Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Sierra Pacific Synod  
Weekly E-Newsletter  




Luther's Rose  

   Sierra Pacific Synod
July 14, 2011   


Dear ,


Last week, my husband, son and I went to northern Minnesota to spend a few days with old family friends.  We got to see fireworks (both human and God-made!  Gosh I miss thunderstorms!).  We got to swim and boat in a freshwater lake.  We got to laugh and cry with old friends.  We got to be eaten alive by many biting, flying things (I think mosquitoes get a bad rap when it's not just them!).  And we got to eat food not to be found west of the Mississippi (aka White Castle).  For all these reasons and more, it was not only a good trip, it was sabbath time.


Donna Schaper, author of Sabbath Keeping, notes that for Jews, the emphasis of Sabbath is on rest and playfulness. Marva Dawn, in her book Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, talks about sabbath in terms of ceasing, embracing and feasting.  I'm guessing that these are not familiar ideas to very many of us.  Even more, I'm guessing that they are not particularly comfortable ones.  We live in a fast-paced society with high unemployment, high anxiety and high expectations.  Playfulness, rest, and all of the rest seem either like dim childhood memories or faint retirement dreams.  And yet, as we well know from our days in confirmation or Catechumenate, we are "to remember the sabbath and keep it holy."  Hmm... imagine that!  Counter-intuitive yet commanded... not part of our productivity driven merit system yet integral to our spiritual health. How very Lutheran, how very Scriptural, it is to remember that we are living "in but not of the world" in the tension of the "already and not yet-ness" of the reign of God.  And how lovely it is to be able to theologize about vacation.


So then ... have you had your sabbath today?  This week?  This month?  (I won't go any further... could be too depressing...).  If not, consider it.  Stop. Look.  Listen.  Embrace.  Play.  Sing. Laugh.  Cry.  Even if it's only for a few hours... a few minutes, even.  Do it in the name of your creating, stopping, looking, embracing, playing, singing, laughing, crying God.  It will make all the difference.



Nancy Feniuk Nelson

Bishop's Associate



We remember in prayer:

Pastor Bruce Lundberg (Retired) recovering well from heart surgery


Dexter Rivett (grandfather of Troy Peterson, Dir. of Youth and Family Min., Resurrection, Granite Bay), being treated with medications for heart irregularities he experienced last Sunday


We invite you to lift up these ministry partners in prayer:


St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Walnut Creek; Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Sacramento; St. John's Lutheran Church, Sacramento; Epiphany Lutheran Church, San Leandro; Hope Lutheran Church, Santa Clara


Know Someone Going To (or In) College?


One of the significant roles of Lutheran Campus Ministry is to provide a caring, worshiping, learning, and serving community for Lutheran young adults during their college or university careers.  Knowing that a Lutheran young adult is attending a particular college or university gives Lutheran Campus Ministry staff the opportunity to invite them into the campus ministry community.  We would appreciate your help in receiving the names and any contact information (email address, mailing address, phone number, etc.) for young adults in your congregation who will be attending a college or university in the fall.  We will then forward that information to the appropriate Lutheran Campus Ministry staff person.  You can send the information to Pastor Don Romsa (Fresno State Campus Ministry) at 2311 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno, CA  93710 or send him an email.


Invitation to Service and Youth Ministry Training Event


Where is God calling you to serve?  If you are in high school or college and this question has occurred to you, then Invitation to Service is for you!  "This powerful event has helped hundreds of people like you explore and discern God's call for their life and vocation.  You will hear how others [including SPS Bishop Mark Holmerud] have heard God's call and been moved to use their gifts, talents and abilities in service to God's people."


If you're a Youth Worker of any kind - Full time?  Part time?  Volunteer?  Paid?  Underpaid? - have we got professional development for YOU!  To cover the many aspects of youth ministry, our program offers several unique levels of training.


Both events will be held August 4-6 on the campus of California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks.  For more information click here to see an event flyer.



Synod Treasurer Change


At the Synod Council meeting held June 24-25 Synod Treasurer Lou Smith submitted his resignation.  Lou was an invaluable help to our synod when, following the resignation of the previous Treasurer, he provided guidance and expertise to synod staff, especially providing help (Lou is a CPA) to process a year-end audit.  He was nominated and elected to the Treasurer's position at the 2010 Synod Assembly in Reno.  Lou noted to the Synod Council that he had always considered himself as a "temporary" Treasurer and that it was time for him to move on to other endeavors.  The Council received his resignation with regret and also with deep appreciation for his work.  Lou will continue to serve as a member of the synod Finance Committee.


