Lost and Found 2017: "Who Goes With You"
Lost and Found, the Virginia Synod youth event for 7th and 8th graders was held November 17-19 at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Convention Center in Lynchburg. This year over 200 youth and adult participants got to witness and live out the theme “Who Goes With You” based on Deuteronomy 31:6-8.

This year’s planning group made up by Ella Carlson (Bethel Lutheran, Winchester), Megan Farist (Grace and Glory, Palmyra), Micha Keyser-Rothgery (Christ Lutheran, Roanoke), Katherine Widner (Luther Memorial, Blacksburg), and Addison Pemsteiner (Christ Lutheran, Richmond). worked with Pastor Dave Delaney to plan nearly every element of the weekend. From scripture passage to t-shirt designs, the group got a say in the whole event making it uniquely suited to the middle schoolers in attendance.
During the weekend, the crowd enjoyed the planning group’s skits, which was set around a group of middle schoolers who are part of a church youth group. The youth group is trying to figure out how to navigate their new school environment as they enter a new school year, while still following God's call to revolved around God's call to not hide one's faith when faced with challenges or distractions. One member of the Youth Group, Katie, is fearful for the challenges she and her friends might face, and begins to see in her dreams the ways in which her youth group friends might be drawn away from the youth group and their faith. She dreams her friends pull away as they chase after popularity, withdrawing to stay under the radar, and fall to distractions and indifference. In the end the whole youth group assures Katie that they all feel nervous about moving into new territory too, and that the worries she dreamed about are something that worries them too. Together the group affirms their trust in God's presence in their lives, and vows to stick together.
Following each skit, Pastor David Young , the chaplain for the event, summarized the skit, and offered ways that the stories told could relate to the lives of the middle schoolers. He connected the fears of moving on to high school, and worries about being abandoned by friends and how those concerns can shake confidence in God. It is by knowing of God’s constant companionship is present in all times and places that we can see that faith is a constant part of who we are, and can help prepare for times in which faith is challenged by fears or crisis.

Bryan “Hep” Hepner and Tori Smith acted as the planning group advisers and helped the group prepare to get up on stage. In addition to working with the planning group, Tori and Hep planned and performed their own series of comedic skits for the middle schoolers. The pair took on the roles of a survivalist named Sasquatch and her trainee, James Buffet, trying to learn how to survive (with limited success) in the wild, sending everyone in attendance into stitches over their silly antics.
Following large group presentations, the participants at Lost and Found got the chance to break off into small groups, arranged by age group. In these small groups, participants were able to reflect on the weekend’s theme, the skits presented, and relate all of it back to their own faith life through conversation, games, and crafts. One activity that small groups enjoyed was “Clothe Yourselves with Christ” where they had the opportunity to asses how they present Christ to the world around us, and interpret that presentation by designing a poncho they could wear out of newsprint. Small groups also got to decorate Luther Roses which were later hung up on the set during the Saturday worship service.
During the worship Service, Chaplain David rapped his sermon, using the weekend theme “Who Goes With You” as the hook to his sermon. With his rap, Chaplain Dave encouraged the participants to rap along that God goes with them when times are tough!

Bishop Bob Humphrey visited during the weekend, marking his first youth event as Bishop. While he was there, Bishop Humphrey lifted up the ongoing campaign in the Virginia Synod, ForwardingFaith. He encouraged participants to get involved with their churches to fundraise for ForwardingFaith which will support important faith formation programs like Lost and Found.
An offering was taken up on Saturday night’s worship service that will go towards purchasing m osquito nets for the New Guinea Island District, our companion Synod . Over $488 was collected.

Lost and Found 2017 was filled with laughter, fun, worship, and conversations that encouraged participants to remember God’s constant presence in their lives, and consider how they can best be a disciple of God not only in church or youth group, but to be bold in their witness for Christ in school, home, and everywhere else .
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org  and make sure to follow our
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
TAPESTRY 2017 Advent Series: People of Advent People of Hope
TAPESTRY , the Virginia Synod Steering Team on engaging “diversity in context,” has put together a 5-week Advent Worship and Devotional resource, for use by either congregation groups or individuals. 
This series will be sent to all rostered ministers, all congregations, and all those who have signed up to receive the TAPESTRY newsletter. If you are interested in receiving this series, please contact the Director of Communications, Emily Pilat at pilat@vasynod.org to sign up.
LARCUM CONFERENCE, 2017: “500 Years later: Ecumenical Dialogue as Gift and Call”
December 1-2 in Richmond, VA
St. Stephen’s Episcopal; St. Bridget Roman Catholic
2017 has been an exceptional time for worship, study and workshops in our
congregations and synod to commemorate the 500 th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and to look at the question: “What is this?” The up-coming LARCUM (Lutheran/Anglican/Roman Catholic/United Methodist) Conference, beginning at 6 pm Friday and finishing at 12:30 pm Saturday, offers all of us (members and rostered leaders) a wonderfully informative opportunity to close the year with the question: “What now?”

