LAUNCH is an event for recent high school graduates led by Pastor Dave Delaney, and his summer intern, Emma Kessler. Held on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem from July 9-13, LAUNCH helps participants take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and provides opportunities to engage in discussion on matters of faith, life, and vocation that participants are likely to face as they transition into a new life stage.

Six high school graduates gathered for LAUNCH this year to learn and discuss with speakers from across the Synod matters of faith, lifestyle, and vocational challenges and choices. This year's speaker lineup featured current college students and recent college graduates who grew up through Synod Youth events, Pastor Drew Tucker of Christ Lutheran in Radford, and Chaplain Chris Bowen of Roanoke College among others who came to share their knowledge and experiences. 

There was tons of fun to be had at LAUNCH as the group attended a local baseball game, and watched a handful of favorite movies over the five-day event, but there was also plenty of time taken for quiet reflection as well. These chances for independent reflection and study were scattered throughout each day, and are a unique component of LAUNCH that isn't often a feature of other youth events. These opportunities allowed attendees to consider the big conversations and experiences they had together that made an impact on the major life transitions they'll be making this fall.

LAUNCH participants also had the opportunity this past week to reconnect with friends made at previous Synod youth events, as well as to take time for themselves for intentional evaluation on what they want their college experiences to be like. All LAUNCH participants were invited to stay through the weekend and attend Power in the Spirit, serving as another way to connect and make the transition of youth to adult in our synod.

Power in the Spirit: On Our Way Reforming

The annual conference Power in the Spirit took off immediately following the conclusion of LAUNCH. The event was also held on the campus of Roanoke College from July 13-15. Together attendees from across the state gathered to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. This year’s theme- On Our Way Reforming commemorated the 500th anniversary of the start of the still ongoing Reformation.

This year The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, a world-renowned Reformation scholar and professor emeritus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew, Bishop of the New Jersey Synod and former pastor of the Virginia Synod, and Voices of Praise, a Virginia Synod worship brand from Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Warrenton all joined in Power in the Spirit, guiding participants in keynote address, Bible study, and worship.

The Rev. Dr. Wengert’s keynote address shared with Power in the Spirit participants insights from Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and Freedom of a Christian, and how both of these texts call us to hear and speak to the gospel today. Bishop Bartholomew led the Power in the Spirit bible study, tracing the oft-recalculated route of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. 

Kids Welcome

Power in the Spirit is now an event for all ages, and this year’s kid participants got to join in special activities just for them, reading stories, making crafts, and having their own biblical focus during the event.

Children were also invited to several of the adult workshops, where they got to learn how to make bread to be served at communion, and created artwork and discussed the importance of art as a form of conscious mindful prayer. 

Mission Projects

This year’s Power in the Spirit supported two services projects, Hope for the Homeless and Habitat 4 Humanity. Led by Pastor Harvey Atkinson of Mount Rogers Parish, Hope for the Homeless was supported by attendees of Power in the Spirit with donated items as well as monetary donations to purchase toiletry needs. These donations were then packed into bags to later be delivered to various shelters and ministries in the greater Roanoke area.

Whether or not Martin Luther really pounded any nails into the Wittenberg Church door is still up for debate, there was no question that hammers were pounded during Power in the Spirit at the Habitat 4 Humanity service project. Led by Pastor Paul Henrickson, the Habitat 4 Humanity service project took attendees on a work excursion to a Roanoke area Habitat build, to help construct a house!

Power in the Spirit Workshops
Workshops during this year’s Power in the Spirit nurtured and challenged attendees as they considered their mission and ministry with regard to the Reformation today. This year workshops offered attendees opportunities to explore, including: learning from both Bishop Bartholomew and The Rev. Dr. Wengert, creating Chrismons and Lutheran Rosaries, discussion with TAPESTRY on diversity and inclusion in the Virginia Synod, chances to examine the history surrounding the Reformation, and so much more. With workshops for every age and interests, there were opportunities to learn and grow for everyone in attendance this year at Power in the Spirit.
Mark your calendar for next year! Power in the Spirit!
July 12 -14, 2018
Join us for our next gathering at Roanoke College for two nights of fellowship, service, worship, and learning. Our keynote speaker will be  The Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, ELCA pastor and visiting professor of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. Our Bible Study leader will be  The Rev. Dr. Mark Allan Powell, ELCA pastor and the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. More details to come! For now, mark your calendar, join our facebook group (, and plan to join us  July 12-14, 2018!
For any comments, questions, or follow up from this year's Power in the Spirit, contact the Power in the Spirit Coordinator, Pastor David Drebes, at
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story idea? Send it to Emily Pilat at and make sure to follow our
Virginia Synod Vocations Conference: Beyond Candidacy: What It’s Like to Be a New Pastor

This year’s Vocations Conference will feature presentations from three newer pastors, who will share what it’s been like for them to move beyond candidacy and into ordained ministry. Pr. Tim Crummitt serves a suburban congregation in Hampton, VA. Pr. Anna Havron serves a two-congregation parish near Woodstock, VA. And Pr. Drew Tucker serves a congregation and a campus in Radford, VA. They will tell us what their experiences of being a newer pastor have been like.

The Vocations Conference is sponsored by the VA Synod Candidacy Committee and is a great event for those in seminary AND for those considering seminary in order to prepare for ELCA rostered ministry. This year’s Vocations Conference will be held on August 18-20, at the Eagle Eyrie Conference Center near Lynchburg.

For more information, click here

Gathering of the Ministerium 2017

Gathering of the Ministerium is where our rostered leaders can gather to meet, reconnect, worship, relax, learn, sing, pray and play together.

We are a church of great history as well as a church called in hopefulness into a blessed future. Join us as we gather from across the synod to discover how we live out this reality together.

