Gathering of the Ministerium
Reading Luther With Bonhoeffer: Ethical and Political Reflections
Each October rostered ministers from across the Virginia Synod gather for the annual event Gathering of the Ministerium . In an effort to build and maintain collegial relationship and to foster collaboration and partnership this gathering takes place as one part of connecting rostered leaders with one another but also churches with one another. This year the Gathering of the Ministerium was held in Virginia Beach from October 9th to the 11th. Despite the sometimes soggy weather, this year’s gathering offered many opportunities for relaxation, worship, renewal, sharing, play, and continued education as they renewed their covenant with each other.
Each year at the gathering, the Virginia Synod ministerium renew their covenant, which you can read fully here. The Virginia Synod ministerium covenant holds them together as rostered ministers. Every year new or returning members of the ministerium who have not yet signed a copy of the ministerium are invited to do so during the Covenant Renewal Litany, joining their signature with the many other members of the ministerium who have done so before them.
Dr. Michael DeJonge was the presenter for this year’s gathering. He is an Associate Professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). He teaches in the areas of the history of Christian thought, theories and methods in religious studies, and modern religious thought. DeJonge presented Bonhoeffer's interaction with Luther and the Lutheran tradition, especially in his reflection about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority. Additionally, he discussed the two kingdoms as well as war and peace with regards to the church's political engagement.
During the gathering, The Rev. Dwayne Westermann , Campaign Director for the ForwardingFaith campaign was introduced and presented on the campaigns progress, its importance, and the upcoming Congregation Leader Training offering for congregations interested in  participating. Joining Pastor Westermann was Elizabeth Smythe of Ebenezer Lutheran in Marion, Emily Martinez of St. Timothy of Norfolk, and Johnny Sackel of First Lutheran of Norfolk. The three spoke to the value of faith formation events like Power in the Spirit, ACTS, and youth events like Karios and Winter Celebration that have been critical to their faith life and development. To find out more information on ForwardingFaith visit , to learn more about the Congregation Leader Training and how your congregation can RSVP, click here .
During the Monday evening reception, Rostered Ministers had the opportunity to celebrate and honor our newest bishop. The reception, sponsored by National Lutheran Communities and Services, was a time that the Virginia Synod ministerium could welcome both Bishop Humphrey and his wife Barbra to the office of the Bishop over drinks, appetizers, and conversation.

In addition to the Monday evening reception, Rostered Ministers got to enjoy one another’s company during the Tuesday evening reception, and break times that occurred between presentations. Tuesday evening reception was sponsored by Roanoke College, and the breaks were sponsored by Lutheran Family Services of Virginia and Virginia Lutheran Homes, Inc.. We are thankful for all of our mission partners for their generous support of this important time for our Rostered Ministers.
At the Gathering of the Ministerium, Rostered Ministers join together in worship, confessing, singing, and hearing God's word. The Rev. Lauren Miller of Peace Lutheran, Charlottesville preached during the Tuesday morning eucharist. Pastor Lauren spoke on Charlottesville and being a pastor in that area during and now following racist violence in Charlottesville on the weekend of August 12, 2017. The Rev. Katie Pocalyko of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Richmond preached during the Wednesday Morning Eucharist on the emotional stages of transition, and how God's grace calls us to do powerful things we know are hard.
Along with hearing from Dr. DeJonge, worshiping, learning, and sharing with one another- Rostered Ministers attending Gathering of the Ministerium had plenty of time to relax and have some fun together at Virginia Beach. This is such an important event for all Rostered Ministers to attend as continuing education, and and in forming and maintaining collegial relationships. Do encourage your leaders to be a part of the Gathering of the Ministerium next year!
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Reformation 500 in the Virginia Synod
Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-Five Theses” in Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517, and the resulting debate about Christian teaching and practice led to changes that have shaped the course of Western Christianity for almost 500 years. This year we are observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by a variety of events and activities, and the Virginia Synod wants to hear all about it!

