At the Water’s Edge

2017 VA Synod Junior High Servant Event

This past week, 43 participants from nine different Virginia Synod congregations attended the Junior High Servant Event – our Synod’s week-long servant experience for rising 7th – 9th graders. This annual event has been hosted in Virginia Beach by congregations of the Tidewater Conference since 2009. Participants of the Junior High Servant Event have the opportunity to serve directly with organizations that work to address homelessness, poverty, and hunger, as well as to learn about some of the root causes of these issues.  

The goal of the Junior High Servant Event is to support youth to grow in awareness, compassion, and in their motivation to return home and be a part of God’s work in their own communities. From the service the youth provided over the last week, they're sure to have brought back stories and unique experiences that will continue to make a difference in their home communities.

During this year's Junior High Servant Event, the youth got the chance to participate in a wide variety of activities supporting local organizations that are working to better the Virginia Beach area. One activity from the week was a “Compassion Walk” that travelled the long, hot route that many of the homeless in our community must walk each day to access food and basic services. Youth also got to glean peaches at a local orchard which were later used to feed residents at the Norfolk Mission. 

Reaching out to community organizations, participants this year volunteered at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, ForKids, Ghent Area Ministries, and Trinity Treasures, as well as served a meal at People In Need Ministry (PIN). Of course, the group got to have some down time for fun, spending time at the beach and watching the Norfolk Tides play baseball! 
Participating congregations from this year's event included Faith, Suffolk; First, Norfolk; Good Shepherd Virginia Beach; Grace and Glory, Palmyra; Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg; Our Saviour, Warrenton; St. Michael, Blacksburg; St. Michael, Virginia Beach, and St. Timothy Lutheran, Norfolk
Join us for next year's Junior High Servant Event, from July 15 -20, 2018 At the Water's Edge. 
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Virginia Synod Vocations Conference: Beyond Candidacy: What It’s Like to Be a New Pastor

This year’s Vocations Conference will feature presentations from three newer pastors, who will share what it’s been like for them to move beyond candidacy and into ordained ministry. Pr. Tim Crummitt serves a suburban congregation in Hampton, VA. Pr. Anna Havron serves a two-congregation parish near Woodstock, VA. And Pr. Drew Tucker serves a congregation and a campus in Radford, VA. They will tell us what their experiences of being a newer pastor have been like.

The Vocations Conference is sponsored by the VA Synod Candidacy Committee and is a great event for those in seminary AND for those considering seminary in order to prepare for ELCA rostered ministry. This year’s Vocations Conference will be held on August 18-20, at the Eagle Eyrie Conference Center near Lynchburg.

For more information, 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 and to register, 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

Read and respond: ELCA social message on human rights 
The draft of a social message on human rights is now available for viewing and response on the ELCA website, . Reviewing the draft gives you a chance to weigh in on the development of this important document. After reading the message, there are two ways to respond: Fill out the online response form found on the same webpage, or email comments to . Both will be shared with the staff and consulting group that are preparing this message. The comment period closes  Aug. 31 .
LPM provides professional support, introduces students to church music resources, connects students with others who share their dedication to and interest in church music, and sends students back to their parishes with new ideas and perspectives.

LPM classes are open to anyone; whether church musician, clergy, or interested lay person, LPM’s outstanding faculty will help you hone your musical and leadership skills with practical courses tailored to suit your needs.

Summer/Fall 2017 Classes
Classes are taught during two three-hour sessions, one in August and one in October, at Christ Ascension Church in Richmond, 1704 W Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23227. Cost is $200/course.

To register, email Rochelle Felsburg at with your name, phone number, and email address, and pay via Paypal at or send a check made out to LPM Central Virginia to: LPM Central Virginia c/o Rochelle Felsburg, Church of the Messiah, 12201 Spotswood Furnace Road

Teaching New Music to a Congregation: This course offers a systematic and successful way to introduce tomorrow’s classics to your congregation. Aug. 5 and Oct. 7 from 9am-noon.

Principles of Choral Development: This course develops the student’s skills as a leader of choral singing through sessions on choral conducting and voice training. Aug. 5 and Oct. 7 from 1pm-4pm.

Offered Online:
Hymnody of the Christian Church and Liturgy and Music classes are available online at for $300 per course.
CROSS+GEN LIFE Tour at Bethel Winchester
There is something very new, yet very old stirring in the church. Maybe this year the next new thing - and the next Reformation - will start with you intentionally combining the wisdom of the elder and the wonder of the child in the same sacred space every week, and in each other’s prayers every night in every home. On August 19th at Bethel Lutheran Church, invest a day with Rev. Dr. Rich Melheim and friends to:

+ Explore case studies of faith formation pioneers who have implemented various Cross+Gen ministries in their own churches, and are transforming the fabric of their congregations to include the gifts of all ages in worship and faith formation.

+ Learn about a world of fun and effective Cross+Gen resources that draw children, teens, young adul ts, parents and elders into the same “eduworship” space, fostering cross+generational faith formation, fellowship, relationships and care.

+ Experience a sneak peak of the new Luther Rock Opera, a great cross+generational way to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

+ Leave with a plan to immerse and include a wider community than ever before in your lifelong learning, worship and faith formation practices.

