March 11, 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
32nd Annual Pacifica Synod Assembly
"Oh Lord, Open My Ears:
Listening for God While Listening to Others"
  Friday, May 10 to Saturday, May 11, 2019
  Hope Lutheran Church,  Palm Desert

Synod Assembly Online Registration Now Open!
We are just two months away from our 2019 Pacifica Synod Assembly that will take place May 10-11 at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert. We are pleased to provide you with a registration information document and worksheet which you can download by clicking  this link . These instructions have also been mailed to each congregation. This information will guide you through our online registration process which is now open . Please use the worksheet to assemble the information you will need BEFORE you go online to register. Once you have your information assembled, follow this registration link to begin the registration process.
If you need other information about the assembly itself - hotel information, schedule, special guests, nominations, youth and young adult voting members, etc. - please visit the Synod Assembly page on our Pacifica Synod website.
If you have questions or need help with the registration process, please contact Terri Robertson at the synod office at 714.692.2791 or by email at

Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Updates
We are pleased to report that the Pacifica Synod AMMPARO network is continuing to respond to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in both southern California and Mexico.

For a PDF copy of the FULL version of this month's report, please click here

The AMMPARO network is currently organizing a tour of Survivors of Torture and Safe Harbors at Christ Pacific Beach. We will also plan more trips to Tijuana. We will continue to receive updates from ELCA AMMPARO and keep the network informed of advocacy and other opportunities. If you would like to be included on our email list and receive the resource list, please contact Thomas Voelp at

For more information or ways to become involved, visit the 
AMMPARO page on the Pacifica Synod website.

"Perspectives on the Border" - Webinar Series on Immigration
This "Perspectives on the Border" webinar series on immigration is a partnership project with Rev. Dr. Jay Alanis, the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS), and the following ELCA synods: Grand Canyon, Gulf Coast, Pacifica, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Rocky Mountain, and Southwestern Texas.

There are three different sessions, usually at a minimum cost of $25 each per participant. We are offering all three for only $60 per person! Your synods are helping subsidize the cost of this invaluable training (valued at a significantly higher rate)!

Session I: 
Living in Third Spaces (March 7, 1 pm Pacific)
Session II:  
Borderland Perspectives on Diverse Worldviews (March 21, 1 pm Pacific)
Session III: 
Theological Perspectives from the US-Mexico Borderlands (March 28, 1 pm Pacific)

The sessions will likely run over an hour, based on our prior experience, where much dialogue ensued, especially when talking about culture as a paradigm.
From the Southwest California Synod
Invitation to Bishop's Colloquy
The Southwest California Synod has invited Pacifica Rostered Ministers to join them on Monday, March 18 for the 2019 Bishop's Colloquy. 
Join Regina Banks, Director of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy; Lisa Dahill, CLU professor and co-editor of Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope from a Planet in Peril; and Bishop Guy Erwin at this year's Bishop's Colloquy for Pastors and Deacons!
This year's Colloquy will take place at the Lutheran Center in Glendale on Monday, March 18. Registration is $99 and includes Continental Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. 
   For more information and to register, click here .
Annual Reporting Reminders
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. 

Once completed, please return this form to the synod office by email (see below),  fax (714.692.9317), or by mail to the Pacifica Synod office at 1801C Parkcourt Place, Santa Ana, CA, 92701. 
  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

Congregational Reporting (Parochial Reports)
In December, the ELCA mailed the 2018 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 login and file your report online. To do so, follow  this link.

The information included in these reports is vital to the ELCA's commitment to improving its efforts to spread the good news and are used in allocating the ELCA's resources to synods and congregations. Did you know that the information you submit (or do not submit) in your parochial report goes into your congregation's trend report, which is publicly available online? Seekers looking for your congregation can see not only the information you submit but also whether the congregation hasn't submitted parochial reports. 

The due date for these forms was February 15. If your congregation has not yet filed, there's still time. The online link to file your report will remain active until early May.  It will then close so that all information can be compiled in time for the Churchwide Assembly this summer. We encourage you to file your Forms A and C as soon as possible, so that your current information is recorded.

