October, 2011
                 The Virginia


ELCA website


Synod challenged to

raise $230,000 to fight malaria


 malaria campaign


           Following the new ELCA Lutheran Malaria Initiative, Bishop Jim Mauney has challenged Virginia Synod members to raise under $60,000 annually over four years for a total goal of more than $230,000.

            With an average Sunday worship attendance of about 16,000, that comes to less than $4 a person for one year. "I believe the Virginia Synod can surpass that goal," Mauney said.

            The ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved a $15-million campaign to work toward ending the "destructive power" of malaria in Africa and other areas. Assembly voting members were told that more than 800,000 children in Africa die from malaria every year-one every 45 seconds!

            The $15 million goal is broken down into a little more than $230,000 for each of the 65 synods over four years. Gifts and offerings may be made to the ELCA Malaria Fund through the synod office or at the ELCA website
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In This Issue
$230,000 to fight malaria
Lutherans in the news
Appreciate your pastor
People-centered church
Carbaugh is pastor emeritus
Winchester groundbreaking
Lutherans help rebuild
Reynolds joins Synod staff
Ambassadors for Christ
Centerpiece dedicated
Smith leads Constitution Center
Leadership Program for Music
Moms to Grandmoms
Braun celebrates 40th
Ridenhour dies at 81
Reformation's 50th
Sims takes post
Snelgrove elected
Support U offers help
Welcome Hall
Quick Links


Lutherans in the news




            Pastor Cameron "Cam" Keyser, former interim pastor at Gloria Dei, Hampton, has accepted a call to serve Trinity, Stephen City. After a 20-year career in broadcasting, educational public relations, small business ownership and political consulting, Keyser graduated from Southern Seminary and served congregations in North and South Carolina  and has been an interim pastor since 2008. He is licensed as an Episcopal priest in North Carolina. He and his wife, Ronda, have two sons and two grandsons.

            Pastor Lyndon Sayers, a native of Canada and a graduate

of Montreal Docesan Theological
Sayers and his son, Samuel (center) and friend Chase
 College, an Anglican seminary, has been installed as pastor of Good Shepherd, Lexington. Coming from an Anglican background, Sayers spent a summer ministering to remote fishing villages for the Diocese of Quebec and served internships at a Lutheran church in Montreal and a federal psychiatric prison. His wife, Florentien, teaches philosophy at
Washington & Lee University. He also serves as primary caregiver for a new son, Samuel.
           Pastor James Davis
has moved from the
Delaware-Maryland Synod
to the Quicksburg Parish. He had been associate pastor, director of Christian education and assistant to the pastor at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Ocean City, Md., since 1999. A former Southern Baptist pastor, Davis is a graduate of Samford University, Birmingham, Ala., and he holds a master's and a doctorate from Southern Baptist
 Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
. He and his wife, Olivia, have a son, Jonathan, and a daughter,Dorothy, and six grandchildren.

            Pastor Patti Covington has resigned as co-pastor of the River of Life Parish, Shenandoah County, to serve at Hebron, Madison.

            Pastor Lucille "CeCee" Mills has been called for a year at St. Timothy, Norfolk, to focus mission and ministry in evangelizing/outreach, small group ministry, home visitation and worship leadership with emphasis on growing a more ethnically diverse faith community, reflecting the neighborhood where the church is located. Mills will share her gifts of spiritual formation, prayer, preaching and equipping the saints for the work of ministry with faithful attention to those on the margins, according to a supporting grant request. She will be working with Pastor David Penman.

Pastor Cathy Fanslau has resigned at St. Andrew, Portsmouth, after more than a year on disability leave. Pastor Carl Jensen is vice pastor of the congregation.

            Pastor Tim Waltonen, Fredericksburg, has been assigned as vice pastor at St. Paul, Strasburg. A retired pastor, he teaches at the University of Mary Washington.

            Retired Pastor Dennis Hahle has been appointed vice pastor at Lakeside, Littleton, N. C., where he previously served.

