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                                                                                             August 2014
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Art supplies 

donated for LFS program

     by Ellen Bushman, Development Director, LFS

Stacks of art supplies were donated at Power in the Spirit.


            The response was AMAZING!  Over 25 large boxes of art supplies were donated to Lutheran Family Services through the service project of Power in the Spirit and more is on the way. LFS had asked for these supplies for use by adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who attend LFS Day Support programs in Charlottesville, Danville, Lynchburg, Bedford and Roanoke, as well as residents of group homes.

            We have more than 50 boxes of crayons for coloring, 50 paint sets for our budding artists, 30 containers of play dough to mold and shape, nearly a million beads to be strung and yes, we've got lots of GLITTER! Our Day Support Program participants will be busy all year fueling their artistic expressions, building their fine motor skills and most importantly having fun with art.

            Lutheran Family Services is overwhelmed by the very generous support of members of the Virginia Synod and especially those who have given through the Power in the Spirit service project.  Your gifts will touch many people and will help make their lives even brighter. Visit (see Quick Link at right).

In This Issue
Art supplies donated
Lutherans in the news
Christ, Fredericksburg builds
Great expectations not novel
Powell will lead fall ACTS course
Fluvanna pastors look at poverty
High school grads prepare for college
Pastor Aldon Purdham
PNG prayer request
College polls favor Warner
Eaton wins Virginia audience
Seniors enjoy program
Steeples replaced
Synod Week of'Service
Juniors glean
Renew the Green VBS
Quick Links


Lutherans in the news



Pastor Jeff May, longtime Shenandoah Valley pastor, has returned to the Synod to serve St. Paul's, Jerome Parish, Edinburg, after more than six years at a New Jersey church. A Rockingham County native and graduate of James Madison University and Gettysburg Seminary, he will be installed Aug. 17. His wife, Karla May, has been a youth and family minister. Their daughter, Melissa May, is a diaconal minister at a Lutheran church in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. Nathan May, a son, teaches music in Rockingham County.

            Pastor Rodney Ronneberg will move from St. Paul, Fulton, Md., to accept a call as part-time pastor of Faith, Staunton, and St. Peter's, Churchville. A graduate of Colorado State University and Gettysburg Seminary, he served congregations in Colorado and Pennsylvania and worked as an adviser in leadership development for corporate executives, medical and university faculty. He led a building and renovation program and increased attendance by 150 percent during 25 years at St. Paul.

            The 2010 Roanoke College commencement speech by John J. Scherer IV, a 1962 Roanoke graduate, has been placed on National Public Radio's listing of the 300 "Best Commencement Speeches, Ever." The statement in the address highlighted by NPR was "You don't need to change yourself. Ever. You need to come home to yourself. And that changes everything." Scherer is the grandson of the late Dr. J. J. Scherer Jr., longtime president of Virginia Synod and pastor of First English, Richmond, and the great-grandson of Dr. J. J. Scherer, founder and president of Marion College. Scherer, also a graduate of Southern Seminary, operates a leadership and organizational development firm in Spokane, Wash.

            William Curtis Black, St.Andrew, Portsmouth, graduated from Southern Seminary in May and he has been assigned to the Kentucky-Indiana Synod for a call.        

            Wayne Van Kauwenbergh, Gloria Dei, Hampton, is on a one-year internship as a vicar at Williston, N. Dak, before returning for a final year at Luther Seminary. He intends to work in rural and eldercare ministry.

            Dan Stimson, St. Stephen, Williamsburg, was recognized at his retirement after a 30-year coaching career with the College of William & Mary track and field program. In addition to developing athletes, he nurtured coaches now leading other college track and field programs.

            Danielle DeFreese, Christ Fredericksburg, a rising senior at Virginia Tech, received the congregation's Dr. Dennis R. Knudsen Scholarship Award. Danielle and her sister, Alexis DeFreese, renovated the kitchen at Christ church, making it possible to cook and serve community meals.

            At St. Mark, Charlottesville, Carla Moody has started as director of the preschool program which will begin all-day, year-around sessions on Sept. 2. Moody has more than 25 year of experience in early childhood education. A new office and major improvements and a new entrance are under construction.

