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                                                                                             August 2015
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.


Synod Week of Service  

planned for September 7-13 


            Many Synod congregations are planning service projects for a Virginia Week of Service between Labor Day and the ELCA God's Work, Our Hands Sunday, Sept. 13.

            Congregations are encouraged to assemble teams to serve people in need in their neighborhoods by sharing God's compassion. Participants are asked to invest time on hands-on service projects outside church walls.

            For more information on the ELCA service Sunday, visit

In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
Changes at the Virginia Lutheran
Women meet at quilting event
Virginia youth "rising up"
Bishop Eaton's column
Memory banner
Buck Moyer miracle
Grace filled Power in the Spirit
Bergton addition
C'ville youth Habitat build
LFS expands adoption counseling
Churchville celebrates 250th
Kiligas celebrates 100th


Lutherans in the news



           Pastor Leslie Scanlon, a Virginia native who served three years at Framingham Lutheran in Massachusetts, has accepted a call to serve at Grace, Chesapeake, starting in mid-August. Scanlon, a graduate of the College of William and Mary and Philadelphia Seminary, was baptized at Messiah, Virginia Beach, confirmed at Emmanuel, Virginia Beach, attended St. Stephen, Williamsburg, was a Project Connect student at Faith, Suffolk, and left for Seminary as a member of First, Norfolk.

            Pastor Steve Shackleford will be installed as pastor of Bethlehem, Lynchburg, on Aug. 30. He follows Pastor Hank Boschen, who has been serving as interim pastor.

            Alyssa Kaplan of First Lutheran, Norfolk, will work in Mexico with ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program. A May graduate of the Pennsylvania University, she said the work of her congregation "showed me the truly global reach of loving your neighbor."

            Richard Hoffman has followed Mike Agee as financial consultant for the Synod. Agee has retired. Hoffman, a New York City native, worked in accounting for General Electric for 35 years.

            A photograph of Pastor Aaron Fuller of St. Andrew and Holy Communion, Portsmouth, being sworn in to serve a "call within a call" as a Navy chaplain was published in Seeds for the Parish, an ELCA publication. The article reported on the "special calling in which ordained leaders minister beyond the walls of the congregation."

            At Christ, Fredericksburg, Elizabeth Durham is the recipient of the Dr. Dennis R. Knudsen Scholarship Award for 2015. A rising junior at Albright College, Reading, Pa., she works with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, helping to raise funds and working with children.

            Retired Pastor Ken Ruppar, Richmond, was elected to the board of the ELCA Interim Ministry Association (IMA) at its annual meeting in Linthicum Heights, MD, during the annual conference of the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors. Ruppar is executive director of the IMA which seeks to connect ELCA pastors engaged in intentional interim ministry and to promote awareness of the ELCA to the benefits of using trained interim pastors.

            Roanoke College is among 24 state schools offering special tours during Virginia Private College Week July 27-Aug. Last year, 175 families visited the Salem campus. The schools offers tours and information sessions about admissions, financial aid packages and academic programs.

            Brandon Oaks Life Care Community's assisted living division received a Silver Achievement in Quality Award of the American Health Care Association. The competitive award program selects centers that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long-term and post-acute care. Joe Hoff, executive director of Brandon Oaks, commended the staff and leadership of the assisted living facility for "constantly delivering superior resident-centerd care with an attention to detail." Brandon Oaks was the only assisted living facility in Virginia to receive the Silver award.

            In a Summertime Youth Mission Event at Holy Trinity, Lynchburg, young people worked with Lynchburg Habitat for Humanity to paint, power wash, landscape and meet other needs of home-owners.

            The congregation of St. Michael, Blacksburg, is working with Total Action for Progress (TAP) and Rainbow Riders in plans to launch and Early Childhood Head Start program for children from 6 weeks to 3 years old. Pastor John Wertz said "Our goal is to address root causes of poverty by allowing parents to work or go to school and by providing early intervention and educational services to children who are at risk."

            Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Smith Mountain Lake, is starting Sister Church relationship with Chestnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church at Wirtz, in nearby Franklin County. Members from Trinity will worship at Chestnut Grove "to help us become acquainted with an alternate style of worship which has been developed by the families of Missionary Churches since their origins after the Civil War," according to Ecumeni News, the congregation's newsletter. Trinity volunteers held a "Grace Car Wash," washing 30 cars and five trucks with no charge. Guests "had trouble accepting our service as a free gift. Such is the struggle we have with accepting God's grace." On Aug. 9, the Rev. Jennifer Casey, a former intern at Trinity and now enrollment director at Southern Seminary, will preach at Trinity.

