Each October rostered ministers from across the Virginia Synod gather for the annual event Gathering of the Ministerium. In an effort to build and maintain collegial relationships and to foster collaboration and partnership this gathering takes place as one part of connecting rostered leaders with one another but also churches with one another. This year the Gathering of the Ministerium was held in Virginia Beach from October 9th to the 11th. Despite the sometimes soggy weather, this year’s gathering offered many opportunities for relaxation, worship, renewal, sharing, play, and continued education as they renewed their covenant with each other.
Each year at the gathering, the Virginia Synod ministerium renew their covenant, which you can read fully here. The Virginia Synod ministerium covenant holds them together as rostered ministers. Every year new or returning members of the ministerium who have not yet signed a copy of the ministerium are invited to do so during the Covenant Renewal Litany, joining their signature with the many other members of the ministerium who have done so before them.
Dr. Michael DeJonge was the presenter for this year’s gathering. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). He teaches in the areas of the history of Christian thought, theories and methods in religious studies, and modern religious thought. DeJonge presented Bonhoeffer’s interaction with Luther and the Lutheran tradition, especially in his reflection about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority. Additionally, he discussed the two kingdoms as well as war and peace with regards to the church’s political engagement.
During the gathering, The Rev. Dwayne Westermann, Campaign Director for the ForwardingFaith campaign was introduced and presented on the campaigns progress, its importance, and the upcoming Congregation Leader Training offering for congregations interested in participating. Joining Pastor Westermann was Elizabeth Smythe of Ebenezer Lutheran in Marion, Emily Martinez of St. Timothy of Norfolk, and Johnny Sackel of First Lutheran of Norfolk. The three spoke to the value of faith formation events like Power in the Spirit, ACTS, and youth events like Karios and Winter Celebration that have been critical to their faith life and development. To find out more information on ForwardingFaith visit www.forwardingfaith.org , to learn more about the Congregation Leader Training and how your congregation can RSVP, click here.