February, 2011
                 The Virginia


Bishop Jim Mauney

preaches on unity in passion


Bishop Mauney


            Bishop Jim Mauney preached on being "unified in passion as expressed by Paul" at a service of Prayer for Christian Unity at Our Lady of Nazareth Catholic Church in Roanoke County on Jan. 23.

            "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings," Mauney said. In his message of Christian unity, the bishop said he wants:

  • to be unified in our desire to imitate Christ and announce his death and resurrection
  • to be centered in Christ, the Lord of heaven and earth, the son of Mary
  • to believe in a rescuing Lord who comes to deliver us from real powers of sin, evil and death
  • to be unified in a call to serve as a rescue mission together
  • to be unified in a hope that in being so united, that it may cause our neighbor to say, "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings."

            In planning the ecumenical service, Father Joe Lehman of the host church, said,"We're giving witness to our faith together and expressing a common faith in Jesus Christ."

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In This Issue
Mauney preaches on unity
Lutherans in the news
St. Philip gets $800,000 bequest
Eight Dewberrys baptized
Highland Epiphany celebration
Immigrants rights rallies
Lexington students find home
Grants boost LFSVA program
All Faith Day draws 300
Synod conferences to meet
Seminary president to lead workshops
The first step
Two small congregations close
Luther Manor gets help from ELCA
Helpful stewardship resource
Winchester village will house 325

Lutherans in the news
 daniel bell



            Daniel M. Bell, professor of theological ethics at Southern Seminary, will be the visiting theologian for Lutheran Campus Ministry at Virginia Tech and Luther Memorial, Blacksburg, on April 3-4. His theme will be "Justified by His Blood: Making Theological Sense of Christ Crucified." He will preach at both services and also speak to the Luther Forum on "What Happened on the Cross: Christ Crucified as Victory, Example and Sacrifice." On Monday, Bell will lead a luncheon conversation at Luther Memorial and that evening he will give a keynote lecture on the Virginia Tech campus.

            Anita Smallin, a long-time camper and summer staff member, has been named program director for Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center. Smallin attended Luther College and graduated from Luther Seminary. She has served in youth ministry posts at congregations in Baltimore, Minneapolis and Great Falls. At Caroline Furnace, she will plan the summer program, coordinate and lead retreats and hire summer staff.

            Bishop Emeritus Richard Bansemer, a prolific writer, is writing petitionary prayers for every Sunday in the three years of the lectionary. The Lutheran Forum has started putting them on line at http://www.lutheranforum.org. Eventually, the goal is to publish them as a single volume.

            Patti Jabre has left the post of associate in ministry at St. Luke, Richmond, to accept a call as director of discipleship and youth at Christ the King, Twinsbury, Ohio.

            At Our Saviour, Richmond, Earl Shaffer has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the High School Band Directors Association. Shaffer, who has been teaching music for 31 years, is band director at Cosby High School, Chesterfield County. Also at Our Saviour, Susan Ham will lead a six-week class on Biblical Archaeology, beginning Sunday, March 13. She spent two years on archaeological dig in Egypt.

            The Valpariso University Chorale will  present an evening concert at St. Mark, Yorktown, on Sunday, Feb. 27. The chorale, directed by Dr. Christopher Cock, has 48 members.

            Christ, Roanoke, is planning a Neighbor-to-Neighbor Ministry to provide non-medical assistance to senior and home-bound members by making home visits or phone calls, performing light household tasks and maintenance, providing transportation, yard work and respite care to provide rest for care-givers.

            In the St. Michael Messenger, Blacksburg, Pastor John Wertz estimates that the ministry of his congregation touched approximately 5,300 people "with the good news of God's love" last year, a 32 percent increase from 2009. A major ministry there is Micah's Backpack, delivering almost 8,000 meals in 1,323 backpacks to seven schools in the first four months of school; 108 students helped and 414 volunteer hours were reported.

Runners and walkers at Epiphany, Richmond, are training for the Monument Avenue 10K run on April 2. Casey Smith is Epiphany Team leader for a program which includes weekly training runs and walks, Bible study and devotions related to training and weekly tips on such topics as injury prevention and nutrition.  Coaches will work with walkers, novice, intermediate and advanced runners.

            Sixty youth, students and young adults at Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, enjoyed a second annual Pie Night. "Enough delicious pies for everyone" was reported. Also at Muhlenberg, a student at James Madison University thanked the congregation for an "exam goody bag,", saying "that was so thoughtful and such a great, creative and practical way to reach out to the campus. Kudos to you and the Lutheran Campus Ministry!" 


