Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith
Synod Assembly is our annual opportunity for the 150 congregations of the Virginia Synod to come together and be reminded what it means to be a part of the wider church. Our theme during our June 9-11, 2017 gathering was “Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith”.

During the weekend, The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, the Executive Director of the Global Mission program, represented the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, bringing good news from the wider church.
A new Bishop, and new Synod Leaders Elected for the Virginia Synod
The Rev. Malpica Padilla, also served as election representative for the Virginia Synod Bishop Election. The Rev. Robert Humphrey pastor of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg was elected on June 11th to serve a six-year term as bishop. Humphrey was elected on the fifth ballot with 217 votes to 167 votes for The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, associate pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church of Roanoke.

For a complete breakdown of ballot results from the bishop election, click here.
ForwardingFaith Campaign Update
Testimonials from campaign leadership, Stephanie Hamlett of Epiphany Richmond, The Rev. Jean Bozeman of First Lutheran in Norfolk, Jonathan Hornbaker of Grace in Winchester, and Bishop James F. Mauney were given in support of the ForwardingFaith campaign and the many ministries this endowment aims to support. The campaign has raised over $2.2 million thus far. The congregational phase is when we welcome and provide the opportunity for our congregations to come together and support faith formation in the Virginia Synod. 

More information on the ForwardingFaith campaign can be found at
Resolution Passed, Hororing Bishop James F. Mauney
One resolution was passed with a standing ovation, recognizing the great work in the life of our synod by Bishop Mauney, naming him Bishop Emeritus at his retirement on August 31st.

On Friday evening, Bishop Mauney and the office of the Bishop were recognized at a reception hosted at the Roanoke College Cregger Center. There Bishop Mauney's work and care for the Virginia Synod was recognized by several speakers including The Rev. Paul Henrickson, The Rev. Chris Price, and his family among others. Bishop Mauney and Lynda Mauney were also gifted with a DVD featuring recorded thanks from  rostered ministers and staffers from the office of the Bishop taken during this past year's Gathering of the Ministerium. Photos of the Flat Bishop project were also presented in a complied scrapbook for Bishop Mauney and his family.

Bishop Mauney also took the time during the evening to recognize each individual member of his staff, thanking them for their time serving in the office of the Bishop.
Synod Leaders Elected
Elections for Synod Council also took place over the weekend, with four members of Synod Council in total elected or reelected. We welcome newly elected lay member Judy Casteele of Good Shepherd in Lexington. The Rev. Paul Pingel pastor of Grace Waynesboro was elected to continue his appointment to serve. The Rev. Meredith Williams, pastor of Ascension Lutheran in Danville, The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, and  The Rev. Chris Carr pastor of Christ the King in Richmond were all reelected to serve as Ministers of Word and Sacrament on Synod Council.

The Committee of Discipline and the Consultation Committee were also elected over the weekend. Both were elected by acclamation. 
Ordination of The Rev. Alex Zuber
We celebrate the Rev. Alex Zuber, who was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA during Saturday evening liturgy at St. Andrews in Roanoke. He will serve as pastor in the Stony Man Lutheran Parish made up of Beth Eden and Grace Lutheran in Luray, Virginia. 
Young Adults in Global Mission
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, yearlong journey in international service. 

One young woman was commissioned for Young Adults in Global Mission. Samantha DiBiaso of First Lutheran in Norfolk has accepted a one-year appointment as a YAGM to Southern Africa.

Three young women- Emily Edmonds, Mary Proctor, and Emily Dietrick were also honored for their one-year appointments as YAGMs to Australia and Southern Africa. A video was shown showcasing each of these three young women's experiences serving as YAGMs this past year.

Each of these young adults are asked to raise funds before they leave for their year of service. To find out how you can support our Virginia YAGMs, go online here.
To watch the video, looking back on three of our Virginia YAGMs experiences this year,  click here
Youth Assembly: To Faith and Beyond
Along with Synod Assembly. Youth Assembly also took place this weekend. On the last day of the main assembly, Michaela Loving of Mt. Zion Lutheran in New Market, the president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme, "To Faith and Beyond". She spoke of the immeasurable value of youth events and also expressed the gathered youths’ discussed vision for the new bishop of the Virginia SynodThe next LYO Board president will be Isaac Wilson of Christ Lutheran in Fredericksburg.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at and make sure to follow our
Virginia Synod Kairos 2017
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 for Kairos, click here

Roanoke College's Theology for Teens
Our second annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. Starting Sunday July 16, 2016 through Sunday July 22, 2017 we will focus on the life & thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a church leader who met the challenges before him—we will explore today’s social issues & encounter other faiths by engaging the students with leaders from those various communities. Come and discover a sense of mission, be equipped with theological tools to enable you to meet the challenges facing the church today.