            Reformation, Newport News, was the destination for a group of York High School Honor Society students who marched to bring awareness of human trafficking and its local

and global effects. Speakers talked about the ways human trafficking negatively affects communities and schools, especially in the era of social media.


The Virginia Lutheran changes submission dates  


            With next month's issue of The Virginia Lutheran, the deadline for submitting articles will be the 15th of the month.  Articles received after the 15th will be published in the following month's edition.   

             If digital photographs are submitted with an article, they must be in .jpg or .png format (photos in .pdf format cannot be used).  All photographs must be separate from the text.    

             Since 1921, The Virginia Lutheran has published stories from around our synod sharing special events in the lives of congregations, rostered leaders, area-wide and synod-wide events.  News of our ELCA is also often included.

             Congregational leaders receiving The Virginia Lutheran are encouraged to invite all members of the congregation to subscribe.  The current issue can be forwarded to member emails with instructions to subscribe by clicking on "Join Our Mailing List" at the top of the issue.  Recognizing that not all members receive email, the current issue can be easily printed.  

            We look forward to receiving news of important events in your congregation that can be shared throughout our synod. 


Women meet at quilting retreat/servant events

     by Pastor Ruth Fortis 

A family in Nepal holds quilts distributed by Lutheran World Relief.

            Women from congregations in Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey have come together around these retreat/servant 

event themes: "Covering the Earth with God's Grace" (one quilt, one kit at a time), 2013; "A Patchwork to God's Glory," 2014; "Connected by God's Love," 2015.

             The 2015 event will take place October 21-24 in New Windsor, MD at the Zigler Hospitality Center of the  

Brethren Church. That center provides housing and meals for volunteers working in the warehouses of Lutheran World Relief, Church World Service and SERRV.   Attendees will explore our connectedness at the table, in our callings and through our mission projects.  

             Participants have an opportunity to meet kindred women who make quilts and kits for distribution through Lutheran World Relief.   We work in the warehouses by day and gather for inspiration and retreat activities in the evenings.  

            After my retirement in 2012, I decided to live out a dream of planning a retreat that would highlight our work as Lutherans around the globe. Folks were invited from my former congregation in Columbus, OH, from my sister's LCMS congregation in Hudson, OH and from her summer non-denominational congregation in NJ, and from my new congregation in Richmond.   Over time members of several other Lutheran congregations and an Episcopal church joined in the fun.

Omar Rahaman, Lutheran World Relief director for Asia and the Middle East, distributes LWR quilts to people in the Lamjung district of Nepal. 

            Each year we learn about the countries where LWR serves and participate first-hand in packing and shipping kits and quilts. Without volunteers in the warehouse, LWR would not be able to accomplish its goals.   Consider taking an adult group from your church to tour and serve in the warehouse.   Contact the Zigler Hospitality Center at 800-766-1553 to reserve your dates to serve. Either Marianne or Connie would be glad to help you.  You can also contact me with any questions you may have about organizing a similar event at 804-269-7437 

Virginia youth enjoyed "rising up" in Detroit

            Hundreds of excited young people returned from the mid-July Youth Gathering in Detroit after a week of worship, learning, service and fun as they developed their faith and their voices for the work of proclaiming Christ to the world together. They carried out the theme, "Rise Up Together" every day.

            Emma Shanabrook of Bethel, Winchester, said she expected to feel unsafe and to find people who didn't care they were there but "We were welcomed with open arms. People fed us, hugged us, cried with us, thanked us and even worked alongside us."

            Reporting on an "amazing trip," Daniel Milam of Bethel said, "We met great people, learned a lot more about the city of Detroit and served like Lutherans like to do." Through "hard labor days (of service) and back-breaking nights, this trip was incredible...Partying, worshiping, going crazy with 30,000 other Lutherans is pretty awesome. But doing it all with the people I love the most made it memorable."

            Cameron Gregory of Bethel came home with "so many emotions physically ...that's why I'm in love with the National Youth Gathering. I truly feel more connection with my church, God and many other churches all around the world. So much enjoyment and almost a cool type of satisfaction meeting new people and even shaking hands with our "brothers and sisters of many churches."

            After the youth helped residents of low-income neighborhoods, Shanabrook said they heard the "spoken poetry" of Natasha Miller, a young Detroit woman who said. "You can sell a house 100 times but the walls will still tell the story of the first owners. Home (her Detroit) is place that on the day you feel defective, is the safest place to return to. It's a complicated story. It's broken but it works and it lives and it builds and it's ours."

