Pacifica Synod News & Notes
September 15, 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 Synod News & Resources
2020 Bishop's Gatherings
Let’s Do Church Together is the theme for the 2020 Pacifica Bishop’s Gatherings. What better time to collaborate than now, as we are all learning new ways to share the gospel with others in due to the pandemic. We will meet online by Zoom to discuss congregational and synod plans for ministry in the year to come. We will unveil Pacifica’s Strategic Plan for the work we can do together, highlighting the Ministry Result Areas and the Goals approved by Synod Council. We will listen to one another to see how we can support each other as Christians, congregations, the Pacifica Synod, and the ELCA. We will celebrate our unity, while giving thanks for our diversity, and ask God to guide us confidently into the future. 
We will gather by Conferences, and invite each congregation to attend with their pastors, their deacons, and at least two key lay leaders, but all are welcome! The dates and times for each Conference are listed below and will last for 75 minutes. Pre-registration is required using the button below to receive the Zoom link in advance of each gathering and to ensure we have enough room on our Zoom feed to accommodate everyone. You may join by video using a computer, tablet or phone or call in from your phone using audio only. If you cannot attend your own Conference meeting, we invite you to Zoom in with another Conference. We hope you can join us! 

Below are the dates and times of each Gathering:
Tuesday, September 22
Harvest Conference
6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 23
East AND West San Diego Conferences
6:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 24
Big Bear Conference
6:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 26
Son & Surf Conference
10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, September 29
Raincross Conference
6:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 10
Saddleback Conference
10:00 a.m.
Sunday, October 11
Rejoice Conference
1:00 p.m.
Hukilau Conference
Date/Time TBD
If you need assistance with the registration process, please contact Terri Robertson at 714.352.8732 or by email at

Matthew 25 Grant Application Period Open
The purpose of The Matthew 25 Fund is to honor Christ as he spoke in Matthew 25:35-40. Jerry and Lynda Engelhardt established this fund through a strong desire to help people as in the verse.
The primary criteria for making awards shall be Matthew 25:35-40. A secondary criterion shall be to evaluate if the proposed project will help establish or maintain congregational outreach and unity as in the spirit of the verse. 
The fund is intended for Pacifica Synod congregations. However, awards may be given to other well-managed organizations not in the Pacifica Synod that meet the spirit of the text.
Grant applications maybe downloaded here or obtained by contacting Terri Robertson in the Synod office at 714.352.8732 or by email at Be sure to click "enable editing" to complete the fillable form.
The deadline for applications is October 15, 2020 and grants will be awarded by January 15, 2021.
Please keep in mind that if you have received a previous Matthew 25 Grant Award, you MUST have submitted a written report on the use and outcome of the previous award in order to be considered for a future award.
Coaching for All Seasons:
How to Talk about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Your Congregation 

Monthly Online Gathering for
Pacifica Synod Rostered & Lay Leaders
Tuesday, October 6 at 11:00 a.m.
Even when we’ve decided to start a conversation about a sensitive topic, we frequently don’t know how to begin. Many of us are at that point with the subject of equity, diversity, and inclusion, which well-known speakers and writers are calling by names like white supremacy and anti-racism. One useful approach is gathering a group that shares a common characteristic (affinity) to create a space for open and honest dialog. Heidi Kleine and Emilee O’Brien recently partnered to lead a series of conversations on racism for an affinity group of white women. They will share the story of why they feel called to this work, the importance of partners, and what you might expect if you form an affinity group. 

Heidi is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and ELCA Coach with specialty training in Discipleship and Mission Development/Congregational Vitality. She currently serves as the Director of Faith Formation at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cary, NC. 

Emilee is a recent graduate of Georgetown University with an M.A. in Educational Transformation. She previously served as the Post Baccalaureate Fellow for Social Justice and Community-Engaged Learning at Furman University in Greenville, SC, where she developed an intergroup dialogue program.  

