Gathering of the Ministerium 2017

//Gathering of the Ministerium 2017

Each October rostered ministers from across the Virginia Synod gather for the annual event Gathering of the Ministerium. In an effort to build and maintain collegial relationships and to foster collaboration and partnership this gathering takes place as one part of connecting rostered leaders with one another but also churches with one another. This year the Gathering of the Ministerium was held in Virginia Beach from October 9th to the 11th. Despite the sometimes soggy weather, this year’s gathering offered many opportunities for relaxation, worship, renewal, sharing, play, and continued education as they renewed their covenant with each other.

Each year at the gathering, the Virginia Synod ministerium renew their covenant, which you can read fully here. The Virginia Synod ministerium covenant holds them together as rostered ministers. Every year new or returning members of the ministerium who have not yet signed a copy of the ministerium are invited to do so during the Covenant Renewal Litany, joining their signature with the many other members of the ministerium who have done so before them.

Dr. Michael DeJonge was the presenter for this year’s gathering. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida (Tampa). He teaches in the areas of the history of Christian thought, theories and methods in religious studies, and modern religious thought. DeJonge presented Bonhoeffer’s interaction with Luther and the Lutheran tradition, especially in his reflection about ethical and political issues, such as peace and state of authority. Additionally, he discussed the two kingdoms as well as war and peace with regards to the church’s political engagement.

During the gathering, The Rev. Dwayne Westermann, Campaign Director for the ForwardingFaith campaign was introduced and presented on the campaigns progress, its importance, and the upcoming Congregation Leader Training offering for congregations interested in participating. Joining Pastor Westermann was Elizabeth Smythe of Ebenezer Lutheran in Marion, Emily Martinez of St. Timothy of Norfolk, and Johnny Sackel of First Lutheran of Norfolk. The three spoke to the value of faith formation events like Power in the Spirit, ACTS, and youth events like Karios and Winter Celebration that have been critical to their faith life and development. To find out more information on ForwardingFaith visit , to learn more about the Congregation Leader Training and how your congregation can RSVP, click here.

During the Monday evening reception, Rostered Ministers had the opportunity to celebrate and honour our newest bishop. The reception, sponsored by National Lutheran Communities and  Services, was a time that the Virginia Synod ministerium could welcome both Bishop Humphrey and his wife Barbra to the office of the Bishop over drinks, appetizers, and conversation.
In addition to the Monday evening reception, Rostered Ministers got to enjoy one another’s company during the Tuesday evening reception, and break times that occurred between presentations. Tuesday evening reception was sponsored by Roanoke College, and the breaks were sponsored by Lutheran Family Services of Virginia and Virginia Lutheran Homes, Inc. We are thankful for all of our mission partners for their generous support of this important time for our Rostered Ministers.
At the Gathering of the Ministerium, Rostered Ministers join together in worship, confessing, singing, and hearing God’s word. The Rev. Lauren Miller of Peace Lutheran, Charlottesville preached during the Tuesday morning Eucharist. Pastor Lauren spoke on Charlottesville and being a pastor in that area during and now following racist violence in Charlottesville on the weekend of August 12, 2017. The Rev. Katie Pocalyko of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in Richmond preached during the Wednesday Morning Eucharist on the emotional stages of transition, and how God’s grace calls us to do powerful things we know are hard.
Along with hearing from Dr. DeJonge, worshipping, learning, and sharing with one another- Rostered Ministers attending Gathering of the Ministerium had plenty of time to relax and have some fun together at Virginia Beach. This is such an important event for all Rostered Ministers to attend as continuing education, and in forming and maintaining collegial relationships. Do encourage your leaders to be a part of the Gathering of the Ministerium next year!



By | 2017-10-27T09:48:32+00:00 October 19th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Gathering of the Ministerium 2017

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