For more than 20 years, Roanoke College has hosted the Virginia Synod (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) Power in the Spirit conference.
This year’s conference was held July 10-12, with the theme “Changed by the Good News.”
This is an inspirational gathering for anyone who wishes to explore God’s mission and ministry.
The highlight for this year was a visit by the presiding bishop of the national ELCA.
Bishop Elizabeth Eaton is the fourth residing bishop of the ELCA and first female presiding bishop.
More than 300 people attended the conference. It was an enormous turnout, twice as large as any in recent history.
The energetic participants heard Bishop Eaton highlight challenges facing the church. Eaton spoke passionately about how “we are church together” and how we must respond to the challenges. Her quick wit, humor, deep faith and pastoral awareness allowed her to engage a diverse crowd.
Participants also had the opportunity to attend other classes and discussions.
The Rev. Paul Henrickson, former Roanoke College chaplain, led a session on discipleship and vocation.
Roanoke alumnus George Kegley’49 led a historical discussion on the Virginia Lutherans entering Virginia in the 1700’s, and the Rev. Dr. David Delaney, assistant to the bishop, offered a lecture, “The Human Jesus and His Home.”
Attendees enjoyed the beauty of Roanoke College, the comfort of Marion Hall, the sacred space of Antrim Chapel, the intimacy of Olin Theater and the good food prepared by the College’s Chef Bob.
Power in the Spirit 2014 will go down as one for the ages and surely set a mark that future conferences will aspire to reach.
-By William Greer, director of development at Roanoke College