Congregational Life Ministries Newsletter

Take Action On A Cause You Care About!

Pastor David and Maribeth Shermer

St. Philip is a community of faith ACTIVE in ministry. I hear that comment all the time from colleagues, other churches in our community, neighbors, and friends. I love that people around us have noticed and I truly hope that the activity among us points directly to the God who loves us unconditionally.

Let’s not stop! Let’s stay ACTIVE!  Let’s keep exploring where God is calling us to LOVE, FEED, SERVE!

Congregational Life Ministries

Walking in Faith Together

Kelly Truax

Happy February everyone! I have enjoyed these past few weeks getting to know many of you and reconnecting with many familiar faces! As volunteer coordinator, I am exploring different ideas on how to better connect us and our families to each other and help grow our faith. Family Faith Formation is a great way for us to connect, amongst many endless opportunities for us to learn and grow together. I am thankful for you all and am enjoying sharing life with you. Please do not hesitate to share your ideas or find me and ask how we can work together. Let’s do faith together!



Congregational Life Ministries

Ministry All Around

Laura Latham


Wow! St. Philip has been alive with ministry the first 6 weeks of 2018: Souper Bowl of Caring, Fat Tuesday Steak Dinner, ForwardingFaith, Elijah’s Backpack, St. Philip Preschool, Lenten worship services, Witnessing Paws and more! Every day there are volunteers and congregation members in the building active in inreach and outreach. As part of my new role at St. Philip, it’s my honor and pleasure to work with folks more closely to make ministry happen.

While you are in the building through the week for ministry, worship, or service to our community, please check out the screens on the wall in the gathering space and near the kitchen in the hallway. The goal is to run a slideshow on these screens daily to welcome members and guests in our building and to remind folks of upcoming events in our congregation and among the Hollins area. I’ve been putting together these slides as I finalize announcements, so if you would like to include information about your ministry, please let me know by noon on Thursdays.

Congregational Life Newsletter

Sunday March 8 is International Women’s Day!

Pastor David

As a pastor’s kid people are often surprised to learn that the most influential person in my faith development was my mother. I remember her teaching me the Lord’s Prayer, together memorizing the 23rd Psalm, and playing a game called Beatitude Bingo that lifted up Jesus’s sermon on the mount. My mother was one of many women who have been powerful influences in my life!

Sunday, March 8 is International Women’s Day and it is a fantastic time to acknowledge the incredibly powerful giftedness of women.

At St. Philip we will particularly lift up the giftedness of women in our prayers. As a part of that petition I would encourage you to speak the name of an influential women in your own life. The connection can be personal, public, or a hero of the past. Be thinking about someone influential for you.


Congregational Life Youth Ministry

Fat Tuesday Steak Dinner

February 13, 5:30 – 7:30pm

The meal includes steak, baked potato, green beans, fresh bread, and fine desserts.  But the best part is gracious pampering and service provided by our youth.  We will meet you at the front door, hang up your coat, seat you in the dining area, get your drink order, and find out how you want your steak fixed – all while you relax.

This event is not only a great time to catch up with members of St. Philip, but it is also a great time to invite someone to some great hospitality at your church then be sure to invite them back for Ash Wednesday services the next evening.  Tickets are available from any St. Philip youth or online! (Select Youth Sponsored Activities)

This is an important fundraiser for the youth groups so they can attend youth retreats for all ages.  Tickets are $15 in advance/$18 the night of, for adults, and $3 in advance/$6 the night of, for a kids hot dog meal. You can also add a bowl of gumbo to your meal for an extra $2. Yum!


Congregational Life Grocery Bag Ministry Youth Ministry

Souper Bowl of Caring – Sunday, February 11

As you prepare to purchase groceries this week, you are invited to provide food and funds for our hungry neighbors.

Americans spend about $1 billion on Super Bowl snacks. In contrast, the youth of St. Philip challenge the congregation to donate just $1000 and 770 grocery items (that’s enough cans to build two 10 x 10 pyramids) to Feeding America Food Bank and the St. Mark’s food pantry, respectively.

On February 11, we will collect the groceries in the sanctuary and the money at the close of worship as you leave the sanctuary.  Together we can help end hunger right here in Roanoke! For more information on the Souper Bowl of Caring and hunger in the United States, visit

Congregational Life Uncategorized

ForwardingFaith Campaign 71:17

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times. – Martin Luther

St Philip is excited to be participating in the Virginia Synod’s ForwardingFaith initiative. The goal of ForwardingFaith is to endow the youth and faith formation activities, events and programs of the Virginia Synod, ELCA.

