Featured in the
December 6, 2017 issue:
Bishop Eaton's Column
Synod Grants
Prayer Requests
Dear Church
Eagle Rock Food Pantry
Wednesday Eucharist
Jobs in the Synod

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December 13, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Marsha Harris, Guest Preacher

December 16, 11:00 a.m. 
Ascension, Los Angeles

December 17, 7:00 p.m.
Emmanuel, North Hollywood 

December 20, 11:30 a.m.
Synod Eucharist 
Josh Graber, Guest Preacher

December 25 - December 29
Synod Office Closed

January 1, 2018
Synod Office Closed

January 9 - 11, 2018
Denver, CO 

January 14, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Martin Luther King Celebration and Commemoration 
Westchester Lutheran, Los Angeles

January 28, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
"13th" Dinner and Discussion
Trinity, Pasadena

February 18 - 20, 2018
Bishop's Colloquy 
LA Diocese

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

Disengage the autopilot. 

In secular culture, it's easy to "barrel through to Christmas." In her December column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that Advent is a season that bids us to be present, to be still. She suggests we reflect on four words: "Just this. Just now."
Read her full column below: 


Young Adults 
in Global Mission 

Know any young adults interested in making a difference in the world? Invite them to check out the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission(YAGM) program

YAGM invites ELCA young adults ages 21 - 29 into a transformative, year-long journey in international service. As they offer themselves in service, ELCA young adults are shaped by the witness of our global neighbors. They share in the journeys of companion churches and organizations in one of nine countries around the world. It provides an opportunity to become the hands and feet 
of Jesus in the world, providing critical support to ministries and projects in communities of need. It also invites volunteers into a journey of self-reflection, providing space to consider their sense of identity, God's work in the world, and their place within it all.

Applications for the 2018-2019 program year open December 1, 2017 and close February 15, 2018 for service beginning in August 2018.

Giving Opportunities Abound during the Christmas Season

Give something unexpected at ELCA Good Gifts!  

Lutheran World Relief (LWR) recently announced that they have received an additional challenge amount of $178,700! That means that gifts give by December 31, will DOUBLE in value and impact - up to $357,200! Check details and opportunities here

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. 
Be a part of the response to the California Wildfires!

Please pray for the people who have been impacted by the wildfires in California. May God's healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need. Pray that God might deliver comfort to those who mourn the loss of loved ones, and strength to those who are working diligently to contain the fires and care for affected communities.

Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for " U.S. Wildfires" will be used to assist those affected by the wildfires until the response is complete. You can also send donations directly to the SWCA Synod, with "Fire Relief" in the memo line, and we will see it gets to those who need it. 

To learn more about the situation and the ELCA's response:
  • Share this bulletin insert  with your congregation and encourage support. 
  • Sign up to receive Lutheran Disaster Response alerts
  • Check the Lutheran Disaster Response blog
  • Like Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook and follow @ELCALDR on Twitter.


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 Bill Hurst of First Lutheran Church, Torrance.

I've been reflecting on thankfulness in the past few weeks, and (at long last) it's dawning on me how ironic and painful our gestures of "thanks-giving" can be when there doesn't seem to be a lot to be thankful for in the moment. In fact, "give thanks" can almost feel like an injunction to slap on a cheesy grin and pretend when times and relationships feel like anything but thanks-worthy.
Food Pantry at Eagle Rock Lutheran 
Eagle Rock Lutheran holds a food distribution program every  second  Saturday of the month from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. and a feeding program and food distribution every fourth Saturday from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

They currently are serving 30 clients and are looking for volunteers so they can serve more! If you can help, contact Pastor Violeta Sanders at violetasanders@yahoo.com.

#Cometothetable and join us Wednesdays at the Lutheran Center in Glendale at 11:00 for fellowship and coffee and at 11:30 a.m. for our mid-week Eucharist service! 

December 13: Marsha Harris

December 20: Josh Graber

December 27: No Mid-Week Eucharist 
On November 29, Rev. Nancy Gordon, former director of California Lutheran Homes Center for Spirituality and Aging gave us the experience of "Sensing the Sacred," a tactile, story-centered small group worship for elders with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The worship focuses on a biblical story told through the use of wooden figures, providing a way for participants to enter a Biblical story and to have an experience with God rather than hearing concepts about God. For more information about Sensing the Sacred, contact Nancy Gordon at sensingthesacred@gmail.com.

Advent brings us the new church year, and our readings from Isaiah portend the coming of God's justice. But God has already shown us what justice is, so why are we waiting for Him to fix human messes? At the December 6 Eucharist, Candidate for First Call Sharon Richter reminded us that Jesus' parables - the talents, the wise and foolish maidens, fig tree - instruct us to be alert, ready, and prepared, and contain the underlying message that to be awake is an act of faith. 

Organist/Pianist - 
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Los Angeles
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Los Angeles is seeking an organist/pianist for their Sunday 10:00 a.m. worship service (ELW), which includes one elementary/preschool Sunday each month. Compensation is commensurate with experience. For more information or to apply, please contact Pastor Ernest King at (323) 222-1508 (text or voice).

Preschool Director - Trinity, Manhattan Beach 
Trinity Manhattan Beach Preschool is open to children of all spiritual backgrounds and provides an appropriate learning experience for children between two years, six months and five years of age. The goal of the Preschool is to provide experiences that stimulate the child's interest in God's world - to provide an environment where each child can develop his or her physical, emotional, mental and social capabilities to his or her full potential, with an emphasis on cognitive development and communication skills. 


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