Share your experience: Take pictures during your congregation or conference event happening this month and into November! You can show them to the members of your congregation who couldn’t attend. Don’t forget to send an email to  with your photos and details about your congregation or conference's observation so that we can celebrate together as a Synod. Use  #VA500 on social media so that you can connect with others in our Synod who are also hosting their own observations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Lost and Found 2017
Lost and Found  is our annual weekend retreat for youth in 7th and 8th grade and their adult advisors. 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 about 8 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. On Saturday afternoon there is large chunk of  Free Time  during which we will also hold out annual  Talent Show . In the evenings you will relax in your  Cottage  and talk with with other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how the weekend is going.

This year's Lost and Found will be held on November 17th through November 19th

For more information and to register for Lost and Found, click here
RSVP for ForwardingFaith Congregational Training!
Does your congregation want to take part in the ForwardingFaith Campaign? Is your stewardship team looking for a training event, but doesn't know where to go? As part of the Forwarding Faith Campaign, we are offering 2-hour training sessions throughout the Virginia Synod to teach your stewardship team how to conduct a special gift appeal.

A part of this training provides materials and information on how to conduct the Forwarding Faith campaign in your congregation, but you can use everything you learn during the training session to conduct an appeal for a new air conditioning unit, parking lot paving, roof, outreach opportunity, or whatever your ministry needs to fund!

For more information and to RSVP, click here
A Mighty Fortress Tour: Luther in Music
The Roanoke College Choir, under the direction Dr. Jeffrey R. Sandborg, presents The Mighty Fortress: Luther in Music tour. The tour includes performances at several churches of the Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

This tour commemorates the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and coincides with the 175th Anniversary of Roanoke College's founding. Roanoke is the second Lutheran College in the nation.

Each of the following concerts are free and open to the public.

For more information and to view tour dates and locations, click here
Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp Fall Fest Event
Fall Fest at Caroline Furnace is a free event, held on  Saturday, October 21st  at St. John's Chapel. Fall Fest will include a bluegrass worship service at 11 AM, a picnic lunch (provided), field games, and fall crafts. Bring your friends, family, folding chairs, and be ready for fun!

Spread the word with an event flyer, or a bulletin insert .
Charllotesville's Four Lutheran Church Choirs Concert Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Commerate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Charlottesville with a concert featuring texts and tunes written by Luther and an original composition and organ selections by Staunton, musicians Florence Jowers and Rev. Dr. Paul D. Weber.

The choirs of the four Charlottesville-area Lutheran churches—Grace and Glory, Palmyra; and Immanuel, Peace and St. Mark, Charlottesville—will join in the musical celebration. The concert will take place at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 100 Alderman Road, on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, at 4 PM A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.
Reformation Service at St. Mark, Yorktown
Anniversary liturgy! Hymns! Instruments! Choirs! Join the Lutheran Churches of the Peninsula Conference of the Virginia Synod at St. Mark, Yorktown on Sunday, October 29th at 3 PM to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. 
Tidewater Conference Commemorating Luther's Birthday and the Reformation
Mark your calendars for an exciting educational opportunity for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Norfolk. Educator and "enlightener" The Rev. Dr.  Dennis Buchholz will be making a presentation on Martin Luther and the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation at Freemason Baptist Church in Norfolk on Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 at 5 PM and Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 7:00 PM

For more information, click here.
Central Valley 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Celebration
The Mount Olivet Choir (from Arlington, VA) with Organist and Director, Dr. Steven Keister Shaner will present a concert of choral and organ music celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 PM at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Strasburg.

This event is being sponsored by the Central Valley Conference and is open to the public.

The offering will go to the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program to support and honor Jacob Dunlop. Jacob, a member of Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Bergton, will be volunteering for the next year with YAGM in Paraguay.

Following the concert a reception will be held in St. Paul’s fellowship hall. Seed money for the reception is being provided by Thrivent Action Team grant, but
you are invited to bring a finger food to share.