            At Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Moneta, donations of more than $50,000 have been made toward completion of the second floor as a home for the youth program, a classroom and storage space. The contributions are in honor of Pastor Gary and Liz Scheidt, at his retirement in November.         

            At Gloria Dei, Hampton, an upper school building is being moved to a new location. This will be "a great improvement for our church and school campus," said Pastor Charles Bang.

            The annual Highlands Conference Corn Roast is planned for Hungry Mother Lutheran Retreat Center on Sunday, Aug. 3, at 4 p.m. Food, worship and a business session are scheduled.

            Lakeland, Littleton, N.C., is seeking volunteers for 170 areas of the church. "Whether you have been given a beautiful voice, play an instrument, have the ability to lead, have the gift of teaching, can plan a curriculum, have a gift for working with numbers, can reach out to those in need, can be a friendly face to those arriving for worship services, can help out with keeping the grounds beautiful, or building repairs, can help with mailing or folding newsletters, can assist with counting the offering, being an usher or helping with the sound system---you are needed," according to Lakeland's newsletter.

            At St. Mark, Yorktown, a Magi Fund was started by the Outreach Committee to provide a way of demonstrating love for the Lord by ministering to families in need during the Christmas season.  The ministry helped 14 families and 35 children last year.

            The annual luncheon for Synod retired rostered leaders, spouses and guests will be held at Grace, Waynesboro, Friday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m. Music will be provided by

Jonathan Greer and Laney Riley, Bridgewater College graduates who will be married in December. Greer plans to attend seminary next spring.  

            St. Michael, Blacksburg, is constructing a Circle of Grace, a space where the ashes of a deceased person are scattered on the church grounds. It will be near a Memorial Garden, the sanctuary and the edge of a cemetery. A memorial wall and sculpture are planned. Two grants for over $15,000 were awarded by the Manna Team at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church and the Adobe Corp. for Micah's Caring Initiative ministries and Micah's Backpack at St. Michael. This will cover food costs for the summer program feeding children. During the recent school year, a record 10,500 backpacks were distributed to children and youth. Micah's Backpack was voted best church outreach program by New River Valley readers of the Roanoke Times.

            A total of 21 German youth and chaperones are expected for a visit to Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, the first weekend in August. Returning a visit by Holy Trinity youth to Germany last year, they will travel around Lynchburg and the Williamsburg-Virginia Beach area.

            A service project for the vacation Bible School at First English, Richmond, was decorating and filling tote bags for the homeless, to be distributed to organizations that serve the homeless, as well as making them available at Monroe Park and other locations.

            Monthly classes start in September for the Leadership Program for Musicians. Classes will be offered in Richmond in Leadership of Congregational Song, Hymnody of the Christians Church, Resources for Effective Music Ministry and Philosophy of Church Music. For information, visit or contact Nellwyn Beamon at

            A Bikers, Bibles & Blueridge Byways motorcycle event will be held at Lutheridge, Arden, N.C., on Aug. 29-Sept. 1. Pastor Chuck Miller will be the Bible study and worship leader for the weekend.


Christ, Fredericksburg, completes major addition

Christ, Fredericksburg


Christ, Fredericksburg, is moving into a major, two-story addition, providing a room for its Food Pantry and Blessings in a Backpack ministries, two pre-school rooms, a conference room and new office setup. The $1.5 million project is partly financed by an ELCA Mission Investment loan, Pastor Richard Carbaugh said.  Half of the funds have been raised.

            The new structure ties together the facility for better access to different parts of the building, making all areas of the church accessible by eliminating steps, adding an elevator and increasing the number and location of restrooms, Carbaugh said.

            A new patio entrance and enlarged narthex area enhance the entrance and provide a gathering place for before and after worship. Several televisions will visually introduce people to upcoming events and ongoing ministries, as well as providing broadcasting of worship services in the Welcome Hall. Other parts of the building are opened for more effective use by community groups such as quilting and flowering ministries.

             Carbaugh said this is the final phase of a project to make the sanctuary more accessible by removing steps around the altar, providing space for wheelchairs among the pews and renovating the old sanctuary to restore more of its original appearance  for use as the Welcome Hall.

            "We are excited for what all of this will mean for our welcoming of guests and for the support of all the ministries of the congregation," he said. "To build on our congregation's theme, we look for all of this to help us continue to make a loving difference in all that we do."


