• FLYER: Information & Registration Information

    FOR INFORMATION: The fire at Magnolia Presbyterian Church, Riverside

    Synod Contact Information

    Phone: 213.483-3840
    FAX: 818-891-0212


    Synod Executive & Stated Clerk
    MARK HONG   ext. 109    
      Email (markhong@synod.org)

    Business Manager
    FRIED WILSON     ext. 110
    Email (friedwilson@synod.org)

    Full Charge Bookkeeper
    BARRY PETERS   ext. 107
    Email  (barrypeters@synod.org)

    REPL Coordinator
    Email  (ntucker@synod.org)


    Synod Officers 2019

    Contact officers through Business Manager FRIED WILSON  (ext. 110)
    Email (friedwilson@synod.org)

    Moderator—TE Joshua Yee

    Stated Clerk: TE Mark Hong

    Vice-Mod.— TBD

    Treas.—RE Bill Hughes

    CoA Moderator— RE Susan Skoglund


    The Synod (and Presbyteries)
    in the News

    Employment Opportunity:
    Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe
    Development Director

    Full-time position; work on-site; benefits
    Information Flyer

    Fire damaged the Magnolia Presbyterian Church buildings(Riverside Presbytery)

    Please use the scrollbar to read this entire article; a printable version may be downloaded HERE. The author is the Rev. Paul Knop, co-pastor at Magnolia.

          At around 7pm on Dec. 23, multiple fire stations responded to a report of a fire at Magnolia Presbyterian Church at 7200 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92504. Upon arrival, they found smoke exiting the sanctuary building wherever it could (at the seams, through creases, and through the stained glass that adorned the front of the sanctuary. They made entry and began to put out the fire. They were successful, but needed to cut holes into the roof to let smoke and heat out. A story is told that when the firefighters shot water into the air towards the roof of the sanctuary, it never came back down; it was so hot the water evaporated. One firefighter estimated the temperature to be about 2,000 degrees at the apex of the ceiling.
          The firefighters listed the cause of the fire as undetermined, but individuals and firefighters preliminarily identified a back room/alcove as the ignition point. The room had HVAC runs and the compressor for the organ. One surmised that the compressor may have created sparks that smoldered for a few hours before exiting that room and burning through portions of the chancel, choir loft, and communion prep room.
          I haven't seen the report, but believe the fire fighters estimated $300,000 in fire damage, $450,000 in content damage, and $2,000,000 in structure damage.
          The session of MagPres met on Monday, Dec 24 at 10am and chose to have the 7pm Christmas Eve service in our Fellowship Hall, which is the historic (Riverside Historic Landmark #4) sanctuary. We normally have our 9am contemporary worship service in that space and were able to make that space adapt for the 200+ who attended the worship service. The service was also attended and documented by multiple news stations. The Rev. Timm High (Presbytery Leader for Mission and Vision/Stated Clerk) was present at the Session meeting and the worship service. He offered a helpful pastoral voice to the meeting and even helped set up chairs for the service.
          The support of the community and particularly local area churches was felt and appreciated. Rev. Erin Thomas, from Calvary Presbyterian Church, was present, offering support while the firefighters put out the blaze. Calvary and Victoria churches,, as well as other churches, offered space for us to host our Christmas Eve Service (including Harvest, The Grove, Sandals and others). Harvest solicited ways they could help and purchased LED candles to help us create luminaria to light the parking lot and the sidewalk path from the parking lot to the Fellowship Hall. Home Depot, the Flower Club, and an anonymous member from a Riverside Presbytery congregation, donated poinsettia and decorations to adorn our space.
          One of the things lifted from this situation are people, who through social media and verbally, talked about role that Mag Pres had played in their formation, having attended youth group, a wedding, baptism, etc. It was a reminder to me personally about the heritage and legacy this faith community has had in affecting the world positively for Christ.
          I penned the following statement which was read during the Christmas Eve service:

    On a night just like this one
       When the darkness lasted too long
          When shock and grief were all too common
           When current circumstances made the future bleak and uncertain
    On a night just like this one

    The world paused
       And even skipped a breath
         Because God showed up
           As a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes
             Laying in a manger
               And the world was changed for the better

    We gather tonight
       to pause
         Maybe even to skip a breath
           To meet the God who showed up in an unconventional way
             So that our world will be changed for the better

    We gather tonight to celebrate, for it is indeed, a Merry Christmas.

          The plan for now is to have Sunday worship services in the historic building. We had been anticipating building an ADA compliant ramp into that building and had been soliciting bids; we are considering erecting a temporary ramp imminently to facilitate entry into that building by people of all abilities, as it is now our primary worship space.
          We are waiting for contact from our insurance company to determine next steps for the sanctuary, which has not yet been cleared for entry.

    So much is going on and continued prayers are coveted.

    A printable version of this account is HERE.


    Chaplaincy at LAC+USC Medical Center

    Videos, engaging stories, and a list of involvement opportunities are HERE. This ministry is made possible by your support through Presbyteries of the Pacific, San Gabriel, San Fernando and Los Ranchos and the Synod of Southern California. Please share with your presbytery and congregations!