            Pastor William Batterman, who formerly served at St. James, Chilhowie; Pleasant View, Staunton, and Our Redeemer, Petersburg, has retired at Gloria Dei, Salisbury, N.C.

            David Keller, a life-long member of St. Peter's, Toms Brook, was one of 21 metropolitan Washington teachers to receive the prestigious Agnes Meyer Outstanding  Teacher Award. Keller, band director at Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn, is a graduate of the University of Virginia and he earned a master's degree from James Madison University.

Southern Seminary is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of its Columbia, S.C. campus during the 2011-1912 school year. The seminary operated on the Roanoke College campus in Salem in the 1870s.

            The Synod's annual United Lutheran Appeal had collected $60,916 at mid-September. "Support of the eight agencies and institutions of our Virginia Synod is an important means of reaching out to people in need," said the Rev. Floyd Addison, Appeal coordinator.

            The Synod ministry for Lutherans aged 18 to 25 has been renamed to Lutheran Young Adults Connected (LYAC) from the former Keeping Young Adults Connected (KYAC). Pastor Dave Delaney, Synod director for youth and young adult ministries, said he is starting new initiatives to make young adults aware of each other so that there can be planned and informal gatherings on the basis of local proximity.

            A total of 26 Roanoke College students and staff floated 12 miles on the Shenandoah River on the 27th annual Chaplain's Canoe Trip. Nine miles into the journey, they came upon "nasty rapids" and half of the 12 canoes capsized . Possessions were soaked but no casualties reported, according to the Brackety-Ack, college newspaper.

            A successful trip to Ecuador was reported by volunteers from St. Mark, Yorktown. They baked bread and cakes, cleaned a dining area, painted a mural, mentored young volunteers from all over the world, made picture frames and saw repairs made at a church helped by St. Mark. 

            Lutherans at the Lincoln, an annual event of the Highlands Conference, was planned for the Lincoln Theatre in Marion on Sunday, Oct. 2. Fifteen "quality acts" were scheduled to perform.

            A retreat of Virginia Synod students is planned for Camp Caroline Furnace on Oct. 28-30. On Saturday, Oct. 28, they plan to glean apples to be distributed to area food banks in the Shenandoah Valley.

            Angel Food Ministries, a program providing packages of food at comparatively low cost, closed on Sept. 8 and the FBI is investigating misappropriation of funds, according to media reports. The program was used by over 500,000 families through 5,000 church sites in 45 states, including Bethlehem, Lynchburg. Lynn Suwala, host site director at Bethlehem, said her congregation is a strong church working on many outreach programs so she is certain another opportunity will be open.


Appreciate your pastor

     by Pastor Gary Scheidt, Trinity Ecumenical Parish


October is Pastor Appreciation month.  Pastors come in all shapes and sizes, ages and experience levels.  Now that I am among the more "senior" of the clergy in my denomination, I have opportunities to mentor younger pastors.  As we prepare for Pastor Appreciation month, I thought I'd share a few ideas with all of you church members out there.

            Far too many pastors live in the midst of a significant paradox: while they spend incredible amounts of time and energy providing care for others, they often neglect to take good care of themselves.  Several recent studies indicate that--on the whole--clergy are more prone to long-term health issues than the general population.  And, from my work with younger pastors, I have learned that congregations are often very uncaring when it comes to their own shepherd.  If you truly appreciate your pastor, there are a number of ways you can show your care throughout the year--not just in Pastor Appreciation month.

            If your church does not have a mutual ministry committee or a pastoral care and concern committee or a pastor-parish relations committee, form one and direct it to keep in touch with your pastor and the pastor's family.  Let them know that you care about them as persons and about their hurts and their needs.  Do it often.  Back it up with action when appropriate.

