Synod Assembly 2019
Faithful + Bold + Serving
Synod Assembly is our annual opportunity for the 150 congregations of the Virginia Synod to come together and be reminded what it means to be a part of the wider church. Our theme during our June 7-8, 2019 gathering was “ Faithful + Bold + Serving”. This year the Assembly was located in the Kerr-Cregger F ield House on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem Virginia. There, those in attendance met for both the Assembly business sessions and worship.
During the weekend, Bishop Humphrey , helped explore the theme for the Assembly based off of Hebrews 10.23, “Let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for God, who made the promise, is faithful,” with a keynote presentation that led into group discussion for those seated together. 

The Rev. Dr. Sandy Chrostowski, the director of DEM Relationships of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was present at this year’s Assembly to represent the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, bringing good news from the wider church. She shared with us that in 2018 ELCA World Hunger accompanied congregations and partners in over 60 countries, and through Domestic Hunger Grants supported two Virginia ministries, Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry (WARM) in Waynesboro, and IMPACT: Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together in Charlottesville.
ForwardingFaith and the New Virginia Synod App
The Rev. John Wertz Jr. delivered a report for the ForwardingFaith campaign . He celebrated the success of the campaign, with over $2.74 million in estimated gifts and over 1430 individuals and congregations sharing their support. He shared that thanks to ForwardingFaith, the Virginia Synod is supporting existing ministries such as ACTS and youth events, as well as creating new opportunities like the recent Young Adult Retreat. Thank you to all the congregations and members who have helped us exceed our goal for ForwardingFaith. Pastor Wertz also shared our new Virginia Synod App , created in partnership with . On the Synod app you can keep up to date on news, upcoming events, event photos, online giving, and more. For more information on the Virginia Synod App and how to download it, click here .
Elections at Synod Assembly
Elections also took place over the weekend. Charles Downs , of Christ in Roanoke was reelected as the Virginia Synod Council Vice President. Blythe Ann Scott of First in Norfolk reelected as the Virginia Synod Council Secretary.
Charles Downs
Synod Council Vice President
Blythe Anne Scott
Synod Council Secretary
Molly Beyer of Bethel in Winchester, and Darrell Short of St. Paul in Shenandoah were both reelected to Synod Council. Richard Corliss of St. Timothy, Norfolk, Carlton Hardy of St. Mark, Yorktown, Patricia Hunter of Redeemer, Bristol, Timothy Hoffstaetter of Faith in Suffolk, Elizabeth Leonard of St. Philip in Roanoke, and The Rev, Harry Griffith Pastor of Our Saviour in Virginia Beach are the newly elected members joining Synod Council.
Molly Beyer
Class of 2022, At-Large
Darrell Short
Class of 2022, Valley
Richard Corliss
Class of 2021, Costal
Carlton Hardy
Class of 2022, Coastal
Patrica Hunter
Class of 2022, Appalachia
Timothy Hoffstaetter
Youth Representative
Elizabeth Leonard
Persons of Color/Primary Language other than English
The Rev. Harry Griffith
Persons of Color/Primary Language other than English
Tent of Nations Honored
One resolution was passed over the weekend, honoring Tent of Nations , a working farm in Bethlehem, Palestine that seeks to educate and build bridges between people and the land. This resolution encourages congregations to designate a Sunday in 2019 and beyond as “Tent of Nations Sunday”, for prayer, education, and encouraging visits and attendance at Tent of Nations farming and peace-building workshops.
Worship at Assembly
Worship at this year's Synod Assembly was brought together with worship planners from across Virginia. They all worked together to creatively envision our new space in the Kerr-Cregger Field House as an opportunity to create a worship space where the assembly meets. Worship planners included Kevin Barger , The Rev. Ingrid Chenoweth , The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick , The Rev. Anna Havron , The Rev. Rachel Manke , The Rev. Heidi Moore , Lenae Osmondson , The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko , The Rev. Paul Toelke , The Rev. Leslie Webber , and The Rev. Meredith Williams . Each shared their talents presenting a diverse range of services throughout the weekend, and we thank them for all their hard work.
Part of the reshaping the Kerr-Cregger Field House as a worship space for meeting brought forth a new Prayground space for little ones and their parents. At the Prayground parents could rock their child, participate in a quiet activity like putting together a puzzle or coloring, or have some space to take a break during the meeting times.
New Young Adults in Global Mission Installed
Two young women were commissioned for Young Adults in Global Mission. Maren Corliss and Jayme Kokkonen have both accepted one-year appointments as YAGMs to Central Europe, and Madagascar. We lift them both in prayer as they prepare to serve abroad, and look forward to hearing how they are living out this call over the next year.
Virginia Synod Youth Assembly
"Faith Shall Rain"
Turner Barger of Epiphany in Richmond, president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme of “Faith Shall Rain”. He shared a summary of this year’s Youth Assembly, and raised up how many youth attendees at the assembly are fully confirmed adult members of the church, “We are no longer the future of the church, we are the church- as youth and as adults.”

