Theology For Teens 2017
This past week, July 16-22, rising 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade teens arrived on the campus of Roanoke College ready to take part in biblical and theological scholarship event  Theology for Teens. The event, hosted by Roanoke College's Religion department works with teens in attendance to help them leave with a sense of mission, and feel equipped with theological tools that will enable them to meet the challenges facing the church today, all backed by a history of the church and a wider context of other religious and social communities to guide them.

Over the course of the week, the teens in attendance learned from religion professors and Roanoke College students. Together they held Bible studies and lectures centered on Matthew 5-7, as well as a focus on the life and thoughts of Dietrich Bonhoeffer- a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and vocal opponent of the Nazi dictatorship of Germany. 

During the event, the teens also got a chance to engage with leaders and students from a variety of communities including members of the Jewish and Islamic faith. They also got to visit a range of locations for educational field trips, including a local jail, synagog, farm, and several museums in Roanoke.

Theology for Teens is sponsored by a four-year grant from the Lilly Foundation in the effort to encourage, support, and educate a new generation of talented pastors and to strengthen current pastors. In only its second year, Theology for Teens is continuing to make a change in teens' lives and foster a bridge for them to openly communicate with a range of communities outside the church.
Top Ten Takeaways from T4T
This year, attendees of Theology for Teens were asked to share what their biggest takeaway from the event was. As the teens had many opportunities to hear from unique perspectives, and visit a variety of locations for experiential learning, each teen's event experience was unique to them and their continued faith journey!

1. Hearing other points of view from people I normally wouldn't encounter has helped me build a better understanding of my own faith.


2. This event has given me a greater appreciation for learning and understanding other denominations of Christianity and world religions.


3. Everything in life is way more connected to theology than I ever realized! Knowing this now will continue to shape my core beliefs. 

4. Theology for Teens has been really enlightening. It's raised a lot of new questions for me to consider in my own faith life.


5. Hearing from people who worship differently than I do and their assumptions about what it means to be Lutheran has been eye opening.


6. Now I more clearly see God in action in my everyday life.

7. I really appreciate not only spending time with my friends but learning all the new information on the word and having the opportunity to process it as a group.

8. It's not true Christian theology if it's not about love, joy, hope, and faith- not hate.


9. I love how close we can grow together as a group studying theology. I get to feel like a real theologian!


10. It's okay and normal to ask the hard questions about God.

To see more of what went on during Theology for Teens, check out the Storify with photos and moments shared by Roanoke College Chaplain,  Rev. Chris Bowen, and the teens present. Click here to view the Storify for T4T.
 
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at pilat@vasynod.org and make sure to follow our
Announcements
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,  ELCA.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Messages . 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  eva.johnson@elca.org . Both will be shared with the staff and consulting group that are preparing this message. The comment period closes  Aug. 31 .
THE LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FOR MUSICIANS: 2017 FALL  CLASSES
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 lpmvacoordinator@gmail.com with your name, phone number, and email address, and pay via Paypal at lpm-va.org 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 lpm-online.org 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: www.crossgenlife.org/birthingcrossgentour-about

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 emanuel@shentel.net

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: www.nationallutheran.org/impactgrants

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
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow

Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works in partnership with statewide advocacy ministry networks across the United States to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. Each office relates to the synods in their state and works closely with hunger leaders and synod teams. ELCA Advocacy is a ministry of the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit. This is a twelve-month, non-renewable contract position.

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow will participate in a 12-month transformative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed.

The 2017 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the  Virginia Interfaith Center

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
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 boardsecretary@carolinefurnace.org

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: prderek@gmail.com.

All job postings can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org