Featured in the
February 2, 2018 issue:
Spring Conference Assemblies
Farstrup-Morensen Lectures
ELCA Online Directory
Prayer Requests
Youth Get Creative
Aging Resources
Interim Pastors
ELCA Fund for Leaders
Wednesday Eucharist

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February 4, 11:00 a.m.
Movie and Discussion
Hill Avenue Grace, Pasadena

February 4, 2:00 p.m.
Mt. Olive, Santa Monica

February 7, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist
Preacher: Stephanie Lape

February 10, 9:00 a.m.
North Hollywood

February 10 - 14
Ascension, Thousand Oaks 

February 14, 11:00 a.m.
Ash Wednesday 
No Synod Eucharist 

February 20
Harold Stober Clark Lecture Series,  Cal Lutheran 

February 21, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Preacher Don Swenson

February 23 - 25 
Solvang, CA

February 25, 2:00 p.m.
Los Angeles Recorder Orchestra
Emmanuel, North Hollywood

February 28, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist
Preacher: Maria 

March 12
Bishop's Colloquy 
LA Diocese, Echo Park

March 22, 11:00 a.m.
World Water Day 
 at the LA River

March 24, 9:30 a.m.
Lutheran Center, Glendale

June 1 - 2, 2018 
SWCA Synod Assembly
Cal Lutheran University

September 9
"God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday

Los Angeles Metro
Saturday April 14
3:00 p.m. at Bethel, Los Angeles

Greater Long Beach
Tuesday, April 17
Time and Place TBA

South Bay
Thursday, April 19
6:30 p.m. at Pueblo de Dios, Compton

Twin Valleys
Saturday, April 21
1:00 p.m. - Place TBA

San Gabriel Valley
Tuesday, April 24
Place and Time TBA

Wednesday, April 25
6:00 p.m. - Place TBA

Channel Islands
Thursday, April 26
Time and Place TBA
ELCA Hunger's New Lenten Study

The Lenten study "Faces of Christ" explores who Jesus is for us, with us, and among us today. This five-week study is available in packs of 10 and features activities, stories, questions and prayers to use in your congregation. Participants are invited to discuss questions such as "Who do you say that I am?" "What does it mean to be partners in God's mission?" and "Where is God?" Order or download your copy today here and email Hunger@elca.org if you have any questions.

Ascension, Thousand Oaks calls Pastor Julie McCain 
Pr. Steve Herder, Ascension members Pete, Sherith  and Rachel, Pr. Tim Delkeskamp, and Pr. Reg Schultz-Akerson.

On Sunday, January 28, Ascension, Thousand Oaks called Pastor Julie McCain as their Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Associate Pastor. Pastor Julie earned her Bachelors in Arts in Sociology and Religious Studies at Cal Lutheran and her M. Div at Luther Seminary, St. Paul. She has served ministries and congregations in Minnesota, California, Washington, and Alaska, including Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences. 

Farstrup-Mortensen Lectures Series 

Most of us have wondered: is there a God? What is God like, what does God do, can God see everything, why is there evil in the world if God is all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful?  

At this year's Farstrup-Mortensen Lectures Series. February 23 - 25 at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang, two distinguished, world renowned speakers, professors John Caputo and Brandon Scott, will address these questions, challenging us to think outside of the box.
Join us once again in the best Grundtvigian tradition and participate in this lifelong learning program.   The Rev. Bishop Dr. Guy Erwin will join us for the entire weekend and preach on Sunday.  

More information and online registration here

The California legislature has been busy making changes for 2018.  Starting January 1, 2018, California employers are prohibited from making any pre-employment salary inquiries, are required to post new workplace posters, and may be required (depending on total number of employees) to provide eligible employees with additional unpaid job-protected leave to bond with a new child, among other things. Read more here.

ELCA Online Directory

The 2018 ELCA Yearbook is now online and known as the ELCA Directory. Just as the printing press changed the world during Martin Luther's time, so are the digitization of data and the internet changing the way we publish and access information. This digital online solution will provide the same content as the ELCA Yearbook with added features of accessing the information from any computer (including mobile devices), filtering and annual reporting. 

Don't Forget to Complete Your Congregation's Parochial Report! 

Congregational Parochial Reports are due Thursday, February 15, 2018. In mid-December, the ELCA mailed report forms to all congregations. This mailing included Form A, Form C, the instructions, and the financial worksheet. In addition, congregational ID numbers and passwords for online reporting were included in the mailing. You will need these items to log in and file your report online by  following this linkData from your parochial report is an important ministry tool for your congregation, the Southwest California Synod, and the Churchwide body.