            Make sure that your pastor is not being sucked into the trap of being "on duty" 24/7/365.  In this age of cell phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging and texting, the demands can be never-ending.  Human beings are not designed to run well without down time, and that includes pastors, who are very human. Long ago I got this advice at a seminar for pastors.  Divert daily: make some time each day to do something that you enjoy that has nothing to do with church work.  Withdraw weekly: God rested one day out of seven and so should a pastor.  Abandon annually: make sure that you have adequate vacation time and then use it for personal recreation and renewal.  Hold your pastor accountable to these guidelines.  Everyone will benefit.

            Tell your pastor about all of the things that you appreciate about your pastor and your church.  Rest assured that we hear the gripes and the complaints and are well aware of any mistakes (real or perceived) that we may have made.  If the negative voices are the only ones that are speaking up, a pastor can easily lose perspective.  Pastors need to hear the good news.  They need to hear the voices of reality that will say, "Yes, there are a few people who are unhappy, but there are also several hundred of us who are really happy with our church and who love your ministry."  Drop your pastor a note, send a card or an email, pick up the phone, or drop by the church and just say "Thank you."  Do it often, not just in October.

            If there are issues concerning your pastor's ministry, talk to your pastor instead of talking about your pastor.  Talking behind a pastor's back is the surest way to destroy a pastor's morale and to undermine a pastor's effectiveness.  This unhealthy behavior results in pastors who burn out or act out or simply pack up and move on.  None of these things is productive for the ministry of the church.  Open and honest face-to-face conversations can resolve many, many molehills before they become mountains, and it also builds up two of the most important elements in effective ministry - trust and respect.

            And please don't overlook or underestimate the financial strains on pastors and their families these days.  Yes, church budgets are always tight and hard choices have to be made, but keeping the pastor and the pastor's family on the verge of financial disaster is not a good way to balance the budget. And if the pastor's spouse is also employed, be sure to recognize that the second income may be the only thing that allows them to keep serving the church.  Look beyond this year's budget and learn to see your pastor as an important investment for the life and health of your church.  The "bottom line" is that stressed out, burned out, frustrated and demoralized pastors do not lead happy, healthy, effective congregations.  The cost of replacing pastors is huge-- financially and every other way.  Build up one another for the glory of God.

            So send your pastor that beautiful card for Pastor Appreciation month, but back it up with year-round care and concern.  Create a climate in which everyone--including the pastor--can be happy and healthy and productive.  Then watch what God will do!


            (Pastor Gary Scheidt wrote this article for the Smith Mountain Eagle.)


Visitors look for a people-centered church 


            Leading is a sacrament of a people-centered church, said Dr. Kennon Callahan, nationally known church consultant, in a two-day conference on "Developing Keys to an Effective Church" at St. Mark's. Roanoke, on Sept. 6-7.

            The key to leading he said, is being with people you love, doing what you love, experiencing the grace of God-people-centered, not functional. He spent much of his time developing four steps of leadership: Loving, listening, learning and leading.

            Callahan, a prolific author, speaker and ordained United Methodist elder, founded a program to train and certify pastors and church administrators. From his experience as a church consultant, he provided much advice on the keys of healthy congregations for about 50 pastors and lay leaders:

            People don't live in geographic groups, they live in friendships, common interests and life stages in neighborhoods. Focus on objectives, not policies. People will join a cause, not a committee. Church constitutions are too nitpicking.

            Most people give to a church out of passion, not commitment. People give more generously when they're having fun. If you increase worship attendance from 200 to 300 people, giving will increase 50 percent. People live on hope, not memory. We are Easter people, not people of hope.

            Churches die because they are working really hard on things that are no longer working. We are inside people who hardly understand what outside people think. Pastors spend too much time in their churches.

            First-time worshipers are looking for a family, not for information; 80 percent of them make a decision to become members on their first visit.  Unchurched people do not shop around. They are drawn for some mission. Something is going on in their lives. They have a profound, desperate search.

            Feel free to make mistakes-it helps us to grow. The boat with no problems never left the dock.