Our presenter, Dr. Susan K. Wood, a Sister of Charity, professor, co-author with
Timothy Wengert of a book on Catholic-Lutheran relations and noted speaker will offer:
  • “How did we get here?” Lutherans and Catholics telling the reformation stories together rather than separately to see what a reconciling Church might look like.
  • The significance of 2 documents: “From Conflict to Communion” and “Declaration on the Way.”
  • A view that this reformation observance is one of vulnerability and opportunity in order to move forward in understanding and co-operation.

Contact your pastor, the Virginia Synod office or Pastor Eric Moehring
( ericjohnmoehring@gmail.com; 804-517- 3073) for a brochure. Please register ($35; students no charge) as soon as possible (hopefully by Nov. 17), but know that registrations will be accepted even at the event, Remember to make your own motel reservations (See: “lodging”) as needed. See you in Richmond.
Caroline Furnace camper registration is open for 2018!
Ephesians 2:8 is our theme verse for the summer. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."

At Caroline Furnace, our campers combine faith with daily life on our 257 acre camp, surrounded by George Washington National Forest and nestled between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River. Campers experience daily worship and Bible study, plus a large range of activities. Campers may swim, canoe, fish, creekwalk, play small and large group games, challenge themselves on our low ropes course, hike, cook over a campfire, create crafts, learn archery, gain culinary skills, or explore the iron furnace ruins on camp property. Each week, Chaplains from supporting congregations join us in leading the campers in morning worship, Bible study, and campfire and evening devotion.
To view the complete summer schedule for 2018, and for more information, click here.
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University
The Academy of Faith and Leadership (AFL) at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) exists to help equip both lay and clergy alike for their lifelong work as ministers of the gospel. This year we are happy to announce our new Spiritual Direction Certification Program here on the campus of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary:

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.

Our next cycle of new participants begins with an intensive January 17 – 20, 2018. The application deadline is December 22.
To learn more and to register for this opportunity, click here.
Worship at the Center: Join us for an event in 2018
Evangelical Lutheran Worship, the worship resource of the ELCA, invites us to keep Ash Wednesday through Easter in a new-old way. During these events, we will worship using the services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil of Easter.
We will join in reflection, study and discussion of the cross and empty tomb, baptism and Bible — the meaning of this journey for ourselves and the world.
The events will be held in 2 locations:
            Jan. 18-20:    St. John’s Lutheran Church
                                   Winter Park, Fla.
            Feb. 1-3:        St. Martin’s Lutheran Church
                                   Austin, Texas
To learn more about these events, click here.
Job Opportunities
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Grace & Glory Lutheran Church, a 250 member congregation in Palmyra, VA seeks an accomplished keyboardist and choir director to begin serving as Director of Music by January 1, 2018. Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in a musical field, be familiar with liturgical music traditions, and be able to lead a diverse group of people of all ages and musical abilities. Depending on needs of the congregation and availability of the candidate, primary duties of this part-time (approximately 20 hrs/wk) position may include playing for 1 or 2 Sunday morning church services and all festival/special services, rehearsing and accompanying the adult vocal and hand bell choirs, and leading music for Sunday School and summer Vacation Bible School. Compensation package of up to $25,000  per year depending on ability and experience, and final determination of duties. 
For a full current position description or to apply, please email  gglcelca@embarqmail.com.   Please include both a cover letter and resume when applying.
Grace & Glory is a vibrant, growing congregation in beautiful Central Virginia. We are active in the community and welcome all to join us as "Caring Christians sharing God's message of Grace." To learn more about us and our mission, please visit our website at  http://www.graceandglory.church.
Director of Youth and Family Ministry, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
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. To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
All job postings can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org