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                                                                                             June, 2017  
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Women will look at renewal
            "Renewal of Spirit: All Anew" will be the theme of the annual convention of Virginia Synodical Women's Organization to be held Aug. 18-19 at St. Philip, Roanoke.
Retiring Bishop Jim Mauney will be the keynote speaker. Pastor Kelly Derrick of St. Philip will be the convention chaplain and Anna Sarver of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod will represent the Churchwide Women's Organization.
The service project for the organization this year has been making shoe kits for Sole Hope, a project for African children. Five workshops are scheduled and election of a president, treasurer and four board members.
Reuben Todd to leave
Caroline Furnace Camp

Reuben Todd will leave his post of executive director of Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center on July 1 to accept a position leading a large Christian camp and conference center in New York.
Todd came to the camp three years ago, bringing "a positive impact..He leaves us in a strong position for the future, according to the camp board. Nicole Todd, his wife, has also served on the camp staff. Todd's new position "will allow him to continue to grow as he shares God's love through outdoor ministry," the board said.
Heather Lutz, a former camper, summer staff counselor, board member and volunteer, will serve as interime executive director during the search for a successor to Todd. She has more than 20 years of experience in management, operations, process development and customer service.
Caroline Furnace celebrated its 60 th anniversary last weekend. Todd commented, "It's not the people and not the place..It is God's work through the people and the place."
Participants at the sold-out event heard how the camp has grown and thrived under the guidance of many different leaders. As camp leaders honored the past, they expressed their trust in the future with a time capsule buried in the spring field, to be opened on the 100 th anniversary.
            A leadership team has started preparations for a summer camp season with their "exceptional skills and a strong leadership mentality."
World Lutherans gather in Namibia
     by Pastor Joel Neubauer 
( Pastor Joel Neubauer of St. Mark, Yorktown, attended the Lutheran World Federation's 12th Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia, for a week in early May as one of 11 visitors from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, soon to be United Lutheran Seminary.)

