Virginia Synod Office
The Virginia Synod is known for its youth and faith formation ministry. We do this year round through our youth events, our Ambassadors Community for Theological Study (ACTS) program, and July’s Power in the Spirit annual gathering. Because of youth and other faith formation events, generations of leaders in the Synod and across the Church have been brought up to know and love God in Jesus Christ. We are a synod declaring faith from generation to generation.
ForwardingFaith is intended to provide permanent funding for these important ministries. As the landscape of being Church in America continues to change, we want to make certain that the work of providing youth ministry and faith formation to our members continues with excellence into the long-term future.
St. Philip has a strong history of participation in synod sponsored events and participated in the campaign in February. With joy and thanksgiving, we celebrate the results of ForwardingFaith at St. Philip. Our campaign chair Sarah Parker shared the following quotation with the Virginia Synod:
“We were fortunate to have two large donations that helped us hit our mark, but we also had an incredible engagement across our congregation with monthly donations ranging from $3 to $100. Amazing….We actually almost doubled our goal. Our original goal was $25,000 and our final number was $43,452.00″
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.
Opportunity for Fellowship
Fun Variety Show coming Sunday, August 19. It’s going to be a “Really big show!”
ALL ages and ALL acts are welcome. Do you play an instrument, talk to puppets, sing, write poetry, sketch, dance, or tell jokes, perform magic? Maybe you’d like to do a little skit with your friends or family? The more acts the merrier the show will be!
More details later but register with Cathy Dudley or Sarah Melendy now. Deadline for act registration is August 12.
The date for the annual church picnic this year is Sunday, September 9 beginning at 4:00p.m. Hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixin’s and a fun bouncy house for kids of all ages provided by the church. Bring you’re a lawn chair, a friend, and your favorite side dish to share.
St. Philip Youth 17th Annual Golf Tournament
September 29, 2018 at Botetourt Golf and Swim Club. Plan now to get a group of golfers together or speak to your favorite local business about sponsoring a hole or a tee.
Ms. Danielle, Ms. Kelly, Ms. Sherrie, Ms. Rachael
This month marks the end of the 2017-2018 school year for St. Philip Lutheran Preschool. The preschool staff wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank each member of St. Philip for their prayers and hallway smiles while we ministered to over 35 families this year.
The time and effort many of you took to smile at, speak to, and learn the names of various students has meant the world to them. Many of the kids excitedly peek out of the classroom doors when they hear the outside doors open – a testament to their feeling of security and welcome within these church walls. While academics and social/emotional growth are our main focus here at St. Philip Preschool, there is a more important mission of making each child feel honored and welcomed within this body of believers.
The staff is looking forward to a fun summer camp as well as the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. We would like to invite each of you to join us in praying over these students, especially our rising kindergarten students.
For those of you who were unable to make it to the preschool graduation on May 23, please check out the Facebook page at for a video of graduation and pictures from throughout the year.
Thank you again for the honor of ministering alongside you!
Linda Duncan Rhodes
Council met on May 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the church library.
New council members were welcomed. Sue Huntington was elected Council President and Dan Horine Council Vice President. Council appointed Pete Shick Treasurer and Betty Holland Financial Secretary.
Council members spent the remainder of the meeting reviewing and discussing the Focus groups reports gathered from the congregational meeting. Pastor David told council it would be helpful to him to have someone who could assist him with pastoral care and possibly preach once a month. Several names were discussed by council. Council and Pastor David agreed this person could assist us in forming the vision for the staffing we need.
Pastor David had a recent meeting with Bishop Humphrey to discuss staffing needs. Bishop Humphrey feels St Philip’s potential is off the charts. He did tell Pastor David there are not a lot of pastors looking for part time positions. Pastor David told council the cost for a full time pastor is around $75,000.
The next council meeting will be June 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the church library. Anyone is welcome to attend.
Jesus promised to make his disciples fishers of men. But in the modern church, it seems like we hesitate to cast the net. We float happily along in our boat, and hope the fish will simply jump in.
At St. Philip, council wants to figure out how to cast our nets for a vibrant, 21st century church. We’re going to start exploring some ways of improving outreach to the community using the modern tools available to the church.
I’ll be working on developing a strategy for this, but I could certainly use some help from any social media-savvy members of the congregation. If you have thoughts or ideas, or a willingness to help out in any way, contact me at email@example.com.
A couple of things council is considering starting as soon as possible include live-streaming services using Facebook Live. A tripod will be set up with a phone or tablet and broadcast services live. The hope is this will both offer a convenient way for members of the congregation who can’t make it to church to still experience service, and to help spread the word about St. Philip and its ministries.
Other events may be livestreamed as well.
In addition, council is going to start a church Instagram account to supplement the Facebook and Twitter presence. The hope is to spread the responsibility for keeping that account vibrant by having different people “take over” the account for several weeks at a time. If you have an active Instagram presence, and would be willing to help the church build its own presence, please contact me at the email address above.
Images are an important part of any effective outreach. Please take photos whenever you can at church events. Leadership will figure out the most effective way to share them. If you have a particular interest in photography, let me know.
If we want St. Philip to grow and thrive, we cannot be content to simply wait for fish to jump in the boat. Please let me know if you’re interested in helping find better ways to cast our digital nets.
Pastor David will accompany St. Philip youth to the ELCA National Youth Gathering June 26 through July 2. Pastor David will be on vacation July 5 through July 20. Pastor Ken Lane will be responding to pastoral emergencies and can be contacted at 366-9481 or 312-6984.
St. Philip Lutheran Church
8115 Williamson Road
Roanoke, VA 24019