Each October rostered leaders from across the Virginia Synod gather for the annual event Gathering of the Ministerium. In Virginia Beach, Rostered leaders worshiped together in song, word, and sacrament. They also discussed theology and practice with ELCA and Ecumenical Bishops. Resources and ideas were exchanged, as were joys and concerns. Most memorably, Rostered leaders gather to relax and play with one another, and to renew their covenant with each other. This covenant holds Rostered Leaders of the Virginia Synod together, and it is this event that lives out the covenant for Rostered Leaders.
Thoughts from Ecumenical Bishops
The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick Jr., the Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and The Rev. Charlene Kammerer, Bishop of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Church were both in attendance at this year’s Gathering. Together they shared perspectives as Ecumenical Bishops, discussing the significance of the Reformation for the Church today, the gifts of Luther and the Lutheran Church. They also discussed the denominational Office of the Bishop, as well as the gifts and graces they feel, are valued in a Bishop.
The Rev. Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt of the Southern Ohio Synod of the ELCA
The Rev. Richard H. Graham of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA
The Rev. Matthew L. Riegel of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the ELCA
Three ELCA Bishops joinedBishop Jim Mauney this year to discuss the role of an ELCA Synod Bishop and share their perspective on this important position. Together, Bishop Dillahunt, Bishop Graham,Bishop Riegel, and Bishop Mauney spoke on The gifts valued by Luther and the Lutheran Church, and the role of a Synodical Bishop.
This time with fellow ELCA Bishops was invaluable for Rostered Leaders to hear from a variety of perspectives, and to prepare in prayer and thought for the upcoming Bishop Election.
Honoring Bishop Jim and Lynda Mauney
During the Monday evening reception, Rostered Leaders took time to honor Bishop Mauney and his wife Lynda. The event was hosted by Rev. David Derrick, Ministerium team Chair. Rostered Leaders from across the Synod as well as friends of the Mauney family, spoke to their time with the Mauneys and their great appreciation for their services in the Office of the Bishop .
Those gathered heard from Kathryn Baerwald of National Lutheran Communities and Services who spoke to Bishop Mauney’s time with mission partners of the Virginia Synod. Rostered Leaders Rev. Kate Costa, Rev. Stephen Bohannon, and Rev. Jim Utt shared experiences of working with and learning beside Bishop Mauney. Regan Jones offered thoughts and fond memories of her time with the Mauney family as a friend and fellow spouse of a rostered leader. Bishop Graham provided warm thoughts and appreciations as a fellow college and friend of Bishop Mauney.
Rev. Kathleen Miko presented a piece on the Flat Bishop project that will be continuing across the Synod. Flat Bishops are life-size cardboard cutouts of Bishop Mauney that have been making their way to all congregations of the Virginia Synod! Mike Maxey, President of Roanoke College, closed out the night with warm regards for Bishop Mauney and Lynda’s tenure in the Office of the Bishop.
Free Time Fun
Along with hearing from Ecumenical and ELCA Bishop speakers, Rostered leaders attending Gathering of the Ministerium had plenty of time to relax and have some fun together! Relaxation and play for Rostered leaders can mean a variety of activities. For some, playing a round of golf at Red Wing golf course is a great way to unwind. Others instead had a great time competing in the Ministerium’s third corn-hole tournament, with friendly competition and plenty of trash talk to go around. Some even found quiet time for pampering with massages.
But some Rostered Leaders relaxed in a different way. Over an afternoon together they exemplified God’s Work, Our Hands in their work to repair a home in the Virginia Beach area that had been damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Their work, in association with Lutheran Family Services of Virginia’s support, benefited a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Virginia Beach. For anyone interested in further supporting this family, LFSVA has set up the “Tretchler Fund” and gifts can be sent directly to LFSVA or the Virginia Synod earmarked for this fund.
This is such an important event for all Rostered Leaders to attend as continuing education, and and in forming and maintaining collegial relationships. Do encourage your leaders to be a part of the Gathering of the Ministerium next year,October 9-11 2017
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The location for next year’s Ministerium will be announced at a future date!