Synod Assembly is our annual opportunity for the 150 congregations of the Virginia Synod to come together and be reminded what it means to be a part of the wider church. Our theme during our June 8-10, 2018 gathering was “Only by Grace Can We Stand”.
During the weekend, Bishop Humphrey, helped explore the theme for the Assembly based off of Ephesians 2:19-21, with three keynote presentations that led into small group time. During small groups participants at Assembly were encouraged to get to know Lutherans and congregations from around the state and to share their experiences as church together. They also discussed and shared their opinions on the current format for the Assembly, and shared ideas for how future Assemblies could take shape.
The Rev. Ron Glusenkamp, the director of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, was present at this year’s Assembly to represent the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, bringing good news from the wider church.
The Rev. John Wertz Jr. was joined by The Rev. Stephen Bohannon, acting as the Roving Reporter to deliver a report for the ongoing ForwardingFaith campaign. It was announced that to date we have reached our $2.5 million goal which was set not by the need, but rather what the synod could raise. We are continuing to encourage more congregations join in holding their own appeals as part of the campaign, seeking to stretch our total as high as $4 million. Future campaign training events are being planned now. Thank you to all the congregations and members who have helped us exceed our basic goal for ForwardingFaith.
Elections also took place over the weekend with Dan Kahill, of Christ in Roanoke was elected as the Virginia Synod Council Treasurer. The Rev. Lauren Miller of Peace in Charlottesville was elected to serve as clergy member following her appointment to the Synod Council earlier this year. Tyler Wertman of Grace in Waynesboro, The Rev. Jonathan Boynton of Grace in Winchester, and The Rev. Leslie Scanlon of Grace in Chesapeake are the newly elected members joining Synod Council.
Elections for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly also took place with The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko of Our Saviour in Richmond, The Rev. Phyllis Milton of Gloria Dei in Hampton, Hunter Simpkins of Grace in Chesapeake, Mycha McNett of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg, Deacon Christine Van O’Linda Huffman of St. Michael in Virginia Beach, Megan Crummitt of St. Paul’s in Hampton, Todd Recupero of Trinity in Newport News, The Rev. Martha Miller Sims of Grace in Winchester, and The Rev. Tim Crummitt St. Paul’s in Hampton all being elected to serve.
One resolution was passed over the weekend, memorializing the 50th anniversary of women’s ordination in the Lutheran Church.
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands award winners were recognized during this year’s Synod Assembly. Kim Begnaud of Trinity in Stephens City received the silver award, Jane Perry of Zion in Edinburg received the Gold award, and Karen Murphy of Bethlehem in Lynchburg was presented with the Diamond award.
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, Assistant to the Bishop, and Deacon Lisa Geiger, Candidacy Process Administrator, were installed into their new positions in the Synod Office during the Friday afternoon worship service.
Isaac Wilson of Christ in Fredericksburg, president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme of “Who Stands by Me?”. He shared a summary of this year’s Youth Assembly, and raised up aspects of the current Assembly format the youth feel are important as the format is reviewed for future assemblies. The incoming LYO Board president will be Turner Barger of Epiphany in Richmond.