New Guinea Islands (NGI), PNG Launch Malaria Initiative
We GIVE THANKS for the partnership between the Virginia Synod ELCA and the New Guinea Islands District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea, as we continue to walk together as brothers and sisters in Christ. THANKS to the diligent planning and preparation by our NGI sisters and brothers and the generosity of the Virginia Synod, Pastor Tobby Eleasar, President of the NGI District, announced that in early February our new joint MALARIA PROJECT will begin, as pastors and youth who will be involved in the educational component will begin their training. Soon after, these prepared leaders will launch Phase One of the Malaria Project: live educational presentations throughout West New Britain Province.

The 2-3 hour presentations will include dramas and songs created by the Bethany Youth, in their culture’s traditional way of teaching the important information that is needed to understand Malaria and how to prevent it and cure it. Local health workers will participate at the different locations and will distribute the treated mosquito nets. Pregnant women and mothers with children, who are the most at risk, will be given preference to receive the nets.

The wonderful support from the Virginia Synod has made this project an excellent example, for other ELCA partnerships to follow, of working together in areas prone to Malaria. Continue with your prayers for our brothers and sisters in the New Guinea Islands that their efforts will be well received and will make a difference with the eradication of Malaria.
Daily Devotions for Lent from the Tapestry Team
You are invited to follow daily devotions for Lent that will be posted on the Virginia Synod Facebook page , Instagram , and Twitter . Each day a new devotion, written by folks from around the Virginia Synod, will be posted. Your congregation is invited to share these devotions through your own social media outlets.

The devotions are based on 40 Bible verses, published by the AMMPARO strategy of the ELCA, about welcoming people. The word “amparo” in Spanish means the protection of a living creature from suffering or damage. The ELCA’s strategy to Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities (AMMPARO) was envisioned after witnessing the plight of children who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

“Dios es nuestro amparo y fortaleza,” (“God is our refuge and strength,”) – Psalm 46:1
ForwardingFaith Congregational Training Across Virginia
On Saturday, January 27th the Virginia Synod held three rounds of ForwardingFaith Congregational Trainings across the state- in Blacksburg, Charlottesville, and Woodstock! These 2-hour training sessions taught attendees how to participate in the ForwardingFaith Campaign as well as how to refresh their stewardship skills for appeals to hold within their congregation.

It was great to see the excitement across our Synod in the ForwardingFaith campaign, as well as to educate across our synod about new and exciting ways to boost stewardship in congregations! If you are interested in getting involved in the ForwardingFaith campaign, and have yet to attend a congregational training, please complete our interest form so we can communicate with you about upcoming training events. Should you have any questions, please contact the Synod Office directly.

For more information on the ForwardingFaith campaign, visit
Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday
The Season of Lent is upon us! As we prepare to feast on Shrove Tuesday, and worship on Ash Wednesday, share with the Virginia Synod how you and your congregation gather, using the hashtags:

#VirtualShroveVA  and  #AshtagVA

You can also email stories and photos to Emily Pilat at . These posts and stories will be shared in next week's Weekly!
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
ACTS 2018 Spring Course: New Testament
This year's spring ACTS course will be held March 10th and April 21st at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). Mark Vitalis Hoffman will present on the parables of Jesus as part of the New Testament ACTS course.

For more information on the Spring ACTS course and to register for this spring's course,  click hereThe deadline for registration is February 22nd.
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.
Caroline Furnace Upcoming Events
Caroline Furnace has a busy spring planned this year!

To learn more about our events and register, click here.
Highlands Conference Epiphany Celebration
On Sunday, February 14th at 4 PM join the Highlands Conference invites you to join them at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Wytheville for prayers, readings, and hymns, ending with the Hallelujah Chorus. The event features hand bell ringers and other musicians from Highlands conference congregations. 

An offering will be received during the service and divided between World Hunger and Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center.

