Church Together for the Sake of the World: Making a Difference in the Lives of Minnick Students
Thank you for your tremendous response to the WiFi for Minnick students project. Thanks to your generosity the Virginia Synod is currently providing WiFi for 20 students to allow them to continue their education while at home. With your help, we will meet and exceed our goal of providing WiFi to 25 Minnick students who were without WiFi. While we established 25 as the initial goal, with every student sponsored beyond 25, Lutheran Family Services will be able to expand this project to include more students, so if your congregation hasn’t participated yet, go to: vasynod.org/church-together to get involved.

According to the Minnick Schools Technology Coordinator John Davis, “The participating families are very excited to get started...Families without access to reliable internet are at a great disadvantage in the current situation and we hope that this program will not only help to enhance the student's learning, but also provide the entire family with the ability to access things like telemedicine, online worship services, and social interaction that may otherwise be currently unavailable to them.”

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of Minnick students and their families!
Virtual "Tongues of Fire" 5K
Registration Deadline Tuesday May 26, 2020
The Virginia Synod invites you to join us in your home or neighborhood for a  Virtual 5k on Sunday May 31!

We all wish we could be together. It's at this time of year when we'd be excitedly preparing to gather as the Synod for our annual Synod Assembly. We're maybe feeling cooped up inside, so let's do something together to get moving! Let's safely steward our bodies as we share an event as the Body of Christ and join in prayer along the way.

Watch an introduction video for the Tongues of Fire 5K from Pastor Rachel Manke of St. Mark in Yorktown.
For more information and to register for the 5K, visit  vasynod.org/virginia-synod-5k. The deadline to register for the 5K is Tuesday May 26th, so make sure to get you and your team's registration in ASAP!
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
Pandemic Hope: A Family Devotional for Life During COVID-19
Built around "Faith 5", Pandemic Hope is a Devotional for families that focuses on the new realities we are all living in each day. It provides daily readings and activities for 8 weeks to work along side those who you are isolating alongside. To read and download this devotional, click here.
Social Isolation Webinar
How can the church respond with compassion and understanding to those suffering from the “radical aloneness” that can result from social distancing? Find out by joining us on Thursday, May 14 or Wednesday, May 27 for a timely webinar entitled Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation: A Family Systems Perspective. Registration for both sessions is now open!

Social Distancing, Not Social Isolation is a 90-minute webinar that will show church leaders how they can help people overcome the potential loneliness of social distancing, and also reflect on how this time of “sheltering in place” can be used to facilitate life-giving connections with others.  This webinar integrates Bowen family systems theory with the research of John Cacioppo, social neuroscientist.

This webinar will be presented via Zoom on both May 14 and May 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The fee is $30. To register or to learn more, including our cancellation policy, please visit www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/720852. A link to this webinar will be sent to you upon registration, and you can attend on your computer, iPad, or Smartphone device.
ELCA Social Message Feedback Needed
The ELCA is preparing a social message on government and civic engagement. From March 20 to May 27, you are invited to provide feedback on how to strengthen the draft of the message. The draft of a “Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement: Discipleship in a Democracy” is available here. To offer feedback, please fill out this survey.
Luther Seminary Festival of Homiletics
The Festival of Homiletics is moving online! And because there’s no better time than our current crisis to learn how to “preach a new earth,” registration for the virtual conference is totally FREE! Join us May 18-22, online. On Demand access to all materials and info, costs $75. For more information, visit festivalofhomiletics.com
Join the 75,000 Face Mask Challenge
COVID-19 is threatening vulnerable communities, and Lutheran World Relief urgently needs cloth face masks to send to them. The cloth mask you sew in your living room will provide love and protection to a neighbor in need halfway around the world. How many will you make to help stop the spread? Sign up for more info. www.lwr.org/masks
Caroline Furnace Quick Updates
  • We are open for outdoor day use at our main property in Fort Valley. Check in/out at a station by the office door. Church leaders: You are welcome to come record worship videos here if you'd like!
  • We remain hopeful that Summer Camp will be unaffected by COVID-19 and are continuing with staff interviews and camper registrations. Any decisions on Summer Camp will be announced on May 15 once we have more info. View the Summer Camp digital catalog here. 
  • We are still booking rental groups for the Summer and Fall seasons! We recognize that our communities will be especially in need of time together on retreat as soon as it is safe to do so. Find rental availability here. 
  • Do you have a quilt group? We would like to share handmade quilts with our Farmhouse guests! This project has been especially well received due to the stay-at-home orders, and we already have a few quilts in the works. We are asking for full and twin size quilts.
  • Registration is open for Caroline Furnace programmed retreats through February 2021. This includes Adventure Weekends, Pre-Advent Retreat, Wild Women Retreat, and BeerReformation. View the Year at a Glance here.
  • Caroline Furnace remains closed to overnight groups. Individuals and single-household groups are welcome to come spend time outdoors at our main property from 9 to 5 each day. Be sure to read the details on our COVID-19 Updates page before you come.

We will share additional updates on our website at  www.carolinefurnace.org/covid19 . We appreciate your continued support of your outdoor ministry, even and especially during this time of uncertainty. We hope to see you again soon!
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.