Kairos: "Judged - Justified - Redeemed"

Kairos, the Virginia Synod youth event for rising 8th through rising 12th graders was held this past week, June 26th-30th at the campus of Roanoke College in Salem. This year over 170 youth and adult participants engaged and witnessed the theme “Judged – Justified – Redeemed” based on Romans 3:23-24. 

The verse was presented to the Kairos community by this year’s Planning Group, made up by Jacob Brooks of Christ the King in Richmond, Alice Chandler of Emmanuel Lutheran in Virginia Beach, Kirk Fenerty of First English in Richmond, Kendal Ferguson of Faith Lutheran in Suffolk, Julie Hedrick of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg, Sean Magri of Christ Lutheran in Roanoke, and Rose Pennington of Faith Lutheran in Whitetop. The group worked with the event’s chaplain Pastor Joseph Bolick of Epiphany Lutheran, in Richmond, as well as Lizzie Campus and Alec Alderman both of St. Philip in Roanoke who both served as advisors to the group. The Planning Group helped shape the week-long event, spending months in preparation before the participants arrived making sure everything was prepared, and their hard work was well recognized this year. 

The most visible presence that the Planning Group takes on throughout the week is performing skits for the Kairos community, translating the week's verse into a relatable story for participants at Kairos. This year the Planning Group skits revolved around a Survivor-style reality TV series called “Cross-Factor: Judgment Day” where six contestants were pitted against one another in contests of beauty, intelligence, physical ability, and hospitality. Each contest served to show through both humor and serious tones the vulnerabilities participants at Kairos may experience in school and other parts of their lives, starting a dialogue with participants about their own experiences of this culture in their small groups.

As participants at Kairos broke off into small groups, they got the chance to reflect on the week-long theme and relate it back to their own faith life through conversation, games, and activities- with this year's beautiful weather many small groups even got the chance to play outside together.

During small group time, Kairos participants also worked together to plan and prepare a proclamation based off of an assigned passage. These proclamations are a chance for each Kairos small groups to communicate what they have discovered about their passage, and the conversation surrounding it in a way that announces the good news of God’s love to the rest of the community during Thursday afternoon’s large group. The Kairos small groups are asked to live with the text as they work on their proclamation throughout the week, diving into it through conversation and planning to find the nuances of the word. This year small groups presented to the Kairos community an exciting variety of presentations, from humorous skits featuring elaborate handmade costumes to presenting handcrafted tokens to the Kairos community that small group members felt best reflected the meaning of their passage.

During the week Bishop Mauney also visited the Kairos community. He spoke to the youth about the importance of being an Ambassador for Christ, presided over communion, and performed his final “Pharaoh, Pharaoh” as bishop. While speaking to the youth, Bishop Mauney lifted up the ForwardingFaith campaign which is currently ongoing in congregations across the Synod. Many participants at Kairos are proof of the value of faith formation events, with adult leaders, pastors, and youth all with great stories to share of their time spent at youth events in the Virginia Synod.

During the Thursday Evening Eucharist, Whitney Long of Emmanuel Lutheran in Virginia Beach was baptized. Whitney felt a strong connection to the Kairos community during the week-long event, and all present members of the Kairos community, as well as Whiteny's father acted as her baptism sponsors. Baptisms don’t often occur during Virginia Synod youth events, so this evening was a rare and exciting moment to witness as Whitney was baptized into God's family!

This year’s Kairos was filled with laughter, joy, worship, and deep conversation that encouraged participants to reflect on their faith life, daily judgments, and the gift of God’s grace and love in our lives. If you had youth, adult leaders, or a pastor present during Kairos, ask them about their week! They’re sure to have many stories to share about their time spent together, “Judged – Justified – Redeemed”.

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
Roanoke College's Theology for Teens
Our second annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. Starting Sunday July 16, 2016 through Sunday July 22, 2017 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.

For more information and to register for T4T, click here

Power in the Spirit 2017: "On Our Way Reforming!"
Hosted at beautiful Roanoke College in Salem Virginia, Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members,committee or council members, family life consultant, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

The Reformation didn’t “fix” the Church. In fact, you might say it’s just one example of how we’re always “recalculating” our way forward as individuals and as a Church. In that spirit, this year’s theme for Power in the Spirit 2017 is:
On Our Way Reforming!

