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                                                                                             MARCH, 2016
                         The Virginia 
Bringing you news of the Virginia Synod since 1921.

Men will hear about parables

           Virginia Lutheran Men in Mission are preparing for their annual gathering at Roslyn Center in Richmond on May 14-15 to hear Pastor John Herman lead a discussion of "The Parables of Jesus: Hear Them Again for the First Time."         
            Pastor Andrew Bansemer of Ebenezer, Marion, will serve as chaplain. "Through the parables, Jesus invites us to imagine and enter a new world---the kingdom of God," Herman said.
             Herman served at Peace, Charlottesville, Bethlehem, Lynchburg, and Christ, Fairfax for a total of 30 years before retiring. He is writing a discipleship series and working with an organization for older adults. Bansemer has been gathering chaplain for three years.
             Registration for the gathering will be $160 for all expenses of the two-day event. The charge for commuters is $115. Registration may be sent to Adolph Moller, 1442 Tannery Circle, Midlothian, VA 23113-2644. Checks should be made to the Virginia Synod.
In This Issue
Lutherans in the news
Bishop's column
Roberts honored
Church-Gown sharing
Ashes to Go
College poll
Bobo new VICPP head
Lutheran Latrine Project
Lessons from My Father
Martin Luther statue at Roanoke College
Snow cancels Winter Celebration
UVa Hospital visits planned
Worship will be Assembly theme
Odd Hours: Daily Prayer in Latin and English
Heavenly Hands busy in Staunton
Lutherans in the news
           Charles Leiser, St. Mark's, Roanoke, a financial consultant with Thrivent Financial, has earned the chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designation given to
qualified and experienced professionals who can provide strategies on financial topics. He completed a series of examinations on financial topics.
            Pastor Brett Davis has a new call at Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg. She and Pastor Bob Humphrey are equal partners in ministry.
            Sharon Sicher has been named director of ministry to children, youth and families at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, Moneta. The Rev. Theodore N. Brossoie, a
former research metallurgical engineer and retired Presbyterian minister, will present an online adult education course, "Living Systems Theory," at Trinity. Ten sessions will consider the question, "What is life?" Three dozen Trinity members have gathered more than 17,000 pounds of vegetable gleaned for distribution by Lake Christian Ministries.
            The Lenoir-Rhyne University choir and brass ensemble will present a Lent concert at Grace, Winchester, Wednesday, March 9, at 7 p.m. A supper will be at 6 p.m. Pastor Martha Sims led an adult Sunday School class at Grace on racism. A primary assumption from a study book was "before the church can effectively participate in efforts to address racism outside the church, it needs to be effective in addressing racism within the church.
            Trinity, Newport News, was the host congregation for 60 to 80 homeless people for a week in February through the PORT program, Trinity school children provided toiletry gifts for the guests., according to Interim Pastor James G. Cobb.
            The Disaster Reception Center team at St. Peter, Stafford, is recruiting new members to help the county keep disaster victims safe and comfortable while staff members determine their needs and initiate the processes to meet them.
            Volunteers at Ebenezer, Marion, and other Southwest Virginia communities are preparing to help at a Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic in Smyth County on Friday to Sunday, April 29-May 1. General support and health care professional volunteers are needed to help RAM provide free dental, hearing and medical services.
            Christ, Roanoke, is planning a centennial service and reception on Sunday, May 29, to mark 100 years of praise and service. Sunday School children, organized as the League of Lutheran Kids, during each month from January to May are selecting a local service agency and support its mission. For the 100 Gifts a Month project, they collected school supplies for Roanoke City children through Congregations in Action. Earlier, they donated over 140 pounds of pet supplies to Angels of Assisi.
            At Southern Seminary, a Fred and May Reisz Art Gallery will be dedicated on Thursday, March 3, recognizing Reisz who was president of the Seminary from 1992 to 2006. He has an academic interest in art and faith and his wife is an artist. A feature of the dedication will be a performance by the Rev. Jonathan Swenson, an ordained EL:CA pastor and actor.
            At Muhlenberg, Harrisonburg, members are raising $5,000 to meet a challenge to collect $50,000 as a match for a contribution to a Seminary Scholarship Fund. When that challenge is met, the donor has promised another $50,000. Members of Muhlenberg will have Shepherd Awareness Sunday on March 6. They will find locations of "shepherds" who live in the same neighborhood to make better connections "among brothers and sisters."