            Callahan will hold his annual week-long Seminar for Key Leaders at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga., on Feb. 27-March 2, 2012, according to Pastor John Wertz Jr., seminar coordinator for Callaway's Mission Leaders Network.

After 53 years, Carbaugh to be pastor emeritus

Carbaugh, Ken

             During a 55th anniversary celebration at Our Saviour, Virginia Beach,  on Oct. 22-23, retired Pastor Kenneth R. Carbaugh will receive a certificate of recognition as pastor emeritus. He retired March 15, 2009, after 53 years of service in that congregation.

            Carbaugh's service may have set a record for a pastor in the Virginia Synod.  The late Dr. J. J. Scherer Jr., served at First English, Richmond, for 50 years. Pastor Harry Griffith recently succeeded Carbaugh.

            A native of Stephens City, Carbaugh graduated from Roanoke College and Philadelphia Seminary. After he served as mission developer in the Bayside area in 1956-57, Our Saviour was organized on Oct. 21, 1956, with 121 baptized members. The mission was first called the Chapel by the Lake. The congregation worshiped in a school until its first unit was built in 1961. A new sanctuary was built in 1979.

            Carbaugh and his wife, Elizabeth, were the parents of four sons. After her death in 1989, Carbaugh married Trisha Lynch.

            An anniversary dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Carbaugh will be honored at a service on Sunday.

Groundbreaking held for Winchester chapel


Winchester chapel groundbreaking
Bishop Jim Mauney (right) led the groundbreaking

            A groundbreaking service was held Aug. 30 for a chapel at the Village at Orchard Ridge retirement community at Winchester, scheduled for completion by March 2013. The total cost is estimated at $112 million and the community will house 348 residents.

            The foundation has been poured for the chapel and some cottages and apartments.

            Other parts of Phase 1 of the project to be finished by March 2013 are 127 apartments, 51 LEED-certified cottages, 18 assisted living/memory care suites, 10 skilled nursing rooms in a small-house environment and common space.

            The chapel, 53 by 40 feet, will seat 182 people. In addition to worship space, the chapel will be a place for meetings, activities, events, concerts and a gathering space for people of all faiths and all walks of life.

model of orchard ridge
Model of Village at Orchard Ridge, 
chapel at right

            From 159 to 200 workers are on site during the first phase of construction. John Midolo, village executive director, said all of the cottages will be certified for energy efficiency, including fixtures and appliances and geothermal wells will be used to heat the community. Midolo said the community wants seniors to have "an active and vibrant lifestyle" and if health care services are ever needed, they can be delivered to residents in their own homes. A grand opening and open houses was held at a new location for the village's sales office at 320 Westside Station Drive, Winchester.

            At the groundbreaking, Bishop Jim Mauney and Pastor Martha Miller Sims of Grace, Winchester, led a service of prayers and scripture readings at the chapel site. Pastors from the Northern and Central Valley conferences and board members and staff of the parent National Lutheran Communities and Services (formerly National Lutheran Home) participated in the groundbreaking.

Pulaski Lutherans help rebuild a tornado home 



Pulaski volunteers
Volunteers from Trinity Lutheran, Presbyterians and Disciples of Christ stand in front of rebuilt Gallimore house

            Members of Trinity, Pulaski, joined Presbyterians and volunteers from other churches to rebuild a three-bedroom house in Pulaski, destroyed by the after-effects of a widespread tornado in April.  "This was a truly wonderful ecumenical endeavor and a very efficient cooperative effort between the faith-based community and town and county leadership," said Pastor Terrie Sternberg of Trinity.

            The house for Joe and Delaina Gallimore and their two daughters was built with about 100,000 hours of volunteer labor and donated funds from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Southwest chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Lutheran Disaster Response and individual and group donations. A special joint venture was formed between Trinity members and the Presbyterian agency. The work of the partnership was "nothing short of a miracle," Sternberg said.

