Thursdays in Black
As part of the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, we pledged our support for the World Council of Churches “Thursdays in Black” Campaign to raise awareness of the crimes of rape and violence.

In every country, gender-based violence is a tragic reality. This violence is frequently hidden, and victims are often silent, fearing stigma and further violence. We all have a responsibility to speak out against violence, to ensure that women and men, boys and girls, are safe from rape and violence in homes, schools, work, streets – in all places in our societies.

The campaign is simple but profound. Wear black on Thursdays. Wear a pin to declare you are part of the global movement resisting attitudes and practices that permit rape and violence. Show your respect for women who are resilient in the face of injustice and violence. Encourage others to join you. Often black has been used with negative racial connotations. In this campaign Black is used as a color of resistance and resilience.

Thursdays in Black grew out of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women (1988-1998), in which the stories of rape as a weapon of war, gender injustice, abuse, violence, and many tragedies that grow outward from such violence became all the more visible. But what also became visible was women’s resilience, agency and personal efforts to resist such violations. Join this movement of people and organizations that can make a difference to individuals, communities, and national and international policy forums.

For more information and resources to participate in the Thursdays in Black campaign, click here.
Send us your God's Work Our Hands Week of Service story!
On Sunday, September 8th, congregations across the church participated in "God's work. Our hands." Sunday--the ELCA's dedicated day of service. We have extended the opportunity to serve with the suggestion of a Week of Service to accommodate varying schedules. Now we want congregations to share their story and photos with the whole synod!
Tell us Your Story!
Be sure to tell your story in word and image! Share pictures from your time of service, and write up details that were important to that day to share with your congregation, and with the Synod Office!

To share your story with the Synod, please email Emily Pilat at   no later than September 18th  with the subject line “Week Of Service 2019 [Name of Congregation]” and the following information:
  1. Please list your project(s)
  2. Share one wonderful story from the day.
  3. Share up to five pictures from the day.
  4. What is the email address of a good person to contact for follow up information about the 2019 “Virginia Synod Week of Service”?

With this information, we can celebrate all that was accomplished across our Synod! Make sure to also use  #VASynodServes  on social media so that you can connect with others in our Synod who are participating in the Week of Service.
Virginia Synod delegation travels home from Papua New Guinea
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, The Rev. Michael Church, Diane Giessler, and Matthew Wertman have concluded their trip to visit the Virginia Synod's Companion Synod, the New Guinea Islands District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea

You can now check out all the updates shared throughout the trip on our Facebook and Instagram accounts of the delegation's travels in Papua New Guinea! Pastor Kelly shared with us many pictures of a beautiful country and equally beautiful and faithful Lutheran siblings they met during their travels!

We'll be sharing more detailed stories and photos soon, so stay tuned!
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
Upcoming Fall Events at Caroline Furnace
Work Weekend, September 13-15
Join us in giving back to Caroline Furnace! No cost to register and attend - but there is an option to Fund a Project during registration and we will request free will donations for meals throughout the weekend.
If you'd like to come to one of our Work Weekends, please register online using the button above or below. You may arrive anytime after 6pm on Friday. We provide meals Saturday breakfast through Sunday breakfast and lodging in the Cabin Village. Most of the work happens on Saturday, with Sunday typically reserved for finishing up high priority projects.

Fall Projects include deep cleaning the Cabin Village, clearing the Memorial Path, continuing updates to Cabin 7, prepping the fall mailer, and working on an exciting renovation to Moyer Lodge!

Play, Pray, Play, October 1-3
Come find renewal in and through God's creation! Begin with a day of play: hiking, fishing, canoeing, creekwalking, playing gagaball, crafting and more. We'll begin the day with interactive, camp-like worship and Bible study, and end with a campfire. Day 2 is set aside as a Day of Prayer - time for silent meditation, praying the labyrinth, reading, and contemplation. We'll wrap up the retreat with another day of play: hiking, fishing, canoeing, creekwalking, playing gagaball, crafting and more. Local horseback riding, wineries, and river trips may be available on the play days as well at additional cost. Lodging is modern-rustic and scratch-made meals are provided Tuesday lunch through Thursday lunch. 2 Day (Tues/Wed or Wed/Thurs): $80; 3 Day (Tues-Thurs): $125

Renew & Retreat, presented by Roots & Wings, October 8-10
Renew & Retreat is a Christian Formation Retreat for Family Ministries, presented by Roots & Wings, a ministry of the Virginia Synod, ELCA. This year's facilitator is Debbie Striecher, Co-Director at Milestones Ministry and past president of the Christian Education Network of the ELCA. Debbie is passionate about family ministry and the importance of daily immersion in the language of faith. Her vision is to involve all ages in faith formation, strengthen family relationships through spiritual growth, and empower God-given gifts to do ministry. All are welcome, to include other Synods, denominations, and ecumenical partners. Early Registration until Sept 1 is $100.

