Sterling Pastor Receives Faith in Action Award
The Virginia Council of Churches (VCC) will recognize Rev. Dr. Joseph M. Vought at this year’s annual Faith in Action awards luncheon on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Each year the VCC recognizes an individual and/or Church/Organization who exemplify personal faith and action on behalf of all God’s children.
Rev. Vought who is pastor at Community Lutheran in Sterling, Virginia said, “It seems strange to be recognized for doing ecumenical work for which I have been blessed and a grateful recipient for more than 30 years. I have so benefitted from some amazing ecumenical and interfaith friendships across the commonwealth.
The Richmond based council set the ecumenical table which draws the widest representation of Virginia churches. The VCC is the oldest ecumenical body in the Commonwealth, representing thirty-eight governing bodies of eighteen Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant denominations. As it works together as Christian communions, VCC builds Christian Unity; and collaborates together with persons of other faiths to build a human community.
The VCC Faith in Action Awards Luncheon will take place at the Brandermill Church in Midlothian, Virginia. For more information, call 804-321-3300.
Faith in Action – Rev. Dr. Joseph M. Vought
A native of Pennsylvania, The Rev. Joseph M. Vought received a Masters of Divinity degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary and Washington Theological Consortium in 1983 after graduating from Gettysburg College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy.
Ordained in 1983, Pastor Joe served Second English Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD as Associate Pastor, with an emphasis in Youth and Christian Education. In 1987 he was called to serve as Pastor-Developer of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Richmond, VA. He was responsible, along with lay leaders, for building the membership, program ministries and buildings of the congregation. During his pastorate at Our Saviour, he supervised four interns. He served as pastor/counselor to Petersburg Work Camp, a “Habitat for Humanity-like” summer camp for senior high youth. For six years he served as a volunteer chaplain on Virginia’s “Death Row” at Mecklenburg Correctional Center and provided pastoral care to seven men before and during their executions. He has spoken publicly on the Death Penalty and has published several articles on his death row experiences.
From 1997 to 2008 Pastor Joe served as Senior Pastor of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg, VA. During his eleven years the congregation’s membership grew, program staff was added and new ministries began to serve the community, such as an After-School Program for latchkey kids, an Ecumenical Lectionary Study with Pastors and an Ecumenical Campus Ministry serving James Madison University. Congregational Mission work began in West Virginia and New Orleans as well as a Missionary relationship with Rwanda School Project in Rwanda. Several capital campaigns and building projects were also undertaken. An advocate for ecumenical and interfaith affairs, Pastor Joe served as President of the Harrisonburg Interfaith Association and represented the Virginia Synod for over 20 years to encourage denominational cooperation in service, dialogue and full communion partnerships.
Pastor Joe received a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Wesley Seminary in the area of Ecumenism and Reconciliation in 2005. He served as a Board Member of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, and was a volunteer Hospice chaplain.
Pastor Joe is married to Debra Swenson, who is a Hospital Administrator at Northern VA Training Center in Fairfax. They have two children, Kristin, 26, a graduate of Susquehanna University and Jonathan 23, a Graduate of West Virginia University. Pastor Joe and Debra enjoy physical exercise and have always been members of a health club. They also enjoy movies, reading and traveling.
Pastor Joe started his ministry at Community Lutheran Church in Sterling, Virginia on October 20, 2008. For three and one half years, the congregation has joyfully moved forward with Pastor Joe to serve and build up the Body of Christ. We work with the promise of Ephesians 3:20-21 in our hearts. “Now to God who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”