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Synod News, Mission, and Events


Synod Assembly meets November 5

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Chaplain’s Corner | Summer 2016

By Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder
Presbyterian Staff Chaplain, LAC+USC Medical Center

Please use your scroll bar to read the entire article. Bulletin insert versions are offered at the end of the article.

In April, I made arrangements with Rev. Nancy Moore to have a group from Shepherd of the Valley come to LAC+USC Medical Center and see the chaplaincy ministry and the great work of Angel Interfaith Network. Over 20 people came, all ages, mostly Mandarin speaking, full of curiosity and excitement. Pastor Fischer Peng was a huge help, translating into Mandarin! We spent the morning seeing the 650 bed inpatient tower, the interfaith chapel, the 150 bed emergency department and trauma center. At the end of our time together, Pastor Peng gave me his card and invited me to call on him if a patient ever needed spiritual support from a protestant pastor in Mandarin.

Several months later, the chaplain’s office got a call. There was a newborn baby in the NICU…and mom was also fighting for her life in labor and delivery…her labor had begun early, with many complications…mom and dad were far from their home …they had no one to turn to in Los Angeles, and they only spoke Mandarin…said they were Christian…

The hospital was doing everything they could to support the family with Mandarin speaking team members. I called Pastor Peng and left him a message to see if he would be willing to receive a phone call from the family. He graciously said yes and proceeded to provide spiritual support in the heart language of the family as the mom’s conditional stabilized and as their precious baby’s condition grew more grave. As the days passed, it became clear that the baby would not survive. Driving over an hour, Pastor Peng came to baptize the baby before the breathing tubes where removed and he returned again several days later to pray with the family when the baby died.

A few weeks later, the chaplains office got another call. The mom and dad had come back to the hospital to express their gratitude to the staff. Mom had prepared thank you cards in English for those who had cared for her and her baby. She talked about how they have been embraced by God’s people at Good Shepherd Presbyterian as she has continued to receive treatment and how they now considered themselves to be part of that church family! Every time I am amazed at how the Holy Spirit knits us together across the distances of geography, language and culture. God is always preparing us, calling us, catching us, walking with us! In the moments when we least expect it, in the times when we most need it – God in the flesh embraces us.

Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder serves as Presbyterian staff chaplain at LAC+USC Medical Center. To find out more about this ministry and how you can be involved, please contact her at Elizabeth.GibbsZehnder@gmail.com.

2-up Bulletin Insert Versions:
PDF 8.5x11 Bulletin Insert Color Photo
PDF 8.5x11 Bulletin Insert Grayscale Photo

PDF 8.5x11 Page Version

Assistance to Central American Refugees

Learn more about this ministry, funded by a Synod grant, in Doska's Corner, in an article written by the Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble, Pacific Presbytery's Mission Advocate.

New Hope Presbyterian Church featured on NBC News

The video, part of KNBC's "Life Connected" series, may be viewed HERE.
New Hope is a member of the Los Ranchos Presbytery; its pastor is the Rev. Chineta Goodjoin. Learn more about church: Website

Los Ranchos Presbytery: Mission Blog

A misson-related blog from Los Ranchos Presbytery shares news of mission opportunities within the presbytery, as well as within the wider church. Blog Link

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


Current focus: Hurricane Matthew

Doska's Corner

Please use scroll bar as needed, or read as single column HERE. A list of archived reports is available at the same link.

July 19, 2016

Historic Elections at the 222nd General Assembly (2016)

          At the 222nd General Assembly Co-Moderators were elected, and a Stated Clerk of the PC (U.S.A.) was elected to succeed Gradye Parsons, who is retiring after eight years as stated clerk. If you happened not to have followed the activities of this year’s General Assembly I’d like to briefly introduce these three individuals to you through a few excerpts from articles by Mike Ferguson for the General Assembly News, the daily publication from the 222nd General Assembly.

Co-Moderators Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston

coMod           On the 60th anniversary of making women eligible to be pastors, and the 85th anniversary of ordaining its first woman elder, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made history again, electing two women as co-moderators for the first time.
          Denise Anderson, a pastor from National Capital Presbytery, and Jan Edmiston, a presbytery executive from Chicago, were overwhelmingly elected Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly (2016).
          This was the first-ever election of co-moderators, which was possible because of a change made in the standing rules just two years ago. Moreover, in the history of the denomination, women had never been elected as both moderator and vice moderator.
          “It is is simply historic,” said Anderson, the pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hill, Maryland. “It is the first time our denomination has elected co-moderators.” She also noted that she is the youngest person ever elected as moderator or vice moderator.
          “It is is very humbling,” said Edmiston, associate executive presbyter for ministry at the Presbytery of Chicago. “This is is the 60th anniversary of the ordination of women to Word and Sacrament and the 85th anniversary of the ordination of women as ruling elders. Now, we will be modeling a new way to be the church in the 21st century.”
          Edmiston and Anderson acknowledged that how a co- moderator model will work is yet to be determined. “We are going to have to work out the nuts and bolts,” Anderson said. “as this has never been done before.” Each of them expects to handle about half of the moderator’s role. “We don’t have to be at everything together,” Edmiston said, “but there is the advantage that people always want to see the Moderator, not the Vice Moderator. Now, whichever one of us they get, it will be the Co-Moderator.”

Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson

“SC J. Herbert Nelson was overwhelmingly elected Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in an historic vote, becoming the first African- American elected as the top ecclesial officer of the nation’s largest Reformed body. Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, succeeds Gradye Parsons, who is retiring after eight years as stated clerk. “Today is is a powerful day, a powerful day in my life, and for many people of color who did not envision the possibility of this ever happening,” Nelson told the assembly.
He said he asked only one thing of commissioners: “Pray for me and work with me – and not on me – and we’ll get some things done in the name of the Lord.”
During the question-and-answer session after the candidates’ speeches, Nelson said the denomination can “no longer be 93 percent white and expect to grow.” He said each Presbyterian can be “a committee of one” working on the issues that divide them.
He suggested that Presbyterians who attend upcoming general assemblies in St. Louis (2018) and Baltimore (2020) – two communities dealing with the effects of police violence – arrive early to build Habitat for Humanity homes and engage in other helpful ministries. “We would be celebrated for coming to St. Louis and Baltimore, not just for spending a bunch of money (at the assembly) and leaving the city in the same way we found it,” he said.

Please keep these three new officers, as well as Tony de la Rosa, Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in your prayers. His appointment was reported earlier, HERE.

Doska Ross
Synod Executive & Stated Clerk

Mission Funding


Please download the PDF Partnering Grants Protocol to learn how the synod may be able to assist your congregation.




Please use the scroll bars to access the full text, including the link at the bottom.

Every World Communion Sunday (the first Sunday in October) is an opportunity for taking the Peacemaking Offering, a quarter of which goes to the Synod committee responsible for peacemaking awareness and events, a quarter to the local presbytery (if still organized for such gospel-based witness), and a half of the offering to G.A. In its 34th year the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is surely among the finest ventures of Christian discipleship our church has been involved with.

PDF Application guidelines for Synod Peacemaking funds are available at this link.


PC (U.S.A.)

Funds are also available through the Mission Grants program at PC (U.S.A.) Their 2014 deadlines are included in the information brochure or as a stand-alone deadlines page.



Churchwide Events, Education & News

PresbyterIan Mission WEBSITE

The Presbyterian Mission website has a new look, and many new features. You'll find it HERE.

APCE Annual Event

INFORMATION: http://www.apcenet.org/


CRE Online Courses from Dubuque Theological Seminary

Please use the scroll bars to access the full text.

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that we will be offering eight online courses for Commissioned Ruling Elders in our CLP/CRE lay ministry program, scheduled from September 6 to December 17, 2016.

Introduction to Old Testament – Dr. Mark Hughes
Introduction to New Testament – Dr. Lyle VanderBroek
Christian Education – Dr. Susan Forshey
Pastoral Care – Dr. Beth McCaw
Reformed Theology – Dr. Barry Ensign–George
Introduction to Preaching – Dr. Timothy Slemmons
Presbyterian Polity – Dr. Scott Nesbitt
Reformed Worship & Sacraments – Dr. Richard Shaffer

Application and course information for our CLP/CRE program can be found at HERE and then click on “CLP/CRE Info” in the “Welcome” box under the news feed. The current tuition rate is $390.00 per course.

As always, current students can register by going online at HERE or by contacting Carla Gibbons, Distance Education Coordinator (CGibbons@dbq.edu or call 563-589-3630 / 1-888-207-8218), to pay by credit card or check.

In addition, please check our continuing education website.


new theological Seminary of the west

Spirituality and Aging Certificate: The current Spirituality and Aging Newsletter lists courses available during 2016. Information about the Seminary is in the newsletter as well.

PDF Download newsletter



Synod staff

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

Synod Executive & Stated Clerk
DOSKA ROSS    ext. 109    

Office Manager & Meeting Coordinator
FRIED WILSON     ext. 110
( Email)

Finance Manager
DAVID SUAREZ   ext. 107
( Email )

REPL Coordinator
( Email )

synod officers 2016

Moderator—RE Maurice Caskey

Stated Clerk: RE Doska Ross

Vice-Mod.— RE Janice Takeda

Treas.—RE Bill Hughes

CoA Moderator— Rev. Kristin Leucht


Synod documents

PDF   Grant Information—Synod and PC (USA)
PDF  PC (USA) 2014 Grant deadlines only

PDF  Ministry Programs & Projects Opportunities

PDF   Synod By-laws rev. Nov. 2013
PDF   Synod Standing Rules rev. April 2012
PDF Synod Mission Design rev. Nov. 2013

PDF Synod Assembly (April 2016) documents


      Narcissis Tucker
             213.483-3840 ext 112  

Our Synod Gives Scholarship Money to Racial-Ethnic Pastors-in-Training! 
Scholarship opportunities will be posted when available.

PDF REPL's May 2015 Report PAGE TOP



Synod Full-Charge Bookkeeper

Submission Deadline : October 15, 2016


PDF Position Description