We believe in both living and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ joyfully and abundantly throughout our lives. Based on our faith in the Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we are empowered to live lives of discipleship, service and mercy. We believe in faith formation to Love Feed and Serve others so that we can all Live Like That.

To learn more about the youth programs of the Virginia Synod, click here.

Visit the Virginia Synod website to learn more about the faith formation activities

Ambassadors Community for Theological Study (ACTS)

Power in the Spirit annual conference

Roots and Wings resources for family-based faith formation

Congregational Life Ministries Worship Events

Advent & Christmas Activities

Advent: Season of Hope
In Advent, God’s people wait with hope for the birth of Jesus, God’s anointed one. Advent lasts for four Sundays (and the weeks between them); lighting candles helps us mark the time as we get ready for the Light of World, Jesus Christ. Great memories can be formed as candles on a wreath are lit, scripture is read, and the hopeful anticipation of Christ’s coming is celebrated. You are invited to pick up Advent devotions, on a table in the narthex, for you/your family to use during this holy season.

Advent Night: Potluck, Carols, and Advent Wreaths
Sunday, December 3rd at 5:30pm. All are invited to enjoy the culinary creations of the members of your church family at our potluck dinner, then a festive time with a Christmas carol sing along. We will also create family Advent wreaths with fresh greenery, an Advent calendar for kids AND a fun Christmas photo shoot that could be used for your annual family Christmas card! Come join us as we begin the Advent journey in anticipation of the birth of our Savior!

Fellowship Luncheon
On December 7, 11am, all are invited to attend St. Philip’s Annual Christmas Fellowship Event to help get us in the holiday spirit. The lunch will be held at The Plantation on Sunnybrook. The cost is $16.42, which includes the full buffet, dessert, drinks, and gratuity. Transportation can be arranged by contacting Cindy Fielder at 915-8154. We hope many can attend Thursday, December 7th! Sign up sheets are in the narthex. You are guaranteed an “extra special” Gift–time spent in fellowship with your church family!

Chrismon Tree Decorating, Sunday, December 10, before each worship service
A Chrismon tree is a special tree adorned with symbols of Christianity in its earliest days, such as the Alpha and Omega and the fish.  Newer symbols like a dove, Bible, rose, and cross and crown can also be used.  All decorations and supplies will be provided.

Christmas Caroling, Sunday, December 10, 5pm
You are invited to share Christmas cheer! Meet at St. Philip. Then groups will head out and about in the Roanoke Valley. Please also bring some cookies to share with folks. Sign-up in the narthex if you plan to join the fun!

Children’s Christmas Program
The children of St. Philip will share the Christmas story at the 5:30pm Christmas Eve worship service. Rehearsals for the children’s Christmas program are each Sunday at 9:50am, through December 17.

Christmas Eve Two opportunities for worship:
5:30pm – Candlelight service and youth program
9:00pm (note the new time!) – Traditional candlelight service
Holy Communion will be served at both services.

Morning Worship Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
Because Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve happen on a Sunday this year, we will worship on both Sunday mornings at 9:30am. Christmas Eve morning we will light the fourth candle of our advent wreath and conclude our observance of the Advent Season. Then on December 31st we will continue our celebration of the Christmas Season by using Lessons and Carols to shape our worship.

Congregational Life Youth Ministry

Youth News 

(More details are available in your email and texts)

Youth Group: Both Middle School and High School Groups meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, 4-6pm, with dinner for all at 5:30pm. Come join the fun!!


5th – Rake leaves for members of the congregation

12th – Youth-led Worship Service: both services!!

17th – 19th (Fri-Sat) – Lost & Found: Youth Retreat for 7th & 8th graders

19th (7pm) – Hollins Community Thanksgiving Worship (NO Youth Group)

Youth Faith Formation: 

Middle School and High School Faith Formation is part of Sunday Youth Group.  We use lots of different materials: re:form Bible study, videos, conversation, and “burning Jesus questions” (but PK, why would we want to burn Jesus?!).


Congregational Life

College Student Care Packages 

St. Philip will send a care package to each of our 11 college/graduate students at the end of the fall semester (late November). Let’s be sure that they know that just because they are away at school they are still in our thoughts and prayers.  You are invited to bring in donations of crackers, cookies, hot chocolate, drink mix, energy bars, candy, chocolate, highlighters, post-it notes and flags, pens, pencils, etc.  Donations will be accepted (in a box in the narthex) through Sunday, November 26.  Parents, your child(ren) will not get a care package if we don’t have an accurate current mailing address for him/her.  So please get that info to the office ASAP!