            The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver, CO, and author of two books on her experience of changing her life through faith, will speak at the Charlottesville Book Festival March 19.
           A midweek Lenten sermon series at St. Michael, Blacksburg, is focusing on a book, "Lutheran Trump Cards," by Pastor Dave Daubert, a Virginia Tech graduate who attended St. Michael in the 1980s.
            A Night at Guatemala, featuring music and food, is planned by the youth of Bethel, Winchester, for Saturday, April 16. They will be raising fund for food and shoes for children at Guatemala. A trip is planned there on July 10-16.
            Christ, Fredericksburg, is starting a ministry to provide food assistance on a short-term basis for members of the congregation who are in need.             

Holy Saturday 
     by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Bishop Eaton 
A space between
Good Friday and Easter 
            They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there (John 19:40-42). Holy Saturday. A pause. A space between Good Friday and Easter. A full tomb and, except for the guard, an empty garden. Still. Silent.
            We don't pay a lot of attention to Holy Saturday other than as our day of preparation for Easter Sunday. The youth group needs to get ready for the Easter breakfast. The altar guild is busy arranging lilies and preparing the altar. Grocery stores are filled. Eggs are dyed. We are occupied with busy anticipation. We have moved on from Good Friday. Even the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night looks forward to and heralds the resurrection.
            We, of course, live after the first Easter. We do know how the story turns out, and it would be contrived to be in Holy Saturday as if we didn't know about the resurrection. But we are given this one holy day to pause. We are given this holy space to grieve, to be empty, to realize that life, as we know it, is over.
            This is deeply uncomfortable in our culture. We see this on the news when people start to speak about closure immediately after a tragedy. This could be a well-meaning attempt to relieve the pain, but it doesn't heal. There is danger in moving too quickly from grief. It is important to resist the urge to usher the afflicted to "closure."
            Grief from Sandy Hook, Mother Emmanuel, Katrina, San Bernardino and other tragedies cannot be rushed. None of the Good Fridays in our lives can. The resurrection came after an actual death. The crucifixion was not a metaphor. A heart stopped beating. He breathed his last. A son died. Mothers in Syria and El Salvador and the South Side of Chicago stand at the cross.
            But Holy Saturday is more than the necessary and holy space to face death without denial and to grieve without the dulling anesthetic of sentimentality. There is something much deeper going on. It is an invitation to accept that life, as we know it, is over. All of our plans, all of our willfulness and all of our good intentions are over.
            On Holy Saturday we are invited to shed our life and enter the tomb. Our effort and righteousness as much as our sin bind us. Our effort to save our lives binds us. This is true as much for the church as it is for each member.
            I'm grateful for the faithful innovation and hard work of our people and congregations. I'm not so far removed from parish ministry that I don't remember its struggles as well as its joys. There is something noble and dear about saints who come week after week, year after year to hear and receive the gospel and, as a response to grace, participate in God's reconciling work in the world. But there comes a time to take to heart Jesus' teaching: "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).
            The day between Good Friday and Easter can be seen as empty, a void, something to be resisted at all costs, something to be filled. It is the same reaction that many in our culture have to silence. It's as if sound and activity prove that we still exist. But I think the space between crucifixion and resurrection-truly terrifying and truly compassionate-beckons us from our life to life in Christ. After all, it wasn't all the noise and fireworks that got Elijah's attention, but the sound of sheer silence (1 Kings 19:11-13).
            When we shed our lives and enter the tomb, when silence is all around, then we see that Jesus is already there ahead of us, anticipating us, welcoming us to be still and to die in him and find our life in him. Rest, dear church. 
A monthly message from the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This article first appeared in The Lutheran's March-2016 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Pastor Dennis Roberts honored at Lynchburg    
Sally von Oesen (right)  makes a presentation to Maria and Dennis Roberts.
(Picture by Betty Camden)
Bishop James F. Mauney was guest preacher Sunday, February 7, as Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynchburg honored Pastor Dennis and Maria Roberts for their 25 years of service to the congregation. An overflow crowd packed the church for the one, combined worship service and for the reception and presentations that followed. In addition to members and friends of the congregation, a number of community leaders, Maria's and Dennis' parents, and their daughters Gretchen and Sena were present for the festivities.
