When:                                                         Professional Leaders Conference            

*October 17-19, PLC name badge pick-up Oct 17 in the lobby of the Monterey Tides starting at 3:00PM. The first event on the program is dinner, starting at 6:00PM

                                                                                            Rostered Women's Retreat - For rostered women of the Sierra Pacific Synod                                   *October 16-17, starting time is 3:00PM (meals included are Monday dinner on Oct 16, Tuesday breakfast and lunch on Oct 17)  


Deans' Gathering - For Deans                           *October 16-17, starting time TBD (meals included are Monday dinner on Oct 16, Tuesday breakfast and lunch on Oct 17)

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Monterey Tides                                                   

2600 Sand Dunes Drive
Monterey, CA 93940

Driving Directions 


Room Reservations are made separately by contacting Monterey Tides at 1-800-242-8627 (use Block Code 1710Sierra) or online at Sierra Pacific Synod 2017  The limited room block closes September 15 or once the block is full. After September 15, rooms will be reserved on a space available basis at an increased rate.                    

Check-in is 4:00PM on the day of arrival and until 11:00AM on the day of departure.


Scholarships... a limited number of scholarships are available. If you are a first call pastor, a person of color, or a person whose primary language is other than English, please email your scholarship request by September 15 to Pr. Kathryn Gulbranson at Kathryn@spselca.org or call 650.590.0980 ext 103

Registration support for Women's Retreat, Dean's Gathering or Professional Leaders Conference:              Contact Laurie Gaumer                                                       Laurie@spselca.org                                       650.590.0980


2017 Professional Leaders Conference 

Building a Community of Lutheran Leaders


Blessings and peace to you in this season of Pentecost!  I pray these summer months are providing you an opportunity to find time for family and friends and rest and re-creation.  It’s important for us, as rostered leaders, to take time away and find rest for our souls and encouragement for the challenging call to ministry we have chosen to answer.

To that end, I am inviting you to make time this fall for our annual Professional Leaders Conference, October 17-19th in Monterey, CA. This year’s gathering to help build a community of Lutheran Leaders is especially important, as we will be gathering as a church which is “committed to being re-formed” just two weeks before the 500th Anniversary of Reformation!  It’s also an important time for us to live fully into the hope of a resolution that was passed when we gathered in Reno for our Assembly, Resolution 2016-6: “Regarding the Racial Ethnic Ministries Discipling Team.”  A portion of that resolution reads as follows:

RESOLVED: that the aforementioned strategy will include (but not be limited to) the development and implementation of an anti-racist curriculum, which will become a continuing education requirement for all rostered leaders under call in the Sierra Pacific Synod.

The “aforementioned strategy” that is referenced is for our synod’s ministry to better reflect racial justice, anti-racism, and cultural competence at every level of our work and witness together.  A significant part of our being “committed to being reformed” is to wonder where God is calling us next to allow the work of the Holy Spirit to be made known through our lives and ministries.  I believe the Spirit is leading us into much needed and deeper conversations about racial justice and white privilege, and how our congregations, synods and the churchwide expressions of this church might be a leading voice in this conversation in the wider community.  As a Lutheran leader, I am asking ALL of the rostered leaders of our synod to join in this challenging and hopeful conversation.

Stacy Kitahata will be our guest speaker/leader for this gathering.  She was formerly with the ELCA Global Mission Staff and Region 1 Staff for Multiculturalism, and is now working both with Kaleidoscope (http://www.kscopeinstitute.org) and The Krista Foundation (www.kristafoundation.org).  Stacy is a community leader with a sustained commitment to fostering cultural competence and active faith.  She was Dean of the Community and a member of the faculty at the Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago. Stacy has traveled extensively in Latin America, Asia and Africa and holds degrees from UCLA and McCormick Theological Seminary. These experiences equip her with a wealth of global, ecumenical, and theological insight.

When asked what she looked forward to in partnering with Krista Colleagues, Stacy shared, "In these terribly polarized times when the tensions in our life together seem daunting, the wisdom and perseverance of the Colleagues—together with the access and potential available in our connected/global world—will move us all to a better place than we can even begin to imagine. The Colleagues are inspiring and challenging and it is an honor to serve with them." 

Our Sierra Pacific Synod Professional Leadership Conferences are an opportunity for us to gather and experience the rich and fruitful time of being with colleagues.  And while it is not in my capacity as bishop to compel anyone to attend, I am strongly encouraging you to register, attend and participate in this event.  It will be one of many ongoing conversations about how our ministries and congregations can become better reflections of the diversity of the communities we have been called to serve in northern California and northern Nevada.

As always, I am available for conversation about this if you would like to know more about my hopes that every rostered leader in our synod will attend this event.  Thank you for your consideration of this invitation, and blessings in your life and ministry.


Bp. Mark