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                                                                                             JULY 2016
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Trinity children prepare 80
backpacks of weekend food 
Children line up to pack food at Vacation Bible School at Trinity Ecumenical Parish.

           In a closing event for Vacation Bible School at Trinity Ecumenical Parish at Smith Mountain Lake, about 75 children packed 80 backpacks of weekend food for children and their families at nearby Moneta Elementary School, to be distributed through Good Neighbors Inc. "God's Goodness to ALL people" was the VBS theme.
            In the Hunger Outreach program, children wrote and decorated cards and wrapped desserts for the backpacks. Desserts were added as love offerings. Food beyond the backpack event was held for future weeks at a food pantry, according to Sharon Sicher, director of family ministries at Trinity. Eight adults helped to oversee the event.

In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
$1 million gift boosts campaign
Bishop's column
2016 Synod Assembly highlights
Lutherans help flood victims
New synod treasurer
Lutherans, Episcopalians learn
Pastors, congregations recognized
ELCA voting members will head to New Orleans
Health center, music series at Orchard Ridge
New name for Augsburg Fortress
Roanoke students are second in global contest
Tapestry advocates sought
Hinlicky co-editing Luther encyclopedia
Blessing of the bikes
Lutherans in the news
            The congregation of Christ, Fredericksburg, is preparing to honor Pastor Richard Carbaugh on the 35th anniversary of his ministry there on Sunday, July 24. He came to Fredericksburg after four years at Mt. View Parish, Woodstock At Christ, he has conducted 446 baptisms, 353 confirmations, 224 marriages, 223 funerals and has welcomed 1,738 new members and delivered 1,500 sermons. Carbaugh has been recognized for his work with the Mental Health Association. The congregation said they and the community are "enriched by his long ministry, his leadership, his friendship and his example."
            At Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Smith Mountain Lake, a seminary scholarship fund has been established to help offset education expenses of Dalton Ruggieri, who will graduate from the College of William and Mary and then enter seminary to become a pastor. Trinity youth worked on service to residents of Elizabeth City, N.C., on a mission trip.
            Amanda Sheldon of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) was scheduled to speak at First, Norfolk, on June 19. Sarah McKean is the new administrative assistant and communications representative at First Lutheran. Lawrence Carr was honored for 20 years of service as organist at First Lutheran.
            The annual convention of Virginia Synod Women's Organization will be held at Epiphany, Richmond on Aug. 5-6. Health kits will be collected as an offering.
            A classical 17th century baroque music concert featuring a newly-built German harpsichord was held at Good Shepherd, Virginia Beach, on Sunday, June 26.
            Senior youth at Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, are traveling on a Luther Heritage Tour to Germany from June 19 through July 6, visiting a sister congregation in Holzminden and touring a number of Martin Luther sites. This will be the 28th anniversary of the sister congregation partnership which Gisela Pest of Holy Trinity helped establish in 1988.
            A congregational history of St. John's, Winchester, has been listed in the Lutheran History in North America, A Bibliography of Works Published in 2015, compiled by the Concordia Historical Institute of St. Louis. Over 100 of the histories have been sold in seven states.
            A combined choir of Our Saviour, Norge, and Hickory Neck Episcopal and St. Olaf Catholic Church sang at a Holocaust Remembrance Service at Our Saviour in May. Ethel Sternberg, a holocaust survivor, spoke and an offering was for Lutheran World Relief and the Syrian Crisis Fund.   A Service of Prayer and Support was held after a deadly shooting in a nearby supermarket, An offering was for the benefit of the family of the victim, Gabriel Maness.
At Bethel, Winchester, 14 members of a youth mission team will travel to Guatemala for a week of feeding, clothing and housing children in Antigual The congregation contributed over $3,500 for the trip.
Grace, Winchester , is preparing to sponsor a refugee family through the Harrisonburg office of Church World Service. The congregation has sponsored seven families or groups in the past 50 years. The Global Missions Team is working the Service and Outreach Ministry and Nurture Ministry on the plan. An adult Sunday School class at Grace is studying a book, "Honoring Our Neighbor's Faith: A Lutheran Perspective on Faith Traditions in America."
At St. John, Abingdon, Pastor Scott Homesley, Linda Garnett, Jared Kluttz and Wrenda Fuller play in the Heart of Appalachia Community Orchestra which is presenting three concerts in June and a fourth at Lebanon Middle School on July 4 at noon.
In a social outreach ministry, Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, has operated Second Home, a safe haven and learning center for children at Spotsweeod Elementary School since 2007. Teachers and volunteers serve over 100 children annually. Last year, the program served about 57 students before classes and 100 afterward at three elementary schools and two middle schools. In a Summer of Service, Muhlenberg has hands-on service projects on Sunday mornings, featuring pictures and information about community service.
The sanctuary at St. Mark, Yorktown, looks a little different with the gift of a stained glass window, nearly 100 years old, from the former home of Holy Comforter Lutheran Church, Govan, Md.
At St. Michael, Blacksburg, volunteers are picking over 4 gallons of blueberries a week to be distributed through Micah's Mobile Backpack. In May, the mobile operation sent home over 1,050 bags of food to approximately 275 children each week for a total of 6,352 meals!
The story of Robin Strickler, a Virginia native who founded the Rwanda School Project in 2005, was featured in Making an Impact, a publication of Wheat Ridge Ministries, which provided a three-year grant for the school.
At St. Stephen, Williamsburg, Pastor Thomas Omholt of St. Paul's Lutheran, Washington, D.C., spoke at the annual dinner of the 1956 Society, the congregation's endowment fund.
Schumanns' $1 million gift boosts campaign   
Charles and Helen Schumann

