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

Start a weekend feeding program

           The Virginia Interfaith Conference on Childhood Hunger met in Blacksburg on 27 August at St. Michael Lutheran Church.  Pastor John Wertz led a Weekend Backpack Program Workshop sharing with us the experience of St. Michael in starting Micah's Backpack, a part of Micah's Caring Initiative.  Click on their website links to learn more about how you can start similar programs to help support children and adults in your community!
            The interfaith conference encourages all congregations to partner with local schools in your area to help find and feed hungry children. As you begin planning for 2017, this is a great example of a ministry you can start as we prepare to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next year. St. Michael provides a great "how-to" guide to help you
START A BACKPACK PROGRAM! Click  here to read the full synthesis from the hunger conference. 
In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
ELCA Bishop's column
Bishop Mauney's report on ELCA Assembly
Communion of saints in NewOrleans
Virginia consumer index reaches record high
J.D. Seneff, Habitat leader, dies
Lutheran Family Services starts school year
LMP workshops to be at Epiphany, Richmond
Many service projects planned for Sept. 11
Praying for peace and unity
Reformation 500 brings events to Roanoke campus
Schmit resigns as Southern Seminay provest,...United Lutheran Seminary seeks a president
Thanks to Stephens City police.
Lutherans in the news

            Angela LaTourette Dunn, a Gettysburg Seminary graduate who came from the Mount Rogers Parish, has accepted a call to the Timberville Parish, and will be ordained at Raders, Timberville, on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m.
            Rev. Bea Miller, a Presbyterian teaching elder, will come from Faith Presbyterian, Tallahassee, Fla., to serve as associate pastor at Trinity Ecumenical Parish on Sept. 25. A native of Maryland and North Georgia, she's a graduate of the University of Georgia and Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga., and she's enrolled in the doctor of ministry program at Dubuque Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. She and her husband, Doug
Miller, have two daughters, Kara, Charlotte, N.C., and Kasey, a high school student.
            Pastor Judy Tavela is retiring after 10 years of service at St. Timothy, Vinton. She has been president of LuCoM (Lutheran Cooperative Ministries) in the Roanoke Valley.
            Retired Pastor Judy Cobb, Williamsburg, has been appointed a five-month interim assistant to the newly elected bishop of the Delaware Maryland Synod in Baltimore. She will handle candidacy, mobility and conference assignments. She formerly was co-senior pastor, with her
husband, of Ascension Lutheran, Towson, Md. Earlier, she was Region 8 coordinator and served at First, Norfolk, Grand Rapids, MI and Gettysburg, Pa. She served on the ELCA Division for Ministry, Augsburg Fortress board, task force on sacramental practices and Lutheran Reformed coordinating committee.
            Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea came to the July 10 service at Trinity, Roanoke, to present a proclamation for Rev. Dr. Kenneth P. Lane Day, marking the 75th birthday of Pastor Lane and acknowledging his long-standing service to needy persons in the city and support to the faith community. The mayor gave Lane a golden star from the Star City. Tommy Jordan presented a check for $1,000 to Lane from Lifering Foundation for support of Trinity's Helping Hands ministry.
            Amid promotion of the celebrated Virginia Tech-University of Tennessee football game on Sept. 10, members of Redeemer, Bristol, formed Hokies and Volunteers teams to compete in collecting food. The collected canned and non-perishable goods will be donated to the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry. "May the best team win and may all God's children be fed" was the message from the congregation newsletter.
            Jerry Hurt, treasurer of Rural Retreat Lutheran Parish, has been selected Citizen of the Year in Rural Retreat. Hurt grew up in Rural Retreat, attended Wytheville Community College, graduated from Virginia Tech, worked for Union Carbide and became president and CEO of Elkem Metals in Pittsburgh. He retired two years ago and moved back to Rural Retreat where he heads a foundation working to preserve a railroad depot, as well as serving on boards and committees.
            Members of Grace, Winchester, are helping a family of six Syrian refugees get settled in their new home. Four children have started school and the comgregation is helping the parents' search for work. During the summer, Grace's vacation Bible school reported impressive totals. Tidings, the Grace newsletter, said "105 volunteer ministers stepped up to welcome, teach, have fun and show God's love to 265 children who attended CAVE QUEST 2916!"
