Roanoke College awards 441 degrees
Roanoke College awarded degrees to 441 graduates on Saturday during the College’s Commencement ceremony, held on the John Turbyfill Quad on a chilly and windy day. This year marks the 175th anniversary of Roanoke College’s founding.

Bishop Mauney was the featured speaker at Roanoke College's Commencement, “The life of a liberal arts college is to open your eyes to what undergirds, carries and what is deeper than the box that currently has your attention,” he said. In his speech he shared with this year's graduates tales of stealing wheelbarrows, the important differences between windows and mirrors, as well as his experience with M&M distribution.
“Seeking the truths for which we’re yearning,” Mauney quoted from the Roanoke College Alma Mater Hymn. “That’s not relative truth, that’s not an alternative fact truth … your raft in this ocean of mortality, your compass in this world. It is why we at Roanoke College want to talk about the whole person, the intellectual, ethical, personal and spiritual. We want a whole person in liberal arts, not a person with holes.”

Rebecca Hudon of Harrisville, Rhode Island, was valedictorian of the class of 2017. Hudon, a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, is a pre-med student who majored in biology with minors in chemistry and music and a concentration in neuroscience. She plans to apply to medical school and hopes to become a general surgeon.

In addition, to Hudon there were two salutatorians – Erin Keating of Whippany, New Jersey, and Stephanie Shields of Yorktown, Virginia. Keating majored in Literary Studies and Creative Writing. This fall, she will attend graduate school at Drew University in New Jersey to earn a master’s degree in history and culture. Shields, who majored in psychology, with a concentration in neuroscience and a minor in German, is one of five Roanoke students who received U.S. Fulbright Awards this year. For the Fulbright program, Shields will live in Munich, Germany for the next year to research vocal learning in a bat species.

The College presented two honorary degrees on Saturday. Donald Kerr ’60, formerly a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, received an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree. Kerr is president and CEO of Kerr Industries. Beth Macy, a well-known Roanoke-based author, received an honorary Doctor of Letters. Macy, a former Roanoke Times reporter and author of two New York Times best-selling books, has won many national awards, including a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Two Roanoke faculty members also were honored on Saturday. Dr. William “Skip” Brenzovich, an assistant professor of chemistry, received the Dean’s Exemplary Teaching Award. Dr. David Nichols, an associate professor of psychology, received the Dean’s Exemplary Professional Achievement Award.

To watch Roanoke College's 2017 Commencement highlights, click here

To watch Roanoke College's full Commencement ceremony for 2017, click here
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Synod Assembly 2017: Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

Synod Assembly is here!  June 9-11  will be our time to get together as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and learn more about worship.  Presiding over the Bishop's election and our ELCA representative  this year will be the  Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla , Executive Director‐ELCA Division of  Global Missions. 

For more information and to register for Synod Assembly, click here
Virginia Synod Kairos 2017
Kairos  is our annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall. It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week, to have a fresh experience of the grace and presence of God in that community, and to develop habits for discipleship that can be taken home as they live out their call to be “Ambassadors for Christ.” Kairos is different from our weekend events in that congregations do not send advisors with youth; the event staff serves as small group leaders and dorm advisors for the week. “Kairos” is the New Testament Greek word for “special time.” It is used whenever God’s people want to talk about a time of change, of renewal, of God’s special work in the believer and the community.

For more information and to register for Kairos, click here

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

Virginia Synod LAUNCH 2017
LAUNCH  is an event for youth who have just graduated from high school. Its purpose is to give them a chance to take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and also to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of faith and life that are likely to face them as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whether it be the workforce, military or other public service, college, or something else. If participants are veterans of our Virginia Synod ELCA Youth Events (Lost and Found, Winter Celebration, Kairos, etc.), they will find that this event is structured differently. We will spend our three full days together in a rhythm of worship, informal presentations to the whole group, small group discussions, and individual reflections that engage the mind as well as the spirit.  Of course, there will be time for fellowship and relaxation and enjoyable meal times together.

For more information and to register for LAUNCH, 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.

Day of Prayer Eastern Gathering
Sponsored by the Lutheran Episcopal Joint Committee of Virginia the Eastern Gathering will be held on May 17th, 2017 at Chanco on the James 394 Floods Drive Spring Grove, Virginia 23881

Led by Speaker The Rev. John Maxwell Kerr.  Rev. Kerr will lead two group sessions considering how and why to pray, whom to pray with, resources for prayer, prayer and the liturgical year, and will share other personal prayer practices.

