The Office of the Bishop God's Work Our Hands Day of Service
This coming week is Virginia Synod's 6th annual Week of Service, which coincides with "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday, the ELCA Day of Service on Sunday, September 9, 2018. This week of service provides the opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

From September 9th through the 15th, all congregations are invited to reach out into their neighborhoods to become God's hands and feet, to serve those in need and to share God's compassion with the world. The Week of Service is an opportunity for everyone to intentionally invest time in service projects outside the walls of the church.
On Tuesday, September 4th the Office of the Bishop volunteered their time with one of the Synod's Mission Partners, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia (LFSVA). Bishop Humphrey and his staff spent the day visiting with the fun-loving individuals at LFSVA’s Day Support, a program which provides adults with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities activity-based, skill-building experiences. Skill-building activities are provided in areas such as self, social and environmental awareness, sensory stimulation, fine and gross motor skills, personal care skill, communication, learning, problem-solving, and community-living skills.
While visiting with the Day Support group the Bishop’s Office got the chance to host a bingo game. The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, assistant to the Bishop, served as the bingo caller, and the rest of the staff assisted with marking bingo cards and cheering "BINGO!" for winning cards. Once the game was finished, the Bishop’s staff passed out prizes including puzzles, activity books, and sunglasses. The sunglasses prizes were a treasure for a lot of the individuals as they got a chance to show off their personal style!
Later in the afternoon, the staff had the opportunity to join in celebrating an individual's birthday by passing out cupcakes and becoming part of the celebration. They also got to be present sharing conversations, songs, dances, and laughter with those who are part of the Day Support program. Lots of joy and smiles were shared, and new friends were made during the staff's time together with the Day Support program.
Share Your Story of Service
Whether your congregation prepares and delivers meals to people who are homeless, cleans local parks and beaches or writes thank-you notes to emergency responders, your service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: All of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

The Virginia Synod would like to hear about your experiences as your congregation embarks on the Week of Service. Please share with us your stories, photos and the impact of your work. Send these to Emily Pilat at with the subject line “Week Of Service 2018 [Name of Congregation]” and the following information:
  • List your project(s)
  • How many people participated?
  • How many people were helped?
  • Share one wonderful story from the day.
  • Share up to five pictures from the day.
  • What is the email address of a good person to contact for follow up information about the 2018 “Virginia Synod Week of Service”?

When you send your stories and images, they may be shared on the Virginia Synod's website, newsletter, or social media pages. Also be sure to share and tag the Virginia Synod by using the hashtag #VASynodServes! We'll be checking the hashtag all week long and look forward to your stories of service!
September Sermons
Sermons are available one month prior to the Sunday service they are to be shared during. View all the sermons shared  on the Virginia Synod website.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Fall 2018 ACTS Course
This year's spring ACTS course will be held October 20th and November 10th at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert will present on Lutheran Confessions.

For more information on the Fall ACTS course and to register for this fall's course,  click here .
2018 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. 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 other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how the weekend is going.

For more information on Lost and Found and to register for the even,  click here .
“Ask, Thank, Tell” Generosity & Stewardship Resources for Virginia Synod Congregations
I look forward to supporting the stewardship ministries of the Virginia Synod though resourcing and collaboration. Below you will find the first collection of resources to provide assistance to Stewardship Teams beginning to plan for the fall. You can download a pdf version of the resources listed below here:  Ask Thank Tell Stewardship Resources August 2018

If you or someone in your congregation is interested in being on the  "Virginia Synod Stewards"  newsletter list, please sign up here: .

If you are interested in being a part of the newly forming Virginia Synod Stewards Table, please email me at:  for more information.

Peace and hope,
Pastor John Wertz, Jr.
Director for Evangelical Mission
Assistant to the Bishop, VA Synod
Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center Upcoming Events
For more details about an event, email​ or call (540) 449-0012.
Fall Work Weekend: September 14-16 2018
Join us in giving back to Caroline! Please sign up online or call us by Monday, September 10.