Great expectations not novel

   Signs of life to be found  across 
   this church if we take the time to notice

        by Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton


      Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets cried to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves." Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" She answered, "Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil." He said, "Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few. Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside." So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. When the vessels were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." But he said to her, "There are no more." Then the oil stopped flowing. She came and told the man of God, and he said, "Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest" (2 Kings 4:1-7).


            Stephen P. Bouman, executive director of the ELCA Congregational and Synodical Mission unit, often uses this Bible story when talking to groups about the possibilities for mission and ministry in their neighborhood. He asks them what catches their attention in this story-some say the desperate poverty, others say the anguish of children being forced into slavery. Everyone says the miracle of the oil.

            What people rarely notice and what Bouman always points out is Elisha's question to the woman. His point is that no matter how bleak a congregation's circumstances seem to be, there already exists some capacity in that congregation for mission and ministry. We are not helpless people without agency. God has already given us what we need to participate with God in the work of God's kingdom.

            Too often we lapse into a paralysis of grief or anxiety or nostalgia that renders us incapable of seeing anything but scarcity. We don't have enough money or members or young people. The creditors are at our door and we don't even have any children to give them. The end isn't near, it's here.

            One of the most frequently asked questions after I was elected was "What is your plan to reverse the decline in membership?" There are some major assumptions packed into that question-that I have the power to change the church, that there exists some miraculous plan or program that, if applied correctly, will save the church, to name just two. The question also assumes that all of our ministries and all of us live in absolutely empty houses, that we are helpless and completely lacking to be able to participate in God's mission. That is not true.

            Recently I have been hearing stories about sightings of life across this church. Bishop H. Julian Gordy of the Southeastern Synod reports that some congregations that reduced or completely cut mission support in 2009 are now increasing or reinstating it. At its assembly this spring the South Carolina Synod welcomed three new congregations that grew from mission starts. Bishop James E. Hazelwood of the New England Synod challenged folks at that assembly to make up a $25,000 budget deficit. By the end of the assembly they had pledges for more than $63,000. It seems when asked, "What have you in the house?" they were all able to find something that God could work with.

            All of these sightings remind me of the first green shoots that poked up through this winter's snow. There weren't many at first and they didn't immediately overcome one of the bitterest winters on record, but they were there.

            When I read the story of the widow and the oil I noticed something else-Elisha told the woman to gather vessels " and not just a few." God was going to provide abundantly and she had better be prepared for that abundance. How often do we expect too little if we dare to expect God will act at all? The ELCA is God's house and in it is everything we need-word and water, bread and wine-to participate in God's mission. I challenge all of us to notice signs of life and send them in. Join the conversation at or and post your #signsoflife.


This article originally appeared in The Lutheran's August issue. Reprinted by permission.


Dr. Mark Allan Powell will lead fall ACTS course

ACTS letterhead 2012  

Dr. Mark Allan Powell, New Testament professor at Trinity, Seminary and an internationally-known biblical scholar, will lead the fall ACTS course on "Biblical Authority in Matters of Faith and Conduct" at Grace, Waynesboro, on two Saturdays, Oct. 4 and Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Five small group evening sessions will be held later. The Saturday classes will be relayed simultaneous by Skype to First, Norfolk, and Ebenezer, Marion.

            Powell, a favorite Power in the Spirit speaker, will look at how the Bible can serve as an authoritative guide for knowing right from wrong.

            Next year's ACTS speakers also have been announced. The spring course, "In the Shadows of the New Testament," will be led by Dr. Katherine A. Shaner, assistant professor of New Testament at Wake Forest University. A graduate of Luther College, she holds graduate degrees from Harvard Divinity School and a certificate of studies from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She is an ELCA pastor.

            The fall 2015 course on "Lutheranism 101" will be led by Dr.Kathryn A. Kleinhaus, religion professor at Wartburg College. A graduate of Valpariso University and an ELCA pastor, she has degrees from Emory University and Christ Seminary-Seminex.


Fluvanna pastors look at poverty issues


Challenges of transportation, education and addiction---all stemming from poverty---were reported by Pastor Ken Albright after he joined nine other pastors on a three-hour van tour of the back roads of Fluvanna County.

