To Speak in Parables:
2018 Spring ACTS Course
This past Saturday kicked off the beginning of the 2018 Spring ACTS (The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study) course in Waynesboro, Wytheville, and Yorktown. ACTS is intended to enrich and equip laity for intentional service as ambassadors for Christ in homes, churches, and in their communities. It provides comprehensive exposure to the foundations of Lutheran faith through classroom and experiential education. ACTS also serves as a continuing education course for rostered ministers.
Led by ACTS Director, The Rev. Karen R. Taylor , ACTS instruction is offered in large-group sessions at a single location (with the option of satellite sites), with breakout small-group sessions occurring across the state each led by rostered leaders or ACTS program graduates. From these sessions, ACTS participants gain a theological grounding for their personal call, equipping them to answer the call to be Christ’s ambassador- be it in congregational leadership roles, or leading throughout the Synod.

This year’s spring course, “To Speak in Parables: Proclamation of the Gospel in the Parables of Jesus” , focuses on the New Testament. Participants in this spring’s sessions are studying the content and development of the New Testament. The Gospels provide the foundation for the church and by the end of this course the participant will have an increased knowledge of the New Testament and how it sets us free to share our God-given gifts.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Vitalis Hoffman is the speaker for this ACTS Course. He serves as Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies at the United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg / Philadelphia). He received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther (Northwestern) Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1983 and his Ph.D. degree in New Testament from Yale University in 1996 where his dissertation topic was, “Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion of Jesus.” Ordained as an ELCA pastor in 1988, he and his wife Kathy have served congregations in Minnesota and North Dakota. He has taught at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN) and numerous Bible camps and synodical gatherings, led the GIFTS program of lay education in Eastern ND, provided study resources for Augsburg Fortress, and offered online learning opportunities presented at his own CrossMarks.com and through the seminary.
The Rev. Dr. Vitalis Hoffman provided participants an educational and humorous view of the parables of Jesus, including noteworthy parables such as the parable of the Mustard Seed, the Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, and more! In examining these familiar parables, the ACTS participants were asked to reevaluate what they had previously thought they understood, discovering new or untapped meaning in the process.
For this course, ACTS participants are reading from the textbook, What are they Saying about the Parables by David B. Gowler which introduces the current scholarly thinking about the parables of Jesus, exploring topics like historical-critical approaches to the parables, the parables and their social context, and the parables and their jewish contexts. A helpful resource as this ACTS course is diving deeply into considering how the parables function as Gospel.

With the guidance of the Rev. Dr. Vitalis Hoffman ACTS participants are learning that the parables can be interpreted as ways for us to personally connect to God’s message, as each function as metaphors that can challenge and invite the audience into a new or deeper experience. What an exciting way to bring the familiar into a new and meaningful context.

Visit  www.vasynod.org/ministries/acts to learn more about the ACTS program.
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
Save the Date: Synod Assembly June 8-10, 2018
Save the Date: June 8-10, 2018 for the Virginia Synod Assembly!

Stay tuned as more information and registration materials for this year's Synod Assembly will be shared with Rostered Ministers and Congregations mid-March.
March For our Lives
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today. March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community. On March 24, the collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard.

There are 519 planned events worldwide that will all be happening on March 24. The primary march is happening in Washington DC. This is a march that is led by Students, for the sake of students, but all are welcome to join in the marching and stand in solidarity. If you are planning to go to Washington DC march, please email Pastor Alex Zuber at pastorzuber@gmail.com in order to connect members of the Virginia Synod who will be travelling. This will allow us to witness together and potentially coordinate travel.
March For our Lives- Christ Lutheran Church, Richmond
In support of the March for Our Lives, Christ Lutheran Church, 7809 Woodman Road, Richmond will be open for private prayer and contemplation. Our sanctuary will be available from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM. This is in support of their neighbors at Moody Middle School.
ELCA presiding bishop to participate in rally to end racism
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will join ecumenical and inter-religious partners for Act Now: Unite to End Racism April 3-5 in Washington, D.C. The focus of the three-day event will be a rally April 4 on the National Mall. All are invited to join Bishop Eaton at the event.

For more information,  click here
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands Awards nominations
The Hearts & Hands Awards nomination deadline is fast approaching and we need to hear from you!

Lutheran Family Services of Virginia sponsors these awards to honor Lutherans whose passion, energy and delight in service are changing lives and creating brighter futures.

These Lutherans are the builders, organizers, advocates, caregivers, leaders, workers, volunteers, employees, committee members, innovators and mentors. They are friends, neighbors, coworkers and church members, young and old, who bring abundant possibilities to our communities.

Click here to complete the nomination form so that these wonderful people giving back to our communities are recognized. Hurry! The deadline is March 19th!
 
Questions? Contact Ellen Bushman at ebushman@lfsva.org, or call 757-722-4707 ext. 1302.
Have you registered for Summer Camp?
Summer 2018 at Caroline Furnace promises to be an exciting one! The theme verse is Ephesians 2:8 - "For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH, and this is not your own doing; it is the GIFT of God." Camper life is centered around building community through daily worship, Bible study, and new experiences. Campers aged 1st-12th grade can choose from activities such as horseback riding, caving, archery, culinary, backpacking, canoeing, crafting, and fishing. Campers ages 15 to 18 may also participate in LIT! (Leaders In Training) Camp. To learn more and view the summer schedule,  click here

Caroline Furnace will be hosting a Spring Open House on May 12. All are welcome to join for a bluegrass worship, lunch, and camp activities. This is a great time to come and learn more about the camp and retreat opportunities at Caroline Furnace!
You're invited!
Caroline Furnace is seeking Counselors, Chaplains, and Volunteers!