            Bishop Mauney, prior to his sermon, recognized Maria for her "life-giving, sustaining, walking-by, listening, loving presence" and the gifts she brings to the congregation. In the sermon, organized around images of Pastor Roberts as "the speaker, the storm, the song, and the chef," the Bishop observed that Dennis is a "gifted, eclectic, so-thorough, loving pastor."      
            At the gala reception afterwards, David E. Barney Sr., president of the congregation, gave an overview of what 25 years at Holy Trinity have looked like, with "1,300 Sundays" and 2,700+ Sunday worship services; "countless weekday services, weddings, baptisms, confirmations and funerals;" "thousands of visits to private homes, hospitals, and care facilities;" and "trips to Germany, Israel, Eagle Eyrie and even local breweries." Moving beyond statistics, Barney spoke of how Pastor Roberts guides the congregation "with strength, wisdom, and humor" and accompanies members through their many life transitions. "Dennis is just there. He is always there," said Barney.
            A proclamation by Lynchburg Mayor Michael A. Gillette noted how Pastor Roberts has been "a tireless supporter and instrumental leader of numerous community organizations and causes that feed the hungry, care for those in need, welcome the marginalized, and promote the welfare of all members of our community." He also cited how Roberts has "conscientiously engaged across interfaith lines" and "worked diligently to make Lynchburg a more supportive, caring, open, and inclusive community."
            Holy Trinity Pastor Emeritus Stephen J. Schulz gave an overview of how the congregation has grown and expanded its mission and ministry over the last 25 years. The program concluded with the presentation of serious and humorous gifts to the Roberts family and then a jazz ensemble played and the reception continued.
Church-Gown Share in Lenten Art Exhibit     
Jerry Rogers and Sid Dailey install art exhibit at Trinity, Stephens City.
            A unique and innovative project of collaboration has attached itself to the walls of a hallway at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stephens City. It's an art exhibit - a cooperative venture between Trinity and Shenandoah University Conservatory designed to showcase local artists and, perhaps, attract some on-site energy for the church.
            "I passed the idea by the administration of the Conservatory nearly a year ago," said the Rev. Cameron Keyser, Trinity's pastor, "and they responded with enthusiasm. We had a new -but barren hallway-that needed 'upscale' decoration, and the Conservatory had faculty and student artists whose creations could provide the needed appropriate ornamentation. It was a win-win for both of us," Keyser concluded.
            The initial exhibition opened on Ash Wednesday - entitled "Regenerative Landscapes: A Landscape- and Place-Based Art: Asian Rocks and Picturesque Virginia" has an "earthy, somewhat eclectic quality. It's perfect for the season of Lent," Keyser observed.  
            The 20 original pieces by Dr. Geraldine Kiefer, professor of art at the Conservatory, are a combination of three separate original collections: "Picturesque Virginia," "Virginia Rocks "and "Asian Rocks." They are on extended loan to Trinity, which has set the wall apart as a dedicated space for 'rotating' exhibits from local artists.
            "This particular hallway is our main corridor," Keyser said, "running directly from the Narthex to our Parish Hall. There's always traffic up and down. We hope other area artists will find this an intriguing and attractive venue to share their creations with the community - and I promise nobody will miss what's hung there!," he said.
            So, what's "in it" for Trinity? "A couple of important things," according to Keyser: "one is that it strengthens our relationship with Shenandoah Conservatory which has been expanding with our Advent and Lenten Evensong concerts over the past four years featuring both student and faculty musicians in free 30-minute performances for the community. It also gives Trinity the unique opportunity to collaborate with our area's premiere academic community in an innovative twist on the old "Town and Gown" relationship - in this case, more a "gown and gown" experience. And, it provides folks a 'non-churchy' reason to visit our parish. If they like what they see, maybe they'll return at 9:30am on a Sunday for worship. Besides, it makes that hallway look awesome!," Keyser said.
            According to the artist, the Picturesque Virginia section of the combined exhibit "focuses on the mountain ranges and caves in central-western and southwestern Virginia and parts of West Virginia, whose 19th century imagery was investigated, reproduced, and enriched by means of overlaid and interconnecting linear networks. The Virginia Rocks portion includes photographs and drawings of limestone outcroppings in Nelson County and the "Asian Rocks" section features original drawings and photographs influenced by 12th and 13th century Chinese and Japanese ink paintings, mapping a more distant - yet equally place-centered exploration."
            The exhibit is open Sundays from 8:30am-11:30am and by appointment through the week by contacting the Church Office: (540) 869-4019.