            Charles and Helen Schumann, a generous, elderly couple at First English Lutheran, Richmond, have contributed $1 million to the Synod's ForwardingFaith campaign, pushing total receipts to $1,539,144 or about 60 percent of the goal of
$2.5 million.
            The Synod is working on a campaign to provide permanent funding of $2 million for a youth ministry position and faith formation, as well as $500,000 to support youth ministry in the ELCA.
            Stephanie Hamlett of Epiphany, Richmond, is the general chair of the campaign steering committee. A Roanoke College graduate, she participated in many Synod youth events. She is the daughter of Pat and Leroy Hamlett of Peace, Charlottesville. Leroy Hamlett served as synod vice president from 1988 to 1995.
            Charles Schumann, baptized and confirmed at First English, taught an adult Sunday School class for years and made many visits to home-bound members. Helen Schumann maintained the cradle roll. They endowed two religion professors at Roanoke College and they provide scholarships for Lutheran students and half of the expense of First English youth to attend synod events. Schumann, an investor and a life-long Lutheran, and his wife live simply in an old farmhouse in Chesterfield County.
Stehanie Hamlett speaks at Assembly. 
Schumann's legacy continues for generations. His granddaughter, Alice, was baptized at Our Saviour, Richmond, in December. She is the daughter of his son, David, and his wife, Renae Schumann.
            Bishop Jim and Lynda Mauney have contributed $25,000 to the campaign. Other significant events in the early phase: Pastor Chris and Terry Price, $50,000; Brad and Traci Williamson, Epiphany, Richmond, $150,000, and Pastor David and Gail Penman, St. Timothy, Norfolk, pledged $130,000. An event at Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, raised more than $28,000.
            "We continue to roll, we can do this, Bishop Mauney told the Synod Assembly.                                          
            The congregational phase of the ForwardingFaith campaign began at the Assembly and a celebration of success is scheduled for the 2018 Synod Assembly.

