November, 2012
                 The Virginia


Roanoke College plans
big community/sports center


           A campaign for a large community and athletic center is coming to the Roanoke College campus next year. College President Michael Maxey gave a few hints about the center at the annual reception of the Roanoke Valley alumni chapter in September.

            The Cregger Center, to be named for Morris Cregger, chairman of the college board of trustees, will have seating for 2,500 people, to draw world-class speakers, as well as a 200-meter indoor track, Maxey said. This will be the first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley. A goal has not been set for the center but it will be "big," he said. The campaign will begin next spring.

Nov. 10 Gathering
for all unchurched people


The Synod's African American Outreach Team (AAOT) is hosting an Outreach Conversation on Saturday, Nov. 10, at St. Paul in Strasburg, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The event is one of a number of conversations that the team is holding around the Synod, with relevance not only for outreach to African Americans, but to all unchurched people of God in surrounding communities.

The team's gatherings encourage support of Resolution 4 that passed at the June Synod Assembly.  This was the recommendation to have each congregation engage in an internal conversation about its outreach ministry.

            Anyone interested in carrying the message of God's saving grace to all people is invited to join the discussion on Nov. 10, at St. Paul.  Lunch will be provided by the Synod.

            For more information, contact: Melinda Barnhardt Jud ( or Pastor "CeCee" Mills (

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In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
Lutheran World Relief needs quilts
Bishop Mauney brings insights to LFS staff
Cliff Dorn dies
Grace and Glory dedication draws large turnout
Churches donate Bibles, lead prayer at Page fair
Trinity, Stephens City to build
Malaria Task Group plans malaria relief
"Where the synod is now" by Bishop Jim Mauney
Winchester Concert to benefit 100 Wells Project
Quick Links


Lutherans in the news

Phyllis Diamond
         Phyllis Diamond, a longtime nurse, will be ordained at her home church, Christ, Roanoke, on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. She has accepted a call to serve as co-pastor of  the three River of Life churches in Page County. A Salem native, she attended Roanoke College, the Community Hospital School of Nursing and graduated from Old Dominion University and Southern Seminary. She and her husband, Doug Diamond, have three adult children and five grandchildren.

            Roanoke College Chaplain Paul Henrickson will retire next June


30 after more than 30 years of service. College President Michael Maxey said Henrickson "has influenced the lives of thousands of students, cared pastorally for many faculty, staff and students in moments of vulnerability and provided energetic, creative programming for the entire college." He has "made an indelible mark on the life of our Roanoke College community." Henrickson graduated from Virginia Tech and Hamma School of Theology.

     Pastor Joel Neubauer, who has been vice pastor at St. Andrew, Portsmouth, has accepted a call to serve at Grace, Chesapeake. A Maryland native, he worked several summers at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp, graduated from the College of William and Mary, studied at the University of Munich, graduated from Gettysburg Seminary and is working on a master of sacred theology at Gettysburg. He was pastor of Christ, Middletown, Conn., before moving back to Virginia with his wife, Danielle Neubauer.

Regan Jones
          Regan Jones, Good Shepherd, Front Royal,
was recognized as Warren County Elementary School Teacher of the Year. After 35 years of teaching first grade, Jones "helped with everything from planning and management to the emotional breakdowns that all new teachers have," according to the nomination. Jones, wife of Pastor Bob Jones, Good Shepherd,
said the first grade is "really an amazing year of such visible progress because most of them come in unable to read and they leave readers."

            James S. Huffard III, Grace, Rural Retreat, received the Distinguished Cattle Breeder Award, the highest honor bestowed


a dairy cattle breeder, from the National Dairy Shrine during the World Dairy Expo at Madison, Wis., Oct. 4. Huffard, a Virginia Tech graduate and a third generation manager of Huffard Dairy Farms, was recognized for his "keen interest in the breeding of productive and functional Jersey cattle so they live longer." The family operates a 400-cow herd and their dairy products are distributed throughout Southwest Virginia.

            Jody Smiley, St. Michael, Blacksburg, past president of the Virginia Synodical Women's Organization, has been named to fill an unexpired term on the executive board of Women of the ELCA. Smiley, an analytical chemist in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, will serve on the Budget and Finance Committee of the national organization. Her term will continue until the Triennial Convention in Charlotte in July 2014.