            This followed a commitment during Lenten Soup 'n Study and contemplation on "what God might be calling us to do next for the sake of our community," Albright said. Writing in Grace Notes, the newsletter of Grace and Glory, he said, "The pastors felt it was important to get a better handle on the issues that Fluvanna residents are facing."

            On transportation, he reported that to be viable in the county requires adequate access to everything from jobs to health care and groceries. If a person is barely making ends meet and a car breaks down, it could be difficult or impossible to recover. "How can we do better helping our neighbors maintain their automobiles or establishing carpools?"

            For education, Albright asked, "How can we teach people to create and maintain a budget, regardless of their income level? How can we teach children in their early years to establish strong patterns of money management and help them realize that dreams can become reality?" Education covers many areas, such as teaching people how to cook foods from a food pantry.

            Addiction to drugs and alcohol occurs across the board, "Those who are poor are further deprived of resources, may develop legal issues and become trapped in a cycle of poverty. If we can further develop recovery resources we stand a chance of helping families do better all around."

            These challenges are interwoven and difficult to sort out, Albright said, but this clergy road trip was a solid step in a positive direction toward understanding the issues and appreciating their complexity. He said Fluvanna lacks "centralization of resources" but conversations on these issues are expected to continue "among the churches as we reach out to our neighbors in need."


High school grads prepare for college 


LAUNCH, a five-day event at Roanoke College for high school graduates preparing for their next venture in life, was "an incredible experience," said Brittany Accors, a member of First Lutheran, Norfolk, who will go to the College of William and Mary this fall.

            As a small group of five, "we could freely discuss the topics that both excite and frighten us about entering college," she said. "Through discussions with Lutheran college students and pastors, we gained a better understanding of the faith, lifestyle and vocational challenges that lie ahead, as well as how to open ourselves to God's guidance in these areas throughout college and beyond." Accors said the "laid-back, discussion style event left me feeling more prepared for the changes coming my way and it provided friendships I can lean on if times get tough."

            Ben McAfee of Peace, Charlottesville, said LAUNCH was "fantastic...a program for high school graduates to help find and keep room in their college lives for Christ and the church...It was less worshippy like other synod events and more like a gathering, there to learn rather than grow." He will attend Piedmont Community College in the fall.

            Marta Paulson, a Radford University freshman who is a member of Shiloh, Blacksburg, said, "we all had a really good time and became very close. Before going to LAUNCH I wasn't sure how my faith could be incorporated into my college career. Now, I have a solid idea how I can include Christ in my college life."

            They met with Bishop Jim Mauney, Pastor Dave Dalaney, assistant to the bishop, Pastors Brett and Evan Davis from Harrisonburg, College Chaplain Chris Bowen, retired college chaplain Paul Henrickson and Bob Benne, retired college professor.


Pastor Aldon Purdham dies at 85


Pastor Aldon E. "Al" Purdham, 85, a retired Navy chaplain who served as captain, died in July in Salisbury, N. C....He served 25 years as a chaplain and as a parish pastor and mission developer. His wife, Bety Purdham, died earlier in July.

            He had served at Holy Communion, Portsmouth; St. Luke, Stanly; Lakeside, Lake Gaston, N.C., and Gethsemane, San Diego, Cal.  Surviving are a son, Aldon Elwood Purdham Jr., and a daughter, Marilyn Bollinger, and their families.

            The funeral was at St. John, Salisbury, and Mt. Nebo, Rochelle.

PNG prayer request 


 A prayer request from Pastor Tobby Eleasar, president of  the NGI District of ELC-PNG: 

            "We rejoice in the celebration of the 128th Anniversary of  the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea that was observed on July 12, 2014.  The date July 12, 1886 marks the beginning of the church when Rev. Johann Flierl landed in Finschhaafen as the first Lutheran Christian missionary.  Although 128 years in comparison to other Lutheran bodies may not seem very long, in PNG it is an amazing achievement against many odds.  The New Guinea Islands District formed in 1984 is 30 years young, however, the Virginia Synod gives thanks for their partnership with them since November 1989 (25 years)."

            Diane Giessler, coordinator of the Synod's Papua New Guinea Companion Synod program, said, "Our prayer request for August is to pray that their planning committee will prayerfully and thoroughly prepare for the annual NGI District Conference meeting scheduled for the end of August. In addition, pray for the work and planning towards the construction of a NGI District Centre."

