Muhlenberg’s Ministry, Second Home, Celebrates Ten Years
Featuring written contributions by Judith Shuey
A chorus of “Happy Birthday” rang out on Sunday, September 17th as children, parents, teachers, and members of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, celebrated 10 years of ministry with Second Home, a before and after school care to the city’s most vulnerable children. Second Home started in 2007 thanks to a call to action by Ann Connors, the Principal of Spotswood Elementary School. Ten years ago, she found that many young children were staying home alone while their parents worked, as they could not find affordable care for their children.With more than 90% of the children who attend Spotswood living with families whose income falls well below the federal poverty level, children without care during part of the day was a widespread problem. So Principle Conner turned to neighboring Muhlenberg Lutheran for help. In response to the need raised, pastors rallied the church, community members, as well as local businesses to develop Second Home, a fully licensed before and after school day care center to be housed in Muhlenberg's Activity Center.
While enjoying a large birthday cake and punch, those gathered on the 17th saw a video telling the story of the organization over the past years and many remembered the early days when only about 30 children attended daily. Well over 100 students in grades k-5 from five schools in Harrisonburg City are currently enrolled, attending in the morning from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM and again after school until 6:00 PM. There students enjoy healthy food, social time, exercise, reading time, homework help, and the enrichment of career exploration, interest clubs, and community service.

Those there at the beginning remembered the looks of relief on the faces of children when they realized they would no longer be latchkey kids. During the celebration parents also testified repeatedly how much the program means to them every day. “This truly is a second home,” said one.
Earlier in the morning, worshipers at Muhlenberg heard a Temple Talk where Hensy Gardinet, a former student attending Second Home and now a junior helper giving back, said “Second Home helps direct the future of all who go there.” During the service the Second Home Singers sang “I Am a Patchwork Quilt” and all participated in prayers for the program and for the families. 
Early the next morning, the doors opened and staff greeted children ready for another week of learning, exploration, and fun, starting on another ten years, largely made possible by the people of Muhlenberg.

In addition to the birthday celebration during morning services at Muhlenberg, Second Home is celebrating their 10th birthday with a Gala at Bluestone Vineyard on Thursday, September 28th. The gala will celebrate Second Home's birthday with live music, a silent auction with wares from local artisans and businesses, as well as a video produced showcasing Second Home's work in the Harrisonburg community.

To learn more about Second Home, visit
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Lutheran Disaster Response: Hurricane Relief
Now that the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Imra, and Hurricane Maria is coming fully into focus, we see that the need will be great and recovery will take many years.

Your gifts   to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” at this time will be used in full (100 percent) in responding to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma until the response is complete.  You have an opportunity to make sure our neighbors are not forgotten.

The work of Lutheran Disaster Response is comprehensive and extensive. From when the news breaks to years after the headlines fade, from hurricanes in the United States to flooding in South Asia, we’re there – walking alongside disaster survivors and helping them recover and rebuild for as many years as it takes. LDR also invites you to be part of our multiple responses to disasters in the U.S. and around the world by making a gift to   Lutheran Disaster Response   where it's needed most.

If you’ve already given, thank you so much. Please continue to pray and stay connected through our   Facebook   page. You may also use these resources from LDR in your congregation to help spread the word.

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Charlottesville Anniversary Observances - Your Stories!
Did your congregation/group observe the 1-month Anniversary of Charlottesville? If so, TAPESTRY would love to hear your story of how you observed the day. Did you do something in the community? Did you happen to use the litany TAPESTRY provided to help mark the day? Send your congregation's story to Rev. Aaron Fuller, , for inclusion in the TAPESTRY monthly enewsletter, which highlights what the Virginia Synod's ongoing conversation and work on diversity, justice, and inclusion as part of God's ongoing mission in God's church. Thanks!
Prayer Request for Companion Synod in Papua New Guinea
As you are reading this weekly update from the Virginia Synod, our brothers and sisters in Christ are hosting an Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG) country wide conference for pastors and evangelist in the New Guinea Island District, our partners in PNG. They are providing hospitality for over 1,000 pastors and church workers that includes shelter and feeding them all. Although this is a special honor to host this group it is also a challenging situation that needs our prayers. Most everyone participating in this event has traveled a great distance and most by boat over often dangerous seas. It is also a historic time when this assembly of the ELC-PNG will be discussing the ordination of women for the first time. Please pray for our companions and ask blessings on their discernment and safety for all.  
RSVP for ForwardingFaith Congregational Training!
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!

For more information and to RSVP, click here
Gathering of the Ministerium 2017
Gathering of the Ministerium is where our rostered leaders can gather to meet, reconnect, worship, relax, learn, sing, pray and play together.
We are a church of great history as well as a church called in hopefulness into a blessed future. Join us as we gather from across the synod to discover how we live out this reality together.

This year's Gathering of the Ministerium will be held on October 9-11, at 

Registration deadline for Gathering of the Ministerium is August 31st 2017

Our presenter for this year is  Dr. Michael DeJonge an Associate Professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). Dr. DeJonge will present Bonhoeffer’s interaction with Luther and the tradition, especially in his reflections about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority.

For more information, click here
Fall 2017 ACTS Course: The Christian's Call Today
For Bonhoeffer, Christ is the definition of reality. Discipleship, then, is a call to become enveloped by that reality; therefore, the Christian's call is not to turn one's back on the world (enter the cloister) but to be God's presence in the world. In other words, our life in the world, which is lived out in the midst of families, friendships, work, and communities, is meant to display the presence and transformative work of God in the world. Because Bonhoeffer's faith led him to take the world seriously in all of its manifestations, Christian vocation is one that willingly stands up for one's neighbor and gets its hands dirty. Join other ACTS participants as together we explore and learn more about our Christian’s Call through this course.

This year's Fall ACTS course will be held on October 7th and November 4th

For more information and to register for the Fall ACTS course, click here
Renew and Retreat: A Christian Formation Retreat 
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.

This year's Renew and Retreat will be held on Tuesday October 3rd, 4:30 PM – Thursday October 5th, 10:00 AM

For more information and to register for Renew and Retreat, click here
Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA500
All are welcomed to register and attend “Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA500” the ELCA’s Reformation anniversary commemoration event on October 31in Washington, D.C. As a member of a surrounding area synod and congregation, you are invited to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The day’s event will include speakers and a service, held at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will co-host and will be joined by co-hosts Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop Bill Gafkjen, ELCA Vice President Bill Horne and Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod Bishop Richard Graham.
Registration is free, however, you will be responsible for your own travel and accommodations. Lunch is included in your registration.  Click here to reserve your seat.
For those unable to attend in person, you may watch the event online at
Bishop Eaton on 'Face to Faith' podcast
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton gives an incredibly candid interview on topics such as faith amid doubt, being a woman in leadership, transgender rights and Cleveland sports. She says it all with theological depth and good humor on the "Face to Faith" podcast of The Chicago Sun-Times. Listen to the interview at
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