Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
ELCA Grant Helps Keep Both Farms and Families Healthy in Southwest VA

"Everyone deserves the right to have fresh, healthy food," said Gina Patrick, an employee of Appalachian Sustainable Development, an organization who was awarded a $4,500 ELCA Domestic Hunger Grant for their Healthy Families - Family Farms Initiative.

Gina's belief is exactly why the ELCA works to help feed people in our country and around the world. Through the ELCA Domestic Hunger Grant Program organizations who are feeding people in their communities are empowered to do more.

A man from Bristol_ VA with his flourishing Garden Box from HFFF
A man from Bristol, VA with his flourishing Garden Box from HFFF
Appalachian Sustainable Development, a nonprofit that operates out of Abingdon,  was just one of the  11 different organizations all over the Virginia Synod who received one of these grants. 

The Healthy Families - Healthy Farms (HFFF) initiative buys " seconds" of fruits and vegetables from local farmers and donates the fresh food to Feeding America Southwest Virginia who is then able to distribute the food to 11 different counties.

"It helps the farmers as well which is a win-win," said Gina.

The "seconds" are bought at a greatly reduced price so that the farmers are able to break even. Many of the local farmers sell their produce to larger companies and the food has to be almost aesthetically flawless. If there are any bumps or bruises the perfectly good food won't be accepted. This food may otherwise go uneaten and farmers would lose money.

"We distributed 129,000 pounds of produce last year," Gina said. "The USDA says that a serving of vegetables is 4 ounces which means that we were able to provide over a million servings."

Healthy Families - Family Farms was able to apply for the ELCA grant because of their ties with St. John Lutheran Church in Abingdon. Charlie Garnett is an active member of St. John and has also served on the HFFF committee for the past 3 years.

"One of the reasons that I was attracted to the Lutheran denomination was that they take a proactive stance on social issues," Charlie said. "Our church likes to be involved and I see the ELCA setting the tone for being active in the community."
Charlie at the Good Food For All Fest playing cornhole with the kids.

Charlie mentioned that HFFF not only helps to provide fresh produce to the communities in Southwest Virginia but they also want to help people grow their own vegetables through their Garden Box Project.

"The garden boxes are about four feet long and 2 feet wide and they are on raised legs which is good for the elderly who can't bend down and work in the ground," Charlie said.

HFFF links the person that receives the garden box with a community volunteer, almost like a gardening mentor. With this small area, you may be surprised at how much these boxes can produce.

"One lady said she got about 70 bell peppers from her garden box," Gina said.  

The organization also has events to help educate people about how to cook and prepare healthy, fresh meals.

 "It has been amazing to see how m uch they actually do for the community," Charlie said. "I am glad to be a part of something that does this much for people who can't normally access fresh produce."

Now, because of the ELCA domestic hunger grant, we get to be a part of this amazing effort as well. 

Announcements
 If you want to submit an announcement, please  check out the Submission Guidelines and send your submission to fuller@vasynod.org.
Last Chance to Register for 7th Day! 
Youth Event for 5th & 6th Graders
7th Day  is the Virginia Synod's annual overnight event for youth in 5th and 6th grades and their adult advisors. During the weekend participants are part if a "Shepherd Group"  with other youth and adult leaders and explore a story of the Bible through drama, games, crafts and music.  7th Day is March 5-6, 2016, from noon Saturday to 1:30 on Sunday at Eagle Eyrie.  

Cost for participants:  $125 

CALL THE DAVE DELANEY AT 540-389-1000 BEFORE REGISTERING. The event is closely approaching and even though you can still register, please call Dave so that he can prepare!


2016 Spring ACTS Course
Save The Date - April 9 & May 14

The ACTS Spring Course, "A World According to God: Practices for Discipleship" will be April 9 & May 14, 2016. The presenter will be Dr. Martha E. Stortz, the  Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation at Augsburg College, a position she has held since 2010.

ACTS is the Virginia Synod's Adult Faith Formation program. For more information about ACTS, click here.



It is that time of the year when TWO reports are due from rostered leaders and congregations:
1.) The Parochial Report - Form A and C (statistical information about your congregation, reported to our churchwide partners). This form is out by the pastor of a congregation or the main contact person for a congregation.
The form can be found on the right side bar a  www.elca.org/Resources/Office-of-the-Secretary 
2.) Rostered Leader Report to the Bishop -ALL rostered leaders complete this form and send it to their Synod Bishop. The various forms are found under the "Synods" tab at  www.elca.org/Resources/Office-of-the-Secretary

Questions? Contact the synod office!
Rev. Nadia Bolz Weber at St. Mark, Charlottesville
The Rev. Nadia Bolz Weber, founding pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, is visiting Charlottesville - UVA and  St. Mark Lutheran in March! She is the author of "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint" and her latest book, "Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People." She's a popular speaker who preaches prophetically while maintaining a surprisingly salty vocabulary.
 
Nadia will participate in an Evening Vespers  service at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville on Friday, March 18th at 7:30pm. On Saturday, March 19th at 1 pm in Newcomb Hall Theater, Nadia will give a public talk as part of the Festival of the Book, entitled, "Finding God in All the Wrong People".  You may find information about that talk here: http://vabook.org/participant/nadia-bolz-weber/
 

The Wesley Foundation, St. Mark Lutheran, St. Paul's Memorial, and the UVA Department of Religious Studies in Charlottesville are partnering to sponsor this visit. Both events are free and open to the general public.

Dementia ministry training - March 22, 23
old-man-woman.jpg
The Hermitage in Richmond and Hermitage in Northern Virginia, will offer one-day learning opportunities for clergy and laity. "Building a Circle of Support: The Role of the Church in Supporting Individuals with Dementia and Their Care Partners" will be held Tuesday, March 22, at The Hermitage in Richmond, 1600 Westwood Ave. and on Wednesday, March 23, at Hermitage in Northern Virginia, 5000 Fairbanks Ave., Alexandria. 

Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. followed by learning and sharing sessions from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Keynote presenter for the day is Gary H. Oberlender, MD, consultant in geriatric medicine from Roanoke. Sessions will focus on "The ABC's of Dementia" and "End of Life Care, Decision-Making Capacity, and the Role of Clergy." Cost is $25, which includes lunch, to be paid by cash or check upon arrival. Space is limited. Registration deadline is March 15. To register for Richmond event, contact Susan Cantrell at (804) 474-1850 or SCantrell@vumh.org. To register for Northern Virginia event, contact Lynette Mitchell at (703) 797-3814 or LMitchell@vumh.org.

Veterans Legal Services Clinics
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) and the Virginia State Bar (VSB) have partnered to launch the first pro bono Veterans Legal Services Clinics to provide estate planning services to low-income veterans throughout the Commonwealth. 
 
At these clinics, qualified Virginia veterans and their spouses can receive legal wills, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives prepared at no cost by volunteer lawyers. These important documents can provide veterans, their partners, and families with peace of mind and planning for the future.
 
These clinics will be held during the first week of March at the following locations across the Commonwealth:
  • HAMPTON ROADS: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at Tidewater Community College - 1428 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322 
  • RICHMOND: Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College - Parham Road Campus, 1651 E Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23228
  • ROANOKE: Thursday, March 3, 2016 at Virginia Western Community College - 3094 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia 24015
  • NORTHERN VIRGINIA: Friday, March 4, 2016 at Northern Virginia Community College - 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003
Click here for more information or to register. Walkups cannot be accepted. If you have questions, p lease contact Senior Assistant Attorney General Heather Lockerman by phone at (804)786-0067 or email at hlockerman@oag.state.va.us.
In the Breaking of the Bread: Lutheran/Episcopal Retreat
Join clergy and rostered leaders for an ecumenical retreat held May 16-18, 2016, at Shrine Mont Conference Center in Orkney Springs, Virginia.  Participants will gain working knowledge of The Book of Common Prayer and Evangelical Lutheran Worship and how to use them to preside with instruction from renowned scholars. Learning and fellowship with national ecumenical officers, bishops, deployment officers, synod staff, and full communion clergy partners in your area will equip you for shared ministries of word and sacrament.

Registration deadline is April 18. For more information and to
register online, visit: VirginiaLutheranEpiscopal.wordpress.com
Regional Informational Sessions for Feeding Children in the Summer Months
Virginia Feeds Kids (The Virginia Synod Childhood Hunger Task Force) is hosting Regional Sessions for congregational leaders to explore feeding children during the summer months.

Link up with a food-providing sponsor and learn how to integrate a meal into your summer programs (like Vacation Bible School). 
"Religion & Spirituality in A Changing Society" Lecture
Diana Butler Bass presents the James H. Taylor Memorial Lectures " Religion & Spirituality in a Changing Society." There will be three FREE lectures at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynchburg, VA. On Friday, March 11 at 7:00 pm the topic will be "Spiritual Revolution: The Rise of the Mystics". On Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m. the topic will be "Experiencing God in Nature: Challenge and Promise" and at 11:00 a.m. the topic will be "Experiencing God in Our Neighbors: Great Command in Action". Please click here for more information.  Please Click Here For More Information
Job Opportunities
All posts can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email fuller@vasynod.org. 
Director of Faith Nurture Ministries-Salem, VA 
Anticipated Starting Date:  June 1, 2016
College Evangelical Lutheran Church (Salem, Virginia) seeks applications for a part-time director of Faith Nurture Ministries.  Salary range is $25,000 - $30,000 annually.  Compensation includes two (2) weeks of paid annual vacation.  Continuing education funds are available. Click here for the full position description. 

Under the supervision of the Pastor, the director of Faith Nurture Ministries serves as an advocate for and facilitates Congregational faith formation programs. 
Associate Director for Philanthropy for the Fund for Leaders
This position secures gift revenue in support of the priority fundraising objectives of the ELCA as outlined in its case statement for Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA. It is responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting individuals with capacity for leadership gifts to the ministries of the ELCA, and will maintain a portfolio of major donor prospects.
 
This position could be a deployed position with the professional working from his/her home office, and may not require relocation to Chicago. The position requires up to 60-70% travel.
 
Download the Position Profile http://bit.ly/1KsC9Dz
 
Applications and inquiries may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors: 651-490-9550; Gaye@SignificantSolutionsInc.com

Manager for Donor Relations for the ELCA Campaign
This position secures gift revenue in support of the priority fundraising objectives of the ELCA as outlined in its case statement for Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA. It is responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting individuals with capacity for leadership gifts to the ministries of the ELCA, and will maintain a portfolio of major donor prospects.
 
This position could be a deployed position with the professional working from his/her home office, and may not require relocation to Chicago. The position requires up to 60-70% travel.
 
Download the Position Profile http://bit.ly/1KsC9Dz 
 
Applications and inquiries may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors: 651-490-9550; Gaye@SignificantSolutionsInc.com

Part-time Executive Director of 
Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries
Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries is seeking a part-time executive director.  The position involves organizing and carrying out day-to-day operations of SVLM, working with the Board of Dirctors and volunteers, representing SVLM in the community.  Candidates should have administrative and managerial skills plus experience in fundraising,, grant writing and working with non-profit organizations.  If you are interested in being the 'public face' of SVLM or know someone who might be, respond to Cathy Christovich  valleycathy@gmail.com  and request a full job description.

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