Responding to Hurricane Florence
God is our refuge and strength,
  a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
  though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
  though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Psalm 46:1-3
The winds of Hurricane Florence may not have been as powerful as projected, but this slow-moving storm has caused massive flooding in the Carolinas. As a Synod, we join together in praying for comfort and strength for those impacted by the storm and for those who are responding to bring help to others.
Providing Help that is Helpful
The Virginia Synod Office is in communication with Lutheran Disaster Response and Lutheran leaders in North Carolina and South Carolina. A request has been passed along that it is not yet time to respond with “mucking out teams” as flooding continues in many areas. Professionals and first responders in the area still have work to do. Information on how to volunteer to help with the clean-up will be posted on the Virginia Synod website as soon as it is available.

While the urge to do something for our neighbors can be strong, please remember that above all, we want to provide help that is actually helpful, not help that is harmful.  Please do not start collecting items  like bottled water or blankets. At this point, those items have not been requested by relief workers on the ground in impacted areas. In addition,  please do not send used clothing  into a disaster area unless those items are specifically requested by a national organization like Lutheran Disaster Response. Until basic services are restored and the clean up is completed, used clothing cannot be stored or distributed properly and often end up being thrown away.
Two Ways to Help Now
Financial Gifts
While we are in the midst of the final stages of Hurricane Florence, we are not at the end of this event. In the wake of a hurricane, Lutheran Disaster Response is collecting funds to help meet the long-term needs of hurricane survivors. You can learn more about Lutheran Disaster Response and donate using the button below.
Donations of Supplies
The North Carolina Synod team is working with Church World Service (CWS) to collect various kits to be distributed in areas of need. Information about the requested kits may be found at Updated descriptions of the  Hygiene KitsSchool Kits, and  Flood Buckets are also available. As the Virginia Synod, we will be working on a coordinated plan for delivering supplies, so if you are collect kits, please be in touch with Pastor John Wertz for more information.
If you have questions about the Virginia Synod’s Disaster Response efforts or if you experience flooding in your area, please contact:

Pastor John Wertz, Jr.
Director for Evangelical Mission
September 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.
Virginia Synod Candidates Update
Candidates in the Virginia Synod are up to some amazing things, and we're taking some time to learn what their call to ministry is like from the stories they share. This is simply one way we can celebrate God's Holy Spirit calling candidates in our synod to serve God's mission in and through the church. We plan to share our candidates' stories throughout the year, so look forward to hearing from more in the coming weeks!
Hi VA Synod, my name is Danielle Bosdell . After I graduated from Roanoke College in May of 2016, I moved that August and began seminary in Philadelphia, PA. I am a student of United Lutheran Seminary who has spent the last two years on the Philadelphia campus. This past August, I began my internship year in Easton, Pennsylvania. My internship site is St. John's Lutheran Church in Historic Downtown and my supervisor is The Rev. Susan D. Ruggles . The first month has been busy and spirit-filled, that I cannot even believe it has been a month since I began. Nevertheless, I am very much looking forward to the year ahead and all that I will learn from the experience. I've been a student for most of my life so it feels interesting to get away from all of the books and paper writing. However, it feels great to be with a church full-time, and learning the ins and outs of everyday ministry. 

Thank you all for your prayers and support,
Danielle Bosdell
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Fall 2018 ACTS Course
This year's spring ACTS course will be held October 20th and November 10th at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert will present on Lutheran Confessions.

For more information on the Fall ACTS course and to register for this fall's course,  click here .
2018 Lost and Found
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 other youth and adults from your congregation and other congregations about how the weekend is going.

For more information on Lost and Found and to register for the even,  click here .
“Ask, Thank, Tell” Generosity & Stewardship Resources for Virginia Synod Congregations
I look forward to supporting the stewardship ministries of the Virginia Synod though resourcing and collaboration. Below you will find the first collection of resources to provide assistance to Stewardship Teams beginning to plan for the fall. You can download a pdf version of the resources listed below here:  Ask Thank Tell Stewardship Resources August 2018

If you or someone in your congregation is interested in being on the  "Virginia Synod Stewards"  newsletter list, please sign up here: .

If you are interested in being a part of the newly forming Virginia Synod Stewards Table, please email me at:  for more information.

Peace and hope,
Pastor John Wertz, Jr.
Director for Evangelical Mission
Assistant to the Bishop, VA Synod
Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center Upcoming Events
For more details about an event, email​ or call (540) 449-0012.
Fall Work Weekend: September 21-23 2018
Work Weekend has been moved to September 21-23, due to Hurricane Florence and possible flooding. If you're already signed up, please let us know if you will still be able to come on the rescheduled weekend. If you aren't signed up yet, it isn't too late! Join us in giving back to Caroline!

To s ign up click here.
Fall Fest and Camp-out: October 27-28 2018
Fall Fest is held in the field at St. John's Chapel and features a bluegrass worship service, provided picnic lunch, field games, and pumpkin carving. All are welcome! This is a fun opportunity to come see us at Caroline Furnace, either for the first time ever or the first time in awhile. Please RSVP for Fall Fest on the Facebook event posting if you are able, and sign up online or call us to reserve your space for the camp-out.

For an event flyer, click here, and to sign up for the camp out click here.

*Youth leaders: contact us for more information on the youth group camp-out in the main field on Saturday night!
Wild Women: Wine Retreat: November 2-4 2018
Join us for a weekend of relaxation and fellowship! This retreat is hosted in the Farmhouse, and we will visit local wineries on Saturday afternoon. Feel free to bring a book, your latest crafting project, and your favorite wine to share. Registration closes October 19.

