We’re excited to hear stories about congregations who have joined in the campaign creatively sharing the good news of faith formation in Virginia during their appeals. This week, we’re highlighting the great appeal that was held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waynesboro!

This year is Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church’s 125th anniversary, and as a part of their celebration, the campaign leaders at Grace choose to connect their appeal with their anniversary! For many of their 125 years, Grace has served as a meeting place for organizations, educational events, and committees for the Virginia Synod because of their central location and excellent facilities. Most notably they have served as the central site for The Ambassadors Community for Theological Study (ACTS) courses, and provide technical support to simulcast out these courses to additional locations across the state. Taking a cue from the year-long celebration of Grace’s 125th Anniversary came the challenge to the congregation to raise$12,500 towards the ForwardingFaith campaign in honor of their life together for 125 years. The campaign was a great success, with $12,602 raised in pledges, meeting their $12,500 125th anniversary goal!

At Grace, members of the congregation worked together to share Temple Talk testimonies about their experiences at Synod faith formation events. These temples talks were an important and direct means of sharing stories, allowing members to recognize the importance of the ForwardingFaith Campaign, and explanations about what the campaign is designed to support over the long term. Across three weeks of the congregational appeal, several members at Grace showcased just how significant a history their congregation has with faith formation ministries in Virginia.

Stories were shared from one of the campaign leaders for Grace, Tyler Wertman, a second-year college student who will be transferring to Roanoke College in the Fall. He gave an inspiring Temple Talk in which he witnessed to the impact Synod and other church events have had in forming his faith, even to the consideration of service in the Church in ordained ministry. Linda Meyer, who served as a campaign leader also gave a temple talk that focused on the adult faith formation opportunities. She shared her experience with ACTS and Power in the Spirit, and the difference these events have made in her faith life.

The Virginia Synod celebrates Grace’s commitment to the ForwardingFaith campaign and the congregation’s rich 125 year-long history that has been woven into the Virginia Synod’s faith formation programs. We’re looking forward to celebrating with so many more congregations who have set dates for appeals as well!