There is no curtain obscuring plots

     by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton 


Rumors, politics on three issues  

at odds with true discernment.


           At a Conference of Bishops meeting a few years after the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, bishops shared some of the most outrageous suspicions they had heard about the churchwide office. One bishop said a woman from his synod was convinced that churchwide staff performed animal sacrifices in the Lutheran Center. This, of course, is untrue. Building management would never allow it.

         While this might be one of the most outlandish accusations leveled against your churchwide staff, it's not an isolated or infrequent occurrence. After nearly two years as presiding bishop, it still amazes me that members of this church are convinced we are capable of and, in fact, carry out the most Machiavellian schemes. At present three examples come to mind: the conversation about our sacramental practice, our deliberation about unifying the three word and service rosters into one, and the entrance rite into this possible unified roster. I've been told that decisions have already been made by churchwide staff about these issues and that any conversation is just a charade. Higgins Road strikes again.

          Let's take a look at the conversation around sacramental practice. It began with a memorial from the Northern Illinois Synod to the 2013 Churchwide Assembly. I asked the good people of that synod and their bishop, Gary Wollersheim, what they had in mind. Recognizing that there was a range of practices, particularly with the invitation to receive communion (everyone, the baptized or the confirmed), and being fairly certain that their synod wasn't alone in this, they wanted to call all of us into a deeper awareness of our sacramental practice and to study together the resource "The Use of the Means of Grace" (at We were not nor are we going to vote on communion.

          And the proposal to combine the three word and service rosters (deaconesses, diaconal ministers, associates in ministry) into one unified roster has been a multiyear process involving them as well as pastors, bishops and the laity. Regular updates of a committee's work have been given to the rostered communities, Church Council and Conference of Bishops. The proposal to unify the three rosters will be before the 2016 Churchwide Assembly.

          As for the entrance rite for the proposed unified roster, will it be commissioning, consecration or ordination? This conversation and deliberation is so important and so closely bound up in the histories, pieties and church structure that are part of the ELCA. Time and space and a process had to be created so we could talk together, pray together and listen together as this church before we could possibly be ready to make a decision. We need time for discernment.

         The churchwide assembly is a year away. Voting members have been elected during this spring's synod assemblies. Memorials and resolutions have been debated and passed. More will come before synods during next year's assembly season. When we gather as the church in assembly in New Orleans next August we will deliberate, attend hearings and vote. Robert's Rules of Order will help us navigate through legislative sessions. Some groups might organize around particular issues or causes the way the youth and young adults did at the 2013 Churchwide Assembly around adding $4 million to Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA. That is well and good. God can use our best practices, even our political practices, to bring about God's will for God's people. But the churchwide assembly is not primarily a political process. It's a process of communal spiritual discernment.

          If we come to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly with votes counted and minds made up, how can we possibly be open to the movement of the Spirit? If we come tightly organized, then the assembly could be nothing more than us talking past each other. But, finding ourselves in Christ, it will not just be us in a convention hall but the living body of Christ guided by the Spirit and conformed to God's will. That is a far more exciting, frightening and life-giving prospect than any of our human strategies or elaborate conspiracy theories. Besides, if I had the kind of power ascribed to me, I would use it to bring about a championship for a Cleveland sports team.


A monthly message from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This article first appeared in The Lutheran's August 2015 issue. Reprinted with permission.



Pastor Glenn Neubauer dies           

            Pastor Glenn G. Neubauer, grandfather of Pastor Joel Neubauer, who serves at St. Mark, Yorktown, died July 29 at Luther Crest, Allentown, Pa. The elder Neubauer was ordained 70 years ago and served Pennsylvania churches. His funeral will be held at

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Easton, Pa., Aug. 5.


Pastor Cecil Bradfield dies at 75

            The Rev. Dr. Cecil David Bradfield, retired Shenandoah Valley pastor and educator at James Madison University, died June 24 at his home in Bridgewater. West Virginia native and former American Lutheran Church pastor, he was 75.

            Bradfield held degrees from Capital, American and James Madison universities and Trinity Seminary, served churches at Woodstock, Staunton and was a supply pastor. He served on Synod Council and the board of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia.