For an e vent flyer, click here, and to s ign up click here.
Fall Fest and Camp-out: October 27-28 2018
Fall Fest is held in the field at St. John's Chapel and features a bluegrass worship service, provided picnic lunch, field games, and pumpkin carving. All are welcome! This is a fun opportunity to come see us at Caroline Furnace, either for the first time ever or the first time in awhile. Please RSVP for Fall Fest on the Facebook event posting if you are able, and sign up online or call us to reserve your space for the camp-out.

For an event flyer, click here, and to sign up for the camp out click here.

*Youth leaders: contact us for more information on the youth group camp-out in the main field on Saturday night!
Wild Women: Wine Retreat: November 2-4 2018
Join us for a weekend of relaxation and fellowship! This retreat is hosted in the Farmhouse, and we will visit local wineries on Saturday afternoon. Feel free to bring a book, your latest crafting project, and your favorite wine to share. Registration closes October 19.

For an event flyer, click here, and to sign up for the camp out click here.
safeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone
September 29, 2018
safeTALK is a half-day training in suicide alertness that will be offered Saturday, September 29 from 9 AM to Noon at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Staunton. It helps participants recognize a person with thoughts of suicide and connect them with resources who can help them in choosing to live. Participants don’t need any formal preparation to attend the training—anyone age 15 or older who wants to make a difference can learn the safeTALK steps.

The Reverend Carl Trost will serve as facilitator of the program. Chaplain Trost has over thirty years of experience on the front lines of suicide intervention, community support and suicide intervention education while serving as a Navy Chaplain and youth pastor.

RSVP by September 14. You can call Christ Lutheran at 540-885-4843. Or email Chaplain Trost at

For more information on safeTALK, click here. For an event flyer, click here.
Oktobertfest at Bethel Lutheran, Winchester
Saturday, October 6th from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM Bethel Lutheran Church, 2077 N Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration! Rain or shine come out for food and drinks, German/Austrian Band, local craft beer, free inflatables for all ages, and yard games. Authentic wear is encouraged! Cost is $10 per person. Tickets available at the church, or online at: for will call.

To download a flyer for the event, click here.
Vocal Ensemble Lyra From St. Petersburg Russia in Concert at College Lutheran, Salem
Chants of Russian Orthodox church and folk songs from Russia will be in concert at College Lutheran Church, 210 South College Ave, Salem VA, on Thursday, October 11 at 7 PM. This concert is open to all, with a free-will offering.

Please contact Karen at 540-389-4963 or for more information.
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Holy Listening – We believe holy listening is at the core of spiritual direction. It’s listening to one another, and most attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit.

Everyone is Welcome to Apply – Our primary purpose is to train people who feel called to be such spiritual friends, spiritual companions; however, those who are interested in deepening their own spiritual practices are also welcome.

Within the Christian Tradition – Ours is an experience in spiritual direction grounded in Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom that can be found in other faith traditions. We will draw on those traditions and will integrate them from a Christian perspective.

  • four intensives, always from Wednesday noon until Saturday noon
  • small cohorts, each with its own mentor

Between the intensives
  • read key books and short reaction papers
  • participate in a closed Facebook group with your cohort and mentor
  • find and meet regularly with a spiritual director
  • find a willing person to be their spiritual directee

  • new intensive groups begin in January of each year
  • application deadline is December 22
  • intensives are held in January and June over a two year period
  • the next cycle of intensives is January 17-20, 2018; June 13-16, 2018; January 16-19, 2019; June 12-15, 2019

  • total cost for the program is $3,000 (price includes tuition and food)
  • participants find their own lodging (limited on-campus housing is available for $25 a night)

Interested? We’d love to hear from you:
Director: Pastor Gary Dreier ( ) 803-461-3222
Administrative Coordinator: Pastor Merianna Harrelson (  or ) 803-461-3217

Application available at: (under the “Certification Programs” tab)
Resourceful Stewards Initiative
Financial wellness is a vital part of a healthy life. Ministers who are in a financially sound position experience greater satisfaction in their work and their relationships, and are more able to freely serve the church and its mission without being encumbered by financial anxiety.

