Virginia Synod Stewards
It's never too early to start planning a stewardship message for the holiday season! There is a wide variety of ELCA and Virginia Synod social ministry giving opportunities, from giving the gift of a cow to a week away at summer camp! There are so many ways congregations can serve and love their neighbors in the name of Christ, and so today we wanted to share just a few with you. With this information you can learn and share more about the wonderful ministries we accomplish together as the ELCA!
  • ELCA Good Gifts - ELCA Good Gifts provides the opportunity to give 'animals' to help in parts of the world that are struggling. The Good Gifts program is a part of the ELCA World Hunger ministryCongregations should be getting a mailing with the Good Gifts catalog at some point in the coming weeks, but in the meantime please visit their website to learn more: 

  • On the World Hunger resource site, you can find a link to free Advent Calendars you can order and give away and to an Advent devotional both are great resources for any congregation during Advent.

  • On a Synodical Level, we have some wonderful mission partners who care for seniors, provide camp experiences, work with prisoners and educate and assist children, youth and adults. We have all of our partners listed here on the Synod website with links to their information:
If you're interested in staying up to date with information on stewardship in and out of the Virginia Synod, we encourage you to sign up for our new stewardship e-newsletter, "Virginia Synod Stewards" it is published every few months. If you or someone in your congregation is interested in being on the newsletter list, please sign up here:
“Ask, Thank, Tell” Generosity & Stewardship Resources for Virginia Synod Congregations
As part of the latest newsletter, was this month's collection of resources to provide assistance to Stewardship Teams through the end of the year. You can download a pdf version of the resources listed here:  Ask Thank Tell Stewardship Resources October 2018

If you are interested in being a part of the newly forming Virginia Synod Stewards Table, or you're looking for additional suggestions for stewardship resources in your congregation, please email Pastor John Wertz, Jr. at for more information.
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 more!
Hi, Virginia Synod!

My name is Alyssa Kaplan . I am a member of First Lutheran Church, Norfolk and am a third year student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Throughout college I was involved in an ecumenical, Protestant campus ministry and spent my summers on staff at Lutheridge Camp. Both of these communities helped me begin to discern a call to serve the church as a rostered minister. Immediately after college, I served as a Young Adult in Global Mission, in Tlaxco, Tlaxcala, Mexico before moving to New York to begin seminary. At Union, I've focused my course work on diving into the intersection of Christian Social Ethics and Worship--especially focusing on how our understanding of the sacraments call us to restorative justice and radical hospitality in the name of Jesus. I've been blessed with the opportunity to engage in two different field education experiences. Last year I shared in ministry with Trinity Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana Trinidad with Rev Heidi Neumark. This year I'm working with a city-wide campus ministry network called The Vine with Rev Becca Seely. Since living in New York, I've been able to engage in the work of the New Sanctuary Coalition-a coalition of faith communities standing in solidarity with people facing deportation. It has been a joy to journey in discernment with so many faithful companions from the Virginia Synod these past few years.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!!
Alyssa Kaplan
Virginia Synod 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.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
A Prayer Request for our Companion Synod
The New Guinea Islands District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea is preparing to elect their next president (bishop) on Saturday, November 3rd. We request prayers of guidance, comfort, and unity for those voting members, and those discerning the call to this upcoming time of transition.
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 .
Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center Upcoming Events
Need a home for the Holidays?
Plan a reunion or family retreat at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center! Buttonwood Lodge is a wonderful place to catch up by the fireplace with your college friends or adult relatives, and the Farmhouse is a perfect family space for up to 25. Meals and activities can be provided upon request. (Meals that you don't have to cook, and activities that you don't have to plan!)

Call (540)-449-0012 or email  to learn more.
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.
It’s time to enter your organization’s 2019 health benefit option.
Congregations and organizations who sponsor employees through Portico: Choose the ELCA-Primary health benefits option you will offer for 2019 and enter it on EmployerLink before Oct. 26. You must do this even if you want to continue your current option, your plan members waive ELCA-Primary health benefits, or your plan members are eligible for ELCA Medicare-Primary coverage. There’s information to help your organization make its selection on EmployerLink — or call the Customer Care Center, 800-352-2876, for help.
LARCUM Conference, 2018
A Gathering for Laypeople and Rostered Leaders
Today’s social and political climate can leave us at a loss with how to respond in productive and faithful ways. This conference for both laypeople and rostered leaders will take a look at why and how Christian communities have long understood the practices of worship, prayer and song as influences and guides that help us address and counter social division and concerns as well as the separation we may experience within and between our faith traditions. And what better place to sit down together to discuss and practice hopeful and faithful signs and actions that can lead to healing and reconciliation than in Charlottesville?