To register for the October 6 gathering and receive the link to join by Zoom, click here.

The October 6 forum is the fourth in the monthly series Coaching for All Seasons that began in July 2020. Click here to view our Synod Coaching web page and access the resources from previous presentations. Our Pacifica Synod Coaching Team designed this forum to provide encouragement and support to Synod leaders as we navigate the unknown. Each month, participants will hear a short presentation related to how we currently are called to be Church. Then they will have an opportunity to be in a small group discussion facilitated by an ELCA coach. We are creating a safe space for processing our responses to uncertain times and for discerning steps forward in our unique contexts. 
Pacifica Synod has invested in training coaches to work with rostered and lay leaders one-on-one or in groups. Coaching provides an opportunity for rostered and lay leaders to experience a partnership focused on the unique objectives they want to achieve. A coach’s role is to support a leader in naming challenging issues and identifying constructive responses to them. Pacifica Synod coaches are volunteering their time to create presentations and coaching opportunities that provide a hands-on resource for addressing your challenges. 

 If you would like information on having a coach, please contact Deenna Eley, Pacifica Synod Coaching Coordinator at
From Lutheran Retreats, Camps & Conferences
El Dorado Fire at Luther Glen
"Is that smoke, smog or fog?"
This a question now familiar to every Californian. It is a question particularly familiar to the staff at Luther Glen Farm, as we have evacuated camp twice in the last five weeks. 
When the Apple Fire worked its way through the canyons of Cherry Valley and ultimately ended its march about a mile east of the farm, we figured we had paid our dues. The El Dorado Fire was much less discreet. The flames broke out at a local nature preserve, then continued around Potato Canyon and into the mountains above camp. At its closest, the fire came within 50 yards of our property. 
Though the farm wasn’t burned, the hills around us will look significantly altered for years to come. We continue to be grateful to the firefighters who protected all the properties around us. We are thankful to animal control and volunteers who ushered us in to rescue our goats. And we give thanks to First Lutheran Church in Redlands for being our staff and animal evacuation home during the fires. 
Both fires left a financial burden. The electricity was off and our refrigerated food had to be thrown away. This includes a whole season of farm produce which had been packaged and frozen for future guests. The loss from both fires was in the thousands of dollars.
We are asking for your help. To see that we never waste food again, each camp needs to install a permanent generator. This project is almost complete at El Camino Pines, and just beginning at Luther Glen Farm. The total cost will be $6000; and, the first $2000 given will be matched by First Lutheran Church in Redlands. As we often have several thousands of dollars worth of food being stored at each camp, investing in these generators will eventually save money!
We are also grateful to Pastor Dennis & Phyllis Laherty, who have donated a temporary generator capable of powering the retreat center refrigerators. Thank you for keeping up with us and checking in. We send our prayers to all the first responders fighting fires in the West.  

Synod AMMPARO Network Meeting
Saturday, September 26, 2020
The ELCA AMMPARO network stands for Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities. Pacifica Synod has an active AMMPARO Network. For more information about their work, please email
Upcoming Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Online Events
Pacifica Synod AMMPARO Zoom Meeting
Saturday, September 26, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Meeting ID: 815 7711 0996
Password: AMMPARO

If you would like the additional resources provided from our last meeting, please contact Pastor Karla Halvorson or Deacon Roberta Wall at
Global Mission Update - Hitoshi and 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 September 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.

The brochure attached here details the Adachi's ministry in Japan and how to best support them. You can give through the synod office or mail your check to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009. Make checks payable to “ELCA Missionaries” with “(Hitoshi and Satoko) Adachi GCS2051” in the memo line. To donate by credit or debit card, go to or call 800-638-3522 and specify “(Hitoshi and Satoko) Adachi GCS2051”. To set up an automatic monthly bank withdrawal or to establish a covenant of prayer, communication, and support, please contact 800-638-3522, ext. 2657, or
Synod Work Towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
On June 15, Bishop Andy shared a letter with our synod, inviting us to work together for racial justice. If you missed this, you may read the Bishop Andy's full letter here. The Pacifica Synod Council has released a Racial Justice Statement and encourages congregations and individuals to join them in taking the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge.