            Debbie Streicher, president of the ELCA Christian Formation Network, will be the presenter for a Christian Formation Retreat at Camp Caroline Furnace, startingon Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 4:30 p.m. to Thursday, Oct. 6, at 10 a.m. Streicher is expected to "lead a discussion about steps needed to immerse children and youth in faith and creating meaningful milestones, moments that make a difference as they support children, youth and families of all ages in their faith journey." Dr. Phyllis Milton, synodical minister of Christian formation, will be the worship leader. The retreat is for anyone who works in children, youth and family ministry. The retreat is co-partnered by Caroline Furnace and Roots & Wings, a Christian formation committee of the Synod.
            Six youth and adults from Our Saviour, Richmond, "sweated, sawed and served" through the annual Tri-Cities Work Camp at Petersburg.   The week of service in July focused on refurbishing the houses of those who cannot help themselves.
            Another season of music at the Oak Grove Pavilion of Zion, Floyd, is almost complete. Continuing a tradition of 20 years, groups such as the Whitetop Mountain Band, Stone Canyon, Awesomesauce and Seph Custer played on Saturday nights during the summer. Admission is free but offerings are taken for such local charities as the Floyd County Rescue Squad and Volunteer Fire Department, New River Community Action and Women's Resource Center. Over $65,000 has been collected from offerings, cake walks and canteen sales over the years.
            St. Mark, Willis, in the Floyd Parish, held its annual homecoming on Aug. 28 and Zion, Floyd, will have a homecoming service on Sept. 18.
            A bread-baking event was planned for July 25 at the W. W> Robinson School in Shenandoah County for the benefit of the Faith Community Nurse Program. Youngsters, aged 7-14, were invited to bake two loaves of bread-one to take home and one for a bake sale to benefit the nurse program. The children played games and sang songs while the bread was rising and baking.
            At St. Paul, Hampton, book fairs of materials published by Augsburg Press will be held, starting Sept. 25.
A new women's Bible study of a book, "Believing God:; Experiencing a Fresh Explosion of Faith," by Beth Moore, is starting at Lakeside Lutheran, Littleton, N.C.    
            At Luther Memorial, Blacksburg, the Luther Forum will discuss "Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence," a book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. The book explores the psychology of violence.

How will people know?  
     by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Bishop Eaton 
           On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the voting members of the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly received the document "Declaration on the Way." More than 99 percent of us affirmed this significant ecumenical statement in which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have achieved agreement on 32 issues regarding communion, ministry and the church, declaring that these are no longer church dividing. Fifty years of ecumenical dialogue in the United States and around the world led to this point.
            When asked if declaration was a step closer to eucharistic sharing between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, Bishop Denis Madden, Catholic co-chair of the dialogue task force, answered, "Yes." There were tears of joy. The assembly responded with a standing ovation.
            Later that day this question was asked during the press conference about the assembly's action on the declaration: "How would this historic agreement be made known and affect the lives of the ordinary person in the pew?" How does the work of theologians and the decision of a churchwide assembly become part of the lived experience of Lutheran and Roman Catholic parishioners? What is to prevent this significant action from becoming just one of several feel-good moments shared by voting members in August 2016?
            And what about all of the other important decisions that were taken? What about the AMMPARO initiative and the creation of a unified word and service roster? What about memorials calling the ELCA to deepen relationships with the Historic Black Churches, to repudiate the doctrine of discovery, to work toward a responsible energy future, peace with justice in the Holy Land, to welcome refugees, to support military personnel, veterans and their families, to welcome the gifts of African-American ELCA members and to look at those structures within this church that erect barriers to full inclusion?
            And what about all of the other wonderful non-legislative events at the assembly-a call for the ELCA to read Martin Luther's Small Catechism together from now until Oct. 31, 2017, the call to action by Nobel laureate and Lutheran Leymah Gbowee, the reports of ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response, the lives we are reaching and changing through Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA? The church-wide conversation we are having about priorities in the Called Forward Together in Christ process?
            The assembly wasn't a national political convention, rather it was the people of God gathered daily around word and sacraments, engaged in prayer, and open to the movement and guidance of the Spirit.
            But I return to the questions asked during the press conference-how will people know about what happened during this assembly and how will these actions and experiences become a part of our life together?
