Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
Renew and Retreat
For this week's Weekly, hear from  Diane Bayer, Minister of Christian Formation at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, as she reflects on her time hosting and participating in the Christian formation retreat, "Renew & Retreat" 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending "Renew & Retreat" an event co-sponsored by Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center and Roots & Wings a ministry of the Virginia Synod. This retreat is for all those who serve full-time, part-time or volunteer in Children-Youth and Family Ministry. I had a wonderful time as I gathered with brothers and sisters of like mind and spirit to be fed ourselves and not to have to feed as we talked about the joys and concerns of our ministry. 


Debbie Streicher, the president of the ELCA Christian Formation Network was our presenter. Debbie led us in wonderful discussions about Faith Milestones in our lives and in the lives of those we serve. The ideas shared were awesome and it never ceases to amazing me how creative we get when we work together to envision places, where we can help others to recognize God's presence in homes, the community and beyond. It was a gift to share ways to help our congregational members to see these Millstones and to celebrate them with their families! 


Dr. Phyllis Milton, lead us in meaningful and fun worship throughout the event, what a joy we all had singing some good old VBS songs. Dr. Phyl, also lead us in a fun afternoon of self-care, taking us outside to play games, blow bubbles and learn to just relax. This truly was for all of us in attendance a time or renewal for our passion for the ministry we serve and to retreat in the beauty of God's creation that is Caroline Furnace. If you serve in Children -Youth and Family ministry and didn't get to attend this year you certainly missed out on something special, but there is always next year at which time. I hope to see many more of you. I promise you won't be sorry if you attend!


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
A nnouncements
Lutheran Disaster Response Hurricane Matthew

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
- Psalm 46:1
 
Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in years, has caused heavy rain, dangerous winds and landslides. The National Hurricane Center has reported Hurricane Matthew to be "extremely dangerous" with conditions favorable for it to maintain its strength. 

Your support through Lutheran Disaster Response will bring God's hope and healing to those affected by this hurricane. Where the hurricane has already hit the hardest in Haiti, Lutheran Disaster Response's trusted partner is providing pre-positioned relief material. Our response is spanning across several countries, especially Haiti and Cuba. In the U.S., Lutheran Disaster Response coordinators are collaborating with local community leaders, civic organizations, ecumenical partners and officials to begin planning the proper responses. 

Together, we will work with congregations, synods, trusted partners and companion churches in the area that know the communities well and will walk with people on the road to recovery. 

Gifts designated for "Hurricane Matthew" will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those affected by this hurricane until the response is complete. Because of your generous offerings of prayer and financial support, the ELCA walks alongside disaster survivors. Thank you!
Lost and Found

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.

For more information, and to register for Lost and Found click here!
Virginia Synod Bishop Election Feedback Requested

It is an exciting time in our synod as we approach the election of a new bishop at our 2017 Synod Assembly. Many of you already know that Bishop Mauney has announced his retirement next year and, so, we are preparing for the tenure of a new leader. You can engage in discussions with your pastor, the Dean of your conference, members of the Bishop's Election Transition Committee (BETC) and at the Fall Conference Gatherings where presentations about the Bishop's Election process and the ForwardingFaith initiative will be made.  
  
We need the help of congregational members and leaders - that's you! In much the same way as we prepare to call a new pastor in our congregations, we want to prepare to call a new bishop with as much attention and prayer as possible.
  
These survey results will be helpful for those who are potential nominees, which are determined by ecclesial ballot, to know how we see the ministry needs in our synod. It will also help the 2017 Synod Assembly voting members to know the mind of the Virginia church as they enter into the election process. 

Will you please be part of our planning by completing a survey? It isn't very long but it is so very important.  
  
2017 Tour of Germany "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer."
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Pastor Dave Young and Pastor Heidi David-Young will be leading a tour of Germany during the late summer of 2017. The tour is entitled  "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer." You are invited to consider joining the members of Bethel Lutheran Church (Winchester) and others as we visit sites in Munich, Prague, Leipzig, Wittenberg, Berlin, and much more.  We will learn more about our Lutheran heritage.  We will visit the Flossenburg Concentration Camp where Bonhoeffer was martyred.  We will learn more about J.S. Bach in his hometown of Eisenach, as well as visit the Warburg Caste, where Luther stayed after the Diet of Worms.  Throughout we will worship together, pray together, and share together.  
Initial deposits of $350 (per person) are due by  November 15th.  The final payment is not due until May 15, 2017.  The cost DOES NOT include the flight. Flights will be booked personally.

