Celebrating ACTS by the Numbers
This year ACTS, The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study, is celebrating 15 years! Stared by the Rev. Dr. Jean Bozeman because of a need for trained lay leadership in congregations, ACTS has evolved into a premier educational resource for all congregational leadership including pastors.

ACTS enriches and equips laity for intentional service as ambassadors for Christ in homes, churches, and in their communities. It provides comprehensive exposure to the foundations of Lutheran faith through classroom and experiential education. ACTS also serves as a continuing education course for rostered ministers. 

Last Saturday at the second segment of the 2017 ACTS Spring Course, those present got to toast to ACTS with birthday cake, party hats, and noise makers. This week we're celebrating ACTS by the numbers, with 15 amazing facts about this important ministry of the Virginia Synod.

1. The first core course offered in ACTS was Lutheran Confessions in the Fall of 2002, led by the Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert.

2. To date, over 1850 have participated in the 6 core ACTS courses.

3. 58 scholarships have been awarded to attend ACTS.

4. 3 study trips for ACTS have been taken: Paul’s 2nd and 3rd Missionary Journeys, German Reformation Tour & Oberammergau Passion Play, and Lenten tides in the Holy Land

5. 4 Spiritual retreats for have been held as a part of ACTS.  

6. Dr. Mark Allen Powell drew the largest ACTS participation with 141

7. 34 Seminary Professors, Pastors, and Denominational Leaders have taken on the role of ACTS presenter, bringing a wide range of knowledge and information with them to the classes they taught.

8. 30 core courses have been taught through ACTS.

9. Video Courses of the main presentation were made available to our first remote location, Gloria Dei, Hampton, in the fall of 2007.

10. To date, over 1850 individuals have participated in the 6 core ACTS courses.

11. 75 ACTS participants have received their ACTS certificates.

12. Average course attendance is 60 participants, distributed among the central location at Grace, Waynesboro and two remote sites.

13. Three elective courses for ACTS began in March of 2004, covering topics on Christian Education, Evangelism, and Worship.

14. 20 total elective courses were formerly offered as a part of ACTS

15. Power in the Spirit hosted elective courses beginning in July of 2004. Each year the ACTS Alumni Reunion Meal is held at Power in the Spirit.

If you have attended an ACTS course, you may consider registering for Power in the Spirit this year to join in this reuinion and celebrate ACTS on 15 years!

ACTS: Celebrating 15 Years
To view the video on Vimeo, click here.
To find more information on ACTS programs, as well as to learn more about the 2017 Fall's ACTS Course on Bonhoeffer and Responsible Discipleship, click here. 
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 Campaign Update!
Share the good news! We have reached over  $2 million  in total gifts and pledges for the ForwardingFaith Campaign!

For more information on the ForwardingFaith campaign, click here .
Synod Assembly 2017: Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

Synod Assembly is here!  June 9-11  will be our time to get together as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and learn more about worship.  Presiding over the Bishop's election and our ELCA representative  this year will be the  Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla , Executive Director‐ELCA Division of  Global Missions. 

For more information and to register for Synod Assembly, click here.
A Gathering of the Ministerium: A Day of Anniversary Celebrations
Rostered Ministers and spouses, come join us on April 29th for a day of remembrance and reflection as we commemorate three momentous events in the life of the Church, Synod, and Community at Hebron Lutheran Church, in Madison Virginia.

For more information and to register for the event, click here
Forming Faith 2017 Roots and Wings Workshop
What happens when we consider how faith affects our brains, not just our hearts? In this daylong events, be prepared to look at faith formation and ministry with children and youth using an “Inside Out” point of view. Workshops will balance findings from neuroscience with practical applications for parenting and leading ministry.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 9:00 AM-3:00 PM at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
Virginia Synod Kairos 2017
Kairos  is our annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall. It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week, to have a fresh experience of the grace and presence of God in that community, and to develop habits for discipleship that can be taken home as they live out their call to be “Ambassadors for Christ.” Kairos is different from our weekend events in that congregations do not send advisors with youth; the event staff serves as small group leaders and dorm advisors for the week. “Kairos” is the New Testament Greek word for “special time.” It is used whenever God’s people want to talk about a time of change, of renewal, of God’s special work in the believer and the community.

For more information and to register for Kairos, click here.

Roanoke College's Theology for Teens
Our second annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. Starting Sunday July 16, 2016 through Sunday July 22, 2017 we will focus on the life & thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a church leader who met the challenges before him—we will explore today’s social issues & encounter other faiths by engaging the students with leaders from those various communities. Come and discover a sense of mission, be equipped with theological tools to enable you to meet the challenges facing the church today.

For more information and to register for T4T, click here.

Virginia Synod LAUNCH 2017
LAUNCH  is an event for youth who have just graduated from high school. Its purpose is to give them a chance to take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and also to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of faith and life that are likely to face them as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whether it be the workforce, military or other public service, college, or something else. If participants are veterans of our Virginia Synod ELCA Youth Events (Lost and Found, Winter Celebration, Kairos, etc.), they will find that this event is structured differently. We will spend our three full days together in a rhythm of worship, informal presentations to the whole group, small group discussions, and individual reflections that engage the mind as well as the spirit.  Of course, there will be time for fellowship and relaxation and enjoyable meal times together.

