Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
MLK Day, Off of Work and On for Service:
Volunteers Work To Benefit Luke's Backpack
On Monday, Jan. 18, in Shenandoah County, one group of people decided to take their day off and volunteer in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. so that children would have food during the weekends this year.

Volunteers lined up in the cafeteria of Stonewall Jackson High School, wearing plastic gloves and hair nets, to package beans, rice and apples.

Children worked right alongside adults and together they put together 5,000 packages to help feed people in their county through two local ministries, the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and Luke's Backpack. 

"It was really something to see," said Carolyn Long, a volunteer from Luke's Backpack and a member of Reformation Lutheran Church in New Market, Va. 

Luke's Backpack is an outreach of Shenandoah Valley Lutheran Ministries which provides food for 254 students in 9 schools in Shenandoah County during the school year. Bags of food are assembled each week with enough food for 3 meals a day for two days. 

Some of the packages that were created on Monday were sent home this afternoon for the students and their families to eat this weekend. 

"Hunger is a pretty brutal condition and we do have children in Shenandoah County who don't have enough to eat," said Long.

The event was coordinated as part of the Obama Administration's Serve Rural Initiative, an effort to increase volunteering to help build rural communities. AmeriCorps Vista

"There's poverty all over the place," said Max Finberg, the executive director of AmeriCorps VISTA. "So we wanted to make sure is that rural America was represented on MLK Day."

"Luke's Backpack cannot thank Max and all the volunteers enough," said long. "It was an incredible way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. We saw people who are using this day for service and it was so good to see people come out in Shenandoah County."

Register For The ELCA Grace Gathering--August 10-13

Early bird registration for the 2016 Grace Gathering ends in just two weeks, on Jan. 31, so reserve your spot today!

The Grace Gathering will be held in partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans Aug. 10-13.

The gathering will bring people together from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Participants will see the church in action, worship with Churchwide Assembly voting members, engage in experiential learning, and attend a variety of workshops that will equip congregations and synods with tools to prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

Pipe Organ Rededication Service In Waynesboro 
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Waynesboro, recently undertook a rebuilding of its  pipe organ which was built in 1890s.  Grace will celebrate the rededication of the instrument on Sunday, January 31,   at 3:00 PM.  In addition to the church's Organist and Music Director Mike Myers, local  organists from the surrounding area  will be playing at the service. The public is invited. 
Vibrant Faith: An Event about Adult Faith Formation
It's time for every church to commit to  adult faith formation. Spent a day exploring effective adult faith formation in the congregation at the Vibrant Faith event on Feb. 16, 9:00am - 3:30pm at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Richmond, VA. Click here for more details. 

Lutheran Campus Ministry Retreat
All college students are invited to attend the Lutheran Campus Ministry and Friends Retreat, February 19-20, 2016, at Massanetta Springs in Harrisonburg, VA. Join college students from all across the state to connect with old friends and meet many new ones! The retreat starts Friday evening and ends Saturday after lunch. For more information and to register by February 8, please  CLICK HERE

ELCA Congregational and Synodical Mission Event
Stewardship leaders are invited to an event where there is the opportunity to either attend the event in person in Chicago or to attend remotely via online participation. 

The audiences for this event include Synod Mission Support & Stewardship Tables, congregational stewardship committees/teams and individual rostered or lay leaders.
The event will be Starting at 10:30 AM to Noon CST on Sat. Feb. 27 with s pecial Presenters: Presiding Bishop Eaton  and c Rev. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of the  The Lutheran Center.
Participation in this event requires online registration.  This can be done at   https://community.elca.org/ELCAStewardCastFeb2016  until midnight on Friday, February 12.  

There are several registration options including the purchase of a new book entitled Embracing Stewardship by Rev. Charles Lane and Ms. Grace Duddy Pomroy at a reduced price.  Those registered will receive the online address to participate at least 24 hours prior to the start of the event.  Participants will also be eligible for additional promotions.      
If you have any questions, please contact keith.mundy@elca.org or neil.bullock@elca.org.

Fundraiser Concert for Leadership Program for Musicians
The Central Virginia Chapter of the Leadership Program for Musicians (www.lpm-va.org) is sponsoring a recital at Saint Bridget Catholic Church on Friday, January 29, at 7:30 pm. 

LPM is a continuing education program for musicians, liturgists, and others who love the worship of the church and is supported by the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 

Organist Daniel Stipe performs music of Bach, Bloch, Franck, and Durufle on the re-cently installed Buzard Opus 42. Daniel Stipe is equally at home as a solo recitalist, collaborator and arranger on both the piano and the or-gan.  Daniel serves as Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia. Saint Bridget is located at 6006 Three Chopt Road in Richmond. More info: contact Allen Bean at abean@saintbridgetchurch.org, or by calling (804) 282-9511.  Click Here for the Event Flyer

Choir Robes--Free to a Good Home
Faith Lutheran Church in Suffolk Virginia has 24 gently used white choir robes and stoles  (red, green, blue, and purple) that are no longer need. They are willing to donate them to a good "home" if someone can use them. Please contact Melanie Burch by calling 757-686-0468 or emailing faith_lutheran@verizon.net if you are interested in picking them up or  I paying for them to be shipped. 

Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story Idea? Send it to fuller@vasynod.org!
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