Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
Passions Outside of the Pulpit
When you see your pastor each week giving the sermon, in the office meeting with people, or leading a community outreach event, it can be easy to forget that your pastor has a life outside of the church. Besides family, some their passions could include traveling or skiing and for several rostered leaders in the Synod it's music.
Rev. Randy Lohr, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Richmond, has been interested in playing and writing music since his early days of middle school when he penned his first song for a childhood crush.
This past summer Pastor Lohr was granted sabbatical from his church for three months. A time that allowed him to pursue his passion for music and record a 2-CD set filled with original songs called "All My Life I've Been Waiting".
Bishop James Mauney explains that "A sabbatical is a great opportunity for a pastor to rest and renew their soul, heart, mind and body."
"A wonderful way of doing that is taking theology and turning it into music and using the gifts that God has given you by trying something new and doing it for the glory of God."
Sabbatical is not only a time to step away from everyday responsibilities and find rest, that extra time allows pastors to pursue passions that have been put on the shelf for years or even decades.
"It's the right amount of time to give yourself a chance to focus on something that you haven't had a chance to pursue, for me it's music," said Pastor Lohr.
From third grade piano lessons to learning to play "Stairway to Heaven" on his mother's old, tossed-aside guitar, music has been constant in his life.
With musical influences like the Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and the Who, he leans towards music with thought provoking lyrics. Now Pastor Lohr would categorize his own music as Folk Rock or Americana but he has tried out several different styles and subject matter for his songs over the years.
"In college I went through a deepening of my faith, and for a while there were songs coming out of that experience and my zeal for the Lord," he said.
After graduating from William and Mary, Randy took a year to volunteer with Lutheran Youth Encounter (now shortened to just Youth Encounter) where he was able to take his music on the road. He traveled around the U.S. with a team of young adults to put on concerts at youth ministry events in Lutheran churches across the country.
"It was at this point that I started carrying a song book," he said.
Soon a new season of life was at his door that brought with it seminary, a lovely bride, and children. With changing life experiences his song writing now had new influences as he entered his first call in the parish.
Over the years he continued to accumulate a number of songs and began to not only share them with friends and family members but he has also used his original tunes in worship.
"The folks at Christ the King, with the handful of songs that I have used, have encouraged me to do something more with them," he said.  
As the idea of potentially recording his music during sabbatical began to turn into a reality, Randy balanced feelings of excitement and nervousness. With any moment of vulnerability there is a twinge of anxiety when you share your creative work with others. But his congregation has been incredibly supportive through the whole process.
The cover art of Pastor Randy Lohr_s newly recorded 2-CD set
The cover art of Pastor Randy Lohr's newly recorded 2-CD set
"I really couldn't have done this without my congregation," he said. "First off of by providing me sabbatical and then by also financially supporting me."
The title of the finished 2-CD set, "All my Life I've been waiting", is from a song on one of the CD's which was written about Simeon, who had been waiting for the Messiah  for his entire life before he finally saw the infant Jesus.
"I wrote the song from the perspective of the old person who has been waiting for the promise to be fulfilled. The line that gets repeated is "All My Life I've Been Waiting" which also fits well with this whole project with the fact that these are songs I've been waiting to record for some time."
"One CD in the set is "Life" which includes songs about my life experiences and my family. The 2nd CD, which is called "Word", includes songs based on scripture that I tried to interpret in song."
The CDs will be released on Nov. 1st at a concert at Christ the King Lutheran Church featuring Randy Lohr and the Sabbatical Band. Everyone is invited but if you are unable to make the CD release event, you can email him for a copy at pastorlohr@ctkrva.org and soon his recordings will also be available online.  

Watch Pastor Pocaylco Open the U.S. Senate in Prayer
This morning Rev. Katie Pocalyco, the Pastor our Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, opened this U.S. Senate in prayer. If you were unable to watch live, click the image below to watch the recording.

5,000 Mosquito Nets for Papua New Guinea
We give thanks for the generous support in the Virginia Synod for the ELCA Malaria Campaign that went to help those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Now we are moving our focus to our friends in our Partner Synod of Papua New Guinea because they also face the danger of Malaria. The Virginia Synod has set a goal of buying 5,000 mosquito nets for Papua New Guinea and we encourage you to join this effort! Bishop Mauney has already bought the first 25 nets to kick off the effort. Each net is $10 and online donations will begin being accepted next week! If you would like to donate via check, please write it to "The Virginia Synod" and put "PNG Mosquito Nets" in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 70 Salem, Va. 24153.  
Reformation Service at Washington National Cathedral
You are invited to the annual Reformation Service hosted by the Metro D.C. Synod at Washington National Cathedral. It is a wonderful opportunity to worship and sing praises in that majestic space. The service in 2015 takes place Sun. Oct. 25 at 4 pm; there is a parking garage on site. http://www.metrodcelca.org/events/reformation-service/

You are invited to explore Lutheran commitments to children and youth at Grace Lutheran Church in Waynesboro on October 24 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm. Marcia Bunge, a professor of Religion at Gustavus Adolphus College, will be leading participants through conversations during the day with topics including central Lutheran commitments to children, twelve best practices for nurturing moral and spiritual life, and articulating our values. The cost is $25.00. Click here for the registration form.


