greta Hobson
The Rev. Jeff Lilley
Gerald Marecek
Daneen Pysz
Nicolette Rohr
The Rev. Maria Santa Cruz
The Rev. Jennifer Shaw
The Rev. Brian Taylor
The Rev. Terry Tuvey Allen
The Rev. Tom Goellrich
Rachel Line
Terri Robertson
Carol Youngman
The Church and Disability Online Conversation
August 1 and August 5
Ramping Up - The Church and Disability
Saturday August 1 at 1:00 p.m. PDT/10:00 a.m. HST
Wednesday, August 5 at 5:00 p.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. HST

As the Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30, how are we doing at welcoming and incorporating people with disabilities into God's Church?

What have we learned?
What have we done?
What can we share?
Where are we headed?

You are invited to join the Rev. Cyndi Jones in a working conversation on widening the welcome for all. Please RSVP with Rachel Line by phone at 714.692.2791 or by email at . Be sure to indicate which of the dates you plan to attend. The Zoom link will only be sent to those who RSVP.

The Rev. Cyndi Jones is the Pacifica Synod Pastor for Disability Ministry. As Director of the Center for an Accessible Society, Pastor Cyndi led an effort to improve coverage of disability issues by national agenda-setting media and created What’s Next? , a mentoring program matching high school students with physical disabilities with adults with similar disabilities who are living successful lives. She led a multi-year effort culminating in the Voluntary Accessibility Housing Ordinance for the City of San Diego, implemented in 2010. She published Mainstream Magazine from 1982 until 1999 and met with President George H.W. Bush to discuss disability issues prior to the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act thirty years ago on July 26, 1990.

For questions, please contact the Rev. Cyndi Jones, Synodical Pastor for Disability Ministry 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 -
Global Ministry Update

Pastor Hitoshi Adachi (former Assistant to the Bishop for the Pacifica Synod) and his wife, Satoko, are serve 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 July 2020 newsletter.
Care Connections Network
Empowering Adults, 50 and Better
Care Connections Network is a nonprofit membership organization which strives to empower adults, 50 and better, to age well in their own homes and communities. We strive to empower older adults to age in their communities safely and comfortably. We offer educational opportunities to help our members age with confidence, social and cultural events to keep them connected with the community and referrals to vetted service providers.

To learn more about upcoming events, click here for CCN's July newsletter.

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 60 years.
Webinars and Other Events
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 -  
COVID-19: How Does It Impact Me?
Thursday, July 9
Join ALOA for an online conference designed for sharing experiences and ideas. This hour-long session will be in a guided discussion format.

July 9, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. PDT

Come together with other individuals to share and discuss the impacts, challenges and creative solutions leading to our "new normal." Questions will be sent in advance to allow time for reflection and enable all participants to engage in the conversation. The conference will be led by Deaconess Penny Cedel.

Space is limited.  Register now

You’ll find resources for many aspects of ministry to those in the second half of life in the resource section of ALOA’s website.  Find more resources.

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

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?

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

The next meeting will be Wednesday, July 15
Black Lutheran History (The Rev. Larry Clark)

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church in Times of Crisis - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: July 15, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences
Virtual Summer Banquet - July 25

Each summer ends with a big party! Campers, donors, counselors, parents and church leaders all come together to celebrate the hard work and passion the summer staff brings to Southern California. 

For everyones safety, we are hosting our first ever VIRTUAL Summer Banquet on  Saturday July 25 at 5 p.m.

It is our desire to gather friends and supporters of camp, family and friends of our summer staff, campers and their families, pastors, youth workers, and YOU for a night online to connect, hear and see what God is doing in our ministry. Hearing the camp staff sing will lift your spirits!

Join us for LRCC's 11th Annual Summer Banquet. We will be singing your favorite camp songs, sharing our faith stories, fundraising money for summer and celebrating joy!

All are welcome. We hope to see you there!  
Click HERE to learn more!

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