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                                                                                             MAY, 2018
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Lecture on race, religion
           Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi, education professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, will present a lecture on "Building a More Perfect Union; Race and Religion in America" Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity, Lynchburg.
            Joshi earned a doctorate in social justice education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and she received a master's in theological studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a B.A. in religion from Emory. She also did post graduate work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She specializes in the intersection of ethnicity, religion, human migration and social justice.
In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
From Bishop Eaton
Medicaid expansion
Record 5,000 apply for Roanoke College
Hungry Mother planning
Pastor Kenneth Carbaugh dies at 92
Baptism to be studied at Power in the Spirit.
Women and Justice Social Statement
Bishop: church is an agent of change
Lutherans in the news

            Lt. Gen. John D. Bansemer will be the keynote speaker for the Roanoke College Leadership Summit 2018 to be held in Annapolis, MD, May 18-20. He is the assistant director of National Intelligence for Partner Engagement at the office of the director of national intelligence. He is a son of Bishop Emeritus Richard Bansemer.
            Pastor Kim Triplett has been called as an intentional interim pastor at Lakeside, Littleton, NC., following the move of Pastor Russell Campbell back to his home state of Texas. She formerly served at St. Peter, Churchville, Faith, Staunton, and Peace, Glen Burnie, MD.
Trinity, Stephens City members in yellow hats. 
Members of Trinity, Stephens City, wore yellow hats after the April 15 service in support of their pastor, Rev. Cameron Keyser, who is undergoing a combination of chemotherapy and immuno-therapy at the Unniversity of Virginia Hospital because he is suffering from lung cancer. The members said they will wear the hats as a symbol until he returns. The hats match the yellow God's Work, Our Hands t-shirts.
            More than 250 people enjoyed a 12- hour Bach Around the Clock musical performance at Christ, Staunton. Bach's music was heard on organ, guitar, violin, banjo and piano. The musicians included Florence Jowers, director of music. "Such glorious music has not been heard in these walls for quite awhile," she said. Jowers said she hopes the festival will be repeated next year. Christ Lutheran also planned a Lunch & Paint event when members, children 4-12 and adults of all ages painted flower pots for Mother's Day.
            In support of the 50th anniversary of St. Michael, Blacksburg, members were asked to contribute $50 or more to send four youths to the National Youth Gathering in Houston this summer. Members approved an updated Mission Statement and Vision Action Plan focusing on engagement, leadership and faith formation among children, youth and families.Youths in the 6th grade and older from Blacksburg area Lutheran congregations joined in the annual Fools for Christ Lock-in at St. Michael on April 6-7.
            The congregations of Pleasant View and Salem, Mt, Sidney, will present a dinner theater production of "Easter in Cricket County" at Plesant View on May 18 and 19.                         
            Our Saviour, Christiansburg, contributed more than $1,260 for flood recovery efforts in southern and central West Virginia through Community Lutheran Partners. The organization provided financial assistance for flood survivors and disaster case management training.
            At Grace, Winchester, a task group has been appointed to develop a Scope of work for renovation of the sanctuary, including refinishing the floors, interior painting, lighting improvements and stained glass window restoration. Funding of up to $331,000 has been approved by the congregation. Also at Grace, a blessing was held for a Habitat house built for the Alnajar family, refugees from Syria.
            A new anthem, a banner and a display of Lutheran art and artists are planned at St. Mark, Yorktown, to celebrate its 50th anniversary at a dinner on May 19. Bishop Bob Humphrey will participate. Writers and readers of poetry gathered at St. Mark for a Poets' Afternoon Delight on Feb. 18.
            Members and friends of Bethlehem, Lynchburg, held a VIP (Very Important Parishioner) Service celebrating 60 years of worship with hymns, songs, prayers and messages of praise.            
            After Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick, assistant to the bishop,urged the congregation of Grace and Glory, Palmyra, to think more about their mission statement, they reflected on their efforts to feed the community. Pastor Kenneth Albright listed gifts to the World Hunger appeal, a community garden, food packing for families at the University of Virginia medical center, collection for a food pantry and Feeding Fluvanna Community Day, which generated $4,000 and 2.5 tons of food for a food bank.
            Members of Our Saviour, Richmond, were invited to join other faiths and traditions for a Bon Air Trialogue, seeking a better relationship between Muslims, Christian and Jewish communities by building trust and familiarity through regular meetings. Three meetings were scheduled.
            At St. Stephen, Williamsburg, the Grove Trotters from Grove Christian Outreach Center brought nine boxes to be filled with such needed items as diapers, pullups, baby food and wipes. Eighty Teddy bears were collected at St. Stephen to be sent to police, Lutheran Family Services and other agencies to be distributed to children who have been involved in motor vehicle crashes or other traumatic incidents to help reduce their fears and anxieties.
