Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
The Virginia Synod Christmas Tree Decoration Contest Results
Last week we invited you to show off your Christmas Tree style in The  2016 Virginia Synod Christmas Tree Decoration Contest! With plenty of fantastic submissions, we're taking a moment to share some trees from congregations and families of the Virginia Synod, as well as celebrating the two randomly selected winner's from this year's contest!

Thank you to everyone who entered! It has been so much fun to see and share the decorations that fill your homes and congregations.

Winning Trees
First Lutheran, Portsmouth
submitted by Sylvia Eley
Ascension Lutheran, Danville
submitted by Sharon Mitchell
Congratulations to both winning trees! Both entries will receive an ornament personalized by the Office of the Bishop!
Christ  Lutheran , Roanoke
submitted by Rev. David Skole
Gloria Dei, Hampton
submitted by Rev. Dr. Phyllis Milton
The Carr Family
of Christ the King, Richmond
Cam and Ronda Keyser
of  Trinity Lutheran, Stephens City
Grace Lutheran, Chesapeake
submitted by Rev. Leslie Scanlon
Trinity, Stephens City 
submitted by Brenda Boldin
Shirley Mitchell
of Our Saviour, Virginia Beach
Crystal Via
of  Gloria Dei, Hampton
Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, North Chesterfield
submitted by Barbara Dowdy
Reformation, New Market
submitted by Jeffery Sonafelt
Advent Wreaths

While these Advent Wreaths aren't Christmas Trees, they're certainly worth sharing! On the left, is a wreath located at Our Saviour's, Williamsburg, and the wreath on the right is located at Grace Evangelical Lutheran, Waynesboro.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at pilat@vasynod.org and make sure to follow our
A nnouncements
Winter Celebration

Winter Celebration is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisers.  We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend.

For more information, and to register for Winter Celebration  click here!
Virginia Synod Bishop Election Feedback Requested

It is an exciting time in our synod as we approach the election of a new bishop at our 2017 Synod Assembly. Many of you already know that Bishop Mauney has announced his retirement next year and, so, we are preparing for the tenure of a new leader.
We need the help of congregational members and leaders - that's you! In much the same way as we prepare to call a new pastor in our congregations, we want to prepare to call a new bishop with as much attention and prayer as possible.
These survey results will be helpful for those who are potential nominees, which are determined by ecclesial ballot, to know how we see the ministry needs in our synod. It will also help the 2017 Synod Assembly voting members to know the mind of the Virginia church as they enter into the election process. 
Give the Gift of Camp for Christmas!
Registration is open for another exciting season of summer camp at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp! Tucked away in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, Caroline Furnace welcomes children from grades 1 to 12.

Giving camp for Christmas to your child, grandchild, niece or nephew replaces texts and TV with playing in the great outdoors, singing around a campfire, embracing new friendships, and enjoying daily Bible studies. It's a gift of lifelong memories.

Go to carolinefurnace.org for more information and to sign up your campers!
NAP Credits for Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
Decrease your tax bill and increase a child's chance at success in school and life! Your donation of $500 or more to Lutheran Family Services of Virginia will mean a 65 percent credit on your Virginia taxes - plus the usual IRS deduction! Through the Virginia Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program, LFSVA can offer tax credits to donors who make gifts to our Minnick Schools. These gifts will be used for reading and math programs, PE equipment, and vocational resources to name a few. 

You can change a life! Visit www.lfsva.org to make your gift today! Questions? Call 800-359-3834.
Reformation 500 Observances

As the second oldest Lutheran college in the USA, the mission statement of Roanoke College declares that we "honor our Christian heritage by nurturing a dialogue between faith and reason." In this spirit, Roanoke College announces a series of special academic events from late 2016 through the anniversary year 2017 in commemoration of the 500 th  anniversary of the Reformation and in coordination with the 175 th  anniversary of the college's founding.

For more information on this and future events from Roanoke College celebrating the Reformation- click here!
The Experience at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS)
The name The Experience was chosen because LTSS believes what you, as a prospective student, experiences is the most appropriate and influential way to determine which seminary is the right place to earn your theological education. During your time with us, we will show you our community and the community surrounding us. You will experience life with our current students and the heartbeat of campus. Also, our faculty will offer you a glimpse of the classroom experience that is essential to your theological formation. We look forward to welcoming you to The Experience!
Jenn Casey, an alum of LTSS and our Enrollment Director reflects, "I remember having a lot of questions during my discernment process and I often wondered if I was the only person with those questions. I also thought I must be crazy for thinking that God was calling me into ordained ministry. I now know I wasn't the only one, but it can be a confusing process!"
We have four opportunities, click on each on for registration information.

Questions? Contact Kohl Friery at 803- 461-3296 or  kohl.friery@lr.edu . If you want to visit LTSS but these events don't work, email Kohl and set up a private visit!
Job Opportunities
All posts can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email pilat@vasynod.org
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