            This isn't the first time I've heard this question or others like it. It's as if people want or need or expect some kind of directive or program or even permission from someone (the presiding bishop?) or somewhere (the churchwide organization?) to bring all of these things to light and life in their congregations. It doesn't have to be that way. About 960 voting members and almost 500 Grace Gathering participants along with visitors, presenters and staff attended the assembly. Close to 2,000 people, the majority of whom are members of ELCA congregations, saw and heard what happened in New Orleans. Thousands of you are reading about the assembly in this issue of Living Lutheran. Get mobilized.
            If exploring Declaration on the Way with the local Roman Catholic parish is your passion, get a couple other members of your congregation and offer this to your pastor, "Pastor, we think this is important and we want to work with you. We'll organize the event, logistics, invitations, publicity, speakers, format, even refreshments!" You can do the same in your conference or synod. The point is we are all the ELCA. The work belongs to all of us. Let's get busy!
A monthly message from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her email address: This column originally appeared in the September issue of Living Lutheran. Reprinted with permission.
ELCA calls members into neighborhoods
     by Bishop Jim Mauney 
(I am borrowing this brief but accurate summary from the SC Synod website)

ELCA Churchwide Assembly key actions
Voting members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved a number of key actions during the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly held in New Orleans Aug. 8-13. The assembly is the highest legislative authority of the church.
The 945 voting members:
  • Elected William B. Horne II of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Clearwater, Fla., vice president of the ELCA. Horne was installed during closing worship Aug. 13.
  • Accepted the "Declaration on the Way," a unique ecumenical document that marks a path toward greater unity between Catholics and Lutherans. At the heart of the document are 32 "Statements of Agreement" that state where Lutherans and Catholics do not have church-dividing differences on topics about church, ministry and the Eucharist. The document also presents the differences that remain.
  • Approved AMMPARO - the ELCA's strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities. The ELCA developed this strategy based on commitments to uphold and guarantee the basic human rights and safety of migrant children and their families; to address the root causes of migration in countries from Central America's Northern Triangle and Mexico and the treatment of migrants in transit; to work toward just and humane policies affecting migrants in and outside the U.S.; to engage as a church with all of its companions, affiliates and partners to respond to the migration situation and its causes; and to advocate for migrant children and their families.
  •  Single ministry roster approved.
  • Approved the Ministry of Word and Service roster. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, ELCA associates in ministry, deaconesses and diaconal ministers will be a single, unified roster of Ministry of Word and Service. The accompanying constitutional amendments related to the roster were also considered and approved by the assembly.
  • Approved the 2017-2019 budget proposal. The budget includes a 2017 current fund spending authorization of $65,296,005 and a 2017 ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $24.8 million; a 2018 current fund income proposal of $64,057,220 and a 2018 ELCA World Hunger income proposal of $25 million; a 2019 current fund income proposal of $64,151,175 and a 2019 ELCA World Hunger income proposal of $25 million; and authorizes the Church Council to establish a spending authorization after periodic review of revised income estimates.
           Approved various memorials - or proposals - from the ELCA's 65 synods. In addition to memorials considered "en bloc," the assembly separately approved the following: deepening relationships with historic Black churches; toward a responsible energy future; repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery; peace with justice in the Holy Land; justice for the Holy Land through responsible investment; African Descent Lutherans; call to discernment on U.S. foreign and military policy; welcoming refugees; and supporting military personnel, veterans and their families.
  • Elected members to serve on: Church Council, Portico Benefits Services, Mission Investment Fund, Augsburg Fortress, Committee on Appeals, Committee on Discipline and Nominating Committee.
  • Adopted amendments to the ELCA Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions."
But what moved me the most was the preaching, presenting, and chairing of our presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Using her four phrase mantra, "We are Church" "We are Lutheran" "We are Church Together" "We are Church for the Sake of the World" she called the ELCA into a closer walk together. She called us into our neighborhoods from the center of our life, Jesus Christ proclaimed in Word and Sacrament.

Capable Synod voting members       
The Synod delegation (From left to right)  Pastor Jim Utt, David Raecke, Bishop Jim Mauney, Jody Smiley, Jonathan Boyton, Blythe Scott, Linda Motley, Chris Mumaw, Christy Huffman and Karen Grifftth.  