To learn more about this event, click here.
Trip to Germany with St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Williamsburg
Now that the crowds are gone, members and friends of St. Stephen in Williamsburg are going to Germany for a nine-day study tour, June 13-21! "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and the Reformation" will visit Wittenberg, Erfurt, Wartburg Castle and much more. $3,646 from Richmond. For more information, click here

If you would like a snail mail copy of the brochure, let Pastor Andy Ballentine know, at !
Mental Health America of Augusta One Day Workshop: Addressing Substance Use Together
Mental Health America of Augusta (MHAA) is planning to offer our community a Substance Use workshop on Friday, March 9 which is FREE to participants. Four presenters will help participants better understand Substance Use from a biopsychosocial perspective.

For more information on this workshop, click here.
VBS Curriculum- FREE for all ELCA Congregations
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) produces the curriculum each year that is used in camp and retreat settings and for Vacation Bible Schools and day camps. This year, LOM is offering their past VBS Bundles free to ELCA congregations.

To repeat:  Special for this year only, all VBS Bundles are FREE for all ELCA congregations—yes, free! Each year the LOM curriculum provides a quality alternative for VBS curriculum at an affordable price. The bundle includes Bible study activities, crafts, and games for preschool children, and upper and lower elementary aged youth. Also included are planning documents, including Biblical and theme background information. To order the curriculum, visit .
LOM has also released its 2018 curriculum entitled "This Changes Everything."  This curriculum has the same title as the theme for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering. It has been written in collaboration with the gathering team. The lessons are not the same but compliment those that will be used for the gathering.
Included in the full curriculum package are five day Bible study sessions for Elementary, Youth, and Adult, as well as games, crafts, environmental activities, and team-building activities.  "This Changes Everything" is also available in other small bundles designed for Youth Ministry and VBS settings.
 “This Changes Everything” is available for purchase and download on the LOM website at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries is an association of outdoor ministry organizations dedicated to encouraging, equipping, educating, and empowering bold and faithful outdoor ministry leaders for service in the Church and in the world. 
Job Opportunities
The Virginia Synod Director for Evangelical Mission / Assistant to the Bishop
The Virginia Synod, in partnership with ELCA Domestic Mission, is seeking a qualified person to serve as our Director for Evangelical Mission / Assistant to the Bishop. The plan is for this full time staff person to live and work in the eastern part of our synod. A churchwide search is underway.

For more information please click here.
Chaplain, Virginia Lutheran Homes
The Chaplain is responsible for providing spiritual care, short-term counselling, worship leadership, education and other religious support to residents, families and staff at all Virginia Lutheran Homes facilities.
For a complete job description,  click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Becky Walls at the Virginia Synod Office at 540-389-1000 or they can email at .
Organist, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney
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:
Executive Director, Rural Family Development
This position is responsible for providing leadership and management to implement the Head Start Program for Caroline County in concert with the mission and vision of the Virginia Council of Churches/Rural Family Development through the utilization of Federal funding, State and agency policies and procedures.

For a complete job description, click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Virginia Council of Churches at 804-321-3300 ext. 100 or they can email Crystal Greenerl at
Thrivent Financial
We’re looking for candidates who can empower our members to be wise with money and live generously. For Thrivent Financial advisors, it’s not about punching a clock—it’s about making a difference.
Thrivent Financial advisor candidates have the opportunity to become part of an organization that views money as a tool to help others achieve their goals as they help members make the most of their time, talents and treasures—becoming confident that their financial strategies are solid and on track.
By joining Thrivent, you or the candidate you refer will represent an organization that’s financially strong and stable—one that has helped its members connect faith and finances for good for more than 100 years.

The ideal Thrivent Financial advisor candidate is:
  • Self-motivated and independent.
  • Caring, approachable and trustworthy.
  • Driven to succeed and motivated to help others.
  • Able to use good judgment to provide solid financial guidance.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about our financial advisor opportunities, please contact Joe Hebler, Recruiting Manager at 571-243-6161 or by email at . You can also learn more about this career at .
All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at