Betty Schaefer, Bethlehem, Lynchburg, was one of 10 women honored by the Lynchburg Central YWCA for its Academy of Women.  Schaefer was recognized for her 


work as coordinator of the Timberlake Emergency Assistance Ministry (T.E.A.M.), working with eight churches to provide food for those in need for 31 years. She coordinates donations of food, distributed by 20 volunteers.  Schaefer, a retired part-time laboratory technician, is active in a number of other community programs.

            The Rev. Viktoria Parvin, formerly of Vandalia, Ill., has been named interim pastor at Peace, Charlottesville. Pastor John Herman, who retired at the end of September, with his wife, Leslie, has moved to Greenbackville on the Eastern Shore. Next year, he will co-teach a doctor of ministry course on church renewal at Philadelphia Seminary and write a discipleship series, as well as writing for Adult Lutherans Organized for Action. In the final stages of a building addition at Peace, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures, hardware and floor coverings were installed, drywall and painting were completed.

            At Our Saviour, Virginia Beach, Bianca Nakovics left the post of church administrator to assist her family in Albania and Toni Redifer has followed her in the position. Our Saviour members will join other Lutheran churches in an annual Cookie Pack on Nov. 10, with a goal of providing 1,500 small bags of cookies for inmates at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

            Stephanie Wickett, a Roanoke College senior from Merritt Island, Fla., is the new director of youth ministry at College, Salem. A former intern in the office of Dave Delaney, synod director of youth and young adult ministries, she plans later to attend seminary and do urban and inner city ministry after ordination.

            At St. Mark's.Roanoke, Brad McDaniel was one of four on a team at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy who received an Advocacy Award from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Sue Nutter, executive director of Adult
Care Center of Roanoke Valley, received a Making It Personal award from Home Instead Senior Care.

            Dr. Paul Wee, Washington, D.C., is scheduled to preach on the All Saints Sunday service, Nov. 4, and present a Reformation drama at 7 p.m. at Christ, Radford. Interim Pastor Conrad Braaten also reports an organ concert was held on Reformation Sunday at Christ church.

            Grace, Winchester, will dedicate a prayer labyrinth near the old church wall and memorial garden at nearby Mount Hebron Cemetery on Nov. 4.  After completion of a large steeple renovation program and Indian Alley construction, the congregation is planning conservation and renovation of its stained glass windows. Clear glass window protectors will replace discolored plastic covers.

            Roanoke College students helped undocumented immigrants to submit deferred action documents in a clinic at the college on Oct. 27. They were acting under the DREAM (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Act, a program offering temporary relief from deportation announced by President Barack Obama. Earlier, a panel of experts discussed the DREAM Act and immigration law at the college.          

             Immanuel, Bluefield, W. Va., celebrated its 125th anniversary with a homecoming service on Sept. 22-23. Former Pastors Paul Cooper and Sidney Nelson spoke of their ministry at Immanuel. Gospel music was provided by Bluegrass Inspirations.

A Christmas card signing is scheduled at St. Mark, Yorktown, on Nov. 11 when the congregation will prepare 150 cards to send to its Ecuadorian Children's Mission. A Giving Tree was set up to gather support to help the children with medical problems, learning disabilities and a need for food.  The congregation also is baking cookies for its Kairos Ministry at Nottoway Prison.

            Mount Calvary, Mt. Jackson, celebrated its homecoming on Oct. 21 with a sermon by Pastor Stephen Shackelford, a son of  the late Pastor Glenn Shackelford, former pastor at Mount Calvary.

            About 50 alumni of the former Lutheran Children's Home of the South attended an annual reunion in Salem and Roanoke in early  October. Copies of their records were provided by Lutheran Family Services, the successor organization.

            Members of Trinity, Pulaski, started their annual 40-day journey with the hungry by distributing hunger coin banks "to help us be mindful of those in the world who are hungry or dying from starvation." The coin banks will be dedicated Nov. 18.

            About 240 people from 24 Roanoke Valley churches raised almost $20,000 in the annual CROP Walk on Oct. 14. Pastor Ken Lane, Trinity, Roanoke, was chairman of the walk. Lane's son, Kevin Lane, placed third in a 70-mile marathon in the mountains near Asheville, N.C.