If you can't find your login information, please contact Carol Youngman at 714.692.2791 or by email at

2019 Congregational Statement of Intent for Mission Support
Congregations are asked to submit their 2019 Statement of Intent as soon as your 2019 budget is approved. You may find a copy of the fillable  2019 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  
Lutheran Office of Public Policy
Lutheran Lobby Day - May 29, 2019

From the Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California Council:

Our   LOPP-CA Policy Council, in consultation with our new director Regina   Banks, decided upon our policy priorities at our recent board meeting.  We will concentrate on   Deep Childhood Poverty, Immigration and Migration, and the Environment - particularly water justice.  Please look for our updates and directions on how you and your congregation can get involved on these issues at our website  or any of our social media pages.  
To support this ministry, we are also pleased to invite your whole congregation to our first   Lutheran   Lobby Day at the Capital   on   Wednesday, May 29, 2019 .   Details about Lobby Day   will be posted soon   but we'd ask for your prayers and support in this new endeavor. Please use your voice of leadership to amplify ours and recommit your congregation to the work of public policy and advocacy.    
We are ready to engage with you in this vital ministry and hope you will be a part of our Advocacy success! Please feel free to reach out to Regina directly by phone at 916-447-6666 or by e-mail at

(For a PDF version of this letter, click here.)

ELCA News & Resources
From the Presiding Bishop
An invitation. In her March column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on prayer. She reminds us that prayer is not about the technique-the how or why we pray. Prayer is an invitation to divine love. Prayer is about relationship with God. Prayer is God seeking us. Read her column in English at and in Spanish at

Pastoral Letter on UMC Decision. On February 27, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued a pastoral letter on the United Methodist Church (UMC) decision regarding ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage. To read the full text of the letter, click here.
ELCA Conference of Bishops' Statements and Recommendations
Gathering under the theme "Be transformed by the renewing of your minds," the Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met in Chicago February 28 - March 4. The conference is an advisory body of the ELCA that includes 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and the secretary. Some of the outcomes from their time together include:

-The bishops reviewed "Trustworthy Servants of the People of God." This replacement document for "Vision and Expectations: Ordained Ministers in the ELCA" will be considered for adoption by the ELCA Church Council at its April 4-7 meeting. Read more about and access the draft document here. The comment period is open through March 18.

-A draft social statement on women and justice, titled "Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action," was shared with the conference. The proposed social statement will be presented to the ELCA Church Council at its April meeting for consideration by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August. Click here to read more information, including the draft statement.

-Addressing concerns about the situation in Venezuela, the conference issued a statement calling for "all parties to respect internationally recognized human rights," for "a halt to the deportation of Venezuelans currently in the U.S," and for "a new presidential election in Venezuela as soon as possible, one that will be administered by new electoral authorities, conducted under international supervision, and overseen by a neutral government." 

-The bishops also issued a letter to the bishops of the United Methodist Church, expressing "our abiding love and concern for The United Methodist Church and for you, its Council of Bishops."

For more information about other business and discussions at this latest Conference of Bishops, click here.
2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly Volunteers Needed

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. Finding ourselves in Christ, the fifteenth Churchwide Assembly will be a time for us to be the living body of Christ guided by the Spirit and conformed to God's will.

We will meet at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 5-10, 2019 to discuss and make decisions about how to go about God's work as a church. This year the assembly will gather under the theme "We are church."

The Greater Milwaukee Synod is the host synod for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly and they need volunteers to help this event run smoothly. About 600 volunteers will be recruited in the coming months to usher, iron albs, provide technology assistance to voting members, monitor doors, greet visitors and much more. Please read about all the ways you can help on their volunteer positions page and visit the ELCA Churchwide Assembly page to learn more.
ELCA Communication Tools for Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week and Easter will be here soon and many will be looking for a place to worship in observation of Christ's death and resurrection. Don't miss this opportunity to invite neighbors to your congregation. To support your ministry outreach, the ELCA offers several communication tools .

Will your congregation be hosting a cantata, Passion Play or special event? Be sure to share these events with your community. Read about best practices when working with local media and check out a sample press release. Exterior banners and A-frame posters are available to share your event and worship schedule.

Additional worshipers also mean additional giving opportunities to support your mission. Through the ELCA's  preferred vendor agreements, they have negotiated special pricing for ELCA congregations in need of online giving tools. Online giving is an easy way for members and visitors to participate in holiday offerings - even if they didn't bring cash. For additional information about online giving tools, consult and GivePlus by Vanco Payment Solutions.

