Synod Assembly is our annual opportunity for the 150 congregations of the Virginia Synod to come together and be reminded of what it means to be a part of the wider church. Our theme during our June 8-10, 2018 gathering was “Only by Grace Can We Stand”.
During the weekend, Bishop Humphrey helped explore the theme for the Assembly based off of Ephesians 2:19-21, with three keynote presentations that led to small group time. This opportunity to break off into small groups was styled after the Large Group/Small Group feature that is present in most Virginia Synod youth events. This small group time proved a popular way for participants at Assembly to meet one another, and to better get to know the many different congregations that make up our synod.
Small group time also served as a way for participants at Assembly to share their experiences as the church together with structured group activities like decorating PVC crosses as a group. These groups also used their time to discuss and share their opinions on the current format for the Assembly, and brainstorm ideas for how future Assemblies could take shape.
Our ELCA representative this year was The Rev. Ronald Glusenkamp. Pastor Glusenkamp serves as the director of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, a five-year, $198 million comprehensive campaign that will establish a strong culture of stewardship allowing this church to boldly do God’s work in Jesus’ name throughout the world. During his time with us, Pastor Glusenkamp brought good news from the wider church. To view presentation and information shared by Pastor Glusenkamp during the Assembly, click here.
Elections at Assembly
Elections took place over the weekend with Dan Kahill, of Christ in Roanoke elected as the Virginia Synod Council Treasurer. The Rev. Lauren Miller of Peace in Charlottesville was elected to serve as clergy member following her appointment to the Synod Council earlier this year. Tyler Wertman of Grace in Waynesboro, The Rev. Jonathan Boynton of Grace in Winchester, andThe Rev. Leslie Scanlon of Grace in Chesapeake are the newly elected members joining Synod Council.
Elections for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly also took place with The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko of Our Saviour in Richmond, The Rev. Phyllis Milton of Gloria Dei in Hampton, Hunter Simpkins of Grace in Chesapeake, Mycha McNett of Muhlenberg in Harrisonburg, Deacon Christine Van O’Linda Huffman of St. Michael in Virginia Beach, Megan Crummitt of St. Paul’s in Hampton, Todd Recupero of Trinity in Newport News, The Rev. Martha Miller Sims of Grace in Winchester, and The Rev. Tim Crummitt St. Paul’s in Hampton all being elected to serve.
The Rev. John Wertz Jr. was joined by The Rev. Stephen Bohannon, acting as the Roving Reporter to deliver a report for the ongoing ForwardingFaith campaign. It was announced that to date we have reached our $2.5 million goal which was set not by the need, but rather what the synod could raise. We are continuing to encourage more congregations to join in holding their own appeals as part of the campaign, seeking to stretch our total as high as $4 million!
Future campaign training events are being planned now, and if you are interested in participating please contact Lenae Osmondson firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Thank you to all the congregations and members who have helped us exceed our basic goal for ForwardingFaith. More information on the ForwardingFaith campaign can be found at ForwardingFaith.org
50th Anniversary of Women’s Ordination Celebrated
One resolution was passed over the weekend, memorializing the 50th anniversary of women’s ordination in the Lutheran Church. The resolution was submitted by Judy Casteele of Good Shepherd in Lexington. The resolution calls upon congregations throughout the ELCA to participate in the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in our church through worship services, bible studies and other efforts to celebrate and recognize the importance and contributions of ordained women, among other goals. The final version of this resolution will be published as part of the minutes for this year’s assembly.
Worship at Assembly
Worship at this year’s Synod Assembly brought together with worship planners from across Virginia. Worship planners included The Rev. Lauren Miller, Vicar Melissa Woeppel, Pastor Jonathan Boynton, The Rev. Kathryn Pocalyko, The Rev. Philip Martin, The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick, Lenae Osmondson, The Rev. Leslie Scanlon, and The Rev. Alex Zuber. Each shared their talents presenting a diverse range of services throughout the weekend, and we thank them for all their hard work.
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands Award
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia Hearts & Hands award winners were recognized during this year’s Synod Assembly. Kim Begnaud of Trinity in Stephens City received the silver award, Jane Perry of Zion in Edinburg received the Gold award, and Karen Murphy of Bethlehem in Lynchburg was presented with the Diamond award.
Installations of the Bishop’s Staff
Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick, Assistant to the Bishop, and Deacon Lisa Geiger, Candidacy Process Administrator, were installed into their new positions in the Synod Office during the Friday afternoon worship service. Pastor John Wertz, incoming Assistant to the Bishop, and Pastor Dave Delaney, Director for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, will be installed to their positions during the Thursday Evening Eucharist during Power in the Spirit.
Youth Assembly “Who Stands with Me?”
Isaac Wilson of Christ in Fredericksburg, president of the Lutheran Youth Organization, presented the Youth Assembly report, centered on the Youth Assembly theme of “Who Stands by Me?”. He shared a summary of this year’s Youth Assembly sharing their guest speakers, topics that were covered during the groups Chat Room time, and more. He also raised up aspects of the current Assembly format the youth feel are important as the format is reviewed for future assemblies. The incoming LYO Board president will be Turner Barger of Epiphany in Richmond.