            Trinity volunteers helped with hanging siding, painting, landscaping and electrical work and by providing drinks and snacks during hot summer days.Work extended from July 15 to Sept. 17 when the family moved in. Women of Trinity held a pounding for the Gallimores. The 70-year-old house had some initial structural damage but after electric power was restored a wiring problem in the kitchen started a fire which destroyed the home.

            Pulaski Mayor Jeff Worrell said he was heartened and encouraged to see so many people from the community and all over Virginia and beyond come to the aid of many Pulaski residents whose homes were badly damaged or destroyed. At a dedication service, Pastor Sternberg offered a house blessing praying that "God will bless the Gallimores by dwelling with them every day and we look forward to continuing to work on other homes in Pulaski that still need work to be done."


Reynolds joins Synod staff,

other changes announced 


Reynolds and husband
Mindy Reynolds and husband, he Rev. Charles Reynolds

            In a new staffing program for the Synod, Bishop Jim Mauney has announced the part-time employment of Mindy Reynolds as coordinator for healthy leaders for a year, as well as new responsibilities for Pastors Chip Gunsten and David Delaney. These changes follow the retirement of Pastor Jean Bozeman.

            Reynolds, a diaconal minister candidate in the ELCA, will be working to renew and energize the Healthy Congregations initiative, leading coaching groups, training facilitators, ongoing family systems education and wellness for rostered leaders. She will be building on the work of retired Pastor Luther Mauney Jr., who formerly led the Healthy Congregations program.

            Reynolds and her husband, Pastor Charles F. Reynolds, an elder in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, conducted an extensive study of wellness for the 3,300 rostered leaders of the Virginia Methodist Conference. He is executive director of wellness ministries for the conference. Mindy Reynolds holds degrees from Wagner College and a master's of church ministries at Duke Divinity School. She worked for 20 years at Duke University and Health System and she has been engaged in the ministry of parish/faith community nursing and health ministries for 15 years. The Reynolds live at Fishersville and attend Christ Lutheran, Staunton.

            Her compensation will come from grants from the ELCA Synodical and Congregational Mission Unit and the ELCA Board of Pensions as a result of 65 percent of the Synod's rostered leaders completing a wellness assessment.

            In "a new time of staffing," Gunsten will have oversight of leadership and mission, the gathering of the ministerium, first call, clergy spouse retreat, candidacy, mission and global mission programs. Delaney, in addition to his continuing work as director of youth and young adult ministry, will have oversight for Christian formation and he will be the staff person for Roots & Wings, ACTS, Power in the Spirit and the Book of Faith initiative. Lenae Osmondson, former secretary to Pastor Bozeman, will continue to work in the Norfolk office of the bishop-East.

            The bishop said he and Synod staff plan to work within each conference "as effectively as we can while we wait to see what the (financial) commitments will be for 2012."

Ambassadors for Christ:

