CHECK IN   January 23, 2017
Event-focused announcements and job notices
updated for our members and friends 
Synod happenings

WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY - Traditionally celebrated Jan. 18-25, this year with the theme "Reconciliation - the love of Christ compels us."
Tue. Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., Mount Olivet United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virg.
Bishop Graham will be among participants in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017 service in northern Virginia. Other participants include Bishop Michael Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington; Bishop Ted Gulick, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia; and the Rev. Tom Joyce, Virginia Conference, United Methodist Church.

Sun. Jan. 29, 3 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church in North Bethesda, Md.
Christian congregations of Montgomery County are holding their 23rd annual Christian Unity Service. The Rev. Roger Berner of Trinity Lutheran will preside, and Dr. John Borelli, Special Assistant for Catholic Identity and Dialogue to the President of Georgetown University, will preach. Special music will be provided by choir members from participating congregations and the Trinity Lutheran Handbell Choir. A free-will offering will benefit children in need in the Middle East. A reception and fellowship will follow the service.

Sun. Jan. 29 in your congregation
The Lutheran Church in El Salvador will be recognized on Companion Synod Sunday 2017. Although Jan. 29th is designated as a day for observance, congregations are welcome to recognize our relationship with this Companion Synod at any time suitable to an individual congregation. The Global Mission Team shared two requests in a mailing to congregations. "First, we ask that you share the attached bulletin insert with information on Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) with your congregation on Companion Synod Sunday, which is Sunday, January 29, 2017," it said. "Second, we are writing to invite you to participate in the ELCA Welcoming Congregations Network of AMMPARO," it continued. "Welcoming Congregations are not offering shelter or employment but merely are willing to be a church home for migrant children and families in the same way that congregations of several generations ago welcomed Lutheran migrants from Europe and helped them navigate life in their new home." These circulated materials and a link to a story told on video about AMMPARO are available from the synod website: .

Mar. 17-19, Northern Virginia 4H Center
synod sponsored
Shekinah 2017, the annual Metro D.C. Synod youth weekend retreat for confirmation-age youth, is happening this spring. Shekinah provides opportunities for learning, growing in faith, worshipping, meeting new people and renewing old friendships - and having fun with other youth outside of their home congregations. "Sola Gratia" is the theme this year. Registration deadline is Feb. 15. Registration and additional details at .
Event notices

Current (opened Jan. 16)-Jan. 30, Online course through Philadelphia Seminary
"What Would Luther Do Today?" presented by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton is a free, online class. The class is a series of video lectures, quizzes and discussions helping students learn more about Luther and make relevant connections that can lead to transformation. Go to to register; Registration includes 24/7 access for 2 weeks to all video lectures, downloads and course content. Learn more at .

Wed. Jan. 25, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy's "Day for All People" is the annual advocacy day where participants can meet with their legislators, watch hearings and see the House and Senate in action. A prayer vigil will also be held. Registration and additional information at .

Jan. 27-29, Caroline Furnace in Fort Valley, Virg.
A "Beer Reformation Retreat" is planned with activities that include sharing your favorite brew, discussion on the art and science of brewing since the 15th century, brewing and bottling a special anniversary recipe, and visiting a local farm and craft brewery.  We will also enjoy the opportunity to share our faith stories with a prayer hike, worship and compline time. More at .

Sun. Jan. 29, 5 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring, Md.
A "Martin Luther Hymn Festival" will feature Bishop-Emeritus Theodore Schneider in the role of narrator with Jeffrey Pannebaker, organist. More at .

Sun. Jan. 29, noon-7 p.m., Howard University's School of Divinity in D.C.
The 2017 DC Interfaith Leadership Summit is open to D.C. area residents, ages 18-39, who hold a position of responsibility in their community/organization. The purpose of this gathering is to provide a day of focused dialogue among young DC area leaders from a variety of faith traditions (as well as those from multi-faith and no faith backgrounds) who are dedicated to building interfaith relationships with peers and allies. Registration and additional info at .

Sun. Feb. 5, in your congregation
Many congregations elect to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring. Often youth groups use the national football focus for "foodraising" (a term I saw from Bethel Lutheran in Manassas), gathering food and/or funds for battling hunger through an organization of the congregation's choice. Learn more at . An ELCA Souper Bowl poster is available from .

Tue. Feb. 7, 1-1:45 p.m., Webinar
"Churches and Copyright" is a "lighthearted & enlightening" free Augsburg Fortress webinar led by copyright specialist Michael Moore. What copyright is and how it impacts churches will be the focus, including elements of liturgies and music that need coverage, copyright licenses, live performances and exemptions. Register from .

Sun. Feb. 12, 5 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring, Md.
"Organ Plus - Music for Brass and Organ" will include Bach, Pachelbel, Reformation Chorales, and Saint-Saens' Organ Concerto arranged for brass and organ. More at .

Feb. 19-21, St. Paul Lutheran in Santa Monica, Calif.
"Engaging Worship and Culture" is a workshop organized by the ELCA worship team. How can the beauty and diversity of those cultures be seen as gifts in our assembly's worship life? How can culture help to shape our liturgies and even our understanding of worship in much deeper ways? How can these intentional conversations lead us into becoming a much more richly diverse church? These questions and more are ones that are crucial to nurturing the worship life of each of our worshiping communities. Registration and details at .

