Lutheran Disaster Response

Southwest California Synod

News and information from our synod.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Upcoming Events November 16, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bishop Guy Erwin’s Statement on the Thousand Oaks Shooting

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that God is very close to those who grieve, and brings them solace. Late last night, an assailant opened fire in a popular bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and killed 12 persons, including the first law enforcement officer to respond. Many others were injured. Many of the patrons of the bar were local college students, some from our own California Lutheran University nearby. It is impossible to express how deeply shocked and saddened I (and all of us) are by this tragic event. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and to those who are being treated for their injuries. We are grateful for the care being shown for the victims by members of the community. Our special care right now is for the California Lutheran University community, which has been deeply affected by this tragedy: as our students and staff mourn their friends, waiting in suspense for word on the condition of the injured, the Cal Lutheran community has itself been wounded, and its sense of security shattered by this violent act. It may never be possible to know what motivated the person who committed this crime, but tragically, such events are not rare in our nation, and—increasingly—mass shootings have become commonplace in America. What must we do, as a nation, to confront this unacceptable “new normal”? We live in a culture full of violence, even violence as entertainment. We live in a culture in which mental illness is not recognized for the great problem it is, and those damaged by their experience of violence do not receive the help they need. We live in a world in which, increasingly, selfishness is promoted over the common good. And we are a nation awash in guns. I call on all Christians, and all who receive this message, to consider how we each can work to reduce violence in our society, to resist its glorification in the public forum, and to care more deeply for the welfare of those caught up in cycles of under-treated mental illness. I call on all of us to join in promoting a more peaceful society by connecting with neighbors and friends so that no one suffers alone. I ask for your prayers for peace and healing, but I ask also for you to take action in your neighborhoods and communities, in your political lives as well as your lives of faith, to fight the scourge of violence in our midst. Jesus also says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” May God be with Cal Lutheran, with Thousand Oaks, and with all of us in this troubled time; may you find healing and consolation in your friends and your faith, and may you find new resolve to resist the impulses toward violence that threaten to tear us apart. God bless you all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Trinity, Long Beach: Sharing Love with a Community Meal

Rev. Scott Fritz, Trinity Lutheran Church, Long Beach Let us go now to the banquet, to the feast of the universe. The table’s set and a place is waiting; come, everyone, with your gifts to share. ELW 523 – “Let Us Go Now to the Banquet/Vamos Todos al Banquete” This song from the Misa Popular Salvadorena inspires the vision for our community meal at Trinity Long Beach. It is a vision in which all of God’s children are invited to a banquet whether they be rich or poor, have housing or are living on the streets, are friends or strangers. It is an invitation to be part of a community that sits down at a meal with one another and engages in life-transforming conversations. Trinity began its Saturday Program a number of years ago by working together with Lutheran Social Services to provide tutoring programs from children and computer classes for adults. Over the years, members of Trinity would provide a meal and a Spanish worship opportunity for participants. As resources began to get tight for all of those involved whether they be financial, able and willing volunteers, or steady participants in the Saturday program, Trinity decided to try something different. We decided to expand our scope to meet a need in the community while optimizing our ability to garner volunteers and financial resources to meet that deep need — hunger for food and for community. We received a generous grant from the Southwest California Synod’s Mission and Ministry Endowment and that has helped us purchase food and supplies for the meals. We also moved our program from a weekly Saturday program to one that serves a meal once per month.  The quality of our program has improved, and we have seen the number of participants grow from under 15 people to more than 75. But our community meal is more than just numbers. It’s about having one on one conversations with other human beings and we encourage listening to one another’s stories as we ourselves share stories of faith and hope. In doing so, we share the love of Jesus in this meal. Our community meal at Trinity is a reminder of the meal that Jesus shared with the 5,000 and the meal he shared with the 12 disciples. The numbers don’t matter. What matters most is that the table is set, and a place is prepared for all of God’s children who hunger for food, for community, and for a relationship with God and other human beings. So, “may we build such a place among us where all people are equal in love. God has called us to work together and to share everything we have.” Apply for a 2019 Synod Grant   

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Call for 2019 SWCA Synod Grants

Monday, October 15, 2018

In Memoriam: Rev. Martin Hancer

Upcoming Events:

Friday, November 16
Sunday, November 18
10:00am: Worship
Wednesday, November 21
9:00am: Food Pantry

Lectionary Texts:

November 16, 2018:
First Reading: Daniel 4:19-27
Psalm: Psalm 16
Second Reading: Colossians 2:6-15
November 16, 2018 Semicontinuous:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 2:18-21
Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1-10
November 18, 2018 Ordinary 33:
First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm: Psalm 16
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-25
Gospel Reading: Mark 13:1-8
November 18, 2018 Ordinary 33 Semicontinuous:
First Reading: 1 Samuel 1:4-20
Psalm: 1 Samuel 2:1-10

RCL (C) 1992 The Consultation on Common Texts used by permission

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