Sierra Pacific Syno Resource Center


September 11, 2018

We had quite a summer, in so many ways. May those of you who were up-rooted be blessed with feelings of safety. May those of you who had vacations, be welcomed back to daily schedules and routines. To everyone, may this new school year be filled with unexpected, joyous blessings from God to you and to your congregations. In the name of our most creative Creator, AMEN!

NEW to the Resource Center

"Called by God to Serve: Reflections for Church Leaders," 
by Robert F. Holley and Paul E. Walters

This is a book of 30 reflections, written for a 3 year time frame, with Church Council or Leaders as its targeted audience, exploring 10 areas each year: 

Year 1:  The Church as a Journey - "Each month you will be challenged to expand your vision for the church, for your congregation, and for the journey you are on together."
Year 2 : Planning for Mission - "Through this series of 10 reflections, the authors hope to spark good thinking and discussion. As you talk together and confront difficult issues from the safety of a story, it is the author's prayer that you will be better prepared and less anxious when faced with similar events in the life of your parish."
Year 3 : Facing Difficult Challenges - "The twenty-first century is a time of fast change in the world... Many things people have assumed are being brought into question. As a leader in the church your job will not get easier, your calm focus on the future is called for. The church needs faithful leaders who are responsive t the needs of the people. The greatest gift you can give to your congregation is that of faithful serving."

To spend some time with this material, please click here and send me an email. 

"About the Bible: Short Answers to Big Questions,"
by Terence E. Fretheim

In this book, Terence E. Fretheim offfrs straightforward answers to often reoccurring questions about how the Bible was written, organized, and interpreted - and why people have such different opinions about what the Bible has to say.
This book responds to 35 often asked questions about the Bible with short reflections and narratives. Arranged according to topic, the book is ideal for individual and group use.
The 5 categories of questions are: 
What is the Bible?
How the Bible Come to be
On Reading the Bible
Major Themes of the Bible
The Authority of the Bible

If you are ready to grapple with these questions, click here to send me an email, and I'll loan you the book!

"Dialogues on the Refugee Crisis," a 3-piece, 7-session study by Sparkhouse.

Essay contributors include: Halima Z. Adams, Brianne Casey, Aubrey Leigh Grant, Sarah Krause, Beth Oppenheim-Chan, Matthew Soerens, and Jenny Yang.

Essay titles are:
Who Is My Neighbor?
The Story We live In
A People Without a Place
A Global Perspective
A Network of Care
Facing Our History
Looking for Home
Where Do We Go From Here?

Dialogues On is an adult small group resource that encourages honest talk about difficult topics. In a time when so many conversations end in conflict, these resources equip leaders to share their ideas, listen well, learn from other viewpoints, and develop action plans to bring hope and healing out of the church into the world. To explore this 3 piece set, which includes a Facilitator Guide, a DVD, and a Participant Booklet, please email me. Be sure to include the location where you'd like the materials sent.

think. believe. do.

This also is a 3-piece set, with Participant booklet, Facilitator Guide and DVD. 
Each T.B.D. lesson invites students to use their experiences, Christian tradition and the Bible to unpack a theological idea and test that idea out in the world. They will have the opportunity to explore not only what  they believe, but also why they believe.
Throughout the 4-session unit, students dive deep into the topic of prayer and uncover key beliefs such as:
Prayer is important
There's a right way to pray
Prayer changes things
Prayer changes God

To borrow this 3-set program, just send me an email.

"She: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry," 
a study hosted by Karoline M. Lewis. 

We have the entire program available for you to read yourself or use as a group study. The materials include a DVD with Facilitator's Guide, a Participant Book and a Textbook.

A small group of women met at the Resource Center in Fresno weekly to explore this book over 6 weeks. And we had mixed feelings, While we each benefited from it in some way, we were all at different places in our lives, in our careers, and in our professional/lay roles. That said, I believe that we thought it fruitful to read, for anyone; male/female, pastor/lay person, old/young. But doing it as a group, I think we would all agree a group of like-minded individuals would be better, like an all pastor group, or an all lay leader group, or an all young adult group, etc. It can get heavy at times, or feel too cognitive. 

What we did appreciate was the commitment to get through the entire book. From page one, if you choose to enter this book, promise yourself, that no matter what, you will see it through to the end. It will impact you in some way, maybe unexpected. You may end up in a conversation with someone about women in ministry or women in the church and find yourself being more passionate than ever! Would we recommend you read it, absolutely. 