He served on the faculty of James Madison University from 1971 until his retirement in 2000. He was associate vice president of academic affairs, speaker of the faculty senate and he held distinguished service and citizenship awards from the university. He was president of the Virginia Social Science Association and the Virginia Sociology Society. He was the author of one book and co-author of another.

Bradfield is survived by his wife, Nancy Rexrode Bradfield; two grandsons, Cole and Grant Lowery; a sister Mary Jane Smith, and a brother, Claude Bradfield. A memorial service at Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, on June 28 was led by Bishop James Mauney and Pastor Evan Davis. Memorial gifts may be made to the Bradfield Scholarship Fund at Trinity Seminary or the Bradfield Scholarship at JMU Foundation.


A banner full of memories
     by Pastor Ruth Fortis  

Memory banner 


As part of the year-long 50th anniversary celebration of Christ the King, Richmond, members were invited to contribute a piece of fabric that means something to their family.

A hodgepodge of sentimental textiles began to fill the basket....a baby bootie worn by children and grandchildren, Williamsburg fabric from draperies, several placemats, Sunday School curtain material, wedding gown fabric, a needlepointed Noah's Ark, a cap worn by a child to cover her bald head during chemo treatments, embroidered art work from El Salvador, cloth from Sweden, Ghana, and Zanzibar, a flannel shirt worn to rake leaves, a handmade altar cloth from a mission church, fabric from a bridesmaid dress and a dress worn to an aunt's wedding, antique quilt squares, T-shirts from a youth gathering, swim meets and cultural exchange programs, bandanas from camping and a cancer fundraiser, a burp cloth, pink fabric for the girls in their life, a fireman's shirt, a choir robe, a music staff, an altar linen, upholstery fabric, an artist's design sold to a flag company, flannel sheets that kept them warm, a Christmas banner, and a doily crocheted by a grandmother and fondled by a mother in her final year of life.   In all, 60 pieces were donated.

For a while these individual memories sat in a big bag under a counter in my sewing room. The prospect of making sense out of them all in some liturgical art form seemed ominous. So I prayed whenever I passed the counter, "Help me know what to do with all of this stuff to bring honor to your name and your people."  

Eventually with the help of Catherine Chase, owner of The Busy Bea Quilt Shop in Chester, I cut and shaped a pattern for a 9'x 3' cross banner, In crazy-quilt fashion I began to cut, fit, design and sew the pieces on to the cross shape. Using my long-arm machine I quilted the green background, and then appliqued the cross in place.   The banner is hanging for the Pentecost season over the altar.


Recalling a Buck Moyer miracle 



On June 4, 2015 in Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro, the filled church listened as the Rev. Dwayne Westermannn celebrated the life of Synod Bishop Emeritus, the Rev. V.A. Moyer, Jr. D.D. As he emphasized his theme, "the measure of the man," Westermann related stories from the life of this man.

My reflections strayed and I thought of my recent conversation with this accomplished, dedicated man of God.   This conversation, similar to a number of recollections we had shared over the last 65 years, reinforced the realizations that the Holy Spirit does provide "miracles," in this case giving Pastor Buck the opportunity for remarkable service to the Virginia Synod as a parish pastor, founder of Caroline Furnace youth camp, assistant to the Synod president, president of the Virginia Synod, LCA, and bishop of the Virginia Synod, ELCA.

            It was a clear, warm, sunny day in June of 1950 as Pastor Buck rode in the front passenger seat of the Chevrolet sedan. As an energetic 30-year-old pastor serving his third parish since ordination--Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Radford-he had inspired several non-Lutherans to join our Luther League and to attend the Summer Assembly at Massanetta. One of the student leaders was driving.

            No interstates in those day and Route 11 had a number of areas that were three lanes. The middle lane was designated for passing, according to the highway markings.   Our driver approached a slow moving car as we topped a hill. The broken line appeared as we started down the incline. Our driver properly pulled into the center lane to pass. At the bottom of the hill a side unpaved road intersected the highway. A car pulled into U.S. 11 to go South, apparently failing to seeing the oncoming 18-wheel truck going in the same direction. All of us looked horrified as the truck pulled into our lane! The situation was a certain crash between our car and the 18-wheeler at a speed of 50 miles an hour.

And then the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Miracle! The driver of the car emerging from the side road accelerated, the driver of the truck must have slowed slightly, and our driver made an almost impossible turn at our speed into the side road right in front of the truck. In reconstructing the occasion, Pastor Buck and I ascertained that the car we were passing slowed and moved to the right allowing extra room for our driver to make the left-hand turn. Our Chevy did not flip as we felt it should have, as we reviewed the incident. All of the other vehicles continued on their way. Pastor Buck often said he felt, and certainly those of us in the car with him agreed, it was definitely the work of the Holy Spirit that saved all of our lives.