Lutheran World Relief needs quilts

     by Jackie Collins


In 2007, I was asked to head up the Lutheran World Relief Quilt Ministry at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Warrenton.  I was not a quilter myself, but was told that there were quilters in our church and they would be glad to assist me in understanding and producing the specific instructions for making Lutheran World Relief quilts.

 From that moment on I was thrust into one of the most exciting ministries I have been involved in.  Our quilts not only have assisted families that have nothing (and I mean nothing; no access to food, water, knowledge or shelter), but have proved to be a tremendous blessing to the people at Our Saviour who worked on, donated and blessed our quilts.

            We work all year toward the blessing of the quilts on the last weekend in September where we display our quilts prior to shipping them to Lutheran World Relief.  In 2008 we produced 68; in 2009 we made 107; in 2010 we had 130; in 2011 we were up to 159 and in 2012 we produced 176. 

            Realizing that the quilts are their most requested item, Lutheran World Relief has sent out a challenge to churches requesting 500,000 quilts for 2013.  Please let it be known that if you can cut and sew a straight line, your church can also be a part of this great ministry and should you need any mentoring, please know that Our Saviour will be there for you.

(Jackie Collins, Our Saviour  quilt ministry coordinator, may be reached at



Bishop Mauney brings insights to LFS staff

"Powerful" LFS brand is introduced

     by Carole Todd, LFS communications director

   LFS logo new

Sometimes it takes a person with a unique and loving perspective to help us see the impact of what we do. That person for Lutheran Family Services staff is Bishop James Mauney, who is also a member of the board of trustees. Bishop Mauney was a featured speaker at the LFS "Let's Grow Together" all-staff meeting on Oct. 19, at the Best Western Hotel in Waynesboro.

Talking to about 300 staff, the bishop's presentation put into perspective the information that employees received on the new LFS brand and a moving and amusing motivational talk by Chris Ridenhour from Liberty Lutheran in Philadelphia.

Mauney at LFS
Bishop Mauney speaks to LFS staff.

The bishop spoke eloquently of the importance of faith and how our work brings the individuals we serve out of the darkness and into the light. At the end, the staff had a deeper understanding of the value of their work and the profound difference it can make. Bishop Mauney brought compassion, caring and insights to our employees.

LFS has a new look, with the help of Kelly O'Keefe and his team, renowned in branding, the agency uncovered deeply held values and beliefs that form its own core. In dozens of interviews, researching hundreds of pages of transcripts and thoughtful and discerning analysis, O'Keefe and his team helped distill our essence into two powerful words: promise, restored.

With a new graphic identity and a more powerful message, we are better equipped to communicate the value of what we do and to truly restore the promise that life holds. The branding team gave us the insight and our design team, 93 Octane of Richmond, gave us a new graphic identity. The new LFS look will be evident in our publications and on our web site, which is also undergoing transformation. Our new web site will also feature historical information to help celebrate our 125th anniversary in 2013.


Cliff Dorn, engineer, missionary, dies at 92 


Clifford "Cliff" George Dorn, 92, of Irvington, a former Wycliff Bible Translators  missionary in Papua New Guinea, died Oct. 9. A longtime government employee with the Armed Security Divison and Bureau of Standards, he was involved in early development of the computer and he held patents in the field of missiles. He was active at Living Water, Kilmarnock, taught Sunday school and joined his wife, Grace, in two trips to Papua, New Guinea. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters and a son. A memorial service was held Oct. 12.


Church dedication draws large turnout


Mauney baptized
Bishop Mauney recognized all who were baptized at Grace and Glory in it 11-year history. Pastor Jean Bozeman gave a shell to each baptized person.

           More than 250 people attended a Sept. 23 dedication service for Grace and Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra, including members of the congregation, neighbors, friends, clergy, community and government leaders and those who had played a major role in the worship center's construction.

            Highlights of the service were the blessing of various rooms and furnishings in the new church structure, as well as extensive music selections that involved the Grace & Glory choir, the youth choir, the handbell choir and several soloists.

