This past week was the Virginia Synod’s 4th annual Week of Service, which coincides with “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday, the ELCA Day of Service on September 11. This year’s dedicated day of service also marked the 15-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
All congregations were invited to reach out into their neighborhoods to become God’s hands and feet, to serve those in need and to share God’s compassion with the world, and to further share their stories of service with the Synod!
Page County Serves
The Stony Man Parish of Grace and Beth Eden Lutheran teamed up with St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran to host a dessert social for Luray’s First Responders and their families. They had a wonderful afternoon of desserts, conversations, face-painting, and gave thanks for those who care for our community and their loved ones. The event was held at the Luray Volunteer Fire Department and the churches hosted members of the Fire Department, VA State Police, Luray Police, Page County Sheriff’s Department, Rescue Squad, and Emergency Communications Center. For those who were on duty and couldn’t join us, packed up platters of desserts were taken to the organizations’ headquarters and to the Page Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. It was a wonderful day for collaboration between congregations and were the fruits of unity was displayed in vibrant service to those who serve Page County.
God’s Work, Our Hands in Tidewater
Virginia Synod’s Tidewater Conference Lutherans joined together to participate in the Out of Darkness Walk to bring awareness of depression and suicide, to show support, encourage people to get help and where they can find help, raise money and to celebrate our lives. The Hampton Roads walk has been the largest in across the nation for the last 8 years.
Members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach, Virginia, helped paint the hallways at Luther Manor in the Malibu section of Virginia Beach, as part of the Virginia Synod’s “Week of Service 2016.”
Faith Lutheran Church in Suffolk served in many ways on Sunday. Together members of Faith spread mulch, packed Micah’ Backpacks, baked cookies and made thank you cards. Volunteers from Faith also delivered cookie packages and cards to 10 different police and fire rescue stations in Suffolk, Carrollton, Churchland, Chesapeake, Driver and Chuckatuck. It was a wonderful day of service and outreach!
Richmond’s Week of Service
At First English Lutheran in Richmond, Sunday School children, teenagers, and adults cleaned up the grassy center divider on Monument Avenue in front of the church up to Allen Avenue. The younger children of First English also helped pick up paper in the small playground park one block from the church on Lombardy Street. In both locations, the yellow shirts were great “conversation starters” with passers-by whom members of First English told about their service project and invited to church!
Roanoke and Harrisonburg serving LFSVA
Civic and church volunteers have been busy inside and out at the Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Minnick School and Day Support program in Roanoke and creating art for our Minnick School in Harrisonburg. Last weekKaren Bolton from Trinity Lutheran Church in Roanoke helped individuals in the Day Support program create kindness gardens with decorated rocks. The project was part of a nationwide Kindness Rocks project that has the goal of inspiring random acts of kindness. The Day Support is now on the “find a rock” map!
And, members of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, led by Vicki Heitsch and Barbra Humphrey, are creating water color and paper mosaic “alphabet studies” that will be framed and presented to the Harrisonburg Minnick School.
Jim McCarthy and Sam Lionberger, III, along with fellow volunteers from Christ Lutheran Church in Roanoke, helped build garden beds that will be filled with soil and cultivated in the spring. Many thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke for funding the garden bed project, which will help students learn about planting and harvesting.