            There is no brief way to sum up all the experience of being found among the ingathering of Christ's body from around the world.
            Under the theme, "Liberated by God's Grace," the   12 th Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation gathered for worship, biblical study and shared witness to faith. Liberation (in light of our last 500 years of Lutheran witness) was examined by affirming that neither Creation nor human beings nor salvation is for sale. 
  ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton led an ELCA delegation, with students from Gettysburg Seminary, at LWF Assembly.
             The vitality and strength of our global communion was impressively evident, with voice after voice pointing to the free gift of God's love in Christ Jesus as the grounds on which the Holy Spirit continues to liberate all things. From island nations facing rising sea levels (like our neighbors' homes in Papua New Guinea) to women being targeted for attack and trafficking in southern Asia, to the false hope of the prosperity gospel in our own communities: our Lutheran trust in liberation by God's grace is needed globally to proclaim Christ as our share unit, peace and future.
Pastor Joel Neubauer of St. Mark, Yorktown, smiles with Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus, new LWF president, at LWF Assembly. 
            A particular honor for our seminarians was the opportunity to encourage the LWF to build upon its commitments to theological education for all Christians, with special attention to the need for shared experiences with Lutherans and other Christians who open each other's eyes to the power of the gospel in all corners of the world.
            And, in a global communion where a growing number of our member churches neither educate nor ordain women, it was particularly powerful that our newly elected president of the LWF, Nigerian Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus, called his wife, Pastor Ruth Filibus, to join him in a show of our commitment to support the call of all God's people to proclaim the good news.
            Celebrating the Eucharist in assembly with 9,000 local congregation members from the churches in Namibia, a worship service so blessedly full that box lunches were distributed somewhere in the middle of its several hours, called to mind the commitment of Christ to feed all who gather, all who are hungry, with good things.
            As our local synod gathers in assembly this June, the same Spirit joins us within the fold of a growing and excited world church where Jesus feeds us with these same gifts to share in liberation by God's grace.  
In This Issue
Todd to leave Caroline Furnace
World Lutherans gather in Namibia.
Lutherans in the news
Beating the Bounds
Feeding Fluvana Day
Solving health problems in Jamaica
Mauney proposed for emeritus status
Morgan's mission in Tanzania.
Men look at Small Catechism
Whitetop Band opens Floyd music series.
Lutherans in the news
            Pastor Viktoria Parvin has been installed as pastor of St. Mark, Charlottesville. A native of Budapest, Hungary, "through reading the Bible and my grandparents' memory of faith, I discovered the church," she said, so she studied at the Lutheran Seminary in Budapestand received a scholarshipto the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago where she earned two master's degrees. She worked with Night Ministry and the homeless in Chicago, as a nursing home chaplain in New York State and served two Illinois congregations. She was interim pastor at Peace Charlottesville. Her husband is Landon Parvin.
            Pastor Judy Cobb has accepted a call to serve as assistant to the bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod.
          Melissa May, who has worked with a Christian organization in northern Canada for four years, will serve as an intern in the Rural Retreat Parish, as well as the Walker Mountain Parish of St. Luke, Holy Advent and Lebanon in Wythe County. She's a graduate of Susquehanna University, served in the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program in England, and graduated from Gettysburg Seminary. May is the daughter of Pastor Jeff May, St. Paul, Jerome, and Karla May, a longtime youth worker.
           Amy Wagner, a former intern at Holy Trinity, Wytheville, has been called to serve at Zion Lutheran, Newville, Pa., and she will be ordained June 2.
            Joseph Yucha of Christ, Richmond, was ordained May 14 and he is serving as associate pastor of Faith Lutheran, Glen Ellyn, Il.
            United Lutheran Seminary, the new merged body of Philadelphia and Gettysburg Seminaries, has named Dr. Theresa F. Latini as its first president, starting July 1. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, she previously served as the George C. Weinman chair of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Mn.
            A Festival of Lutheran Hymns, featuring Dr. Paul Weber and Florence Jowers, organist, and a combined area Lutheran choir, will be held at Grace, Winchester, Sunday, June 4, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow.
           At the Water's Edge, an annual junior high servant event for youth in grades 6-8, will be held at Good Shepherd, Virginia Beach, July 23-28. Youths from across the synod will spend a week learning, worshiping, serving and having fun.    
            Zephyrus, an early music vocal ensemble based in Charlottesville, presented
"Stella Maris: Music for Women's Voices," at Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, on May 21. Also, the congregation participated in an interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Day Observance at Agudath Sholom Synagogue on April 30.
            At Bethel , Winchester, Pastor David Young is offering to administer baptism at his home on Lake Holiday this summer. He said this is especially for people who are not comfortable in a congregation.
             Veterans and Faith, a new group planning to meet quarterly at Faith Lutheran, Suffolk, will discuss "Military service and the transition to civilian life..Does spirituality have a place in the conversation?" at the first meeting Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m.    
            At St. Paul's, Hampton, a Pie-a-Pastor fund-raising event to help youths raise funds for a trip to the National Youth Gathering next year, will close June 4. Members were asked to vote for "the person you would most like to see get a pie in the face."
           At St. Mark, Yorktown, Thomas Pandolfi, a piano virtuoso, will present a concert on July 14, at 1 p.m. as part of the Sine Nomine Series, partnering with the Senior Center of York.
             St. Peter, Stafford, scheduled a Thankful Thursday potluck dinner on May 18 in honor of National Don't Do the Dishes Day. The theme was "Anything You Can Eat on a Paper Plate."
            Last summer's Parables and Pints has been changed to Bibles and Brews, monthly discussions at a Mexican restaurant in Woodstock, led by Pastors Anna Havron, Nate Robinson and David Drebes.
            Members of St. Philip, Roanoke, raised $5,837 for a sister congregation in Mponela , Malawi, at an annual Mission Fest.
            The council of First English, Richmond, approved a request to form a Kid's Council to discuss things of interest to children. All children of the congregation, up to age 13, were invited to attend the meetings on the second Sunday of each month.
At Epiphany, Richmond, $1,400 was raised by the nursery school's annual Trike-a-thon. The children raised money and brought their bikes and trikes to school for talks about safety and they rode through a course in the parking lot.
A panel discussion of opioid abuse was held at Grace and Glory, Palmyra, on May 22. Substance abuse counselors, law enforcement professionals, clergy and health care workers participated for a discussion of issues related to use and abuse of prescribed pain medication and the growing heroin epidemic.
The Brandon Oaks Belles and Balladeers gave a spring concert and a performance for the nursing home. The annual golf tournament of the Brandon Oaks Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center Auxiliary drew 129 golfers, including Bishop Jim Mauney on May 15. the renovated nursing home courtyard was dedicated May 25.
Beating the Bounds or church on the road 
Pastor Phillip Martin (left) met many members of Epiphany, Richmond, at Ashland.

