Synod Assembly 2018
Only By Grace Can We Stand
Synod Assembly is our annual opportunity for the 150 congregations of the Virginia Synod to come together and be reminded of what it means to be a part of the wider church. Our theme during our June 8-10, 2018 gathering was “Only by Grace Can We Stand”.
During the weekend, Bishop Humphrey helped explore the theme for the Assembly based off of Ephesians 2:19-21, with three keynote presentations that led to small group time. This opportunity to break off into small groups was styled after the Large Group/Small Group feature that is present in most Virginia Synod youth events. This small group time proved a popular way for participants at Assembly to meet one another, and to better get to know the many different congregations that make up our synod.
Small group time also served as a way for participants at Assembly to share their experiences as the church together with structured group activities like decorating PVC crosses as a group. These groups also used their time to discuss and share their opinions on the current format for the Assembly, and brainstorm ideas for how future Assemblies could take shape.
Our ELCA representative this year was The Rev. Ronald Glusenkamp. Pastor Glusenkamp serves as the director of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, a five-year, $198 million comprehensive campaign that will establish a strong culture of stewardship allowing this church to boldly do God's work in Jesus' name throughout the world. During his time with us, Pastor Glusenkamp brought good news from the wider church. To view presentation and information shared by Pastor Glusenkamp during the Assembly, click here.
Elections at Assembly
Elections took place over the weekend with Dan Kahill, of Christ in Roanoke elected as the Virginia Synod Council Treasurer. The Rev. Lauren Miller of Peace in Charlottesville was elected to serve as clergy member following her appointment to the Synod Council earlier this year. Tyler Wertman of Grace in Waynesboro, The Rev. Jonathan Boynton of Grace in Winchester, and The Rev. Leslie Scanlon of Grace in Chesapeake are the newly elected members joining Synod Council.
Elections for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly also took place with The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko of Our Saviour in Richmond, The Rev. Phyllis Milton of Gloria Dei in Hampton, Hunter Simpkins of Grace in Chesapeake, Mycha McNett of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg, Deacon Christine Van O’Linda Huffman of St. Michael in Virginia Beach, Megan Crummitt of St. Paul’s in Hampton, Todd Recupero of Trinity in Newport News, The Rev. Martha Miller Sims of Grace in Winchester, and The Rev. Tim Crummitt St. Paul’s in Hampton all being elected to serve.
ForwardingFaith Report
The Rev. John Wertz Jr. was joined by The Rev. Stephen Bohannon, acting as the Roving Reporter to deliver a report for the ongoing ForwardingFaith campaign. It was announced that to date we have reached our $2.5 million goal which was set not by the need, but rather what the synod could raise. We are continuing to encourage more congregations to join in holding their own appeals as part of the campaign, seeking to stretch our total as high as $4 million!