            Trinity Church celebrated its 250th anniversary last year. Worship is Sunday at 9:30am - the community is invited.
            For more information, contact Rev. Cam Keyser, at the number above or email:
Ashes to Go at Grace, Chesapeake     

          Pastor Leslie Scanlon offered "Ashes to Go" in the parking lot of her church, Grace, Chesapeake, as a convenience for 15 busy worshipers on a cold Ash Wednesday morning. Grace was the only Virginia Lutheran congregation offering this service, following a national practice started in St. Louis in 2007.
            "We understand that not everyone will be able to make it to a service with their busy work schedules, so this simple and quick alternative is meant to supplement but not replace attending a full worship service, if possible," Scanlon said. Two traditional Ash Wednesday services were held in the church.
            "We're doing the work of the Lord," said Shelley Simpkins, a Grace member who accompanied the pastor at the parking lot.. One man said he was pleased to have the opportunity to be reminded of ashes and dust because he was unable to attend a service at his own church..
            Scanlon intoned the familiar words, "You are dust and to dust you shall return" and offered a brief prayer. A year ago, she held an "Ashes to Go" in 10-degree temperature and three feet of snow at the Massachusetts church she was serving. A Norfolk native, she returned to the area last August.
College poll: Clinton, Trump lead in Virginia   
            In a Roanoke College opinion poll, Virginia Democrats favored potential presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders by 50 percent to 33 percent and Republicans supported Donald Trump by 38 percent against Sen. Ted Cruz, 15 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio, 12 percent. The college polled 466 likely Republican voters and 466 likely Democratic voters in mid-February.
            Angry Republicans gave Trump an advantage of more than 2 to 1. In a breakdown, 47 percent said they were merely dissatisfied with how the federal government is working, 42 percent were angry about how the government is working, 44 percent said they feel they have been betrayed by the Republican Party and 53 percent preferred a candidate outside the political establishment.
            Among Democrats, Clinton was favored by women 57 percent to 24 percent but men chose Sanders 44 percent to 42 percent. Clinton led among those 45 or older by 58-24 percent but voters younger than 45 selected Sanders by 48-37 percent.
            Both Clinton and Trump are likely to win their primary elections in Virginia," said Harry Wilson, director of the college's Institute for Policy and Opinion Research, which conducted the poll.
            A separate report by the College Institute found that 72 percent of Virginians polled favored a commission proposal prohibiting the use of political campaign funds for personal expenses and 67 percent supported regulation of receipt and reporting gifts but 57 percent opposed proposed raises for legislators and additional funds for staff expenses.
            Those responding supported some ethics reforms, racial balance in redistricting and gave mixed views on gun control efforts.
Kim Bobo leads VICPP      
            Kim Bobo, a faith-based activist from Chicago, is the new executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Bobo, who is 61, has been the executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, the nation's largest network of people of faith engaging in local and national actions to improve wages, benefits and conditions for workers. She helped build interfaith groups and workers' centers around the nation.
            A nationally known promoter of social justice, she has been a leader in faith-based organization. She began working in the Richmond office Feb. 10.  
           VICPP represents the ELCA in Virginia advocacy issues.
St. Luke Richmond's Latrine Project
     by Judy Maier     
             For the ELCA 40 Days of Hunger, St. Luke Lutheran, Richmond, decided to see how many Lutheran Long-Drop Latrines, from the ELCA Good Gifts Catalog, we could donate.
At our Youth Group's Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, we introduced the Lutheran Long Drop Latrines with our program "Everybody Poops!"
            How do latrines figure in our appeal for Hunger?
We have a great presentation we think you will enjoy. It tells all the Who? What? Where? When? and Why? about Lutheran Long-Drop Latrines.   You can check it out on YouTube: "The Latrine Project."          
           Our speaker, Dana Wiggins, explains everything you need to know! She talks about how latrines were a big part of her two years with the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa and how she's continuing her volunteer work in this field. Sanitation is crucial to wellbeing and health. Latrines are one of the most important things we can do for a community.
            A life-size "demo" latrine now sits in our Narthex to remind us of our goal. Walk around it's perimeter and you can read all the facts on its walls. In many places in our world there is no safe water. Streams are polluted with waste, people are sick all the time and cannot provide for their families. Many children do not live to see their 5th birthday.