What it means to be Lutheran   
     by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Bishop Eaton 
           Lutherans don't often garner much media attention. In this country we don't make up a big segment of the population. When groups of Lutherans began arriving on these shores in the 18th and 19th centuries, they tended to stay in their nationality and language groups and didn't assimilate completely into the surrounding culture. We kept to ourselves and so went relatively unnoticed. Lutherans, with some exceptions, weren't part of the political or economic elite. There are both benefits and problems because of this. More later.
            Our state of relative obscurity is about to change. In 16 months we'll mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. For a brief time a spotlight will be turned on Lutherans in this country and around the world. Documentaries will be produced and aired, seminars will be held and, particularly if Oct. 31, 2017 is a slow news day, the media is going to seek us out and ask us to explain ourselves. When the local newspaper, radio or TV station comes knocking on our door, what are we going to say?
            In our churchwide conversation about priorities for the ELCA ( ), we have been asking what it means to be Lutheran. We aren't as good as we could be about giving a clear answer to that question. We speak about grace, about our work in advocacy, about the relief and development work we do, about our inclusiveness and diversity-though I believe these last two are more aspirational than actual-about our ecumenical and interreligious dialogues and relationships. These are true and beautiful and important. They are not exclusively Lutheran.
            Many religious and secular organizations are deeply committed to serving the vulnerable and working for justice and peace. The ELCA couldn't engage in ecumenical and interreligious partnerships if there were no ecumenical or interreligious partners. What is distinctive
about us then?
            When trying to define Lutheran identity we sometimes default to cultural types-northern and central European heritage, a certain kind of hymnody, even standard entrees at church dinners. I'm not dismissing the faithful witness of the millions of Lutheran immigrants who left Europe to start a new life on this continent. They built churches and hospitals and universities. They cared for the poor, the widow and the orphan.
           They also lived in close-knit ethnic communities that, at first, helped maintain the Lutheran confessional movement. That is the benefit I noted above. The problem is that the Lutheran movement in this country has become overidentified with a particular cultural expression.
            If we manage to not describe ourselves by a particular culture, we have the tendency of describing Lutheranism as a set of behaviors-we are inclusive, we work for justice, we stand with the vulnerable, we are an inviting church. Please, God, let it be so.
           But the danger is we can slip into what scholasticism called "fides formata." Today we might say faith formation: not in the sense of a living faith that has first been given as a gift, but that correct action leads to faith. Either of these expressions-cultural or behavioral-can result in what Martha Stortz, a professor at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, calls the "presumptive we" that leads to the "othering you." Those in the majority assume their experience is universal and those outside of that experience aren't fully part of the tradition.
            Neither culture nor behavior define what is distinctive about the Lutheran movement. It's our understanding of the gospel. The gospel word creates faith. The gospel word is judgment and promise. Faith created by this gospel word sets people free to serve the neighbor. The church's proper work is to proclaim the gospel word. You know, in the end, it's all about God's fierce and tender love that drives us to the cross, and there, at the very point of death, gives us life. The world deserves to hear the gospel-when the spotlight is on us, and when it is not.
A monthly message from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This article first appeared in Living Lutheran's July issue. Reprinted with permission.
Synod Assembly message: Worship Matters   

            Virginia Synod voting members left the June 10-12 Assembly at Roanoke College with their heads full of hymns and a new appreciation for the values of worship.
            Pastor Kevin Strickland, ELCA worship director, emphasized that "worship is the heart of
Pastor Kevin Strickland speaks at Assembly.
what we do" in daily living.
            "Worship is central because Christ is central," Strickland said during four keynote presentations on the theme, "Ambassadors for Christ: A Heart for Worship." "Worship is like a lens that helps us see the world and our life in a real way...Our worship reflects scripture in a complex way. Worship matters."
            In an official report from the ELCA, Strickland said the national church is "actively engaged around the world." 
The ELCA has 3.8 million members in 9,300 congregations giving $1,8 billion in offerings; Virginia Synod contributed 38.3 percent or $605,950. The ELCA started 62 congregations last year and it has 80 companion churches around the world. The Assembly saw videos of Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and a series of ministries across the country. 
Virginia Synod is known in the ELCA
In a brief report, retired Pastor Jim Utt of Winchester, a member of the ELCA Council, said that wherever he goes, people commend Bishop Jim Mauney and the Synod's youth and ACTS programs. "The Virginia Synod is known and loved throughout the church," Utt said.
            A highlight of the Assembly was the annual Saturday night festive worship service and
New pastor, Nathan Huffman with wife, Christy, son Jack and Bishop Jim Mauney after his ordination at St. Andrew's Catholic Church.
ordination of Nathan J. Huffman at St.Andrew's Catholic Church in Roanoke. Huffman, a graduate of Davis & Elkins College and Gettysburg Seminary, has had a varied career as a Richmond policeman and a Marine in Iraq. He has been a vicar at Our Saviour's, Norge. His wife, Christy, has been a diaconal minister at Epiphany, Richmond. He has been called to serve as associate pastor of St. Michael, Virginia Beach. In a sermon at the ordination service, Bishop Mauney spoke about "where two worlds meet when living bread from heaven is dropped into the water...Out of the depths, we all cry until the whole thing gets changed."
            No elections were contested. George "Skip" Zubrod, College, Salem, was commended by the bishop for his six years of service as Synod treasurer. He was not eligible for re-election. His successor is Pastor Evan Davis, St. Jacob's-Spaders, Rockingham County. He has an accounting degree and experience as an accountant.
            On Synod council, Robert Berger, Epiphany, Richmond, did not stand for another term and Danielle Bosdell, young adult member, is leaving to attend seminary. Molly Beyer, Bethel, Winchester, and Darrell Short, St. Paul, Shenandoah, were elected and Barry Proctor, Redeemer, Bristol, and Jody Smiley, St. Michael, Blacksburg, were re-elected. Chi-Chi Ugochukwu, St. Mark's, Roanoke, was appointed young adult member of the council.