We also have created a synod web page with information and anti-racism resources for individual and congregational use. We will continue to add resources, so check back often. If you have resources to recommend or would like to share stories about how you or your congregation are currently working towards equity, diversity and inclusion, please contact Pastor Lara Martin at

From the ELCA & Other Partners

Share Your God's Work. Our Hands. Stories!
Did your congregation participate in God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday? If so, don’t forget to share your congregation’s participation with us!

Send your stories and photos to AND to so that together we can celebrate what God accomplished through you.

As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors — even if such acts of service look different this year.
Hunger in the Time of COVID-19:
Life for Today and Hope for Tomorrow
Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel TV host; the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); and the Rev. Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod, invite you to an online benefit — the first of its kind — for ELCA World Hunger. Our goal is to raise $250,000 to confront hunger in the time of COVID-19.

When: Thursday, Sept. 24, 5:00 p.m. PDT
Where: Zoom virtual event

We are in a historic moment, facing a once-in-a-century pandemic and a global change in hunger unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. Domestically and internationally, hunger is increasing at alarming rates. At this event, you will learn about the unique ways ELCA World Hunger is responding. Our hosts will also discuss the ongoing root causes of hunger and poverty addressed in Rick Steves’ recent special Hunger and Hope: Lessons From Ethiopia and Guatemala. And you will hear from ELCA World Hunger partners on the front lines of the current hunger crisis, who will tell you firsthand how your gifts make a difference.

We are called by God to share hope in this time of challenge. Join us to face this global hunger crisis head-on and to continue moving toward a just world where all are fed.
Supporting the Work of Lutheran Disaster Response
Lutheran Disaster Response brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. When the dust settles and the headlines change, we stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need. In addition to their work around the world, LDR is currently assisting with two recent disasters response efforts.

California Wildfires
Fueled by a heat wave and unfavorable winds, devastating wildfires are raging across California, Oregon, Washington and other western states. At least 20 people have died, hundreds of thousands of people are under evacuation orders and more than 3.5 million acres have burned across the three states. Some evacuees face the difficult decision of whether to stay in a shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with at least three Lutheran social services agencies and five synods to assess the situation and determine the best ways to respond. We expect immediate needs may include food and other necessities, as well as emotional and spiritual care for those who have been traumatized.

Hurricane Relief
Hurricane Laura, a powerful Category 4 storm, has hit Louisiana and parts of Texas with devastating force, causing at least three deaths, major damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. With extremely dangerous storm surge and winds of at least 150 mph, it’s one of the most powerful storms to hit the area in a century, and it left widespread destruction in its wake.

Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (Upbring) and the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southwestern Texas synods, which are assessing the immediate needs and initiating a response. While the extent of the damage is not yet known, we will accompany devastated communities from immediate relief through long-term recovery.

Pacific Lutheran University's 2020 Annual
Lutheran Studies Conference
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher
to the Whitest Denomination in the US 
with author Rev. Lenny Duncan 

This year's Lutheran Studies Conference focuses on systemic racism and will involve opportunities for reading, reflection and commitment to action for individuals and their faith and/or educational communities. We will be guided in this work and reflection by Rev. Lenny Duncan, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Church of America (ELCA). The conference will include:

  1. Keynote Address on October 1st at 7:00 p.m. Rev. Lenny Duncan will be speaking on his book, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US (2019). This webinar will be held virtually via Zoom.
  2. Adult Forum book discussions for Congregations on September 20th & 27th at 9:00 a.m. Forums will focus on Chapters 1, 9 and 10, and will be facilitated by Dr. Marit Trelstad, PLU Chair of Lutheran Studies. Please encourage your congregation to read ahead!
  3. PLU Chapel on September 30th at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Lenny Duncan will be preaching with University Pastor Jen Rude. 