We, at St. Luke Lutheran, are blessed with clean, sanitary places to "GO!" Now it's time to help our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world have that same safe, secure, and healthy place to "GO"! Thanks to the Pancake Supper, we've raised enough in donations for two latrines and are well on our way to meet our goal of TEN latrines by Easter.
As we set our sights on helping those in "far away places across the seas" we wondered how we could help those "in our own backyard."
We found that our own Chesapeake Bay still needs more help in cleaning the waters of toxic chemicals and sanitation waste. We've invited Blair Blanchette, from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to be guest speaker at our SNFLE-Sunday Night Lenten Fellowship Event, February 28 from 5:00-7:15 PM. Her topic-Being Good Stewards of Natural Resources and the Environment. There is also a special program for kids. The night begins with a dinner of Hearty Beef Stew & biscuits and Lutheran Jello Salad. The evening is open to the public. Dinner donations are being given to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The program will be on St. Luke website the next day.   We've learned whether "across the seas" or "in our own backyard", our environment plays a major role in the fight against hunger. Come join us on February 28 and learn how we can help those in "our own backyard" and save some time to stroll around our Latrine and get the facts to help those "across the seas." 
Lessons from My Father    

            Ursula Murden (right), a native of Germany and a longtime member of St. Stephen, Williamsburg, told Marcie Clark, St. Stephen parish nurse, some of the life lessons she has learned. She came to the U.S. after World War II. Clark said, "Her example has enriched us all."
              Murden's story is entitled Lessons from my Father:
            I loved my father but I did not know him. He was a typical Prussian father who believed children are not to be heard. However, he gave my brother and me two very important lessons: Always be honest and be good to other people, especially the homeless and the hungry.
            When I was four years old, we were not allowed to eat ice cream from a wagon. My grandmother had given me a nickel and I ran to the ice cream man and bought an ice cream. At that time, my father came home from work. He saw me and asked, "Did you buy ice cream?" I answered, "No." That was the first and last time my father spanked me BECAUSE I LIED!
            Be good to other people was a lesson I grew up with because of the example my father and mother set for me. My father had an unpaid job with the Youth Hostel Association. His group refurbished old castles and made them into youth hostels---for instance Burg Ludwigstein and Bacharach at the Rhine River. My brother helped him. My mother did volunteer work for the Red Cross. She used to go to the train station, pick up refugees from the East and bring them home.
           I never had a paying job except tailoring for a few years. My time was spent with volunteer work, especially in Williamsburg when I was older. My husband I volunteered for many organization including Meals on Wheels, the Senior Center, the RIDES program, the library, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Homeless Shelter and the Motel Ministry. Without realizing it, we set an example for our children and grandchildren as they are also volunteers in their communities. The lessons learned from my parents have been passed down through the generations.
            I urge all of you, "Don't waste your time. Help others as much as you!" You will be setting an example for others to follow."
Martin Luther statue to stand at college center   

            A Martin Luther statue will be sculpted for the Luther Plaza entrance of the huge Cregger Center (right) opening for the fall semester of Roanoke College in late August. Work on the $30-million, 152,000-square-foot, brick structure is to be completed by early summer and the major task of furnishing and equipping the building will take several months, President Mike Maxey said.
            The Plaza, funded by Lutherans, will emphasize the link between the college and the church, he said. "We have to work in partnership with the church...This will be a welcoming place for visitors..It will have a practical and symbolic message...We are Lutherans," Maxey said.
             The major components of the center, located on High Street behind the Sections, will be a 200-meter indoor track, a performance gymnasium seating 2,500, a fitness center provided by the Belk Foundation of Charlotte and two classrooms.
            The center will move the focus of the Salem campus north from the Turbyfill Quad in front and the Back Quad, Maxey said. He promised scenic views of Fort Lewis Mountain from the new building. The addition of the track and indoor athletic space is expected to draw national tournaments to the college, building on Salem's reputation as a sports center. The center is designed for use by the community for speakers and events.
            The center will have 85 new parking spaces, less than the 130 spaces displaced by the new building. But 325 spaces have been added on Hawthorn Road, at the end of the athletic field. Betty Branch, prominent Roanoke sculptor, is working on the Luther statue. VMDO of Charlottesville is the architect and Branch Construction of Roanoke is the general contractor.
            The Cregger Center will replace the Bast Center for such events as the Synod Assembly. The Bast Center will continue in use for college sports, Maxey said.
