Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
Nine Miles Church
Following Thanksgiving, we're taking a moment to look to the global church with an  article by one of our Virginia Young Adults in Global Mission, Emily Dietrick of Epiphany Richmond (double check). Emily is currently serving in Newcastle, South Africa. 
"So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided'" Genesis 22:14. This is the bible verse that has been painted above the cross in Nine Miles church in Madadeni, South Africa. God provided this congregation with a place and church to worship in.

Until 2013, this church had worshiped in a local school. During that year the school's principal decided he no longer would allow the congregation to worship there. I saw Mama Zandile, a member of Nine Mile church, fight back tears when she told me about the Sunday when the congregation learned they could no longer worship in the school. She knew something needed to be done. She starting making calls and getting donations for the building of a new church. People began donating from her phone calls and outreach. It was a swift response that she says she can only thank by the grace of God. It's easy to see the passion and thanks for God she has for this miracle being made possible.
A few elder women from the congregation built a small shack for the church to continue to worship in in the interim. Because this shack, built out of tin and wooden stakes, could feel the extremes of the weather, the five Lutheran churches in the surrounding Newcastle parish made supporting the new Nine Mile church building a focus.Through offerings and donations, they were able to raise enough money to start making the plan for Nine Miles church a reality. The partnership between the five churches did not stop at raising funds. The churches remained throughout the entire process with progress meetings, dividing work amongst the different Leagues, and giving advice. Each part of the building from laying the foundation, tiling the floors, painting the ceilings, placing the roof, building the toilets and more were built by the hands and hard work of the parishioners of Nine Miles and the support from the other four churches.

Emily and  Reverend Msomi painting the ceilings one of the first weeks she was in Newcastle. 
I was lucky enough to get my hands dirty by helping paint the ceilings and the outside. Being a part of the painting process over the past three months was a humbling experience, as I saw the hard work that has gone into building this church. There is a great commitment that each person has to create a place to worship.

During the week leading up to the dedication the women of Nine Miles put on the final touches. They planted flowers, painted touch ups, cleaned the windows and so much more. Every day, we went to Nine Miles to see how we could assist and to check to progress. I was happy to often see the smiles of the women working hard day in and day out to make their church a success.

It was also during this final preparation period that Reverend Msomi of Nine Mile decided that it would be a good idea to have the Luther Rose painted on the front of the church. This was so that anyone who drove by would know we are Lutheran.
On November 20th, the church was dedicated by the Bishop. There were visiting pastors from all over who came to see this historic day, including congregants from all five Newcastle churches, everyone who assisted in the construction, and others who wanted to be a part of the celebration. There were so many people present that there was a tent set up to project the service. The tent was filled and had others attendance stand in the back and listen in.
There were so many guests that the church put up a tent next to the building, which projected the service so that everyone could see. 
The Bishop officially blessing the door and opening the church. 
On this Christ the King Sunday, the Bishop preached on the importance of forgiveness and love in relationships. One of my favorite parts of the service, which is no different than other services, is the constant music. About 80% of the service is sung, whether it is the Lords Prayer, the hymns, or the eulogy. You can feel the joy and love of God in the building. Everyone in attendance had smiles on their faces and was excited about the accomplishment that the community had made. 

After the church service, different people stood up to speak. Some spoke about the history of Nine Miles, others gave thanks and offered songs of joy. Each one that spoke touched those in the audience and shared their passion for Christ. Together they celebrated for their community having a place of worship, and the importance of coming together. It was a beautiful service and afterward, everyone headed outside to eat lunch, a meal that the ladies of the church had been preparing since 4:30 AM.
The acolytes who assist in the service. They light candles, bring the incense in the thurible, carry the cross, ring the bells among other duties
Mama Zandile, who helped raise a lot of funds for the building, is now a seminary student. The Sunday the church was dedicated she gave the message of the work not ending here, as this is a continued project. The maintenance and love for the building will continue each and every week. This message has been well received by the congregants in their excitement and joy for this worship space. In their communities, they share stories of love, patience, and grace of God given to them to their neighbors who are now members of the church. The parishioners of Nine Miles do not live close to the church. Most have to walk quite a distance if they are not able to get a taxi. But they are dedicated each week to coming and sharing the service with their congregation.

I am thankful I was able to be a part of this process and to see the hard work people are willing to put in to have their own place of worship. It has been a humbling experience and I have loved getting to know each so many that  Nine Miles.
Emily and her host sister, Abelwe. 
If you would like to continue to keep up to date with Emily as she serves in South Africa, you can follow along with her blog at throughemtrickseyes.wordpress.com There she shares stories of her travel and life in South Africa, as she learns more about herself and her faith.
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
Winter Celebration

Winter Celebration is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisers.  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 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 Winter Celebration  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.
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. 
Give the Gift of Camp for Christmas!
Registration is open for another exciting season of summer camp at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp! Tucked away in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, Caroline Furnace welcomes children from grades 1 to 12.

Giving camp for Christmas to your child, grandchild, niece or nephew replaces texts and TV with playing in the great outdoors, singing around a campfire, embracing new friendships, and enjoying daily Bible studies. It's a gift of lifelong memories.

Go to carolinefurnace.org for more information and to sign up your campers!
Deck the Halls with Bronze! Handbell Concert

The Sine Nomine Concerts welcome the Virginia Handbell Consort on  Saturday, December 3, 2017 at 7 PM, St Mark Lutheran Church (118 Old York-Hampton Hwy, Yorktown, VA  23692).  This holiday program, Deck the Halls with Bronze, offers both traditional works and some new compositions.  Invite your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and relatives for this lively program.

For more information visit  smlconline.org/events
A Community Wide Service of Lessons and Carols
Save the Date! December 11th at 3 PM
All are invited to our 4th Annual Event, come hear the Christmas Story through Music and Scripture and stay for refreshments! Several local churches will be participating! 

On December 11th at 3 PM at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer 1769 South Sycamore Street Petersburg, VA  www.LCOR.net
Carols By Candlelight
Celebrate the seasons of Advent and Christmas with readings, anthems, and carols that tell the story of the prophecy, nativity, and adoration of the Christ Child.

St. Mark's is proud to announce that this sixth annual presentation of Carols By Candlelight will benefit Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.  The community is warmly invited to attend. An offering will be received, 100% of which will go to support Habitat's vital work. For information, please call 540-344-9051
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!
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!
Job Opportunities
Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries - Salem, Virginia
College Evangelical Lutheran Church seeks applications for a part-time Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries.

Under the supervision of the Pastor, the Coordinator serves alongside of congregational leaders, advocates for and facilitates Children, Youth, and Family Ministry programs. Programs include Nursery; Sunday School (Pre K-High School); Confirmation; Vacation Bible School and other summer programs; Youth Group; Campus Ministry; and Family Faith Formation.

To view the full job description, click here.
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg seeks chaplain
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, is looking for a full-time or part-time chaplain (approximately 20 hours per week). Ideal candidate has a Master's of Divinity from an accredited seminary or school of theology, a chaplaincy certification and two years of pastoral care experience, preferably with a senior adult population. Chaplain must be able to serve communion. Fluent English speaking and writing skills, empathy and the ability to listen, good time management skills, computer skills and professional dress, speech and behavior are all required for this position. To apply, submit your information and resume at www.windsormeade.org. Contact WindsorMeade directly for additional information.
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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