Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
ACTS: Biblical Models of Leadership

This past Saturday kicked off the beginning of the 2016 Fall ACTS (The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study) course in Waynesboro, Wytheville, and Yorktown. ACTS is intended to enrich and equip laity for intentional service as ambassadors for Christ in homes, churches, and in their communities. It provides comprehensive exposure to the foundations of Lutheran faith through classroom and experiential education.

ACTS instruction is offered in large-group sessions at a single location (with the option of satellite sites), with break out small-group sessions occurring across the state each led by rostered leaders or ACTS program graduates. From these sessions, ACTS participants gain a theological grounding for their personal call, equipping them to answer the call to be Christ's ambassador- be it in congregational leadership roles, or leading throughout the Synod.

This year's fall course centers on Biblical Models of Leadership, examining the many different examples of leadership that the Bible provides. From this course participants will begin to develop practical ways to encourage, equip, support, and organize congregations and communities for evangelical outreach.

Dr. Terri Martinson Elton is the speaker for this ACTS course. She is an associate professor of Leadership at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Elton is passionate about considering the church in the 21st century. From this point of view she focuses on faith formation in our changing world, working to lead change, best equipping our leaders, as well as reevaluating organizational structures in our networked world.

Dr. Elton has previously served as Associate to the Bishop in the Saint Paul Area Synod. Her published works include Congregations 3.0, a book on leading congregations in a networked world, co-authored with Rabbi Hayim Herring; What Really Matters, a book for congregational leaders, co-authored with Rev. Mike Foss; several units within the ELCA Practice Discipleship curriculum; and To Know, To Live, To Grow confirmation curriculum. She as authored articles in the areas of congregational leadership , missiology, leading change, youth ministry, and faith formation and currently is the ELCA point person in a five denomination national study of confirmation ministry called The Confirmation Project.

Dr. Elton spoke on the theme "It's Not About You, It's About You. Joining God's Work in Process - A Biblical Look at Leadership". Her talk focused on ministry leadership and its many paradoxes as we balance our role with God's. She also expanded on God's mission through God's creative and redemptive love for the world, how this all applies to our personal callings, as well as the world's needs and how we can serve God and our neighbors.

Dr. Elton expressed that the good news of leading in ministry is that it is not about you, it is primarily about God and God's activity among us. And yet, leading in ministry is also about you, in fact it is about all of us loving our neighbor and participating in God's mission in the world. In this way, God calls each of us to use our God given gifts and passion to be God's hands and feed in the world. 
Satellite Sites
While Grace Lutheran in Waynesboro is the main hosting site where speaker Dr. Elton is presenting, churches across the Synod have joined in hosting their own viewings of Dr. Elton's talk on leadership, and following breakout small groups. Both St. Mark Yorktown and Holy Trinity, Wytheville joined as remote sites to host ACTS participants Saturday afternoon. There they listed to Dr. Elton and engaged in conversation with all ACTS participants across the state thanks to communication technologies.
Required Reading
For this course, ACTS attendees are reading from two textbooks:

LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are by Jane A.G. Kise, David Stark, and Sandra Krebs Hirsh

Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
Participants of ACTS are in this years sessions framing the understanding of leadership biblical, exploring the leadership of various leaders in the Bible, and discovering habits, practices, and skills that ministry leaders are exhibiting at this time in history.

Visit www.vasynod.org/ministries/acts/ to learn more about the ACTS program.

For more information on this year's Fall ACTS course speaker Dr. Elton, visit terrielton.com
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
A nnouncements
Lutheran Disaster Response Hurricane Matthew

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
- Psalm 46:1
Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in years, has caused heavy rain, dangerous winds and landslides. The National Hurricane Center has reported Hurricane Matthew to be "extremely dangerous" with conditions favorable for it to maintain its strength. 

Your support through Lutheran Disaster Response will bring God's hope and healing to those affected by this hurricane. Where the hurricane has already hit the hardest in Haiti, Lutheran Disaster Response's trusted partner is providing pre-positioned relief material. Our response is spanning across several countries, especially Haiti and Cuba. In the U.S., Lutheran Disaster Response coordinators are collaborating with local community leaders, civic organizations, ecumenical partners and officials to begin planning the proper responses. 

Together, we will work with congregations, synods, trusted partners and companion churches in the area that know the communities well and will walk with people on the road to recovery. 

Gifts designated for "Hurricane Matthew" will be used in full (100 percent) to assist those affected by this hurricane until the response is complete. Because of your generous offerings of prayer and financial support, the ELCA walks alongside disaster survivors. Thank you!
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.