Pastors Phillip Martin and Joseph Bolick of Epiphany, Richmond, hit the road on Ascension Day, May 25, driving around their membership territory, stopping for coffee and conversation following an an ancient church custom of Beating the Bounds.
            In the old days, Beating the Bounds was a formal way for pastors and leaders of a congregation to refamiliarize themselves with the territory and outer limits of their parish. It was also a way for pastors to reconnect with people outside the four walls of the church.
            The schedule of Martin and Bolick for a drive, conversation and a brief Bible study for discussion and fellowship: Breakfast at an Ihop in Mechanicsville, coffee at Ashland where they met a 90-year-old and a 1-year-old, lunch at Panera in Short Pump, dessert at Starbucks in Midlothian and supper at Hardywood Park. They met good participation.
            The tradition is tied to the meaning of Christ's Ascension 40 days after the resurrection when Christ was taken into heaven. He instructed his disciples, saying, "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judaea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.: (Acts 1:8). Today, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the church is called to spread the gospel far and wide, according to the Epiphany newsletter.
            The pastors said, "It is good for us to be reminded of the particular features of the area Epiphany serves, to come into contact with that area, to listen to it, to observe its challenges.." This example of "church on the road" gives the pastors "a greater appreciation of how far some of our members drive to take part in Epiphany's ministries and we look forward to being out of the church building and closer" to where members work and play, at least for a few hours.
Sept. 9 will be Feeding Fluvana Day  

            Planning has started at Grace and Glory, Palmyra, for Feeding Fluvanna Community Day on Saturday, Sept. 9. Following the congregation's mission of "Caring Christians," a full day of activities is planned to raise support for the county food bank.
            Pastor Ken Albright asked his members to mark their calendars for an "extraordinary day to have our hands helping to feed our neighbors." Crafts and games are planned and members will bring food items. The goal is "to draw the entire community in support of stomping out hunger in our county," Albright said. Other churches, organizations and vendors will be participating.
Solving health problems in Jamaica
Learning hygiene on the job.

            After 40 years of dentistry. Kathy Canter, a hygienist, and her dentist husband, Byron Brill of St. Paul, Strasburg, retired from daily labors but soon found a new field in Jamaica. Twice a year, they go down to the Caribbean for two weeks of dental work and training local people to do the job.
An enthusiastic class of Jamaican children.
Canter and Brill led a team of eight with equipment supported by a grant to work through a Nazarene Church in Jamaica to train Jamaicans in the use of lasers to follow up after optical surgery also. With support of Rotary club global grants, they took more than $100,000 worth of equipment to meet "a huge need" in health care.
            They focused on schools, training technicians in x-ray procedures.
Mauney proposed for emeritus status 
Bishop James F. Mauney

            A resolution designating retiring Bishop Jim Mauney as bishop emeritus is the only one submitted before deadline at the synod office for action by the Assembly on June 9-11. The resolution, submitted by Pastor David Derrick, chair of the synod's Ministerium Team, commends Mauney for his faithful pastoral care and leadership for 18 years.
            The bishop has exercised leadership by "seeking God's vision for mission in the midst of the rapidly changing culture and changing church, calling this church to be ambassadors for Christ...and has been a champion for the hungry, the poor, the imprisoned and the hurting..and has strengthening our mutual ministry with the agencies and institutions of the Virginia Synod," according to the resolution.
            Election of a new bishop, starting with the first ballot on Friday afternoon, will be the highlight of the Assembly. Other features are an opening sermon and report on ELCA ministries by the Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, executive director of the ELCA Division for Global Mission, ordination of Alex Zuber at the Saturday night festival service, a Friday night banquet honoring Mauney, elections of members of synod council and the Consultation and Discipline committees and a youth assembly. The new bishop will be installed in September.
            Zuber has been called to the Stony Man Parish in Page County which he has been serving part-time while completing seminary study.
            Bishop Mark Bourlakas of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia will preach at the opening service on Saturday morning and the Rev. Cynthia Long, chaplain of Western State Hospital, Staunton, will be the preacher for the closing service on Sunday.
Pidge Morgan's mission in Tanzania  
Pidge Morgan with Maria,  
a Door of Hope resident.

