"For Such A Time As This" Pray. Fast. Act.
On May 18, 2017, the presiding bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church issued a joint invitation to a season of prayer, fasting, and advocacy. The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA and The Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, extended this call out of concern for proposed deep cuts to programs that are vital to hungry people struggling with poverty. They summon our churches to practices of spiritual devotion that undergird a discipline of public witness with and on behalf of the neighbor.

Read the Joint Call to Prayer, Fasting, and Advocacy. (Spanish)

Watch the video invitations from Presiding Bishop Eaton and Presiding Bishop Curry.

ELCA Advocacy will support this call, equipping the ELCA Advocacy Network by:

  1. Sending resources early each month to support faith practices of prayer and fasting, along with background materials to equip advocates to prevent elected leaders from cutting programs that work to eliminate hunger and poverty across the country and around the world or adopting policies that would harm our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Each month will lift up a different area of concern, including food, water, racial justice, immigration and the environment.
  2. Encouraging Lutherans to prayer and fasting on the 21st day of each month through the close of the 115th Congress. We fast on the 21st of the month because that is the day when 90% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits run out for families, making the remainder of the month a hungry time. On this day, an advocacy alert will also invite participants to speak their faith by sending a message to their members of Congress.

Here is how to join us as we pray, fast and act together in this important time:

  • Join the ELCA Advocacy network and invite your friends and family.
  • Read Bread for the World’s Fasting Guide in English and Guia de Ayuno in Spanish.
  • Speak your faith on social media using the hashtag #ForSuchATime and follow ELCA Advocacy updates on Twitter and Facebook.
  • The symbol for the fast is burlap, representing the sackcloth worn by the Jewish people in their time of mourning. It can be worn as a stole in public events.

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
Synod Assembly 2017: Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

Synod Assembly is here!  June 9-11  will be our time to get together as the Virginia Synod to fellowship, learn about the wider church, do business, and learn more about worship.  Presiding over the Bishop's election and our ELCA representative  this year will be the  Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla , Executive Director‐ELCA Division of  Global Missions. 

For more information and to register for Synod Assembly, click here
Virginia Synod Kairos 2017
Kairos  is our annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall. It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week, to have a fresh experience of the grace and presence of God in that community, and to develop habits for discipleship that can be taken home as they live out their call to be “Ambassadors for Christ.” Kairos is different from our weekend events in that congregations do not send advisors with youth; the event staff serves as small group leaders and dorm advisors for the week. “Kairos” is the New Testament Greek word for “special time.” It is used whenever God’s people want to talk about a time of change, of renewal, of God’s special work in the believer and the community.

For more information and to register for Kairos, click here

Roanoke College's Theology for Teens
Our second annual summer camp introducing teens to biblical and theological scholarship, exploring contemporary challenges & how their faith tradition can meet those challenges. Starting Sunday July 16, 2016 through Sunday July 22, 2017 we will focus on the life & thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a church leader who met the challenges before him—we will explore today’s social issues & encounter other faiths by engaging the students with leaders from those various communities. Come and discover a sense of mission, be equipped with theological tools to enable you to meet the challenges facing the church today.

For more information and to register for T4T, click here

Virginia Synod LAUNCH 2017
LAUNCH  is an event for youth who have just graduated from high school. Its purpose is to give them a chance to take stock of where their faith life has led them so far and also to provide an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of faith and life that are likely to face them as they move on to the next stage of their lives, whether it be the workforce, military or other public service, college, or something else. If participants are veterans of our Virginia Synod ELCA Youth Events (Lost and Found, Winter Celebration, Kairos, etc.), they will find that this event is structured differently. We will spend our three full days together in a rhythm of worship, informal presentations to the whole group, small group discussions, and individual reflections that engage the mind as well as the spirit.  Of course, there will be time for fellowship and relaxation and enjoyable meal times together.

For more information and to register for LAUNCH, click here

Power in the Spirit 2017: "On Our Way Reforming!"
Hosted at beautiful Roanoke College in Salem Virginia, Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members,committee or council members, family life consultant, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.

The Reformation didn’t “fix” the Church. In fact, you might say it’s just one example of how we’re always “recalculating” our way forward as individuals and as a Church. In that spirit, this year’s theme for Power in the Spirit 2017 is:
On Our Way Reforming!

For more information and to register for Power in the Spirit, click here.

Veterans and Faith Group Meeting: Military Service and the Transition to Civilian Life...
Does Spirituality have a place in the conversation?
Veterans and Faith is the first of four evenings for Veterans, Active Duty Military Service Members and friends and family with food, fellowship and discussions by and for Veterans. The first gathering will be held, June 15th at 7 PM, hosted in conjunction with Three Rangers Foundation at Faith Lutheran Church 2730 Bridge Road, Suffolk. 