You are invited to read Rev. Duncan’s book with us in preparation for the conference events. Registration for all events is required. Please join us!

The conference is free and open to the public and is made possible by the generosity of the anonymous donors who endowed the University Chair in Lutheran Studies.
Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference 2020
The 2020 Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference is going virtual! Please mark your calendars for the dates below. All times are Eastern Daylight Time. Hear from leading thinkers exploring the opportunities for growth in stewardship even in the midst of profound social change.

The 2020 conference will be virtual. We will be together September 22, 29 and October 6th from 11:30 – 1:30 EDT.

September 22nd - Eric Barreto
Weyerhauser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary

September 29th - Bonnie Ives Marden
Leadership consultant and financial stewardship practitioner. Author of Church Finances for Missional Leaders.

October 6th - Bruce Reyes-Chow
Senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, CA. Author, speaker, former PCUSA moderator.

Virtual connection information will be sent to registered participants in advance of each weekly event. In order to register, go to StewardshipKaleidoscope.orgVideos will be available afterward for those registered.

Conference Registration Fee:
Three weekly events for $45 including access to recordings of the speakers and the question and answer session following the final week of the series.

Conference Scholarships
Scholarships are available from the ELCA.  Please contact
Introducing Stories of Faith in Action 2020-2021
Stories are the foundation of our faith. They teach us how to serve God with humility. They remind us of our identity as God’s beloved children. They bring us together and give us hope for the future.

Given the challenges of 2020, we need stories of hope and unity more than ever before. That’s where your 2020-2021 edition of “Stories of Faith in Action” comes in.

This annual publication illustrates how God is at work across the ELCA through your generosity. It highlights how a portion of your offering, called Mission Support, advances the ministry of our church — particularly the ways the ELCA nurtures vital congregations, raises up leaders and grows the global church. Most importantly, it’s one way we say thank you for your faithful generosity to your congregation, your synod and the churchwide organization — by showing your offering at work.

Dive into the latest edition, which is now available digitally and includes:
  • A special message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.
  • Nine inspiring stories from around the country and world.
  • Your 2019 financial report on Mission Support — the portion of your offering your congregation shares with your synod and your synod shares with the churchwide organization.
  • A story-based devotional for use at Bible studies or committee meetings.

Coming soon: “Stories of Faith in Action” is getting a new website that will utilize some of the most immersive techniques in digital storytelling. We are excited to debut this platform and share how your contributions have made ministry possible. Look for more details in future ELCA communications!

Additionally, you can visit today to download:
  • A printable PDF (black-and-white or color) of “Stories of Faith in Action” for use in your congregation.
  • Nine one-page black-and-white story printables to share in meetings, in newsletters or via social media.
  • Three videos associated with stories from this publication.

In closing, we prayerfully release this edition of “Stories of Faith in Action” to you as a sign of our appreciation. May it give you hope, remind you of your connectedness as a beloved member of this church and inspire new ministry. We are grateful for the story God is writing in our hearts as we strive to be church together for the sake of the world. Thank you for your generosity!


Victoria Flood
Director, ELCA Mission Support

Nick Kiger
Associate Director, ELCA Mission Support
ELCA Young Adults - Fall 2020 Abide
Registration for Fall 2020 Abide is NOW OPEN for individuals AND groups at the link below!

This community is for everyone 18-35 looking for affirming young adult community and dynamic faith conversation. Groups meet weekly Oct 5 - Nov 20. DM with questions. We can’t wait to welcome you!

Abide serves as a ministry of ELCA Young Adult Ministries. ELCA YA is a program of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's churchwide office and cooperates with several ministries such as YAGM, LVC, Dream Chasers United, Campus Ministry and more. Please visit the ELCA website for Young Adult Ministries for more information and opportunities for further involvement.
ELCA Good Gifts - New Online Tools!
We know members love ELCA Good Gifts. And with Christmas right around the corner, they are the perfect option to replace traditional gift-giving with something more meaningful. Each gift in honor of a loved one supports the lifesaving ministries of our church and the people we serve – one goat, water well or school uniform at a time.

