Bishop Bob Humphrey, in consultation with the Synod Council, has announced a new plan for synod staff beginning on January 1st, 2018. The plan is designed to provide as much support as possible in helping congregations, rostered ministers, institutions and agencies and the wider church meet the challenges and take advantage of new ministry and mission opportunities. Bishop Humphrey said, “We are excited about and committed to building bridges that connect the richness of our past with the amazing potential God has in store for our future.”
To that end, the plan includes a full-time Assistant to the Bishop living in the Southwest, a full-time Director for Evangelical Mission/Assistant to the Bishop living in the East and the Bishop living in Harrisonburg. All will serve the entire synod while being strategically located. Pastor Dave Delaney will focus on the synod’s trademark ministries and institutions serving Youth and Young Adults. The Synod offices will continue to be located at Bittle Hall, Roanoke College and at First Lutheran Church in Norfolk.
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, M.Div, S.T.M has accepted the call to serve as Assistant to the Bishop. Pastor Bayer Derrick has served as Pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church, Roanoke since her ordination in 2007. In addition, she is a Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Hollins University. She intends to continue in this role on a limited basis in addition to her responsibilities as Assistant to the Bishop.
Pastor Bayer Derrick is passionate about the gospel and about God’s call and command to love God and love our neighbors. She is committed to and an innovative leader in ministries of social justice, equality, accompaniment – globally and locally, Christian formation, youth and more. She is also deeply committed to our Synod, the ELCA, and our ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
Pastor Bayer Derrick offers wonderful complementary skills, perspective, and experiences that will significantly expand and enhance our mission and ministry in the Virginia Synod, ELCA.
We are deeply grateful for the ministry of all our staff, especially those who will be leaving at the end of the year. Pastor Chris Price, having served as a part-time Assistant to the Bishop (in the East), will be retiring. He has been tremendously helpful, inspiring and supportive to staff, rostered ministers and congregations throughout our Synod in so many ways.
Deacon Mindy Reynolds has organized key ministries for building and supporting healthy leaders and churches in our synod through the re-introduction of the Healthy Congregations initiative and Pastoral Leadership Consulting Groups; she held an active leadership role on our Ministerium Team, implemented Synod Council’s policy regarding boundary trainings, and worked collaboratively with Portico Benefit Services and other denominations to provide services and offer events that promoted health and wellness. She also has served above and beyond her part-time Call in support of many synod-wide events and programs.
Lisa Allagas has served as part of our support staff in the Salem office and we are very appreciative of all the ways she has been a blessing to us.
With deep gratitude, we wish Chris, Mindy and Lisa God’s richest blessings.
Becky Walls, Emily Pilat, Tammy Kasper, Richard Hoffman and Skip Zubrod will continue to serve our synod in similar capacities from the Salem office and Lenae Osmondson will move into a full-time administrative position serving out of the Norfolk office.
The next steps will be taken in cooperation with the ELCA Division for Mission to Call a Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) who will also serve as an Assistant to the Bishop. That process will include a nationwide posting of the position and interviews before a Call is issued.