Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
Freed & Renewed in Christ: The  ELCA Churchwide Assembly
The 14th ELCA Churchwide Assembly and accompanying Grace Gathering was held this past week in New Orleans, Louisiana from August 8-13.  Meeting under the theme "Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in Action," well over 2,000 Lutherans gathered. The Assembly, the highest legislative body of the ELCA, meets every three years to address the business of the church.
ELCA Churchwide Assembly Key Actions
  • Accepted the "Declaration on the Way," a unique ecumenical document that that draws on 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in preparation for the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017. The document provides 32 "Statements of Agreement" that express where Lutherans and Catholics do not have church-dividing differences on topics about the church, ministry, and the Eucharist. The document also presents the differences that remain.
  • Approved AMMPARO - the ELCA's strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities.
  • Approved the Ministry of Word and Service roster. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, ELCA associates in ministry, deaconesses and diaconal ministers will be a single, unified roster of Ministry of Word and Service. All on these rosters can be called "deacons."
  • Approved the 2017-2019 budget proposal
  • Approved various memorials - or proposals - from the ELCA's 65 synods.
  • Elected members to serve on: Church Council, Portico Benefits Services, Mission Investment Fund, Augsburg Fortress, Committee on Appeals, and Committee on Discipline and Nominating Committee.
  • Adopted amendments to the ELCA Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions
To read a full summary of key actions made during the Churchwide Assembly click here


To see legislative updates made click here
New Vice President
Current ELCA Vice President Carlos Peña decided to step down after serving 13 years in this role. A new Vice President was elected during the Churchwide Assembly.
Carlos Peña and Bishop Eaton
Following four rounds of voting, William B. Horne II, a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Clearwater, FL was elected to a six year term as Vice President.

"First of all, thanks be to God," said Horne following the election. "I really believe that his Spirit has been with us all of our assembly, and especially during the election process. I want to thank all of you for your discipline and your support."  

The outgoing Vice President Peña   was awarded the Servus Dei award following his 13 years of dedicated service to the church.  
Presiding Bishop Report
In her report to the Churchwide Assembly, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflected on the ELCA's work over the past three years and looked to the coming years for the church. Eaton said much of her focus the past three years has been on the "how and why we do this work," reminding the assembly of her four emphases for this church: We are church. We are Lutheran. We are church together. We are church for the sake of the world.

Eaton concluded by telling the assembly, "We have work to do. God will give us energy and the courage and the will to do it. Let's go, church." 

Grace Gathering
ELCA members voting experienced the assembly through the partnering event, Grace Gathering, which was an opportunity to experience the ELCA when gathered as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, to prepare for further observances of the 500th anniversary together, and reflect on how the Reformation can continue to guide us today.

Leymah Gbowee
was a keynote speaker at the Grace Gathering. Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist who is responsible for leading a women's peace movement in the country known as Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. This movement helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. She, along with several others were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

Leymah Gbowee shared inspiring stories of her work, but more importantly challenged us as a church to work for peace, justice and equality in our country, "I've come to the conclusion that the state of our world is the reflection of our church," said Gbowee.
Virginia at Churchwide
Voting Members from Virginia during the 2016 Churchwide Assembly

While many across the country followed along the ELCA Churchwide Assembly through video streaming and online updates, ten voting members from the state of Virginia were in New Orleans this past week.
Jon Boynton, Richard Corliss, Christy Huffman, Karen Griffith, Bishop Jim Mauney, Linda Motley, Chris Mumaw, David Raeke, Blythe Scott, and
Jody Smiley were all in attendance.

To learn more about the results from the 14th ELCA Churchwide Gathering, and to watch footage from the livestream, visit www.elca.org/ChurchwideAssembly
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A nnouncements
Lutheran Disaster Response in Louisiana
At least eleven people have been killed, tens of thousands have been rescued and even more have been evacuated as floodwaters continue to sweep across southern Louisiana.
Lutheran Disaster Response works to bring God's hope, healing and renewal to those who have been affected by the floodwaters.

Your gifts through Lutheran Disaster Responsewill bring God's hope, healing and renewal to those who are affected by Louisiana floodwaters.

For more information on how to donate click here

September 4-11, 2016 will be the Virginia Synod's 4th annual Week of Service! 