St. Philip, Roanoke receives $800,000 bequest

           The estate of an elderly couple, Guy and Fay Kinder, has left an undesignated gift of approximately $800,000 to St. Philip, Roanoke.  Guy Kinder, who worked in line maintenance for Appalachian Power Co., died five years ago and his wife, Fay Kinder, died last year at the age of 97.

            The congregation will tithe at least 10 percent of the estate for outreach causes and task groups are exploring the use of the remainder, said Pastor David Derrick. "We are excited about the gift...This is about mission," he said. The distribution will come in two phases-in June and at the end of the year.

            The Kinders, who had no children, had not been active in the congregation for many years, Derrick said.  After the gift was announced to the congregation, another couple expressed interest in a bequest to St. Philip. The Kinders also left a donation to Christ, Radford, where they were married, Derrick said. 



Eight Dewberrys baptized at Portsmith

     by Gary Fletcher 


Karen Dewberry and seven children.

            Holy Communion, Portsmouth, had the privilege and joy of bringing eight new members into the church family by baptism on Sunday, Jan. 9.  This wonderful event was especially appropriate on the first Sunday after Epiphany, when we celebrate the baptism of our Lord.

            Our new brothers and sisters are members of the family of Karen and Thor Dewberry. Those baptized were Karen, Abigail, Piper, Maxine,Magnus, Garrett, Natascha and Evie. The family has been at Holy Communion since October. They were quick to get involved in the life of the church, participating in Sunday School and choir, providing volunteer assistance for such events as pumpkin patch, Christmas tree lot and opening of a new church pre-school. The Dewberrys moved from Florida, although both Karen and Thor are graduates of Granby High in Norfolk.


 Highlands Epiphany celebration features handbells

highlands bell ringers 

            Handbell choirs were everywhere at an Epiphany Celebration of the Highlands Conference at Holy Trinity, Wytheville, Sunday afternoon, Jan. 30. Three handbell choirs from Redeemer, Bristol, Ebenezer, Marion, and Wythe County were featured. Leaders hope to repeat the service of music, prayer and readings next year.


Immigrants rights rallies planned 

            Rallies are planned in this first week of February from Alexandria to Hampton Roads to Harrisonburg by a group working for Virginia United for Immigrants Rights. They are asking that the General Assembly, now in session, "ensure security for all Virginians through good jobs, excellent schools and full civil rights."

            A coalition from across the state is demanding "that all of our communities have the opportunity to work, live and thrive."  Politicians are "ready to attack our jobs, our families and our communities by passing reckless laws that are out of touch with real Virginians," the group said. Information on the rallies is available at www.virginianewmajority.org.                                 

Lexington students find a home at Good Shepherd

 Lexington college students at Virginia Military Institute and Washington & Lee University have found a home away from home at Good Shepherd Lutheran. Church members are "very friendly and openly encourage us to always come and let Christianity into our lives," said Jeff Miller, a first-year (Rat) Keydet at VMI and a member of Our Saviour, Warrenton.

            Good Shepherd members pick up the students for church, take them into their homes and on field trips and a weekend retreat at Camp Bethel in Botetourt County, said Col  Lee Dewald, chair of the congregation's Campus Ministry Committee and a math professor at VMI. Members sponsor students and "we try to get them to fun things," Dewald said. He is helped by fellow committee members, Phil Schoner and Angelica Matiuk.

            Judy Casteele, a sponsor for two Keydets, takes them to dinner, provides cookies and survival kits for exams and tries to make a church home for them. About 15 Keydets and six or eight from W&L come to services, she said.

            Retired Pastor Hank Boschen, vice pastor for the congregation, said this campus ministry has "touched a lot of young folks' lives...The students participate in worship, reading the lessons...They will long remember the love and care of the congregation."

            Jeff Miller said the Good Shepherd members "make us feel like on Sundays we have a home to go to and we are able to ecape the military lifestyle...(They) offer every service they can provide to help us get through this tough time in our lives."

            Coming from a larger congregation at Warrenton, he said, "I feel like the Lutheran and Christian community is a very loving and helpful group of people."

            His mother, Cathy Miller, said, "it is very comforting to me, as a mom, to know he (Jeff) has their caring support and guidance" at Good Shepherd.

 Two grants boost LFSVA mentoring program


A $15,000 grant from the Altria Employee Community Fund and $4,800 from the BJ's Charitable Foundation will help MentorMatch, a Lutheran Family Services volunteer mentoring program, continue to recruit and train mentors.

 Fifty mentors in the greater Richmond and Hampton areas are working with young people from the child welfare system. Read about one mentor, Robert Thornhill, and his mentee, TJ, in the next issue of the LFSVA MissionWorks newsletter.

            MentorMatch connects caring adults to young people up to the age of 18 who are involved in the child welfare system in the Richmond and Hampton metropolitan areas.  To learn how you can inspire the future by becoming a mentor, email tgoldman@lfsva.org, or call 1.800.359.3834 or visit www.mentormatch.info.


