ACTS: Introduction of the Old Testament
This past Saturday kicked off the beginning of the  2017 Spring ACTS (The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study) course in Waynesboro, Wytheville, and Chesapeake. ACTS is intended to enrich and equip laity for intentional service as ambassadors for Christ in homes, churches, and in their communities. It provides comprehensive exposure to the foundations of Lutheran faith through classroom and experiential education. ACTS also serves as a continuing education course for rostered ministers.
ACTS instruction is offered in large-group sessions at a single location (with the option of satellite sites), with breakout small-group sessions occurring across the state each led by rostered leaders or ACTS program graduates. From these sessions, ACTS participants gain a theological grounding for their personal call, equipping them to answer the call to be Christ's ambassador- be it in congregational leadership roles, or leading throughout the Synod.

This year's spring course focuses on The Old Testament, introducing the history, culture, and geography of the people and lands of the Old Testament. From this course, the participants will learn about the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament as they follow the story of Ancient Israel from the time of Abraham to the return from the exile.
The Rev. David K. Delaney is the speaker for this ACTS course. He serves as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the Virginia Synod. Pastor Delaney was ordained in 1983 and served congregations in Yorktown and Roanoke. Pastor Delaney received his undergraduate degree in 1979 from Wittenberg University, which included a double major in Religion and Psychology and additional study in the Brandeis University Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. Following college, he attended Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and later attended the University of Virginia, receiving his Ph.D. in 1996 with a concentration in the interpretation of the scriptures in Classical Christianity and Judaism from UVA’s Religious Studies Department.
Pastor Delaney provided participants a broad view of the history of Ancient Israel, and how their scriptures came to be, examining major geographical cultural, and historical information for the region. The course kicked off with a survey of the settings and major events that provide the backdrop for the Old Testament. In considering Israel's life, ACTS participants learned not only what these words meant to God's people at the time they were recorded, but also what they can mean to them today as we continue to proclaim God's blessings.

For this course, ACTS attendees are reading from the Third Edition of Introducing the Old Testament, by John Drane. Drane's survey textbook provides an engaging general introduction to the persons, events, and cultural context of the Old Testament. Arranged historically, Drane's text takes readers through the books of the Old Testament with numerous special articles spelling out in greater detail both historical and interpretative controversies. Additional coverage centers on the meaning and implications of the covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish people.
In its fifteenth year, ACTS is continuing to enrich and equip the people of God for intentional service as ambassadors, with new and returning students benefiting from the courses provided, "It's always a learning experience, the multiple perspectives you hear help you grow in your lifetime attempt to read biblically," explained ACTS participant  Eugene McClurken of St. Mark, Charlottesville, "From hearing so many great speakers, ACTS has become a primary resource for me."
Visit  www.vasynod.org/ministries/acts to learn more about the ACTS program.
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Announcements
Synod Assembly 2017: Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

Synod Assembly is here!  June 9-11  will be our time to get together as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and learn more about worship.  Presiding over the Bishop's election and our ELCA representative  this year will be the  Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla , Executive Director‐ELCA Division of  Global Missions. 

For more information and to register for Synod Assembly, click here.
A Gathering of the Ministerium: A Day of Anniversary Celebrations
Rostered Ministers and spouses, come join us on April 29th for a day of remembrance and reflection as we commemorate three momentous events in the life of the Church, Synod, and Community at Hebron Lutheran Church, in Madison Virginia.

For more information and to register for the event, click here
Lent 2017 Study Series: "Being Church Together in a Changing World"
Tapestry, the Virginia Synod Steering Team on engaging “diversity in context,” has put together a 5-week Lenten study series, for use by either congregation groups or individuals.  It comes in two parts:

Weekly Webinars led by Directors of Evangelical Mission, and weekly devotions are written by folks (Rostered and lay) from across the Virginia Synod.

To catch up with the Lenten Study, click here.

The Lutheran Church in the Shendandoah Valley of Virginia Where We’ve Come From – Where We’re Going
As we celebrate the 500th year Commemoration of the Reformation, our own Virginia Lutheran history can help us as we move forward as Christ’s Church in the 21st Century.  Dr. Susan McArver, Professor of History and Educational Ministry Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, will help guide us to look for the ways God continues to Reform Christ’s Church. Join us!

Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 1:30-3:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church 500 S. Wayne Avenue Waynesboro, VA

For more information, and to download a bulletin insert, click here
All Bach Palm Sunday Concert at Luther Memorial, Blacksburg
Please join us for an all Bach concert, April 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM, in the Luther Memorial sanctuary.  This concert is part of year-long observance of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.  This event is free;  an offering wil be taken

For more information, click here
Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering

Ambassadors for Christ "Luther's Small Catechism in a Time of Big Change"

Celebrating 500 years since the time of the Reformation and using Luther’s Small Catechism as our guide, we will Explore, Study and Discuss the basics of our Christian Faith.

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
Forming Faith 2017 Roots and Wings Workshop
What happens when we consider how faith affects our brains, not just our hearts? In this daylong events, be prepared to look at faith formation and ministry with children and youth using an “Inside Out” point of view. Workshops will balance findings from neuroscience with practical applications for parenting and leading ministry.

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
Job Opportunities
All job postings can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org