Building Bridges Two by Two
At Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bristol, outreach programs which provide food for the hungry are some of the most important ministries for the congregation. Meals-on-Wheels, Snack Pack, the Giving Garden, and the support of the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry and the United Company Soup Kitchen all fill critical needs in the community.

A year ago, Redeemer's Church Council challenged a small team to explore how they could add to their already strong feeding ministry programs to find and help those who are at risk of slipping through the cracks. The dedicated team consisting of Brian and Heather Chapman, Mark Lambert, Ellen Leach, and Pat Hunter, met faithfully, studied several options, and identified an opportunity for the congregation to help.

There is an immediate need to serve homebound adults living with food insecurity on the outskirts of the community who cannot access food banks and feeding programs in town. In partnership with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Blountville Tennessee, Redeemer is now helping to meet this need in a new ministry called “Building Bridges: Two By Two.”

Volunteers from Redeemer and Immanuel are delivering a monthly box of supplemental breakfast, lunch, and dinner items to five homebound individuals in the Highway 126 corridor which runs between the two churches. These homebound adults were referred through a local community service agency and screened by volunteers at Redeemer to identify their specific needs.

For more information on Redeemer's newest ministry, click here.
Do Justice for December 4, 2018
Do Justice is a bi-monthly newsletter of the Virginia Synod, lifting up God’s call and command that we, God’s people, do justice. You will find helpful info about justice ministries in congregations, around Virginia, and through the ELCA.

This week's Do Justice shared information about World AIDS Day, The Rev. Rob McCarty's travel through the Thousand Oaks area, as well as sharing about events held at Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake and St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Portsmouth that hosted a Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau in partnership with Equality Virginia.

To read the most recent edition of Do Justice, click here. If you're interested in receiving Do Justice in your inbox, sign up today!
Holiday Graphic Resources
This year to support your communication needs, we've created a number of Advent and Christmas graphics you can use in your congregation! Covering each week of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day there's plenty of resources available to use in your congregation!

These graphics can be used as part of your congregation's social media plan, printed off and displayed in and around your church, or any number of ways that best serve your congregation! From email headers to printable posters there plenty of opportunities to make use of our Advent and Christmas graphics!

You can view and download the Advent and Christmas graphics on our website at If you have any questions about how you can best utilize these resources, please contact Emily Pilat at
Deck the Halls! 2018 Virginia Synod Christmas Decoration Contest
Submissions are now open for the 2018 Virginia Synod Christmas Decoration Contest! Congregations and individuals are both welcome to enter their decorations in one of three categories:  Chrismons treeChristmas tree, or  Advent wreath for this year’s contest!

To enter send the best photo of your decoration to Emily Pilat at  from now until  Monday, December 17th.

With your entry photo please include the following information:
  • Your First and last name
  • Your congregation name and location (ex. Christ Lutheran, Roanoke)
  • The category for which you are entering (Chrismons tree, Christmas tree, or Advent wreath)

Only one entry per individual or congregation  (ie. if you submit a photo of your congregation’s Chrismons tree, a submission of your congregation’s advent wreath will not be counted as an entry)!
On  December 20th  one randomly selected winner for each category will be announced in that week’s edition of the Weekly Update. All three winners will receive a special prize!

If you have any questions about the Christmas Decoration Contest, please contact Emily Pilat at  Best of luck to all who enter, and happy decorating!
Virginia Synod Sermons
Sermons are available one month prior to the Sunday service they are to be shared during. View all the sermons shared  on 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
Winter Celebration 2019
Winter Celebration is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisors. We have Large Group and Small Group gatherings that consist of singing, comedy, worship, faith sharing and presentations on our event theme. On Saturday afternoon during Free Time we will also hold out annual Talent Show and in the evenings you will have time to relax in your Cottage and talk with other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how Winter Celebration is going.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.
ACTS 2019 Spring Course: Spirituality and Leadership
Save the Dates! April 6 and May 11, 2019 we will gather for our ACTS Spring Course. This year's spring course will be led by Dr. Jill Y. Crainshaw Acting Dean at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. This course will explore how throughout biblical history prayerfully listening to God changed the way leaders served in response to God’s call. The participant will learn ways a congregation can prepare and use their many differing personal and spiritual gifts for mission. To download a save the dates flyer for the 2019 ACTS Spring Course, click here.
Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center Upcoming Events
The 2019 Summer Staff application for Caroline Furnace is live! The online application can be found on their website, along with a shareable flyer. Academic internships are available as well. Call 540-449-0012 or email for more information.
Need a home for the Holidays?
Plan a reunion or family retreat at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center! Buttonwood Lodge is a wonderful place to catch up by the fireplace with your college friends or adult relatives, and the Farmhouse is a perfect family space for up to 25. Meals and activities can be provided upon request. (Meals that you don't have to cook, and activities that you don't have to plan!)

Call (540)-449-0012 or email  to learn more.
Peter Mayer in Concert at Grace, Winchester
Join us at Grace Lutheran in Winchester, on Wednesday, December 12th for Peter Mayer Stars & Promises Concert 7:00 pm– Guitarist and singer Peter Mayer will perform his 19th annual Stars and Promises Christmas tour.

“The theme for this year’s Stars and Promises tour is ‘A Junkman’s Christmas,’ which comes from a memory of my father at Christmas who made the most of a forgotten present by weaving together widgets and fix-it objects so that I had another item under the tree,” said Peter Mayer. “The holiday season is celebrated around the world in song, from concert halls to shopping malls, and we are honored to be a part of families’ yearly traditions as we begin our 19th year of holiday performances.”

About Peter Mayer Peter Mayer is a Lutheran recording artist, songwriter and touring musician. He has released 13 albums to date and tours year round with his band, the Peter Mayer Group. For the past 28 years, he has performed and recorded with Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band and shared the stage with a variety of artists such as Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Dave Mathews, Paul Simon and Ringo Starr.

For more information on the Peter Mayer Group, visit From this link, go to News and Press to read the Living Lutheran article about Peter Mayer.

Join us at Grace Lutheran, Winchester on Wednesday, December 12th at 7:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30p.m.) Concert Tickets are $20.00 each in advance. $25.00 at the door.

Please contact T. Shafferman at 540-662-6678 for tickets or
2019 Ignite the Church Conference
The Ignite the Church Conference is an annual gathering on February 19-21, 2019 that seeks to further Kingdom impacting conversation among leaders that will ignite the Church and help it live out its heritage of renewal in the years ahead! Speakers include Bishop Pedro Suarez, Florida Bahamas Synod, Rev. Dr. John Herman, and Beth Lewis, President and CEO Emeritus of 1517 Media. All proceeds from the event support the ELCA Fund for Leaders. For more information, check out their website: .
Bishops’ School 2019
Many of us have questions about God and our faith, but don’t always know where to go with them. Many of us would love to talk about our faith, but there isn’t always an easy place to do that. You don’t exactly ask someone across the lunch table at school, “Someone told me ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ That would mean God planned all those school shootings. What do you think?” Bishops’ School is your opportunity to be with people like you – people who want to talk about God, to think theologically. In addition to interactive classroom times, small group gatherings, and service projects, there will be plenty of time for making new friends and having fun! Bishops’ School 2019 takes place at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

For more information and to submit a nomination for Bishop's School, click here.
Job Opportunities
ELCA Career Listings
Explore and apply for opportunities available with the churchwide organization or global service on the ELCA Job Board at
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at