Giving the Gift of Faith
A message from Bishop Bob Humphrey on the  ForwardingFaith Campaign
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

We have all known of and celebrated the deep commitment of key leaders in our synod in the past to the ForwardingFaith Campaign. Today I want to add my own clear commitment to this exciting and critical opportunity to expand and secure two trademark ministries in the Virginia Synod – Youth and Young Adult Ministry and Christian Formation.

Let me start by giving thanks to God for the remarkable devotion and inspired leadership of Bishops-Emeriti Jim Mauney, Richard Bansemer, V.A. Moyer, Jr. and so many others, including Pastors Dwayne Westermann, Chip Gunsten, and Chaplain Paul Henrickson. They developed and shaped youth ministry in Virginia. Pastor Dave Delaney along with gifted lay and rostered ministers have taken it to the next level. For years we have been the standard by which other synodical youth ministry programs are measured.
Likewise, Pastor Jean Bozeman, Pastor Phyllis Milton, and Elizabeth Smythe along with a host of other amazing lay and rostered ministers have led the way with a host of innovative and inspired Christian Formation programs that now find expression in programs like Roots & Wings, Power in the Spirit and ACTS. Talented leaders like Pastors David Drebes and Pastor Karen Taylor continue and build on their vision.

Along the way how many children, youth and adults have been inspired and responded with love for God and others? How many youth and adults have had their faith and lives transformed? How many, touched by these powerful ministries, have gone on to attend seminary or lead in their congregations, communities, synod and the wider church? Answer: too many to count… Thanks be to God!
Because all of this is true, hundreds of lay and rostered ministers have already committed $2.25 million toward our $2.5 million goal. How exciting! We are almost there… and I have no doubt we will not only make our goal, but exceed it! In fact, I can’t wait to see what happens when our members have a chance to tell us how much these ministries have meant to them in the past and how passionate they are to make certain we continue and enhance these ministries for the generations to come!

That is why I write you today. I want you to know I think this moment in our history is critical. We need to make certain every one of our members knows how committed and excited we are about these ministries and this Endowment. We need to create multiple opportunities in the next few months for members to pledge to this campaign. What better Christmas and Easter gift to offer our youth and children and all those to come, than faithful and effective youth ministry and Christian Formation?

So, please, do not push this aside or give it minimal attention. I served in the parish for 36 years. I know how hard it is to simply meet all the financial challenges of annual giving, reducing debt and finding ways to enhance ministry in your congregation. But, I honestly believe the ForwardingFaith campaign will enhance Youth and Christian Formation ministry, not only in the synod, but in every congregation.
In other words, I believe when members get excited about this campaign that excitement will carry over to these ministries in the congregation as well. In most cases, the challenge is not that we don’t have enough money, it’s that we don’t provide a compelling reason to give. I think this is compelling…

When you hear from Pastor Westermann or one of our synod staff calling to see if your congregation will be a part of this campaign, just say “Yes!” And, ask how you can help. Thank you in advance for making sure this campaign has a solid place in your congregation’s life!

As we prepare for Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas, I give thanks for you and wish you God’s richest blessings as once again, we celebrate God’s presence in our midst!

Peace!
Bishop Bob Humphrey
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
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
Announcements
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.
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