A Tree of Warmth
With the colder temperatures making their way into Virginia Trinity Lutheran Church in Stephens City is working to help people in need.
At Trinity, their Angel Tree in the Narthex has transformed into a warming ministry for the new year. This January members are collecting gloves, hats and scarves for the Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter (WATTS), school children and the women’s shelter. Donations are now bundling up and surrounding the small Christmas tree, and will all go to provide warmth and comfort to those in need! Does your congregation have a winter ministry you would like to share? Tell us about it!
Young Adults in the Virginia Synod Unite!
A group of Young Adults in Virginia started asking the question of how can we gather as a wider group of young people to faithfully network, create community, and inspire our churches. We want to gather for a weekend sometime this spring ask the question: What do you want? Please fill out this survey so we have your input as we plan this event.

Alyssa Kaplan, Mycah McNett, Samantha DiBiaso, Amanda Silcox, and Pastor Alex Zuber
Virginia Synod 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  pilat@vasynod.org  and make sure to follow our
Winter Celebration 2019
Winter Celebration is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisors. We have Large Group and Small Group gatherings that consist of singing, comedy, worship, faith sharing and presentations on our event theme. On Saturday afternoon during Free Time we will also hold out annual Talent Show and in the evenings you will have time to relax in your Cottage and talk with other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how Winter Celebration is going.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.
Caroline Furnace Pre-Lenten Retreat
We're only 8 short weeks from Ash Wednesday! Has your pastor registered for the Pre-Lenten Retreat?
Pastors and Lay Leaders, you're invited!

Gather with us at Buttonwood Lodge on Monday, February 4 to Wednesday, February 6 for our Pre-Lenten Retreat, led by  Rev. Heidi David-Young , our Director of Resource and Program Development.

We will explore the method of Rehearsing Scripture and work to encounter the five Lenten gospel scriptures as the "repertory church". Not just the title of Anna Carter Florence's new book, Rehearsing Scripture is also the experiential method she outlines to creatively and meaningfully delve into scripture.

As the Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, Dr. Carter Florence uses this method of rehearsing scripture in her preaching classes with seminary students. Seminary students come together in class and rehearse scripture much like theatre students rehearse a play. During the Pre-Lenten Retreat, our task will be the same - to bring new insight and meaning to all who participate.

As Dr. Carter Florence says in the first chapter, "When the people of God read Scripture together in a let-loose, wild rumpus sort of way, with no other purpose than to simply speak and listen to the words that are written, the same thing happens every time: we discover the script in Scripture. We see that our Biblical text is a collection of scripts that God has given us to rehearse until something true emerges. And we become the repertory church."

Come gather new truth and insight for your Lenten preaching and become part of the repertory church!
*Our Pre-Lenten Retreat will be held at Buttonwood Lodge, our adult retreat center in nearby Strasburg VA. The subsidized retreat cost is $115 per person, with an additional Early Bird Discount available until December 31.
Rostered Leaders of all denominations are invited to participate.

Questions? Email Heidi at  heidi@carolinefurnace.org
Upcoming Events at Caroline Furnace
BeerReformation Retreat : January 25-27 at the Farmhouse
Pre-Lenten Retreat - Rehearsing Scripture : February 4-6 at Buttonwood Lodge, led by Rev. Heidi David-Young
Wild Women: Hiking Retreat : February 22-24 at the Farmhouse
Spring Work Weekend: April 12-14 in the Cabin Village
Board Gaming Retreat :  April 26-28 at Buttonwood Lodge
Pre-Advent Retreat: August 19-21 at Buttonwood Lodge

Call (540)-449-0012 or email  julie@carolinefurnace.org  to learn more!
Ask, Thank, Tell: Growing Generous Stewardship
The Virginia Synod and the Presbytery of the James are offering a one-day Stewardship education event with Charles R Lane, the author of “Ask, Thank, Tell” and “Embracing Stewardship” at Three Chopt Presbyterian Church in Richmond on Saturday, March 23, 2019, from 9 AM until 3 PM. The cost of the event is $15 per person. For this event, you have two options to participate. You can register and participate in-person or by simulcast.