For more information and to register for T4T, click here

Virginia Synod LAUNCH 2017
LAUNCH  is an event for youth who have just graduated from high school. Its purpose is to give them a chance to take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and also to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of faith and life that are likely to face them as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whether it be the workforce, military or other public service, college, or something else. If participants are veterans of our Virginia Synod ELCA Youth Events (Lost and Found, Winter Celebration, Kairos, etc.), they will find that this event is structured differently. We will spend our three full days together in a rhythm of worship, informal presentations to the whole group, small group discussions, and individual reflections that engage the mind as well as the spirit.  Of course, there will be time for fellowship and relaxation and enjoyable meal times together.

For more information and to register for LAUNCH, click here

Power in the Spirit 2017: "On Our Way Reforming!"
Hosted at beautiful Roanoke College in Salem Virginia, Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members,committee or council members, family life consultant, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

The Reformation didn’t “fix” the Church. In fact, you might say it’s just one example of how we’re always “recalculating” our way forward as individuals and as a Church. In that spirit, this year’s theme for Power in the Spirit 2017 is:
On Our Way Reforming!

For more information and to register for Power in the Spirit, click here

Veterans and Faith Group Meeting: Military Service and the Transition to Civilian Life...
Does Spirituality have a place in the conversation?
Veterans and Faith is the first of four evenings for Veterans, Active Duty Military Service Members and friends and family with food, fellowship and discussions by and for Veterans. The first gathering will be held, June 15th at 7 PM, hosted in conjunction with Three Rangers Foundation at Faith Lutheran Church 2730 Bridge Road, Suffolk. 

These gatherings will be held quarterly, with the second event scheduled September 14th, 2017.

To view and download a flyer for Veterans and Faith, click here

FREE Church Security Workshop at  Muhlenberg Lutheran Church
At one of our gatherings, we became aware of the need to have more tools in case of danger plus information on prevention methods.

We are inviting all faith communities of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area (and beyond if folks are interested) to join us Tuesday, July 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, 281 E Market St, Harrisonburg, VA

Space is limited, so consider bringing 3 key folks that can share with others. (secretaries, pastors, custodians and anyone frequently alone in your building)

We need an RSVP, please.  You are encouraged to send questions for the Harrisonburg Police Department presenters in advance. Respond to or Linda Depoy (540-434-3496 / 

You can also ask to join our closed Facebook Group using this link:

Caroline Furnace: Have you registered for summer camp?
It's our 60th Anniversary and we're celebrating with a summer of old favorites and new programs. Our traditional summer residential programs are designed for rising 1st-12th graders. Family camp is perfect for families with younger kids who want to try out camp together.

To register for summer camp at Caroline Furnace, click here 
For information on the 2017 summer schedule and pricing, click here

National Lutheran Communities & Services Community Impact Grants 2018
Each year, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) awards grants to organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors. Grant proposals for the 2018 period will be accepted starting on June 1, 2017 and must be submitted on or before August 15, 2017.

NLCS strongly believes that its mission extends beyond the physical boundaries of its residential communities and service offerings. With funds solely from investment earnings, we are committed to supporting the work of other non-profit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs that address the critical needs of seniors who are aging-in-place. For more information please visit:

Job Opportunities
Part-time Church Secretary

Part-time church secretary, 10 hours/week. Two church parish in Northern Rockingham County, Timberville Lutheran Parish. If interested, please call 540-896-4241 to leave a message or email to submit a resume.

Part-time Youth Ministry Coordinator Position

Grace and Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra is currently seeking a part-time Youth Ministry Coordinator to join our staff.

Skills needed for this position:  

  • Ability to thrive in a team environment
  • Maintain healthy relationship boundaries
  • Strong communication skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Ability to relate to people at all age levels
  • Effectiveness relating through advanced social media and computer skills
  • Strong event planning/coordination abilities
  • Ability to work with existing ministries, but also to create new opportunities to involve the wider community in mission
  • Understanding, appreciation, and desire to engage in intergenerational models of ministry

A job description is available from the church office. Please call 434-589-2217 or email for more information.

If you or anyone you know is interested, please submit a cover letter, resume’, and 3 references to the church office before June 23. We will begin interviews shortly thereafter.

ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow

Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works in partnership with statewide advocacy ministry networks across the United States to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. Each office relates to the synods in their state and works closely with hunger leaders and synod teams. 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 2017 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the  Virginia Interfaith Center

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at