For more information, and to register for Lost and Found click here!
Virginia Synod Bishop Election Feedback Requested

It is an exciting time in our synod as we approach the election of a new bishop at our 2017 Synod Assembly. Many of you already know that Bishop Mauney has announced his retirement next year and, so, we are preparing for the tenure of a new leader. You can engage in discussions with your pastor, the Dean of your conference, members of the Bishop's Election Transition Committee (BETC) and at the Fall Conference Gatherings where presentations about the Bishop's Election process and the ForwardingFaith initiative will be made.  
We need the help of congregational members and leaders - that's you! In much the same way as we prepare to call a new pastor in our congregations, we want to prepare to call a new bishop with as much attention and prayer as possible.
These survey results will be helpful for those who are potential nominees, which are determined by ecclesial ballot, to know how we see the ministry needs in our synod. It will also help the 2017 Synod Assembly voting members to know the mind of the Virginia church as they enter into the election process. 

Will you please be part of our planning by completing a survey? It isn't very long but it is so very important.  
2017 Tour of Germany "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer."
Pastor Dave Young and Pastor Heidi David-Young will be leading a tour of Germany during the late summer of 2017. The tour is entitled  "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and Dietrich Bonhoeffer." You are invited to consider joining the members of Bethel Lutheran Church (Winchester) and others as we visit sites in Munich, Prague, Leipzig, Wittenberg, Berlin, and much more.  We will learn more about our Lutheran heritage.  We will visit the Flossenburg Concentration Camp where Bonhoeffer was martyred.  We will learn more about J.S. Bach in his hometown of Eisenach, as well as visit the Warburg Caste, where Luther stayed after the Diet of Worms.  Throughout we will worship together, pray together, and share together.  
Initial deposits of $350 (per person) are due by  November 15th.  The final payment is not due until May 15, 2017.  The cost DOES NOT include the flight. Flights will be booked personally.

Feel free to contact Pr. Young ( pastordave@bethelwinchester.com) if you questions.  Pastor Young and Pastor David-Young are also available for presentations if your congregation would be interested in learning more.

St. Paul's-Hampton is having a Reformation 500 Bookstore! 
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is fast approaching! Do you want to learn more about Martin Luther,  his writings, and their impact on Christianity?  Do you want to reflect on the ongoing impact of the Reformation today? Stop by our Reformation 500 Bookstore to shop for engaging books on the Reformation for readers of all ages and interests! Save up to 50% plus receive free shipping on all Bookstore titles.
Stop by  St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hampton on Sunday mornings, or during office hours Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM  from  September 25th-October 9th to get fascinating books on the Reformation for you and your family.
Our Bookstore is sponsored by Augsburg Fortress, the publishing ministry of the ELCA. The books will include bestselling biographies like Luther the Reformer as well as an atlas of the European Reformations, a graphic novel for young readers, and primary sources from The Annotated Luther series.
Holiday Bazaar Craft & Vendor Show
Visit St Mark Lutheran on Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM for fun for the whole family!  Over 30 vendors will be on-hand selling hand-made crafts and gift items, as well as a variety of products and services . Also, enjoy concessions, raffles, children's games & activities including reptile rescue, face painting, cookie decorating, and games.  
The Experience at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS)
The name The Experience was chosen because LTSS believes what you, as a prospective student, experiences is the most appropriate and influential way to determine which seminary is the right place to earn your theological education. During your time with us, we will show you our community and the community surrounding us. You will experience life with our current students and the heartbeat of campus. Also, our faculty will offer you a glimpse of the classroom experience that is essential to your theological formation. We look forward to welcoming you to The Experience!
Jenn Casey, an alum of LTSS and our Enrollment Director reflects, "I remember having a lot of questions during my discernment process and I often wondered if I was the only person with those questions. I also thought I must be crazy for thinking that God was calling me into ordained ministry. I now know I wasn't the only one, but it can be a confusing process!"
We have four opportunities, click on each on for registration information.

Questions? Contact Kohl Friery at 803- 461-3296 or  kohl.friery@lr.edu . If you want to visit LTSS but these events don't work, email Kohl and set up a private visit!
Reformation 500 Observances

As the second oldest Lutheran college in the USA, the mission statement of Roanoke College declares that we "honor our Christian heritage by nurturing a dialogue between faith and reason." In this spirit, Roanoke College announces a series of special academic events from late 2016 through the anniversary year 2017 in commemoration of the 500 th  anniversary of the Reformation and in coordination with the 175 th  anniversary of the college's founding.

For more information on this and future events from Roanoke College celebrating the Reformation- click here!
Job Opportunities
All posts can also be found online at  www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email pilat@vasynod.org. 
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