Whether you organize a special event or simply promote the program with your members, everything you do to help share ELCA Good Gifts with your congregation is deeply appreciated. And this year, with hunger and unemployment on the rise, people in need could really use your help.

Since worship and in-person gatherings may look different now, we have prepared a how-to guide for online fundraisers to help you make the most of our digital tools this year. Your congregation can create its own goal with a “wish list,” go in together on a “group gift,” or simply promote the website to members to help them make a difference at home.

If your congregation and family would prefer our print resources, they are still available. You can order catalogs, coloring books, cards, Advent tree ornaments and additional resources – free with free shipping – while supplies last! Congregational resources may be found here.
You're Invited to Participate in an ELCA Survey
to Assess Pastoral Needs for Ministry
in a Multi-religious World
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is conducting a survey to collect the experiences and needs of the church for ministry in a multireligious world. The survey is a first step in the development of guidelines for the church as outlined in A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The declaration reflects the longtime inter-religious commitments of the church.
The policy statement acknowledged that “there are many pastoral considerations beyond the scope of this declaration, for example, the common reality of multireligious family life. Therefore, the church recognizes the need for the ongoing development of appropriate pastoral aids, including guidelines for inter-religious marriages, pastoral counseling, religious education, and joint prayer services.” Recently, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton appointed an ad-hoc committee to undertake the development of such guidelines.
In the survey, issued Sept. 12, respondents are asked questions about their participation in pastoral situations such as inter-religious prayer services, responses to tragedy, social ministry work with partners, and pastoral care for inter-religious couples and families.
“In these challenging times of COVID-19, racism and injustice, our inter-religious partnerships have been as important as ever,” Eaton said. “As we seek to live out our inter-religious commitments, all of us are encountering new areas of pastoral need. Participation in this survey will help us to grow as we serve Christ’s church together in a multireligious world.”
One version of the survey will be emailed directly to active rostered ministers. Another version is available online for participation from ELCA laity, retired rostered minsters, and ecumenical and inter-religious partners. The intention of the survey is to learn from all who participate in ELCA ministries in a multireligious world what their experiences have been, and what guidance and resources they need for the future. The survey will be open for one month, from Sept. 12-Oct. 12.
Click here to participate in the survey. Active rostered ministers should take the survey emailed to them.
ELCA & Other Partners
News & Ministry Links

Lutheran Social Services of So Cal - August 2020

ELCA Advocacy Connections - August 2020

ELCA Worship News - August 2020

ELCA Administration Matters - July 2020

ELCA Disability Ministries - September 2020

ELCA World Hunger "Go & Do News" - Sept 2020

ELCA Global Links - August 2020

ELCA StewardNet - Summer 2020

ELCA "Seeds Monthly" Newsletter - August 2020

ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) - September 2020

Care Connections Network
Aging. Better.
Care Connections Network is changing the face of aging in Orange County. We are dedicated to helping older adults, 50 and over, age in their own homes and communities. We connect our members to the community programming and expertise they need to continue living lives of purpose and promise. We strive to empower older adults by offering educational opportunities to help them age with confidence, social and cultural events to keep them connected with the community, referrals to vetted service providers and a volunteer program providing additional support and assistance.
To find out more about upcoming events and other services, click here for the Care Connections Network September newsletter.

Job Postings
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
St. Andrew Lutheran, Vancouver, WA
St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Vancouver, Washington, an active, service-oriented ELCA congregation in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, invites individuals who are passionate about sharing God’s good news with others, particularly children, youth, and their families, to apply for the position of Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry.

A complete job description and information on how to apply may be found here.

