All Things Grow With Love
Clocks have been set forward, and spring has officially sprung, which for anyone with a green thumb means it's gardening season. For those that like to take root as the weather gets warmer  small garden plots in the backyard, or helping seasonal bulbs coming into bloom is a great way to have a fun time outside. For Emmanual Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach, a community garden is how they're connecting to growing this spring, taking root with the plants they're cultivating. 
The project is being helmed by Michael Tate and the Emmanual confirmation class, as an active community project, "Our confirmation groups have done community projects in the past, but these guys needed something a little more active," and so the garden has taken shape to accommodate the group's energy.

"This is the first thing this group has done where they've bonded, gotten together, and were all on board with the project 100%. They're passionate about it," said Tate of the group's efforts.

A 10 by 10 area in a field next to the church is the space where the garden is taking shape. The small group of confirmands are bonding over the project, and are excited as it's just getting started. The enthusiasm for what this community plot can do is already spreading, its size not limiting what can grow at Emmanuel. 
So far the project has fostered positive involvement and support outside the confirmation class. The company that does the landscaping for Emmanuel Lutheran has gotten involved in the project providing the garden's compost. Emmanual Lutheran's preschool classes are also connected to the plot, as they are growing peas, beans, cucumber, and squash seedlings which will all be planted in the garden. 

The class has also received support from an action team grant from Thrivent Financial to help offset the costs of starting the garden, "They're really jazzed up about it," laughed Tate on the group's excitement, "I've only ever seen them jazzed up about two things since I've known this group: Lost and Found and this."

Here's looking forward to what's to be harvested at Emmanuel as the confirmation class and those supporting them continue to work on this community project!
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
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.
A Gathering of the Ministerium: A Day of Anniversary Celebrations
Rostered Ministers and spouses, come join us on April 29th for a day of remembrance and reflection as we commemorate three momentous events in the life of the Church, Synod, and Community at Hebron Lutheran Church, in Madison Virginia.

For more information and to register for the event, click here
Lent 2017 Study Series: "Being Church Together in a Changing World"
Tapestry, the Virginia Synod Steering Team on engaging “diversity in context,” has put together a 5-week Lenten study series, for use by either congregation groups or individuals.  It comes in two parts:

Weekly Webinars led by Directors of Evangelical Mission, and weekly devotions are written by folks (Rostered and lay) from across the Virginia Synod.

To catch up with the Lenten Study, click here.

Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering

Ambassadors for Christ "Luther's Small Catechism in a Time of Big Change"

Celebrating 500 years since the time of the Reformation and using Luther’s Small Catechism as our guide, we will Explore, Study and Discuss the basics of our Christian Faith.

Saturday, April 22 – Sunday afternoon, April 23, 2017 at Roslyn Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center 8727 River Road – Richmond, Virginia 23229

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
Forming Faith 2017 Roots and Wings Workshop
What happens when we consider how faith affects our brains, not just our hearts? In this daylong events, be prepared to look at faith formation and ministry with children and youth using an “Inside Out” point of view. Workshops will balance findings from neuroscience with practical applications for parenting and leading ministry.

Saturday, May 6, 2017 9:00 Am-3:00 PM at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

For more information, and to register for this event, click here
All Bach Palm Sunday Concert at Luther Memorial, Blacksburg
Please join us for an all Bach concert, April 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM, in the Luther Memorial sanctuary.  This concert is part of year-long observance of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.  This event is free;  an offering wil be taken

For more information, click here
Blessing of the Bikes & Beasts
Bring your motorcycles and/or family pets to St Mark Lutheran 118 Old York-Hampton Hw Yorktown, VA  23692, VA  23692 for a special blessing on  Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 2-4 PM . Pets will be blessed in the back patio area and bikes will be blessed in the front parking lot. All are welcome to attend.

For more information contact Cathy Caffacus at 757-898-4395 or  churchcomm@smlconline.org

FREED-UP FINANCIAL LIVING
Are you ready to work on your financial goals?  Are you ready to learn how to deal with money in a refreshing, biblical way?

Then consider FREED-UP FINANCIAL LIVING, a 6-session study designed to:
  • Prioritize your financial goals
  • Develop a personalized spending plan
  • Identify action steps to reduce your expenses
  • Pay down your debt

Stewardship Matters of Virginia is offering this class at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1904 Mount Vernon Avenue, Waynesboro, beginning on Tuesday, April 18.  The cost is $44.00 for a couple sharing a workbook or $34.00 for an individual.  The class will be 7 – 8:30 p.m. and is open to everyone.

For more information and registration, go to www.StewardshipMattersVa.org  or call Rev. David Rash, 540-335-5175.

Generosity NOW
There's still time to register for Generosity NOW: an ecumenical conference on Stewardship that will be held in Washington, DC  April 25-27 . Scholarships to cover the registration fee of $299 are available from the ELCA. For more information, please contact Keith Mundy:  keith.mundy@elca.org . See the full details of the conference at stewardshipresources.org/generosity-now
Job Opportunities
Church Organist/Choirmaster Wanted

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hampton, VA is seeking an experienced organist to lead music at two Sunday morning services, play for weddings and funerals, and direct an adult and a youth choir. This position requires approximately 25 hours per week.

Apply during April 2017 via www.gloriadeilutheranchurch.net/music.html

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