All Faith Day draws 300 advocates to Richmond

     by Joe Shaver

VCIPP participants

Participants in the January All Faith Day at the General Assembly included (from left) Deborah Nixon, Grace Episcopal Church, and Pastor Ken Albright, Joe Shaver and Jean DeMarco, all of Grace & Glory, Palmyra.

            On January 18th members of the Grace & Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra braved icy weather and traveled to Richmond to participate in a Day for All People of Faith sponsored by the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). This the fifth year that members of Pastor Ken Albright's congregation have participated in this event.

 The Virginia Interfaith Center is an organization that advocates before the Virginia General Assembly for those persons who don't have an organized voice.  It is made up of various faith communities to include nearly all Protestant denominations, Roman Catholics, Jewish congregations, Quakers and Muslims.  On this year's lobby day approximately 300 folks were in attendance.

            The Vision and Mission statement of the VICPP is:  The Virginia Interfaith Center empowers Virginians to create social justice for all by advocating for systemic change.  We envision a world where people of all faiths cooperate to create compassionate communities that are just, peaceful, equitable and sustainable.

            After a gathering with briefings and introductory speeches, the members moved to the legislative office buildings to meet with their representatives and present their positions on legislative issues that have been developed by the staff of the Interfaith Center after receiving input from the membership.  This year the issues addressed involved immigration, environment, childhood obesity, unemployment insurance procedures and predatory lending practices. 

            The members of Grace & Glory who attend and have attended in the past always come away with a tremendous feeling of having been a part of Faith in Action.  As the Rev. Doug Smith, executive director of VICPP, has commented, "Rather than thinking there but for the Grace of God go I, we should be thinking there because of the Grace of God go I to be a voice and advocate for 'the least of these.'" 

             If interested, you will find the VICPP on the web at www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org.   


Synod conferences will meet "For the Glory of God"

            Plans are underway for a series of Sunday meetings of youth and adults on the theme of "For the Glory of God," in the 11 synod conferences, starting in March and extending to October.

            Roanoke College is co-sponsoring this "day of worship, gatherings, conversation and faith-sharing in our vocations to be ambassadors of Christ, living in the glory of God," said Bishop Jim Mauney.

            Plans call for the bishop, Pastor Chip Gunsten, assistant to the bishop, and Pastor David Delaney, synod youth and young adult ministry director, to participate in all of the meetings. Pastor Jean Bozeman, assistant to the bishop, Pastor Paul Henrickson, Roanoke College chaplain, Gunsten and Delaney will preach at morning worship on the days of the meetings.

            The agenda for the meetings will be: with youth from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.; dinner with youth and adults from 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.; time with youth and adults from 5:45 p.m. to 7:15  p.m., and closing worship, 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

            The meeting schedule:

            March 20, Tidewater Conference, First, Norfolk

            March 27, Richmond, Epiphany, Richmond

            April 3, Southern, St. Mark's, Roanoke

            April 10, Central Valley, Mt. Calvary, Mt. Jackson

            August 28, Germanna, Our Saviour, Warrenton

            September 18, Northern Valley, Bethel, Winchester

            September 25, Southern Valley, Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg

            October 9, Peninsula, St. Mark, Yorktown

            October 16, New River Valley, St. Michael, Blacksburg

            October 23, Page, St. Peter, Shenandoah

            October 30, Highlands, Ebenezer, Marion


Seminary President Miller to lead workshops
ltss logo

            Dr. Marcus Miller, president of Southern Seminary, will lead three workshops on "Preaching the Lenten Texts" for Virginia pastors and church leaders this week.

            The workshops, lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be held at Gloria Dei, Hampton, on Wednesday, Feb. 2; at Reformation, New Market, on Thursday, Feb. 3, and at St. Mark's, Roanoke, on Friday, Feb. 4.

            The interactive workshops will examine this year's lectionary texts and assist pastors in their preparation for the Lenten season. Continuing education credits are available for the workshops. The registration fee is $15. For information on the workshops, contact Sandra Cline at 803-461-3252 or  scline@ltss.edu


The first step
     by Kathy Thompson, Council president
      Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg


            Each new year is a time of hope and promise-like a new birth. This will be the year when you...finish your degree...or start a new job...or have your first child (or grandchild!)...pay off a loan...build a much-needed addition to your house...pay attention to eating healthy and exercising...learn how to paint...restore a broken relationship...set aside some quiet time each day to listen to God...practice gratitude...worship regularly...pray daily...seek God's will in your life.