Wild Women Wine and Craft Retreat, December 6-8
Join us for a weekend of fellowship and renewal! Feel free to bring a book, your latest crafting project, and your favorite snacks/drinks to share. We'll share some of our favorites too - transportation is provided to a local winery, and we'll lead the group in a craft. (Craft details TBD - stay tuned)​Retreat cost includes modern-rustic lodging, scratch-made meals, and transportation to a local winery.

For more information and to register for any of the above events, click here.
"When Faith Hurts" -- A 2-Day Course on Child Abuse and Faith Communities with Victor Vieth
Join us for a FREE, 2-day course featuring Victor Vieth called “When Faith Hurts". This course deals with the intersection of child abuse and faith communities. Held on November 12-13, 2019 from 8:30 Am to 5:00 PM at Lexington Presbyterian Church. Topics include:
  • When Faith Hurts
  • When Child Abuse Hits Home: Corporal Punishment, the Law and the Faith Community
  • Understanding the Impact of Trauma on Children
  • Recognizing and Responding to Sexual Offenses Committed by Children, addressing emotional and spiritual injuries, care in action: a collaboration between faith and child protective communities, responding to allegations of child abuse within a congregation

To register for this event, click here. For an informational flyer click here. For more information about the speaker, click here.
Brandon Oaks Fall Bazaar
Join us Saturday, September 28th 8:00 AM -2:00 PM at the Brandon Oaks Auditorium for our Fall Bazaar! All proceeds will benefit the Brandon Oaks Auxiliary, a volunteer group whose funds support quality of life enhancements for the residents of Brandon Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center and Memory Support Center. We will have a raffle, hot dogs and chili for purchase and items for sale.

Do you have items you’d like to donate to our sale? Or delicious baked goods to include in our bake sale? Call Bazaar coordinator Betty Lovingood; (540) 769-8727.

For an event flyer, click here.
Godparents for Tanzania Trip
Are you the adventuresome type? Is there an African Safari in your bucket? Here’s your opportunity! Godparents for Tanzania (G4TZ) has just announced its 2020 Safari dates: August 6-20. Spend 12 days in- country doing multiple game drives in three amazing National Parks: Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Manyara and learn about the work of G4TZ.

More information, including the itinerary and estimated trip cost, is available at the G4TZ website: Click the Safari tab.

For more information, call the trip leader: Pastor Dwayne Westermann at 540-353-6341. Safari trips often fill up early in the year and the group size is limited, so don’t delay.

Karibu sana Tanzania! (Swahili for: “You are very welcome to Tanzania!”)
The fifth Annual Beer and Brats is back at Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center
Join us on Saturday September 28th at The Pavilion at HMLRC at 5:30

The evening highlights include: A selection of authentic German bratwurst, wieners, and side dishes, beer, soft drinks, and iced tea, live music, Cornhole tournament with prizes, and a bonfire
Sprouting Hope Garden at Hungry Mother
Do you have a passion for gardening and enjoy helping others? If so, Sprouting Hope needs you. Located on property at Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center, Sprouting Hope delivers fresh organic produce throughout the season to local food banks to be distributed directly into the community. Their volunteer hours are - Sunday 5-7 pm, Tuesday 6-8 pm Thursday 9-11 am.

Contact Mandy at for more information.
Called to be Prophets
"Called to be Prophets" Sept 27th and 28th. You can stay and worship with us on the 29th as well! I started this conference because I believe we are called to be more than pastor and chaplains. Brian McLaren is the headliner, Robyn Henderson-Espinoza is a very talented prophet, and Dr. Steed Davidson was our OT professor at PLTS back in the day. The conference is going to be great and I'd ask that you'd help us spread the word. North Carolina is beautiful in September! Link to the event is

Scholarships available, email for more information. Live podcast Friday night with our friends at Homebrewed Christianity and book reading/signing Saturday night coffee shop. First 100 registrants get free copies of McLaren and Henderson-Espinoza's new book before they come out! For more information on this event, click here.
U2charist Coming to Salem Lutheran, Mt. Sidney
At 7 p.m. on Saturday September 28th Salem Lutheran in Mt. Sidney will be doing something it has never done before: host a U2charist. A what???