Savings Matching Programs
The church is an active partner in addressing specific needs raised by rostered ministers, helping rostered ministers develop their personal financial and stewardship health. Two Savings Matching programs share financial resources with rostered ministers. These programs match rostered ministers’ contributions to a dedicated emergency savings account and/or increased contributions to their ELCA retirement plan accounts. To learn about the programs, services and resources available to you as a minister or lay person, click here.
Three Sides Podcast
Three Sides is a monthly podcast featuring stories from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). As a church that believes God is calling us into the world – together, Three Sides will present diverse voices from across the ELCA.  Listen as we share unique stories from across this church.
In our  first full episode , our hosts, Shanna Crawford, Philip LaDeur and Andrew Steele, introduce you to ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton; Dr. Sylvia Sloan Black, a retired professor and now an executive coach; and Wendy Davidson, president of U.S. Specialty Channels at the Kellogg Co.

To subscribe and listen today, click here.
Job Opportunities
ELCA Career Listings
Explore and apply for opportunities available with the churchwide organization or global service on the ELCA Job Board at
ELCA Foundation Director of Gift Planning
T here are two key responsibilities for this leadership position:
  • Through the direct supervision of a national staff of about 20 regional gift planners (coaching and managing), lead and manage a robust fund-raising program to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospective donors of current and planned gifts;
  • Manage the business relationships with ministry partner organizations through on-site visits.
This position is located in Chicago and reports to the Executive Vice President of the Foundation. It requires about 30% travel, visiting regional gift planners, donors, and ministry partnerships.
Application, resume and cover letter  should be  submitted through the ELCA job board . Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to  Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc . , the consultant assisting with this search.
ELCA Executive Director for Domestic Mission
This senior leadership position brings decisive and visionary leadership to this unit charged with wide-ranging work and relationships with churchwide units, synods, congregations, and other partners. The work involves equipping synods and congregations; developing new ministries, seeking to renew strategic ministries; and working with synods and congregations in programs and strategies for evangelical outreach.
Reporting to the presiding bishop, this position requires about 25% travel. It is located in Chicago.
Application, resume and cover letter  should be  submitted through the ELCA job board . Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to  Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc . , the consultant assisting with this search.
Part-Time Organist/Pianist at St. Timothy Lutheran
St. Timothy Lutheran is a small congregation located in Vinton. We have an immediate opening for a Part-Time Organist/Pianist. The position requires playing for an 11:00 a.m., Sunday worship service and monthly music planning with the Pastor. Weekly choir rehearsal is desired but negotiable; no choir during the summer months.

All inquires may be made at or by contacting the church office at 540-342-1715.
Prison Chaplain
Do you know someone who might be called by God to serve as our next Chaplain at Marion Correctional Treatment Center? Would you help us find the ONE? Please help us by spreading the news - just ten hours a week!

To learn more, click here .
Part-Time Coordinator of Programs, St. Luke Lutheran Church in Richmond
St. Luke Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia is recruiting a Part-Time Coordinator of Programs. The Coordinator of Programs is a person of committed faith, with a passion to further the ministry of
St. Luke through intergenerational programming. This position is responsible for the creation, development, and implementation of programming, with one special focus on the needs of younger members, young adults, young couples and families and a second special focus on seniors which includes but is not limited to Education, Fellowship and Outreach.

For a complete position description, and information on how to apply, click here.
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow- Washington, DC
Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. 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 2018 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the ELCA Advocacy office in Washington D.C. The Fellow will serve as a member of the ELCA Advocacy national staff team.

Focusing on analyzing and addressing the root causes of hunger and economic injustice, and promoting a holistic approach to hunger ministry, the Hunger Advocacy Fellow will build ELCA World Hunger capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

For a complete job description, and to apply for this position, click here.
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at