Please pray for the following: 
  • The family of Pastor Mary Todd-Pedergast on her passing on January 18. 
  • 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, and for cognitive recovery. 
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. 
"Mac Yo' Cheese" at Ascension, LA & Another Level 

What a great idea! Another Level Ministries and Ascension, Los Angeles, which share a pastor and facilities, united for worship and an amazing Mac and Cheese competition! Check out the photos from the event, and if your congregation shares facilities, members, or leaders with another ministry, consider joining together in worship and fellowship.
Youth at Our Savior's, Lancaster Get Theatrical 
with Bible Stories on Video
Our Savior's, Lancaster's production of the Story of Ruth
Our Savior's, Lancaster's production of the Story of Ruth

At Our Savior's, Lancaster, church youth are taking part in a fun, empowering and innovative learning opportunity:  developing, scripting, casting, and producing plays  depicting  Bible stories. The youth  meet after church on the first Sunday of the month, eat pizza, and brainstorm about how they can present the selected story, and what approach to take -  a classic Bible narrative, or a science fiction story, for example. Having the opportunity to produce their own narratives allows them to think about what lessons are being taught and to relate them to their lives. 

Aging Resources  Library  at the Lutheran Center 

On January 27, following a SWCA Synod Women of the ELCA Winter Gathering that focused on issues vital to those who care for seniors, California Lutheran Homes and Community Services hosted a reception to introduce the CLH Aging Resources Library, which is hosted by the Lutheran Center in Glendale. Curated by Pastor Don Koepke and the Rev. Nancy Gordon, previous Directors of the California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging, materials from the library are available to Rostered Ministers and Lay Leaders ministering and caregiving to older adults.
Lutheran Social Services - San Fernando Valley 
January  Newsletter 
In this issue, find out about Thanksgiving and Christmas Outreach, LSS-SFV volunteers, shelter partnership, and the move to North Hollywood. 
Thank you to SWCA Synod Interim Pastors 

On January 25, the Interim Pastors of the SWCA Synod met at the Lutheran Center in Glendale for peer training and mutual encouragement. Supporting, connecting, and guiding congregational leaders such as Interim Pastors is part of the ministry of the synod. 
A time of transition is both a challenging and potentially productive period for congregations. It is a time when the congregation has the opportunity to re-evaluate who it is - a time to ask: "What is God calling this congregation to be and to do in its next chapter of mission?" An Interim Pastor is an important part of this process of congregational discernment, not only taking care of the pastoral needs of the community but helping to guide the congregation through the necessary self-study of mission and identity.
Always Being Made New: 
ELCA Fund for Leaders and Youth and Young Adults

As we enter the final year of  Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA , we're looking to the future of this church by highlighting the campaign's Leadership priority, including the ELCA Fund for Leaders and Youth and Young Adults.  We'd like you to join us!  

Earlier this month, all ELCA congregations received a kickoff packet, including a  bulletin insert  and  poster , to share the work of the campaign and these programs. The above video , For this Church and For Our Future , is another way to show your congregation the impact of Leadership ministries, specifically ELCA Fund for Leaders - and features Vicar Brenda Greenwald and Pastor Bill Hurst from First, Torrance! 

#Cometothetable and join us Wednesdays at the Lutheran Center in Glendale at 11:00 a.m. for fellowship and 11:30 a.m. for our mid-week Eucharist service! (We will not have fellowship on Ash Wednesday). If you would like to be a guest preacher, contact Samantha at shenderson@socalsynod.org. 

February 7: Pastor Stephanie  Lape

February 14: Ash Wednesday Service at 11:00 a.m. with First Lutheran School

February 21: Pastor Don Swenson

People often go to church expecting to avoid the wilderness - but in fact, the church is more a place of wilderness survival than wilderness avoidance. On January 10, Thomas Richter, pastor of Shishmaref Lutheran in Alaska (which is encountering a wilderness of its own with climate change and rising sea levels) reminded us that the life of the believer is not free of struggle and attack from external and internal forces, and that God has promised to show up in the wilderness and darkness, where the light shines. 

Can anything good come from Nazareth? Considering the racism symptomatic in the words coming from our leadership, one could wonder if anything good can come from humanity. Mid-week Eucharist guest preacher Katherine Tuttle (assisted by daughter Carol) pointed out that the answer is a definite yes, given by God when he took on human flesh, and that even when the message is difficult, as were God's words to Samuel condemning the Sons of Eli for robbing the community, God is still speaking.  Katherine Tuttle is a Candidate for First Call currently serving as pulpit supply for Community Lutheran, Los Angeles. 

Out of the cacophony of voices demanding out attention, how can we tell which voice is from God and intended for us? On January 24, Pastor Alexia Salvatierra talked about Jesus calling the first disciples, and how Martin Luther reminds us that that calling continues when we remember our baptism. God calls us from a scarcity framework to a place of abundance and generosity, and while facing oppression from a place of powerlessness might be beyond our capacity, it is not beyond God's. 

Jesus taught with "authority" - which means both the responsibility and ability to do what needs to be done. His followers were convinced by his authority, which superseded established laws and created new relationships. On January 31, Bishop Guy acknowledged that questions of authority can be hard to process, especially when people - and congregations - confuse authority with power. Power with force is alienating, but authority with love unifies us.


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