            Contributions for the major $200 million campaign have passed $170 million and the drive is on schedule for completion in 21/2 years, he said. The last leg of the campaign will be for a science building and increased endowment.

Pastor Terence Mullins dies at 94
            The Rev. Terence Y. Mullins, 94, who served the former Augusta County Parish from 1945 to 1959, died in Philadelphia on Dec. 22. He was ordained by the Virginia Synod and served at Bethlehem, Waynesboro, and Melanchthon Chapel, Weyers Cave.
He later was a lecturer at Philadelphia Seminary and an editor for the United Lutheran Church in America Board of Parish Education and the Lutheran Church in America Division for Parish Services.

Pastor Willetta Heising dies at 93
            The Rev. Willetta Heising, 93, of Williamsburg, died Jan. 28 after a long siege with Alzheimer's disease. She was ordained in 1981 and served as pastor of Grace, Franklin, for four years.
            In 1987, Pastor Heising was the only Virginia pastor in the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches which merged to form the ELCA. She was a member of the Task Group for the transition of the Virginia Synod from Lutheran Church in America to ELCA and a member of Synod Council. In Williamsburg, she was a co-founder of Avalon, a center for women and children and she taught a women's Bible study for 25 years.
            Pastor Heising was married for 60 years to the late retired Navy Capt. Kenneth W. Heising. Survivors include five children, Willetta Heising, Dearborn, MI; Kenneth Heising Jr., Fairfax Station; Evelyn Ford, Appomattox; Ellen Barlow, Charlottesville, and John Heising, Richmond, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
            The funeral was conducted by Bishop Jim Mauney at St. Stephen, Williamsburg, on Feb. 6.

Retired Pastor Richard Batman dies at 83
            Retired Pastor Richard F. Batman, 83, who served as assistant pastor at First, English, Richmond, 1957-1959, died Feb. 5 at Hockessin, Del. He served congregations in Maryland and Delaware until he retired in 1988 and lived at Williamsburg until he moved to Delaware. The funeral was at St. Stephen Lutheran, Hockessin, Del. Burial was at Luray.
Snow forces Winter Celebration cancellation  
           Canceling the Synod's Winter Celebration for 200 9th-12th grade youth at Eagle Eyrie because of the statewide snowfall in late January was more work than holding the annual event, said Pastor Dave Delaney, director of youth and young adult ministries and assistant to the bishop. The weekend program based on the theme, "Take Your Mark," from Hebrews 12: 1-3 and adult leaders were ready and t-shirts were mailed when a foot of snow or more forced the cancellation, the first time the event was called off since 1983.
            Communication with the youth was by Facebook and the synod's website. Everyone agreed with the cancellation decision, Delaney said. About 300 attended the first Winter Celebration earlier. However, to make up for the cancelled event, about 50 youths and leaders in the Tidewater Conference gathered for a mini-Winter Celebration on the Feb. 21 weekend at St. Timothy, Norfolk.  
            Another 200 5th-6th graders will meet for 7th Day at Eagle Eyrie on March 5-6.
UVa Hospital visits planned    
           St. Mark, Charlottesville, has invited Virginia Lutherans to send names of
parishioners who are patients at University of Virginia Hospital for a new hospital visitation ministry by the congregation. Names and contact information (for someone other than the patient) should be sent to Nancy Kliewer, St. Mark office manager, at, telephone (434)293-3311. 434-293-3311Pertinent details or specific requests should be added.
            Elaine Oakey of St. Mark said she will be glad to report on activities at St. Mark during the hospital stay. She called attention to this passage from Deuteronomy 15:11:
            "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."
Worship will be Assembly theme June 10-12    
              Pastor Kevin Strickland, assistant for worship to ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, will the keynote speaker and official ELCA representative at the annual Virginia Synod Assembly at Roanoke College on June 10-12. Worship will be the Assembly theme and four small group sessions will be scheduled to talk about it.
             Elections will be held for synod treasurer and four Synod council slots-two lay female and two lay male. George "Skip" Zubrod of Salem has been treasurer for two four-year terms, the maximum provided by the synod constitution.
            A social networking session on the back Quad of the college is planned for Friday night, sponsored by National Lutheran Communities and Services.