Feel free to contact Pr. Young ( pastordave@bethelwinchester.com) if you questions.  Pastor Young and Pastor David-Young are also available for presentations if your congregation would be interested in learning more.


St. Paul's-Hampton is having a Sparkhouse Family Book Fair! 
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift for your kids or grandkids? Stop by our Book Fair and shop award-winning Bibles, books, and videos for babies to twelve-year-olds. Save up to 40% PLUS free shipping on all Book Fair titles.
 
Stop by St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hampton on Sunday mornings, or during weekday office hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM -2:30 PM, from October 9th-October 23rd to get faith-filled books and videos for your kids.
 
Our Book Fair, sponsored by Sparkhouse Family, will feature a wide variety of new resources based on the beloved Spark Story Bible, including a family devotional, a collection of prayers for kids based on the Psalms, a picture book about Noah's Ark, the first-ever animated Spark video (starring Squiggles the caterpillar!), and a new line of Spark Play and Learn Books to help make family faith formation easy and fun.  Other noteworthy titles included in the upcoming Book Fair are a new Christmas picture book from the Frolic series and a gorgeous Advent pop-up book that will make a delightful gift. 
 
Each book and video is designed to help parents instill an open-hearted, transformational, lifelong Christian faith in their children at every age and stage.
Holiday Bazaar Craft & Vendor Show
Visit St Mark Lutheran on Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM for fun for the whole family!  Over 30 vendors will be on-hand selling hand-made crafts and gift items, as well as a variety of products and services . Also, enjoy concessions, raffles, children's games & activities including reptile rescue, face painting, cookie decorating, and games.  
The Experience at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS)
The name The Experience was chosen because LTSS believes what you, as a prospective student, experiences is the most appropriate and influential way to determine which seminary is the right place to earn your theological education. During your time with us, we will show you our community and the community surrounding us. You will experience life with our current students and the heartbeat of campus. Also, our faculty will offer you a glimpse of the classroom experience that is essential to your theological formation. We look forward to welcoming you to The Experience!
 
Jenn Casey, an alum of LTSS and our Enrollment Director reflects, "I remember having a lot of questions during my discernment process and I often wondered if I was the only person with those questions. I also thought I must be crazy for thinking that God was calling me into ordained ministry. I now know I wasn't the only one, but it can be a confusing process!"
 
We have four opportunities, click on each on for registration information.


Questions? Contact Kohl Friery at 803- 461-3296 or  kohl.friery@lr.edu . If you want to visit LTSS but these events don't work, email Kohl and set up a private visit!
Reformation 500 Observances

As the second oldest Lutheran college in the USA, the mission statement of Roanoke College declares that we "honor our Christian heritage by nurturing a dialogue between faith and reason." In this spirit, Roanoke College announces a series of special academic events from late 2016 through the anniversary year 2017 in commemoration of the 500 th  anniversary of the Reformation and in coordination with the 175 th  anniversary of the college's founding.

For more information on this and future events from Roanoke College celebrating the Reformation- click here!
ELCA Colleges & Universities

ELCA colleges and universities have a helpful website whygolutheran.org - for students and parents as they embark on the college search process. On the site families can:
Spread the word by downloading posters and bulletin inserts to incorporate in your congregational communications! Click here to download resources.

Job Opportunities
Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries - Salem, Virginia
College Evangelical Lutheran Church seeks applications for a part-time Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries.

Under the supervision of the Pastor, the Coordinator serves alongside of congregational leaders, advocates for and facilitates Children, Youth, and Family Ministry programs. Programs include Nursery; Sunday School (Pre K-High School); Confirmation; Vacation Bible School and other summer programs; Youth Group; Campus Ministry; and Family Faith Formation.

To view the full job description, click here.
All posts can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email pilat@vasynod.org. 
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