Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
A Walk to the Holy Land
On January 3, 2016 the congregation of St. Stephen Lutheran in Williamsburg embarked on a virtual trip to Jerusalem - planning a 12 week program, arriving on Easter Sunday. As a congregation, they walked, biked, and swam (among other ways of exercising) and recorded their miles each week.

Coordinated by Parish Nurse Marcie Clark, a committee compiled the miles traveled each week by over 150 of the members from St. Stephen and charted them on a map in the Church's Gathering Space. This virtual trip created an enhanced sense of community and a shared goal as they compared miles traveled each week. Participants not only gained physical benefits such as improved fitness and weight loss, but the project also brought members together as they experienced spiritual growth and increased their knowledge about the world-wide Lutheran Church.

St. Stephen applied for and received a grant from The Nightingale Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to purchase pedometers to assist members in tracking their steps. Many were amazed at how few steps were taken on a typical day. Using the pedometers and participating in the Walk to Jerusalem, members consciously increased their physical activity.

The original plan was for a more direct route to Jerusalem, but with so many participating, St. Stephen was able to take a couple of side-trips along the way:


  • Week 1 -- The group virtually started in Williamsburg, walking to Roanoke to visit with Bishop Jim Mauney, and went ton to Chicago to see Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. They ended up in Niagara Falls, just to "see the sights".
  • Week 2 -- They went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, learning about the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA, visiting Philipe Lozada-Montanez, Presiding Bishop of the territory.
  • Week 3 -- Traveling to the South, to Brazil, the virtual group stopped to visit the president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, Egon Kopeck.
  • Week 4 -- St. Stephen traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to Guinea, where the Lutheran mission of the Lutheran Church in Libera began in 1952
  • Week 5 -- On to Cameroon on the West coast of Africa. The far western part of the country is English speaking, with a large majority speaking French -- with over 275 native languages spoke in this country.
  • Week 6 -- Next they reached Tanzania in East Africa. This is home to Roggy Tippe, a student the congregation supported through Godparents for Tanzania.
  • Week 7 -- Soon they arrived in Addis Abba, the capitol Ethopia, where they learned that the church was founded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Week 8 -- Cairo, Egypt was the next stop. There are no Lutheran congregations in Egypt, as the country is predominately Islamic. The ELCA partnered with St. Andrews United Church of Cairo to serve Christians in the city.
  • Week 9 -- On to Belgrade, Serbia. The Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia -- Montenegro joined the Lutheran World Federation in 1952 and has 49,000 member. In many of these congregations, the men and women still sit in separate sections in church.
  • Week 10-- Next they went to the place that started it all, Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door on October 31, 1517.
  • Week 11 -- By the last week they had walked a total of 20, 708 miles in real life that translated into a major achievement for their virtual journey--They arrived in Jerusalem for Easter!

 If you want to submit an announcement, please  check out the Submission Guidelines and send your submission to fuller@vasynod.org.
Significant Events Form

Each year before Synod Assembly the Virginia Synod Office asks for each congregation to let us know what's happening at your church. Please make sure that someone from your congregation has submitted a significant events for. to the Bishop's Office. 

*If you wish to fill out the form online, you must use Internet Explorer

**If you are printing out the form, please mail to P.O. Box 70, Salem VA, 24153

Synod Assembly is here! June 10-12, 2016 will be our time to get together at Roanoke College as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and learn more about worship. Our keynote speaker this year will be the Rev. Kevin L. Strickland, Director of Worship of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Click the links below for the General Arrangements document that has everything you need for Synod Assembly 2016.

*Youth Assembly participants will be the only people housed on campus. Participants at the Adult Synod Assembly can use our  Salem Area Hotel List  to make reservations.
Visiting Theologian in Blacksburg, April 30:
Marianne Hieb on Meditative Art-Journaling
Marianne Hieb will serve as Luther Memorial Lutheran Church's  2016 Visiting Theologian in Blacksburg.  Sister Hieb ministers at the Lourdes Wellness Center in Collingswood, NJ, where, for the past 30 years, she has developed and facilitated the Creativity, Spirituality,
and Wellness program.
Dr. Hieb will facilitate a workshop, on Saturday, April 30, at Luther Memorial:  Meditative Art-Journaling┬«:  An Adjunct Prayer Practice and Way of Contemplative Presence.  This workshop will invite participants to use art materials as a way to explore the presence of God.  There will be a morning (9-12) and an afternoon session (12-4); participants may attend either one or both.  Lunch will be served between sessions.  
Luther Memorial is located at 600 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA.
This workshop is open to all and free to the public.  All art materials will be provided. 
It is requested that participants register by either calling 951-1000 or sending an email to luther@lmlc.org
For more information: http://www.lmlc.org/visiting-theologian-april-3-and-may-1

Pack The Park for LFSVA
LFS logo new
Pack the Park for LFSVA! You can be a superhero for LFSVA at our third Pack the Park event, Saturday, May 21 (Superhero Night!), at Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium. For every $10 ticket we sell, LFSVA gets $5, which will go toward LFSVA's Supported Employment Services that helps individuals with disabilities in the Roanoke area prepare for and find real jobs through job coaching and mentoring. Come support our individuals, their families and our program. Questions? Contact Leah Hatcher at lhatcher@lfsva.org. Purchase tickets online at www.lfsva.org.
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 fuller@vasynod.org. 
Prison Chaplain Position at River North Correctional Center
GraceInside seeks a part-time (25 hours per week) Prison Chaplain for River North Correctional Center (RNCC) in Independence (Grayson County), VA.  The chaplain serves as a Christian pastor and as the coordinator for religious services and programs for inmates of all faiths for all men incarcerated at RNCC.

(1) Formal Education: An undergraduate degree from an accredited college/university and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or equivalent degree from an accredited theological seminary. (Equivalent educational degrees and/or ministry experience may be considered.)
(2) Ordination: Fully ordained and currently in full connection and in good standing with his/her denominational body, church, etc.
(3) Endorsement: Where applicable, endorsed by his/her responsible denominational agency as to current good standing and confirmation of abilities to perform the duties related to chaplaincy.
(4) Preferred, but not required: 12 months of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and three to five years of pastoral ministry or other ministerial experience; experience in jails/prisons or criminal justice system a plus.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter of interest and a current resume as email attachments to  kateshelton@graceinside.org .  Qualified candidates will be sent an application.  For more information about our ministry, please visit our website at  www.graceinside.org .

DEADLINE for Applications :  Friday, May 6, 2016
Nursery Attendant-Chesapeake, VA
Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake is seeking a caring and able bodied adult to serve as a part time paid Nursery Attendant.
Candidates should have childcare experience, be able to facilitate church provided activities, and maintain a healthy and safe environment in the nursery on Sunday mornings. Hours from September through May are from 8:15am-12:30pm.  Summer hours (June-August) are from 8:15am-11:15pm. First aid and CPR training are desired, and a background check, physical, and TB test are required. Contact Jody Miller at (757)420-4704 or secretary@gracelutheranchesapeake.org for additional information and an application.
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