Sunday! Fun Day!
33 women gathered together to worship, celebrate, and complete
service project for our sister congregation, Faith Lutheran Church in Dickinson, TX during the New River Fall Gathering of Women of the ELCA. The conference was held Sunday, November 5th at Our Saviour, Christiansburg. Pastor Wanda Childs led us in worship centered around the theme: “Renewal of the Spirit: Beyond the Storms” using Mark 4:35-41 as scripture against the backdrop of Christmas boxes gathered for the children of the Head Start children at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. We then headed to the fellowship hall for our program.
Sarah McPherson put together a powerful and thought-provoking video regarding the damage incurred by Faith Lutheran Church in Dickinson, TX in the recent storms. The pictures hit home, especially the photo of the stained glass window reflecting in 3-4 foot water in their sanctuary. The recovery effort involved in restoring Faith’s ministries in past months, and the work that is still necessary provide a challenge.

Offering was collected to support VSWO, while a second offering was collected for Faith to provide money to replace a sewing machine lost to flooding. We completed Lutheran prayer beads to share with the women of Faith and to serve as a reminder to continually pray for our sisters and brothers. An adapted “Lutheran Rosary for Daily Use” was provided to participants. A special thank you goes to: Alice Schneider, for her leadership and coordination efforts and Jodie Smiley, for delivering greetings on behalf of VSWO and challenging us to open conversations around race.
We pray that our contributions totaling $1,305 (including some monies from a Thrivent Action Team grant) will support them, as they restart The Ark Book Pantry and diaper

We, of the New River Conference, would like to keep the momentum going by gathering together for future projects including a Chrismon workshop scheduled for December 9th!
Deck the Halls!
2017 Virginia Synod Christmas Decoration Contest
Submissions are now open for the 2017 Virginia Synod Christmas Decoration Contest! Congregations and individuals are both welcome to enter their decorations in one of three categories: Chrismons tree, Christmas tree, or Advent wreath for this year's contest!

To enter send the best photo of your decoration to Emily Pilat at from now until Wednesday December 20th.

With your entry photo please include the following information:
  • Your full name
  • Your congregation name and location
  • The category for which you are entering (Chrismons tree, Christmas tree, or Advent wreath)

Only one entry per individual or congregation (ie. if you submit a photo of your congregation's Chrismons tree, a submission of your congregation's advent wreath will not be counted as an entry)!

On December 22nd one randomly selected winner for each category will be announced in that week's edition of the Weekly Update. All three winners will receive a special prize!

If you have any questions about the 2017 Christmas Decoration Contest, please contact Emily Pilat at Best of luck to all who enter, and happy decorating!
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
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
Winter Celebration 2018
Winter Celebration  is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisers.  We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. 

For more information and to register for Winter Celebration Week 1, click here
For Winter Celebration Week 2, click here
LARCUM CONFERENCE, 2017: “500 Years later: Ecumenical Dialogue as Gift and Call”
December 1-2 in Richmond, VA
St. Stephen’s Episcopal; St. Bridget Roman Catholic
2017 has been an exceptional time for worship, study and workshops in our
congregations and synod to commemorate the 500 th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and to look at the question: “What is this?” The up-coming LARCUM (Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic/United Methodist) Conference, beginning at 6 pm Friday and finishing at 12:30 pm Saturday, offers all of us (members and rostered leaders) a wonderfully informative opportunity to close the year with the question: “What now?”

Our presenter, Dr. Susan K. Wood, a Sister of Charity, professor, co-author with
Timothy Wengert of a book on Catholic-Lutheran relations and noted speaker will offer:
  • “How did we get here?” Lutherans and Catholics telling the reformation stories together rather than separately to see what a reconciling Church might look like.
  • The significance of 2 documents: “From Conflict to Communion” and “Declaration on the Way.”
  • A view that this reformation observance is one of vulnerability and opportunity in order to move forward in understanding and co-operation.

Contact your pastor, the Virginia Synod office or Pastor Eric Moehring
(; 804-517- 3073) for a brochure. Please register ($35; students no charge) as soon as possible (hopefully by Nov. 17), but know that registrations will be accepted even at the event, Remember to make your own motel reservations (See: “lodging”) as needed. See you in Richmond.
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.
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University
The Academy of Faith and Leadership (AFL) at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) exists to help equip both lay and clergy alike for their lifelong work as ministers of the gospel. This year we are happy to announce our new Spiritual Direction Certification Program here on the campus of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary:

Holy Listening – We believe holy listening is at the core of spiritual direction. It’s listening to one another, and most attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit.
Everyone is Welcome to Apply – Our primary purpose is to train people who feel called to be such spiritual friends, spiritual companions; however, those who are interested in deepening their own spiritual practices are also welcome.
Within the Christian Tradition – Ours is an experience in spiritual direction grounded in Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom that can be found in other faith traditions. We will draw on those traditions and will integrate them from a Christian perspective.

Our next cycle of new participants begins with an intensive January 17 – 20, 2018. The application deadline is December 22.
To learn more and to register for this opportunity, click here.
Worship at the Center: Join us for an event in 2018
Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the worship resource of the ELCA, invites us to keep Ash Wednesday through Easter in a new-old way. During these events, we will worship using the services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil of Easter.
We will join in reflection, study and discussion of the cross and empty tomb, baptism and Bible — the meaning of this journey for ourselves and the world.
The events will be held in 2 locations:
            Jan. 18-20:    St. John’s Lutheran Church
                                   Winter Park, Fla.
            Feb. 1-3:        St. Martin’s Lutheran Church
                                   Austin, Texas
To learn more about these events, click here.
Job Opportunities
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

Interested candidates should contact Marva Farrington, Worship Committee Chair, at The position will become available in January 2018.
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Grace & Glory Lutheran Church, a 250 member congregation in Palmyra, VA seeks an accomplished keyboardist and choir director to begin serving as Director of Music by January 1, 2018. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in a musical field, be familiar with liturgical music traditions, and be able to lead a diverse group of people of all ages and musical abilities. Depending on needs of the congregation and availability of the candidate, primary duties of this part-time (approximately 20 hrs/wk) position may include playing for 1 or 2 Sunday morning church services and all festival/special services, rehearsing and accompanying the adult vocal and hand bell choirs, and leading music for Sunday School and summer Vacation Bible School. Compensation package of up to $25,000  per year depending on ability and experience, and final determination of duties. 
For a full current position description or to apply, please email   Please include both a cover letter and resume when applying.
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
Director of Youth and Family Ministry, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
The Director of Youth and Family Ministry works with the Pastor(s), staff, lay leaders and others to support the spiritual health of the congregation and specifically the youth, primarily middle and high school age. Provides a connection between the St. Mark family and the growing number of youth. The lead Pastor is the immediate supervisor of the Director of Youth and Family Ministry. To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at