            What commitment will you make this year? Will you grow? True commitment comes from faith and trust in God's promises. What is God calling you to do? How is he calling you to respond to the promises of his love? The only way we can know this is to ask and then to listen. Sometimes we're not sure. That's when faith beckons us to just take a first step, make a commitment to reach out and begin.

            One thing I do know: you are called to belong to Jesus Christ. How you respond to God's call is as individual as you are...your time and talents are gifts from God and you are called to use them to God's glory and to fulfill his mission for your life and for his church.


Two small congregations close 


            Grace, Massaponax, a mission congregation in Spottsylvania County, and Messiah, Virginia Beach, a congregation formed in 1974, have closed and their pastors have accepted calls in other synods. Pastor Paul Walters, formerly at Grace, has moved to a congregation in Michigan and Pastor Robert Vogl, formerly at Messiah, moved to Staten Island, N.Y.


Luther Manor meal program gets help from ELCA


The ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants Program has given $2,000 to the Luther Manor meal program.  Located in Virginia Beach, Luther Manor offers rent-subsidized one- or two-bedroom residences for the elderly and disabled adults, one daily meal and access to a volunteer health clinic and transportation services for shopping, medical appointments and other outings

             Luther Manor, managed by Virginia Lutheran Homes, welcomes all faiths.  To find out how to support the residents of Luther Manor by becoming a volunteer, a member of the auxiliary or a donor, please call Ellen Bushman, VLH director of development, at 757.876.5583 or email her at ebushman@lfsva.org.


A most helpful stewardship resource
by Pastor Jim Kniseley


Why do they make it so easy to use and inexpensive?  I am speaking about the ELCA Stewardship Resource, "Make It Simple."  If you are on your congregation's stewardship committee, you know that there are a myriad of resources that you could use to conduct Stewardship Education and an Annual Response.  Let me tell you about this user-friendly and congregation-helpful program. 

            All the materials you will need to conduct this program are available for download at no charge on the ELCA website!  Go to elca.org and click on the bottom left "Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission."  At the bottom of the page, click on "Stewardship" and you will find all the resources for "Make It Simple."

            The Planning Calendar is most helpful, telling you what needs to be done each week for the nine weeks leading up to a Commitment Sunday.  Job descriptions are given for the needed leadership team.  Sample letters and sample temple talks and ideas for bulletin inserts are provided.  I appreciate the encouragement that temple talks need to be very creative in order to capture the attention of folks.  Suggestions are given for skits and testimonies and video interviews and pre-recorded temple talks.  

            You will really like the excellent videos.  They are available for download too.  These can be used in worship or in small groups for discussion.  They can be used at other times of the year too!

            We are using "Make It Simple" at Resurrection in Fredericksburg for our Spring 2011 Appeal.  The Appeal Team is using the basic outline of the Planning Calendar, but the members are creatively molding it with their own ideas.  They are using the theme, "Share God's Blessings...Imagine the Possibilities."  They have decided to show Mark Allen Powell's video series "Biblical Stewardship: Our Duty and Delight" at adult forums.

Pastor Chip Gunsten is the invited preacher for the first Sunday of the Appeal and he will be including thoughts on Resurrection's new vision statement and list of priorities.   Commitment Sunday is the Sunday before Palm Sunday and there will be a congregational celebration meal after the one combined worship service.


For further information, you may contact Pastor Jim Kniseley,Virginia Synod Stewardship Coordinator, at TxBe2Godx2@comcast.net or phone him at 540-786-7778.


Winchester "village" will house 325 residents
orchard ridge

Architect's sketch of first phase of

Village at Orchard Ridge


            Construction is expected to start this spring on the first phase of the Village at Orchard Ridge, a $72-million project providing apartments, cottages, assisted living and nursing units for 325 residents at Winchester.

            This will be a project of National Lutheran Communities & Services, formerly the National Lutheran Home, at Rockville, Md. That institution provides 300 skilled nursing beds and 144 residential units at Rockville.

            The start of construction at Winchester depends on marketing results, according to Larry Bradshaw, chief executive officer of the Village at Orchard Ridge. Completion of the village is expected in early 2013. The first phase will utilize about 32 acres of the 130 acres owned by the village. A timeline for a second phase has not been determined, Bradshaw said.

The first phase will have these accommodations and services: a total of 127 apartments ranging from 785 to 1,500 square feet; 31 duplex and single cottages ranging from 1,300 to 1,700 square feet; 18 assisted living memory support units; 10 skilled nursing units; 26 one-bedroom rental apartments ranging from 600 to 700 square feet; a chapel; exercise and fitness areas; physical therapy and rehabilitation services and health and support services in apartments and cottages. Also, meals will be provided in multiple dining rooms and transportation will be provided for appointments in the Winchester area.





Editor:  George Kegley   
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