Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

//Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith
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 9-11, 2017 gathering was “Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith”.
During the weekend, The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, the Executive Director of the Global Mission program, represented the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, bringing good news from the wider church.

A New Bishop Elected for the Virginia Synod

The Rev. Malpica Padilla also served as election representative for the Virginia Synod Bishop Election. The Rev. Robert F. Humphrey pastor of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg was elected on June 11th to serve a six-year term as bishop. Humphrey was elected on the fifth ballot with 217 votes to 167 votes for The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, associate pastor of St. Philip Lutheran Church of Roanoke.
For a complete breakdown of ballot results from the bishop election, click here.

ForwardingFaith Campaign Update

Testimonials from campaign leadership, Stephanie Hamlett of Epiphany Richmond, The Rev. Jean Bozeman of First Lutheran in Norfolk, Jonathan Hornbaker of Grace in Winchester, and Bishop James F. Mauney were given in support of the ForwardingFaith campaign and the many ministries this endowment aims to support. The campaign has raised over $2.2 million thus far. The congregational phase is when we welcome and provide the opportunity for our congregations to come together and support faith formation in the Virginia Synod.
More information on the ForwardingFaith campaign can be found at

Resolution Passed, Honoring Bishop James F. Mauney

One resolution was passed with a standing ovation, recognizing the great work in the life of our synod by Bishop Mauney, naming him Bishop Emeritus at his retirement on August 31st.
On Friday evening, Bishop Mauney and the office of the Bishop were recognized at a reception hosted at the Roanoke College Cregger Center. There Bishop Mauney’s work and care for the Virginia Synod was recognized by several speakers including The Rev. Paul Henrickson, The Rev. Chris Price, and his family among others. Bishop Mauney and Lynda Mauney were also gifted with a DVD featuring recorded thanks from rostered ministers and staffers from the office of the Bishop taken during this past year’s Gathering of the Ministerium. Photos of the Flat Bishop project were also presented in a compiled scrapbook for Bishop Mauney and his family.
Bishop Mauney also took the time during the evening to recognize each individual member of his staff, thanking them for their time serving in the office of the Bishop.

Synod Leaders Elected

Elections for Synod Council also took place over the weekend, with four members of Synod Council in total elected or reelected. We welcome newly elected lay member Judy Casteele of Good Shepherd in Lexington. The Rev. Paul Pingel pastor of Grace Waynesboro was elected to continue his appointment to serve. The Rev. Meredith Williams, pastor of Ascension Lutheran in Danville, The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, and  The Rev. Chris Carr pastor of Christ the King in Richmond were all reelected to serve as Ministers of Word and Sacrament on Synod Council.
The Committee of Discipline and the Consultation Committee were also elected over the weekend. Both were elected by acclamation.

Ordination of The Rev. Alex Zuber

We celebrate the Rev. Alex Zuber, who was ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA during Saturday evening liturgy at St. Andrews in Roanoke. He will serve as pastor of the Stony Man Lutheran Parish made up of Beth Eden and Grace Lutheran in Luray, Virginia.

Young Adults in Global Mission

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program invites ELCA young adults ages 21-29 into a transformative, yearlong journey in international service.
One young woman was commissioned for Young Adults in Global Mission. Samantha DiBiaso of First Lutheran in Norfolk has accepted a one-year appointment as a YAGM to Southern Africa.
Three young women- Emily Edmonds, Mary Proctor, and Emily Dietrick were also honored for their one-year appointments as YAGMs to Australia and Southern Africa. A video was shown showcasing each of these three young women’s experiences serving as YAGMs this past year.
Each of these young adults is asked to raise funds before they leave for their year of service. To find out how you can support our Virginia YAGMs, go online here.
To watch the video, looking back on three of our Virginia YAGMs experiences this year, click here.

Youth Assembly: To Faith and Beyond

Along with Synod Assembly. Youth Assembly also took place this weekend. On the last day of the main assembly, Michaela Loving of Mt. Zion Lutheran in New Market, the president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme, “To Faith and Beyond”. She spoke of the immeasurable value of youth events and also expressed the gathered youths’ discussed vision for the new bishop of the Virginia Synod.  The next LYO Board president will be Isaac Wilson of Christ Lutheran in Fredericksburg.

By | 2017-07-28T09:37:07+00:00 June 15th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Ambassadors for Christ: Forwarding Faith

About the Author:

Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies.If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000