Future campaign training events are being planned now, and if you are interested in participating please contact Lenae Osmondson at for more information. Thank you to all the congregations and members who have helped us exceed our basic goal for ForwardingFaith. More information on the ForwardingFaith campaign can be found at
50th Anniversary of Women’s Ordination Celebrated
One resolution was passed over the weekend, memorializing the 50th anniversary of women’s ordination in the Lutheran Church. The resolution was submitted by Judy Casteele of Good Shepherd in Lexington. The resolution calls upon congregations throughout the ELCA to participate in the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in our church through worship services, bible studies and other efforts to celebrate and recognize the importance and contributions of ordained women, among other goals. The final version of this resolution will be published as part of the minutes for this year's assembly.
Worship at Assembly
Worship at this year's Synod Assembly brought together with worship planners from across Virginia. Worship planners included The Rev. Lauren Miller, Vicar Melissa Woeppel, Pastor Jonathan Boynton, The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko, The Rev. Philip Martin, The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, Lenae Osmondson, The Rev. Leslie Scanlon, and The Rev. Alex Zuber. Each shared their talents presenting a diverse range of services throughout the weekend, and we thank them for all their hard work.
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands Award
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands award winners were recognized during this year’s Synod Assembly. Kim Begnaud of Trinity in Stephens City received the silver award, Jane Perry of Zion in Edinburg received the Gold award, and Karen Murphy of Bethlehem in Lynchburg was presented with the Diamond award.
Installations of the Bishop's Staff
Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick, Assistant to the Bishop, and Deacon Lisa Geiger, Candidacy Process Administrator, were installed into their new positions in the Synod Office during the Friday afternoon worship service. Pastor John Wertz, incoming Assistant to the Bishop, and Pastor Dave Delaney, Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, will be installed to their positions during the Thursday Evening Eucharist during Power in the Spirit.
Youth Assembly
"Who Stands with Me?"
Isaac Wilson of Christ in Fredericksburg, president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme of “Who Stands by Me?”. He shared a summary of this year’s Youth Assembly sharing their guest speakers, topics that were covered during the groups Chat Room time, and more.
He also raised up aspects of the current Assembly format the youth feel are important as the format is reviewed for future assemblies. The incoming LYO Board president will be Turner Barger of Epiphany in Richmond.
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at  and make sure to follow our
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, click here.
Junior High Servant Event 2018
At the Water’s Edge is a week-long servant event for Youth who have completed the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, and their adult advisors. We spend the week together experiencing the Christan life through worship, fellowship, and service. Of course, being in Virginia Beach, we will also spend some time having fun at the water’s edge.

For more information and to register, click here.
Power in the Spirit: Walking in Newness of Life
Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for people of all ages who wish to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible studies, keynote addresses, workshops, games, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members, committee or council members, family life consultants, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

For more information and to register, click here.
Kairos 2018
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, click here .
Fall 2018 ACTS Course
This year's spring ACTS course will be held October 20th and November 10th at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert will present on Lutheran Confessions.

For more information on the Fall ACTS course and to register for this fall's course,  click here .
Have you registered for Summer Camp? It's not too late!
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.

Registration clos es 10 days before the start date of each week of camp. To learn more and view the summer schedule,  click here
Crumley Archives Summer Workshops - June 18 and July 23
Are you and your congregation interested in preserving your history? Do you have questions about what to preserve, and what to toss? Ever wonder what you can do with those old Bibles?

Then consider attending the Crumley Archives Summer Workshop! This one-day educational opportunity will cover important areas in archives and preservation, including:

  • Current preservation techniques
  • Storage
  • Digital archives
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Records management
  • Collection development and processing
  • Finding aids
  • Genealogy research
  • Public service

Workshops will be conducted June 18 and July 23 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Crumley Archives, 4201 N. Main St., Columbia, SC 29203
Cost is $20 per person. Church rate for 3 or more attendees is $50.   Contact Trudy Bouknight at to reserve your seat!

Pastor Lance Braun from Mount Tabor, Staunton, and Redeemer, McKinley, is coordinating Crumley Archives CAR POOL transportation and Scholarships for Shenandoah Valley participants. Contact him at his cell phone 540-879-9575 or email  for information and assistance.
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: To discuss the programs call Pastor Ken Ruppar at 804-564-5389.
2019 Impact Grants—Apply Now!
Impact1890—A National Lutheran Program is pleased to announce the availability of Impact grants for the 2019 year. Each year, Impact1890 awards grants to non-profit organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors, particularly those who are aging in place in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. All grants must address at least one of the following urgent needs faced by seniors:

  • Social isolation
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Navigating and accessing health care and social services
  • Chronic disease management
  • Dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and memory loss

Does your organization qualify? Proposals will be accepted June 1, 2018 – August 15, 2018. To learn more about the submission of grant proposals visit Questions? Contact us at or 301-354-2703 and ask for Impact1890.