REGISTRATION information is at

Caroline Furnace: Celebrating 60 Years of Ministry
We want to celebrate 60 years of fun, fellowship, and faith with you! Come for the whole weekend or come celebrate for part of the time, but do come!

Traditionally, the 60th Anniversary is a “diamond anniversary,” but for camp, it’s our SLAG Anniversary.  Join us Saturday, May 27th - Monday, May 29th for yummy food, good fun, and memorable fellowship.

Come celebrate our Slag Anniversary!  Registration closes May 16th  or when space is full. Space is limited. Sign up to reserve your spot today.

To register for this event, click here
For information on the schedule and pricing, click here

Caroline Furnace: Have you registered for summer camp?
It's our 60th Anniversary and we're celebrating with a summer of old favorites and new programs. Our traditional summer residential programs are designed for rising 1st-12th graders. Family camp is perfect for families with younger kids who want to try out camp together.

To register for summer camp at Caroline Furnace, click here 
For information on the 2017 summer schedule and pricing, click here

11 Steps to Increase Giving in Your Church
Scripture doesn’t shy away from conversations about money, but church leaders often do. Learn some simple and effective ways to create a culture of increasing generosity in your church, including suggestions for joyfully engaging givers at every age and stage of life. We’ll talk about transforming your weekly church offering into a time of celebration, coaching church leaders to effectively talk about stewardship, creative ways to thank your givers, why a major gifts strategy makes sense for churches, how to keep your offering numbers steady during the summer, and more. 

We've had ALDE member pastors ask for more discussion on the latest trends in congregational stewardship, and we listened. This is for you! If that's not you, please share the webinar with any pastors and congregational leaders; seminary students and officials; and district/synod/national church leaders you know who could benefit. We want this to lead to rich discussion and beneficial ideas sharing. If you can't attend live, you may still register for the webinar and receive a recording. 

Webinars cost $75. Register now

For more information on the ALDE webinar, click here

Job Opportunities
Part-time Director of Worship and Music

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach seeks a part-time Director of Worship and Music beginning in May. 25 hours per week. Salary depending on previous experience. See the PD and application instructions at ELVB.ORG under the “Jobs” tab.

Part-time Church Secretary

Part-time church secretary, 10-12 hours/week. QuickBooks knowledge needed. Small church in the Vinton area. If interested, please call 540-342-1715 and leave a message.

Part-Time Nursery Attendant

Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake seeks a caring and able bodied person to serve as part-time Nursery Attendant for Sunday mornings (approximately 8:15am-12:30pm) and occasional other times. See full job description and application on the “Jobs” tab on the church website (

Part-Time Bookkeeper

Grace Lutheran Day School in Chesapeake seeks a part-time Bookkeeper (approximately 20 hours/month) to handle payroll, other payments, financial reports, etc.  Compensation is based on education and experience.  See full job description and application on the “Jobs” tab on the church website (

Application Deadline: June 1, 2017

Part-Time Day School Director

Grace Lutheran Day School is Chesapeake seeks a part-time Director (approximately 30 hours/week—Sep-May). Compensation is based on education and experience. See full job description and application on the “Jobs” tab on the church website ( 

Application Deadline: May 15, 2017

Full-Time Director of Music/Organist

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Winchester Virginia, a dynamic, historic (1753), and still growing ELCA congregation of approximately 800 members in the northern Shenandoah Valley is looking for a full-time Director of Music/Organist.  The general responsibilities of this position would include overseeing the entire music program of the congregation, leading music worship for two liturgical services each Sunday and one contemporary service each Saturday, and directing the choirs.  A 28-rank, two-manual Schantz organ; a Yamaha grand piano;  five octaves of Schulmerich handbells; five octaves of Malmark choir chimes; and plentiful children’s percussion instruments are used.   The candidate should have knowledge of Lutheran liturgy.  

Applicants should submit a resume and an audio recording that includes one prelude, the hymn “A Might Fortress,” and one postlude—all on the organ and one hymn of the candidate’s choosing performed on the piano.  The material may be sent to Pastor Martha Miller Sims, senior administrative pastor, at

Salary is commensurate with education, skills, and experience.  Full benefits package is available.

A background check is required.

Contact the church for a complete job description.  Resumes accepted through May 31.  Applicants should be prepared to begin the position on September 1.

All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at