College polls favor Warner, 

Clinton, Obama's rating is down 


            Two late July Roanoke College polls of Virginia voters found that Democratic Sen. Mark Warner has a comfortable, early lead over Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, President Obama's approval rating fell and they were split over Medicaid expansion.

            In a widely quoted  poll of 566 voters, Warner held a 25-point lead over Gillespie; 53 percent disapproved of Obama's performance and his unfavorable rating was 50 percent. On  possible 2016 presidential contenders, the poll gave Hillary Clinton significant leads over Republicans Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan.

            In a separate poll, 46 percent opposed Medicaid expansion in Virginia but 42 percent were for it; 61 percent opposed Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to expand the program. Also, 54 percent believed former Gov. Bob McDonnell did something wrong  while 20 percent said he did nothing wrong. 


Bishop Elizabeth Eaton wins a Virginia audience



            Some 285 Lutherans fell in love with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton as she spent three days as the keynote speaker, workshop leader and pleasant conversationalist  at Power in the Spirit at Roanoke College July 10-12. She spoke on the theme, "Changed by the Good News," giving her views, straight from Chicago.

            Lots of people don't understand Lutherans, she said, so "we must seize the moment to be well-defined about who we are." Lutherans understand baptism and holy communion. Baptism makes a difference, makes life different. It's something God does for us and to us, an infusion of the Holy Spirit. "Our vocation is to live as baptized people of God."

            In communion, "we believe Jesus Christ is really present," she said, adding "I would rather commune children than hand out goldfish crackers and grape juice." On evangelism, Bishop Eaton said with tongue in cheek, "the Lutheran method of evangelism is that if they want us, they know where to find us."  Lutherans can evangelize with the invitation, "Come to church with me."

            The presiding bishop, asked about her vision for the church, listed four points:

            "We are the church. We are not first and foremost a social organization or a service club. Our primary calling is to bear witness to Jesus and live as people who call him Lord.

            "We are Lutheran. We are a liturgical church which emphasizes the unconditional love of God revealed in Jesus. We are a church which both calls to righteousness and trusts in forgiveness.

Bishop Eaton and Ellen Clough, summer intern in the office of Pastor Dave Delany, assistant to the bishop. Ellen Clough has a scholarship through the ELCA Fund for Leaders Churchwide which she will use to attend Southern Seminary this fall.

            "We are church together. Discipleship is not a solo sport. We need one another to grow into what God calls us to be.

            "We are the church for the sake of the world. As much as we may love our local community of faith, the church finally exists for something other than itself. Christ called the church into existence so that it might be a light to the world."

            The 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 21, 2017 is "a great opportunity" for Lutherans to be relevant, she said. The ELCA staff in Chicago plans to study Luther's Small Catechism together.

            Bishop Eaton related to many members when she told of doing laundry in her shorts in the basement of an apartment house during her first days in Chicago after she was elected leader of 3.9 million Lutherans. She and her husband, the Rev. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priest, have their former home for sale in Ashtabula, Ohio.

            The Rev. Rolf Jacobson, a professor at Luther Seminary in Minnesota and a repeat Power Bible leader, said, "God loves you as you are...God calls us to a fuller life, a covenant relationship. God longs to be with us...God is present through word and prayer to change us by relationships."

            The church for the world no longer exists, Jacobson said, maintaining the faith is not happening. But as "we become more intentional, a congregation can support formation of Christian faith."  He said congregations can ask, "What do we need right now? If people are not coming, why?" God "emancipates us from bondage to other forms of sin," he added.

            Twenty classes covered a diversity of topics, from preaching, praying, a mission trip to El Salvador, German Lutherans in the 1700s, choral reading, older adult ministry, the first 25 years of the synod in the ELCA, martyrs and mystics and many other subjects.

            Music was led by Scott Weidler, ELCA director for worship and music, and Nancy Delaney, music director at Christ, Roanoke.

