The Top 10 Moments from 2017 in the Virginia Synod
We've had a great 2017 here in the Virginia Synod! Now that the year is coming to a close we're taking some time now to look back and celebrate the best moments of 2017, and look ahead for an exciting new year!
10- PNG Mosquito Nets
In December, the Virginia Synod reached and surpassed our goal of raising $50,000, by contributing $52,319.09 to go towards purchasing mosquito nets for our partner synod, the New Guinea Islands District, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea!

To learn about how you can continue to support our partner synod, click here .
9- ACTS 15th Year
This year ACTS, The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study, celebrated 15 years! Started by the Rev. Dr. Jean Bozeman because of a need for trained lay leadership in congregations, ACTS has evolved into a premier educational resource for all congregational leadership including pastors. 

ACTS enriches and equips 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.

To learn more about ACTS and their upcoming Spring Course, click here.
8- Week of Service
A year just isn't complete without pulling on your"God's Work Our Hands" t-shirts! This year was the Virginia Synod's 5th annual Week of Service, which coincided with "God's Work, Our Hands" Sunday the ELCA Day of Service. 

All congregations were invited to reach out into their neighborhoods to become God's hands and feet, to serve those in need and to share God's compassion with the world, and to further share their stories of service with the Synod. Stories of service from across the Synod showcased great experiences of service, often in partnership with the Virginia Synod's fantastic Mission Partners.

To see how our congregations served this year, click here .
7- Roanoke College 175!
This year Roanoke College celebrated their 175th anniversary! Roanoke College, the second-oldest Lutheran college in the nation held numerous events recognizing this historic anniversary, including art exhibitions, speakers, Founder's Day, a performance by the Kandinsky Trio and holiday events by the Roanoke College Choir and other student ensembles.

This year's commencement address was given by Bishop Mauney, celebrating the faith that centers studies at Roanoke College.
6- Virginia Synod Youth Event Highlights
From Winter Celebration to 7th Day, this year was filled with exciting Youth Events!

At this year's Kairos during the Thursday Evening Eucharist, Whitney Long of Emmanuel Lutheran in Virginia Beach was baptized. Whitney felt a strong connection to the Kairos community during the week-long event, and all present members of the Kairos community, as well as Whitney’s father, acted as her baptism sponsors. Baptisms don’t often occur during Virginia Synod youth events, so this evening was a rare and exciting moment to witness as Whitney was baptized into God’s family!

We also got to take a look at what the planning process for these events is like, thanks to a look behind scene peek with the 2017 Winter Celebration Planning Group!
5- Resolution Passed, Honoring Bishop Mauney
One resolution was passed with a standing ovation at this year's Synod Assembly, recognizing the great work in the life of our synod by Bishop Mauney, naming him Bishop Emeritus at his retirement on August 31st.

On Friday evening, Bishop Mauney and the office of the Bishop were recognized at a reception hosted at the Roanoke College Cregger Center. There Bishop Mauney’s work and care for the Virginia Synod was recognized by several speakers including The Rev. Paul Henrickson, The Rev. Chris Price, and his family among others. Bishop Mauney and Lynda Mauney were also gifted with a DVD featuring recorded thanks from rostered ministers and staffers from the office of the Bishop taken during this past year’s Gathering of the Ministerium.
4- ForwardingFaith passes $2 Million
2017 saw the start of the congregational giving phase, with a number of congregations getting involved.

  • Grace Lutheran in Winchester conducted an all-out campaign in celebration of its youth and members who had participated in ACTS and Power in the Spirit through the years. Members’ generosity has led to gifts and pledges of $87,500 and with the hope of surpassing $100,000! 
  • Epiphany Church in Richmond blessed us with a very enthusiastic leader for lead gift efforts and then with another leader for its congregational appeal, and the two efforts have resulted in over $190,000 so far!
  • Trinity Lutheran in Stephens City has made a $25,000 commitment (from its endowment fund) of $5,000 a year for the coming five years!
  • Faith Lutheran in Whitetop, a small congregation in the mountains near the North Carolina state line, has a record of being quite active in the ACTS program and youth ministry of our synod. Faith’s appeal resulted in two gifts that totaled $6,000! 
  • Ebenezer Lutheran in Marion made a gift from their reserved funds for $6,000! 
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran in Lynchburg hosted an evening dinner cooked by the (gourmet) pastor, held a silent auction, and provided a gift from their funds that all together totaled over $28,000!
  • Other congregations have used Lenten offerings, Advent offerings, anniversary and Confirmation Day offerings as a way to support the campaign.

