Featured in the
September, 2018 issue:
Jobs in the Synod
Fall Conference Assemblies
Prayer Requests
Living the Resurrection
Students 4 Students Shelter
Scam Warning

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October 5 - 7 
Cal Lutheran, Thousand Oaks 

October 5 - 7 
Oak Glen

October 6
Hymn Festival and Plenary Sessions
Concordia University, Irvine 

October 20

October 22 - 25
Embassy Suites, Palm Desert

St. John's, Palm Desert  

October 26 - 28
El Camino Pines 

November 16 - 18 
Woodland Hills 

Synod Assembly 
and Bishop's Election 
May 30 - June 1, 2019 
California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks
Bishop Eaton's Column 

Fear not 

For Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Isaiah 43:1-7 is one of the most hopeful and lovely passages in all of Scripture. Find out why in her September column for Living Lutheran, where she says it is possible for us to fear and fear not. 

Dick Buma, husband of Pastor Christine Buma, died of cancer related to pneumonia on Sunday August 19 . A gathering is planned for November 3  in Pine Mountain. Notes may be addressed to Pastor Chris Buma, P.O.  Box 6502,  Pine Mountain, CA 93222-6502

#ELCAVotes: Voter Guidelines for People facing Homelessness

Local ministries and advocacy groups can play a monumental role in ensuring inclusive access for all people interested in civic engagement and guaranteeing tha t no voice is lost in our democratic process. Churches engaged in the margins and faith activists are often the best positioned, and sometimes only, means to expand voter outreach to people struggling with homelessness." 


Wednesday, October 3
6:00 p.m.

Los Angeles Metropolitan
Thursday October 4
6:30 p.m.
Community, Los Angeles

Central Coast 
Saturday, October 6
11:00 a.m.
Gloria Dei, Santa Maria

San Gabriel Valley
Thursday, October 11
6:00 p.m. 

Channel Islands
Tuesday, October 16
6:00 p.m.

Twin Valleys
Friday, October 18

South Bay 
Thursday, November 1 
6:00 p.m. 
First, Torrance

Saturday, November 3
9:00 a.m. 

Greater Long Beach 
Tuesday, November 13 
6:00 p.m. 

Please pray for the following: 
  • The Family of Dick Buma, who passed away on August 19. 
  • 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

Thomas Yuschak 
Region 2 Archivist

Edward Duarte
Administrative Assistant 

Samantha Henderson

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

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. 
Women and Justice Social Statement Hearing
Sharon Heck

Eighteen women and men gathered at the Lutheran Center on Saturday, August 25 to study and recommend changes to the DRAFT social statement on Women and Justice. Responses to the DRAFT must be received no later than September 30, 2018. Creating the social statement has been a ten year process, and it will be voted on at the Churchwide Assembly in the summer of 2019. A two-thirds yes vote of the voting members is required for adoption. 

ELCA social statements are teaching and policy documents that assist members in forming judgments and in guiding action on social issues. They also set policy for this church, guide advocacy efforts, and support its public voice. 
Dixie Hanson has been the synod representative for the social statement, and she was charged with holding listening sessions throughout the years. Dixie led part of the discussion, and she was aided by Sharon Heck and The Rev. Dr. Pam Challis. Bishop Guy Erwin was able to attend a portion of the morning session. 

The group who gathered contained several female pastors, lay women, and lay men. The discussion was lively at times, and many suggestions for changes were recorded. A report from the whole group is being sent to the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice in Chicago. A few members of the group completed their own response forms. Those in attendance agreed it was a good opportunity to join in conversation and discernment about this concern as people of faith.

You are a vital congregation of our synod - Part 2
"Love One Another"
Rev. Marj Funk-Pihl, Director for Evangelical Mission

Every congregation in our synod who has taken the Congregational Vitality Survey (about 33 so far) has high scores for how close members feel to one another. This is the great strength on which we need to build, because those same congregations gave themselves low scores for their satisfaction with communication and how decisions are made.  My guess is that we need to have more intentional conversations between friends.  We aren't utilizing the network of relationships in our congregation as a communication tool. The result is that people who feel deep love for one another are, paradoxically, also feeling left out.

Global Church Sunday
Rev. Ellen Jennrich

Every fall, ELCA congregations and ministries are invited to celebrate our church's connections and common mission within Christ's global church by celebrating Global Church Sunday.   This includes long- and short- term missionaries, YAGMs ( Young Adults in Global Mission ), ELCA connections with  Lutheran World Relief worldwide hunger water malaria AIDS  and church building projects, our  Companion Synods in El Salvador and Hong Kong  and more, as well as the projects and visits through our individual local congregations. Resources for worship or special events are available through  ELCA Global Missions , and resources and videos are linked here.

This year our team is requesting special offerings for finishing the  remodeled Salvadoran Syno d central church, Resurrection, in San Salvador . Walls and roof are complete and services can now be held inside, but there is much yet to be done. Donations can be sent to the SWCA Synod with "Global Missions/El Salvador" on the memo line. You can also donate by going to this link and choosing "Build Resurrection."

"We are Santa Monica" profiles Mt. Olive's Students 4 Students Shelter
Reverend Eric - with stats
Pastor Eric Shafer on the Students 4 Students Shelter

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church is a bustling place, hosting monthly jazz concerts, 12 Step groups, a preschool, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera, and the offices for the Westside Coalition For Hunger And Homelessness - and now the  Students 4 Students shelter, also known as the "Bruin Shelter."
Run by 80 UCLA student volunteers, the shelter is a stunning display of collaboration. Volunteers prepare breakfast and evening meals, and an outside caterer donates lunches. It's a safe space where students can get rest and meals while they're pursuing their academic careers.

Pastor Eric also hopes that other houses of worship and community organizations will be encouraged to open up their space to house students. If you're interested in talking about setting up a shelter, contact them - they'd love to talk to you about it. 

Scam Warning! 

Scammers pretending to be from  the  DWP have been targeting churches in the synod territory ( including  the synod office!). They will call,  claim you have an unpaid bill, and threaten to cut off water or power that day unless a large cash or electronic payment is made immediately. Scammers will clone official numbers so that the DWP number appears on your caller ID, and have recorded DWP voicemail to seem more authentic. Utility companies such as the DWP will not ask for social security or bank account numbers over the phone, and will not ask you to pay with cash, gift cards, or at ATM machines. You can always call 1-800-DIAL-DWP to check on the status of your  account, and if you receive a suspicious phone call, write it down and relay it to the department. 

Statement of Information Alert
Don't pay more than you have to! 

As corporations, congregations are required to file an annual Statement of Information (SI100) with the Secretary of State, and should do so by accessing the California Secretary of State's website, submitting information, and paying the $20 fee online. 
Many congregations have been receiving a mailed form called "Statement of Information Submission," designed to look like an official form from the California Secretary of State, which requests $150 to submit the congregation's SI100. This is actually an unsolicited service, charging $150 for what should be a $20 filing fee.

New Video Discussion Guides Available from ELCA Hunger 
Use for study groups, temple talks, and Sunday school

ELCA World Hunger supports ministries around the world and here in the United States that are committed to ending hunger and poverty for good. Nothing quite captures the stories of God's work in these communities quite like videos where viewers can hear directly from the participants and leaders.  These guides are designed for study group sessions of up to 45 minutes, though they can be adapted for shorter sessions. The information in them can also be used to guide short temple talks to highlight the work our church supports together through ELCA World Hunger.


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