Webinars and Other Events

Basic Training in Transitions
Education in the Practice of Intentional Interim Ministry
So. California Training / Fall 2020 (live, online)
May 10-14 (in-person, on-site)
LuTMA (formerly NALIP)
Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association

  • Do you desire to become a more effective transitional leader and agent of the Gospel? Are you considering intentional interim ministry as a possibility for your future? 
  • As the world continues to change, we confront both profound grief and tantalizing possibilities. How can we better equip ourselves to guide congregations through difficult transitions and into new life?
  • Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association (LuTMA, formerly NALIP) touches this reality, encouraging curiosity and professional growth. Since 1997, we have worked with thousands of pastors and multiple partners nationwide. Our name change reflects our own ongoing process of transformation.
  • Taking this six-month course in “Basic Training in Transitions” will help you navigate congregational dynamics and aid you in being a transitional leader. Because all ministry is essentially transitional, this course is appropriate for both settled and interim pastors.

Offering a total of more than 60 contact hours of continuing education equivalency plus field practice, this course consists of three, interrelated components:

  • Congregational Dynamics and Transitions (live, online)
  • Field Practice in Transitional Leadership (independent study and online cohort meetings)
  • The Transitional Leader (face-to-face, residential week)

During the COVID-19 crisis, the first two components (CDT and FPTL) will be offered in continuity, online, between October 2020 and May 2021. The live, online sessions for “Congregational Dynamics and Transitions” will be twelve 90-minute sessions on the following Tuesdays at noon: October 13, 20, 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 1; January 12, 19, 26; February 2, 9 (12 sessions)
Anticipating face-to-face possibilities in the Spring 2021, the third component (TTL) will be held at the Pacific Southwest District Offices in Irvine, California, and will begin at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 10, and conclude at noon on Friday, May 14.

For detailed information about the training, the tuition, and what to expect may be found here. Enrollment in this training is limited and will not be offered again for another year for any location.

Other training sites across the nation and detailed course descriptions are also listed on The training provides for and will also benefit deacons, deaconesses and lay ministry leaders who are working in the field of transitional ministry.

For more information contact:

Rev. Terry Tuvey Allen
Assistant to the Bishop, Pacifica Synod

Rev. Peter Alexander
LuTMA Dean of Faculty
Here to Serve: Being Church in the Times of Crisis
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. PDT
Churches are losing members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Fuller Youth Institute gathered data from over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, as well as looked at past research including the Exemplary Youth Ministry, and found strategies that any congregation can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults. As a result of engaging young people, these congregations have found they are growing spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically. On the third Wednesday for 7 months (September through March), we will introduce and share the strategies from the book Growing Young in hopes that as leaders of ministries, you will find ways to incorporate them in your setting. And as you will learn, the strategies will work in any congregation, whether you currently have young people or not.
This Wednesday, September 16, join Phil Hirsch, Director of the ELCA Domestic Mission, as he introduces Growing Young and why this matters as we look at the status of our Church. We are also honored to have TWO young adults, Daniel Kirschbaum and Clair Embil, present with us to share their own stories and experiences with the church. In the following weeks, Rachel Alley, Program Director for Youth Ministries, and a Growing Young Facilitator will coordinate our conversations around the strategies. We are also hoping to have at least one youth and one young adult join us for each of these future conversations as well. Let's not just talk about young people; let's hear from them directly!
The Rev. Dr. Philip C. Hirsch is working to bring about the revitalization of ELCA congregations in the United States by recruiting, training, and supporting leaders. He has a passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for helping new people find faith and Christian community. He believes the church can and will grow younger and more diverse and that there is nothing more powerful than God’s love because it can transform first the human heart and then the world.
Daniel Kirschbaum finds deep joy in dreaming with people and organizations about systemic ways to be radically welcoming and holy space co-creators. He is a strategic dreamer, nerdy board game player, lover of worship that makes him move, and thinks rivers are really neat. Daniel is currently the Director of Retreat Ministries at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado, the Registrar for Abide Small Group Ministries, and an M.A. student at Wartburg Theological Seminary. His call in ministry moves him towards people who have experienced trauma as a direct or indirect result of the church, specifically in relation to gender and sexual identity. Daniel identifies as a gay, white, cis-man and uses he/him/his prounouns.
Claire Embil is a Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a writer, photographer, and graphic designer with an eye for the beauty of the world and a passion for justice. This has led her to pursue a double major English: Creative Writing and Religious Studies. She is also minoring in Photography. Claire identifies as a biracial, bisexual black woman. She has been raised in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is currently serving as the Media Coordinator for Abide, an ELCA Young Adults’ ministry, and is one of the hosts of the 2022 Youth Gathering. Claire considers herself a faith-based activist who uses the social justice message of the gospel to be an advocate for all people. She hopes to be an ELCA pastor one day. When Claire isn’t in church or creating art and poetry, she enjoys attempting to learn guitar, traveling, and is a competitive gymnast.
Sharing God’s love and grace with youth and equipping adults who work with teens are Rachel Alley’s greatest passions! Making sure that every person realizes that they are a beloved child of God, created with gifts to be shared with others, just as God intended, is very important to her. She understands the joys and difficulties that the teenage and young adult years bring and tries to affirm those with whom she engages with. She has over 30 years of experience working in youth ministry and will tell you that the most important thing about youth ministry is building relationships with those you serve.

