ForwardingFaith: Congregational Leader Training
We are almost two weeks into the new year, but there's still time to pick up a new resolution for 2018. Resolve to get involved in supporting the Virginia Synod through the ForwardingFaith Campaign !

The Virginia Synod’s ForwardingFaith Campaign, which is seeking to provide an endowment of $2.5 million to ensure the continuation of faith formation programming in our Synod and beyond in the ELCA, is nearing its goal with $2.2 million in pledged so far. Congregations across the Virginia Synod have gotten onboard, and there is still plenty of opportunity for you and your congregation to resolve to join in as well!
As part of the ForwardingFaith Campaign, the Virginia Synod office is offering Congregation Leader Training, 2-hour training sessions throughout Virginia to teach congregations how to refresh your stewardship skills for appeals you may want to hold within your congregation a well as in participation with the ForwardingFaith Campaign!

ForwardingFaith Congregation Leader training is about more than preparing a leader to conduct the ForwardingFaith Campaign. The training is comprehensive stewardship training with a complete manual and supporting materials for how to conduct an effective stewardship appeal. All materials for this training and the congregational appeal will be provided by the Synod Office. All of the tactics that will be shared in the training session can be used in your own congregational setting for other needs. You can use everything you learn to conduct an appeal for a new air conditioning unit, parking lot paving, roof, outreach opportunity, or whatever your ministry needs to fund!
The training events we’ve held so far have been valuable opportunities for Virginia Synod congregations to learn effective stewardship skills, as well as taking the exciting first steps to supporting youth and faith formation ministry in the Virginia Synod at the congregational level. Our Synod is known across the ELCA for its exceptional synod-wide events. We want to make certain every one of our congregations knows how committed and excited we are about these ministries and this Endowment.

Right now we have roughly 300 youth and adults signed up for our high school youth event Winter Celebration! Virginia Synod youth events are a fantastic extension of any congregation’s youth group, providing elementary, middle, and high schoolers the chance to connect and grow in faith with peers their age across the state. Attending a Congregational Leader Training is the first step in committing to support faith formation events like Winter Celebration, and the ForwardingFaith campaign in your congregation!
An upcoming training session will be held January 27 in Blacksburg, at St. Michael Lutheran Church from 9:30-11:30 AM. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP for this event.
If you or your congregation have not been able to attend any previous Congregational Leader Training opportunities, and want to participate in the ForwardingFaith campaign, please fill out this interest form , or contact Lenae Osmondson , our campaign coordinator. We’re in the process of planning additional trainings for the month of January and would love to include you and your congregation in the campaign! This campaign’s success has been incredible so far, and it’s up to our congregations now to keep this momentum going!
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
Winter Celebration 2018
Winter Celebration  is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisers.  We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. 

For more information and to register for Winter Celebration Week 1, click here
For Winter Celebration Week 2, click here
A Day of Celebration and Conversation
Join Peace Lutheran Church for A Day of Celebration and Conversation on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 15th, 2018. Throughout the day we will celebrate the legacy of MLK and other leaders of the civil rights movement. The day will include conversation about the ways racism and injustice continue to affect people of color. Together as a community we will explore ways we can seek equity and justice for all people. Family-friendly programming will take place from 9:00am-12:00pm and will include storytelling by Pr. Brenda Brown-Grooms and a performance by the Children’s Choir of Central VA. An adult panel discussion moderated by Cynthia Murray will take place from 6:30-8:30pm. Additionally, the creation of a peace pole will take place throughout the day. Snacks and light refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public.

Visit www.plchurch.org for more details. Questions can be directed to Vicar Melissa Woeppel at 434-978-4357 or mwoeppel@uls.edu .
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 BeerReformation Retreat
Caroline Furnace invites you to join them for a weekend (or a day) of faith, education, fun and fellowship! Celebrate our rich Christian heritage, the history and art of brewing and the beautiful surroundings of the Shenandoah Valley January 19-21, 2018.

Activities include sharing your favorite brew, learning the art of food and beer pairings, discussion on the science of brewing since the 15th century, and visiting a local craft brewery. We will also enjoy the opportunity to share our faith stories with a prayer hike, worship and compline time.

Load up your sleeping bag, hiking shoes, and your favorite six pack for a winter weekend getaway! Register online today! The weekend schedule and other details will be sent out before the event.

For more information, and to register, click here.
Caroline Furnace Wild Women Series: Wine Retreat
Caroline Furnace invite you to join them for a weekend (or a day) of faith, education, fun and fellowship January 26-28, 2018.

Activities include a visit to local wineries, a study of Jesus’s first miracle, and getting creative with some wine-themed crafts. Relax, recharge and enjoy community with us at Buttonwood Lodge.

For more information, and to register, 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 pastorab@saintstephenlutheran.net !
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.
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  walls@vasynod.org .
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:  prderek@gmail.com.
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 greenerl@vacouncilofchurches.org
Organist, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Petersburg
Seeking part-time organist/choir director for one Sunday morning service, one adult choir rehearsal, and special services during Lent, Holy Week, and Christmas. Candidates should be familiar with the traditional liturgical service as practiced in a Eucharistically-centered sung service and experienced in a variety of musical styles. Salary range is negotiable with 2 weeks paid vacation. Opportunities for wedding and funerals are compensated separately. The primary instrument is a two manual Rodgers organ with spinet pianos in the sanctuary and the chapel. For information about the church and congregation please visit the church website at www.lcor.net

Interested candidates should contact Marva Farrington, Worship Committee Chair, at marva_farrington@yahoo.com. The position will become available in January 2018.
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Are you someone who is an accomplished keyboardist/pianist and looking for a part-time position (approx. 20 hrs/wk)? Have you been involved in a choir and have the ability to direct a choir? Grace and Glory has the perfect position for you! We are currently seeking someone with your abilities to serve as our Dir. of Music for our congregation. Our worship services are held Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am. If you would enjoy working with a vibrant, growing congregation sharing your gift of music, we would really enjoy speaking with you. Please email  gglcelca@embarqmail.com . It would be helpful to include both a cover letter and resume when inquiring and/or applying. We would be pleased to share a Job Description which is flexible depending upon the successful candidate’s musical gifts. EOE.

 
Grace & Glory is a vibrant, growing congregation in beautiful Central Virginia. We are active in the community and welcome all to join us as "Caring Christians sharing God's message of Grace." To learn more about us and our mission, please visit our website at  www.graceandglory.church.
Director of Youth and Family Ministry, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
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. To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
General Minister, Virginia Council of Churches
To provide leadership and administration for the Virginia Council of Churches. This is a full-time, interim, executive position, exempt, with an initial term of employment of 3 years (the interim may be considered for permanent employment).

To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
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