Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
WITH People, Not FOR People
The body of Christ in Danville is truly acting together, each part with different gifts and roles, but all for the same purpose-showing everyone the love of Christ and following Jesus. What is unifying Christians from all different backgrounds in Danville? A movement called "Grace and Main" that brings together people from every socioeconomic level and race to eat together, fellowship together and worship together.

The Lutheran section of this body of Christ is Ascension Lutheran Church, a church known for its decorative chrismons during the Christmas season and its hospitality during the rest of the year.
Pastor Meredith Williams begins to serve communion before the community meal at Ascension Lutheran in Danville

Hospitality is an important word with Grace and Main. So, what exactly is Grace and Main? Well it's not a church, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. An intentional community, missional, and other phrases and words have been attached to the group but the easiest way to describe them is just to tell their story.

It all began with a few young couples who began meeting to study the bible and read the book Crazy Love together. During conversations in this bible study, the couples decided that they wanted to begin inviting people into this community, people who may not be welcome in any other setting. 

Along with a Bible study, they began having small meals in their homes with neighbors and people who were homeless or struggled with substance abuse. It started small, with 10 or 12 people, and then began to boom to 40 or 50 people. Soon they got to a point where they needed a larger place to gather.

When Ascension Lutheran Church heard about this intentional Christian community, they wanted to play a part in what was happening. A few years ago Ascension began hosting a meal on the last Thursday of every month, a tradition that still continues to this day.

"We went into this knowing that this is more about relationships with people," said Meredith Williams, the Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church. "We focus on the prepositions. We aren't cooking FOR people, we are doing things WITH people. People in our community who are homeless or addicted are the people who come in early to cook or stay late to clean up."
 
This is not a soup kitchen; this is truly a family meal. Everyone serves themselves and it feels like a Thanksgiving dinner once a month. The food works to solidify that message. Once the meal is brought out, people's mouths begin watering even before it hits people's plates. A feast of roasted pork loin, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, steaming broccoli line the table, one night a chilled cantaloupe soup even added a little flare to the meal.
 
Josh, one of the leaders of Grace and Main, stood up before the meal the night the chilled soup was served and prayed for the group, "Bless this time that we might learn to love our brother and sister a little more. That we might all be one big family at one big meal."
 
Later Josh was reflecting back on the beginning of Grace and Main.
 
"The buzz word for us is hospitality," he said. "We are always looking for new ways to be hospitable and that doesn't just mean sitting around and eating. That has meant opening our lives to make room for people."
 
Ascension Lutheran in Danville has jumped in with both feet as they partner with the Grace and Main to figure out where God is taking the community next. One of the biggest pieces of news is the hospitality house that the members of Ascension Lutheran bought to donate to Grace and Main.
 
The hospitality house right before Ascension bought it last year for Grace and Main
The hospitality house right before Ascension bought it last year for Grace and Main
"We get involved in a part of our community because we care about people, not because we expect any sort of Payback," said Pastor Williams. The whole congregation joined together to donate money to buy the house for Grace and Main and the surrounding property which is now being used as a community garden.
 
Other churches in the area also join together to support Grace and Main both financially and with other events and projects, but the ministry is especially close to the heart of Ascension. Whether it is cooking meals together, cookouts in the park, bible studies, a tool library, or life skill classes, the emphasis in everything that the congregation does with Grace and Main is rooted in how Jesus sees people, that each person has value because they are loved by God and created by God.
 
"The people who are poor and addicted in our community have a lot to give," said Pastor Williams. "They usually just don't have a place to give it."
 
"One of the guys that comes on Thursdays says the most beautiful prayers and he also is schizophrenic and hasn't always had a place to clean up. Having a place for him to come and to participate has been incredible. Because he has a name and he has a gift."
As the inclusive Christian community continues to grow, Ascension Lutheran will continue to help bring more of God's Grace to Main Street. 
Announcements
 If you want to submit an announcement, please  check out the Submission Guidelines and send your submission to fuller@vasynod.org.
60th Anniversary Celebration at Lutherock-Aug 19-21

Come celebrate 60 years of ministry at Lutherock Lutheran Camp and Conference with us! Join us for a day or weekend of celebration and reconnecting with your brothers and sisters in Christ. The weekend will be full of fun camp activities such as: ice cream making, skits and songs around the campfire, hiking on the property, climbing the Challenge Tower, zipping off the ropes course and so much more! Overnight accommodations are based on availability and require pre-registration. Space is limited, so register early!

Enjoy picnic lunch, recognitions and day activities: Free will offering and does not require pre-registration.
Tent camping: $10/person or $20/per family each night
Moretz Lodge, Cabin Village, Founder's Lodge, or Stone Lodge: $20/person or $40/family each night
Crow's Nest: $30/person or $50/family each night
Rates include meals, lodging and programming for the weekend!