Sharing the Faith, Living the Faith

     by Pastor Bill Van O'Linda, Synod advocate, Book of Fatih

Van O'Linda
Van O'Linda


         As a church, our native tongue is the language of the Bible. When we commit ourselves to listening to, struggling with, exploring, learning and receiving the words, stories, songs, letters, laws and promises of the Bible, we become open to hearing God's word speaking to us and through us ever anew. We are Ambassadors for Christ: sharing and living the faith.
            Since the Book of Faith initiative was adopted by the 2007 Churchwide Assembly, such renewed commitment has taken root. As your synod advocate for Book of Faith, I know about the growth. More families are reading the Bible at home, learning how to read devotionally in ways that engage all ages. In one congregation, teens are interviewing adults about their experiences with the Bible and then reporting their findings to the congregation council.
            One pastor brought together active and lapsed members of her congregation to study lectionary texts and to reflect together on her sermon. She reports that the lapsed members have become active again. Another entire congregation listened to the Gospel of Mark on MP3 players during Lent. What is most exciting about these stories are the creative ways people are finding to reach those who often haven't been part of a previous in-depth engagement with the Bible. The temptation for many is to think the Book of Faith initiative is one more worthwhile church program that we can do once and complete. It's not. It offers a vision we are each called upon to embrace wherever we live, work and pray.
            The Spirit is stirring up something across our church. It began years ago at Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran in Dallas, N.C., when that congregation called on its synod, which in turn called on the whole of the ELCA, to consider more deeply how Lutherans might read the Bible. Their resolution eventually spawned Book of Faith, which calls on all of us throughout the church, from kids to adults, to deepen our engagement with the Bible and to explore our Lutheran heritage for the many fruitful ways our tradition helps us in this engagement. Our common vision is this: "That the whole church becomes more fluent in the first language of faith, the language of Scripture, in order that we might live into our calling as a people renewed, enlivened, empowered, and sent by the word."
            One is to begin with a threefold understanding of the word of God, which comes to us first and foremost as the incarnate Word in Christ. We hear the word as Jesus. It next comes to us as the proclaimed word, both in sermons we hear and in the words of God's demand and promise, law and gospel, that we speak to one another. We hear and receive the word from one another. And the word of God comes to us as well as the written word of Scripture. We hear and receive the word through our opening and being opened by God through the written word. As our vision says, we are renewed, enlivened, empowered and sent by the word-incarnate, proclaimed and written.
            So often we hear these words and we hear the law, and we know ourselves to be sinners who don't care for others as God commanded us to do. But on this day, a new word came to many. They heard Jesus' response not only as law but also as promise. They heard Jesus say, "Whenever you see one who is hungry or thirsty or a stranger in need, through them I am with you."
            Whenever we truly see the neighbor in need, we see Christ. The very presence of the needy is the gift of Christ's presence. Christ isn't dead; Christ is in our midst; Christ is with us. The effect of that spoken word on us through the text, delivering Christ to us right there in our midst, was astonishing.
            Such is just one example of the power of the word to call us, to shape us, to capture our hearts and imaginations, to feed our souls and to send us forth into God's world. In this case, the word came to us through preaching. In other cases, we experience the power as we join together in common study or as we read and discuss Bible stories. Something is stirring indeed. Let us invite one another to take up the vision, to explore ways of adopting the initiative in our own contexts, and to open Scripture together and join the conversation.
            For a workshop in your conference or congregation, consultation on materials available from Book of Faith or other ideas contact the Synod Book of Faith advocate, Pastor Bill Van O'Linda, email: wmvanoli@comcast.net or phone 804-447-1725.


Prince of Peace dedicates centerpiece


               On September 19, Prince of Peace,  Basye/Orkney Springs, celebrated the completion of its year-long sanctuary renovation. The festivities included the unveiling of a unique stained glass centerpiece designed and constructed by local artist Charles Barone.

In the past 12 months, the people of Prince of Peace restored their altar and moved it from the wall, removed the altar rails, and installed a sanctuary lamp. They completed their final step just a day before the dedication service: removing the 50-year-old dossal curtain which had hidden the stained glass while it was installed section-by-section over the past year. Prince of Peace member Farley Peechatka provided all of the carpentry needed for the renovations, even building a massive frame for the stained glass.

            Preaching at the dedication service, Bishop Jim Mauney remarked that the glass images present both Law and Gospel, Word and Sacrament, centered around the cross of Christ.


Doug Smith to lead Constitution Center



          C. Douglas "Doug" Smith has resigned after eight years as president and chief executive of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy to become executive director of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier in Orange County.

            Smith has led the ecumenical advocacy center, "a voice for justice and compassion at the Virginia General Assembly," which also serves as the ELCA's public policy office for Virginia.

            Smith, an ordained pastor of the Christian Church, has held weekly Bible studies and frequent meetings with legislators. The center's best-known work has been its challenge of predatory lenders but it has also advocated for a lower tax on food, increased support for prenatal care for low income women and it has marched with labor unions and stood up to bigotry against the Jewish community.

