A Day of Celebration and Conversation
This week we're hearing reflections from Vicar Melissa Woeppel of Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville on the congregation's recent MLK Day event. This was an event that celebrated the legacy of Martin Lutheran King Jr., and other leaders of the civil rights movement.
On January 15th, Peace Lutheran Church in Charlottesville hosted A Day of Celebration and Conversation , an event that had two goals: to honor the legacy of the civil rights movement and to provide a place for open and honest dialogue about the ways racism continues to be part of life in our own community. As Charlottesville continues to struggle with how best to respond to the events of August 12th, we knew our own section of the community needed to be involved, too.
Our Day of Celebration and Conversation was so many things: thoughtful, engaging, creative, hopeful, thought-provoking, challenging. We partnered with other leaders in the community to have a diversity of voices represented. Through family-friendly programming in the morning and an adult panel discussion in the evening, we were reminded how important it is to hear the stories of others. As our storyteller Pastor Brenda Brown-Grooms so wisely put it, “if we don’t listen to each other, we can’t live together.”
This also proved to be a common theme in our evening discussion. As JoAnn Auger, one of our panelists, shared, “ As Christians, we have no excuse before our God not to sit down and have the conversations...Be brave enough to ask, ‘can we talk?’ The greatest gift you can give to another person is to listen.”

As the church, I think the most important work we can do to address racism is to provide spaces for people to listen, think, engage and discuss. It’s through this process that we can truly know others and make positive differences in our communities.
April 4, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King. While the US has seen progress toward racial justice, much work is still left to be done. My hope is that this event and others like it are just the beginning of the conversation. Though Charlottesville has been in the spotlight, all communities in the United States need to wrestle with problems of racism. We have to be willing to listen to the voices and experiences that differ from our own, even as they challenge our own perspectives of the world.

These conversations are important, necessary work, capable of changing our communities, our country, and our world. Thanks for joining us and being a part of that change.
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
ForwardingFaith Congregational
Does your congregation want to take part in the ForwardingFaith Campaign? Is your stewardship team looking for a training event, but doesn’t know where to go? As part of the Forwarding Faith Campaign, we are offering 2-hour training sessions throughout the Virginia Synod to teach your stewardship team how to conduct a special gift appeal.

A part of this training provides materials and information on how to conduct the Forwarding Faith campaign in your congregation, but you can use everything you learn during the training session to conduct an appeal for a new air conditioning unit, parking lot paving, roof, outreach opportunity, or whatever your ministry needs to fund!

Upcoming training sessions will be held January 27th:

  • Blacksburg, at St. Michael Lutheran Church from 9:30-11:30 AM
  • Charlottesville at St. Mark Lutheran Church from 2:30-4:30 PM
  • In Woodstock at Emanuel Lutheran Church from 7:00-9:00 PM

Please encourage those interested in your conference to  RSVP for these events.

This campaign’s success has been incredible so far, and it’s up to our congregations now to keep this momentum going!
ACTS 2018 Spring Course: New Testament
This year's spring ACTS course will be held March 10th and April 21st at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). Mark Vitalis Hoffman will present on the parables of Jesus as part of the New Testament ACTS course.

For more information on the Spring ACTS course and to register for this spring's course,  click here
Caroline Furnace camper registration is open for 2018!
Ephesians 2:8 is our theme verse for the summer. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."

At Caroline Furnace, our campers combine faith with daily life on our 257 acre camp, surrounded by George Washington National Forest and nestled between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River. Campers experience daily worship and Bible study, plus a large range of activities. Campers may swim, canoe, fish, creekwalk, play small and large group games, challenge themselves on our low ropes course, hike, cook over a campfire, create crafts, learn archery, gain culinary skills, or explore the iron furnace ruins on camp property. Each week, Chaplains from supporting congregations join us in leading the campers in morning worship, Bible study, and campfire and evening devotion.
To view the complete summer schedule for 2018, and for more information, click here.
Caroline Furnace Upcoming Events
Caroline Furnace has a busy spring planned this year!

To learn more about our events and register, click here.
System Thinking for Leaders in Faith Communities: Staying on a Principled Course in Challenging Times
Leaders of faith communities are working and living in the context of multiple emotional systems. The leader must not only observe and think, but also act. Bowen theory suggests that a thoughtfully developed set of principles is an essential resource for maintaining one’s course when leading. Bowen theory can offer leaders useful guiding principles, not only for understanding the emotional process swirling about, but also in working toward the mission and purpose of their communities.

This one-day conference is intended for leaders new to Bowen theory as well as those familiar with systems thinking who want to expand their efforts. The conference will also explore connections between Bowen theory and theology.