            The Miracle for four human drivers of motor vehicles all reacting exactly correctly in a split second and a car responding in an uncharacteristic manner just doesn't happen without some divine intervention. Our driver told us later he didn't actually remembering "thinking." Rather he felt some force directing his actions.

            Since then, Pastor Buck and I had many occasions to chat. Rarely did we do that without a comment about that June afternoon in 1950. On June 4, 2015, while listening to the recitation, celebration and measure of his dedicated life, I couldn't help but have the remembrance of "The Miracle" which gave Pastor Buck the opportunity to give such devoted service to the Christian Church and our Lord.

Grace filled Power in the Spirit


            Grace happened on the Roanoke College campus for three days in June as more than 170 Lutherans enjoyed provocative messages, stirring music and fellowship for the
29th annual Power in the Spirit event. "Worship where grace happens" was the theme.

            Pastor Jay Gamelin, a thoughtful, energetic keynote speaker from Lexington, S.C., and formerly of First Lutheran, Norfolk, filled minds with in-depth observations on the church in the computer age: "In a visual culture, show me what it looks like to follow Jesus...Young people are just looking for Jesus. They don't care about liturgy...We have moved from a help-me culture to a tell-me culture."

            Talking about the church in the post-modern era, Gamelin said church and religion are four-letter words for young people today. "They want to be part of community, not church...They are not here for Lutherans, they are here for Jesus."

            The pastor has become a gatekeeper for the church, not a leader in discipleship. Cross culture is a gift of Lutheranism, he said, but how do we make this more cross-cultural for young people?

            Retired Bishop April Larson, Bible study leader, said the church is alive and it is looking for leadership, "new leaders to raise up God's mission." Complimenting Bishop Jim Mauney, she said, "No bishop in the ELCA (65 bishops in all) exceeds him in hospitality and love."

            In the closing worship, Mauney said "We lie as creatures of God and not in the cleverness of our lives...Because Jesus lives, we live...We live upon the re-creation of every new day." He spoke of the estimated 321,000 Virginia children who need food.

            As a service project, more than 6,000 greeting cards and stationery were collected for delivery to prisoners through Graceinside, formerly the Chaplain Service. Pastor Harvey Atkinson of the Walker Mountain Parish, Wythe County, delivered 24 boxes for distribution to Virginia prisoners.

            Lively music at the weekend event was led by Justin Rimbo and three associates from Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Lexington, S.C. Elizabeth Smythe, Power in the Spirit coordinator, paid tribute to three longtime leaders of the event who retired. The Rev. Ray Blanset and Vickie DeVilbiss have provided many artistic features and George Arthur, recently retired Roanoke College drama professor, handled lighting and sound for many special effects.

            More than 25 sessions explored such varied topics as worship, stewardship, church history, prayer, music, art, communion liturgy and discipleship.


Martin Luther, Bergton, to build an addition  


Bergton groundbreaking.

            A groundbreaking service for an addition to Martin Luther Lutheran, Bergton, Rockingham County, was held June 28. Pastor Barbara Krumm led the congregation and visitors in giving thanks and asking God's blessing.

            Members of the building committee (shown above), Faye Smith, Mike Wittig, Chris Stover and Joey Blaine turned the soil where space for an office, restrooms, handicapped access and space for a new sacristy will be constructed.


Charlottesville youth work on a Habitat House

     by Anne Carter, Director of Youth and Family Ministries 

St. Mark youth gather
at S.C. project site.


God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground." Exodus 3:4-5

            Do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God. Micah 6:8


The readings from Exodus and Micah were the focus for nine youth and adults from St. Mark Lutheran Church in Charlottesville, and 39 youth and adults from Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in McLean during their Summer Mission Project on June 20-27.

The two groups teamed up together for a blitz build with Habitat for Humanity in Darlington County, South Carolina, in the beautiful, semi-rural town of Hartsville. Our combined crew of 48 people built one house in one week for a single mama and her three children.

Despite the very necessary reality of having to wear work boots each day on the site, we were all humbled and aware of the work we were doing, the place we were standing, the home we were building: it was holy ground. God was present within us, among us, working through us.