The Virginia Synod Week of Service coincides with "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday, the ELCA Day of Service on September 11.  This year's dedicated day of service also marks the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

We have extended the opportunity to serve to accommodate varying schedules. Last year 70 churches participated in the Week of Service.

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. Pick a project and prepare to serve others in the name of God's love.

For more information on how you and your congregation can get involved- click here!
Fall Stewardship Program August 25th

St. Stephen Lutheran Church Theologian in Residence Weekend Sept 16-18
Dr. Mark Allan Powell, New Testament professor at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, and an internationally known biblical scholar, will be the Theologian in Residence at St. Stephen, Williamsburg, Sept. 16-18. His topics will be "Jesus Gets Passionate: The Driving Concerns that Determined his Life and Death, Christ and Culture: Paradigms for Social Transformation, and Things that Divide Us."
Children's Ministry Training
Fall 2016 ACTS Courses
Register Now for Fall 2016 ACTS Courses
Join us October 1st and October 29th at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, Virginia. Hear Dr. Terri Elton address the paradox of ministry leadership, looking at the importance of balancing our role with God's.

Renew and Retreat a Christian Formation Retreat  
Tuesday Oct 4, 4:30 PM - Thursday Oct 6, 10 AM 
Co-Partnered by Camp Caroline Furnace and
Roots and Wings a Christian Formation Committee of the VA Synod

Retreat Presenter:  Debbie Streicher, President of the Christian  Formation Network of the ELCA. 

Debbie will lead us in a discussion about steps needed to immerse our children and youth in faith and creating meaningful milestones, moments that make a difference as they support children, youth and families of all ages in their faith journey.
Come to Camp Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center for a retreat which is specifically designed to support and equip both full-time and part-time professional and volunteer Children, Youth and Family Ministry staff. In addition to an educational component there will be ample time for networking and resource sharing, as well as relaxation, conversation and worship. 

Clinical Pastoral Education at The Village at Orchard Ridge
National Lutheran Communities & Services, as a satellite of The Eastern Mennonite Seminary Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, develops pastors and chaplains who are reflective practitioners, able to draw upon the best in their theological traditions and the behavioral sciences for ministry that is increasingly faithful and fruitful. Participants are formed in ministry through individual learning goals and through reflection in community upon pastoral practice by means of case studies, seminars and individual supervision.

Units offered in a community of seniors on the campus of The Village at Orchard Ridge-A National Lutheran Community allows the participant to work with a population that they will likely encounter for the whole of their ministry careers. We offer a unique, creative and engaging community that will assist the participants' ability to minister, reflect, engage and grow.

You can make a world of difference!

Do you have skills in art or music that you want to share? Do you have a passion for reading? Are you interested in helping with community outings or special events? We would love to welcome you to the Lutheran Family Services helping community at LFSVA Minnick Schools and Day Programs for adults with disabilities. 

Join us in providing abundance for the people who need us most! Contact Leah Hatcher at  lhatcher@lfsva.org  to sign-up or visit  www.lfsva.org  and click "Get Involved."
Upcoming Mission Trip to Nicaragua
Zion Lutheran Church in Waynesboro is planning their second annual mission trip to Nicaragua.  They are inviting any congregations or members of Virginia Synod congregations to join in on this wonderful opportunity.  To answer some questions you may have and to explore more information check out the following links: 

Job Opportunities
Director of Church Relations
The Society of St. Andrew, a nationwide faith-based nonprofit, focused on reducing food waste and feeding hungry people through the biblical practice of gleaning, seeks a full-time Director of Church Relations.

As a prominent national faith-based nonprofit Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), intentionally seeks to develop relationships with faith communities across the country. This position is centrally focused on cultivating new and existing relationships with thousands of churches across the country.

To see a full job description  click here

Email resumes to sosausa@endhunger.org
Director of Youth and Children's Ministry
Faith Lutheran Church, Suffolk, is seeking a part-time Director of Youth and Children's Ministries. The DYCM will direct/coordinate children's programs within the church including Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Christmas Programs, Children's Church, and other youth programs. Full job description available upon request. Applicants must have a valid driver's license, transportation, a minimum of a high school diploma/equivalent, and pass a background check.

Please submit cover letter, resume, and three references to: 
Al Blanchard, FLC Personnel Committee Chairperson at faith_lutheran@verizon.net.

Required education:  High school or equivalent
Required license or certification:  Driver's License
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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