To download a flyer with info on Impact1890's Impact grants, click here.
Mark your calendars: Application for Domestic Hunger Grants Will Open Soon
Dear partners and friends of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA World Hunger is pleased to announce the 2019 Domestic Hunger Grant application will open soon! Beginning in June, you will be able learn more about the grants and how to apply by visiting

The Domestic Hunger Grant process has been in transition this year. Based on feedback from previous applicants, our team has been revising the grant application and the webpage to make both more helpful to you, our ministry partners.

We look forward to partnering with you through:
  • A new, user-friendly online application that reflects the priorities and values of ELCA World Hunger.
  • A longer award cycle, allowing ministries to seek funding for three years through one application.
  • A shorter timeline from application to award decision.
  • A clear list of eligibility criteria and the materials you will need before you apply.

To learn more about Domestic Hunger Grants and the new ELCA Grantmaker system, we invite you to attend one of two webinars that will review our granting priorities and cover the basics of applying. Simply click on the date of your choice below for instructions on how to call in.

Thank you for all you do to creatively and courageously work toward a just world where all are fed – neighborhood to neighborhood, community to community. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us at
LTSS Scholarships
The ELCA is a facing a dire leadership shortage. Please consider attending seminary. Jesus called his disciples one or two at a time. Perhaps you’re being called. Even if you’re merely thinking about ministry, please contact Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and start a conversation with your synod representative. Thanks to generous donors and alumni, qualified ministry candidates studying at LTSS can receive up to full-tuition scholarships if they are full-time students.

LTSS students are preparing for a variety of ministries, so even if a Master of Divinity isn’t a part of your perceived call, there are other options. The newly launched MA in Religious Leadership – a fully online program – is aimed at students who want to enhance their theological ability so as to strengthen their vocation and ministry in a place they may already be serving. The Certificate in Lutheran Studies is aimed at students who want to deepen their understanding of Lutheran theology or who are thinking about a seminary degree program but who are not quite ready to make that full-time commitment. If you’re curious, and want to follow Christ into leadership, please contact Deacon Justin Rimbo at, or start the application process online at

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. David Ratke
Dean, College of Theology
Lenoir-Rhyne University / Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Leadership and Anxiety in the Church
You are invited to attend Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family Systems Perspective, a one-day workshop that looks at the challenges presented by the rising levels of anxiety being experienced in churches today. You will learn practical skills that will help you defuse anxious situations and maintain a non-anxious presence. This interdenominational workshop will be hosted by First Mennonite Church in Richmond, VA on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Discounts are available for individuals and church groups who register by September 12, 2018. Please call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507, email them at, or visit their website at

For more information about this event, click here.
To register or to download a brochure or group discount coupon, click here.
Job Opportunities
Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network 11-month Program
LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network, is looking for young adults (age 21-30) with Bachelor's degrees for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer service and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2018 to the end of July 2019, our corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health coverage, transportation, spiritual direction, and a $400/month food stipend. We also offer a $1000 re-entry grant at the completion of the program.

The placement sites for the upcoming program year include faith-based non-profits, secular non-profits, congregations, the Sierra Pacific Synod office, and our campus ministry at UC Davis. These service sites address issues of homelessness, unemployment, children and youth ministries, computer literacy, and other important social justice issues facing our communities.
We gather each week for worship, dinner, and formation. The corps members live in intentional community in a triplex in Sacramento, CA. We're an ecumenical program in the Episcopal Service Corps network; applicants needn't be either Lutheran or Episcopal to apply—interest in Christian spirituality is the only expectation. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the program begins.
Visit or contact Program Director Casey Dunsworth at 530-756-1550 or for more information!
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow- Washington, DC
Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. 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 2018 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the ELCA Advocacy office in Washington D.C. The Fellow will serve as a member of the ELCA Advocacy national staff team.

Focusing on analyzing and addressing the root causes of hunger and economic injustice, and promoting a holistic approach to hunger ministry, the Hunger Advocacy Fellow will build ELCA World Hunger capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

For a complete job description, and to apply for this position, click here.
If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at