         What I enjoyed the most was being among the Virginians at the churchwide assembly. We had a most delightful and capable group of voting members: Blythe Scott, our synod secretary, from First Norfolk, Jody Smiley from St. Michael's, Blacksburg; Christy Huffman from St. Michael's, Virginia Beach, Karen Griffith from Our Saviour, Virginia Beach, David Raecke from Our Saviour, Warrenton, Chris Mumaw from St. Peter's, Toms Brook, Rick Corliss from St. Timothy, Norfolk, Jonathan Boynton from Grace, Winchester, Linda Motley from the Floyd Parish. Jim Utt from Grace, Winchester serves on the ELCA Church Council and was present. President Michael Maxey from Roanoke College and Paul Henrickson were present. Debbie Mintiens and Elizabeth Smythe were serving as volunteers. David and Heidi Young from Bethel, Winchester, Genie and Keith Brown from St. Philip, Roanoke, Tina Allen and Nate Huffman from St. Michael, Va Beach, Judy Raecke from Our Saviour, Warrenton were attending the Grace Gathering as well. Rick Corliss brought his whole family to New Orleans!
            We are being called into our neighborhoods where our building is planted and into neighborhoods where the church needs to be planted for the sake of speaking the name of Jesus to others. We speak the name of Jesus to each other within the church so that we might speak the name of Jesus beyond the walls of the church. We desire to have our congregations reflect the communities in which they are called to be present and among. We desire to teach the faith to our children and youth, Psalm 71:17.
            I give thanks to God for the ministries of the Virginia Synod, for all who preach, teach, and are the presence of Christ for others in their vocation, homes, and communities.
Communion of saints in NewOrleans    
(Elizabeth Smythe of Ebenezer, Marion, and Debbie Mintiens, Emanuel, Woodstock, volunteered as pages at the ELCA Assembly in New Orleans. Smythe gives her impressions of the Assembly.)

           Put 1,000 or so Lutherans together and stuff happens. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Churchwide Assembly with a theme, "Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in Action," in New Orleans, August 8-13. Debbie Mintiens and I went as volunteers.....microphone pages actually. As a result, we were present throughout every plenary session.
            I was humbled and proud to be part of this remarkable to watch the business of the ELCA. Folks did not always agree on issues and resolutions, but there was never a doubt that the Holy Spirit was at work as differing opinions were heard and considered and accommodated.
            I suppose the highlight for me was the worship. Imagine an enormous worship space with 1500+ worshippers....with glorious musicians and beautiful staging....and impassioned preachers......and all those voices united in singing praises to God. And, of course, Holy Communion for everyone. Well, it was overwhelming. But for me, the absolutely most special parts were when, as a corporate body, we recited the Creed and the Lord's Prayer.....the sound of so many faithful, engaged, united Lutheran voices from all over the United States.....joined together in those wonderful, familiar words that form the basis of our, THAT was really something! THAT truly was the communion of saints.
            I am so very blessed to be part of and a representative for this church where stuff really does happen! God is good.....all the time!
Virginia consumer index reaches record high 
            Current conditions of household finances and purchases are credited for an increase of more than 8 points in the Virginia Index of Consumer Sentiment derived from a Roanoke College poll of 607 people in August. The index stood at a record level of 98.1, higher than the national value of 89.9, down slightly during the summer.
            When polled by party, 51 percent of Democrats expect a time of prosperity and growth in 2017 while 29 percent of Republicans expect a strong economy.. The short-term expectation of inflation was 2.1 percent, lower than the national value of 2.5 percent. Only 25 percent of Republicans reported improved household finances while 47 percent of Democrats said their finances increased over the past year
            Unemployment remained at a low 4 percent and growth was reported in construction and retail. A total of 46 percent expect their household finances to improve and 10 percent expect a decline next year. The Virginia measure of consumer expectations, 92.6 in August, compared with the national measure of 78.7, indicating that Virginians are considerably more optimistic about the future of the economy than the nation.
            The college poll said all regions of the state except Southside "demonstrated change outside of the typical range, all in the positive direction." Both short- and long-term inflation expectations were fairly stable. The long-term inflation expectation fell to 3.7 percent but that is well above the national estimate of 2.5 percent. 
J.D. Seneff, Habitat leader, dies     
            J. D. Seneff, Trinity, Roanoke, holder of a National Volunteer Excellence Award from Thrivent Financial for his work with Habitat, died July 26. He was
a Navy veteran and former president of Trinity Council. The funeral was on July 29.