            Many features carried out the "Changed by the Good News" theme. Speakers were interrupted by news bulletins from Station WGOD, telling of Abraham, the patriarch, Moses and the burning bush and finally the drama of the crucifixion. During one session, cards dropped from the ceiling of Olin Hall bearing the message, "Good News Extra...Breaking news from the Virginia Synod is that individuals, inspired by Power in the Spirit event, are making a difference across Virginia as People of Good News. Follow this story in your local community." Bible stories and flying doves were dramatically presented..


Seniors enjoy innovative program


            The headline in the June 28 issue of the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg said, "Pilot Program Soars in Showcase." The story was about the first gathering of the Senior Champion Pilot Program, formerly held at Our Saviour Lutheran, Norge. This session was at Colonial Heritage Ballroom.

            The program offers seniors a variety of subjects, such as flower arranging, gardening vegetables and herbs and creative expression for those with memory loss.

            Pastor Jim Nickols of Our Saviour, Norge, said his mother participates in the program which "gives her the chance for social involvement. And what has been good for my mother has also been good for other members of our community."

            One of the program leaders said socialization and communication are key to shattering isolation that many seniors may feel. The program offers a variety of activities designed for seniors to learn and be entertained while providing respite for caregivers.

            The program supporters plan to hire an executive director whose main focus will be to find funding through grant writing. 


St. Andrews replaces landmark towers


            St. Andrew's Catholic Church, the Roanoke hilltop cathedral where the Synod's annual Assembly worship service is held, has stirred public attention with a huge construction project---replacing its century-old twin towers. The $2.4-million project is expected to be finished by early fall. The timber-framed steeples will be replaced by steel.


Synod plans Week of Service, Sept. 1-7


           Planning has started for the Virginia Synod Week of Service, Sept. 1-7, an event for Lutherans to invest time in hands-on service outside the walls of the church.

            Teams of people who want to love others are asked to plan a service project in the community. After serving their neighbors, they are asked to show pictures, share stories and send details of the project to on Sunday, Sept. 7. 

Juniors walk with the homeless,

glean corn, peaches for food pantries

     by Kayla Fuller, Synod communications director



Tim Hoffstaetter (left) and James Mims carrying peaches

"God is trying to help people, our job is to be God's Ambassadors."

            That didn't come from a pastor or a church leader. These are wise words from Bridget Allyn, a rising 8th grader who came from Our Saviour, Warrenton, to the annual Junior High Servant Event held July 27-Aug. 1 in Virginia Beach.

For the past five years, middle school students from all over the Virginia Synod have come together for a week in July to serve others and grow deeper in their own faith. The event is hosted at Good Shepherd, Virginia Beach, where Pastor Scott Mims is the co-pastor.

The kickoff for the event on Monday helped the students gain a new perspective. The 35 participants--youth and adults--walked 9 miles through the streets of the city to simulate what it would be like to be homeless for a day. The walk was led by People In Need (PIN), a homeless ministry in Virginia Beach.

Students hold ears of corn gleaned at the Servant Event

Before embarking on their journey, the students heard from Michael, a homeless man who has been blessed by PIN. Through the rest of week the participants gleaned 4,800 pounds of corn and 900 pounds of peaches, collected for the Society of St. Andrew to be sent to food pantries. Also, they cleaned horse stalls at a therapeutic riding center and they volunteered at Mojo, a children's thrift store.

At the end of each day everyone would load up and head back to Good Shepherd where they gathered in their mission groups to discuss the highs and lows of each day. These small group settings were a great place to draw the connection between their faith and serving others.

 "My hope is that their faith will become real," Pastor Mims said. "It's not just about stories and going to church. I hope they will see that our faith is about touching the lives of people and that it makes a difference. As we serve and help people I think the spirit touches our lives as well."


Renew the Green in Portsmouth


Children at the Vacation Bible School of St. Andrew, Portsmouth, look over their green garden.

            This year's Vacation Bible School at St. Andrew, Portsmouth, was based on the Parable of the Sower and stewardship of creation.  Children explored God's word and learned how to work together to care for creation with ReNew: The Green VBS.  They played, learned, sang and worked to ReNew the congregation and community.

            Some of the highlights were: eating delicious dinners every night; hearing stories and music with the Farmer and the Recycle Rapper; planting seeds and walking in the community garden; making crafts with recyclable items from homes; running and playing cool games and eating lots of ice cream & snacks!!!

Grow in faith, have fun, change the world!





Editor:  George Kegley   
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