For an event flyer, click here, and to sign up for the camp out click here.
safeTALK: Suicide Alertness for Everyone
September 29, 2018
safeTALK is a half-day training in suicide alertness that will be offered Saturday, September 29 from 9 AM to Noon at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Staunton. It helps participants recognize a person with thoughts of suicide and connect them with resources who can help them in choosing to live. Participants don’t need any formal preparation to attend the training—anyone age 15 or older who wants to make a difference can learn the safeTALK steps.

The Reverend Carl Trost will serve as facilitator of the program. Chaplain Trost has over thirty years of experience on the front lines of suicide intervention, community support and suicide intervention education while serving as a Navy Chaplain and youth pastor.

RSVP by September 14. You can call Christ Lutheran at 540-885-4843. Or email Chaplain Trost at

For more information on safeTALK, click here. For an event flyer, click here.
Oktobertfest at Bethel Lutheran, Winchester
Saturday, October 6th from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM Bethel Lutheran Church, 2077 N Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration! Rain or shine come out for food and drinks, German/Austrian Band, local craft beer, free inflatables for all ages, and yard games. Authentic wear is encouraged! Cost is $10 per person. Tickets available at the church, or online at: for will call.

To download a flyer for the event, click here.
Vocal Ensemble Lyra From St. Petersburg Russia in Concert at College Lutheran, Salem
Chants of Russian Orthodox church and folk songs from Russia will be in concert at College Lutheran Church, 210 South College Ave, Salem VA, on Thursday, October 11 at 7 PM. This concert is open to all, with a free-will offering.

Please contact Karen at 540-389-4963 or for more information.
Luther Manor Celebrates Over 30 Year with their Annual Oktoberfest!
Luther Manor Auxiliary will hold their annual Oktoberfest Bazaar on Saturday, October 14th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Luther Manor, 350 Malibu Drive, Virginia Beach. There will be crafts for sale, a bake sale, 2 cake walks, door prizes, a Silent Auction, Raffle items, and a flea market, German Lunch ($8.50) will be held at noon as well as hot dogs, chips and sodas available for purchase in the courtyard. Vendor Tables may be rented for $15 by calling Luther Manor office at 757-463-3510.
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Holy Listening – We believe holy listening is at the core of spiritual direction. It’s listening to one another, and most attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit.

Everyone is Welcome to Apply – Our primary purpose is to train people who feel called to be such spiritual friends, spiritual companions; however, those who are interested in deepening their own spiritual practices are also welcome.

Within the Christian Tradition – Ours is an experience in spiritual direction grounded in Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom that can be found in other faith traditions. We will draw on those traditions and will integrate them from a Christian perspective.

  • four intensives, always from Wednesday noon until Saturday noon
  • small cohorts, each with its own mentor

Between the intensives
  • read key books and short reaction papers
  • participate in a closed Facebook group with your cohort and mentor
  • find and meet regularly with a spiritual director
  • find a willing person to be their spiritual directee

  • new intensive groups begin in January of each year
  • application deadline is December 22
  • intensives are held in January and June over a two year period
  • the next cycle of intensives is January 17-20, 2018; June 13-16, 2018; January 16-19, 2019; June 12-15, 2019

  • total cost for the program is $3,000 (price includes tuition and food)
  • participants find their own lodging (limited on-campus housing is available for $25 a night)

Interested? We’d love to hear from you:
Director: Pastor Gary Dreier ( ) 803-461-3222
Administrative Coordinator: Pastor Merianna Harrelson (  or ) 803-461-3217

Application available at: (under the “Certification Programs” tab)
Resourceful Stewards Initiative
Financial wellness is a vital part of a healthy life. Ministers who are in a financially sound position experience greater satisfaction in their work and their relationships, and are more able to freely serve the church and its mission without being encumbered by financial anxiety.

Savings Matching Programs
The church is an active partner in addressing specific needs raised by rostered ministers, helping rostered ministers develop their personal financial and stewardship health. Two Savings Matching programs share financial resources with rostered ministers. These programs match rostered ministers’ contributions to a dedicated emergency savings account and/or increased contributions to their ELCA retirement plan accounts. To learn about the programs, services and resources available to you as a minister or lay person, 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
ELCA Foundation Director of Gift Planning
T here are two key responsibilities for this leadership position:
  • Through the direct supervision of a national staff of about 20 regional gift planners (coaching and managing), lead and manage a robust fund-raising program to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospective donors of current and planned gifts;
  • Manage the business relationships with ministry partner organizations through on-site visits.
This position is located in Chicago and reports to the Executive Vice President of the Foundation. It requires about 30% travel, visiting regional gift planners, donors, and ministry partnerships.
Application, resume and cover letter  should be  submitted through the ELCA job board . Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to  Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc . , the consultant assisting with this search.
ELCA Executive Director for Domestic Mission
This senior leadership position brings decisive and visionary leadership to this unit charged with wide-ranging work and relationships with churchwide units, synods, congregations, and other partners. The work involves equipping synods and congregations; developing new ministries, seeking to renew strategic ministries; and working with synods and congregations in programs and strategies for evangelical outreach.
Reporting to the presiding bishop, this position requires about 25% travel. It is located in Chicago.
Application, resume and cover letter  should be  submitted through the ELCA job board . Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to  Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc . , the consultant assisting with this search.
Prison Chaplain
Do you know someone who might be called by God to serve as our next Chaplain at Marion Correctional Treatment Center? Would you help us find the ONE? Please help us by spreading the news - just ten hours a week!

To learn more, click here .
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at