For more information and to register for Power in the Spirit, click here

Virginia Synod Vocations Conference: Beyond Candidacy: What It’s Like to Be a New Pastor

This year’s Vocations Conference will feature presentations from three newer pastors, who will share what it’s been like for them to move beyond candidacy and into ordained ministry. Pr. Tim Crummitt serves a suburban congregation in Hampton, VA. Pr. Anna Havron serves a two-congregation parish near Woodstock, VA. And Pr. Drew Tucker serves a congregation and a campus in Radford, VA. They will tell us what their experiences of being a newer pastor have been like.

The Vocations Conference is sponsored by the VA Synod Candidacy Committee and is a great event for those in seminary AND for those considering seminary in order to prepare for ELCA rostered ministry. This year’s Vocations Conference will be held on August 18-20, at the Eagle Eyrie Conference Center near Lynchburg.

For more information, click here

Gathering of the Ministerium 2017

Gathering of the Ministerium is where our rostered leaders can gather to meet, reconnect, worship, relax, learn, sing, pray and play together.

We are a church of great history as well as a church called in hopefulness into a blessed future. Join us as we gather from across the synod to discover how we live out this reality together.

This year's Gathering of the Ministerium will be held on October 9-11, at 

Registration deadline for Gathering of the Ministerium is August 31st 2017

Our presenter for this year is Dr. Michael DeJonge an Associate Professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). Dr. DeJonge will present Bonhoeffer’s interaction with Luther and the tradition, especially in his reflections about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority.

For more information and to register, click here

Fall 2017 ACTS Course: The Christian's Call Today

For Bonhoeffer, Christ is the definition of reality. Discipleship, then, is a call to become enveloped by that reality; therefore, the Christian's call is not to turn one's back on the world (enter the cloister) but to be God's presence in the world. In other words, our life in the world, which is lived out in the midst of families, friendships, work, and communities, is meant to display the presence and transformative work of God in the world. Because Bonhoeffer's faith led him to take the world seriously in all of its manifestations, Christian vocation is one that willingly stands up for one's neighbor and gets its hands dirty. Join other ACTS participants as together we explore and learn more about our Christian’s Call through this course.

This year's Fall ACTS course will be held on October 7th and November 4th

For more information and to register for the Fall ACTS course, click here

FREE Church Security Workshop at  Muhlenberg Lutheran Church
At one of our gatherings, we became aware of the need to have more tools in case of danger plus information on prevention methods.

We are inviting all faith communities of the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area (and beyond if folks are interested) to join us Tuesday, July 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, 281 E Market St, Harrisonburg, VA

Space is limited, so consider bringing 3 key folks that can share with others. (secretaries, pastors, custodians and anyone frequently alone in your building)

We need an RSVP, please.  You are encouraged to send questions for the Harrisonburg Police Department presenters in advance. Respond to areachurchsecretaries@gmail.com or Linda Depoy (540-434-3496 / depoy@muhlenberglutheran.org) 

You can also ask to join our closed Facebook Group using this link:


National Lutheran Communities & Services Community Impact Grants 2018
Each year, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) awards grants to organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors. Grant proposals for the 2018 period will be accepted starting on June 1, 2017 and must be submitted on or before August 15, 2017.

NLCS strongly believes that its mission extends beyond the physical boundaries of its residential communities and service offerings. With funds solely from investment earnings, we are committed to supporting the work of other non-profit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs that address the critical needs of seniors who are aging-in-place. For more information please visit: www.nationallutheran.org/impactgrants

Clinical Pastoral Education program with National Lutheran Communities & Services

Reflect, Engage and Grow: Preparing pastors by developing new skills in pastoral care. 

National Lutheran Communities & Services, as a satellite of The Eastern Mennonite Seminary Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, develops pastors and chaplains who are reflective practitioners, able to draw upon the best in their theological traditions and the behavioral sciences for ministry that is increasingly faithful and fruitful.

The Village at Orchard Ridge is now accepting applications for the fall session of the CPE Program.

If you are interested in testing a call to be a chaplain in health care, a retirement community, or other care facility, or simply wish to develop new skills as a pastor, consider applying to the program. To apply, download and complete the application below and return to Chaplain William Boldin via email.

Download the Clinical Pastoral Education Application & Instructions

Learn more by viewing the 2017 Clinical Pastoral Education Digital Brochure

Job Opportunities
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow

Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works in partnership with statewide advocacy ministry networks across the United States to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. Each office relates to the synods in their state and works closely with hunger leaders and synod teams. ELCA Advocacy is a ministry of the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit. This is a twelve-month, non-renewable contract position.

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow will participate in a 12-month transformative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed.

The 2017 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the  Virginia Interfaith Center

For more information and to review the full job listing, 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