LAUNCH 2018
LAUNCH is an event for recent high school graduates led by Pastor Dave Delaney , and his summer intern, Maren Corliss . Held on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem from July 8-12, LAUNCH helps participants take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and provides opportunities to engage in discussion on matters of faith, life, and vocation that participants are likely to face as they transition into a new life stage.
Twenty high school graduates gathered for LAUNCH this year to learn and discuss with speakers from across the Synod matters of faith, lifestyle, and vocational challenges and choices. This year’s speaker lineup featured current college students and recent college graduates who grew up through Synod Youth events, The Rev. Lyndon Sayers of Good Shepherd in Lexington, Dana Ripley , Chaplain Chris Bowen of Roanoke College as well as several others who came to share their knowledge and experiences. From these visiting speakers, the LAUNCH participants got a chance to closely examine and ask questions about diversity, dealing with judgement when identifying as Christian, how to define and practice their own self-care, the importance of establishing a work-life balance, what the transition to college is like, and so much more.
There was tons of fun to be had at LAUNCH as the group attended a local baseball game, and watched a handful of favorite movies over the five-day event, but there was also plenty of time taken for quiet reflection as well. These chances for independent reflection and study were scattered throughout each day, and are a unique component of LAUNCH that isn’t often a feature of other youth events. These opportunities allowed attendees to consider the big conversations and experiences they had together that made an impact on the major life transitions they’ll be making this fall.

This year, some attendees at LAUNCH were asked to share what their biggest takeaway from the event was. As there are a variety of speakers and activities throughout the week, each participants event experience was unique to them and providing them guidance on their faith journey!
1. I learned the difference between other Lutheran denominations, and I think that will be helpful for understanding my own faith.
2. I got a lot of helpful study tips from the college students who spoke with us. College is going to be a lot different than high school, but I know I can handle it.
3. Vocation is a synonym for calling, and I have started thinking about my own call. I might want to go to seminary, but I’m not totally sure, and that’s okay.
4. I’ve learned a lot more about what college life looks like, and can better envision what the next few years of my life might be like.
5. I’m recognizing the importance of keeping up a supportive social structure as I transition into my adult life.
6. A better understanding of how I can keep developing my faith on my own.
7. When I’m in college I’ll need to prioritize my time differently than I did in high school!
8. I learned that while attending college there’s a lot more opportunities available that can support my faith life than just going to church. I can join a college ministry group on campus, I can volunteer in the area.
LAUNCH participants also had the opportunity this past week to reconnect with friends made at previous Synod youth events, as well as to take time for themselves for intentional evaluation on what they want their future experiences to be like. All LAUNCH participants were invited to stay through the weekend and attend Power in the Spirit, serving as another way to connect and make the transition from youth to adult in our synod.
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
Announcements
Flooding in Southwestern Minnesota
Our partner synod, the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, has recently experienced a powerful downpour that accumulated 7-10 inches of rain, with some areas receiving over 12 inches of rain. This weather has washed out roads and flooded residential basements in their area. Most congregations in the synod have been okay. Shetek Lutheran Ministries (Bible Camp) had significant flooding and had to evacuate the campers. They worked with the sheriff department and red cross so parents could go to a designated place to be reunited with their kids.  

We ask for prayer for the people affected by this flooding in Minnesota. May God’s healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need.
Junior High Servant Event 2018
At the Water’s Edge is a week-long servant event for Youth who have completed the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and their adult advisors. We spend the week together experiencing the Christan life through worship, fellowship, and service. Of course, being in Virginia Beach, we will also spend some time having fun at the water’s edge.

For more information and to register, click here.
Power in the Spirit: Walking in Newness of Life
Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for people of all ages who wish to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible studies, keynote addresses, workshops, games, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members, committee or council members, family life consultants, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

For more information and to register, click here.
Kairos 2018
Kairos  is our annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall. It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week, to have a fresh experience of the grace and presence of God in that community, and to develop habits for discipleship that can be taken home as they live out their call to be “Ambassadors for Christ.” Kairos is different from our weekend events in that congregations do not send advisors with youth; the event staff serves as small group leaders and dorm advisors for the week. “Kairos” is the New Testament Greek word for “special time.” It is used whenever God’s people want to talk about a time of change, of renewal, of God’s special work in the believer and the community.

