Pacifica Synod News & Notes
May 5, 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  terrirobertson@pacificasynod.org . 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
Today, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is 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 Retreats, Camps and Conferences
Giving Tuesday
#GivingTuesdayNOW

In response to COVID-19, and in an effort to support the work of non-profit organizations worldwide, # GivingTuesdayNOW  is here!  Please help El Camino Pines and Luther Glen Farm weather this storm.  Our hope is to raise $5,000 before tonight! 

Even though our camps are currently closed, we still have close to $20,000 a month in non-deferrable expenses (utilities, health and liability insurance, necessary maintenance, etc.). Our current sources of income:  selling organic eggs and YOUR donations… all of our user groups have cancelled through mid-July.  

This week, Luther Glen Farm will be delivering a big crop of salad greens to our local Lutheran Food Pantry. The seed we planted in February and March is now nutritious food on the tables of hungry families near camp.  In May, it’s time to sow what we hope to reap in the fall.  And so it goes, because we truly reap what we sow. 

Please donate now at LRCChome.com/giving.



A Letter from Glen and Lauri Egertson

Things are quiet at El Camino Pines, where camp has been empty.  Our Camp Director, Meredith Smith has been holding down the camp through a big snow year.  We are not sure when groups will be allowed to come back to camp. This summer a small team of staff and volunteers will be building the platform for a new yurt (thanks to a grant from St. Stephen’s/Bethlehem Lutheran-Granada Hills), deep cleaning all food prep areas and bear proofing the camp store.  

As our groups started cancelling in early March, our camp family at El Camino Pines either went home or retreated to the Luther Glen Farm.  There are nine of us sequestered at LGF, where a grant from ELCA World Hunger partners us with the Food Pantry at Faith Lutheran-Yucaipa.  We gather in the Retreat Center for meals, and we are thankful for the rhythms of plants and animals that keep us busy and  connected to the creation and Creator.  We’ve always said that the Luther Glen Farm is a vocation of hope; a form of trust that requires us to sweat and live in harmony with nature.  In a way, it’s like we are living in one of Jesus’ parables.  

Before COVID-19, our year round team included a deployed admin team, Outdoor School naturalist, cooks and hospitality staff at each site, and directors assigned to specific tasks. Twenty employees, in all.  They have all been either furloughed, laid off or let go against our will.  We are thankful to live in a country that supports the unemployed, for stimulus packages, surprises in the mail, Zoom meetings with loved ones and the way our Board of Directors is rallying to face this challenge.

As the Executive Directors, we are so incredibly proud of the way our staff has, usually without pay, stepped in to create video campfires, process donations, take security walks through empty buildings… and do it all with a grateful heart!  These are the worst of times, but the love of God shines forth! 

In gratitude, let’s do something great for God!  

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
Giving Tuesday
While #GivingTuesdayNow reminds us about the importance of generosity during this global pandemic, it also reminds us of gratitude. Thank you for sharing all of the ways you are inspiring generosity in your communities. You are what makes this movement a reality.

We invite you to join us in saying thanks and encouraging your family and friends to join you in giving back on Tuesday, May 5. Here are three ways you can help spread the word:
 
Save the Date
You should have received the attached Save the Date last Thursday morning. If you haven’t already done so, please share that email (or the image below) with your network today.

Join the Movement
Email – Forward our #GivingTuesdayNow donor email to your entire network.

Social Media – Follow us at LSS Southern California on IG, Facebook and Twitter or just share our posts at  https://www.facebook.com/LSSSouthernCalifornia/ .

Gift Peace
Whether it’s $5 or $500, cleaning supplies or volunteer time, every single donation gives peace of mind to our clients. Encourage your network to visit our website to learn how they can join the movement at https://www.lsssc.org/giving-tuesday .

Together we can make a difference. Together we give.
 
Blessings,

Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith
President & Chief Executive Officer
247 East Amerige Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
Cal Lutheran & PLTS Cares Day
Wednesday, May 6
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 bsteinwebber@plts.edu
Here to Serve
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Here to Serve: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Wednesday, May 6 at 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 and throughout society. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in the time of COVID-19, 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 #HereToServe

Across the country, we are finding that responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is calling for multi-dimensional strategies to address not just the impact of the virus. We must take careful note and analysis of the systemic and personal "pre-existing conditions" exacerbated by this viral infection. This analysis must include viewing from an informed racial equity and justice lens. As director for Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries and from that persective, Rev. Albert Starr will help provide that lens and analysis on May 6.

The ELCA Churchwide Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries team works to assist our call to engage, involve, and invest the gifts, passions, concerns, and interests of indigenous people and people of color in every aspect of the life of this church. For such a time as this, we appreciate the opportunity to partner with ELCA Coaching, Bishops, DEMs, pastors, and other leaders shaping and implementing our response to the impact of this devastating pandemic. We are church together for the sake of the world.

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19 - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: May 6, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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Ministry in Times of Crisis
Hosting a Large Group Meeting Online
Ministry in Times of Crisis:
Hosting a Large Group Meeting Online
Thursday, May 7

Join us for a 5th zoom web gathering. 

We’ll hear from the ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop and staff about their experience in hosting their Synod Assembly online with over 380 people attending. Hear how they planned, what they learned, what they’d keep, what they’d change and best practices to help you know how you might host your own synod or congregational meeting online. Other guests include pastors who attended the meeting as a participant to hear what their experience was like and how they might use the format in their own congregation.

Click this link on Thursday, May 7 at 12:00 p.m. PDT to join: http://bit.ly/MITC5

Facebook link to event:

Join our online gathering for pastors, deacons, youth workers, church and faith community leaders (from any place and any faith community). 

Special Guests:

Bishop Jim Gonia
Deacon Erin Power
Rev. Christine Higueria-Street
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 -  revvev@cox.net
W. San Diego Conf - The Rev. David Nagler -  pastordave@christpb.org
Harvest Conference - The Rev. David Jorstad -  pastorjorstadsmlc@yahoo.com
Raincross Conference - The Rev. Linda Brown -  pastor@edenlutheran.net
Big Bear Conference - The Rev. Matt Anderson -  pastormatt@trinityvictorville.org
Saddleback Conference - The Rev. Marty Jacobson -  pastormartyclcrsm@gmail.com
Son & Surf Conf - The Rev. Jennifer Schultz -  prjenniferblclosalamitos@gmail.com
Rejoice Conference - The Rev. Cate Luehr -  pastorcate@elclh.org
Hukilau Conference - The Rev. Kathryn Zurcher -  kzurcher002@luthersem.edu
Global Mission Update
Pastor Hitoshi & Satoko Adachi - Kumamoto, Japan
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 May 2020 newsletter.

From the synod office, some additional information. The ELCA is sending a little over 200 missionaries to over 40 countries to serve as pastors, teachers, advisers and doctors. It costs an average of $80,000 annually to support an ELCA missionary household. Each missionary is expected to raise $20,000 per year towards these costs. 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 information attached here , 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 globalchurch@elca.org.
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
714.692.2791