Lutheran Family Services starts school year   
Pastor Dukes leads the Minnick Harrisonburg staff in a blessing. 
            More than 100 people visited the Harrisonburg Lutheran Family Servces School open house Aug. 16! The school relocated this summer to a renovated building at 1661 Virginia Avenue. Students and staff have more space and expanded learning environments, including two kitchens and an apartment to practice living skills, and a PAES lab for developing vocational skills.
Coordinator Kim Irvin andf A.R. "Pete" Giesen in the school's PAES vocational lab at the Aug. 16 open house.
Photo by Austin Bachand,
Daily News Record.
            School staff gave tours of the learning areas to school officials, who saw cheerful classrooms, classroom observation areas and other features that will help teachers help students get the most out of the school day. Debbie Dukes, pastor of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in New Market and LFSVA board member, drew the staff together for a heartfelt blessing.
             And along the back-to-school theme: more than 100 people sent well wishes online for students in our six Minnick schools. Here is one that is good advice for all of us: "Each day is a new start; enjoy your year!" Other greetings: "Do all the good you can for all the people you can and your future will be without limits. Ask a lot of questions, never be afraid to ask for help and believe in yourself because we believe in you." "Welcome back to school. Work at it with all your heart. Believe in yourself, learn, laugh and have fun." "Always remember that, even when you are having a bad day and even when you are having a very bad day, there are lots of people who believe in you and want to help you have more and more great days." "Enjoy learning this year and remember that your teachers are just as overwhelmed as you are on the first day! Be nice to them, yourselves and each other.
LPM workshops to be at
Epiphany, Richmond,
  Oct. 8  
            The Richmond chapter of the Leadership Program for Musicians (LPM) will hold a fall workshop at Epiphany Lutheran, Richmond, on Saturday, Oct. 8, led by Mark Schweizer, president and editor of St. James Music Press. Participants will read through music from St. James Press. The cost is $45. For registration, use the PayPal
button on the LPM website, and email name, address, phone number and name of church to
Many service projects planned for Sept. 11  
            From a sock drop to picking up trash to honoring first responders, many Synod congregations are planning service projects under the ELCA theme of "God's Work, Our Hands!" in mid September. Many of the projects will be on Sunday, Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the tragic 9/11 events. Many will be supported by Thrivent Financial grants.
            St. Mark's, Roanoke, and St. Peter, Stafford, are among the congregations recognizing first responders. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones, a member of St. Mark's, invited police, firemen and paramedics to Sunday service and a luncheon on Sept. 11. At St. Peter, Stafford, first responders have been invited to a brief service of honor, prayer and remembrance.
            In Richmond, First English members will continue service to the community by picking up trash along Monument Avenue and the children's Park on Park Avenue. At Bethel, Winchester, white socks will be collected for Teens Opposing Poverty on Rally Day, Sept. 11.
            At Resurrection, Fredericksburg, more than $4,500 has been raised for Stop Hunger Now. More than 15,600 meals will be packaged for this hunger project on Sept. 11.
            Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries is considering a request to the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging for a pilot program of an adult-senior backpack service, supplying paper products and supplies to seniors through three churches.
            Lutheran Family Services distributed a long list of needed projects at the six Minnick schools, a useful source for congregations during the ELCA emphasis. The list has landscaping, maintenance projects, hosting a kitchen shower, library book or craft supply drive, joining Minnick students for games, ice cream socials and picnics, reading volunteers, cleaning kitchens and gift card.
Praying for peace and unity  
Praying in Newport News
           Reformation, Newport News, joined area congregations in a prayer vigil to promote peace and unity in the community on Sunday, July 31. Others in the vigil
were St. George's and St. Paul's Episcopal and In Him Ministries, Newport News.
            Prayer vigils, part of the Virginia Unity Project, were focused on reconciling
communities, praying for police, for those who are vulnerable, for peace and for equal
protection under the law. This is the first of many actions that have been planned in
Newport News to promote unity and non-violence, according to Pastor John Ericson of Reformation.
Reformation 500 brings
events to Roanoke campus

            A rich panoply of events commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be presented at Roanoke College, starting this fall and extending throughout 2017, the anniversary year.
