A Pastoral Message From
Bishop Humphrey March 31, 2020
Click here or on the image above to view the full pastoral video message from Bishop Humphrey for March 31, 2020. Below you will also find a pastoral letter from Bishop Humphrey on celebrating Holy Communion during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Congregational Resources in the Midst of COVID-19
Daily Bread Matching Grants
ELCA World Hunger is announcing the immediate launch of Daily Bread Matching Grants. Through these grants, ELCA congregations can raise funds for their feeding ministries using an online fundraising platform and will receive a grant of $500 from ELCA World Hunger. Up to 100 Daily Bread Matching Grants are available for ELCA congregations on a first-come, first-served basis, with the possibility of more grants becoming available in the future. Apply or donate here.
Resources for Abuse Victim Amid COVID-19
Many members of our congregations are sheltering-in-place or isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendation of increased social distancing from the public will bring increased stress levels in many homes along with less access to helpful resources. As the coronavirus spreads, the message has been clear: home is the safest place to be. And, yet for victims of intimate partner violence and child abuse, nothing could be further from the truth. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has already reported getting calls from victims whose abusers are using the coronavirus as another excuse to isolate and harm family members. Victims of violence in Virginia can access support and services 24-hours a day by contacting the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. Services are available by phone, text or chat. All services are free and confidential.

VSDVAA Hotline
Toll-free: 1-800-838-8238 
Text: 804-793-9999 

Virginia LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-356-6998 
Text: 804-793-9999 
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
Synod Assembly 2020
Many have asked whether this year's Synod Assembly will be postponed or canceled. The Synod Office is working with our Synod attorney, the ELCA Office of the Secretary, Roanoke College, and the Synod Council to ensure that whatever decision we make is legal and constitutional. We hope to have a decision made by mid-April. For now, if you have not yet registered, please wait until we announce a decision about the Assembly. (If you have already registered, the announcement will include info about refunds.)
Online Worship Opportunities
Are you and your congregation planning on sharing online liturgy or worship opportunities? Please share information them with Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org . We're working to share as many of these opportunities for digital worship as we can on our website at www.vasynod.org/online-worship and on our social media accounts, and promote them each Sunday.
Zoom and Other Resources for Being the Church Online
While the realities of COVID-19 mean that social distancing is now required to slow the spread of the disease, there are digital tools available to help communities remain connected even as we are physically separated. One of the simplest tools to facilitate connection is Zoom ( zoom.us ), an online service that allows you to create video conferences from your computer, phone, or tablet. Even though Zoom is relatively easy to use, it is not free. To help support congregations, the Virginia Synod will reimburse congregations for a two month Zoom subscription for a Pro Account ($30) and will provide training on how to use this tool.

Here is the link to the Zoom pricing page:  zoom.us/pricing . On this page, you will see account options. You can sign up for a  Basic Account  which is free, but meetings are limited to 40 minutes or less. You also have the option to sign up for  Pro Account  which allows you to have longer meetings, up to 100 people participating, and allows you to record your meetings. If you’d like to try Zoom, then create a personal Basic account and you can get a feel for how the tool works. Once you have created your account, please use this Zoom Reimbursement 2020 to submit your request for reimbursement.

For more information and resources on using Zoom in your congregation, visit  www.vasynod.org/zoom
Communication Update Form Needed
As we are all reacting to a changing world in the midst of implementing preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19,  we are asking you to take a moment to be sure the contact information we have on file for you is up to date ! We'll be relying more on digital communications, so it is incredibly important that the Synod has the most up to date contact information for you, your staff, and your congregation including those who serve on your congregational council (ie Presidents, Treasurers,). Having updated contact information on file keeps us better connected and better informed.

If you have not already done so , please take a moment to fill out your congregation's communication update form.
Region 9 Rostered Women's Gathering
Join us November 2-4 for the Region 9 Rostered Women’s Gathering to be held in Atlanta.

  • Imagine a place where your stories are shared and believed.
  • Imagine a community where pain is expressed and hands join together to hold it in the light.
  • Imagine conversation with coaches, counselors, and spiritual directors helping you to discern and do the next right things.
  • Imagine investing in your vocation not because you are deficient but because you are uniquely gifted to carry out ministry as a leader in your place.
Now don’t imagine it, join us for such a time together all for the sake of building up women leaders who build up the body of Christ. Register today, there's early bird pricing until April 1. All the details are on the website, but if you have additional questions email Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick.
Job Opportunities
Job Opportunities can now be found on the Virginia Synod website at vasynod.org/job-opportunities If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org