Pacifica Synod News & Notes
May 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
ELCA COVID-19 Response Fund
Giving Tuesday
On May 5, 2020, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

In this time of uncertainty, a fundamental truth gives us hope — that together, through Christ, we can do extraordinary things.

On Tuesday morning, the ELCA will be inviting members to show God’s love and their own generosity however they can. Whether we’re helping a neighbor, sharing a skill, giving to our congregations or supporting the ELCA’s  COVID-19 Response Fund , our acts of generosity are a way to share our faith during this pandemic.

With congregations and ministries across the country, and a network of companion churches and partners in over 70 countries around the world, we know that this crisis will affect us all. We must continue to minister to each other, to those hurting and searching for peace, and to those in need. But we can’t do it without you. Your gifts to the ELCA’s COVID-19 Response Fund will support local and churchwide ministries of the ELCA, including our congregations, that are most in need and best positioned to help others.

These gifts will support:
  • Congregations and local ministries serving communities that are disproportionately at risk from the pandemic, especially as it relates to health concerns, exposure risk and/or economic status
  • The health, safety and well-being of leaders and church employees who are critical to carrying out the mission of this church
  • Ministries around the world that provide people in poverty with health care, sanitation and hygiene supplies, clean water, food and shelter — resources critical to slowing the spread of this virus

No matter how you choose to do God’s work with your hands today, every act of love counts. Whether you’re helping a neighbor, sharing a skill or giving to your congregation or the ELCA’s COVID-19 Response Fund , your acts of generosity are a way to share your faith during this pandemic. If you’ve already made a gift in support of these efforts – thank you.
Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
Giving Tuesday
Did you know that May 5 th  is a global day of giving? This special day of global unity called #GivingTuesdayNow was launched in response to the unprecedented need created by the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re just a few days away! 

Keep an eye out for details on how you can join the movement and RSVP for our #TogetherTuesday event at
Together we can make a difference. Together we give.
Cal Lutheran & PLTS Cares Day
Cal Lutheran & PLTS Cares Day
May 6, 2020

On May 6, we will share stories that reveal the many ways in which our students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends care for the community, and we hope you will join us for Cal Lutheran Cares Day by sharing your story with us, too!

In addition, your generosity to Cal Lutheran’s Ministry & Leadership programs and PLTS during Cal Lutheran Cares Day will ensure our students have the resources to stay safe and well while continuing to pursue calls and vocations of service in the church and world. No matter our location, a spirit of compassion and resiliency binds the Cal Lutheran community, including PLTS. Thank you for all that you do to keep the university and seminary strong, and for your continued support during this unprecedented time. #CalLutheranCares #PLTSofCLU

If you have questions, you may contact Brian Stein-Webber at
Lutheran Lobby Day
Wednesday, May 20
We will gather virtually with Lutherans from around the state for our second annual advocacy day. Our advocacy will focus on COVID-19 relief for California’s most impacted communities. Following a morning briefing, you will be scheduled for a virtual meeting with your California legislators. More information about Lobby Day may be found here .

Prior to Lobby Day, we will host two advocacy training webinars on Wednesday, May 6 at 12 pm and 6 pm PDT. Email for information.

Click here to register for Lobby Day.
Sparkhouse Family Sunday School Resources
1517 Media is developing a FREE 8-episode series called  Family Sunday School by Sparkhouse !,  an at-home Sunday school video that families can enjoy together without parents having to step into the learning facilitator role they may be exhausted by after the week's e-learning.

Each episode runs about 13 minutes and includes a Bible story from the lectionary, songs, and activity ideas. Churches can send families some activity page PDFs. They can also ask families to post photos of their Family Sunday School adventures on their Facebook page.They will post a new episode every Tuesday through the lesson for Trinity Sunday on June 7. From the 1517 team: "We hope this series helps support faith formation ministry during these challenging times."

Watch  Early Believers  for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3, and go to the  Family Sunday School website   for handout activity pages and projects for each Sunday.
Luther Seminary's Festival of Homiletics
May 18-22, 2020
These are unprecedented times and we’re learning as we go. There have been quite a few “firsts” for all of us, and there may be more to come. Here’s one we already know about and are actively preparing for: our first-ever fully virtual, free to join,  Festival of Homiletics, May 18-22, 2020.

In-person has always been our default and it’s our preference. For so many of us who attend regularly, this is our annual opportunity to reconnect, to fellowship, and to worship together. While we mourn the loss of life from COVID-19, we also feel the impact this pandemic is having on our relationships.

Our hope for this year’s Festival is that, regardless of venue, location, or proximity, we’ll each be able to share in the richness of God’s word. We’re excited to hear the stories that come out of an online Festival experience—from the conversations you share with your friends to the social media posts our speakers illicit!

We may not always understand why or how things happen, but we trust that God is still at work. Register now for free access to the 2020 Festival of Homiletics and be a part of it all.
We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • Family and friends of Rev. Joe Ramnarine
  • 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 -
LEAD Generosity Workshops
May 4-7
At LEAD, we are committed to giving you real-time tools to help you lead well, even as the landscape of ministry changes on a daily basis.

LEAD is offering FREE 60-minute sessions that provide both encouragement and practical take-aways to help you inspire generosity through times of seeming scarcity.

These sessions, led by Pastor Kristen Capel, will be in small group format, allowing ample time for questions related to your particular context. While we can’t promise all of the answers, we can offer some tried and true tools, lots of encouragement, and idea generation tailored to your ministry setting.

Choose ONE session, either 8:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. (PDT) on your preferred date.
Available dates and times listed in the registration form. Dates run from May 4 through May 7th.

Click here to register .

Each session will be limited to 6 participants so register for your date and time NOW! As sessions fill up, they will be removed from the registration form. Additional free resources will be available to participants following your session.
Synod 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.
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701