            Members of Hebron, Madison, are considering a trip to see the new Bible Museum in Washington
            At Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, the Orphan Grain Train is planning to ship a container of aid to Liberia in June. An urgent need is reported for school supplies, composition books, pencils and sharpeners.

God loves
     by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Bishop Eaton 
        During a recent chapel service at the Lutheran Center, Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for Global Mission, shared his favorite Bible verse with us: "Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (John 13:1).
            Jesus was in Jerusalem in the upper room praying with his disciples, modeling selfless service as he washed their feet, and preparing them for his glorification that would take place on the cross.
            "He loved them to the end." To his bitter end on the cross, but to the end of so much more-to the end of the deadly grip of sin, to the end of everything that would try to mar the image of God borne by every human being, to the end of death.
            And Jesus loved them, 12 flesh and blood human beings who carried all the "stuff" people carry-passion and humor and courage, fear and doubt, the need to be seen and affirmed, great faith and quaking uncertainty. Jesus did not love the concept of disciples or the theory of people- Jesus loved them, Jesus loves us.
            Jesus loved. How does one describe that? At my cousin's wedding, the priest noted in his sermon that human language is too small for God. All the poetry in the world can't express the love for one's beloved or for a new baby or for family. All of the hymns ever written or sung can't convey the love we have for God. Neither can words convey how much God loves us. It's almost incomprehensible how much we are loved by God. It is too much to take in. But it is true.
              This is the message that the Lutheran movement still has to speak to the rest of the world. God loves us. God means well for us and for the world. God's love is deep and constant. And God's love is not sentimental. The Incarnation was not a whim. Emmanuel, God with us, was a deliberate immersion into human brokenness in order to bring about healing and wholeness. "For while we were still weak ... while we still were sinners ... while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son ..." (Romans 5:6-10).
             The Lutheran movement presents an alternative face of Christianity to the world. Too often the image of Christianity seen in popular culture is of a judgmental transactional God demanding perfection from an imperfect people, a people who, in desperation, work harder and harder to save themselves. Rules for purity are erected-pure theology and pure morality. Stark lines are drawn defining who is in and who is out. Faith becomes work. Righteousness is our righteousness achieved by ourselves.
            Grace-God's love freely given-is God's work. It is not our doing. It is a gift. It is freedom. This is not for a minute to deny the truth of our sinfulness or that God does judge us and finds us falling seriously short. Grace doesn't give us a free pass, nor does grace gloss over the reality of suffering and evil in the world. This grace, this freedom, makes it possible for us to realize the love of God in Christ in the world and in our own lives. And no human can set bounds on God's grace.
            Jesus loves his own and loves us to the end. Jesus doesn't expect us to do the same-Jesus makes it possible for us to do the same. Therefore, we have nothing to fear and nothing to lose when we reject the notion of racial supremacy, when we welcome the stranger, when we confess that God alone is first. We can tell that story.
A monthly message from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her email address: This article originally appeared in Living Lutheran  May 2018 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Medicaid expansion urged at Bedford forum
     by Pastor Dennis Roberts 
            "People, perks and politics" were three aspects of Medicaid expansion highlighted at an April 19 community forum in Bedford, co-sponsored by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the Healthcare for all Virginians (HAV) Coalition, AARP, Virginia Organizing and a Lynchburg-Bedford interfaith clergy group.
            The forum featured presentations by Jill Hanken, president of the HAV Coalition, and Sam Gerstemeier, director of regional development and external affairs for Centra Health, central Virginia's regional health system.
            Hanken, highlighting "people, perks and politics," pointed out that 1 million Virginians-50 percent children-are currently covered by Medicaid. The Commonwealth has already forfeited 10 billion in federal funds by not expanding medical coverage for an additional 300,000-400,000 low income, single working people and childless adults.
            "Expanding Medicaid will bring tax dollars back home," she said. Hanken then discussed how the political landscape in Virginia has changed since last fall's House of Delegates elections. In the 2018 session, the House finally included Medicaid expansion in the budget but the State Senate did not. The General Assembly is now in special session to finalize a spending plan, with Medicaid hanging in the balance when the budget goes to conference committee.
            Gerstemeier addressed the economic benefits of Medicaid expansion, pointing out the high cost of uncompensated care and how those with commercial health insurance pay indirectly to help close the gap. He shared that over 73,000 of Centra's patients receive charity care assistance. Medicaid expansion will improve the rate of reimbursement, reduce uncompensated care and take some of the rate pressure off those covered by commercial insurance who are subsidizing uncompensated care. Expansion will also help stabilize smaller, rural hospitals in other parts of Virginia that are currently facing possible closure.