Bishop election format
The transition team, charged with preparation of a process for election of a bishop to succeed Bishop Mauney who is retiring next year, announced its goal: To provide an education for the format for the election based on the ecclesiastical ballot and to remind congregations that this process should be guided by a sense of where God is calling the church to go and how that should influence the choice of a bishop.
            Synod Council will develop the equivalent of a ministry site profile for the Synod, to be distributed to congregations so it may be discussed at fall and spring conference gatherings. The team will create a calendar, education plan and web page to inform the Synod about the bishop selection. Ad hoc committees will be created to handle celebration, installation and mutual ministry care for outgoing and incoming bishops.
            In his annual report, Bishop Mauney thanked Synod voting members for their service, "walking together." He said he is "all in for 2017," an anniversary year. It will be the 500th anniversary of the Reformation; 300th for Hebron, Madison, where ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will speak, and the 175th for Roanoke College. The college choir will tour the Synod presenting concerts at churches.
            The Assembly approved three resolutions calling for support and recognition of the armed forces, for commitment to issues of diversity and inclusion and for prayer in the process of electing a new bishop.
            A budget of $1.94 million was adopted, with a deficit of $305,000, but pledges from congregations are 9.2 percent greater than a year ago. Apportionment to the ELCA will increase from 39 percent to 40 percent next year. Treasurer Zubrod said the Synod raised $2.3 million for the work of the church last year.
            Southern Seminary is preparing to offer Spanish language courses online, with other institutions, and the change in diaconal roster expected at the August ELCA Assembly should bring more students, Pastor Clay Schmitt, Seminary provost, told a seminary gathering during the Assembly. He said enrollment is flat, with about 90 students. The financial situation is good after the merger into Lenoir-Rhyne University, he said.
            Mindy Reynolds, diaconal minister, reported to Synod Council that 121 people completed the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment for a participation rate of 91.67 percent, helping the Synod to save about $14,000 in ELCA health contributions.           
           The recommended rate for pulpit supply was increased from $140 to $150
in 2017. Approval was given for the minimum compensation base for pastors and rostered lay leaders to continue at the 2016 level.
West Virginia Lutherans help flood victims     

            The devastating floods in neighboring West Virginia counties did not damage any Lutheran church facilities or pastors' homes but many pastors and members have been very involved in helping those in need, according to a telephone message from Bishop Matthew Riegel of the Western Maryland-West Virginia Synod to Bishop Jim Mauney.
            Riegel said 44 counties were on emergency levels for several days and eight counties were under FEMA recovery at the end of June. Many homes were total losses throughout the state and it is estimated that 25 percent of local businesses will not reopen, Riegel said.
            Bishop Mauney encouraged assistance for West Virginia through Lutheran Disaster Response that is working with the bishop and Western Maryland-West Virginia Synod. VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) of West Virginia has a process for volunteers who wish to help.
Treasurer Davis will return to accounting    
New Synod Treasurer,
Evan Davis (left) with retiring treasurer, Skip Zubrod.
           Pastor Evan Davis of Rockingham County, newly-elected Synod treasurer, is resigning his call and he will return to his previous profession of accounting. At the Synod Assembly in June, he was elected to succeed Skip Zubrod, who has been treasurer for two terms.
            Davis has served at St. Jacob's-Spaders, Mt. Crawford, and Trinity, Harrisonburg, for three years. He said he expects to work in accounting in Harrisonburg. His wife, the Rev. Brett Davis, is a pastor at Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg.
            Zubrod was commended by Bishop Jim Mauney at the Assembly for his service as treasurer and making arrangements for the Assembly. He previously was president of Virginia Lutheran Homes and vice president of Roanoke College.
Lutherans, Episcopalians learn in joint session 
     by Pastor Eric Moehring, ecumenical representative  

