Virginia Synod Serves 2017
This past week was the Virginia Synod’s 5th annual Week of Service, which coincides with “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday, the ELCA Day of Service on Sunday September 10th. As we observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we are reminded of the gospel’s promise that we are freed in Christ to love and serve our neighbors. In “The Freedom of a Christian,” Martin Luther wrote: “A Christian is lord of all, completely free of everything; a Christian is a servant, completely attentive to the needs of all.”

From September 10th through the 17th, all congregations of the Virginia Synod were invited to reach out into their neighborhoods to become God’s hands and feet, to serve those in need and to share God’s compassion with the world, and to further share their stories of service with the Synod!
Little Hands, Big Help
Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg had little hands helping during their week of service. The children’s Christian Formation classes, Kindergarten through 5th grade, prepared and packed 120 lunches for the congregation’s “Second Home” children. Second Home is a before and after school program. Many of these children’s parents are the working poor in our community the main Elementary school that most of the children attend has a population 97% living below poverty. The kids learned about hunger in their community and that Jesus calls us all to care for one another. They had a wonderful time using their hands for God’s work!
The children and youth at First English Lutheran Church in Richmond held a bake sale in front of the church, with all proceeds going to Lutheran Disaster Response for hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief.

Located off Monument Avenue, there's always a lot of foot traffic around the church and so the weekend bake sale did quite well. The kids and some adults who helped were all excited to see and serve their neighbors and to raise funds to help those in need!
Serving Those Who Serve Us
The congregation of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Martinsville took advantage of this year’s Week of Service to show appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the staff (doctors, nurses, lab techs, housekeeping, etc.) of SOVAH Health - Martinsville (formerly Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County.) Members of the congregation baked, packaged and then delivered over 30 dozen cookies to different stations within the hospital on Sunday, September 10.
Members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Petersburg participated in the Week of Service on September 9th and 10th. Members reached out to their community by cleaning up outside the church, cleaning and weeding out a community flower bed, picking up trash along the city streets, making blankets for shelters for battered women, and baking cookies for our Local Heroes, our firefighters and policemen.
Caring for Our Neighbors
St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Norfolk had plenty of ways for youth and adults to serve their community during the Week of Service. Members at St. Timothy put together blessing bags, created plarn from plastic shopping bags to be crocheted into mats for the homeless, baked cookies with homemade thank you cards for the local fire station, collected books to be donated to a local prison ministry, and picked up trash off Kempsville Road.
At St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Williamsburg, members were invited to gather between services to make table centerpieces for The Harbor, a daytime place of respite and food for those who are homeless, as well as place mats to be used at the Community of Faith Mission shelter. They also are serving with Habitat for Humanity by hosting a 'house shower' for three of ten homes currently being built in the Grove area of James City County. Over the next five weeks items needed will be collected for these homes, and blessed in an upcoming Sunday service.
St. Philip Lutheran Church in Roanoke got to visit their neighbors, residents of Melrose Towers, an independent living for individuals who are 62 years of age or older, or who are disabled. There they served a picnic lunch and played bingo together!
Members at Christ Lutheran Church in Richmond created over 100 cards for Minnick Schools, packed snacks for Moody Middle school, worked together on quilts crafted for Lutheran World Relief, and made hat and scarves for Moody Middle School for the coming season! Christ worked in partnership with Thrivent to fulfill needs for Lutheran Family Service for their foster kid fundraiser this fall as well.
First Lutheran Church in Portsmouth members Week of Service event worked in conjunction with the Red Sand Project, helping to bring awareness to human trafficking. With a sidewalk intervention, members at First found cracks in the brick sidewalk and filled those with red sand. This project reminds us that we can't merely walk over the most marginalized people in our communities.
The Week of Service also serves as a great way for volunteers to aid some of Virginia Synod’s mission partners. This year at Camp Caroline Furnace thanks to staff alumni donations, the camp was able to rent a stump grinder for the weekend. Over the course of a weekend, a group of seven volunteers removed roughly 80 stumps and 15 dead trees from our Cabin Village!
Serving Together
As a part of the ELCA's God's Work Our Hands Day of Service, ten Lutheran Churches Bethelehem Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, Christ Lutheran Church in Staunton, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lexington, Grace Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church in Staunton, Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, Redeemer Lutheran Church in McKinley, Salem Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney, St. James Lutheran Church in Fishersville, and Zion Lutheran Church in Waynesboro - and St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic, Waynesboro, teamed up to Rise Against Hunger on Saturday, September 16th.
All eleven Shenandoah Valley area congregations donated funds to purchase over 15,000 meals, and 100 volunteers from nine of the eleven congregations gathered at Augusta Expo in Fishersville to assemble, weigh, seal, and pack the dehydrated meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, and supplemental vitamin powder, which are sent to one of 74 countries around the world to feed children at any one of hundreds of schools. For many children it is the only meal they will receive during the day.
Rise Against Hunger leaders shared with the church volunteers that in the last couple of years, progress has been made against hunger and malnutrition in the world. While four or five years ago 1.25 billion people lived on less than $1 per day, that number has been reduced to approximately 800 million; still a significant number, but greatly reduced in a relatively short period of time. The food for this event will likely be routed to children and schools affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, most likely to the nation of Haiti. Rise Against Hunger is a worldwide organization which not only feeds children and adults, but provides clean water, and education and training to help children and adults learn necessary work skills that together provide "life-changing aid."
Thank you all to everyone who participated in the Virginia Synod Week of Service! Every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Lutheran Disaster Response: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma
Now that the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Imra is coming fully into focus, we see that the need will be great and recovery will take many years.

Your gifts   to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for “Hurricane Response – United States” at this time will be used in full (100 percent) in responding to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma until the response is complete.  You have an opportunity to make sure our neighbors are not forgotten.

The work of Lutheran Disaster Response is comprehensive and extensive. From when the news breaks to years after the headlines fade, from hurricanes in the United States to flooding in South Asia, we’re there – walking alongside disaster survivors and helping them recover and rebuild for as many years as it takes. LDR also invites you to be part of our multiple responses to disasters in the U.S. and around the world by making a gift to   Lutheran Disaster Response   where it's needed most.

If you’ve already given, thank you so much. Please continue to pray and stay connected through our   Facebook   page. You may also use this   bulletin insert   in your congregation to help spread the word.

Thrivent is matching gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response.  If you’re a member , visit  and follow the instructions for personal donations.
Charlottesville Anniversary Observances - Your Stories!
Did your congregation/group observe the 1-month Anniversary of Charlottesville? If so, TAPESTRY would love to hear your story of how you observed the day. Did you do something in the community? Did you happen to use the litany TAPESTRY provided to help mark the day? Send your congregation's story to Rev. Aaron Fuller, , for inclusion in the TAPESTRY monthly enewsletter, which highlights what the Virginia Synod's ongoing conversation and work on diversity, justice, and inclusion as part of God's ongoing mission in God's church. Thanks!
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
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, 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
Crumley Archives' 500th Anniversary Reformation Celebration
You are invited to the Crumley Archives' 500th Anniversary Reformation Celebration on September 29 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Lineberger Library at LR-LTSS. 

The evening will include a lecture by Dr. Russell Kleckley entitled, "From Salzburg to Ebenezer: The Georgia Salzburgers at the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom" and a reception to celebrate the Archives. 

RSVP for the reception  and register for your  tickets to the lecture   with the Academy of Faith and Leadership by September 13.

To view the Fall 2017 edition of the Crumley Archives' "Archival Survey", 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 31in 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
Job Opportunities
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