March 31, 2020
Pacifica Synod News & Notes
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 sign up here .
Current News & Resources
COVID-19 Assistance for Congregations & Employees
Congress has passed three acts recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provide significant assistance that is available to churches, religious organizations and their employees.

The ELCA has provided the following summary document, " Update and Resources on COVID-19-related Benefits for ELCA Congregations, Synods, Other Ministries and their Employees ". This document, along with other resources, may be found on their Public Health page on the ELCA website at

Sacred Space Spiritual Direction

Church leaders, SacredSpace is a place for you to receive and take a deep pause. Ministry in times of crisis requires a lot from church and faith leaders.
You are invited to create SacredSpace with a small group of church & faith leaders, gather online every week to read and reflect on sacred text (may be guided meditations, poetry, Scripture…) or spiritual practices, sit in silence and prayer, share life / ministry and pay attention to God.
To participate you need to be committed (every week for five sessions) to the group video gatherings online, be open and willing to engage in sharing your spiritual and faith journey and open to hearing others as well. This is not group therapy. It is not a presentation or webinar. It is a time to gather with colleagues and share in sacred silence and conversation. You need not bring anything other than yourself and an open heart to each gathering.
Two different groups will meet every week for five sessions
(groups will start the week of April 13):
         1. Mondays from 2-3:30 pm PST
         2. Wednesdays from 10 - 11:30 am PST
The group(s) will be led by Desta Goehner, a trained and certified Spiritual Director. Desta is also the Director of Congregational Relations at California Lutheran University.
These groups are for ELCA, ecumenical or interfaith church and faith leaders. In these trying times, this is a free gift to you from California Lutheran University.
There is an application process to build the groups and gauge interest. Please fill out the application linked in the "ticket link" and we will be in touch. Thanks for sharing this invitation with others who might benefit from this.
Questions ? Email .

ELEA Schools Connect - March 30 to April 4

Due to the often overwhelming nature of the ever-changing events in our country and the effects on our schools and congregations ELEA offers to bring together all school leaders to connect with one another.

This week's opportunities to connect: 

Wednesday April 1, 1:00 pm CST
  • ELCA Schools Connect - this week we will be joined by Kris Meyer, Principal of St. John's Church and School in Waverly, IA. Kris will guide our group through the practice of resilience. Bringing the hard edges of life into manageable softness. 

Safe Gatherings Free Online Classes
You may soon receive an email from Safe Gatherings that includes a bundle of 3 online classes that they will be offering for free through Congregation U. These courses will be available to all of the Pacifica Synod congregations and worship communities because of our synod's Safe Gathering Enterprise Account. (More details to come about what this means for your ministry.) 

You will be allowed 30 days unlimited access to this bundle of courses for any/all of your staff, volunteers and members. For those who are not familiar with Safe Gatherings, below you will find their mission statement and a brief history. 

Safe Gatherings began in 2012 as a project to assist the Kansas East UMC Conference (now part of the Great Plains UMC Conference) in taking advantage of technology to automate their paper-intensive protection program. Fueled by a passion for protecting vulnerable populations, we created an online tool to streamline the process and make it easier for the Conference and the churches they serve—and in doing so launched Safe Gatherings.

Screen and educate staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults.

If you have any questions, please contact them directly at 888.241.8258 or email Carol Youngman in the synod office at

Event Updates
2020 Joint Synod Assembly
On March 18, 2020 - Bishops Andy Taylor and R. Guy Erwin issued the following statement regarding the 2020 Joint Synod Assembly scheduled for May 28-30 at California Lutheran University:

As we live into a new "abnormal" with COVID-19, social distancing, and cancelling of most events in our lives, we wish to inform you that the joint Pacifica and Southwest California Synod Assembly scheduled for the end of May has been postponed.

We are working with the Synod Assembly Planning team, the staffs of both synods, and California Lutheran University to see what options there may be to hold the assembly in August. While there will be questions on the postponement, we ask for your patience and prayers as the staffs and planning teams work out the details.
It seems everything is changing by the hour. But in the midst of this uncertainty, we hold on to the never changing love of God and the promise that we do not walk this untrodden path alone.

We will keep you informed as more details become available.

Western States Youth Gathering &
Western States Multicultural Youth Leadership Event
Other Event Updates
Global Women's Tea - April 20
Messiah Lutheran Church, Yorba Linda

Undoing Racism Retreat - April 27 to 29
Luther Glen Farm
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701