            From May 16-18, almost 90 Lutheran and Episcopal rostered leaders came together from across the state as well as Maryland, DC, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maine and Washington at Shrine Mont Episcopal Conference Center near Orkney Springs, for the conference, "In the Breaking of the Bread: Finding Christ in Full Communion." Liturgical scholars Gordon Lathrop, professor of liturgy emeritus at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and Neil Alexander, Dean of the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., served as presenters.
            One of the main purposes of the conference was for participants to gain a working knowledge of Evangelical Lutheran Worship and The Book of Common Prayer and how to use them to preside. This was accomplished through presentations by Lathrop and Alexander, several small group conversations and instructional worship in both traditions. A participant reported: "The wisdom of our speakers was awesome! Their expert backgrounds are important to the discussion: academia, episcopate, parish/pastoral ministry, worship, canonical instruction, parish ministry!"
            Margaret Rose (by skype),deputy for ecumenical and interfaith collaboration of the Episcopal Church, USA, and Kathryn Johnson, director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the ELCA, provided national and international perspectives of the mission, ministry and progress of the ecumenical movement. Also within an extremely packed schedule was a workshop led by several presenters who offered their experiences in ecumenical ministries, including campus ministry, shared space sites and serving in congregations of the other tradition. Several participants shared their own stories. And there was a workshop on the mobility/transition process between denominations. One participant noted, "(I appreciated the time to meet those) people doing joint ministries and making those connections."
            A large map that pinpointed every congregation of the five judicatories represented, te Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, Southern Diocese of Virginia and Southwestern Diocese of Virginia, the Virginia Synod and Metro-DC Synod, was always visible as a reminder of the interconnection of our many parishes. A booklet listing those congregations with addresses, phone numbers and websites was given to each participant to do follow-up contacts in their community when they got home. And ample time to meet each other in the relaxed atmosphere that is Shrine Mont offered a great opportunity to begin relationships to be carried beyond the conference.
            The joint committee that organized this conference is now looking to have one-day workshops in at least two locations either this fall or early spring to further the needed networking and to strengthen our understanding of each other so that the rostered leaders of both traditions can explore opportunities to share ministry and mission together in their parish settings.
21 pastors, three congregations recognized     
            Eleven pastors who have been ordained 50 years or more, five who have retired and three congregational anniversaries were recognized by Bishop Jim Mauney at the annual Virginia Synod Assembly in June.
            The five retirees are Pastors Robert Jones, Good Shepherd, Front Royal; Jim Kniseley, Resurrection, Fredericksburg; Gordon Putnam, chaplain, University of Virginia Cancer Center; Larry Ugarte, First, Portsmuth, and Sandy Wisco, St. Mark, Charlottesville.
            Among the 11 ordained a half-century ago: Pastors Norman K. Bakken, Brandon Oaks, 65th; Kenneth A. Price, Staunton, 60th; Larry Shoberg, Williamsburg; LeRoy H. Beutel, Fredericksburg, and V.Truman Jordahl, Roanoke, 55th. Those ordained 50 years ago: Pastors C. Frederick Eichner, Littleton, N.C.; J. Paul Balas III, Fort Valley; Richard Ruff, Richmond; Bishop Emeritus Richard Bansemer, Salem; the late Richard Bland, New Market, and William T. Stewart II, Charlottesville. Others recognized: Pastors JoAnn K. Bunn, Redeemer, Middlebrook; Robert F. Humphrey, Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, and Ted Schulz, Shepherd of the Valley, Dayton, 35th; and Cynthia L. Long, Waynesboro, and Lynn A. Bechdolt, Martinsville, 25th.
            Three congregations recognized: Zion, Rural Retreat, 225 years; Christ, Radford, 125 years, and Christ, Roanoke, 100 years.
ELCA voting members
will head to New Orleans

        Eight voting members will represent the Virginia Synod at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans in August. They will be led by Bishop Jim Mauney, assistant to the bishop Dave Delaney; Charles Downs, Synod vice president, and Dawn Scott, secretary.
            Lay voting members will be Karen Griffith, Virginia Beach; Christy Huffman, Epiphany, Richmond; Jody Smiley, St. Michael, Blacksburg; Richard Corliss, St. Timothy, Norfolk; David Raecke, Our Saviour, Warrenton; Christopher Mumaw, St. Peter, Toms Brook; Pastors Linda Motley, Floyd-Willis Parish, and Jonathan Boynton, Grace, Winchester.
Health center, music
series set for Orchard Ridge