Linda Lownes, of Roseville, was appointed Treasurer pro tem by the Synod Council.  Linda will serve until the 2012 Assembly, May 18-20, in San Jos�.  She and her husband Irv are members of the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Citrus Heights.  Linda has been involved with her congregation's finances and has been a valuable volunteer in our synod, helping out in our finance office and serving as a member of the Finance Committee.


In This Issue

Message from Bishop's Associate Nancy Feniuk Nelson

We Remember in Prayer

Lutheran Campus Ministry

Invitation to Service and Youth Ministry Training Event

Professional Leaders Conference Registration Is Open

Summer Music Workshops

Upcoming Events ... Dates to Hold

Quick Links


Join Our Mailing List

July 14-17  Women of the ELCA
     Triennial Gathering, Spokane, WA


July 22-24  ELCA Men in Mission
     Triennial Gathering, Denver, CO
August 1-3  North American
     Association for the
     Catechumenate Gathering,
     Mercy Center, Burlingame


August 14-20   Churchwide

    Assembly, Orlando, FL  
August 26-27  Candidacy 


September 23-24  Synod Council
September 29 - October 4
     Conference of Bishops,
     Lutheran Center, Chicago


October 1  District A Assembly,
     Elim, Petaluma 
October 1  District B Assembly,
     St. John's, Sacramento
October 10-11  Council of Deans,
     Asilomar Conference Grounds
October 10-11  Rostered
     Women's Retreat, Asilomar
October 11-13  Professional
     Leaders Conference, Asilomar

October 16  District C Assembly,
     Trinity, Pleasanton

October 21-22  Candidacy
     Committee, PLTS, Berkeley
October 22  District D Assembly
October 29  Central Valley Conf.

     Assembly, Emanuel, Modesto


October 28-30  SPS-WELCA     
     Convention, Santa Nella, CA


November 4-6  Hunger Education

     Retreat, Mt. Cross


November 17-19  Anti-Racism  

     Workshop, San Damiano  

     Retreat  Center 




January 5-9  Bishops' Academy

January 6-7, Candidacy Committee
     Meeting, PLTS, Berkeley 
January 18-19  Council of Deans 

     Retreat, Christ the King Retreat

     Center, Citrus Heights

February 24-26  Elementary Retreat,
     Mt. Cross

February 27-28 Retired Clergy/Aims/
     Retreat, San Damiano Retreat
     Center, Danville, CA 


March 1-6  Conference of Bishops

March 10  Rwanda Connections

     Committee Annual Meeting,


May 18-20  Synod Assembly,
     San Jose Marriott Hotel, San Jose

July 18-22  ELCA Youth Gathering, 
     New Orleans, LA


October 4-9  Conference of Bishops,
     Lutheran Center, Chicago


January 16-17  Council of Deans
     Retreat, Christ the King Retreat
     Center, Citrus Heights
February 28 - March 5  Conference
     of Bishops
October 3-8  Conference of Bishops,
     Lutheran Center, Chicago


Staff Listing

Professional Leaders Conference Registration Is Open


The Professional Leaders Conference is scheduled for October 11-13 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove.  Plan now to attend this beneficial gathering of our synod's leaders on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula!  Go to the SPS website for more information.


Summer Music Workshops in San Francisco


Spend a week with All Saints Company (Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church) exploring together different forms of congre-gational singing with and without instruments.  Or pick and choose the sessions that interest you most.  Join us on Sundays to experience the work in a worship context!  For more information about these workshops, being held August 6-14, click here.


Upcoming Events - Dates to Hold


Lutheran Men in Mission Triennial Gathering:

July 22-24


Catechumenate Association in Burlingame:

August 1-3


An Evening with Dr. Mark Allan Powell: Sept. 17


Children, Family, and Faith Training Event

October 16-26


Glocal Mission Gathering:

October 21-22 Our Saviour's, Long Beach, CA


claimed . . . gathered . . . sent

The Sierra Pacific Synod

PO Box 276648, Sacramento, CA 95827-6648
916-756-1665    800-275-3522 

Contact Information

Cindi Eckert, Newsletter Administrator                            Pr. Jim Goldsmith, Synod Communicator