Get to Know Bishop-Elect Humphrey
The first of September, 2017 marks the start of the term for the new bishop of the Virginia Synod, ELCA, The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey. This week, we're taking some time to get to know Bishop-elect Humphrey , and asking him some of the questions you might have had over the summer following the election!
What has the transition process been like for you since Synod Assembly?
My unexpected election instantly changed the direction of our lives and ministry. The role of Bishop is different in many ways than that of parish pastor. So, I would honestly say it continues to be an exciting, but challenging transition. It will take time.
The process has certainly been made easier by our talented Virginia Synod staff, and the warm hospitality of Bishop Mauney who has been leading me along step by step to a solid start. It is a challenging and amazing process! I trust folks will be patient with me and continue to lift our synod and staff in their prayers.
Saying farewell is always difficult, as I’ve been so blessed in every place of ministry I’ve served, from Zion, pastoral counseling, Grace, and Muhlenberg. Leaving those I have grown to love and my remarkable partner pastor, Brett Davis, is tough. But now, I hold my great excitement at what is before me as bishop of the Virginia Synod.

Where do you plan to live? Where will your office be located?
The Bishop’s Office will remain in Bittle Hall on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem Virginia. But, because much of my ministry will be spent in the Synod’s territory, Barbra and I will continue to live in Harrisonburg. I will be in the Synod Office as much as needed, but otherwise I’m looking forward to meeting and serving with people where they live, work and worship.
What would you say is the biggest difference between you and Bishop Mauney? In what ways are you similar?
In many ways we’re very similar. He may be taller than I am...(smile), but we come out of the same era and place of education. We both graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in the 1970s. Actually, Jim was part of the move-in crew that helped my wife Barbra and I move into seminary housing in our first year. So now he’s helping move me in again… history repeating itself forty years later! We both have also lived and served almost our entire ministry in Virginia.
On the other hand, Bishop Mauney and I obviously have different personalities, and we undoubtedly have any number of differences in the ways in which we think, work and interact with others. I’m sure to have a different approach, and a different style and I will have some different objectives and goals as I enter the office. I am hopeful those differences will bring exciting new opportunities for ministry and mission.

What do you plan to do at Youth Events?

That is another one of the ways in which I am NOT like Bishop Mauney! I could never pull off the talent and skill he has with music, and performing “Pharaoh Pharaoh.” But Pastor Dave Delaney and I are planning ways for me to still have fun. I have a long history and love for Virg inia Synod youth ministry. After all, Barbra and I met at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp in 1975, serving on staff with folks like Chip Gunsten and Paul Henrickson! I will be a strong advocate of youth ministry and events as Bishop. So, toward that end, let me add that I hope every member of our synod will contribute generously to the ForwardingFaith Campaign!

What do you like to do for fun?
I love spending time with family. Our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren are amazing! I like to hang out with Barbra. We like to read, especially good mysteries. We are fans of British TV shows. I am a lifelong fan and stockholder of the Green Bay Packers. Barbra is a wonderful cook and we enjoy good food and love traveling.
I served as an intern at Hothorpe Hall in England from 1979 to 1980 and that time was incredibly formative for me. We returned for a summer sabbatical in Cambridge, England where I studied renewal efforts within The Church of England in 1997. We also spent 3 months in Mexico in 2004. We have traveled to South Africa and visited our daughter and her family in the Congo. Having the chance to travel and explore new places around the Commonwealth, nation, and the world has been amazing and so much fun. I look forward to more of those opportunities in the years ahead.
What aspects of the role of Bishop are you most looking forward to?
Learning to better know and serve with the rostered ministers, congregations, institutions and agencies of our synod. I’m already amazed by the incredible gifts and variety of ministries that are going wonderfully well across our synod.
I also look forward to the challenges of helping shape a future for our church that finds new ways to effectively proclaim the Gospel, support vibrant ministries and congregations, and serve the people most vulnerable and victimized in our world.

How do you plan to stay connected in person and online with the Virginia Synod?
Well, for one thing, once I start, I plan to be present on Instagram and Twitter. You can find me @BishopBHumphrey on both Twitter and Instagram . I really do want to help people stay connected to the Office of the Bishop, including through social media. Stay tuned… we will try to keep folks posted.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’d say I work to be collegial. I believe when others are invited and empowered to help develop shared objectives, goals and tasks, the outcomes are far richer and more effective. Working with trusted colleagues, staff, rostered and lay leaders through a variety of channels, I strive to engage people in every level of decision-making and implementation. Developing a strong collegial staff will be an early priority.
That said, I do believe there are times when a leader needs to have the courage and conviction to speak and act boldly and decisively, even when others object or disagree. I pray and trust God will guide and empower us!