These gatherings will be held quarterly, with the second event scheduled September 14th, 2017.

To view and download a flyer for Veterans and Faith, click here.

The Tri-Annual Gathering of Lutheran Men in Mission: The Bold Gathering

Every couple of years, men from all over the country gather together for a weekend huddle that is called the BOLD GATHERING!

In 2017, join us in Minneapolis to be encouraged, to worship, and to connect and serve!

Hundreds of us will be gathering in the Minneapolis Marriott City Center to celebrate being bold daring followers of Jesus Christ!

The Lutheran Men in Mission Business Meeting is the pre-conference event that starts on Thursday.


To register for The Bold Gathering, click here 
For information on the 2017 Lutheran Men in Mission Tri-Annual Gathering, click here

Women of the ELCA Tenth Triennial Gathering
Mark your calendars for the Tenth Triennial Gathering, July 13-16, 2017, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. 

We are real women talking about our faith. About our doubts and challenges. About joy and what inspires us. We’ll experience simple conversations between friends—old and new—that will develop into a movement sweeping the church, inspired and infused with the Holy Spirit.

To register for the Tenth Triennial Gathering, click here 
For information on the 2017 Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering, click here

Caroline Furnace: Have you registered for summer camp?
It's our 60th Anniversary and we're celebrating with a summer of old favorites and new programs. Our traditional summer residential programs are designed for rising 1st-12th graders. Family camp is perfect for families with younger kids who want to try out camp together.

To register for summer camp at Caroline Furnace, click here 
For information on the 2017 summer schedule and pricing, click here

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: www.nationallutheran.org/impactgrants

11 Steps to Increase Giving in Your Church
Scripture doesn’t shy away from conversations about money, but church leaders often do. Learn some simple and effective ways to create a culture of increasing generosity in your church, including suggestions for joyfully engaging givers at every age and stage of life. We’ll talk about transforming your weekly church offering into a time of celebration, coaching church leaders to effectively talk about stewardship, creative ways to thank your givers, why a major gifts strategy makes sense for churches, how to keep your offering numbers steady during the summer, and more. 

We've had ALDE member pastors ask for more discussion on the latest trends in congregational stewardship, and we listened. This is for you! If that's not you, please share the webinar with any pastors and congregational leaders; seminary students and officials; and district/synod/national church leaders you know who could benefit. We want this to lead to rich discussion and beneficial ideas sharing. If you can't attend live, you may still register for the webinar and receive a recording. 

Webinars cost $75. Register now

For more information on the ALDE webinar, click here

Job Opportunities
Part-time Director of Worship and Music

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach seeks a part-time Director of Worship and Music beginning in May. 25 hours per week. Salary depending on previous experience. See the PD and application instructions at ELVB.ORG under the “Jobs” tab.

Part-time Church Secretary

Part-time church secretary, 10-12 hours/week. QuickBooks knowledge needed. Small church in the Vinton area. If interested, please call 540-342-1715 and leave a message.

Part-Time Bookkeeper

Grace Lutheran Day School in Chesapeake seeks a part-time Bookkeeper (approximately 20 hours/month) to handle payroll, other payments, financial reports, etc.  Compensation is based on education and experience.  See full job description and application on the “Jobs” tab on the church website (http://www.gracelutheranchesapeake.org/jobs.html).

Application Deadline: June 1, 2017

Full-Time Director of Music/Organist

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Winchester Virginia, a dynamic, historic (1753), and still growing ELCA congregation of approximately 800 members in the northern Shenandoah Valley is looking for a full-time Director of Music/Organist.  The general responsibilities of this position would include overseeing the entire music program of the congregation, leading music worship for two liturgical services each Sunday and one contemporary service each Saturday, and directing the choirs.  A 28-rank, two-manual Schantz organ; a Yamaha grand piano;  five octaves of Schulmerich handbells; five octaves of Malmark choir chimes; and plentiful children’s percussion instruments are used.   The candidate should have knowledge of Lutheran liturgy.  

Applicants should submit a resume and an audio recording that includes one prelude, the hymn “A Might Fortress,” and one postlude—all on the organ and one hymn of the candidate’s choosing performed on the piano.  The material may be sent to Pastor Martha Miller Sims, senior administrative pastor, at grace@gracewin.org.

Salary is commensurate with education, skills, and experience.  Full benefits package is available.

A background check is required.

Contact the church for a complete job description.  Resumes accepted through May 31.  Applicants should be prepared to begin the position on September 1.

Part-time Church Secretary

Part-time church secretary, 10 hours/week. Two church parish in Northern Rockingham County, Timberville Lutheran Parish. If interested, please call 540-896-4241 to leave a message or email tvilleparish@gmail.com to submit a resume.

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