Many more congregations are just getting started, after attending one of our Congregational Training events this fall, and there will be even more opportunity to attend training this year as well!

No matter the age or season of life, faith formation is at the center of our lives in the Virginia Synod!

Stay tuned to  forwardingfaith.org for continued campaign updates and opportunities to get your congregation involved as we continue to fundraise in 2018.
3- Hebron Lutheran turns 300
The weekend of April 29-30, the Virginia Synod Ministerium and the community surrounding Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison all took part to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Hebron! Organized in 1717 by German settlers and built in 1740, Hebron is known as the oldest Lutheran worshipping community in the south.

To read more about Hebron and their 300th anniversary, click here.
2- 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Across the globe, Lutherans gathered to observe the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and many great celebrations happened right here in Virginia! From Pastors transforming into Martin Luther to musical celebrations, there were many ways that congregations in the Virginia Synod reflected upon our heritage, history, and the affirmation of our central theological convictions.

To see how congregations celebrated this historic anniversary, click here !
1- The Rev. Bob Humphrey Elected and Installed as Bishop
After much excitement, prayer, and discernment a new Bishop was elected to serve for the first time in 18 years. The Rev. Bob Humphrey was elected on June 11th to serve a six-year term as bishop. He was elected on the fifth ballot.

Following a summer of equally exciting transition and preparation in the office of the bishop, Bishop Humphrey was installed with more than 630 people gathered September 9th at First Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro Virginia.

To read more about this historic event in the life of our synod, click here.
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
ForwardingFaith Congregational Training!
Does your congregation want to take part in the ForwardingFaith Campaign? Is your stewardship team looking for a training event, but doesn't know where to go? As part of the Forwarding Faith Campaign, we are offering 2-hour training sessions throughout the Virginia Synod to teach your stewardship team how to conduct a special gift appeal.

A part of this training provides materials and information on how to conduct the Forwarding Faith campaign in your congregation, but you can use everything you learn during the training session to conduct an appeal for a new air conditioning unit, parking lot paving, roof, outreach opportunity, or whatever your ministry needs to fund!

For more information and to RSVP, click here
Winter Celebration 2018
Winter Celebration  is our annual weekend retreat for youth in grades 9 through 12 and their adult advisers.  We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. 

For more information and to register for Winter Celebration Week 1, click here
For Winter Celebration Week 2, click here
Caroline Furnace camper registration is open for 2018!
Ephesians 2:8 is our theme verse for the summer. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."

At Caroline Furnace, our campers combine faith with daily life on our 257 acre camp, surrounded by George Washington National Forest and nestled between the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River. Campers experience daily worship and Bible study, plus a large range of activities. Campers may swim, canoe, fish, creekwalk, play small and large group games, challenge themselves on our low ropes course, hike, cook over a campfire, create crafts, learn archery, gain culinary skills, or explore the iron furnace ruins on camp property. Each week, Chaplains from supporting congregations join us in leading the campers in morning worship, Bible study, and campfire and evening devotion.
 
To view the complete summer schedule for 2018, and for more information, click here.
Caroline Furnace BeerReformation Retreat
Caroline Furnace invites you to join them for a weekend (or a day) of faith, education, fun and fellowship! Celebrate our rich Christian heritage, the history and art of brewing and the beautiful surroundings of the Shenandoah Valley January 19-21, 2018.

Activities include sharing your favorite brew, learning the art of food and beer pairings, discussion on the science of brewing since the 15th century, and visiting a local craft brewery. We will also enjoy the opportunity to share our faith stories with a prayer hike, worship and compline time.

Load up your sleeping bag, hiking shoes, and your favorite six pack for a winter weekend getaway! Register online today! The weekend schedule and other details will be sent out before the event.

For more information, and to register, click here.
Caroline Furnace Wild Women Series: Wine Retreat
Caroline Furnace invite you to join them for a weekend (or a day) of faith, education, fun and fellowship January 26-28, 2018.