Would we recommend you start a group to read and discuss it, why not? You likely won't regret it. It may not give you what you expected, but you will learn, grow and be a better advocate for women because of it.

If you are interested in reading this book, we have the book, participant book and DVD that we would like to share with you, just click  here and send an email requesting it. Be sure to include the address where you'd like it sent.

Here is a quick review of the items highlighted in our July Newsletter:
From  Paraclete  Press, 3 excellent resources on Suicide, a tough topic, and way better to explore when you are not reeling from a loss.

"Reclaiming Life: Faith, Hope and Suicide Loss"

Each year over one million people end their lives by suicide. All death unsettles us, but suicide causes a very distinct set of emotional, moral, and religious scars. It brings with it an ache, a chaos, a darkness, a stigma that only one who has survived it can understand. 
Sit and listen to real life stories and conversations with Ronald Rolheiser, Kay Warren, and Marjorie Antus. You will be stronger after viewing this video: a stronger survivor, a stronger friend, and a stronger compassionate presence.

Send me an  email if you'd like to borrow this video, 
or order your own copy here:  Reclaiming Life DVD

"My  Favorite  Color is Blue.   
A Journey through Loss with Art and Color," by Roger Hutchison

An amazing resource to share, for anyone struggling with any type or phase of grieve. Let me know if you'd like to preview the book by sending me an email or you can order your own copy here: My Favorite Color is Blue.


"Bruised and Wounded: Struggling to Understand Suicide,"
by Ronald Rolheiser

A new way of understanding death by suicide with chapters on
  • Removing the Taboo
  • Despair as Weakness rather than Sin
  • Reclaiming the Memory of our Loved One

  • To preview this book,  send me an email
    or you may order a copy directly from Paraclete Press here:  Bruised and Wounded

    **You may also order any of these by calling Paraclete Press at 
    1 -800-451-5006 x 311, from Carol S. Let her know you read this in the Sierra Pacific Synod Resource Center Newsletter.


    Luther's Small Catechism pamphlets are still available for you.                                                                                                                           
    We purchase these for you
     and your congregations. 
    To date  we have sent out over 3,350 Small Catechism pamphlets  to our Synod congregations!  Join the excitement, as our Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton, suggested by  "dusting off the catechism and taking another look at the basics of our faith." 


    Please note that the  Synod Resour ce Center of the Sierra Pacific Synod  is eligible to receive  your Choice Dollars  from  Thrivent Financial. 
    We are sincerely grateful to Thrivent Financial and those individuals who designate their Choice Dollars to us for the support of the Synod Resource Center. THANK YOU!

    You assure that we have current and relevant resources, and postage to mail them around our Synod! You are blessing to many!
    For more information  email Janet or contact your Thrivent Representative.

    We appreciate your calls and e-mails about resources!

    The Resource Center is your lending library! You are helping us to do a better job when you recommend the specific resources you are looking for.  Keep telling us what you want, at   This is how we know what to purchase.

    A Prayer in Time of conflict, crisis, disaster, from the ELW, page 76
    For our friends and neighbors on the East Coast facing evacuation and uncertainty, we ask for wisdom and safety....

    "O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination, Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen."

    Holy One, prepare our hands to do Your work.

    Resource Center hours:

    Mondays - 3pm-5pm 
    Tuesdays - 8:30am-11:30am 
    Fridays - 8:30am-11:30am 

      **Please note that the Synod Resource Center will be closed September 17 and 18, so that Janet can attend the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers Conference in Illinois. Emails will be responded to but the Center will not be open for business.
    Janet will be presenting a Disaster Preparedness Program to all Resource Center Directors present, and through a Thrivent Action Team approach and grant, each Center will receive a training packet to share within their Synods which includes a training DVD, participant booklet, file folder, water bottle and a Thrivent shirt!

    Other hours are available by appointment, please contact me. You can reach me by email:

    To order materials through our website, 
    please visit us at:
    Click "Resources" and then click "Request Manager for the SPS Resource Center." You will then be on our online catalog page!
    Let me know if you have any questions or problems. Blessings! 

    J anet Lane, 
    Synod Resource Center Director
    Call 559-345-2725 (ext 120 if asked) and leave a message,  or send an email:

    This is your Synod Resource Center; 
                                  I am happy to serve you.