Perhaps in the most awe-filled moment of the entire week, in the hour before the house dedication was to begin on Saturday morning, the skies clouded over and the clouds released rain on the newly planted flowers and sod beds, the water trickling off the sturdy roof and tight-fitting siding. And then, as we gathered under makeshift tents and umbrellas, just moments before the opening prayer of dedication was offered, the skies cleared, the sun shone, and light abounded: sunlight bright against our backs; light reflecting off shiny new home surfaces; light shining in the eyes of the many volunteers, community members, friends, and family gathered together, and light reflecting in our collective tears of joy. Holy Ground, indeed.


Lutheran Family Services

expands adoption counseling to Tidewater

     by Carole Todd  


When adoptive families run into difficulties, they need knowledgeable professionals who understand the unique nature and challenges of building a family through adoption. However, a recent Virginia study found that fewer than 25 percent actually find the  mental health services they need!

            Now, more adoptive families in Virginia will have access to specialized "adoption-competent" counseling thanks to the expansion of a grant  to Lutheran Family Services of Virginia from the Virginia Department of Social Services. For the past year, LFSVA has been offering counseling to adoptive families in southwestern Virginia through the grant to help them cope with the challenges that can arise from the trauma and loss associated with adoption.

            The new funding will help LFSVA offer adoption-competent counseling free of charge to all families in the Tidewater area that have been formed through adoption or who are in the process of adopting. The grant also covers a year-long training for mental health professionals in adoption competency, and workshops for families and educators to build resilience for children and to create positive school environments for adoptive students. LFSVA is partnering with Virginia Commonwealth University, the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), and Commonwealth Catholic Charities to offer these services.  

            For more information about how adoption-competent counseling can help children and families, read "What Came Before: Solutions to Current Crisis May Lie in a Child's Past," in the June issue of

Adoption Today, which focuses on trauma. The article was written by LFSVA staff members Emily Webb, a licensed professional counselor in the post-adoption program, and Nina Marino, director of foster care and adoption. For more information about these services, email Leslie Wright at or call her at (804) 288-

           Also, LFS is featured in an article in Growing Up in the Valley magazine in Roanoke. An issue on people with special needs contains an article about Kathy Marquis and Leslie and Kevin Jordan, two LFS family care home providers. 


St. Peter's, Churchville, celebrates 250 years 

St. Peter's, Churchville

            St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Churchville, will celebrate its 225th Anniversary on August 23, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. Bishop James F. Mauney will preach at the Service of Holy Communion, and Pastor Rod L. Ronneberg will preside.

            St. Peter's is one of the oldest parishes in Augusta County. The first baptisms were administered on July 28, 1790, and the small congregation first met in the Branch Meeting House, built on Jennings Branch. The first brick structure was consecrated in 1850. The current church was built in 1920 and the Parish Hall was dedicated in 2005.

            After the Service and during the reception there will be a power point history presentation. Light refreshments will be served. Pastor Ronneberg said all are welcome for the service and a reception,


Celebration of a century for Marion Kiligas 

Mike Meade, godson of Marion Kiligas, came from Lexington for the centennial celebraion.

They celebrated Marion Kiligas's 100th birthday at First Lutheran, Norfolk, with a party on Sunday, July 26. She recalled that she was confirmed 85 years ago in June 1930, a month after the first service in the congregation's new sanctuary. She was born in Brooklyn where her grandmother made sure that she and her brother, Gus, were baptized as Lutherans.

            The family moved to Norfolk around 1929 when her father's job, in charge of machinery making burlap and cotton bags for the Percy Kent Bag Co., was transferred.

Neighbors invited them to Methodist and Baptist churches and the Christian Temple but they visited the little Lutheran church at 15th Street and Moran Avenue and Dr. Luther Strickler, longtime pastor, came to see them and "we have been a part of First Lutheran from that time on," she recalled. Kiligas walked across the street from school for confirmation class. She bought a sleeveless white dress and made sleeves for confirmation.

            She has served in many ways at First Lutheran---as president of the Luther League and founder of a junior League, as a volunteer parish secretary, Sunday School teacher, member of church council and most importantly, she said, on the committee who called Dr. Marshall Mauney as pastor. "I grew up at First Lutheran. It was a major part of my life...I used my story-telling experience at Church, especially at Christmas," she said. In 1997, she received the congregation's Nesting Dove Award for congregational leadership.

            Her work also extended to the community. Kiligas volunteered at the Norfolk area Story League and as a docent at the Chrysler Museum for 20 years. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Holy Lands. Her family has had other long livers. Her father and her brother lived to 97




Editor:  George Kegley   
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