This conference, titled “Praying, Believing, Doing: An Ecumenism of Liturgy and Life,” begins on November 30th at 6 pm and concludes on December 1st at Noon. The event begins at Emancipation Park in front of First United Methodist Church 101 E. Jefferson St. Charlottesville, VA where our bishops will individually offer prayer for peace and unity. Our presenter, The Rev. Dr. Karen B. Westerfield, will then lead us throughout the evening and again on Saturday in seeing how praying, believing and doing affect how we act toward our neighbor and the world, and speak to our quest for justice, reconciliation and peace.

For a brochure, contact your pastor, the Virginia Synod office or Pastor Eric Moehring (; 804-517-3073). Please register ($35; students no charge) by Nov. 17, but know that registrations will be accepted at the event. Or register on line at Remember to make your own motel reservations as needed. See you in Charlottesville.
Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Advocacy Office and Federal Chaplaincies invite you to join us on Thursday December 6th, 2018 from 4:30 to 7:00 PM in dedicating our new office located south of the U.S. Capitol building at at 218 D Street SE, First Floor Washington, DC 20003.

Special guests include ELCA Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton and invited Lutheran Members of Congress.

Come and meet with our Lutheran advocacy staff; local ministries; interfaith partners; congressional staff; senior chaplains from the military services, Veterans Administration, and Bureau of Prisons; ELCA practicing chaplains; and more.

Please RSVP by email at by December 1, 2018
Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will lead a small delegation in a wreath laying ceremony at the  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier  at Arlington National Cemetery. The event is open to the public and requires no reservation.  
This ceremony follows the Changing of the Guard on Pearl Harbor Day,  Friday, December 7 th  at 11:00 am . Lay members and rostered ministers of the ELCA are invited to attend. Bishop Humphrey is planning to attend.

For information about Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visit: .  

Please keep in mind, the walk from the Visitors Center to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is about 10 minutes up hill. Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and can make the journey. Also, the tour tram stops at both locations.
2019 Ignite the Church Conference
The Ignite the Church Conference is an annual gathering that seeks to further Kingdom impacting conversation among leaders that will ignite the Church and help it live out its heritage of renewal in the years ahead! Speakers include Bishop Pedro Suarez, Florida Bahamas Synod, Rev. Dr. John Herman, and Beth Lewis, President and CEO Emeritus of 1517 Media. All proceeds from the event support the ELCA Fund for Leaders. For more information, check out their website: .
Meditation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) November 12-16, 2018
On November 12-16, 2018 at First Mennonite Church 601 East Parham Road Richmond, VA will host Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI)

This 5-day, 32-hour training includes lectures, discussion, and guided practice in role plays. Led by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (LMPC), and active and practical in focus, the sessions emphasize hands-on skills training and real-life role-plays based on conflicts faced by participants. This training is useful for pastors and lay leaders alike. Sign up today for the workshop that a previous participant has called “the best continuing education I ever took!”

For further information call LMPC at 630-627-0507 or email us at Detailed brochures with a registration form are available at To register online via Brown Paper Tickets, visit our website at It’s not too late to receive a $200 discount if you sign up no later than Oct. 12, 2018.
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.
Organist Position, St. John Lutheran in Abingdon
St. John Lutheran Church, Abingdon. is seeking an Organist/Pianist, primarily for the 11:00 AM Worship Service. We are a small, friendly congregation and music is a very important part of the ministry. Part-time duties include playing for Sunday morning Worship at 11:00 AM and a 10:00 am Sunday morning Choir rehearsal and occasionally a Wednesday evening rehearsal. The Organ is a three manual Allen Digital Organ. If interested please contact the church office at 276-692-6215 or email:
Part-Time Director of Worship & Music- Emmanuel, Virginia Beach
Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach is searching for a part-time Director of Worship & Music to coordinate and oversee the Worship and Music ministry in our congregation. Work with the Pastor to provide leadership for the musicians, choirs, musical groups, and lay ministry team while bolstering people's connection to God through worship and music. The Director position is part time (approximately 25 hours a week). If interested, please email your resume to
Rector and Dean of the Seminary- Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) of Lenoir-Rhyne University welcomes nominations and applications for a dynamic and innovative leader to serve in the position of Rector and Dean of the Seminary beginning as early as January 2, 2019 and no later than June 3, 2019. The Rector and Dean of the Seminary is a full-time appointment reporting directly to the President of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The primary duties of this position are to serve as the lead academic and church administrator for LTSS and to further develop LTSS as an exemplary seminary within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and among its ecumenical partners.

For a full position description, click here.
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at