Pastor Laura will begin her ministry as Associate Pastor at St. Philip beginning on Monday, August 12. Feel free to stop by the church office during the week of the 12th to greet and welcome her to this community of faith. Pastor Laura’s first Sunday in worship will be August 18th and will again be an opportunity to introduce yourself.
This truly is an exciting time at St. Philip as we seek to answer God’s call to live like Christ – to live like that. Ask questions, make suggestions, practice hospitality, and pray without ceasing knowing that God’s got us and will guide possibilities into the future.
More exciting news about Pastor Laura’s new journey with St. Philip, including ordination and installation invitation can be found in this special edition of The St. Philip Invitation.
Greetings St. Philip family!
On behalf of the search team, I would like to invite each of you to an open forum on Sunday, June 30th, after 9:30 worship. This will be an opportunity for the congregation to hear from the search team and church council about the candidate we are hoping will become our new staff person at St. Philip!
The search team has identified a first call rostered minister (i.e., a new seminary graduate) as our primary candidate for the open staff position. This candidate will be visiting St. Philip on Sunday, July 14 to preach at worship and meet congregation members. Please mark your calendars and make every effort to be in worship this date to meet our candidate.
As you may recall, the congregation, council, and search team went through a very intentional process to discuss and decide upon the type of candidate we hoped for, and the skills and strengths needed to complement Pastor David and current staff. We cast a wide net in advertising the position to both rostered and lay candidates, and the search team selected four people to interview from approximately 25 lay applicants and three recommendations from the synod. We were pleased with each of the applicants invited to interview.
As the process of resume review and candidate interviews unfolded, it became more evident to the search team that a rostered candidate would be best suited to help St. Philip continue to grow ministry together. It amazed us to see how the Holy Spirit not only guided us in discerning the best direction, but led us to a candidate who “checks all the boxes” of the qualities and strengths we are looking for. We are excited!
The open forum on June 30 will provide an opportunity prior to the primary candidate’s visit for congregation members to ask any questions about the search process, how we arrived at our recommendation, and the steps that lie ahead. Please plan to come and bring your questions.
On behalf of the St Philip search team
Congregations of various denominations have reported that their members are receiving scam emails that are requesting gift card donations for a charitable cause. Religious groups and congregations are becoming easy targets for these types of scams.
Phishing is a form of “social engineering,” whereby a hacker with bad intentions sends an email (or text or phone call) pretending to be someone the recipient trusts and asks the recipient to take an action which can have adverse effects. In the case of targeting congregation members of churches, the scammer disguises themselves as the pastor or a lay leader in the church. Sometimes, scammers request money. Other times, they invite the recipient to click a link or open an attachment that can trigger malicious code.
A good rule of thumb with emails you’re not expecting is to reach out to the sender through another method of communication. Do not reply to an email request. Do not click on a link, or send money, gift cards, or provide checking account or credit card information without clarifying from the trusted source.
For more on this particular gift card scam, read this article from The Christian Post.
To get a better sense of what to look for when receiving unsolicited emails, try this Google Phishing Quiz.
Hackers are getting more sophisticated every day. The best defense is to pause and look for warning signs before responding to any unsolicited email, text, or phone call.
If someone in your contact list reports that an email has been sent appearing as you, it’s advisable to alert your entire contact list. You may use this message as a warning:
I’ve been informed that today an email that appeared to be me was sent out to many of you stating I am traveling and needed money in the form of gift cards.
I am not traveling. I do not need gift cards. This is a scam. Please do NOT reply to any email you received requesting gift cards, either from me or other people. Please do NOT send gift cards to the scammers sending these emails.
If you need help or have questions, please call Laura in the church office.
St. Philip Lutheran Church
8115 Williamson Road
Roanoke, VA 24019