For pricing, registration, the daily schedule, a printable brochure and more, visit:

Confessing and Expressing Our Faith in Worship
A closer look at the use of the Creeds, Hymn of the Day, Thanksgiving at Table in the  Sunday  Liturgy
Presenter: Dr. Gordon W. LathropProfessor of Liturgy Emeritus - Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

Date: September 13 10:00 AM- 3:00 PM
Cost:   $25.00 
Breakfast items and lunch included.

Location:  St. Mary's Pine Lutheran Church 
7103 S. Middle Rd., Mt. Jackson, VA

To register, please call or e-mail:
Emanuel Lutheran Church -Woodstock. VA
540-459-3837 or

For more information on the seminar and to download a flyer, click here
National Lutheran Communities & Services Community Impact Grants 2018
Each year, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) awards grants to organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors. Grant proposals for the 2018 period will be accepted starting on June 1, 2017 and must be submitted on or before August 15, 2017.

NLCS strongly believes that its mission extends beyond the physical boundaries of its residential communities and service offerings. With funds solely from investment earnings, we are committed to supporting the work of other non-profit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs that address the critical needs of seniors who are aging-in-place. For more information please visit:

Clinical Pastoral Education program with National Lutheran Communities & Services

Reflect, Engage and Grow: Preparing pastors by developing new skills in pastoral care. 

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.

The Village at Orchard Ridge is now accepting applications for the fall session of the CPE Program.

If you are interested in testing a call to be a chaplain in health care, a retirement community, or other care facility, or simply wish to develop new skills as a pastor, consider applying to the program. To apply, download and complete the application below and return to Chaplain William Boldin via email.

Download the Clinical Pastoral Education Application & Instructions

Learn more by viewing the 2017 Clinical Pastoral Education Digital Brochure

Job Opportunities
Director of Youth and Family Ministry at St. Mark Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Charlottesville VA

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.

Core Duties:

Activities: The following outline of activities are guidelines that may have some ebb and flow based on Church and school calendars.

  1. Weekly
    1. Coordinate and establish a weekly activity for youth
    2. Teach or help prepare youth Sunday School program
    3. Attend worship
    4. Foster relationship with Preschool families
  2. Other Activity Expectations include . . .
    1. Coordinate and attend at least two weekend retreats with youth every year
    2. Plan and coordinate – bi-monthly social youth/family events
    3. One week a year, help coordinate and attend a mission trip with youth/families
    4. Coordinate and attend at least two synod retreats with youth every year
    5. Be available to youth/families. This includes establishing/publishing office times or availability for meetings/visits
    6. Work with the Pastor to get the youth involved in church leadership activities such as acolyte, readers, assisting minister, etc. and leading & planning youth worship services
    7. Attend Pastor led Church staff meetings
    8. Attend Mission Council meetings as required by Council
    9. Participate in Church Funded Continuing Educations as appropriate

For more information and to review the full job listing,  click here
Executive Director, Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp
and Retreat Center

Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center, an outdoor ministry serving the Virginia, Metro DC, and West Virginia/Western Maryland Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), is currently seeking an Executive Director. The board of directors will be accepting applications through August 15, 2017.

Caroline Furnace is located on 257 acres in the Fort Valley area of Shenandoah County, VA. In addition to the main camp and retreat facility in Fort Valley, Caroline Furnace operates an adult-only retreat center in Strasburg, VA.

The camp operates year-round, with a summer camp program from June through August and retreat rentals by congregations, councils, schools, recreational/sports clubs, girl and boy scouts, and many other groups throughout the year.

It is the mission of Caroline Furnace “to provide unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God's creation for all God’s people.” A successful Executive Director will have a commitment to service and bring a strong understanding of Lutheran theology in the development of camp programming and retreat curricula.

The ideal candidate will successfully operate the existing camp programs, while
developing additional offerings that reach out to God’s people. The ability to network with Caroline Furnace’s local community and congregations within the three synods is important.

Salary and total compensation are commensurate with the Virginia Synod guidelines. A residence is provided for the use of the Executive Director.

Interested candidates should submit a resume or Rostered Leader Profile to

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
Organist Position at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney, VA is seeking an organist. Music is an integral part of our worship each Sunday and we look forward to finding the right person to join us in our mission.  For more information or to submit a resume please email:

Home Health Clinical Services Director

myPotential at Home—A National Lutheran Service has an exciting opening for a talented Registered Nurse with a home healthcare background to join our new home health operation, overseeing our growing footprint up the Shenandoah Valley into Staunton, Va. The Home Health Clinical Services Director will serve a key role in shaping the program and managing the care delivery and service experience of all clients in the comfort of their home. If you are looking for a fulfilling and stimulating leadership role that offers career growth, a flexible schedule, and excellent pay with generous benefits, apply today!

• $100K starting salary

• $5,000 sign-on bonus with additional bonus opportunities in year one

• Flexible day-shift position, weekends not required

• Continued learning encouraged with tuition reimbursement

• Willing to offer relocation assistance 

For more information and to review the full job listing, 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