Pacifica Synod News & Notes
May 21, 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
Pacifica Synod COVID-19 Response Grants
Apply Through May 25
The Pacifica Synod has received a $10,000 grant from the ELCA’s COVID-19 Response Fund. Your congregation or institution is invited to apply for a grant from this fund to cover the cost of some form of ministry that you need. The Synod grants will range from $500-$1,000, and the Mission Funds Committee, which is elected at Assembly by voting members, will evaluate grant requests and decide on amounts to be given.

To download a fillable application, click here . After you download the application, SAVE it to your computer BEFORE filling it out. Open the saved document, complete the application, and save it again. Finally, email the application as an attachment to . The application deadline is Monday, May 25, 2020.

If your congregation does not need this support but can instead provide further funding to extend more grants to those in need, we invite you to donate to this fund. You may donate to the ELCA fund that benefits all ELCA congregations by clicking here . If you want your donation to remain within the Pacifica Synod, you may send a check to the synod office, payable to the Pacifica Synod with “Pacifica COVID-19 Response Fund” written in the memo line OR you may donate online here .

The COVID-19 Response Fund is a special appeal to offer direct operational ministry support for congregations, synods and local ministries. These funds support ministries of the ELCA with any COVID-19 related need.

Here are some examples of what the grant could fund:
  • Supplementing congregations who can reach underrepresented populations, serving ethnic-specific communities, and those reaching the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Ensuring this church’s COVID-19 response more effectively tends to the realities of racism and racial inequality.
  • Supporting targeted COVID-19 ministries to encourage collaborative work in faith communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19 infection and/or already economically challenged.
  • Continuing support of ELCA Outdoor Ministries, ELCA Campus Ministries, and other related ELCA ministries.
  • Providing salary, utilities, and rent support for congregations most in need.
  • Directing grants to congregations for technological equipment for online worship and faith formation opportunities.
  • Collaborating with congregations who have strong online presence for the sake of growing the capabilities of congregations with no or minimal online presence.
  • Building strategic priorities to align resources for the future.

Remember, the deadline for us to receive your grant application is Monday, May 25, 2020.

God be with you and your congregation and ministries as you serve during this time of COVID-19.
Help Us Recognize and Celebrate
Your 2020 Seniors & Graduates
Currently, a team of students and adult advisors are working hard to plan a Service of Recognition and Celebration for our Pacifica Synod 2020 High School and College Seniors & Graduates (recognizing the fact that not all seniors will graduate).

We intend to record (and hopefully, live-stream) this service using Zoom on Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m. Hawaii Time/5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Then, soon after the service, we will share the links to a recording of the full service, as well as individual portions of it.

In addition to music (provided by Tyra Dennis), prayers, reflections from students, a message from Bishop Andy Taylor and a blessing, the names of the seniors and graduates from throughout our synod will be read.

We are asking for your help in providing those names to us, along with the school (including the city) that they attended. You may do so by clicking the link below and completing the Google form. We will accept submissions through May 31, 2020.

We understand that by June 7, a number of your students will have already finished their school year and possibly graduated. The intent of this service is for you to use it how and when it works best for you. This could mean sharing portions during one of your worship services, posting on your congregation's Facebook page or website, or just providing it for your students and families to view and enjoy.

Your help is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please contact Terri Robertson by email at or phone 714.352.8732.
Spring Message from Agape House
Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry at SDSU
From the Rev. Darin Johnson, Campus Pastor:

Grace and peace to you from Agape House campus ministry! Since college campuses were shutdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have nearly tripled the number of students we serve. Each week we deliver meals and groceries to students  who are food and housing insecure and walk with them to overcome stress, isolation, and poverty.  With the cancellation of our main annual fundraiser, we are grateful for the partnership of the members of the Pacifica Synod, and you can extend care  at this critical time  to vulnerable students who find it hard or impossible to access other aid.

$200 feeds 40 hungry and newly unemployed students with a weekly meal and a food pack. Please contribute whatever you can at and Thank You for spreading God’s agape!

