ELCA presiding bishop issues statement on humanitarian situation in Syria
“Give God no rest” (Isaiah 62:6-7) until that day when “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together. ... They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25)  (ELCA social statement, “For Peace in God’s World”).
In recent days we have witnessed, with additional horror, further atrocities in Syria in a conflict that has taken almost countless lives over the past seven years and displaced millions of Syrians and others.

Following the April 13 air strikes conducted by the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, the president and the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation issued a statement that I encourage ELCA members to read and prayerfully consider.

Our church is responding to the needs of Syrian refugees and displaced people through the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in coordination with ACT Alliance (formerly Action by Churches Together). The IOCC has been assisting those in need in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to ensure food security, establish shelter, and provide better access to water and sanitation facilities, among other activities. LWF-Jordan is working with Syrian refugees and host communities in Amman, Mafraq, Irbid and in the Zaatari refugee camp, bolstering livelihoods through cash transfers and skills training in agriculture practices and improved technologies for vegetable production in home gardens to benefit malnourished children, pregnant and lactating women, and sick people. They are also providing psychosocial support, particularly among women. We plan to continue and intensify this work.

In the face of this ongoing humanitarian crisis, our nation also needs to open its arms again to receive Syrian refugees for resettlement in the United States. We will continue to work in ecumenical partnership as we pray, advocate and work to receive refugees.

Last, but not least, our government, as part of the international community, needs to redouble its efforts to work diligently for a diplomatic resolution of this conflict. As U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said earlier this weekend, “There is no military solution to the crisis. The solution must be political.”
In Christ,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Announcements
Synod Assembly 2018, "Only By Grace Can We Stand"
Synod Assembly is here!  June 8-10  will be our time to get together as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and worship. Our ELCA representative this year will be  The Rev. Ronald Glusenkamp , Director of the Campaign for the ELCA.

For more information and to register for this year's Synod Assembly,  click here
Let’s be Intentional! Nominations for Synod Council, 2019 Churchwide Assembly
Congregations and individuals are encouraged to be intentional about diversity as you nominate people for Synod Council and the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly! The Virginia Synod Constitution requires that all committees include both clergy and lay people and be gender-inclusive. The Constitution also encourages that 10% of the members of all committees be persons of color or those whose primary language is other than English and also that 10% be youth (under 18) and young adults (18-30). So, let’s be intentional about diversity!

The nomination form is due by May 9th and can be submitted as a paper form, or digital form.
LAUNCH 2018
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 .
Have you registered for Summer Camp?
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. Campers ages 15 to 18 may also participate in LIT! (Leaders In Training) Camp. To learn more and view the summer schedule,  click here

Caroline Furnace will be hosting a Spring Open House on May 12. All are welcome to join for a bluegrass worship, lunch, and camp activities. This is a great time to come and learn more about the camp and retreat opportunities at Caroline Furnace!
Taizé in RVA: a regional, ecumenical gathering for young adults
Congregations of the Richmond Conference of Lutheran (ELCA) Congregations, Episcopal congregations in Hanover County, and other ecumenical partners invite young adults (18-30 years of age) to attend a weekend retreat April 27-28 led by two brothers of the internationally known Ecumenical Community of Taizé from France. The weekend will include prayer in the musical style of Taizé, bible reflections, as well as panel and small group sessions. The event is free, but a $25 donation is being requested from those who can afford it to assist with food. For more information and to register, visit  messiahmech.com
Crumley Archives Meeting- "Lutherans and Prohibition"
We will observe this rich history Friday, April 27 at 5:00 PM in historic Alumni Hall on the campus of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The evening will begin with a "Happy Hour" and will include a lecture by Lutheran historian Dr. Susan W. McArver.

Tickets are $40 and all proceeds benefit the Crumley Archives. Your check sent to 4201 N. Main St., Columbia, SC 29203 reserves your seat. Please RSVP by April 20. Cheers!
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 crumleybookkeeper@gmail.com 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  treetops@shentel.net  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: www.nalip.net. To discuss the programs call Pastor Ken Ruppar at 804-564-5389.
LTSS Alumni Day 2018
Plans for the 2018 Alumni Day are in place for Thursday, April 26, at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. It promises to be a day of inspiration, fellowship, and learning. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. A Festival Eucharist follows. Dr. Fred Whitt, University President, will engage attendees in a conversation, followed by a lunch for which a reservation must be made. Previous seminary classes are urged to come as groups. Former LTSS professor, Dr. Thomas E. Ridenhour, will present the Yost Lecture. The day will end in fellowship with an Oompah-pah band. For details and to make a reservation, go to  www.lr.edu/ltss/alumniday .
Job Opportunities
Part-time Church Secretary/Office Manager, Christ Roanoke
Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Virginia needs a secretary/office manager for 28 hours a week due to employee’s retirement. New employee should be self-starter for our fast-paced environment, able to work harmoniously within a team, have exceptional customer skills, have a comprehensive understanding of social media platforms, be fully qualified in Microsoft Office products, and have two-year business education or four years’ experience in general office work. Salary commensurate with experience.

Contact Mrs. Berry at 540-204- 1994 to obtain an application.
Part-time Music Director, PALS Church in Bealeton
PALS Church (Presbyterian and Lutheran Services) in Bealeton, VA, is seeking a part-time Music Director. The primary responsibilities are selecting music for services (working with the pastor), directing the small choir, and providing organ/piano accompaniment for Sunday morning worship (one service) and seasonal mid-week services. Other responsibilities will include (but are not limited to) providing accompaniment at other church functions as requested by the pastor and for funerals and weddings.

Please contact The Rev. Jo Ann Staebler, mallonxaris@verizon.net  or  703-943-9944 .
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