Registration is now open to attend either in-person or through the online simulcast. If you haven't spent all of your continuing education funds for 2018, now is a great time to register to attend this event. To register for the event, click here, for more information about this event, click here.
ACTS 2019 Spring Course: Spirituality and Leadership
Save the Dates! April 6 and May 11, 2019 we will gather for our ACTS Spring Course. This year's spring course will be led by Dr. Jill Y. Crainshaw Acting Dean at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. This course will explore how throughout biblical history prayerfully listening to God changed the way leaders served in response to God’s call. The participant will learn ways a congregation can prepare and use their many differing personal and spiritual gifts for mission. To download a save the dates flyer for the 2019 ACTS Spring Course, click here.
Roots & Wings Facebook Page
We have recently launched our  Roots & Wings Facebook Page!  I'm excited to be "that place" where new ideas can be shared and culminated. Feel free to give the page a like, share the page, and post activities and encouragement to all of us who are involved in youth ministry!

If you have any concerns, questions, comments or suggestions, please email me at  suzanne.stierwalt@gmail.com


The Rev. Suzanne M. Stierwalt
The ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) application is now open!
The Young Adults in Global Mission is a one-year, international service-learning and faith-formation opportunity in churches and social service ministries for young adults, ages 21-29. The application for the 2019-2020 program year closes February 15th, 2019 . For more information and to apply, click here.

Young adults serve alongside Lutheran companion church bodies and organizations in one of ten country programs around the world, being shaped by the witness of our global neighbors in a cross-cultural journey of faith. For the current program year, the country programs are: Argentina & Uruguay, Australia, Central Europe, Cambodia, Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Rwanda, Senegal, and Southern Africa. Areas of service include, but are not limited to, health and development, congregational ministry, human rights, education, homelessness, addiction recovery, women’s issues and children and youth. All site placements provide opportunities for young adults to confront issues of wealth and poverty; racial privilege; economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. 

Short-term recruiters will be headed around to ELCA Colleges and Universities, Lutheran Campus Ministries, ELCA Camps, and other young adults ministries throughout the fall speaking about their previous year of service and about the program as a whole! Be on the lookout for their upcoming visits!

For more information visit the ELCA YAGM site at www.elca.org/yagm

Also feel free to check out the YAGM Application 2019-2020 Facebook event.
2019 Ignite the Church Conference
The Ignite the Church Conference is an annual gathering on February 19-21, 2019 that seeks to further Kingdom impacting conversation among leaders that will ignite the Church and help it live out its heritage of renewal in the years ahead! Speakers include Bishop Pedro Suarez, Florida Bahamas Synod, Rev. Dr. John Herman, and Beth Lewis, President and CEO Emeritus of 1517 Media. All proceeds from the event support the ELCA Fund for Leaders. For more information, check out their website:   ignitethechurch.net .
Bishops’ School 2019
Many of us have questions about God and our faith, but don’t always know where to go with them. Many of us would love to talk about our faith, but there isn’t always an easy place to do that. You don’t exactly ask someone across the lunch table at school, “Someone told me ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ That would mean God planned all those school shootings. What do you think?” Bishops’ School is your opportunity to be with people like you – people who want to talk about God, to think theologically. In addition to interactive classroom times, small group gatherings, and service projects, there will be plenty of time for making new friends and having fun! Bishops’ School 2019 takes place at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

For more information and to submit a nomination for Bishop's School, 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.atsondemand.com
Chaplain Position at Greensville Correctional Center
GraceInside (Virginia's State Prison Chaplain Service) has an immediate, part-time chaplaincy position opening at Greensville Correctional Center (GRCC) - near Emporia, VA. For more information and to apply, click here.
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org