7 COVID-19 Reminders
and Resources
As followers of Jesus, we are called to look not simply to our own needs, but to love our neighbor and to consider the interests of others. (Phllippians 2:3-4). In the midst of so much transition and change, each of us is trying to absorb and process an extraordinary amount of new information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our lives and ministry. The Virginia Synod offers these seven reminders and resources to help you create a culture of care in your congregation.
East-West Congregational Partnerships
As we watch Tropical Storm Isaias progression, see other storms forming, and enter into the “hurricane season” this seems a good time to remind you of our synod’s East-West Partnership program. This partnership program pairs congregations on the Eastern and Western sides of our commonwealth for potential support in the event of a disaster requiring evacuation to provide emergency housing and other forms of assistance.

This listing will give you specific partnerships and contact information. It may be helpful to reach out to your partner congregation when storms have been forecasted in our region to make sure appropriate contact information is available and contingency plans are in place.
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
Dave the Date: Gathering of the Ministerium
October 12-13 from 9 AM to 1 PM
This year's Gathering of the Ministerium will be held online using Zoom. While we are disappointed that we cannot physically gather together in October, the Ministerium Team is excited about the online Gathering plans that are coming together. In keeping with our Synod's theme of boldness for 2020 and in celebration of the ELCA's 50-40-10 Anniversaries, The Rev. Tiffany Chaney will lead us in conversations around being church in new and innovative ways that require us to listen and learn from the leadership of people whose voices are different than our own. Pastor Chaney serves as pastor of Gathered by Grace, a synodically authorized worshiping community of the ELCA, in Montgomery, Alabama, and is communications chair for the African Descent Lutheran Association. There will be opportunity for worship, small group conversations, rest and renewal. Be sure to mark your calendars for Monday and Tuesday, October 12-13 from 9 AM to 1 PM

-Ministerium Team
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 information and to register for the Vocations Conference, click here. Registration information to be shared soon. If you have any questions, contact Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick (bayerderrick@vasynod.org) for more info.
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
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.
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.
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.