    Reformation 500 will bring scholars and theologians to the campus for a series of special academic events, mainly moderated by Dr. Paul Hinlicky, Tise professor of Lutheran studies and a specialist in the thought of Martin Luther. Most of the three public lectures will start at 6 p.m. and run for 45 minutes, followed by a brief reception and a panel of Roanoke faculty will respond to the lecturer.
            Hinlicky will start the series with a discussion of Luther's 95 Theses on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. at Mill Mountain Coffee in Salem.  Next will be a lecture on "Martin Luther and American Evangelicals by Dr. Molly Worthen of the University of North Carolina on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. at Colket Center on campus.
            The anniversary year will begin with a lecture on "The 'Martin Luther' in Martin Luther King, Jr.," by Dr. Richard Lischer of Duke Divinity School on Thursday, Jan. 19.
            The Kandinsky Trio, musicians based at the college, will give a Martin Luther Year Celebration Concert on Saturday, Jan. 21.Tickets will be required.
            Dr. Sarah Hinlicky-Wilson of the Institute for Ecumenical Research at Strasbourg, France, Hinlicky's daughter, will talk about "Martin Luther and Pentecostalism" on Friday, Feb. 24.  While serving as Copenhaver Scholar in Residence at the college, she also will discuss "Women of the Reformation" on Thursday, Mar. 2 and "Elizabeth Behr-Sigel: an Eastern Orthodox Feminist" on Friday, March 2.
          Dr. Robert Schulz, a principal in the Lutheran Writers Project at the college, and four writers will talk about "Contemporary Literature and Faith" in a symposium  on Monday, Feb. 27.  German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer will be the subject of two lectures. Dr. Charles Marsh, who teaches religious studies at the University of Virginia, will speak of Bonhoeffer's "Literary Endeavors" on Tuesday, Feb. 28  and Dr. Michael DeJonge of the University of South Florida will talk about Martin Luther and Bonhoeffer.
            Dr. Dean Bell of the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership will speak on "A Lenten Penitence: Martin Luther and the Jews" on Tuesday, Mar. 14.  For a Crumley lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, Dr. Mickey Mattox of Marquette University, will talk about "Scholarship as a Christian Calling."  Lastly, Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg, director of the college choir, will discuss "Martin Luther and Johann Sebatian Bach" on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017.
            Hinlicky said the events are in the spirit of the college mission statement that we "honor our Christian heritage by nurturing a dialogue  between faith and reason." 
Schmit resigns as Southern Seminay provest, United Lutheran Seminary seeks a president    

            In the changing world of Lutheran seminaries, Dr. Clayton Schmit has resigned as provost of Southern Seminary and the boards of Gettysburg and Philadelphia seminaries have named their new joint venture United Lutheran Seminary and started a search for a president. Classes will continue in Philadelphia and Gettysburg.
    Schmit, who came to Southern from a California post four years ago, said, "it is time for this chapter of my ministry to come to an end." He has not announced what his next step will be after a fall sabbatical. Schmitt led the seminary in its transition to become a part of Lenoir-Rhyne University. His announcement said he is "leaving the seminary in a strong position."
     The work force of the combined United Lutheran Seminary is expected to be approximately two-thirds of present employees. Both of the current seminary presidents-the Rev. David Lose of Philadelphia and the Rev. Michael Cooper-White of Gettysburg-said they will not be candidates for president of the new seminary. All degrees currently offered by both schools are expected to be retained.
    The joint announcement said the new curricular structure "is not a hybrid of the existing schools but establishes a creative competency-based program  that will integrate
Academic disciplines to yield outcomes needed for twenty-first century church leaders, rostered and lay."
    The Lenoir-Rhyne announcement about Schmit also reported that the School of Theology, containing the Seminary, will become a part of  a new College of Theology, administered by Dr. David Ratke, an ELCA pastor, scholar and teacher who has been at the Hickory, N.C. university for 17 years. He has been faculty chair for four years.  
Thanks to Stephens City police   
    In appreciation for their selfless service to the community, members of Trinity, Stephens City, presented a large thank-you card to Stephens City Police Chief Charles Bockey Jr. and Sergeant Ron Fox at the Town Hall Aug. 14.  The card contained notes of thanks from Trinity members, Gift cards for local restaurants were presented to the six employees in the Police Department.
     Those in the photo with the police are Harper, Rachel, A. J., Aubrey, Lillie, Ryland, Stacey and Rosa.





Editor:  George Kegley   
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