For more information, click here.
Tidewater Conference Commemorating Luther's Birthday and the Reformation
Dr. Eric Crump will be present a lecture at St Michael Lutheran Church on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 7:00 PM. An open forum will follow his lecture addressing A Proposal for the Reformation of Law and Gospel. Dr. Crump will explore the intricacies surrounding natural law, the Decalogue, and Jesus’ great love commandment.

Dr. Crump will also join us on Sunday, November 12th, 2017 between worship services (8:30 AM and 11:00 PM) for Adult Sunday school to continue the conversation surrounding how Lutheran’s interpret God’s Law and the Good News received through God’s Word.

All are welcome to attend these two opportunities to visit with our Professor in Residence as we continue our commemoration of Luther’s 95 Theses.

For more information on this and other Reformation events in the Tidewater Conference for October and November, click here.
Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA500
All are welcomed to register and attend “Looking Back & Called Forward: ELCA500” the ELCA’s Reformation anniversary commemoration event on  October 31st, 2017 in Washington, D.C. As a member of a surrounding area synod and congregation, you are invited to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The day’s event will include speakers and a service, held at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill. ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will co-host and will be joined by co-hosts Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop Bill Gafkjen, ELCA Vice President Bill Horne and Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod Bishop Richard Graham.
Registration is free, however, you will be responsible for your own travel and accommodations. Lunch is included in your registration.  Click here to reserve your seat.
For those unable to attend in person, you may watch the event online at
"To the Ends of the Earth: Religious Transformations in the Age of the Reformation" at Old Dominion University
Dr. Merry Wiesner-Hanks , Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a former professor at the ELCA's Augustana College, Rock Island, will be the presenter at a Reformation event sponsored by the History Department of Old Dominion University. The date is  Thursday, November 2, at 12:30 PM  in Room 1106 of the new Education Building at the corner of Hampton Blvd. and 43rd Street, Norfolk. 

Prof. Wiesner-Hanks will speak on the topic, "To the Ends of the Earth: Religious Transformations in the Age of the Reformation." The public is invited.
The Episcopal Diocese of SW Virginia Presents
Pursuing the Beloved Community: A Continuing Conversation on Race
The Episcopal Diocese of Southwestern Virginia is in the midst of sponsoring a series of talks across our region titled, "Pursuing the Beloved Community: A Continuing Conversation on Race".   

The first two talks have already taken place in Lexington and Roanoke. The first talk can be watched in its entirety at .

The final talk is in Wytheville on  November 8th, 2017 , which will also be live-streamed. Each event features a presentation by Dr. Wornie Reed, Director of the Race and Social Policy Research Center and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Virginia Tech. 

Following Dr. Reed’s presentation, there will be a question and answer time as well as informal discussion.

For more information, click here .
Day of Prayer & Reflection Sponsored by The Lutheran Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia
The  Northern Gathering of a “Day of Prayer & Reflections”  sponsored by the  Lutheran Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia  is planned for lay and clergy Tuesday November 14th, 2017 . The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb, Meade Professor Biblical Interpretation and New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, will lead presentations. Register by November 7th at .

For more information, click here .
Job Opportunities
Administrative Secretary, Grace Lutheran Church in Waynesboro
Do you need the flexibility of part-time hours? Are you knowledgeable in office management systems and procedures? Do you have an understanding of and the ability to use social media, including websites and Facebook? Are you a strong typist with working knowledge of MS Office? Do you like to learn new computer programs? If you answered yes to these questions, we have the perfect job opportunity for you.

Located in Waynesboro, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church has an opening for a part-time (~ 25 hours/week) Administrative Secretary position. The ideal candidate will have a strong administrative background. This role is responsible for a variety of administrative and clerical tasks. Duties include, but are not limited to, providing daily support to the Pastor, keeping the Pastor's schedule and the church's calendar, purchase of office supplies and other materials as needed, greeting visitors, handling phone calls and e-mails, typing worship bulletins, Council agendas, letters, notices, lists, reports, etc.

For more information go to .

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter with your resume to .
All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at