Feb. 25-26, Washington National Cathedral in D.C.
A two-day Festival of Sacred Music features choral, organ and conducting master classes led by Cathedral musicians. Join a day of study on Saturday and a day of worship on Sunday. Explore the expanding world of global song, jazz and Gospel music, and experience soaring Cathedral liturgies with organ and choir. Finally, sing your heart out during the Spiritual Songs and Hymn Sing on Sunday night. "This is not an Episcopal-focused event, but rather one dedicated to joyful excellence in music and liturgy in all communities, and we welcome every opportunity to reach out and connect with our sisters and brothers in Christ across the larger DMV area," invites George Fergus, AAM Gerre Hancock Fellow in Church Music at the Cathedral. Register by February 1 for early bird discount! More at ,

Fri. Mar. 3, 7 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring, Md.
Thiel College Choir will sing at St. Luke with Michael Bray directing. More at .

Sat. Mar. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring, Md.
A workshop called "Music in the Parish" is offered with Anthony Leach, clinician. More at .

Tue. Mar. 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mar-Lu-Ridge in Jefferson, Md.
"Who's Not in Your Church? Making church inclusive and relevant for all people," is an entry in Spring 2017 Mountain Topics. The Rev. Julie Bringman will present. Cost is $30 including lunch, RSVP required by contacting or 800-238-9974.

Fri. Mar. 24 (7 p.m.)-Sun. Mar. 26 (11 a.m.), Mar-Lu-Ridge in Jefferson, Md.
"Singing For Our Lives! A Women's Retreat" will be led by the Rev. Karen Brau and Amanda Weber. This retreat will gather around scripture, music and narrative, seeking empowerment through both our own and our communal voices. Space limited to 35 women. Cost is $175/person including lodging and meals. Registration form available on synod website.

Sun. Apr. 2, 5 p.m., St. Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring, Md.
A Lenten Concert will feature the world premiere of John Ferguson's "Lord Keep Us Steadfast." The piece is a choral fantasia for choir, brass, percussion and organ. More at

Tue. April 25, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mar-Lu-Ridge in Jefferson, Md.
"Crossing the Color and Culture Divide: Journeying toward personal and communal justice," is an entry in Spring 2017 Mountain Topics. The Rev. Ginny Price will present. Cost is $30 including lunch, RSVP required by contacting or 800-238-9974.

May 1-4 at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel
The 2017 National Workshop for Christian Unity will gather Ecumenists from across the U.S. to reflect on themes of reformation. A primary focus will be commemorating the 500th anniversary of the transformational events I Wittenberg in 1517 that initiated a series of reforms and tragic tensions among Christians in western Europe. The Lutheran Ecumenical & Interreligious Network will have its annual meeting during the workshop; all are welcome. More at .

Tue. May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Mar-Lu-Ridge in Jefferson, Md.
"Faith and the Environment: Ideas for incorporating Creation Care into your ministry," is an entry in Spring 2017 Mountain Topics. Laura Heller and the Rev. Tormod Svensson will present. Cost is $30 including lunch, RSVP required by contacting or 800-238-9974.
Job opportunities

Executive Director for the Lutheran Music Program, Minneapolis-based
Lutheran Music Program (LMP), a 501(c )(3) nonprofit corporation, serves a wide range of constituents through education and performance programs, including the nationally-recognized Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival. LMP is seeking an Executive Director who will serve as its chief executive officer. Applications will be accepted until new Executive Director is selected, but sooner is better. Full job profile posted to .
Reformation 500th anniversary

New additions as observances are planned will be listed here and subsequently grouped as "Reformation 500" under the "Events" tab on the synod website.

"Luther and the Reformation" is an hour-long special filmed on location in Germany and Rome commemorating the Reformation's 500th anniversary, narrated by Rick Steves. It is a vailable for streaming from . "Rick Steves' 'Luther and the Reformation' is a wonderful resource for all of us - pastors and lay people alike - to better understand our Lutheran roots and help us in our continued journey of understanding the Gospel. I invite you to stream and share this video with your congregation and use the discussion questions to help guide a conversation in your community," writes the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, who thanks Steves "for generously giving all members of the ELCA access" to the video.
Worth repeating

Sat. Feb. 4, 9 a.m.-noon, King of Kings Lutheran in Fairfax, Virg.
synod sponsored
Youth Ministry 102 will feature presenter Tony Kerlavage. If your congregation is considering or planning to attend the 2018 Youth Gathering, Kerlavage will share training received from the 2017 YM Extravaganza experience in his role as our Synod Coordinator for the gathering. More at .

Thu. Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Md.
Nistha Raj on the Hindustani Fusion Violin is the guest performer in the Magnify Concert Series at The Village at Rockville. Raj is a Strathmore Artist in Residence. Please RSVP online from as seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mar. 5-9, Franciscan Center in Tampa, Fl.
"The MultiFaith Storytelling Institute" focuses on teaching essential storytelling skills to clergy, lay leaders and students for use in sermons, pastoral counseling and spiritual direction. The year-long course begins with a retreat in Tampa in March. Rabbi/Musician Mark Novak, who was present at the "Understanding Jesus means Understanding Judaism" event in our synod last month, is among leaders with storyteller Renée Brachfeld and Rabbinic Pastor Shulamit Fagan. Complete details available at .

July 13-16, Minneapolis, Minn.
Pre-registration is open for "All Anew," the Women of the ELCA's Tenth Triennial Gathering. At the gathering, participants will explore ways in which the Holy Spirit changes us, acknowledging that reformation and transformation have happened and continue to happen within the community of women known as Women of the ELCA. More from .
synod sponsored event
indicates synod sponsored event.
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"My Jewish tradition teaches: 'Find yourself a teacher; and find yourself a friend.'"
~ Joelle Novey, Director, Interfaith Power & Light, emphasizing opportunity for both at the D.C. Interfaith Leadership Summit