            Pastor Ken Albright led the service, with support and assistance from Bishop Jim Mauney, the Rev. Paul "Chip" Gunsten, assistant to the bishop, and the Rev. Dr. Jean Bozeman, retired assistant to the bishop, Eastern Region, the Rev. Paul St. Clair and several visiting clergy from neighboring congregations.  The choirs were led by Julie Martell, director of music. 

            Among those given special recognition during the service were partners in design, construction and finance:   Martha Chester, representing Hughes Associates Architects of Roanoke; Tony Biller, president and CEO,  Don Hicklin, vice president, and Robert Shawkey, superintendent, representing Nielsen Builders of Harrisonburg; the Rev. Kent Peterson, regional manager of the ELCA's Mission Investment Fund, the organization that gave the loan to help finance the new structure, and more than 30 vendors and subcontractors who provided valuable support during the design and construction phases of the project.

Albright commented on the Spirit-filled  service,  "This is a tremendous celebration culminating 11 years of faithful giving, visionary planning, and cooperative effort, so that Fluvanna county may be blessed for generations with a vibrant, grace-filled congregation that exists not for its own sake, but for the sake of the community.


Churches donate Bibles, lead prayer at Page fair

page fair  

The three River of Life partnership churches-St. Luke, Stanley, St. Paul and St. Peter, Shenandoah-have donated 380 Bibles, 40 children's Bibles and 200 children's booklets at the Page Valley Fair in the last four years, with the help of  the Shenandoah chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.             

Young visitors received hundreds of wrist bracelets with Christian themes and Sunday School puzzles and riddles.

            Pastor Mark Briehl and 16 laypersons staffed a booth at the fair where over 90 prayer request cards were posted on a large cross with a green fabric background. They also prayed for these people and their concerns.


 Trinity, Stephens City, to build major addition

Trinity sketch
Architect's sketch of addition.


             A groundbreaking service for a 10,500-square-foot, $2 million addition to Trinity, Stephens City was held Sunday morning, Oct. 28, almost 249 years after the congregation was founded. The service was led by Bishop Jim Mauney.

            Construction will start in March on the parish hall, kitchen, narthex, administrative offices, extensive landscaping, educational facilities, courtyard, prayer garden and a columbarium. Gregory Construction of Manassas, the contractor, plans to complete the addition by December 2013.

            Pastor Cameron P. Keyser said the congregation has needed major updating for probably 40 years. Trinity, founded in 1765, worships at its third location in a sanctuary built in 1908. The sanctuary, an historic-designated property, will remain intact but a number of interior restoration projects will be part of this construction. The chancel will be enlarged, pews will be refinished, additional lighting, improved acoustics and a new interior paint scheme will be in the project. Landscape lighting will highlight the exterior and interior illumination of stained glass windows will be added.

            The new design will have a fenced front courtyard for small congregation and community functions and a play area for the church nursery. A small prayer garden and columbarium with statuary, resting benches and paved, lit walkways will be at the rear. The columbarium is expected to have individual and double niches and a special section for family pets, serving as an adjunct to the present cemetery which has graves of settlers and Revolution, Confederate and Union war dead, Pastor Keyser said.

            Joe Hollis, chair of a task force developing the project, said the design of the new building will provide a "seamless addition" to the sanctuary. Worship will continue in the present sanctuary during construction but community ministries and feeding programs will have a temporary relocation.

            Trinity was founded by 16 settling families who came to the area in 1762. The church served as stables, a hospital and makeshift field offices for both the Revolution and Civil War

            Trinity also plans its annual Candlelight Evensong Concert Series on Sunday evenings, Dec. 2, 9 and 16 at 7 p.m. The community is invited to the free concerts. A registry of guest artists is being developed. Each performance precedes a candlelight service of Advent Evensong, using the Holden Evening Prayer by Marty Haugen..

            On Dec. 23, the final Advent Sunday, a live Nativity will be staged at the church at 810 Fairfax Pike. Performers and animals will reenact the biblical account of the birth of Christ. Visitors may drive by or stop for hot chocolate and cookies.          

In other activities at Trinity, over 100 winter coats were collected for distribution to homeless ministries. In the second year of this collection, the coats will be mainly distributed to the Winchester area C-CAP program and the ecumenical Winchester Area Transient Thermal Shelter  (WATTS) ministry, which provides meals, sanitary facilities and overnight accommodations for nearly 100 homeless individuals and families in winter.