You are invited to join this weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in times of crisis, 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

We understand a number of folks are unable to make this day and time each week. We record the main session and debrief time and share each recording with supporting documents here, typically by the following week:
You can also find a list of upcoming topics and presenters on the home page of our website:

Below is the link for each Wednesday's Zoom meeting. For a list of upcoming topics and recordings of prior meetings, go to

ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Being Church in Times of Crisis - Weekly Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Time: September 16, 2020 11:00 a.m. PDT
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

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 Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160
Models of Older Adult Ministry Conference
Monday, September 21
Register online here.
To download a printable PDF of this document, click here.

PLTS Founders' Day 2020
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
of California Lutheran University
invites you to attend

Founders’ Day
Online via Zoom Webinar
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

9:00 a.m. - Gathering of Community
9:30 a.m. - Welcome and Distinguished Alum Awards
10:00 a.m. - Lecture with Q&A
11:00 a.m. - Worship
 Zoom Link Coming Soon

Climate Justice, Racial Justice and Divestment: The Call of the Church

Our moment in time is pivotal. Movements around the globe are aligning for powerful action toward climate justice, holding racial justice at the heart of the struggle to protect Earth’s fragile climate. Bill McKibben is recognized around the globe as a foremost leader in that struggle. His address will draw the links between racial justice, climate well-being, divestment/reinvestment, and the call of the church.

For speaker information, please visit the event web page. This event is free and open to the public. If you are able, please make a gift to the PLTS Seminary Fund to support our events and educational programs. 

Please contact Khushali Sharma at or (510) 559-2732. 
Registration Now Open for
Workshops to Continue Learning from
"Truth and Healing for the Sake of Indigenous People"

September 16 - Movements in Indian Country  
October 14 - Indigenous Thought and Theology 
Wednesdays, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Pacific

Please join Other+Wise and our promotional partners, ELCACoaching, New Story Festival, and Briarwood Leadership Center, for two more Indigenous-centered Zoom workshops with our founder and director, Vance Blackfox.

These sessions will be the perfect follow-up to the webinars you attended with Vance previously – especially for those of you looking to grow your solidarity with Indigenous peoples.

Movements in Indian Country
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PDT
There are countless challenges facing Indian Country today, and Native-serving organizations are constantly working to keep up with the frontline Indigenous leaders, activists, and movements that are responding to these challenges. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), these movements are usually unknown to the general population because non-Indigenous people either haven’t had to care or don’t know they should care. And those who do care often don’t know where to begin learning and engaging. Movements in Indian Country will provide you with a starting point for supporting a range of justice efforts in Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Thought and Theology
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. PDT
Indian people have unique and beautiful ways of understanding and interacting with the world. Indigenous wisdom – as it relates to being in relationship with other created beings, Mother Earth, and Creator – should be centered in the work to provide better care for our home and relatives. Indigenous Thought and Theology will be a helpful introduction to this wisdom and ways of understanding.

