Micah Street Church: A Community of Hope is Born
In 2005, Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Episcopal congregations in downtown Fredericksburg came together to form Micah Ecumenical Ministries to support individuals experiencing homelessness. The organization provides day services, organizes winter shelter, assists with re-housing, and provides employment support.

As the churches have worked together through Micah and supported the needs of this extremely marginalized group, they have aspired not simply to meet physical needs, but to help those on the margins to experience the fullness of God’s Kingdom. This led to a decision to explore how a worshipping community, grounded in a covenant of belonging, participation, meeting each other’s needs and engaging in meaningful relationship, would entice people across socioeconomic boundaries to show up to one another and offer the desperately needed accompaniment on the journey.
In January 2020, this dream of a new worshipping community officially became a Synod Authorized Worshipping Community of the Virginia Synod called the Micah Street Church: A Community of Hope. With the Virginia Synod, the ELCA Churchwide Organization, and Christ Lutheran, Fredericksburg helped with the initial funding and organization, this new worshipping community is an ecumenical partnership and is being developed by an Episcopal priest.

While COVID-19 has made the development on the congregation more complicated, the Micah Street Church worships weekly, is launching a Bible Study group, and continues to walk with this community. As a Synod, we are thrilled to help develop this new congregation, the first new Lutheran congregation in Virginia in nearly a decade.

You can learn more about Micah Ecumenical Ministries and the Micah Street Church at: www.facebook.com/micahfredericksburg
Virtual Kairos 2020
Virtual Kairos, our Virginia Synod youth event for rising 9th through 12th graders, concluded last week. This year’s event may have looked a lot different as participants gathered virtually, but so much of what makes Kairos a beloved youth event for the Virginia Synod remained much the same. With over 40 high schoolers and adults present, they got to experience a week full of what the Kairos community knows and loves the best of this event. The week-long theme focused on Genesis 6-9, The Great Flood and Noah's Ark as well as the biblical theme of "40".
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
Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP)
The Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program (RMRP) is designed to support and ensure housing stability across the commonwealth during the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on availability of funds and household need, the RMRP may provide financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments for eligible households. This includes financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments past due beginning April 1, 2020 and onward. Financial assistance is a one-time payment with opportunity for renewal based on availability of funding and the household’s need for additional assistance and continued eligibility.

For more information  please visit:

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD):  www.dhcd.virginia.gov/rmrp
Discerning a Call to Ministry: Virginia Synod Vocations Conference
Friday, August 21, 1:30-4:30PM via ZOOM
Is God calling you to rostered, public ministry in the church? Are you wondering what "rostered, public ministry" even is?! The Virginia Synod Vocations Conference allows persons discerning God's call to spend time in reflection and conversation around call, gifts for ministry, and the Candidacy process in the ELCA.

Due to COVID19, this year's Conference will be on Zoom. We'll begin with a 90 minute session with Welcome and a Panel Discussion with First-Call Rostered Ministers (pastors and deacons in their first 3 years of ministry). Following a 30 minute break, we will gather again, this time in small groups for a 60 minute Q&A. Pastors and deacons are invited to the Vocations Conference, too.

For more info on the Vocations Conference, please visit vasynod.org/event/candidacy-committee-vocations-conference. Registration information to be shared soon. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick ( bayerderrick@vasynod.org) for more info.
Office of the Bishop Summer Sermon Series
The Virginia Synod Office of the Bishop has begun providing gospel readings and sermons this summer, and will continue through  August 30, 2020  for use in all congregations. The sermons will be shared on the  Synod's website  as well as on our  Facebook Page  each Sunday.
Caroline Furnace Updates
  • NEW weekends added! We are open for Family Retreats through mid-September! We are grateful that Virginia continues to view outdoor activity as essential, and that we are able to provide outdoor faith, education, and renewal in a safe way. The Farmhouse, Cabin Village, and Sukkah Village are open each weekend (Thursday to Monday). Both the Farmhouse and Sukkah Village are optional no-contact retreat spaces. We can host a maximum of 5 family groups (of 10 or less) on property at once, so spaces are limited and first come, first served. Book at least two weeks in advance; 14 days of pre-screening are required for all Family Retreat participants.
  • Adventure Weekends are scheduled for this fall/winter, September 18-20, October 30-November 1, and February 5-7. Until further notice, lodging is limited to one group per cabin. Tent camping is also available.

Contact Julie at (540) 449-0012 or julie@carolinefurnace.org to book a Family Retreat or reserve your Adventure Weekend cabin.
Being Church in Times of Crisis Zoom
Join ELCA Coaching for this weekly online gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church on Wednesdays at 2:00 PM Eastern.

This Wednesday's topic is Preparing Ourselves to Lead with Anti-Racism led by Heidi Kleine and Emilee O'Brien. Heidi and Emilee recently partnered to lead a series of conversations on racism for an affinity group of white women. They will share the story of how they connected and why they feel called to work in this space, the importance of partners, and their advice on how you can get started with intergroup dialogues.

Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160
Job Opportunities
Job Opportunities can now be found on the Virginia Synod website at vasynod.org/job-opportunities If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at  pilat@vasynod.org.