            The Village at Orchard Ridge in Winchester held a grand opening of its health and wellness activities center and announced a monthly Monday evening concert series.
Also, its parent National Lutheran Communities and Services said The Village at Orchard Ridge will be a satellite site for Eastern Mennonite Seminary's clinical pastoral education (CPE) program.
            In its Phase 2 expansion, the village has added 18 cottages, expanded its dining area by 150 seats and opened the Engage Center of 15,000 square feet, containing a lap pool, exercise pool and spa, an expanded gym, art room, physical therapy room, multipurpose room and massage studio. Remaining projects under Phase 2 are the addition of 104 independent living apartments and 10 skilled nursing suites, to be completed by the end of the year.
            The Monday Evening Music series, held on the second Monday of each month free of charge at 7 p.m. in the chapel, is presented by the Winchester chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The themes for the rest of the year: July 11, organ and trumpet; August 8, Buxtehude, Bach and friends; Sept. 12, jazz; Oct. 10, old and new performers; Nov. 14, wedding music, and Dec. 12, Christmas carols, old and new.
           Starting in the fall, students from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg and pastors and laypersons studying CPE will be able to continue earning credits toward their
denominational requirements or certification as professional chaplains at National Lutheran Communities & Services. Participants will gain hands-on experience as a chaplain at the village through supervised learning.
Media 1517 is new
name for Augsburg Fortress 
            Augsburg Fortress, ELCA publishing house, has been renamed 1517 Media. This expresses "our rootedeness in the Lutheran reforming movement, ignited by events in 1517, and the gifts this tradition continues to offer to the whole church, society and the individual," said Beth Lewis, president and CEO.
            1517 Media has three publishing units: Augsburg Fortress, Fortress Press and Sparkhouse
Roanoke students are
second in global contest
            The work of two Roanoke College students from Kenya to help improve living conditions in that African country won second place and $10,000 in Wege Prize 2016, a global student design competition focused on an industrial economy that produces no waste and pollution. The students, Lydiah Mpyisi and Lavender Micalo, joined three other Kenyan women in the Kenyan Youths for a Circular Economy. Mpysi, a recent graduate, and Micalo, a rising junior, were born in Kenya's largest urban slum.
            The organization plans to orchestrate a collaboration between Peepoople, a non-profit group that manufactures portable toilets that transform human waste into fertilizer, another non-profit provides communities with bio-digesters that can transform waste into energy. The Kenyan government plans a circular system in which problems become assets for growth and development. The prize money is to be used to help formalize partnerships and resources to move the idea forward.
Tapestry advocates sought   

            A resolution approved by Assembly voting members calls for a Tapestry Team request for each of the 11 conferences to designate one person to serve as a Tapestry advocate, one who is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the church, a rostered or layperson who will work closely with the team "as an organizer, resource, educator and story teller.".
            In a report on the team, Pastor Aaron Fuller, now serving as a Navy Reserve chaplain, said this is "a commitment to being church together for the sake of the world, for the sake of those unseen and forgotten."
            "As a church, we are a tapestry," Fuller said, "a beautiful work of art made up of diverse colors and patterns, created by the weaving together of individual strands, just as diverse and unique themselves...If one of the strands is missing from the tapestry, you notice it and the whole tapestry begins to unravel."
            Tapestry "provides a powerful image for what it means to be God's church for the sake of the world and also gives us an image of what happens when the church is not living that out." With the name change to Tapestry, Fuller said the team has written a revised charter, provided new resources for congregations, started a blog to share stories and plans to create a banner.
            Fuller said the team is reflecting on the questions, "Do we see those different from us? How do we see people themselves?"
Hinlicky co-editing Luther encyclopedia 
            Dr. Paul Hinlicky, Tise professor of Lutheran studies at Roanoke College, has two books near publication and he will start co-editing a Martin Luther encyclopedia as well as leading a Luther seminar in Germany.
            Hinlicky dedicated "Divine Simplicity: Christ the Crisis of Metaphysics" to Roanoke College where he has taught for many years.   
Blessing of the bikes in Lexington    

          Forty riders of all faiths, including a dozen children, participated in Blessing of the Bicycles in Lexington on Saturday, May 21. They enjoyed a community ride, escorted by an officer on a bike, a blessing and fellowship with craft beer and snacks at Good Shepherd.
            They adapted bicycle blessing liturgy, created by Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber of the House of All Sinners and Saints in Denver. Pastor Lyndon Sayers of Good Shepherd said they look forward to the event next year.   

Riders were (from left) Pastor Lyndon Sayers and
Dr. Robin LeBlanc, organizer, both of Good Shepherd,
and Pastor Bill Klein, Lexington Presbyterian Church.
(photo by Stephanie Wilkerson, Main Street Lexington)





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