June 22, 2020
Worship and Community
Devotions by Email from Augsburg Fortress
Every Monday Augsburg Fortress sends a devotional message and selection of artwork based on the text from the day before. This email devotion is free and similar to the devotions in the Christ in Our Home devotional book many congregations offer.
Virginia Synod Office of the Bishop Providing Summer Sermon Series
The Virginia Synod Office of the Bishop has started providing sermons for each Sunday lasting   through  August 30, 2020  for use in congregations. These sermons will be presented by Bishop Bob Humphrey, The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, The Rev. John Wertz Jr., and The Rev. Dave Delaney on a rotating basis.

The sermons will be shared on the Synod's website at  vasynod.org/resources/pulpit-supply , as well as on our social media accounts each Sunday.
Virginia Synod Rostered Minister Prayer Service Gathering June 24, 2020
The Virginia Synod Ministerium will gather by Zoom for a Service of Word and Prayer on  Wednesday, June 24 at 1 PM  and following that a time of conversation with the Synod staff at  1:30 PM . In this time of physical distancing, we look forward to gathering rostered ministers together to hear God's Word and join in prayer for one another and for the world.

The link below will work for tomorrow's service as well as  all future Wednesday prayer services and gatherings .

  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • Meeting ID: 541 796 597
  • Password: 719750
  • Dial in by location:
  • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Organ Accompaniments for Hymns for Upcoming Sundays
Below are links to downloadable mp3 audio files providing organ accompaniments for hymns for upcoming Sundays. All tunes are either in the public domain or copyrighted by Augsburg-Fortress, so there are no restrictions on playing the mp3 for your streaming worship or posting the words on your video feed or an accompanying bulletin. (Thanks to Nancy Delaney and Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke for providing these.)

Hymns for June 2020
Payroll Protection Loan Resources
Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act
On June 3, 2020, a new law went into effect called H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020  which expands the ways the Payroll Protection Program can be used and extends the timeline for use and for applying for forgiveness. The button below links to an article that provides a discussion on how the changes could impact a congregation.
Government Communications
Free Face Coverings for Churches
The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at HHS is offering face coverings to faith and community partners in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. The face coverings, produced and delivered in partnership with USPS and the National Council of Textile Organizations, are being made available to community-based organizations at no cost (and while supplies last). 
Governor Northam Issues Phase 3 Guidance
While the date for Phase 3 of Virginia Forward has not been set, the Governor's office has released their Safer at Home guidelines for stage three. The section on Religious Services begins on page 32.
Leadership in Uncertain Times
8 Helpful Ideas from Leadership Blogs and Emails
Each week, we receive a flurry of "Leading in the Midst of Change" emails flooding our inboxes. Here are 8 helpful articles gleaned from those emails and blog posts over the last week. Articles in this edition focus on the changes caused by the pandemics of COVID-19 and Racism and on digital ministry.
Communicating about Gathering Again In-Person
As Virginia continues to move through the phases of Forward Virginia, congregations are developing plans for gathering again in-person. One key element of conversations around gathering again in-person is communication. When congregations and leaders keep ministry stakeholders updated on the process and decisions being made, it reduces anxiety and increases the sense of collaboration and partnership. Use the button below to see one example of how a congregation shared there decision making process and invited participation.
ELCA Coaching Weekly Zoom Conversations
You are invited to join the ELCA Coaching weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church and throughout society. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in the time of COVID-19, as well as an opportunity to be in small group discussions with an ELCA group coach facilitating the conversation. All of this is designed to help us process our feelings in this strange and fearful time and to create a space where we can each name our next most faithful step forward in our unique context. You are welcome to share this invitation with any other ELCA leader, rostered or lay. Join us on Wednesday, June 24, at 1:00 PM Central.

Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160

Dial by your location
    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
    +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
We Are Church Together for the Sake of the World
Lutheran Disaster Response Grants Through the Virginia Synod
Lutheran Disaster Response has provided funding to the Virginia Synod to assist congregations as they respond to COVID-19.

  • Summer Backpack Feeding Programs
  • Ministry with those Experiencing Homelessness
  • Direct Support for Feeding Ministries (pantry or hot meal programs)
  • Cleaning Supply or Household Good Ministries
  • New Ministries that meet a Need that has Emerged because of COVID-19

If you are responding to a ministry in a way that fits into one of the categories above, please email Pastor John Wertz: wertz@vasynod.org for more information on the grant.
Synod Office Contact Information
A reminder that the Virginia Synod Office of the Bishop has asked its staff to work remotely from their homes in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. We ask at this time should you need to contact our staff to do so directly via email (you can find all staff persons email contacts on our website ).

Should you need to phone either our offices, please know the Eastern Office of the Bishop plans to have phone calls received during office hours (8:00 AM- 4:30 PM) forwarded directly to Lenae Osmondson.

The Salem Office of the Bishop phone will have a voicemail message recorded directing callers to leave a message, or to call a separate phone number during office hours (8:00 AM- 4:30 PM). The number is 540-855-7455 and will be answered by Tammy Kasper. Messages left on the Salem Office of the Bishop phone will be checked as we are able to do so.

In addition, please do not plan to visit either the Salem or Eastern offices in person. Messages and mail will be checked regularly, but please be patient during this time.
We continues to update the Virginia Synod COVID-19 web page with information from the ELCA, CDC, and covering a number of  prepardness and response resources, as well as  liturgical resources.

If you have suggestions for needed resources, please contact Pastor John Wertz at wertz@vasynod.org.