Lost and Found Early Registration 
Lost & Found: God has Found You
Lost & Found: God has Found You

Lost and Found is our annual weekend retreat for youth in 7th and 8th grade and their adult advisors. We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of about 8 youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. 
Lost and Found runs from November 20-22, 2015, from 6:30pm Friday to noon Sunday at Eagle Eyrie.  
Cost for participants:  $160 (early registration discount if postmarked on or before October 19 - $150) Click Here To Find out More and Register!

Deaconess Community's January Term Course
Are you discerning your call to ministry? Have you thought about the Word and Service Roster and wondered "What is diakonia?" Come learn together at the Deaconess Community's annual J-term course "Diaconal Ministry: History, Formation and Spirituality", offered through Luther Seminary! This course will be held January 3-8, 2016 at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center in Farmington, MN. The Deaconess Community pays tuition for all students. The cost of housing and books is the responsibility of each student. For more information, please visit deaconesscommunity.org/j-term.

Hungry Mother Servant Summer Camp

Hungry Mother Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center has just announced the dates for their new Servant Summer Camp for 2016. Enjoy a week at the peaceful mountain facility while also volunteering with several organizations that serve the people of Southwest Virginia. 

Applications are now being accepted. Each group should consister of 5-7 youth per adult. If you will only be bringing one group, one adult male and one adult female will be required. Youth must be rising high school age and above. There will be three weeks of camp with 40 available spots for each week. The fee is $250 per person with some scholarship money available. 

Please click here for more information or email hmlrc@hungrymother.org to request an application.  

LARCUM Conference: Dec. 4-5
The 2015 Virginia LARCUM Conference (Lutheran, AnglicanRoman Catholic, United Methodist) will meet around the theme: "The Church, always reforming -
ecclesia semper reformanda." The Rev. Dr. Gerald Christianson is the event's main presenter, providing historical knowledge to properly
approach the upcoming observance of the 500th anniversary of the reformation. Register by Nov. 20 using form on synod website.
Click Here for the Registration Form

Go "On Safari" to Tanzania!
Godparents for Tanzania invites you to join a small group of fellow Lutherans for a Discovery Safari to Tanzania, May 17-June 1, 2016.  See the beauty of Kilimanjaro, the amazing Ngorongoro Crater, the vastness of the Serengeti and, of course, the wonderful animals of Africa!  At the same time, we will be learning from Godparents' students and staff what growing up in a developing country is like.  

For more information, visit our website (click on Safari at www.godparents4tz.org), and/or contact the trip leader, Pastor Dwayne Westermann, to learn more (dwestermann@godparents4tz.org), (540) 353-6341.   
Job Opportunities

All posts can also be found online at www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email fuller@vasynod.org. 
Job Opportunity:
Church Operations Manager in Norfolk, VA
The Church Operations Manager will serve First Lutheran Church Norfolk by ensuring support is provided to all Rostered Staff, administering the physical, finalcial and personnel resources of FLC and providing oversight of the operations and business of FLC. A full job description is available here. Those interested should send a cover letter and resume to staffing@flcnorfolk.com. Questions should be directed to the same email. 
Job Opportunity
Director of Worship and Music--25 hours
Emmanual Lutheran, Virginia Beach
Responsibilities include planning all worship and music. Position description and salary details are available by clicking the title link above. Interested candidates should send a resume including educational training and ministry experience, a cover letter explaining your vision for worship and music ministry and references to admin@elvb.org by 10/15/15
Job Opportunity
Director of Youth and Christian Education--20 hours
Emmanual Lutheran, Virginia Beach
Responsibilities include planning and leading Sunday school and youth group activities each Sunday. Position description and salary details are available by clicking the title link above. Interested candidates should send a resume including educational training and ministry experience, a cover letter explaining your vision for youth and family ministry and references to youth@elvb.org by 10/15/15.
Job Opportunity:
Church Office Administrator--15-20 hrs/week
Faith Lutheran, Suffolk
Faith Lutheran in Suffolk is seeking a Church Office Administrator. This position includes Flexible hours.  Basic computer skills, clerical skills, and some financial skills are required. Applicants must be able to work independently, communicate well, and respect confidentiality. If interested please send resume:  faith_lutheran@verizon.net . For questions or comments, please call (757) 686-0468. 
Do You have an Announcement, upcoming event or News Story Idea? Send it to fuller@vasynod.org!
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