From Our ELCA Presiding Bishop

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will provide a sermon for Trinity Sunday, June 7. The sermon will be recorded by May 31 and the synod will email out the sermon links to congregations and rostered ministers by Monday, June 1. Congregations are asked not to post the sermon prior to Saturday, June 6 if they plan to use her sermon. Bishop Eaton's sermon will be posted on the ELCA YouTube channel on Sunday, June 7.
Presiding Bishop's Messages and Articles
Pastoral Message on COVID-19, Racism & White Supremacy
On May 13, Bishop Eaton issued a pastoral message on COVID-19 racism and white supremacy. To read the message, click here.

ELCA statement on Illinois anti-Semitic messages
On Monday, May 18, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and the three synodical bishops serving in the state of Illinois issued a joint statement on Illinois anti-Semitic message. To read the message, click here .

"United" - Bishop Eaton's May 2020 Living Lutheran Article
In a time of physical distancing due to the coronavirus, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that we aren’t islands—we are united in baptism. In her May column, she writes: “We don’t have to go it alone. In fact, we cannot, because, in Christ, we are knit into one body. And just as surely as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one—this wildly mysterious community of the Trinity—so are we one.” 

Read her column in English at  and in Spanish at .

ELCA 2020 Synod Assembly Video
A thriving church is one so convinced of the resurrection that we’re free to give our lives in service to others.  Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton  shares how the ELCA continues to thrive in country churches, cityscapes and places with no walls in this message for 2020 Synod Assemblies.

Sunday with Camp is Here!
From our friends at Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences:

We know how hard it is to create exciting content for virtual worship every Sunday.
Camps wants you to stress less and smile more! 

With a Children’s Message and Camp Song based on the ELCA Lectionary Year A calendar, your church members can experience the joy of camp from their home. Follow the link below to find out more!

Please continue to support the valuable work of our local Lutheran Camps through your generous giving at
Lutheran World Relief
75,000 MORE Face Mask Challenge!
When Lutheran World Relief launched the 75,000 Face Mask Challenge last month, they knew the compassionate response would be overwhelming – and that good people like you would meet the challenge. They just had no idea you’d pull it off so quickly. Thank you!

As COVID-19 continues to make its way around the world, the poorest communities stand to bear the heaviest burdens. Cloth masks are a first barrier of defense, and the need is only increasing. To reach even more people in dire need, Lutheran World Relief is collecting 75,000 more masks! How many will you make to help stop the spread? Sign up for more info.
Below is a message from Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth A. Eaton, to California advocates on what would have been our second annual Lobby Day today, May 20.

We are deeply grateful for her encouragement and for a church that confesses advocacy as holy work. 

As you know, this year's Lobby Day has been postponed to September due to the special nature of the current legislative session. In other news, we just received approval for our permit to gather at the Capitol for next year’s Lutheran Lobby Day! You can mark your calendars for May 19, 2021, when we pray we may once again gather in person to work for justice and peace in California. 


Regina Q. Banks
Office Administrator Position
Faith Lutheran, Menifee
Faith Lutheran Church in Menifee seeks technology-savvy self-starter for the Part Time position of Office Administrator. To submit resume and/or request job description, email . No phone calls, please. Position open until filled. 

To download a position description, click here .
Bibles and Bible Study Resources
St. Peter's by the Sea in San Diego has extra copies of some Bible study books and Bibles. The following resources are free to those who may want them.

Good News Bible – 14 copies
Good News for Modern Man – 4 copies
The Adventure Bible – 7 copies
Good News by a Man Named Matthew – 10 copies

If you are interested in any of these resources, please contact the church by June 30 via email at They are willing to hold them for you until it is safe to share them.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness
If you received a Paycheck Protection Program Loan from the Small Business Administration, please be aware that the SBA released the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Instructions and Application. Although the application is available, the forgiveness window is not yet open. You are encouraged to be in contact with your lending bank for full instructions.