The congregation held its annual Blessing of the Animals on Saturday, Oct. 13. The service was "a way for folks to give public witness to their trust and thanksgiving for God's love, care and concern for all of creation," Pastor Keyser said. Those attending were asked to bring food for pets or people as an offering to be distributed to rescue and feeding organizations.

Malaria Task Group plans malaria relief

     by Eric Carlson, Resurrection, Fredericksburg

   logo malaria

Team 2017 is the Virginia Synod's new, coordinated effort to provide sustainable support for God's people in need of relief from malarial disease, hunger and disaster.  Our initial emphasis is in support of the ELCA Malaria Campaign starting in January of 2013.

 The Virginia Synod Task Group will provide resources and presentations to help congregations inspire people to participate meaningfully in this vital work.

We will provide an on-line means for people to join our team and provide sustained giving of $20.17 per month as we near the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (A.D. 2017).  Your contributions - given either through your congregation or on-line through our website - will support current and future projects of love and compassion around the world.

Bishop Mauney just signed the charter for our team on Reformation Day 2012, and we will kick-off this effort on Epiphany Sunday in 2013.  Once our website is fully operational, you'll receive an e-mail inviting you to participate by joining our team!  World Malaria Day is April 25th - stand by for News!

Other members of the Task Group are Dr. Charles Hays, Trinity, Moneta; Dr. Kim Yucha, Epiphany, Richmond;  Pastor Heidi David-Young, Bethel, Winchester; Matt Wertman, Grace, Waynesboro; Nicholas Hodges, Our Saviour, Christiansburg, and Bishop Jim Mauney.

"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion." (Psalm 103)

Where the synod is now

     by Bishop Jim Mauney


 In the ebb and flow of the Synod, it feels to me that we are in a time of moving up and out. Our younger pastors have become a middle-aged group of 26 active parish pastors and a new wave of 22 young pastors have come into our Synod in the last four years with some candidates on the horizon we hope will join us here in ministry.

            The first beautiful unit of Grace and Glory in Palmyra was dedicated in September and a new village at Orchard Ridge at Winchester is to be dedicated in February. A new CEO of Virginia Lutheran Homes began in September and the largest freshman class in Roanoke College's history began in August.

            Southern Seminary and Lenoir-Rhyne University began their first semester as merged institutions. Lutheran Family Services has adopted a new brand and vision and mission that is exciting! The World Hunger Team is at work along with a newly formed Task Group for the ELCA Malaria Campaign.

            Several new mission tables are being formed for a new mission strategy and the conference gatherings for 2013 will center on mission. A wave of new backpack programs is sweeping the congregations of our Synod. The Ministerium Team has not only encouraged the renewal of the Healthy Congregations workshops but has inaugurated a mission component within that program and also is looking at new models for excellence in leadership for the 2010's. A women's retreat for our rostered leaders is planned for the spring.

            Prof. Paul Hinlicky of Roanoke College has completed the first of 40 papers for us to hear again the passionate faith of Martin Luther and this has been sent to all of our congregations. We have established a new synodical minister in Christian Formation for the work of new ways of treasuring Christian Formation, even as we have launched another ACTS class in the Lutheran Confessions, given at three different sites. The Rev. William Stewart is our new mobility papers resource person. 

Winchester Concert to benefit 100 Wells Project


  AGAPE, a musician named David Scherer, and Rachel Kurtz, a singer, will present a concert for the benefit of the ELCA 100 Wells Project, at Bethel, Winchester, on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. Their 100 Wells Tour, starting at the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans last summer, is traveling to 18 cities. Scherer will tell stories of faith, bringing people of all backgrounds together. Kurtz has a distinctive voice and a style combining folk pop and soul music.

            The goal of the 100 Wells Project is to raise $250,000 to support water projects of ELCA World Hunger through 100 wells, each with the potential of providing clean water for 500 families. Tickets for the concert are $5. Tickets may be ordered from Bethel, 2077 N. Frederick Pike, Winchester 22603. Information is available at 540-662-3245 or





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