            Following the presentations, audience members asked a variety of questions, ranging from how to connect with state senators to a concern about how provider networks can handle an influx of new patients that will result from expanding Medicaid. Julie Swanson, retired CEO of Lutheran Family Services and VICPC board member, made an appeal for people to contact their state legislators to thank those who have voted for expansion and to lobby those central Virginia state senators who are undecided or opposed.
                        Pastor Dennis Roberts is pastor of Holy Trinity, Lynchburg
Record 5,000 apply for Roanoke College   
            A record number of 5,000 high school seniors have applied for 350 slots in the Roanoke College freshman class next fall, President Mike Maxey told a college alumni breakfast on April 14. This proves "a great demand for education," he said.
            When the college celebrated its 175th anniversary last year, the number of graduates passed 20,000. The college is just $3 million short of reaching its campaign goal of $200 million, Maxey said. Funds are being raised for a science building, the last structure planned on campus.
            He's excited about the future for a place that "challenges you to work hard." Last year, a record seven Fulbright scholars were selected from Roanoke, the most for any college or university in Virginia.
            On Saturday, May 5, 450 Roanoke graduates are scheduled to receive their degrees at a commencement ceremony. Dr. Kenneth P. Ruscio, president of the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, will be the speaker. Ruscio, a former president of Washington & Lee University, also will receive an honorary degree, as will Brenda Hale, president of the Roanoke chapter of NAACP.   Ruscio heads a consortium of 15 liberal arts colleges, including Roanoke.
           College Chaplain Chris Bowen will be the speaker at the baccalaureate service Friday, May 4, at 4:30 p.m. The College Choir will present a farewell concert Friday night at 8 at Salem Baptist Church.
Hungry Mother has planning grant 
           Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center has received a grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry for green space planning to be carried out by the the Community Design Assistance Center at Virginia Tech.
            On April 24, the first step was taken at a meeting of stakeholders of the center to hear abut establishing a strategic master plan to better accommodate the diverse list of user groups and further sustain economic stability, according to Chris Stevens, executive director of the center. A Virginia Tech team will present a preliminary design presentation plan in May and a final design presentation is expected in June.
            Stevens also reported the summer schedule for the center:
            A health and fitness camp for Smyth County 4th and 5th grade students, June 4-15
            Mission work by youths and adults from St. John's Lutheran Springfield, IL, June 18-22.  
            Social Services Youth Camp, June 25-29
            Annual Bible camp, led by Caroline Furnace Camp staff, July 1-6
            Bible camp for 3rd-5th grade girls
Project Crossroads, a visiting mission team, July 15-23
Pastor Kenneth Carbaugh dies at 92 
           Pastor Kenneth R. Carbaugh, 92, died Jan. 30. He was the founder and pastor of Our Saviour, Virginia Beach, for 53 years, one of the longest periods of service in the Synod.
            Carbaugh, a native of Stephens City, graduated from Roanoke College and Philadelphia Seminary and served as a Navy chaplain for three years before he established Our Saviour. The congregation built its present sanctuary under his leadership and an earlier building was named Carbaugh Hall.
            He and his first wife, Elizabeth, had four sons who survive: Kenneth Jr., Edward, John and William Carbaugh. Also surviving are his wife, Trisha Carbaugh, and a brother, Mason Carbaugh. The Rev. Richard Carbaugh, recently retired pastor of Christ, Fredericksburg, is a nephew. The funeral was conducted by the Rev. Harry Griffin on Feb. 7. Burial was in Rosewood Memorial Park, Virginia Beach.
Baptism to be studied at Power in the Spirit 
            Those attending Power in the Spirit on July 12-14 will experience what it means to be "Walking in Newness of Life," the theme of the annual conference at Roanoke College. The keynote presenter will be Dr. Sarah Hinlicky-Wilson, a pastor in the ELCA Slovak Zion Synod who will begin in August serving as associate pastor of Tokyo Lutheran Church in Japan.
            The Bible study leader will be Dr. Mark Allan Powell, New
Testament professor at Trinity Seminary and an internationally recognized biblical scholar.The speakers will dive into the mysteries and promises of baptism. Sally Moore and the St. Peter's praise band from Stafford will lead the music. A variety of courses will be offered over the three days. Powell was visiting theologian at St. Stephen, Williamsburg 
             Hinlicky-Wilson has worked for almost eight years at the Institute for Ecumenical Research at Strasbourg, France, specializing in Lutheran dialogue with Orthodoxy and Pentecosta l churches. She has been the editor of the quarterly Lutheran Forum for more than a decad
e. She is a daughter of Dr. Paul and Ellen Hinlicky and she and her husband, Andrew, have a son, Zeke. Powell, has led Bible study before and also has been visiting theologican at St. Stephen, Williamsburg.