What has most surprised you about the Office of the Bishop?
The remarkable variety of challenges and opportunities the Bishop faces on a day to day basis. The biggest challenge is you’re engaging on so many different levels at once. The exciting reality of the church in action unfolds in so many places where people are faithfully serving our Lord, the church, and the world!
What is your vision for the Virginia Synod moving forward?
I believe each expression of our church has a critical and unique role to play in proclaiming the Gospel, equipping the saints and serving the world. It is both more difficult and more crucial in today's world for the church to be relevant and engaged with our members, communities and the wider church. Every size and expression of the church matters and has a crucial role to play! Our witness really is needed...
I have high hopes and expectations of what God is up to in the Virginia Synod. With a deep connection to the past and a passionate commitment and hope for the future, I want to work to build a bridge from the best of our past to the potential God has in store for our future - a calling that requires faith, skill, and patience.
It is certainly not something that can be accomplished alone or completely. But by God’s grace and with companions for the journey - a "synod," guided by The Holy Spirit through prayer, the Holy Scriptures, the Confessions of our church and mutual, honest conversation I am confident we will find new and bold ways to serve.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
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

Renew and Retreat: A Christian Formation Retreat 
Come to Camp Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center for a retreat which is specifically designed to support and equip both full-time and part-time professional and volunteer Children, Youth and Family Ministry staff. In addition to an educational component there will be ample time for networking and resource sharing, as well as relaxation, conversation and worship.

This year's Renew and Retreat will be held on Tuesday October 3rd, 4:30 PM – Thursday October 5th, 10:00 AM

For more information and to register for Renew and Retreat, click here
TAPESTRY Worship Resource Team – Looking for Volunteers!
When events occur in our nation and world that shake our humanity and disrupt the rhythm of life, worship is the place we come to bring our lament and to encounter the Triune God who speaks life into death and destruction. It is a time when in our worship, things need to be spoken in a particular and specific way.

TAPESTRY, the Synod’s Team focusing on diversity, justice, and inclusion, is asking for volunteers who have gifts in creating worship resources: special prayers, litanies, and orders of worship that speak into these events. TAPESTRY is looking to form a team of writers and worship resource creators – both rostered and laypersons – who would like to serve as regular contributors in service to the Synod’s ministry and its congregations.

If you would like to volunteer for this opportunity or for more information, please contact Rev. Aaron Fuller at
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, 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 Both will be shared with the staff and consulting group that are preparing this message. The comment period closes Aug. 31.
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

For more information on the seminar and to download a flyer, click here
National Lutheran Communities & Services Community Impact Grants 2018
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.

Job Opportunities
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
  2. Coordinate and establish a weekly activity for youth
  3. Teach or help prepare youth Sunday School program
  4. Attend worship
  5. Foster relationship with Preschool families
  6. Other Activity Expectations include . . .
  7. Coordinate and attend at least two weekend retreats with youth every year
  8. Plan and coordinate – bi-monthly social youth/family events
  9. One week a year, help coordinate and attend a mission trip with youth/families
  10. Coordinate and attend at least two synod retreats with youth every year
  11. Be available to youth/families. This includes establishing/publishing office times or availability for meetings/visits
  12. 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
  13. Attend Pastor led Church staff meetings
  14. Attend Mission Council meetings as required by Council
  15. 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

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
Home Health Clinical Services Director

myPotential at Home—A National Lutheran Service has an exciting opening for a talented Registered Nurse with a home healthcare background to join our new home health operation, overseeing our growing footprint up the Shenandoah Valley into Staunton, Va. The Home Health Clinical Services Director will serve a key role in shaping the program and managing the care delivery and service experience of all clients in the comfort of their home. If you are looking for a fulfilling and stimulating leadership role that offers career growth, a flexible schedule, and excellent pay with generous benefits, apply today!

• $100K starting salary
• $5,000 sign-on bonus with additional bonus opportunities in year one
• Flexible day-shift position, weekends not required
• Continued learning encouraged with tuition reimbursement
• Willing to offer relocation assistance 

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at