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An additional Word

Friends, here are a few additional items that may be of interest to you as you stay abreast of events and invitations here at St. Luke, as well as throughout our Synod and the ELCA churchwide.
What follows is:

  • a detailed recap of the recent Synod Assembly, with links to all information included in the notebook and election results

  • a link to the live-streamed Assembly and a link to read Bishop Erwin’s Synod Assembly sermon(which was very well received by those in attendance)

  • The Statement made by our ELCA presiding bishop, together with many interfaith and ecumenical partners, regarding the Federal policy and current actions of forced family separationsamong asylum seekers.

The 2018 Synod Assembly was held on the campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks with the theme “Love & Serve: God, Neighbor, Creation.” The Synod Assembly is the highest legislative body in the Synod, and is composed of voting members from each congregation, along with rostered ministers, visitors, and guests who gather to conduct business and celebrate the many ministries of this synod.

95 SWCA Synod congregations were represented. 428 persons were in attendance, including 79 non-voting visitors.

The voting membership consisted of 110 Ministers of Word and Sacrament, four Deacons, 24 members of Synod Council, and 211 congregational lay voting members. Of the voting membership, 191 were male and 158 were female. 89 were persons of color or whose first language was other than English, and nine were 30 years of age or under.

Our Churchwide Representative and Keynote Speaker was Prairie Rose Seminole,  Program Director for the American Indian and Alaska Native Ministries of the ELCA. Bible Studies were lead by members of the SWCA Synod Green Faith Team. For more information and ongoing updates about 2018 Assembly events, please see the synod website.

Assembly Notebook

In accordance with the Becoming a Lutherans Restoring Creation Synod and Eco-Reformation in the Context of Climate Change resolution passed by the 2016 Synod Assembly, individual printed assembly notebooks were not provided to Assembly Members. In addition to the Guidebook application, downloadable PDFs are available at the links below.

2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Agenda
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Financials
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Reports
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Nominations 
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Resolutions 
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Worship
2018 Synod Assembly Notebook: Hymns

The updated Guidebook App can be downloaded here, and a web version is available here.

Elections and Resolutions & Memorials
Elections were held for the following Synod Council positions, as well as for Voting Representatives to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, which will gather August 5 – 10, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Members-at-Large: Ana Nieva; Rev. Ryan Chaddick; Rev. Pam Challis
Youth Representative: Kir’ra Hemphill
2019 Churchwide Assembly Voting Representatives: Rev. James Boline;
Rev. Jennifer Chrien; Michael Metzger; Deacon Lynn Bulock; Cheyenne Boykin; Wanda Rosado-Martinez
San Gabriel Conference Representative: Cortni Rahn
Central Coast Conference Representative: Laura Krueger

The Churchwide Council Member from the SWCA Synod will be chosen at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly from the two nominees elected at the 2018 Synod Assembly: Carol Bjelland and Valerie Shaw.
Resolutions & Memorials

Three resolutions and one memorial were passed (click on the title to download PDF):

18-01: No Way to Treat a Child: Protecting the Human Rights of Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation
18-02: The Revocation of Temporary Protective Status for El Salvadorans
18-03: Memorial on the ELCA’s 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women
18-05: Southwest California Synod Native Protocols

2018 Clarence E. Anderson
Peace and Justice Award
Emily Ann Eastwood, recipient of the 2018 Clarence E. Anderson Award, served as Director of the Reconciling in Christ Program of Lutherans Concerned/North America from 2002 to 2004 and as Executive Director from 2004 to 2014. She is credited with bringing the principles of faith-based community organizing, major donor fundraising, and widespread volunteer training to the welcoming movement across denominations. She led Lutheran coalition efforts to achieve policy change in the ELCA in 2009 allowing for the call, ordination and consecration of otherwise qualified candidates for ministry in publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous, same-gender relationships, and allowing for same-gender marriage within the church.