For more information and to register, click here .
Have you registered for Summer Camp? It's not too late!
Summer 2018 at Caroline Furnace promises to be an exciting one! The theme verse is Ephesians 2:8 - "For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH, and this is not your own doing; it is the GIFT of God." Camper life is centered around building community through daily worship, Bible study, and new experiences. Campers aged 1st-12th grade can choose from activities such as horseback riding, caving, archery, culinary, backpacking, canoeing, crafting, and fishing.

Registration clos es 10 days before the start date of each week of camp. To learn more and view the summer schedule,  click here
Annual Gathering of Virginia Synodical Women's Organization
"Let Us Encourage" will be the theme for the annual gathering of Virginia Synodical Women's Organization at Bethel Lutheran, Winchester, August 3-4, 2018.

Jody Smiley, VSWO president, said the gathering will be patterned after the synod youth events. Plans are for a large group with skits, singing and small sessions. The churchwide representative will be Lydia Davila, a board member of Women of the ELCA. Bishop Bob Humphrey will participate. Judy Casteele will present the ELCA draft Social Statement on Women and Justice. Health kits will be assembled as a service project.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

For the Spring Newsletter from the VWSO, click here.
Expanding “God’s Work. Our Hands.” from a Day of Service to a Life of Faith Worship Resource
“God’s Work. Our Hands.” is an opportunity “to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ—every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life—flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.” As the ELCA website says, the intent is to reinforce the reality that “You work every day to make your community a better place.” Without careful reflection and equipping, we can leave the impression that our call to participate in God’s work is fulfilled on this one day of service each year, and then we return to our workaday world where God is largely absent.

Expanding “God’s Work. Our Hands.” from a Day of Service to a Life of Faith is a worship resource that describes a way to expand “God’s Work. Our Hands.” from being a single day of service to a way to equip our people for a life of faith, so that “every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace” indeed.

To download this document to make use in your worship planning, click here.

For more information on the ELCA Day of Service and Virginia Synod Week of Service, visit www.vasynod.org/resources/week-of-service
Crumley Archives Summer Workshops - July 23
Are you and your congregation interested in preserving your history? Do you have questions about what to preserve, and what to toss? Ever wonder what you can do with those old Bibles?

Then consider attending the Crumley Archives Summer Workshop! This one-day educational opportunity will cover important areas in archives and preservation, including:

  • Current preservation techniques
  • Storage
  • Digital archives
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Records management
  • Collection development and processing
  • Finding aids
  • Genealogy research
  • Public service

The Workshop will be conducted July 23 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Crumley Archives, 4201 N. Main St., Columbia, SC 29203
Cost is $20 per person. Church rate for 3 or more attendees is $50. Contact Trudy Bouknight at crumleybookkeeper@gmail.com to reserve your seat!

Pastor Lance Braun from Mount Tabor, Staunton, and Redeemer, McKinley, is coordinating Crumley Archives CAR POOL transportation and Scholarships for Shenandoah Valley participants. Contact him at his cell phone 540-879-9575 or email  treetops@shentel.net  for information and assistance.
Reflect, Renew, Recommit Seminar
September 24-29, 2018
Reflect, Renew, Recommit (3R) , a week long discernment retreat will be offered September 24-29, 2018 at Lutheranch in Tallapoosa, GA.  This experience creates a safe place for rostered leaders and spouses to process, share, worship, embrace prayer practices, use tools for vocational support, and discover a newfound community.   If you know a leader that might find this retreat helpful, please invite them prayerfully to consider attending. 
 
The total cost to attend is $1100. Synods will be asked to support leaders in sharing the by contributing $550 toward their tuition. Participants will contribute $550 and spouses an additional $300.
 
For more information please contact: Tiffany Pieters, 3R Registrar, at  tiffany@scsynod.com  before August 15. If you have questions about the week, please reach out to Tammy Devine ( tdevine@porticobenefits.org ).

