About the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Church in America
With nearly 10,000 congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and nearly 4 million members, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. Our faith is built around a strong belief in God as made known to us in Jesus Christ. Through worship, service, and education, we practice our faith, grow our relationship with God and experience God’s grace in our lives. We also work hard to put our faith into action. In today’s complex world, we strive to make a difference in practical, realistic ways.
The ELCA is organized into 65 synods (64 geographical and one non-geographical) located in nine regions. Each synod (a Greek word meaning “a way together”) is led by a bishop. The geographic area of the Pacifica Synod includes the state of Hawaii and portions of Southern California, including the counties of Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial and part of Los Angeles County. The number of ELCA congregations in the Pacifica Synod is currently 115, comprised of nearly 31,297 baptized members (2014 Synod Totals based on congregational reports submitted). These congregations are organized into nine conferences of about a dozen churches. Each conference is led by a dean.
The Mission, Vision and Purpose of the ELCA
The ELCA uses several tools to both describe itself and to shape its mission and ministry. Three of these tools are a mission statement, a vision statement and a six-fold statement of purpose.
Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.
Claimed by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we are a new creation through God’s living Word by the power of the Holy Spirit;
Gathered by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will live among God’s faithful people, hear God’s Word, and share Christ’s supper;
Sent by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people following the example of our Lord Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the world.
Statement of Purpose
To proclaim God’s saving Gospel;
To carry out Christ’s Great Commission;
To serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs;
To worship God;
To nurture members in the Word of God; and
To manifest unity.
Pacifica Synod’s Role
Reflecting this mission, vision and purpose, the people of the ELCA gather in congregations to worship, to grow in their relationships with Christ and with one another, to learn, and to be sent — sent out into their communities and the world to proclaim God’s love and grace, to serve all people, and to seek justice and peace in the name of Jesus Christ. In Pacifica Synod we carry out the mission and vision of the ELCA through our signature phrase:
Centered in Christ for Mission and Learning
Our mission as people of God is to share the good news of God’s love and grace, and to serve others in the name of Jesus Christ. To do this, we engage in learning that helps us to grow in faith, witness and service.
Our Ministry Priorities
In response to our sense of call in this time and place, the people of Pacifica Synod have, through the Assembly process, identified the following six ministry priorities:
Realize opportunities for multicultural mission
Establish and support new congregations
Respond to social issues and advocate for peace and justice
Expand ministries with youth [through developing ministry leaders]
Train congregational leaders
These priorities help to shape our activities and programs as we do God’s work in our communities. Each congregation discerns their own way of serving God and develops ministries that are meaningful in their own context. Congregations also work together in their conferences to do together what they cannot do alone.
The staff of the Pacifica Synod and the elected members of the Synod Council provide leadership, administration and resources to support congregations and conferences as they worship and serve God together as communities of faith. Some of these resources include various Ministry Teams, Committees, and Task Forces, each with its own particular role in the work we do. In addition, we maintain relationships with many Ministry Partners regionally, nationally and globally. The Lutheran Center for Mission & Learning is the central administration, meeting and education facility of the synod.
Together, we proclaim and serve Christ our Lord!