Serving as a counselor is a ten week commitment; two weeks of staff training and eight weeks of summer camp. Counselors can expect a summer of fun, new adventures, sharing faith, learning new things, and growing in faith and leadership abilities.

Chaplains are needed each week of summer camp for spiritual guidance and support. All pastors, seminarians, and lay leaders are invited to serve for a week this summer! 

Volunteers are needed for the spring and summer as well! Join us for Paul Bunyan Weekend March 16-18, to chainsaw trees and split wood. Come to Spring Work Weekend April 20-22 to help us prepare for Summer Camp! 

Learn more about summer staff here:  www.carolinefurnace.org/join-our-staff
Learn more about volunteering here:  www.carolinefurnace.org/volunteer-opportunities
ELCA Youth Gathering: Stories to Share
For the next two months, the ELCA is asking for your youth's reflections and stories to share on the big screen at the Gathering. Every two weeks we'll have a new prompt to reflect on. Submit your videos on Instagram by using the assigned # or DMing the Gathering ( @ELCAGathering ). Please save the videos! If yours is chosen, we will DM you with instructions on how and where to send your video.

Guidelines:
  • Youth featured must be in 8th-12th grade.
  • Videos should be 3-10 seconds long.
  • Post in the identified timeline
  • Use listed #s.

March 10-24, we're focusing on our sub theme for June 27 based on Exodus 3:1-16, Moses and the burning bush – God's Call Changes Everything: "In our identity, God's call changes everything." Share with us about your identity and use #ELCAYG2018 #CallChangesEverything.
Christ Lutheran in Staunton Hosts Bach Around the Clock
Christ Staunton has partnered with Heifetz International Music Festival to host  Bach Around the Clock . Twelve one hour concerts will take place on  March 17 from 9 AM to 9 PM

For more information and a schedule of concerts check out : bacharoundtheclock.org
Taizé in RVA: a regional, ecumenical gathering for young adults
Congregations of the Richmond Conference of Lutheran (ELCA) Congregations, Episcopal congregations in Hanover County, and other ecumenical partners invite young adults (18-30 years of age) to attend a weekend retreat April 27-28 led by two brothers of the internationally known Ecumenical Community of Taizé from France. The weekend will include prayer in the musical style of Taizé, bible reflections, as well as panel and small group sessions. The event is free, but a $25 donation is being requested from those who can afford it to assist with food. For more information and to register, visit  messiahmech.com
The National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP) Basic Education for Intentional Interim Ministry and Annual Conference
The National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP) has openings for the Spring and Fall classes in Basic Education for Intentional Interim Ministry and an annual conference for continuing education.

The 2018 Annual Conference will be in St Louis, MO June 21-22. Presenter is Dr. Israel Galindo and the presentations will center around “Perspectives on Congregational Leadership.”

Information on the training and the conference is posted on our website: www.nalip.net. To discuss the programs call Pastor Ken Ruppar at 804-564-5389.
Job Opportunities
Director of School, Saint John Lutheran Church, Norfolk
Saint John Lutheran Church, Norfolk, Virginia is seeking an individual with a strong understanding in child development and early childhood education to serve as Director of our School.

Our students range from 2 years of age to 2nd Grade. Qualities we desire are someone with vision, always looking for new ideas and approaches to serving young children and their families, and seeing potential in each staff member and in the cooperative efforts of the staff in the day-to-day operation of the School. Experience with training and working with new staff is important, as well as the ability to work in a classroom as needed.

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older as required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a 4 year degree in child development and early childhood education or a 4-year degree in a related field, with a minimum of 24 hours in child development and/or early childhood education; should be able to meet the licensing requirements of Virginia for a program Director, and have a minimum of 5 years experience in early childhood education.

Please email your resume to  churchoffice@stjohnnorfolk.org .
Part-time Church Secretary/Office Manager, Christ Roanoke
Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Virginia needs a secretary/office manager for 28 hours a week due to employee’s retirement. New employee should be self-starter for our fast-paced environment, able to work harmoniously within a team, have exceptional customer skills, have a comprehensive understanding of social media platforms, be fully qualified in Microsoft Office products, and have two-year business education or four years’ experience in general office work. Salary commensurate with experience.

Contact Mrs. Berry at 540-204- 1994 to obtain an application.
Part-time Music Director, PALS Church in Bealeton
PALS Church (Presbyterian and Lutheran Services) in Bealeton, VA, is seeking a part-time Music Director. The primary responsibilities are selecting music for services (working with the pastor), directing the small choir, and providing organ/piano accompaniment for Sunday morning worship (one service) and seasonal mid-week services. Other responsibilities will include (but are not limited to) providing accompaniment at other church functions as requested by the pastor and for funerals and weddings.

Please contact The Rev. Jo Ann Staebler, mallonxaris@verizon.net  or  703-943-9944 .
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