Bishop’s Day, a Virginia Synod event for 7th-12th graders was held for an afternoon on March 24th at St. Mark Lutheran in Charlottesville. Over 15 youth and adult leaders gathered for a chance to converse with Bishop Bob Humphrey and other leaders about discerning one’s life’s vocation, including learning about what it means to be in public ministry in the church.
During the afternoon together, the gathered youth, pastors, and adult leaders got to hear from Assistant to the Bishop Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick, as well as Pastor Terri Church. Both Pastor Kelly and Pastor Terri shared how they each discerned their call to ministry, with Pastor Terri sharing she felt called by God from a very young age, whereas Pastor Kelly who took a bit longer to fully discern her call.
Later during the event, the youth and adults broke off into separate groups to further reflect upon the call and their possible gifts for ministry. This time allowed those who were in attendance to better get to know one another, ask questions, and think further on what a call to ministry might be like. During this time, Bishop Humphrey and Pastor Kelly led the adult group in some discussion, sharing how adults can work to support youth and young adults as they begin to discern their call. The youth were led by Pastor Dave Delaney, who broke them up into small rotating groups to discuss and share their thoughts and ideas about serving in some kind of leadership positions in the church.
Following these breakout groups, Pastor Kelly outlined the candidacy process in the Virginia Synod. She shared information covering the role of the Synod office, seminaries, and congregations and how each serves as part of the whole candidacy process.
The afternoon concluded with a celebration of the call through closing worship, during which those in attendance recited the questions and responses portion of the Rite for Installation of a Pastor. From there the event concluded, with more conversation about discernment of call and candidacy to continue on the ride home!
Bishop’s Day was a great opportunity for youth and adult leaders of the Virginia Synod to learn about the call to ministry and to spend an afternoon in conversation with the Bishop’s Staff and other rostered and lay ministers of our Synod.