This year's Gathering of the Ministerium will be held on October 9-11, at 

Registration deadline for Gathering of the Ministerium is August 31st 2017

Our presenter for this year is Dr. Michael DeJonge an Associate Professor in Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). Dr. DeJonge will present Bonhoeffer’s interaction with Luther and the tradition, especially in his reflections about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority.

For more information and to register, click here

Fall 2017 ACTS Course: The Christian's Call Today

For Bonhoeffer, Christ is the definition of reality. Discipleship, then, is a call to become enveloped by that reality; therefore, the Christian's call is not to turn one's back on the world (enter the cloister) but to be God's presence in the world. In other words, our life in the world, which is lived out in the midst of families, friendships, work, and communities, is meant to display the presence and transformative work of God in the world. Because Bonhoeffer's faith led him to take the world seriously in all of its manifestations, Christian vocation is one that willingly stands up for one's neighbor and gets its hands dirty. Join other ACTS participants as together we explore and learn more about our Christian’s Call through this course.

This year's Fall ACTS course will be held on October 7th and November 4th

For more information and to register for the Fall ACTS course, click here

LPM provides professional support, introduces students to church music resources, connects students with others who share their dedication to and interest in church music, and sends students back to their parishes with new ideas and perspectives.

LPM classes are open to anyone; whether church musician, clergy, or interested lay person, LPM’s outstanding faculty will help you hone your musical and leadership skills with practical courses tailored to suit your needs.

Summer/Fall 2017 Classes
Classes are taught during two three-hour sessions, one in August and one in October, at Christ Ascension Church in Richmond, 1704 W Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23227. Cost is $200/course.

To register, email Rochelle Felsburg at with your name, phone number, and email address, and pay via Paypal at or send a check made out to LPM Central Virginia to: LPM Central Virginia c/o Rochelle Felsburg, Church of the Messiah, 12201 Spotswood Furnace Road

Teaching New Music to a Congregation: This course offers a systematic and successful way to introduce tomorrow’s classics to your congregation. Aug. 5 and Oct. 7 from 9am-noon.

Principles of Choral Development: This course develops the student’s skills as a leader of choral singing through sessions on choral conducting and voice training. Aug. 5 and Oct. 7 from 1pm-4pm.

Offered Online:
Hymnody of the Christian Church and Liturgy and Music classes are available online at for $300 per course.
National Lutheran Communities & Services Community Impact Grants 2018
Each year, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) awards grants to organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors. Grant proposals for the 2018 period will be accepted starting on June 1, 2017 and must be submitted on or before August 15, 2017.

NLCS strongly believes that its mission extends beyond the physical boundaries of its residential communities and service offerings. With funds solely from investment earnings, we are committed to supporting the work of other non-profit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs that address the critical needs of seniors who are aging-in-place. For more information please visit:

Clinical Pastoral Education program with National Lutheran Communities & Services

Reflect, Engage and Grow: Preparing pastors by developing new skills in pastoral care. 

National Lutheran Communities & Services, as a satellite of The Eastern Mennonite Seminary Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program, develops pastors and chaplains who are reflective practitioners, able to draw upon the best in their theological traditions and the behavioral sciences for ministry that is increasingly faithful and fruitful.

The Village at Orchard Ridge is now accepting applications for the fall session of the CPE Program.

If you are interested in testing a call to be a chaplain in health care, a retirement community, or other care facility, or simply wish to develop new skills as a pastor, consider applying to the program. To apply, download and complete the application below and return to Chaplain William Boldin via email.

Download the Clinical Pastoral Education Application & Instructions

Learn more by viewing the 2017 Clinical Pastoral Education Digital Brochure

Job Opportunities
ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellow

Through the support of ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Advocacy works in partnership with statewide advocacy ministry networks across the United States to end hunger by engaging directly with local, state and national governments and equipping people of faith to seek justice through advocacy. Each office relates to the synods in their state and works closely with hunger leaders and synod teams. ELCA Advocacy is a ministry of the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit. This is a twelve-month, non-renewable contract position.

The Hunger Advocacy Fellow will participate in a 12-month transformative experience that combines leadership development and faith formation with impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed.

The 2017 Hunger Advocacy Fellow is a full-time contract employee (with benefits) of the  Virginia Interfaith Center

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
Executive Director, Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp
and Retreat Center

Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center, an outdoor ministry serving the Virginia, Metro DC, and West Virginia/Western Maryland Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA), is currently seeking an Executive Director. The board of directors will be accepting applications through August 15, 2017.

Caroline Furnace is located on 257 acres in the Fort Valley area of Shenandoah County, VA. In addition to the main camp and retreat facility in Fort Valley, Caroline Furnace operates an adult-only retreat center in Strasburg, VA.

The camp operates year-round, with a summer camp program from June through August and retreat rentals by congregations, councils, schools, recreational/sports clubs, girl and boy scouts, and many other groups throughout the year.

It is the mission of Caroline Furnace “to provide unforgettable faith, education, and renewal experiences in God's creation for all God’s people.” A successful Executive Director will have a commitment to service and bring a strong understanding of Lutheran theology in the development of camp programming and retreat curricula.

The ideal candidate will successfully operate the existing camp programs, while
developing additional offerings that reach out to God’s people. The ability to network with Caroline Furnace’s local community and congregations within the three synods is important.

Salary and total compensation are commensurate with the Virginia Synod guidelines. A residence is provided for the use of the Executive Director.

Interested candidates should submit a resume or Rostered Leader Profile to

For more information and to review the full job listing, click here
Organist Position at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church

Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney, VA is seeking an organist. Music is an integral part of our worship each Sunday and we look forward to finding the right person to join us in our mission.  For more information or to submit a resume please email:

All job postings can also be found online at If you have a position opening you would like posted, please email Emily Pilat at