To see the 3R informational brochure, click here. To register for the event click here.
ELCA Global Farm Challenge
At the Youth Gathering in Houston, ELCA World Hunger launched the  Global Farm Challenge , where all gifts, up to $515,000 will be matched! The youth of this church have already raised more than $270,000 towards this goal. We have the opportunity to join the youth and support this great opportunity.
Your gift will speak loudly to the young leaders of this church and help us draw closer to the vision “that all may be fed.”
 
When you make a gift for the Global Farm Challenge you are making a gift to the ELCA Campaign. Together we can do more! Thank you in advance for your generosity.  Just click here to make your donation.
Fall 2018 ACTS Course
This year's spring ACTS course will be held October 20th and November 10th at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert will present on Lutheran Confessions.

For more information on the Fall ACTS course and to register for this fall's course,  click here .
2019 Impact Grants—Apply Now!
Impact1890—A National Lutheran Program is pleased to announce the availability of Impact grants for the 2019 year. Each year, Impact1890 awards grants to non-profit organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors, particularly those who are aging in place in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. All grants must address at least one of the following urgent needs faced by seniors:

  • Social isolation
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Navigating and accessing health care and social services
  • Chronic disease management
  • Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and memory loss

Does your organization qualify? Proposals will be accepted June 1, 2018 – August 15, 2018. To learn more about the submission of grant proposals visit www.impact1890.org. Questions? Contact us at grants@impact1890.org or 301-354-2703 and ask for Impact1890.

To download a flyer with info on Impact1890's Impact grants, click here.
Job Opportunities
Part-Time Coordinator of Programs, St. Luke Lutheran Church in Richmond
St. Luke Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia is recruiting a Part-Time Coordinator of Programs. The Coordinator of Programs is a person of committed faith, with a passion to further the ministry of
St. Luke through intergenerational programming. This position is responsible for the creation, development, and implementation of programming, with one special focus on the needs of younger members, young adults, young couples and families and a second special focus on seniors which includes but is not limited to Education, Fellowship and Outreach.

For a complete position description, and information on how to apply, click here.
Educators at Saint John Lutheran Church and School, Norfolk
Saint John Lutheran Church and School in Norfolk, VA, established in 1978, seeks to educate the whole child through the dedicated teaching staff, exciting curriculum, and the spiritual focus of a private, Christian, academic setting. Our staff is seeking educators for our two-year-old through Second Grade. Successful candidates will have experience and/or education in the field of early childhood development/ education and must meet the requirements of the accrediting agency.

Resumes will be accepted until July 22nd. Please email resume and references to: churchoffice@stjohnnorfolk.org.
Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network 11-month Program
LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, is looking for young adults (age 21-30) with Bachelor's degrees for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer service and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2018 to the end of July 2019, our corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health coverage, transportation, spiritual direction, and a $400/month food stipend. We also offer a $1000 re-entry grant at the completion of the program.

The placement sites for the upcoming program year include faith-based non-profits, secular non-profits, congregations, the Sierra Pacific Synod office, and our campus ministry at UC Davis. These service sites address issues of homelessness, unemployment, children and youth ministries, computer literacy, and other important social justice issues facing our communities.
 
We gather each week for worship, dinner, and formation. The corps members live in intentional community in a triplex in Sacramento, CA. We're an ecumenical program in the Episcopal Service Corps network; applicants needn't be either Lutheran or Episcopal to apply—interest in Christian spirituality is the only expectation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the program begins.
 
Visit levn.org or contact Program Director Casey Dunsworth at 530-756-1550 or programs@thebelfry.org for more information!
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow- Washington, DC
Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. ELCA Advocacy is a ministry of the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit. This is a twelve-month, non-renewable contract position.

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow will participate in a 12-month transformative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed.

The 2018 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the ELCA Advocacy office in Washington D.C. The Fellow will serve as a member of the ELCA Advocacy national staff team.

Focusing on analyzing and addressing the root causes of hunger and economic injustice, and promoting a holistic approach to hunger ministry, the Hunger Advocacy Fellow will build ELCA World Hunger capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

For a complete job description, and to apply for this position, click here.
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org