Odd Hours: Daily Prayer in Latin and English     
(Pastor Michael Church, Our Saviour, Warrenton, describes his unusual prayer book)
            During our three years as missionaries in Romania, my wife Terri and I were very busy developing a new Lutheran congregation in the university town of Cluj-Napoca. But at the same time, I spent so much time speaking foreign languages, or in the very simple English used by international student and business people, that I sometimes longed for the beautiful, complex and archaic language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible. That longing probably helped me to complete a project I had dreamed of for years, but which the harried life of a parish pastor had never given me the chance to work on.
            Odd Hours is just what its subtitle says:daily prayer in Latin and English. It includes Matins, Vespers and Compline for the seasons of the church calendar, as well as a complete Psalter, a small collection of hymns, and a selection of other devotions, such as the Litany and a few prayers for use in the sacristy.
            It is also just what its title says: odd. Not too many readers will feel the need for a Latin prayer-book. Some may even be put off by the English of the translations, which is in the antique style of the King James Bible. But there are good reasons to consider praying in both Latin and Jacobean English, at least from time to time.
            Latin is an essential part of the Lutheran heritage. Both the Augsburg Confession and the Apology say that the Reformers retained the use of Latin in church, for those who understood it, and Luther himself insisted upon the use of Latin at daily prayer in Wittenberg, for the benefit of the school children who led the services.
            The old-fashioned English is also part of our heritage. Some of us grew up learning by heart, the prayers of the Common Service Book, the Service Book and Hymnal and related worship books. Many more of us will naturally recite the Lord's Prayer and the Twenty-third Psalm in their older forms. In fact, the language of prayer in the English-speaking world, once given form by the English Reformation, continued virtually unchanged until the 1970s. This language may sometimes seem strange today, but it also has a beauty and a resonance that can be missing from books that use a modern idiom for prayer.
            Because all the prayers and songs are translated, a reader does not need to be comfortable with Latin to use this book. In fact, it is probably more fun for a beginner than for anybody else. And prayer--even or especially formal, liturgical prayer -- deserves to be fun. It is too important to be anything else.
            Odd Hours is self-published using, and can be purchased (in hardcover only) by navigating to this web page:
"Heavenly Hands" are busy
at Pleasant View, Staunton
      by Betty Cox, parish nurse, Pleasant View, Staunton 
Heavenly Hands workers are (front, from left) Josephine Cline, Hannelore Beisner and Shirley Crawford; (rear) Linda Page, Kim Miller and Bonnie Craun.  Bessie Fauber and Betty Cox are not pictured.
           Church women often get together and plan charitable projects. God seems to
have given some of them the gift of creative art. At Plesant View, Staunton, these
"Heavenly Hands" have made hundreds of items donated to hospitals and other organizations caring for the sick, live and stillborn babies, homeless, cancer victims, elderly shut-ins and even African children far away.
            These women have been working every Monday afternoon, with few exceptions, for nearly three years. It started with crocheted hats for cancer victims, both adults and children, donated to cancer centers in Fishersville, Harrisonburg and Charlottesville.
            The Emily Couric Clinical Center in the University of Virginia Health Care System requested layettes or comfort care sets for the newborn babies who did not survive. Using all soft white yarns, those "hands" created beautiful hats, sweaters and
blankets for their memorial services. It is heart-warming to see families, nurses and
volunteers accept the beautiful created caps, sweaters and booties that we delivered.
            These gifts of love from the Heavenly Hands have also gone to the Augusta
Health Cancer Center and the University of Virginia Cancer Center at Fishersville and the Hahn Center at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg. They made over 100 pillowcase dresses, with bright ribbons and appliqué, for young African girls
so they could be allowed to attend school.
            These women, noted for their skill and giving nature, were extremely busy last year. They made shawls and lap blankets for elderly shut-ins in the church, baptism clothing for infant baptism and costumes for the church's Christmas play. Their latest
request was for cushion covers for two altar chairs and to make or repair chrismons for next year's Christmas tree.
            There is joy in hard work, especially when God finds a place for us to serve.
Since I am inept at sewing, knitting and crocheting, I help only on occasional easy projects but my joy comes from watching these women work. With ease and happiness, they go about their work, talking, laughing and planning without dropping a stitch or complaining a bit.




Editor:  George Kegley   
Voice: 540-366-4607;  Email:
Post:  301 Tinker Creek Lane, NE, Roanoke, VA  24019

Deadline for submission of articles is the 15th of each month.
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