            In 2003, Pidge Morgan went to Tanzania to photograph African animals. While she was there, God tapped her on the shoulder. Pidge came home with hundreds of spectacular photos. But she also knew she would go back and that she had been given a mission to help educate and protect Tanzanian children.
            Pidge's call to serve these children has become an outreach opportunity for Trinity Ecumenical Parish through the church's Global Partners Program. Global Partners provides emergency relief, supports local water and development projects, funds a trade school, pays school fees for children through Godparents for Tanzania and operates a home for Maasai girls in danger of polygamous marriages, female genital mutilation and the threat of the HIV/AIFS pandemic which is ravaging the Maasai tribe.
            But back in 2003, Pidge was unsure how to pursue her call to help. She consulted Pastor Gary Scheidt, who introduced her to Pastor Dwayne Westermann at College Lutheran in Salem, founder of Godparents for Tanzania and he invited Pidge to join in their work. Godparents for Tanzania (G4TZ) seeks sponsors to cover school fees of about $2,000 to send each of about 50 students every year. Some are primary students who leave remote villages to attend boarding schools.
            Many students go on to university. Pidge said G4TZ has graduated eight doctors, 11 clinical officers, five wildlife managers, many teachers, a geologist, bank manager and a county cattle officer who instructs farmers in the care of livestock.
            Pidge gained support from Trinity's church council in 2004 for Door of Hope, a home for Masaai girls who are often subject to female genital mutilation or marriage at a young age. Door of Hope has grown into a compound comprised of a dormitory, dining hall, cattle shelter, showers and housing for the matron and two guards.
            Trinity also supports the Hai Institute of Technology, where young men and women learn technical and career skills. The Institute has a boys' dorm, girls' dorm, dining room and kitchen, classroom and administrative blocks, a garage with three bays for teaching auto mechanics and a guard house. A freak cyclone destroyed the classrooms in 2007 but funds were raised to rebuild.
            Individual Trinity members have donated money for tools for the Hai Institute, to a hunger appeal and a water project. The parish also raises money for the Global Partners Program by offering fair trade coffee and chocolate in exchange for donations and craft items on an alternative Christmas tree.
            Editor's note: This is a condensed version of an article by Kathryn Orth in a new quarterly publication of Trinity Ecumenical Parish.
Men look at Small Catechism  
            Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission took a fresh look at Luther's Small Catechism "in a time of change," as led by Pastor Chris Price, assistant to the bishop, on at their annual Gathering at Roslyn Center on April 22-23. Price exposed the men to complex theological concepts, such as "communication idiomatum, " which describes the nature of Christ in the second article of the Apotstles Creed as both fully human and fully God.
            Music was provided by Pastor Andrew Bansemer, Gathering chaplain, and Pastor Randy Lohr. The 2018 Gathering.
Whitetop Band opens Floyd music series   

The traditional Summer Music Series of the Floyd-Willis Parish opens Saturday,
June 3, at 7 p.m. with the Whitetop Mountain Band playing at the Oak Grove Pavilion in Floyd.
Other groups scheduled for the free, Saturday night events are Stone Canyon on June 24; Carrie Hinkley & Virginia Hollow on July 8 and Zephyr Lightning Bolts on July 22.
The series began when Pastor Paul Pingel was serving the parish from 1993 to 2003. For more than 20 years, the annual event has drawn over $68,000 in intermission offerings, cakewalks and canteen sales for the benefit of Floyd County Rescue Squad and Volunteer Fire Department, Angels in the Attic, New River Community Action, Women;s Resource Center, Literacy Volunteers of New River Valley, Floyd Free Clinic and Reading is Fundamental.
Oak Grove Pavilion has an outdoor stage, dance floor, picnic tables and a canten,
Guests listen to the music or dance in the pavilion or under the oak.
Pastor Dennis Roberts receives interfaith award 

            Pastor Dennis Roberts of Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, will receive the Jeffrey B. Spence Award for Interfaith Understanding from the Lynchburg chapter of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) on Thursday, June 1. Roberts, pastor of the Lynchburg church for 26 years, is one of five people who will be recognized for significant humanitarian contributions to the greater Lynchburg area.
            The Spence award is presented to individuals or organizations for working across religious lines. Holy Trinity's parish education program includes a number of classes, study groups, programs and trips exploring interfaith issues. Roberts is a member of the
VCIC Lynchburg chapter board and United Way of Central Virginia Campaign Cabinet and president of Interfaith Outreach Association. The Center makes awards annually to promote respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.




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