As we ring in 2019, we realize how thankful we are for all that we have been given. We live in a beautiful part of the world and we are thankful for creation. We are thankful for family and friends. We are also thankful for the church, our faith, and the fellowship we enjoy.
Here in the Virginia Synod we are especially thankful for the emphasis on faith formation. The Virginia Synod is known throughout the ELCA for its energy and passion for its youth events and adult learning opportunities. Here at Salem, our youth have enjoyed these synodical events for years, participating in Seventh Day (5th – 6th grade), Lost and Found (7th-8th grade), Winter Celebration (9th-12th grade), Youth Assembly, Kairos, Launch, and Theology for Teens. For adults, some have participated in the ACTS course and Power in the Spirit.
To make sure these important ministries are sustained into the future, the Virginia Synod has been involved in a Synod-wide campaign called Forwarding Faith. The initial goal was to establish a $2 million permanent endowment, along with $500,000 to be given to the ELCA’s Always Being Made New campaign for youth and young adult ministry across the country.
Congregations throughout the Synod have participated in this endeavor and coming in February it is Salem’s turn. The Stewardship of Life Committee has scheduled temple talks about these important faith formation ministries for each Sunday in February. On the last Sunday in February you will receive a “Gift pledge” that you may fill out if you decide to give toward this campaign. There will be no pressure for your participation toward giving. We simply want you to have the opportunity to donate toward these ministries if you feel called to do so. Then, following worship on March 3rd, we will have a potluck luncheon to celebrate all that God is doing in and through these special events.