            In the short term, Charles Swadley, a former center chair and an United Methodist Church pastor, will be interim president and chief executive. The center board named a search committee to find a new leader.

            Smith said the Constitution Center invited him to lead that body to become the nation's leading non-partisan education institution focused on constitutional principles.

Smith also serves as chairman of the board of Heifer International Foundation.


Four Lutherans enrolled

in music leadership program


            LPM-Virginia, a Leadership Program for Musicians, began the 2011-2012 academic year in September with a record 13 students. Four from Virginia Synod are Dave Triplett, Faith, Staunton, St. Peter's, Churchville, and St. Paul's, Mt. Solon; Julie Martell, Grace and Glory, Palmyra; Annie Heckel, Hebron, Madison, and Jennifer Ripley, Our Saviour, Richmond.

            LPM began as the Leadership Program for Musicians Serving Small Congregations, out of what became a national Episcopal Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. Starting as an effort to help musicians in small churches, the program broadened to include musicians at medium and large churches. Today, it is a cooperative venture of the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. Lutherans Sharon Freude, who has been an organist at several Episcopal congregations, and Kevin Barger, director of music ministries at Epiphany, Richmond, serve on the LPM-Virginia board.


Moms to Grandmoms is a very special group


           Linda Campbell, a veteran small group leader, joined with a friend at Our Saviour, Warrenton, to start Moms to Grandmoms, a daytime gathering of six or seven women.  She and Mary Bell lead the group on Tuesdays.

            "There is something very special about a ladies group. It is a place where we can meet to study God's word. It is a place where you are not Joe's wife or Paul's mom. It is a place of calm where we open with meditation and prayer," Campbell said.

            They use the Serendipity Bible Women's Study and then "we share our lives with one another and at the end we pray for those in need."  Members of the group are "such a blessing to each other and I think this small group will be a blessing to Our Saviour," she added. Several small groups have started and Campbell hopes many more will follow.

            After her husband died 20 years ago, Campbell joined a group of 12 couples at Prince of Peace Lutheran, Fairfax. She started a new group, still meeting today, and became a leader. She moved to Front Royal and then to Gainesville, joined Our Saviour and began a Bible study group. But she wanted to start a ladies small group and she did.              For information on the small group process, call Campbell at 703-743-1309. Her email address is lincamp@comcast.net


Pastor Lance Braun celebrates 40 years of ministry


Denise Orndorff, president of St. John, Gravel Springs Parish, presents plaque to Pastor Lance Braun

            Pastor Lance Karl Braun received a brass and walnut plaque at a celebration of his 40 years of ordained ministry, including seven years at Gravel Springs, Frederick County. The parish made a donation in the name of Braun to the ELCA Leadership Development Fund.

            Among the 110 attending the celebration was retired Pastor Duane Carlson, who served at St. Mark, Springfield, when Braun was associate pastor there in 1971-76. Among the guests were Mary Irasua and Miriam Muyambe of Papua New Guinea, who stopped on their tour of the synod.  In his sermon, Bishop Jim Mauney commended Norma Braun for her years of love and support to her husband, Braun, and to the church.


Pastor William J. Ridenhour dies at 81


            Retired Pastor William J. Ridenhour, 81, died in Norfolk on Aug. 27. A native of Albemarle, N.C., he had served at St. Andrew, Portsmouth, and King of Kings, Fairfax, and two North Carolina congregations.

            Survivors include his wife, Grace, and a daughter, Alice McCoy. The funeral was held at First Lutheran, Norfolk, on Sept. 2.


Reformation, Newport News, celebrates its 50th


Bishop Mauney preached at Newport News anniversary service

            With praise and gratitude to God for 50 years of ministry, Reformation, Newport News,  celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sept. 11. The congregation's first worship service was held on Sept. 10, 1961 at Denbigh Elementary School.

