Chaplain and Father Inspire Marine to Pursue Ministry
This article comes from the ELCA publication Stories of Faith in Action, a free annual publication that highlights how God is changing lives through the ministries funded by your congregation's unrestricted offering of Mission Support which is shared with our Synod and the ELCA churchwide organization. Together, we serve God's people across the United States and around the world through our 9,300 congregations, 65 synods, and one churchwide organization. 
While deployed as a Marine in Iraq in 2005, Nathan Huffman received a visit from a chaplain that would change his life.

"He came to me and he asked me how I was doing,” Huffman said. "[I gave him the] 'I’m fine' typical Marine response. But he knew I wasn’t."

When the chaplain pushed for a real answer, Huffman said he hadn’t received communion in over a month due to combat readiness. So the chaplain brought out his communion kit and offered him the sacrament before Huffman started his nightly patrol.

"After receiving communion, I felt at peace with dying,” Huffman said. "It wasn’t because I was so brave; it was because I was confident in Christ."

After returning from deployment, Huffman was a police officer in Richmond, for several years before he and his wife began talking seriously about seminary and chaplaincy. The son of a retired ELCA pastor, Huffman was very involved in church growing up and was an active member of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond.

Because others had helped him, Huffman said he felt called to help military personnel and veterans who were suffering. "My faith had been a large part of that," he said.

In 2012, Huffman began his studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.), receiving generous support from his home congregation, Epiphany. As part of his journey to ordination, he applied to and was accepted in the chaplain candidate program. 

Before candidates can enter a full-time specialized ministry like chaplaincy, they must have three years of pastoral experience. Huffman is currently associate pastor of St. Michael Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach, where roughly half of the parishioners are former or current members of the military. 

Huffman hopes his ministry can bring light to those facing challenges today. "No one needs a light in bright places, but in dark times everyone longs for light," he said.

To read more stories, visit ELCA.org/SOFIA and download a copy of Stories of Faith in Action.
ELCA presiding bishop delivers Veterans Day message
In honor of Veterans Day, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), calls the church to prayer and action in support of our military, veterans and their families. To watch Bishop Eaton's address, click here .
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Does your congregation want to take part in the ForwardingFaith Campaign? Is your stewardship team looking for a training event, but doesn't know where to go? As part of the Forwarding Faith Campaign, we are offering 2-hour training sessions throughout the Virginia Synod to teach your stewardship team how to conduct a special gift appeal.

A part of this training provides materials and information on how to conduct the Forwarding Faith campaign in your congregation, but you can use everything you learn during the training session to conduct an appeal for a new air conditioning unit, parking lot paving, roof, outreach opportunity, or whatever your ministry needs to fund!

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Lost and Found 2017
Lost and Found  is our annual weekend retreat for youth in 7th and 8th grade and their adult advisors. 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 about 8 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. On Saturday afternoon there is large chunk of  Free Time  during which we will also hold out annual  Talent Show . In the evenings you will relax in your  Cottage  and talk with with other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how the weekend is going.

This year's Lost and Found will be held on November 17th through November 19th

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Day of Prayer & Reflection Sponsored by The Lutheran Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia
The  Northern Gathering of a “Day of Prayer & Reflections”  sponsored by the  Lutheran Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia  is planned for lay and clergy Tuesday November 14th, 2017 . The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb, Meade Professor Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, will lead presentations. Register by November 7th at  www.bit.ly/northdayofprayer .

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Worship at the Center: Join us for an event in 2018
Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the worship resource of the ELCA, invites us to keep Ash Wednesday through Easter in a new-old way. During these events, we will worship using the services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil of Easter.
 
We will join in reflection, study and discussion of the cross and empty tomb, baptism and Bible — the meaning of this journey for ourselves and the world.
 
The events will be held in 2 locations:
 
            Jan. 18-20:    St. John’s Lutheran Church
                                   Winter Park, Fla.
 
            Feb. 1-3:        St. Martin’s Lutheran Church
                                   Austin, Texas
 
To learn more about these events, click here.
Job Opportunities
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Grace & Glory Lutheran Church, a 250 member congregation in Palmyra, VA seeks an accomplished keyboardist and choir director to begin serving as Director of Music by January 1, 2018. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in a musical field, be familiar with liturgical music traditions, and be able to lead a diverse group of people of all ages and musical abilities. Depending on needs of the congregation and availability of the candidate, primary duties of this part-time (approximately 20 hrs/wk) position may include playing for 1 or 2 Sunday morning church services and all festival/special services, rehearsing and accompanying the adult vocal and hand bell choirs, and leading music for Sunday School and summer Vacation Bible School. Compensation package of up to $25,000  per year depending on ability and experience, and final determination of duties. 
 
For a full current position description or to apply, please email  gglcelca@embarqmail.com.   Please include both a cover letter and resume when applying.
 
Grace & Glory is a vibrant, growing congregation in beautiful Central Virginia. We are active in the community and welcome all to join us as "Caring Christians sharing God's message of Grace." To learn more about us and our mission, please visit our website at  http://www.graceandglory.church.
Director of Youth and Family Ministry, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
The Director of Youth and Family Ministry works with the Pastor(s), staff, lay leaders and others to support the spiritual health of the congregation and specifically the youth, primarily middle and high school age. Provides a connection between the St. Mark family and the growing number of youth. The lead Pastor is the immediate supervisor of the Director of Youth and Family Ministry. To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
All job postings can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org