    Upcoming Events & Opportunities


    Congregational Dialog

    The Synod Committee for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation is offering small grants to churches to reach out and initiate an event or exchange with a church of different ethnic background. Please download the flyer below for details and to learn how to participate.

    NBPC-SC    Give the Gift of Camp!

    NBPCC-SC Camp Fund Opportunity graphic

    Sponsored by the National Black Presbyterian Caucus, Southern California Chapter.

    This is an opportunity to help make the summer camp experience possible for Synod youth, or to begin the registration process for the 2019 camp season.



    Grants & Funding for Congregations

    Partnership Grants

    Partnership illustration

    The Synod, in partnership with PC (U.S.A.). may be able to assist your congregation with a Partnership Grant. Details are here: Partnering Grants Protocol


    The Synod Committee for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation is offering small grants to churches to reach out and initiate an event or exchange with a church of different ethnic background. DETAILS/APPLICATION


    Peacemaking Funds

    Peacemaking illustration

    The Peacemaking Offering may be taken at any time, although most churches select World Communion Sunday as the date. A quarter of the offering goes to the Synod committee responsible for peacemaking awareness and events, a quarter to the local presbytery, and half of the offering goes to G.A.The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is surely among the finest ventures of Christian discipleship our church has been involved with.

    Application guidelines for Synod Peacemaking funds are available HERE. The contact person is the Rev. Sunny Kang (e-mail) (cell 310-987-8048).



    Funding for Korean Churches

    The Synod has allocated $240,000 for Korean ministries within its bounds. Application is made through the church's presbytery which must match the Synod's contribution.  Please see the letter (linked below in Korean and English) for details and instructions.

      (PDF)  Information Letter


    Racial Ethnic Pastoral Leadership  (REPL) Scholarship Program


    WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY: Racial Ethnic individuals persuing M.Div degree or Equivalent




    HOW: See information sheet

    DEADLINE: "Open"

    QUESTIONS? E-mail The Rev. Narcissis Tucker Bishop, Coordinator (E-mail)



    These forms can be completed online, using the forms that you will download from the links below. Submission can be by e-mail attachment.


    Electronic (MS Word)
    Parts I, II, III
    for applicant)
    Part IV: (for recommendation)

    Please note that applications are now accepted at any time.



    These forms can be downloaded, printed, and then filled in. Submission could be e-mail attachment or mail.

    Parts I, II, III
    (for applicant)
    Part IV (for recommendation)


    Please note that applications are now accepted at any time.


    Synod Activity

    Synod Business Calendar

    graphic-Synod Business Calendar

    2019 Synod Assembly Dates
           May 4
           November 2

    Commission of Assembly Meetings 2019: February 16, June 29, October 12, December 14


    2018 PJC Decisions

    Synod PJC graphic

    Two 2018 Synod PJC decisions are available; all PDF documents:
    Pacific Palisades church vs. Pacific Presbytery

    Spitzer vs. Riverside Presbytery



    Synod  Business & Organization

    COA-Related Groups

    Documents illustration

    The general contact   at the Synod office is Fried Wilson (Email)

    COA-Related Groups

    • Equity and Justice Ministries

    Presbyterian Women (PW)
              Synod Assembly Report (11/18)
              Newsletter; Fall 2018
    Presbyterian Men (PM)



    Diverse group in meeting

    • Commission of Assembly (CoA)

    • Synod Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC)

    • Committee on Representation and Nominations (CR&N)

    • Polity & Records

    The Commission/Committee Contact is Business Manager Fried Wilson


    Mission Partner(s)
    Related Entities

    Diverse group in meeting

    The general contact   at the Synod office is Fried Wilson (Email)

    Mission Partner

    •  Southern California Ecumenical Council

    • Synod of the Nile

    Related Entities

    Monte Vista Grove Homes, Inc.
    Presbyterian Camp and Conference Centers, Inc.(PCCCI)
    • Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conf. Inc.


    Churchwide Resources

    (Sources: pcusa.org, ga-pcusa.org, and  pma.pcusa.org)

    Presbyterian Mission Website

    The Presbyterian Mission website displays many new stories of mission and opportunities. Find it  HERE.

    PC (USA) Churchwide Anti-racism Policy

    Facing Racism–Vision of the Intercultural Communigy: Website and Resources

    PC (USA) Blogs: Other Voices

    Presbyterian News Service
    Mission Agency
    Blogs Listing

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


    pcaPDA assistance is assisting in areas throughout California which have been devastated by the recent wildfires and mudslides.


    PC (USA) Stated Clerk's Statements

    PCUSA.org now files many of its news reports under "tags" that are familiar to users of social media, and the statements from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II are included in this group. These two links may be most helpful for quick retrieval:

    Recent Statements
    List of Subjects (Tags)

    More PC (USA) Resources

    More resources, including items in the Spanish and Korean languages, are linked   
    Categories include:

    GA 223

    PC-Biz (official GA documentation)
    Links to Key GA Activities, including video links
    (On this site)

    GA 223 Site
    GA Resources

    General Assembly 223 ended on June 23, 2018 but resources are still on the GA 223 site.