ELCA Publications 

Seeds for the Parish - Winter 2019

ELCA Administration Matters - January 2019 

ELCA Advocacy Connections - March 2019

Celebrating Ministry Together!
You're Invited - Hope Palm Springs Celebration & Installation 

Celebration of Hope Palm Springs
(Our New Lutheran Presence in the Desert)
Installation of Pastor Tim Edmondson, Developer

Saturday, March 16th
Hope Lutheran Church, Palm Desert
45900 Portola Avenue
Palm Desert

Service at 5:30 p.m.
Preceded by Welcome Reception at 4:30 pm
Pre-service Mini-Concert by Woven Image

Preaching will be Bishop Andy Taylor of the Pacifica Synod.
Clergy are invited to vest and process, with the color of the day being red.
Palm Springs Gay Men's Chorus providing special music.
Offering to Support Hope Palm Springs.
You're Invited - The Installation of the Rev. Karla Seyb-Stockton
All are invited to celebrate the Installation of the Rev. Karla Seyb-Stockton as pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in San Diego on Sunday, March 24th at 1:30 p.m.   Gethsemane is located at 2696 Melbourne Drive, San Diego. All are invited to a reception following the service.

Clergy are invited to vest and process, with the color of the day being purple. To ensure they have enough seating set aside for all rostered guests who are in attendance, they are asking Rostered Ministers to RSVP to the church office at 858.277.6572.

Pastor Karla began her call with Gethsemane on March 4.
Celebrating The Rev. Carol Reed's Ministry
Sunday, March 3, was a joyous, yet bittersweet morning celebrating the ministry of the Rev. Carol Reed on her last Sunday at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in San Diego. The congregation surprised Pastor Carol with the addition of many teddy bears in worship. Pastor Carol has shared teddy bears with many people throughout her years of ministry to help them connect with God's unbelievable, gracious love. Thank you, Pastor Carol, for your faithful service!

Global Mission Update - Pastor 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 March newsletter.
We encourage you to consider becoming a longer-term sponsoring congregation/individual to support Pastor Hitoshi and Satoko in their ministries, which will continue for the next four to eight years. As it is written in the attached profile, if you wish to support the Adachi's with an automatic monthly bank withdrawal or to establish a covenant of prayer, communication and support, please contact 800.638.3522, ext. 2657, or at

Events & Opportunities
Deborah Liv Johnson Concert - March 16

Orange County Sustainable Living Fair - March 16
ELEA Church School Gathering - March 30
A One-Day Gathering for ELCA Congregations
with Schools & Learning Centers
Southwest California & Pacifica Synods
Saturday March 30, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
First Lutheran Church & School
2900 W. Carson Street, Torrance

Church School ministry - it's a unique and special calling for congregations. Across the ELCA, there are about 1400 congregations with weekday school ministries - from early education centers to elementary and secondary schools. These ministries provide some of the most potentially relevant and effective missional connections with their neighborhoods. They can also be extremely challenging in terms of organization, economics, leadership and partnership.

Join us for a one-day conference tailored for all who lead and serve these pivotal ministries. Our featured speaker is Gayle Denny, Executive Director of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association , the membership organization for ELCA Schools and Learning Centers. Also presenting will be Nancy Bond, whose organization provides HR and Insurance services to ELCA schools across the US. Bishop R. Guy Erwin of the Southwest California Synod will join us as well.

In addition to presentations, our day will include opportunities to meet other pastors, administrators and church school stakeholders. Lunch conversations will focus on a number of ministry dimensions unique to church school settings. An open session for Church School Q&A will be included, with time for conversation on future collaboration to advocate for these crucial Church School ministries.

For more information about the event, including cost and registration, click here.

Lenten Silent Saturday - April 6

For a PDF version of this flyer, click here
8th Annual Bonhoeffer Festival - April 11, 2019
A highlight of the festival will be the opportunity to recognize and honor Dr George Johnson and his wife Vivian who plan to be present. 

For a printable event flyer, click here.

California Lutheran University Summer Programs

For more information or to register, 

For more information or to register, 
Prayer Requests
We ask that you hold the following people and congregations in prayer:
  • All those affected by the March 3 tornadoes in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
  • Venezuelans who are facing insecurity and violence, lack of food, medicine or access to essential social services, and loss of income - those who have fled the country and those who remain.
  • Our brothers and sisters in the United Methodist Church.

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 -