Volunteers Wanted For Disaster Recovery in New Jersey

Some homes in New Jersey still haven't been rebuilt after the destruction of hurricane Sandy. Are you and your church looking for a mission trip opportunity? Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ) Disaster Recovery continues to need volunteer teams interested in doing disaster rebuilding work. All skill levels welcome for a weekend, few days or week of work. There are more than 9,000 families still displaced and volunteer housing is available. If interested please contact Amy Pennenga at apennenga@lsmnj.org or 609-699-4137.
Download the Synod Assembly Guidebook App Now!


The Guidebook App is being built and updated as we finalize information for the 2016 Synod Assembly. Get access to the schedule and be the first to know everything about the Assembly by clicking here to Download Our Mobile App. 
Power in the Spirit Registration is Now Available!

Register Now for Power in the Spirit! 
Join us July 14-16 at Roanoke College for a conference with Lutherans from all across the state. Hear Rev. Dr. Kathryn Kleinhans lead us through two days of talking about God's grace. The registration deadline is JULY 1. 

Theology For Teens at Roanoke College: July 24-29
 
Rising 10th and 11th grade teens!
Ask the big questions
Live on campus for a week
Learn with professors and Roanoke College students

Sunday July 24, 2016 through Friday July 29, 2016
An all new, week-long summer program introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges.  We will focus on the life & thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer-a church leader who met the challenges before him-we will explore today's social issues & encounter other faiths by engaging the students with leaders from those various communities.  Come and discover a sense of mission, be equipped with theological tools to enable you to meet the challenges facing the church today. Go to www.roanoke.edu/t4teens for more information.

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 fuller@vasynod.org. 
Office Administrator--Suffolk, VA
Faith Lutheran Church in Suffolk is currently seeking to hire a part-time office administrator.  Who should I contact in reference to posting an employment advertisement on the VA Synod website?  I have attached a copy of our desired advertisement if you are able to post it for me or forward it to the responsible party.  Please let me know if there are further measures that I should take to have the ad posted.   Click Here For the Full Position Description
Office Administrator--Richmond, VA
GraceInside (Virginia's Prison Chaplain Service) seeks a full-time Office Administrator. Duties and responsibilities: include providing administrative support to ensure efficient operation of the office. Support managers and employees through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication. Includes communicating via phone and email, ensuring that all administrative assistant duties are completed accurately and delivered with high quality and in a timely manner. Organizes and schedules meetings and appointments; maintains contact lists; produces and distributes memos, letters, faxes and forms; does data entry and prepares reports and invoices; keeps track of deadlines for grants/reports.  Purchases and maintains office equipment and supplies.  Requirements: proven admin or assistant experience; knowledge of office management systems and procedures; excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritize work; attention to detail and problem solving skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong organizational and planning skills; proficiency in MS Office.

To apply : Send current resume' to johnvance@graceinside.org .  
Deadline: Friday, June 10th, 2016.

Part Time Organist--Petersburg, VA
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Petersburg is looking for a part-time organist-keyboardist.  This could be on a rotation schedule with other organist-keyboardist, so it would not be an every Sunday commitment.

Day School Teacher--Chesapeake, VA
Grace Lutheran Day School, a ministry of Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake, is seeking an experienced preschool teacher for the 2016-17 school year. Candidates should possess a high school diploma AND a certificate in early childhood education OR a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. First aid and CPR training are also desired. Teaching experience with 3 and 4 year-old children is required. Hours are 8:30am-12:30pm, Monday thru Friday from September until mid-May. Candidates will be subject to criminal background checks with social services and the State Police. The hiring process will begin in mid-June. Contact Jody Miller for an application at 757-420-4704 or  secretary@gracelutheranchesapeake.org
PART-TIME CAMPUS MINISTRY POSITION--Hampton Roads, VA

United Campus Ministries (UCM) of Christopher Newport University (CNU), located in Newport News in the heart of historic Hampton Roads, Virginia, wishes to hire a campus minister (ordination preferred) to serve the university students and the university community. UCM is specifically seeking someone who is motivated, energetic, and exemplifies Christian values and love so that they can guide, support, and encourage the students to explore and grow their Christian faith.  This is a part time position and involves meeting with and developing relationships with the students and the rest of the university community, planning activities, providing spiritual counsel, service and outreach opportunities and enjoying fun fellowship with the students and the university community.
 
 If you feel called to apply for this rewarding position, email your resume and cover letter to the Personnel Committee Chair, Suzanne Howell at bsh-887@verizon.net , no later than 11:59 PM on June 15th, 2016. Please use "UCM Position" in the Subject line. A detailed job description will be sent to you. 

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