October 27, 2021
GLENDALE, CALIF – California Lutheran Homes and Community Services (CLH), an independent not-for-profit social ministry organization, announces its collaboration with Living the Resurrection, a vitality initiative to help congregations thrive through processes, workshops, keynotes, consultations, and coaching.
CLH will subsidize the cost of a Living the Resurrection vitality program to make it more accessible to small-to-medium-sized congregations in Southern California. This congregational process helps churches explore the passions and struggles they face in diverse and changing neighborhoods. CLH funding will reduce the cost of the program for congregations in the Southwest California and Pacifica synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)
The CLH-funded Living the Resurrection program provides eight workshops over 18 months to help congregations discern where God is building connections, along with developing momentum for change, according to the Rev. Dr. Marjorie Funk-Pihl of the ELCA, who founded and facilitates the program.
“CLH’s mission is to support Lutheran congregations in the regions we serve,” said Deacon Nancy Ackerman, CFRE, president and chief executive officer of CLH. “Our funding of Living the Resurrection is designed to help congregations be more vital and better equipped to do God’s work in their neighborhoods.”
Funk-Phil developed Living the Resurrection while serving the Southwest California Synod as director for Evangelical Mission. Although she had led medium-sized congregations for more than 20 years, she was challenged by how to help smaller monocultural congregations located in large multicultural neighborhoods. She created Living the Resurrection to help these congregations.
“Many of our congregations are in buildings designed for 150 to 200 people, but often have 30 to 50 people in worship on a Sunday,” said Pastor Funk-Pihl. “We want to help these congregations be more relevant and vital. Many congregations want to learn how to change but have little access to resources that will help them. We’re blessed and thankful to CLH for making this available.”
California Lutheran Homes Foundation and Community Services is an independent not-for-profit social ministry organization. Founded in 1947, its mission is to provide funding and other assistance through partnerships with congregations, community-based organizations and local agencies. CLH is a member of Lutheran Services in America.