7th Day: Everything We Have
7th Day, the Virginia Synod youth event for 5th and 6th-grades was held over the weekend of March 4-5 at Eagle Eyrie Baptist Convention Center in Lynchburg. Over 190 youth and adults made up Shepard Groups that together joined in the fun and faith-filled weekend learning new songs, making crafts, listening to stories, and playing plenty of exciting games.  
The focus for the weekend was set by this year's planning group youth and adults- made up by Courtney Bowen, Eli Boyden, Keegan Browning, Mariella Kern, Izzy McKee, event chaplain Pastor Cindy Keyser, and planning group advisor Maria Roberts.
The story for this year's 7th Day was from Mark 12:38-44, the story of Jesus criticizing the greediness and self-centeredness of the religious leaders of his day and commending a poor widow whose small temple offering represents a much more important gift. From this gospel story grew the theme  "Everything We Have"  which centered the entire weekend event. Youth and adults explored how God inspires us to be generous, even if we feel like we have very little to offer!

The planning group youth choose to retell this story with a food drive occurring just outside a grocery store, with two people making contributions- a wealthy person and a poor person. Two "disciples" are helping out at the food drive, and from these contributions learn what sacrificial giving really means, and how they can give what they can to those who need it most!
In addition to the planning group skit- activity modules for crafts, interactive story, music, and movement each focused on three aspects of the gospel story: abundance, poverty, and everything

In the crafts module, led by Greg McCorkindale, Diane Bayer, and Heather Browning, Shepherd Groups applied their creativity to several projects over the weekend, such as adorning small bags with colorful jewels to represent abundances and wealth. They also decorated wooden coin 'mites' with postive messages and images. One mite was kept for themselves and the other donated to senior citizen centers and retirement communities in Virginia.

For the interactive story module, led by Valerie Dombrowski and Sarah Dombrowski, the Shepherd groups saw Mark 12:38-44 come to life. There they learned the history of what temples were like in Jesus's time, and watch reenactments of the gospel. They also bundled personal care kits to be donated to Lutheran World Relief, giving what they can to those who need it most.

In music, led by  Dave DelaneyTim WilsonTori Smith, and  Celeste Wilson, Shepherd Groups were introduced to new songs to sing and their corresponding movements, like "This Is My Commandment". The songs learned here at 7th Day often become the returning favorites, as many are sung across other Virginia Synod youth events such as Lost and Found and Winter Celebration!
Finally, the movement module, led by  Bryan Jaster  and  Maura  Dunbar , gave the Shepherd Groups the opportunity to play silly games like Duck, Duck, Cow, have snowball fights, and move in the gospel. At the end of the weekend, each group received a verse and together planned a presentation of a human sculpture. These verses were read while the sculptures were performed during the Sunday afternoon worship.
7th Day provided a weekend filled with fun, laughter, and worship as the 5th and 6th-graders present learned more about how God not only provides for all our needs but gives us abundances to share. 
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
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
Reformation 500 Observances
As the second oldest Lutheran college in the USA, the mission statement of Roanoke College declares that we "honor our Christian heritage by nurturing a dialogue between faith and reason." In this spirit, Roanoke College announces a series of special academic events from late 2016 through the anniversary year 2017 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and in coordination with the 175th anniversary of the college's founding.

For more information on this and future events from Roanoke College celebrating the Reformation click here
Roanoke Valley Gives LFSVA Lutheran Challenge

Abundant Possibilities! 

IMAGINE if 500 Lutherans give just $10 each to our LFSVA Lutheran Challenge on March 15 through the Roanoke Valley Gives event. You will help us create lives filled with possibilities for students and individuals with developmental challenges. 

Roanoke Valley Gives is an initiative of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley, area organizations raise as much awareness and support within 24 hours. Gifts to Lutheran Family Services of Virginia will remove barriers to learning, to employment, and to experiencing the joy of engaging with others in our community. 

You can schedule your gift today or give on March 15. Go to rvgives.givebig.org and search for Lutheran Family Services.

Keyboards, Percussion, Guitars, Oh My! Alternative Expressions of Praise and Worship
The workshop will be led by Christ Church Episcopal Music Director Keith Tan and Rector Shirely Smith Graham.

March 11, 2017 at Church of the Messiah, 12201 Spotswood Furnace Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22407

For the Spring workshop registration flyer click here
The Lutheran Church in the Shendandoah Valley of Virginia Where We’ve Come From – Where We’re Going
As we celebrate the 500th year Commemoration of the Reformation, our own Virginia Lutheran history can help us as we move forward as Christ’s Church in the 21st Century.  Dr. Susan McArver, Professor of History and Educational Ministry Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, will help guide us to look for the ways God continues to Reform Christ’s Church. Join us!

Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 1:30-3:00 PM at Grace Lutheran Church 500 S. Wayne Avenue Waynesboro, VA

For more information, and to download a bulletin insert, 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
Significant Events form for 2017 Synod Assembly
Submit your congregation's significant events to Debbie Worley at  worley@vasynod.org . To be included in the Bulletin of reports, the form must be submitted by May 9, 2017.

To download the Significant Events form for 2017, click here
Nominations for Synod Council and Committees

For Synod Council, we will be electing one lay member (male or female). and four rostered ministers(1 to fill a vacancy in the class of 2018; 1 male, 1 female, and 1 of either gender for three year terms)

We will be electing 8 new members for the Consultation Committee that can potentially be involved in settling arbitrational matters that might arise in the life of the synod. They will serve a six-year term until 2023.

We will be electing 12 new members for the Committee on Discipline: 2 Lay, 2 Clergy for a two-year term; 2 Lay, 2 Clergy for a four-year term; 2 Lay, 2 Clergy for a six-year term.

To download the position description for the Synod Council and committee positions, click here

To download the nomination form, click here
Job Opportunities
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