Featured in the
January 9, 2018 issue:
Bishop Eaton's Column
Synod Grants
Prayer Requests
Walking the Labyrinth
Grace Food Shelf
Dear Church
Wednesday Eucharist

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January 9 - 11
Denver, CO 

January 10, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Guest Preacher: Thomas Richter

January 14, 3:00 p.m.
Westchester Lutheran, Los Angeles

January 15
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 
Synod Office Closed

January 17, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Guest Preacher: Katherine Tuttle

January 19

January 24, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Guest Preacher: Alexia Salvatierra

January 27, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  SWCA Synod WELCA Winter Gathering
(Downloadable flyer - registration due January 20)
Lutheran Center, Glendale

January 28, 4:00 p.m.
Trinity, Pasadena

January 28, 4:00 p.m.
Bethel, Encino

January 31, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 

March 12
Bishop's Colloquy 
LA Diocese, Echo Park

March 22
World Water Day 
 at the LA River

June 1 - 2, 2018 
SWCA Synod Assembly
Cal Lutheran University
Bishop Eaton's Column 

Church Speak 

In her January column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that people who have no experience with the church don't speak our language or know our stories. She says we need to find a new language to commend the faith clearly and genuinely.

2017 Mission Support

The Synod Office is closing the books for 2017 on January 15 . Any Mission Support and pass-through gifts your congregation would like to apply to 2017 must be received by January 15, 2018. If you mail your Mission Support at the beginning for January, and would like to apply it to your 2018 giving, please make a note on the Remittance Sheet.  Any payments received after January 15 will be applied to your 2018 giving records.

Call for Grant Proposals

Does your congregation need funds for mission outreach or youth Christian education? Apply for a Synod Grant! 

Grant applications must be postmarked no later than January 19, 2018. 
In order for an application to be considered by the committee, a congregational parochial report for 2017 must be on file.  Grant awards will be announced at the 2018 Synod Assembly.

Please pray for the following: 
  • The family of Pastor Joseph Wong on his passing on October 24. 
  • Dick Buma, husband of Pastor Christine Buma, who is being treated with immunotherapy for rare form of lung cancer.  
  • Pastor Ray Kibler,
    battling immuno-deficiency disease and cancer
Your prayer requests are important to us and will continue for two months in Synews. 
If you would like to be added to the prayer list or if we should continue your request, please contact Robin at rlujan@socalsynod.org .  
Southwest California
  Synod Staff
The Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D.

The Rev. Reg Schultz-Akerson
Rostered Leadership

The Rev. Marj Funk-Pihl
Congregational Mission Evangelical Mission

Maria Paiva 
Latino Ministries

Janet Renick 
Children, Youth and Faith Formation

Andreas Hirsch   
Finance and Administration

Sheri Dillon
Assistant to the Bishop 
Office Manager 

Sherri Miller

Robin Lujan 
Administrative Assistant

Nicole Miller 
Administrative Assistant 

Samantha Henderson

1300 E. Colorado Street
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 507-9591 Phone
(818) 507-9627 Fax

Quick Links


Synews, the weekly email newsletter of the Southwest California Synod, ELCA, brings you news and information from the synod office in an environmentally friendly format. Please share this information as you are able. You can sign up to receive the Synews and special emails from the synod office here News, information, and corrections for  Synews should be emailed to  Samantha Henderson  (shenderson@socalsynod.org). To follow Bishop Guy Erwin's daily schedule, search #thebishopsday on Facebook. 
Sacred Space: Walking the Labyrinth at Christ, Long Beach

Since the Middle Ages Christian communities have adopted the labyrinth as a symbol - perhaps the most famous is that at Chartres Cathedral in France, installed in 1201 and providing a model for churches of many denominations. Walking the circular path of the labyrinth is a spiritual and democratic tool for prayer and meditation, a sacred walk to the participant's sacred inner space.

On Sunday, January 7, Christ Lutheran Church in Long Beach dedicated their labyrinth, made possible in part by a Mission and Ministry Grant from the Southwest California Synod and the efforts of Justin Randig, who together with his family, his troop, and members of the Christ, Long Beach congregation completed it for his Eagle Scout project.

"We are very grateful for the generosity of the Mission and Ministry Committee for helping us turn a vision into a reality and for giving us yet another way to reach out to the community by offering a place of contemplation and prayer," said Pastor Pam Challis. "I have already seen people I do not know enter and use our space. What a gift this will be for all who wish to use it."

Hill Avenue Grace's Food Shelf Ministry Meets Area Needs

Recipient of a 2017 SWC Synod Mission and Ministry Grant, the Hill Avenue Grace, Pasadena Food Shelf ministry is open every Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30, rain or shine. It services 50 to 70 homeless and underprivileged individuals and families every week for most of the year, also providing hygiene kits. At Thanksgiving, the ministry distributes 40 complete turkey dinners and 60 $10 gift cards from Tops, a local fast-food restaurant. During the holiday months, demand increases, and Hill Avenue Grace serves upwards of 70 to 90 people.

It costs $1,500 monthly to resupply the Food Shelf Ministry, which could not operate without a very supportive congregation. Members volunteer to work at the food shelf each Saturday, together with youth minister Matt Braaten and some youth members working every second Saturday.

"Thank you to synod congregations for helping to support this ministry" says council member Steve Rose. "Currently, we are the only opportunity on Saturdays for people in this area to get food."

First Call Rostered Ministers learn Executive Business Skills
thanks to CLU and the Mission Investment Fund 

During the first week of November, 2017, 40 first call rostered ministers met at  California Lutheran University  to be coached in executive skills by members of CLU's School of Business faculty. Topics included Knowing Who We Are, Leadership, Entrepreneurial Imagination, Branding, Marketing, and Human Resources. Many thanks to the  Mission Investment Fund for  their support of First Call Theological Education events, and to California Lutheran University for hosting this opportunity!

Dear Church  is a semi-regular blog on the synod website featuring pastors and other church leaders. This entry is a guest post by Pastor Jennifer Chrien of Shepherd of the Valley, Simi Valley. 

The statistics have been quoted many times before. 1 in 6 women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. 1 in 33 men has been in the victim of an attempted or completed rape. These numbers don't include the many people who experience sexual harassment or other forms of sexual violence. Just as one example: 65% of women and 25% of men report having experienced street harassment.

Dear church, here's the truth: we are not exempt. We are not immune. The sound of #MeToo echoes within the walls of the church. Victims are sitting in our pews, our classrooms, our church offices. Christian community doesn't protect us. Gender or age or marital status doesn't protect us. Pastoral authority doesn't protect us.

#Cometothetable and join us Wednesdays at the Lutheran Center in Glendale at 11:30 a.m. for our mid-week Eucharist service! 

January 10: Pastor Thomas Richter 
(Shishmaref Lutheran Church, Alaska)

January 17: Pastor Katherine Tuttle

January 24: Pastor Alexia Salvatierra
(Hope, Hollywood and Guardian Angels) 
Mary was told who her baby would be, and the Magi followed a star. But Simeon had the guidance of the Holy Spirit in recognizing the Christ Child. At the first Eucharist service of 2018, guest preacher John Soyster - recently retired from Mt. Cross, Camarillo - reminded us that it's not always easy to see Christ among us. In the bread and wine of Holy Communion, which is a holy moment in a safe space, we know Christ is present. The challenge is seeing him tomorrow where you didn't expect. 



Southwest California Synod, ELCA 
1300 E. Colorado Street
Glendale, California
(818) 507-9591
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