             Two service projects will be offered. The five Minnick schools need such play equipment as basketballs, soccer balls, dodgeballs, hula hoops, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk, board games and outdoor game sets. Monetary donations will be usedfor such larger items as basketball hoops and volleyball nets. Pastor Paul Henrickson will lead a Habitat for Humanity project at a Roanoke area site.
Comment on the Women and
Justice Social Statement Draft 
            Have you ever wondered what ELCA social statements are and how they are created? The ELCA develops social statements as teaching and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist in the discernment of social issues in the context of faith and life.
             Social statements also govern policy related to social issues for the ELCA as an institution and guide its advocacy and work as a publicly engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and discernment and are adopted by a two-thirds vote of an ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
            Responding to a call received from the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, a Task Force was assembled to lead the process of the Women and Justice Social Statement formation. Pastor Jim Utt of Virginia served as a Governance Advisor to the Task Force which was comprised of ELCA members selected to represent diverse walks of life, perspectives, genders, geographic regions, ethnicities and skill sets.
            The draft social statement was written by members of the task force. Since 2012, the task force has conducted over 100 listening events and consulted with specialists who have provided insight on Scripture, theology, economics, history, media and much more. The task force also issued a study document in 2016 for use in congregations.
            Now, we are in the comment period of the process. The Synod Council members met in March 2018 and discussed the social statement. Their comments have been forwarded to the Task Force for consideration. This is your time to be heard!
            Judy Casteele serves as the Women and Justice process builder for the Virginia Synod. Her role is to convene hearings throughout the synod at the request of conferences or congregations. At each hearing, a recorder will keep track of everything said (without names) and submit a report to the task force.
            Members of the task force will read all the reports as they prepare to revise the text in the late fall of 2018. The task force will conclude its work by issuing a revised statement in February 2019. The completed social statement will be presented for consideration at the next ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
             "Women and Justice is an essential conversation in every congregation. It is important that we have as many members as possible participating in this step of the process," said Bishop Bob Humphrey. "Participation in a hearing is part of how we develop social statements in this church. Hearings are a chance to both speak and listen. This is part of who we are as church together."
            In addition to the hearings that may be scheduled with congregations and conferences, individuals may also comment on the draft of the Women and Justice Social Statement by reviewing the social statement and completing the response form found at The comment period will run until Sept. 30, 2018.
Copies of the draft social statement may be ordered by calling the ELCA resource line at 800-638-3522 or downloaded at   
Bishop: church is an agent of change  
            Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission engaged in a lot of conversation about building bridges in difficult times, led by Bishop Bob Humphrey and Chaplain Andrew Bansemer at their annual Gathering at Roslyn Center in Richmond on April 7-8. The small number of participants was exceeded by their enthusiasm, passion and fellowship.
            Humphrey set the stage by sounding "a call to reflection, reconciliation and renewal in a time of conflict. This is a time to consider together some ways God is leading the church to serve as a critical connecting point with the world. Christ is the cornerstone."
            The bishop reminded the men that we are living in a time of conflict and tragedy causing real anxiety among the people. The country is polarized and it's hard for us to talk about things we disagree on or to respect others' opinions.
            Churches are declining and if members don't like one church they go to another. "We've got to do something about understanding others." Humphrey asked, "How do we get opinion shaped by the church? If not in the pulpit, I will vote in the ballot box...Lutherans are interpreters of scripture."
            The church should be big enough to hold all of God's people, the bishop said. What does the Bible say about accepting all people. We identify ourselves as conservative or liberal but there are so many different ways to divide ourselves. The church has an amazing opportunity to serve as a bridge between two sides.
            What does Jesus say to help us understand each other if true transformation is to take place. Speaking of the church's responsibility, he said "We are an agent of change in the world...Work must be done by people connected to the problems."
            The men met in small groups to give their thoughts on what it means to be the church in today's world." John Lasher of Christ, Staunton, president of the men's organization, assisted Dolph Moller of Christ the King, Richmond, in the program. York Pilsen of Ascension, Danville, was elected to the board.
            Moller reported continuing support of $2,090 to Bedford Lutheran and Living Water, Kilmarnock, under the VLMM Committee of 100+ program. Since 1998, the program has distributed $112,000 to mission congregations in the Synod.




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