For more information and to register for LAUNCH, click here.

Power in the Spirit 2017: "On Our Way Reforming!"
Hosted at beautiful Roanoke College in Salem Virginia, Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members,committee or council members, family life consultant, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

The Reformation didn’t “fix” the Church. In fact, you might say it’s just one example of how we’re always “recalculating” our way forward as individuals and as a Church. In that spirit, this year’s theme for Power in the Spirit 2017 is:
On Our Way Reforming!

For more information and to register for Power in the Spirit, click here.

All Bach Palm Sunday Concert at Luther Memorial, Blacksburg
Please join us for an all Bach concert, April 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM, in the Luther Memorial sanctuary.  This concert is part of year-long observance of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.  This event is free;  an offering wil be taken

For more information, click here
Blessing of the Bikes & Beasts
Bring your motorcycles and/or family pets to St Mark Lutheran 118 Old York-Hampton Hw Yorktown, VA  23692, VA  23692 for a special blessing on  Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 2-4 PM . Pets will be blessed in the back patio area and bikes will be blessed in the front parking lot. All are welcome to attend.

For more information contact Cathy Caffacus at 757-898-4395 or  churchcomm@smlconline.org

Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering

Ambassadors for Christ "Luther's Small Catechism in a Time of Big Change"

Celebrating 500 years since the time of the Reformation and using Luther’s Small Catechism as our guide, we will Explore, Study and Discuss the basics of our Christian Faith.

Saturday, April 22 – Sunday afternoon, April 23, 2017 at Roslyn Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center 8727 River Road – Richmond, Virginia 23229

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
Are you ready to work on your financial goals?  Are you ready to learn how to deal with money in a refreshing, biblical way?

Then consider FREED-UP FINANCIAL LIVING, a 6-session study designed to:
  • Prioritize your financial goals
  • Develop a personalized spending plan
  • Identify action steps to reduce your expenses
  • Pay down your debt

Stewardship Matters of Virginia is offering this class at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1904 Mount Vernon Avenue, Waynesboro, beginning on Tuesday, April 18.  The cost is $44.00 for a couple sharing a workbook or $34.00 for an individual.  The class will be 7 – 8:30 p.m. and is open to everyone.

For more information and registration, go to www.StewardshipMattersVa.org  or call Rev. David Rash, 540-335-5175.

Generosity NOW
There's still time to register for Generosity NOW: an ecumenical conference on Stewardship that will be held in Washington, DC  April 25-27 . Scholarships to cover the registration fee of $299 are available from the ELCA. For more information, please contact Keith Mundy:  keith.mundy@elca.org . See the full details of the conference at stewardshipresources.org/generosity-now
Caroline Furnace: Celebrating 60 Years of Ministry
We want to celebrate 60 years of fun, fellowship, and faith with you! Come for the whole weekend or come celebrate for part of the time, but do come!

Traditionally, the 60th Anniversary is a “diamond anniversary,” but for camp, it’s our SLAG Anniversary.  Join us Saturday, May 27th - Monday, May 29th for yummy food, good fun, and memorable fellowship.

Come celebrate our Slag Anniversary!  Registration closes May 16th  or when space is full. Space is limited. Sign up to reserve your spot today.

To register for this event, click here.
For information on the schedule and pricing, click here.

Caroline Furnace: Have you registered for summer camp?
It's our 60th Anniversary and we're celebrating with a summer of old favorites and new programs. Our traditional summer residential programs are designed for rising 1st-12th graders. Family camp is perfect for families with younger kids who want to try out camp together.

To register for summer camp at Caroline Furnace, click here
For information on the 2017 summer schedule and pricing, click here.

Job Opportunities
Church Organist/Choirmaster Wanted

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hampton, VA is seeking an experienced organist to lead music at two Sunday morning services, play for weddings and funerals, and direct an adult and a youth choir. This position requires approximately 25 hours per week.

Apply during April 2017 via www.gloriadeilutheranchurch.net/music.html

Two Immediate Prison Chaplaincy Vacancies

GraceInside (Virginia’s Prison Chaplain Service) has two immediate prison chaplaincy vacancies.  Both are part-time positions (87 hours per month or approximately 20 hours per week).  One vacancy is at Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Buchanan County, VA.  The other is at Bland Correctional Center in Bland County, VA.  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. Applications may be requested from Lee Hargrave at  lee.hargrave@graceinside.org or at (804) 358-7650.

All application packets should be received by the office of GraceInside by Monday, April 17th.

Part-time Director of Worship and Music

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach seeks a part-time Director of Worship and Music beginning in May. 25 hours per week. Salary depending on previous experience. See the PD and application instructions at ELVB.ORG under the “Jobs” tab.

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