            The anniversary service was patterned on the liturgy from the first service, from the 1958 Service Book and Hymnal, and included a reproduction of the printed liturgy from that first service. Members of the congregation shared personal remembrances of the early days, including a parishioner's recollection as a child of "escaping" from Sunday School through a window. She was rescued, however, before wandering into busy Warwick Boulevard. 

             Bishop Jim Mauney was the preacher for the service. Historic documents, photos and other mementos were on display as the congregation gathered around refreshments after the service.


Pastor George Sims takes post



            Pastor George Sims, director of the Synod's Mission Office for Planned Giving  for more than 10 years, has resigned to accept a call to serve as director of advancement for the Village at Orchard Ridge, a retirement community under construction at Winchester as part of National Lutheran Communities and Services. He will start Oct. 17.

            Sims has helped raise endowment funds, traveling across the Synod, advising congregations about planned giving. He formerly was pastor at Reformation, New Market.

            In his new position, Sims will be responsible for cultivation and stewardship programs in support of the fund-raising goals of the community's parent organization, formerly the National Lutheran Home. He will represent National Lutheran Communities and Services by working to strengthen congregational ministry with seniors. The firm said Sims will assure that fund-raising efforts follow the precepts of Christian stewardship and management practices.

            Bishop Jim Mauney said he expects Sims to continue to be available for consultation on planned giving in the Synod. 


Snelgrove elected president of SWO

            Risse Snelgrove of Bethel, Winchester, was elected to a two-year term as president of the Virginia Synodical Women's Organization at its annual convention at Roanoke College in July. Before her family moved to Virginia, she was an active member of the Texas-Louisiana Synodical Women's Organization. Snelgrove brings a commitment to encourage women of all ages "to grow in faith, affirm their gifts and support one another in their callings." 


Support U offers help for care-givers


            Support U, a free care-giving program led by two experienced nurses, will be offered on Oct. 13, 20th and 27th at St. Michael and Luther Memorial churches. The program is aimed at making life better for individuals and their care-givers.

            The leaders--Karen Brown, a licensed practice nurse, and Jo Burroughs, a registered nurse-have been or are caring for a loved one. They know how important it is to reach out to care-givers and provide resources for them.

            The classes will cover planning ahead, finding, creating and using resources, self-care for the care-giver, dealing with memory loss and chronic illness, communication and family dynamics and finances.

            Afternoon classes will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at St. Michael, 2308 Merrimac Road, and they will be repeated in the evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Luther Memorial, at the corner of Prices Fork and Toms Creek roads. Respite care for people who are watched by the participants will be available at the afternoon classes and in the evening, if needed.

            Each class is limited to 15 participants with a deadline of Oct. 3. Registration may be completed by contacting Luther Memorial at 540-951-1000 or luther@lmlc.org; or at St. Michael, 540-951-8951 or stmlc@earthlink.net. Support U is part of the Lutheran Services in America Caregiver Site, a portfolio of Lutheran-branded models, products and programs for strengthening care-giver resources.


Welcome Hall is a new use for an old space

            welcome hall

            Christ, Fredericksburg, dedicated the Welcome Hall, a new use for an old space, on Sept. 18.  This was the original sanctuary, built in 1951 at a cost of $45,000 and used for worship and later for Sunday School and preschool after a another sanctuary was built in 1971.

            Members did much of the renovation after the preschool was moved to another part of the church. They restored the room to much of its original appearance, with a domed ceiling and trim work. The renovation cost about $45,000, the same as the original figure and much less than the estimated $95,000 cost without member participation.

            The new "space fills a great need for gathering for coffee fellowship after worship, meeting space and gathering for families preparing for weddings or funerals.

A room to be used as a vestry for fellowship preparation and flower ministry is separated by a wall.

            A member who had worshiped in the original sanctuary as a child was moved to tears when the restored space of the Welcome Hall brought back memories of past years.




Editor:  George Kegley   
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