The annual conference Power in the Spirit took off immediately following the conclusion of LAUNCH. The event was also held on the campus of Roanoke College from July 13-15. Together attendees from across the state gathered to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship. This year’s theme- On Our Way Reforming commemorated the 500th anniversary of the start of the still ongoing Reformation.
This year The Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, a world-renowned Reformation scholar and professor emeritus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew, Bishop of the New Jersey Synod and former pastor of the Virginia Synod, and Voices of Praise, a Virginia Synod worship brand from Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Warrenton all joined in Power in the Spirit, guiding participants in keynote address, Bible study, and worship.
The Rev. Dr. Wengert’s keynote address shared with Power in the Spirit participants insights from Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and Freedom of a Christian, and how both of these texts call us to hear and speak to the gospel today. Bishop Bartholomew led the Power in the Spirit bible study, tracing the oft-recalculated route of Joseph in the Book of Genesis.
Power in the Spirit is now an event for all ages, and this year’s kid participants got to join in special activities just for them, reading stories, making crafts, and having their own biblical focus during the event. Children were also invited to several of the adult workshops, where they got to learn how to make bread to be served at communion, and created artwork and discussed the importance of art as a form of conscious mindful prayer.
This year’s Power in the Spirit supported two services projects, Hope for the Homeless and Habitat 4 Humanity. Led by Pastor Harvey Atkinson of Mount Rogers Parish, Hope for the Homeless was supported by attendees of Power in the Spirit with donated items as well as monetary donations to purchase toiletry needs. These donations were then packed into bags to later be delivered to various shelters and ministries in the greater Roanoke area.
Whether or not Martin Luther really pounded any nails into the Wittenberg Church door is still up for debate, there was no question that hammers were pounded during Power in the Spirit at the Habitat 4 Humanity service project. Led by Pastor Paul Henrickson, the Habitat 4 Humanity service project took attendees on a work excursion to a Roanoke area Habitat build, to help construct a house!
Power in the Spirit Workshops
Workshops during this year’s Power in the Spirit nurtured and challenged attendees as they considered their mission and ministry with regard to the Reformation today. This year workshops offered attendees opportunities to explore, including learning from both Bishop Bartholomew and The Rev. Dr. Wengert, creating Chrismons and Lutheran Rosaries, discussion with TAPESTRY on diversity and inclusion in the Virginia Synod, chances to examine the history surrounding the Reformation, and so much more. With workshops for every age and interests, there were opportunities to learn and grow for everyone in attendance this year at Power in the Spirit.
Mark your calendar for next year! Power in the Spirit!
July 12 -14, 2018
Join us for our next gathering at Roanoke College for two nights of fellowship, service, worship, and learning. Our keynote speaker will be The Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, ELCA pastor and visiting professor of the Institute for Ecumenical Research in Strasbourg, France. Our Bible Study leader will be The Rev. Dr. Mark Allan Powell, ELCA pastor and the Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. More details to come! For now, mark your calendar, join our facebook group (www.facebook.com/powerinthespirit), and plan to join us July 12-14, 2018!
For any comments, questions, or follow up from this year’s Power in the Spirit, contact the Power in the Spirit Coordinator, Pastor David Drebes, at email@example.com