The Clarence E. Eastwood Award was established in 2011 in honor of Clarence’s commitment to the work of peace and justice. Please see the 2018 Assembly Guidebook for more information about its history and this year’s recipient.

2018 Grant Recipients
2018 Charles and Mable Warner Grants
(to be used for the construction of Sunday School facilities
and to further youth Christian education)

·       Church of the Master, Lancaster
·       Grace, Bell (Spanish Congregation)
·       Fruit of the Spirit, Torrance
·       St. Matthew’s, North Hollywood

2018 Mission & Ministry Grants
(to be used for mission outreach as defined in the synod’s mission goals)

·       Adore, Los Angeles
·       Angelica, Los Angeles
·       Another Level, Los Angeles
·       Christ, Long Beach
·       Church in the Foothills, La Canada
·       Eagle Rock, Los Angeles
·       First, Inglewood
·       Grace, Bell
·       Grace, Culver City
·       Hill Avenue Grace, Pasadena
·       Holy Trinity, Inglewood
·       Lutheran Retreats, Camps, and Conferences, Frazier Park
·       Maritime Ministry, Long Beach
·       Messiah, Los Angeles
·       New City Parish, Inglewood
·       Our Redeemer, Oxnard
·       Pueblo De Dios, Compton
·       Resurrection, Redondo Beach
·       Trinity, Long Beach

Consider how a Synod Grant could benefit your ministry, and plan your Mission & Ministry or Warner Trust Fund grant application in advance! An invitation to apply for either of our two grant programs will be sent to congregations, institutions, and agencies towards the end of the year, as well as posted on the website.

Assembly Worship
The Land’s First People:
Honoring Native Neighbors
During our Assembly Service of Worship with Holy Communion, we honored the original inhabitants of the lands that make up our synod ad and committed ourselves to new levels of respect and regard.

The service featured Native American flute music, drums, and dancing, and was led by Bishop Guy Erwin (Osage Nation of Oklahoma) and Prairie Rose Seminole (Affiliated Tribes of ND) from the ELCA Churchwide offices. Also featured was Danza Azteca Yolotlketzally, an Aztec dance group of first, second, and third-generation Mexican Americans. They practice at Iglesia Luterana Fe y Esperanza, one of our synod’s new start congregations.

A worship offering of $3,480 went towards the Bishop’s Mission Fund to support new start congregations within the Southwest California Synod.

Bishop Erwin’s Sermon 
Livestream of Service
Worship Bulletin

Southwest California Synod of the ELCA| (818) 507-9591||
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ELCA presiding bishop and
faith leaders issue statement on family separation

6/7/2018 12:30:00 PM

CHICAGO (June 7, 2018) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over a recent U.S. government policy calling for more stringent enforcement of federal immigration laws. The policy will most likely result in an increase in family separations.

The letter follows:

Recently, the Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the wellbeing of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news.

We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.

As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.

His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian
Diocesan Legate and Director of the Ecumenical Office
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

Mr. Azhar Azeez President
Islamic Society of North America

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton, PA
Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Senior Bishop George E. Battle, Jr.
Presiding Prelate, Piedmont Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

Bishop H. Kenneth Carter, Jr.
President, Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop Episcopal Church (United States)

The Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister & President
United Church of Christ

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. David Guthrie
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Southern Province

Mr. Glen Guyton
Executive Director
Mennonite Church USA

The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Rick Jacobs 
Union for Reform Judaism

Mr. Anwar Khan
Islamic Relief USA

The Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller
President, Provincial Elders’ Conference
Moravian Church Northern Province

The Rev. Dr.  J. Herbert Nelson II
Stated Clerk
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rabbi Jonah Pesner
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Rev. Don Poest
Interim General Secretary
The Rev. Eddy Alemán
Candidate for General Secretary
Reformed Church in America

Senior Bishop Lawrence Reddick III
Presiding Bishop, The Eighth Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Phil Tom
Executive Director
International Council of Community Churches

Senior Bishop McKinley Young
Presiding Prelate, Third Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

– – –

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in more than 9,300 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder

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