For all those familiar with the music of the Irish rock band U2, this is essentially what it says it is - a Eucharist with U2 music. Unfortunately, the actual band will not be in attendance - but their music and message will be.

Think of it as a multimedia rock concert meets Eucharist. The result is a new way of being together, worshipping together, and proclaiming the Gospel. Much of U2’s music expresses a concern for social justice in the world. Our offering on the 28 th will go toward the ELCA fund for world hunger. All are welcome, dress is casual, and dancing in the aisles is encouraged.
Job Opportunities
Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries- College Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salem
College Evangelical Lutheran Church (Salem, Virginia) seeks applications for a part-time Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries. The weekly working hours will average 20 hours per week with the understanding that some weeks may require more than 25 hours and some weeks fewer than 20 hours. Scheduling will be determined by the Coordinator of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries in consultation with the Pastor.

For a complete position description, click here.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, résumé, and names and contact information of three (3) references to LuAnn Yates electronically to: LuAnn Yates, Personnel Ministry Team Chair Applications are currently being reviewed. For additional information about College Lutheran Church, go to
Youth and Family Ministry Intern/Part Time Position- Resurrection, Fredericksburg
This position is located in Fredericksburg VA. It would work for a student who is participating in distance learning at your campus and looking for a field education site or a place to explore youth and family ministry. This part-time position/internship offers $1000 per month stipend. We are equidistant between Alexandria VA and Richmond VA – about 50 miles.

For a complete position description, and application information, click here.
Part-time Institutional Chaplain- Buckingham Correctional Center
GraceInside has an immediate opening for a chaplain to serve Buckingham Correctional Center in Buckingham, Virginia. The position pays $25 dollars/hour and is currently funded for 111 hours a month. GraceInside chaplains serve as the Christian pastor as well as the religious supervisor for all religious activities on site.

For a complete position description, click here.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and application to GraceInside: 2828 Emerywood Parkway; Richmond, VA 23294 by September 6th, 2019. Applications may be requested from Lee Hargrave at or at (804) 358-7650.
Youth Ministry Director- St. Peter's, Stafford
St. Peter's in Stafford is searching for an individual who has a calling for Youth Ministry Leadership on a part-time basis and would like to apply to become our next Youth Ministry Director. Please visit to see the full position description. If you are interested, or know anyone who might be, please call the church office at 540-659-6366 or email Pastor Paul Toelke at
Worship and Music Director- Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach
Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach, VA., is seeking a part time Director of Worship & Music. We are a liturgical church following a specific format for worship. We are looking for someone who will be responsible for directing the sanctuary choir, children’s choir, and possibly hand bell choir. The Director must be a professional musician who is proficient in singing and can play one or more instrument(s) (piano/organ preferred). They must be able to select hymns and music pieces that fit with the particular Bible readings for a given Sunday and season of the Church year. Some computer skills are needed to prepare PowerPoints for the worship service, reports for the Church Council, and newsletter articles. They will be responsible for working within a budget and helping to develop a new budget for upcoming years. Above all, we are looking for a leader who loves the Lord, and His people and who will shepherd the choir members as part of his/her ministry at Emmanuel.

For information on applying, please email
Director of Church Music- College Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salem
College Evangelical Lutheran Church (Salem, Virginia) seeks applications for a part-time Director of Church Music (Organist and Choir Director) position. The weekly working hours will average 20-25 hours per week with the understanding that some weeks may require more than 25 hours and some weeks fewer than 20 hours. Scheduling will be determined by the Director of Church Music in consultation with the Pastor.

For a complete position description, click here.

To apply, please submit your cover letter, resume, and references electronically to: LuAnn Yates, Personnel Ministry Team Chair Applications are currently being reviewed. For additional information about College Lutheran Church, go to
ELCA Career Listings
Explore and apply for opportunities available with the churchwide organization or global service on the ELCA Job Board at
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at