As a reminder, your loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

   •   Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
   •   Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
   •   Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
   •   Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
   •   Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined

Webinars and Other Events
National Council of Churches
Ecumenical Memorial Service for Lives Lost
You are invited to participate in the National Council of Churches Prayer Service for those lost to COVID-19 on Sunday, May 24, 3:00 p.m. PDT.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and other faith leaders will join in remembering those who have died in this global pandemic.

Register for the event  here   and visit for more information.

You may add names to the list of those who have died from COVID-19,  by clicking here .

The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) will hold a public online memorial service on Sunday, May 24, 2020 to mourn the more than 300,000 people worldwide who have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 90,000 of whom were in the United States. The NCC is comprised of 38 member communions ranging from mainline Protestant to historic African American and Orthodox churches.

A press release about the event may be found  here .
"Pastoring in a Time of Pandemic"
Free Webinar, Thursday, May 21
All are invited to a free, live, interactive webinar about "Pastoring in a Time of Pandemic", Thursday, May 21, 2020, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (PDT).

Rev. Kelli Walker-Jones and Rev. Dr. Graham Standish will provide important information of how mental health dynamics can intersect with one’s faith as we live in these challenging times.

This conversation is especially timely as congregational leadership are discussing when and how to begin to join together in face to face worship. Both speakers also have personal and professional experience to understand how clergy may also have been impacted by the transitions and stresses of the past few months.

Everyone is welcome - no registration required! Join us on Zoom at
or by phone: (312) 626-6799; Webinar ID: 878 5910 9730.

Presented by the Solihten Institute and Samaritan Counseling Center Hawai'i.

For a downloadable PDF flyer with more details, click here .

The Village Model in Faith Communities
May 21, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. PDT

Carolyn Ross, ALOA Board President and Executive Director of Care Connections Network (CCN), discusses how congregations can adapt the grassroots, community-based Village Model to serve the older adults in their congregations. CCN, a social ministry of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Huntington Beach, CA, offers older adults support so that they are able to age in their own homes and communities as they continue lives of purpose and promise. There will be opportunities for questions.  Register now.

What Makes a Successful Congregational Ministry to Older Adults?
June 18, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. PDT

A panel of individuals reflecting various older adult ministries and areas of the country will discuss what they see as key to older adult ministry in their congregation. Hear what's happening in congregations in New Jersey, Minnesota, Kansas and California. Roundtable discussion will be moderated and there will be opportunities for questions.  Register now.

Check out our past webinar archive at

Each webinar features an expert in a subject pertaining to older adult ministry land providing information on available resources. All webinars are free and last approximately 60 minutes. If you can't be available for the live webinar, sign up anyway and we'll email you a link to the recording and associated resources.
Grief, Gratitude and Courage Circles
In these times we are living in is there anyone not experiencing grief? 

Not everyone recognizes grief straight away. They might just feel rage-ful all the time. They might feel exhausted all the time. They might be low and leaking tears and been told it's situational depression.

In ancient times we used to gather to process grief as communities, in circles. The memory of this experience lives in our bones. When grief is expressed in community, in circle, it meets other people's grief and comes out of isolation.

Weeping together, sharing stories, and speaking our losses are essential to the human spirit. What the world needs now are people willing to listen to people speak and weep. Not to fix them, not to offer advice, not to try to cheer them up, not to bypass reality in favor of an illusion. To listen. And be heard.

 Grief Gratitude and Courage Circles are gatherings in which we create safe space to share our losses as we pass through the three movements of grief, gratitude, and courage. These are online, via Zoom, and there is no charge.

Saturdays May 23 or June 6 or June 20
2:00-4:00 pm Pacific Time
(more opportunities upcoming)

A safe space for people who are doing the hard emotional work of facing loss due to this pandemic, or other disruptions (rather than personal bereavement.) The group’s purpose is to share community, unburden our hearts, and renew our spirits. No reports or recommendations for action-- this is space for personal reflection and sharing, and mutual support.

For more information and to register, go to
We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • Rev. Laura Ziehl and family at the death of her father
  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • Family and friends of Rev. Duane Berg
  • Family and friends of Rev. Lowell Larson
  • 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 -
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