During the Youth Assembly, the youth held "chat rooms" and discussion groups to discuss and debate the issues that matter most to them. They heard from a variety of speakers who were also a part of the main assembly, including Bishop Humphrey, Pastor Chrostowski, Pastor Wertz, and Pastor Bayer Derrick.

The incoming LYO Board president will be Mairi Bachman of Grace in Winchester.
Linked below you will find two different PDF versions (one full page, one-half page) of the 2019 Virginia Synod Assembly Update to include in bulletins. In addition to the PDF documents, the plain text has been included if you wish to include the update in your newsletter or on your website.
For more information on this year's Synod Assembly, including access to all of the presentations that were displayed during the meeting sessions, links to our saved live streams, and more click here. To view and share photos from this year's Synod Assembly, you can either visit the Virginia Synod Facebook page, or view them on our Flickr account.
Celebrating Men on Father's Day
No doubt your church is planning to honor fathers on Fathers' Day. Perhaps you're using the day to celebrate "Men's Ministry Sunday." While some men may never have children of their own, they provide guidance to children and youth as scoutmasters, sponsors of youth organizations, big brothers in Big Brothers Big Sisters, school mentors, or a score of other ways. Download these Methodist men's ministry resources and tweak them to use in your context.
Virginia Synod Sermons
Sermons are shared as they are received. To view all the sermons shared visit the Virginia Synod website.

Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Kairos 2019
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 baptismal call to follow Jesus. 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 this event,  click here .
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.

To register for this event,  click here . The registration deadline is June 14, 2019.
Power in the Spirit 2019
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.

To view this year's event packet with information on everything happening at this year's Power in the Spirit,  click here .

Join us  July 11-13  at Roanoke College for a conference with Lutherans for all across the state.   Register for Power in the Spirit online today!
Theology for Teens
Our fourth annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. 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.

To register for this event,  click here .
Junior High Servant Event
Junior High Servant Event is a week-long servant event for Youth who have completed the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and their adult advisors and focuses on learning about the needs of others, serving and growing in faith. We spend the week together experiencing the Christian life through worship, fellowship, and service. Of course, being in Virginia Beach, we will also spend some time having fun at the water’s edge.

To register for this event, click here. If you have any questions, reach out to Pastor Cathy Mims of the Junior High Servant Event Leadership Team at
Upcoming Events at Caroline Furnace
God of Creation,
We give you thanks for the many outdoor ministries that teach our children about your infinite kindness and mercy (especially Caroline Furnace, Hungry Mother, and Mar-Lu-Ridge). Be with the campers, counselors and staff as they begin their summers living in Your Creation. Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer

The 2019-2020 Retreat & Event Calendar for Caroline Furnace is live. We have an exciting mix of new retreats, collaborative retreats and returning favorites - and something for everyone! Check out the Year at a Glance on our website to learn more.
Emanuel, in theaters June 17, and 19
On the evening of June 17th, 2015 a 21-year-old man opened fire on those gathered for a midweek service at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. The shooter was a member of an ELCA Lutheran church. Two of the nine dead, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney and Rev. Daniel Simmons were both graduates of Lutheran Southern Seminary. As our nation grapples with another senseless shooting in Virginia Beach, you are encouraged to attend this moving story of justice and faith, love and hate, examining the healing power of forgiveness.

Advance tickets can be ordered fo a theater in your area by going to:
Job Opportunities
ELCA Career Listings
Explore and apply for opportunities available with the churchwide organization or global service on the ELCA Job Board at
Director of Church Music- College Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salem
College Evangelical Lutheran Church (Salem, Virginia) seeks applications for a part-time Director of Church Music (Organist and Choir Director) position. The weekly working hours will average 20-25 hours per week with the understanding that some weeks may require more than 25 hours and some weeks fewer than 20 hours. Scheduling will be determined by the Director of Church Music in consultation with the Pastor.

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, and references electronically to: LuAnn Yates, Personnel Ministry Team Chair Applications are currently being reviewed. For additional information about College Lutheran Church, go to
Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network Program
LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, is looking for young adults (age 21-30) with Bachelor's degrees for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer service and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2019 to the end of July 2020, our corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health coverage, spiritual direction, and a $535/month living stipend. We also offer a $1000 re-entry grant at the completion of the program.

The placement sites for the upcoming program year include faith-based non-profits, secular non-profits, congregations, outdoor ministry, and our campus ministry at UC Davis. These service sites address issues of homelessness, food insecurity, unemployment, children and youth ministries, and other important social justice issues facing our communities.

We gather each week for evening prayer, dinner, and formation. The corps members live in intentional community in one of two residences: The Belfry, an apartment attached to our campus ministry center in Davis, CA, or The Priory, an apartment at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sacramento, CA. We're an ecumenical program in the Episcopal Service Corps network; applicants needn't be either Lutheran or Episcopal to apply—interest in Christian spirituality is the only expectation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until July 31, 2019.

Visit or contact Program Director Casey Dunsworth at 530-756-1550 or for more information!
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at