These workshops are provided at no cost. Attendees are invited to offer a financial gift in appreciation for our time of learning and listening together at

For a downloadable PDF flyer, click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Vance at
ALOA Webinar
Long Term Care in a Pandemic
ALOA (Adult Lutherans Organized for Action) offers monthly one-hour webinars on specific topics meaningful to older adult ministry leaders in congregations, as well as interested individuals. Each will include an interview with a thought leader working with older adults, and will be archived for future viewing. Webinars are offered free of charge. Information about their next webinar is listed below. You can also find the archive of previous webinars here.

Long Term Care in a Pandemic: 
A Look at Decisions about Nursing Homes & Assisted Living 
September 24, 2020 – 9:00 a.m. PDT

Daily life in the time of COVID is challenging for many seniors, but for those who may need rehab or nursing home placement, the decision making process is very challenging. Alice H. Hedt, former Long Term Care Ombudsman for the State of Maryland will look at concrete steps that those needing placement and their families/friends can take that will help in making essential decisions. Topics include:

  • How to find information on nursing homes and COVID cases
  • Questions to ask when needing rehabilitation
  • Exploring in-home alternatives to facility placement
  • Communication strategies when loved ones cannot have visitors
  • Congregation support for those in long term care – ministry opportunities in the pandemic

You’ll hear about resources and strategies to help those of us who have to make difficult decisions now and to equip the rest of us who may need long term care in the future.
Register now – you’ll receive a confirmation email and information on how to join the webinar. If you can’t attend now, register anyway and you’ll be notified as soon as the recording and resources are available on our website.
Lombard Mennonite Peace Center Workshops
Multiple sessions of the following workshops will be available online from now through the end of the year. For a complete list of learning opportunities, including 90-minute webinars and multi-day seminars, please visit our website at Registration forms can be found on the brochures; otherwise, you can register online at BrownPaperTickets.

Conflict Transformation SkillsAlthough a normal part of life, conflict is usually seen as something negative. Acquire the knowledge and skills to transform conflict into a force for positive change and spiritual growth. Attend this 7.5-hour event online via Zoom on Oct. 23, Nov. 7, Nov. 21, and Dec. 5, 2020.  Register as a group, using this CTS Discount Coupon, and save up to $50 per person.

Healthy Congregations: Could your congregation use a wellness check? Attend this 8-hour workshop and learn ways to minimize or prevent destructive conflict, manage negative reactivity, and help your church stay focused on its true mission and purpose. Attend this 8-hour event online via Zoom on Sep. 22, Oct. 30, Nov. 13, or Dec. 8, 2020. Register as a group, using this HC Discount Coupon, and save up to $50 per person.

Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: Participants will look at the challenges presented by the rising levels of anxiety experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership plays in calming such anxiety. Works of fine art are integrated at various points to facilitate theological reflection. Attend this 7-hour event online via Zoom on Sep. 24 or Dec. 3, 2020.  Register as a group, using this LAC Discount Coupon, and save up to $50 per person. 

Questions? Call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507, or email us at

We Remember in Our Prayers
We ask that you hold the following people in your thoughts and prayers:

  • The Rev. Lee Rozen
  • All affected by the wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington and other western states, as well as those fighting the fires.
  • The Rev. George Johnson and his wife, Vivian
  • Cindy Jorstad
  • The family and friends of the Rev. Laura (Laurie) Line
  • Ron and Lisa Higginbotham
  • Reverend Robert Freistedt
  • 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 -
Pacifica Synod - ELCA
Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning
1801 Park Court Place, Bldg. C, Santa Ana, CA 92701