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Mission West Online Conference

An online Mission Conference presented by the Northwest, California Nevada Hawaii, and Pacific Southwest Districts of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.


Date: Saturday, October 17, 2020

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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West Coast District Executives - Intro to Mission West: Purpose and Focus     

Rev. Joe Robb, CNH District Assistant to the President - Thoughts on 2020 and introduction to Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger

Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger, Senior Congregational Strategist, Senior Fellow De Pree Center for Leadership, Associate Professor of Leadership Formation, Fuller Seminary. Author of Canoeing the Mountains and Tempered Resilience Leadership Resilience in Uncharted Territory 


Dust Kunkel, NOW Assistant to the President - Q&A with Rev. Dr. Bolsinger



Rev. Dominic Rivkin - Introduction to Community Impact and Health and Dr. LaShandra Beckwith


Dr. LaSharndra Beckwith, President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services


Rev. Dominic Rivkin - Introduction to Dr. Gia Hamilton 


Dr. Gia Hamilton, Vice President of Health, Wellness and Recovery Services - Listening to Trauma


Rev. Dominic Rivkin - Q&A with Rev. Dr. Bolsinger, Dr. Beckwith and Dr. Hamilton 


Rev. Anthony Foster, Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church, Inglewood CA - Devotional Word  




Rev. Joe Robb - Introduction to Government Interaction and Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham


Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham, Director, CUI  for Public Policy, Citizenship and Ethics


Rev. Joe Robb  - Introduction to Mr. Shawn Nelson, Esq.


Mr. Shawn Nelson, Esq. Orange County Chief Assistant District Attorney


Rev. Joe Robb - Q&A Rev. Dr. Bolsinger, Dr. Chatham, and Mr. Nelson


Dust Kunkel, NOW District Assistant to the President - Concluding Thoughts and Invitation

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We know that we are experiencing a time of upheaval and change greater than any in recent memory. Issues like a global pandemic, social unrest, and deeply polarizing politics are placing a heavy burden on churches and their leaders to respond faithfully. This often can lead to an increasingly inward focus or even ministry paralysis when it comes to meeting community needs with the mission of Christ. Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger, author of the popular book Canoeing the Mountains, defines the type of leadership necessary for this uncharted territory as “energizing a community of people toward their own transformation in order to accomplish a shared mission in the face of a changing world.” Join Dr. Bolsinger and an amazing group of leaders as we convene Mission West, an online Mission Conference October 17, 2020. This event is a partnership between the three west coast Districts of the LCMS, and will be offered FREE to you and your congregations. It’s our prayer that socially distanced gatherings of leaders from across our region will tune in from 11:00am – 3:00 pm on Saturday October 17th as we engage real issues of public health, social justice, and Government interaction with innovative and missional responses.

Keynote Speaker:


Tod Bolsinger is the Vice-President for Vocation and Formation and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. For seventeen years, he was the Senior Pastor of San Clemente Presbyterian Church in San Clemente, California, after serving for ten years at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. He earned a Ph.D. in Theology and Master of Divinity from Fuller

Theological Seminary. He is the author of two books, including the Christianity Today Award of Merit recipient, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the community of God transforms lives. He blogs at http://bolsinger.blogs.com and speaks, consults and is an executive coach for corporate, non-profit, educational and church organizations in transformational leadership.

Tod has been married to Beth since 1989. Beth is a marriage and family counselor who is an executive coach and consultant. She is also a professional artist. They have two young-adult children, Brooks and Ali. An avid outdoor lover, if he hadn’t taken biology after lunch in high school, Tod would have been a National Park Ranger. When he retires, he is going to be a ski host who puts four people on every quad chair lift.


Additional Speakers:

Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Social Services of Southern California

“Establishing a vision for community impact that works across private, public and corporate sectors, Beckwith leads a diverse team of 150+ employees across 18 offices in eight counties, to improve conditions for underserved and marginalized communities.

Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham, Ph.D.

Director, Concordia University Center for Public Policy, Citizenship and Ethics. Jo Ellen retired as Director of Public Affairs for Southern California Edison (SCE) after twenty years managing a team of Region Managers serving more than fifty cities in Orange and Los Angeles and supporting strategic planning for public affairs services. She is a frequent guest in television and radio, including appearances on such programs as "CNN and Company," "The Tom Snyder Show," "The Today Show," CBS's "News Makers", "Live in L.A." and many others.


Rev. Anthony Foster

Senior Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church of Inglewood CA. Faith has been engaging the community as needs have changed over the years. Specifically connect with youth through Friday Night Lights, their food insecure neighbors through Manna House and most recently the issue of affordable housing for seniors with a 46 unit solution being built on their property.  

Dr. Gia R. Hamilton, PsyD, LMFT

As Vice President of Health, Wellness, and Recovery Services, Dr. Hamilton oversees the integration of services and program innovation to embrace, equip, and empower vulnerable people in Southern California.

Dr. Hamilton joins LSSSC having served as Dean for the School of Behavioral Sciences at a local university. She has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist since 2006 with clinical expertise in the healing of interpersonal trauma and trauma-informed care. As an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor, she enjoys working with MFT Trainees and Associates. She provides guidance and training for universities, organizations, and agencies focused on serving diverse, marginalized, and underserved communities. Outside of work, Dr. Hamilton enjoys her church family, co-leading a small group and providing pastoral counseling.

Mr. Shawn Nelson, Esq.

Orange County Chief Deputy District Attorney. Shawn served as Orange County Supervisor from 2010-2019. was elected to the Fullerton City Council in November 2002, and was re-elected in November 2004 and 2008. He served as Mayor in 2004-05 and 2006-07 and as Mayor Pro Tem in 2003-04