Join us, at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 915 North Oakland Street (at Virginia Square Metro) Arlington, VA 22203 from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

For more information and to register, click here.
Trip to Germany with St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Williamsburg
Now that the crowds are gone, members and friends of St. Stephen in Williamsburg are going to Germany for a nine-day study tour, June 13-21! "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and the Reformation" will visit Wittenberg, Erfurt, Wartburg Castle and much more. $3,646 from Richmond. For more information, click here

If you would like a snail mail copy of the brochure, let Pastor Andy Ballentine know, at pastorab@saintstephenlutheran.net !
Mental Health America of Augusta One Day Workshop: Addressing Substance Use Together
Mental Health America of Augusta (MHAA) is planning to offer our community a Substance Use workshop on Friday, March 9 which is FREE to participants. Four presenters will help participants better understand Substance Use from a biopsychosocial perspective.

For more information on this workshop, click here.
Job Opportunities
The Virginia Synod Director for Evangelical Mission / Assistant to the Bishop
The Virginia Synod, in partnership with ELCA Domestic Mission, is seeking a qualified person to serve as our Director for Evangelical Mission / Assistant to the Bishop. The plan is for this full time staff person to live and work in the eastern part of our synod. A churchwide search is underway.

For more information please click here.
Chaplain, Virginia Lutheran Homes
The Chaplain is responsible for providing spiritual care, short-term counselling, worship leadership, education and other religious support to residents, families and staff at all Virginia Lutheran Homes facilities.
For a complete job description,  click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Becky Walls at the Virginia Synod Office at 540-389-1000 or they can email at  walls@vasynod.org .
Prison Chaplain, Green Rock Correctional Center
Due to the retirement of a beloved chaplain, Green Rock Correctional Center (Chatham, VA) will have an immediate opening for a part-time chaplain at 130 hours/month or 30/week.

Qualified candidates (1) must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university; (2) must have a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or equivalent degree from an accredited seminary; (3) must be ordained by and in good standing with their denomination or church; (4) where applicable, should be endorsed as a chaplain by their denomination’s endorsing body; (5) CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) units a plus (though not mandatory); (6) church ministry experience helpful; (7) experience working or ministering in a jail or prison setting a major plus; (8) must be willing to promote the ministry of GraceInside to nearby churches, ministries and civic groups.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and application to GraceInside: 2828 Emerywood Parkway; Richmond, VA 23294 by Monday, January 22nd.

Applications may be requested from Lee Hargrave at  lee.hargrave@graceinside.org or at  (804)-358-7650.
Organist, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney
Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney, VA is seeking an organist. Music is an integral part of our worship each Sunday and we look forward to finding the right person to join us in our mission. For more information or to submit a resume please email:  prderek@gmail.com.
Executive Director, Rural Family Development
This position is responsible for providing leadership and management to implement the Head Start Program for Caroline County in concert with the mission and vision of the Virginia Council of Churches/Rural Family Development through the utilization of Federal funding, State and agency policies and procedures.

For a complete job description, click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Virginia Council of Churches at 804-321-3300 ext. 100 or they can email Crystal Greenerl at greenerl@vacouncilofchurches.org
Organist, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Petersburg
Seeking part-time organist/choir director for one Sunday morning service, one adult choir rehearsal, and special services during Lent, Holy Week, and Christmas. Candidates should be familiar with the traditional liturgical service as practiced in a Eucharistically-centered sung service and experienced in a variety of musical styles. Salary range is negotiable with 2 weeks paid vacation. Opportunities for wedding and funerals are compensated separately. The primary instrument is a two manual Rodgers organ with spinet pianos in the sanctuary and the chapel. For information about the church and congregation please visit the church website at www.lcor.net

Interested candidates should contact Marva Farrington, Worship Committee Chair, at marva_farrington@yahoo.com. The position will become available in January 2018.
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Are you someone who is an accomplished keyboardist/pianist and looking for a part-time position (approx. 20 hrs/wk)? Have you been involved in a choir and have the ability to direct a choir? Grace and Glory has the perfect position for you! We are currently seeking someone with your abilities to serve as our Dir. of Music for our congregation. Our worship services are held Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am. If you would enjoy working with a vibrant, growing congregation sharing your gift of music, we would really enjoy speaking with you. Please email  gglcelca@embarqmail.com . It would be helpful to include both a cover letter and resume when inquiring and/or applying. We would be pleased to share a Job Description which is flexible depending upon the successful candidate’s musical gifts. EOE.

Grace & Glory is a vibrant, growing congregation in beautiful Central Virginia. We are active in the community and welcome all to join us as "Caring Christians sharing God's message of Grace." To learn more about us and our mission, please visit our website at  www.graceandglory.church.
All job postings can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org