January 15, 2018

Greetings in Jesus Christ,

I’ve always considered myself as a person who kept myself aware of the events going on in our world: natural disasters, unrest, trouble spots in the world, and, of course, the plight of the persecuted church. But when I began encountering “The Prayers of the People,” weekly and corporately, a new depth of prayer for the world around me began to emerge in my heart.

I did not grow up Lutheran; in fact, I served in several non-denominational churches before I started serving in the Lutheran Church.

Several years prior to joining the Lutheran Church, I remember visiting a retreat center where people talked about spending the day in prayer. They prayed in the early morning, later morning, lunchtime, afternoon, dinner time, and evening before they went to bed. Each day, they would pray for the world and “sowed the day in prayer.” These faithful believers told me, “The day the Berlin wall came down they prayed, the day the LA Riots took place they prayed, and on September 11, 2001, they prayed.”

Through those believers, I learned an important lesson. I was to emulate this daily life of praying for the world around me. I was to “Sow the day in prayer.”

That event occurred many years before I became an ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church. I can still remember stepping into a worship service at Concordia University in Irvine where a young campus pastor began to passionately lead all the worshippers in the “Prayers of the People.” He prayed over very specific examples of world events requiring prayer.

On that day we prayed for the Christian Church, its members, and its mission, the Nation and all in authority, the welfare of the world, the concerns of the local community, those who suffer, and those in any trouble.

Over the next several months I began to see a greater depth of my own awareness as we prayed on Sundays, or as I scanned the news during the week. I began to see what a formational moment our weekly “Prayers of the People” could be in the life of our parishioners. These prayers really are a moment of discipleship, and it teaches people how to pray for their world. It is a powerful thing that each week we, along with so many other churches throughout the nations, gather together and God’s people pray.

As the church, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to pray for the world around us. If we don’t do it, then who will? Let’s keep the “Prayers of the People” alive.

I love being your pastor!

In Christ—the best place to be,

30 Days of Prayer

If you would like to join the 30 days of prayer email list, click the button below. You will receive one email each morning for 30 days. Each email contains a prayer, a scripture, and a quote.

Benchmark Email

Pacific Southwest District President Nominees

The three nominees for the President of the Pacific Southwest District Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, submitted to date by the Hephatha members are:

  • Mike Gibson, Christ Costa Mesa
  • Vince Harman, Christ Yuma
  • Tim Klinkenberg, St. Johns

If you would like to add a nomination please contact Jeff Wakefield or Hank Aschbrenner prior to the congregational meeting.

There will be a Congregational meeting February 4 after the 11:00 a.m. service in the Fellowship Hall. We will be voting for the nominee for President. In order to vote you will need to be at least 18 years-old and a member of Hephatha.

Women’s Bible Study

Ladies Bible Study:

When: Every Tuesday Evenings at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Ashley Potthoff's home

Contact the church office for address

Tuesday Evening:

When: Every other Tuesday Eventing at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Fellowship Hall

Contact the Church Office for Schedule

Wednesday Morning:

When: Every Wednesday Morning at 9:00 a.m.
Location: Fellowship Hall

Thursday Morning:

When: Every Thursday Morning at 9:30 a.m.
Location: Fellowship Hall

Men’s Thursday Morning Bible Study

When: 2nd & 4th Thursday mornings at 7:15 a.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Foundations Membership Class


Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 p.m.
Sunday Afternoons at 12:15 a.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Open in the Word Bible Study

When: Every Sunday Morning at 9:30 a.m.
Location: Youth Room

Youth Group

Junior High School:

When: Every Monday Evening at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Youth Room

High School:

When: Every Wednesday Evening at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Youth Room

5th & 6th Grade:


One Sunday of the month at 4:00 p.m.
(usually the 2nd Sunday of the month)
Location: Youth Room

Contact Timothy Potthoff for Schedule


Why are you Lutheran Christian? It's a valid question in this modern age of denominations, distinctions, and choices. Throw out all those notions you might have about what it means to be Lutheran.

When it comes down to it, being a Lutheran Christian is really very simple. It’s about following Jesus. We go where Jesus goes, we listen when Jesus speaks, we trust when Jesus promises. And we live because Jesus lives.

If you’re new to Hephatha, or just looking to get more connected, we’d like to invite you to Foundations! This is a time when you can hear more about who we are, what we believe, and where we’re going as a church. It’s also a place where you can find ways to connect with Hephatha. We would like a chance to get to know your story better, and for you to know ours.

At the end of this study, you will have the opportunity to formally join the Hephatha family.


Wednesday EveningsSunday Afternoons
Dates: Starting January 10 Dates: Starting January 14
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Time: 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Men's Bible Study

In a time when religious leaders and a religious system made it increasingly complicated to connect with God, a teacher appeared whose message was profoundly simple. Jesus arrived on the stage of world events and announced that God's intent was to connect with, not confuse, humankind. To those who were considered most distant from God, Jesus offered this simple invitation, "Follow me."

In this 3-part Bible study, we’ll unpack the compelling simplicity of Jesus' message: Follow. Believe. Obey.

Dates: Thursdays, January 25, and February 8
Time: 7:15 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Location: Pastor Andrews' Office

Hephatha Lutheran Church and School serves Early Childhood through Eighth Grade.

For more information, click here to visit our website

College Planning Workshop: Steven Barillier, Head of Counseling at Orange Lutheran & Rob Burns and Jay Huckabone from Thrivent are hosting a College Planning Workshop on January 17th at 6:00 pm. Please call if interested or questions. 714-525-4360

What is Happening at
Hephatha this Week

MONDAY: January 8

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

TUESDAY: January 9

  • Hephatha Mom's Bible Study @ 6:30 p.m. at the Potthoff's home.
  • Praise Band Rehearsal @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Women's Tuesday Evening Bible Study @ 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

WEDNESDAY: January 10

  • Women's Wednesday Study @ 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Confirmation @ 3:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.
  • High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Foundations @ 7:00 p.m. in Pastor's Office.

THURSDAY: January 11

  • Men's Bible Study @ 7:15 a.m. in Pastor's Office.
  • Women's Thursday Morning Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • All Boards Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

SUNDAY: January 14

  • Services: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m.
  • Sunday School @ 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
  • Child Care @ 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Room 6.
  • "Open in the Word" Bible Study @ 9:30 a.m. in the Youth Room.
  • Foundations New Members Class @ 12:15 a.m. in Pastor's Office.
  • Ignite 5th/6th grade youth group @ 4:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.

MONDAY: January 15

  • Junior High School Youth Group @ 7:00 p.m. in the Youth Room.
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