Remember the Refugees and Migrants
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and leaders from The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have issued an Ash Wednesday statement addressing refugees and migrants.

On this day many people will participate in a liturgy including the Imposition of Ashes.  Some presiders blot these ashes upon our foreheads and we are reminded that we are but dust and to dust shall we return.  Others trace them upon our forehead in the sign of the cross, a reminder of the place to where the Lenten journey takes us.  Even at the outset of this holy season, we are reminded that while for some the cross is a stumbling block and for others mere foolishness, it is for those who are being called, the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23).  Remembering Christ crucified we are mindful not only of our personal need for repentance and renewal in doing the work of God, but indeed of the need of all humanity to repent of our indifference to the brokenness of our relationships, to the suffering of millions of people worldwide who are starving, oppressed, enslaved, or seeking sanctuary even if it be in a place far from their homeland.

This Lent we call our Churches to be continually mindful of the global refugee and migration crises, and the injustices and conflicts that have swelled the statistics to a number greater than ever in the history of the world.  We acknowledge the good work done by so many of our synods and dioceses and parishes in sponsoring refugees, welcoming them, accompanying them and advocating for them as they settle in our countries.  Similarly, we commend the compassionate work of our partner churches in other lands and intergovernmental bodies caring for migrants and refugees. We call on our Churches not to weary of this good work in the name of God.

 

Given the current political climate in the United States, it is important to say that while both our countries recognize the need for measures ensuring homeland security, we also stand up for the long-established policies that welcome migrants and refugees.  That is not to say any of them are not beyond reform.  But it is to say that fair and generous policies strengthen the economy of our nations and enriches the economic, social and cultural fabric of our countries – a fabric woven by both the First Peoples of these lands and all those who have settled here through numerous waves of migration throughout our histories. 

Fair and generous action and deliberations are from our perspective, deeply grounded in the Law of Moses, in the teaching of the Prophets and in the Gospel of Jesus.  For some two millennia millions of people have found consolation in the suffering of Jesus upon the cross and in his holy name they have prayed for the compassion and justice of God in the midst of the terrible circumstances of their lives – circumstances that compel them to flee their homelands, making their way over dangerous treks of land. Sometimes they find refuge in new nations and frequently they make their way to ports where they can board vessels and make what are often treacherous voyages in the hope of reaching a land free of the oppression they have known.  Some make it.  Many don’t.

May this Season of Lent be especially marked by our prayers and advocacy for refugees and migrants – on the run, in United Nations camps, in waiting, in our communities… And let it be marked by a continuing resolve in welcoming the stranger in our midst, for such hospitality is in keeping with the faith we proclaim. (Matthew 25:31-40)

In Christ,

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz 
Primate
Anglican Church of Canada

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton 
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry 
Presiding Bishop
Episcopal Church (United States)

 
Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday
A blessed Lent to you! This week across the Virginia Synod we prepared our hearts, and our stomaches for the holy season of Lent. We asked you to share your feast on Shrove Tuesday, and worship on Ash Wednesday using the hashtags #VirtualShroveVA and #AshtagVA

H ere are some highlights from our congregations across the Virginia Synod!
Pancake Day
 
On Tuesday many individuals and congregations like  St. Timothy Norfolk, Peace Charlottesville, and Messiah Mechanicsville hosted pancake dinner to celebrate Shrove Tuesday! A yummy way to celebrate before the fast!    
 
Ashes to Go! for Ash Wednesday
 
 Congregations like Christ Lutheran Radford, Grace Chesapeake, and  Trinity Stephens City were just some congregations that distributed ashes in their community dubbed "Ashes to Go"  Getting out in the community to encourage participation and education at the start of the Lenten season! Pastor Leslie Scanlon, Pastor at Grace Chesapeake shared her experiences of Ash Wednesday "where the people are." with ELCA Worship.
 
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
Register Now for the Spring 2017 ACTS Course
Join us March 11th and April 1st at Grace Evangelical Lutheran in Waynesboro (or at two Simulcast locations). Hear the Rev. Dave Delaney present an introduction to the Old Testament, providing participants a broad view of the history of Ancient Israel and how their scriptures came to be.

For more information, and to register for the Spring ACTS course, 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
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
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

The Village at Orchard Ridge, a National Lutheran Community

Philanthropy Director Winchester, VA

National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is recruiting for a Philanthropy Director in Winchester, VA. Reporting to the Chief Philanthropy Officer, the Philanthropy Director is an integral position within the organization, serving as lead in all areas related to philanthropic programs at The Village at Orchard Ridge. Responsible for cultivation and stewardship programs in support of the fundraising goals established by National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) and The Village at Orchard Ridge—A National Lutheran Community including capital campaigns. Assures that the institutional fundraising efforts follow excellent management and stewardship practices in stewarding donors and gifts made to The Village at Orchard Ridge. Designs, implements and/or maintains a comprehensive fundraising program including annual giving, major gifts, endowment and capital campaigns, fundraising events and other special projects of The Village at Orchard Ridge supportive of and in accordance with the overall NLCS goals and objectives 

Job Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Business, Communications, Human Services or related field is required. 
  • Visibility requires maintaining a professional appearance and providing a positive image of NLCS. 
  • Must possess strong written and oral communication skills; able to maintain confidential information. 
  • Must be able to develop presentations and documents. 
  • Must have strong computer skills, including proficient in Microsoft Office and willing to learn the donor databases. 

For more information or to submit a resume, please email Annette Damron  adamron@nationallutheran.org
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