Activities include a visit to local wineries, a study of Jesus’s first miracle, and getting creative with some wine-themed crafts. Relax, recharge and enjoy community with us at Buttonwood Lodge.

For more information, and to register, click here.
Discover Islam DVD Series
The Virginia Synod has received free copies of a resource entitled Discover Islam, a six video series that is produced by Discover Islam - USA. This resource has received endorsement from the Islamic Society of North America, a partner with the ELCA in our inter-religious work. This is a resource that has helpful information covering Islam Faith & History, Women in Islam; Islam: An American Faith; Islam a faith hijacked, Christians and Islam; and African Americans & Islam.

These documentary videos provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of Islam, and to explore areas where we have common understanding (e.g. love of God and neighbor) as well as faith differences.

The Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Muslim relations, in partnership with A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago developed a study guide for use with the series. It is available for download on the ELCA website.

At this time, the Virginia Synod several copies available on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please contact Emily Pilat at pilat@vasynod.org for more information.
Trip to Germany with St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Williamsburg
Now that the crowds are gone, members and friends of St. Stephen in Williamsburg are going to Germany for a nine-day study tour, June 13-21! "In the Footsteps of Martin Luther and the Reformation" will visit Wittenberg, Erfurt, Wartburg Castle and much more. $3,646 from Richmond. For more information, click here

If you would like a snail mail copy of the brochure, let Pastor Andy Ballentine know, at pastorab@saintstephenlutheran.net !
Job Opportunities
Chaplain, Virginia Lutheran Homes
The Chaplain is responsible for providing spiritual care, short-term counselling, worship leadership, education and other religious support to residents, families and staff at all Virginia Lutheran Homes facilities.
For a complete job description,  click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Becky Walls at the Virginia Synod Office at 540-389-1000 or they can email at  walls@vasynod.org .
Executive Director, Rural Family Development
This position is responsible for providing leadership and management to implement the Head Start Program for Caroline County in concert with the mission and vision of the Virginia Council of Churches/Rural Family Development through the utilization of Federal funding, State and agency policies and procedures.

For a complete job description, click here.

For anyone interested in applying for this position, they can contact the Virginia Council of Churches at 804-321-3300 ext. 100 or they can email Crystal Greenerl at greenerl@vacouncilofchurches.org
Organist, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Petersburg
Seeking part-time organist/choir director for one Sunday morning service, one adult choir rehearsal, and special services during Lent, Holy Week, and Christmas. Candidates should be familiar with the traditional liturgical service as practiced in a Eucharistically-centered sung service and experienced in a variety of musical styles. Salary range is negotiable with 2 weeks paid vacation. Opportunities for wedding and funerals are compensated separately. The primary instrument is a two manual Rodgers organ with spinet pianos in the sanctuary and the chapel. For information about the church and congregation please visit the church website at www.lcor.net

Interested candidates should contact Marva Farrington, Worship Committee Chair, at marva_farrington@yahoo.com. The position will become available in January 2018.
Director of Music, Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra
Are you someone who is an accomplished keyboardist/pianist and looking for a part-time position (approx. 20 hrs/wk)? Have you been involved in a choir and have the ability to direct a choir? Grace and Glory has the perfect position for you! We are currently seeking someone with your abilities to serve as our Dir. of Music for our congregation. Our worship services are held Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am. If you would enjoy working with a vibrant, growing congregation sharing your gift of music, we would really enjoy speaking with you. Please email  gglcelca@embarqmail.com . It would be helpful to include both a cover letter and resume when inquiring and/or applying. We would be pleased to share a Job Description which is flexible depending upon the successful candidate’s musical gifts. EOE.

 
Grace & Glory is a vibrant, growing congregation in beautiful Central Virginia. We are active in the community and welcome all to join us as "Caring Christians sharing God's message of Grace." To learn more about us and our mission, please visit our website at  www.graceandglory.church.
Director of Youth and Family Ministry, St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville
The Director of Youth and Family Ministry works with the Pastor(s), staff, lay leaders and others to support the spiritual health of the congregation and specifically the youth, primarily middle and high school age. Provides a connection between the St. Mark family and the growing number of youth. The lead Pastor is the immediate supervisor of the Director of Youth and Family Ministry. To view the full listing and apply,  click here .
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