Church Briefs



The Rev. Wynemah Hinlicky, pastor of College Lutheran Church in Salem since 2008, will conclude her ministry  there on April 30.  She is moving to Warner-Robbins, Ga., to join her husband, the Rev. William Wiecher, who has recently been promoted to colonel in the United States Air Force and will also serve as a deputy chaplain. Hinlicky’s  mother, who is 91, lives in Vero Beach, Fla. The pastor said these family ties have caused her to suspend her commitments as a full-time pastor of a parish. The three Wiecher children, Joseph, also in the Air Force in Delaware; Mikaela, a college graduate planning a physical therapy career and Liam, currently working in Colorado, are all Salem High School graduates.

When the clergy couple came to the Salem church nearly nine years ago from New York State, both served as co-pastors for a time, but Wiecher’s military duties eventually left full responsibility of the parish to his wife. Wynemah Hinlicky has been active in support of Salem’s clergy association and in Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries (SAEM) in which volunteers offer a variety of free services to eligible needy.


As seasons change along with suitable clothing, more volunteers are needed at the Mrs. Joan Dorsey Community Clothing Closet  on South Colorado at Seventh Street in Salem. Adults 18 and over who can give a minimum of two hours monthly to sort and hang donations of good used clothing may call Karen Karr, director, at 540-389-4889.  The closet is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with volunteers choosing a two-hour shift in morning or early afternoon. The closet also receives some donations of household linens, toys, books and magazines. The closet requires registration of family members and limits the number of monthly visits and a few articles in high demand but does not require referral from a social service agency.


The 100th Anniversary of the dedication of Phoebe Needles Hall, a native stone structure in Franklin County that 45 years ago became the Phoebe Needles Episcopal Conference Center,  will take place Saturday, April 29, with activities open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Originally a school for children in the mountainous part of the county between Callaway and Ferrum,  the facility was abandoned for a time but  since its reopening has been expanded with new buildings and a year-around Christian education program for all ages. Its director is the Rev. John Heck who also serves as the minister at the nearby St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Call 540-483-1518 to register for some activities.


Kristie Robers, a native of Roanoke and a teacher for 18 years, has been named Minister to Children at St. John Lutheran Church at Cave Spring. Married to Rick Robers and the mother of three grown children, she succeeds Rosalind and Dale Stanley who served for three years. Robers was educated at Florida State University and at Liberty University. At St. John parish Holy Week services are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, both at 6:30 p.m. with the Great Vigil of Easter beginning on Saturday night at 8. The church will have its usual contemporary and traditional services on Easter Day.


At Oak Grove Church of the Brethren on Virginia 419, the traditional Love feast with Foot Washing will take place on Maundy Thursday starting at 7 p.m. A time of quiet prayer is planned on Good Friday beginning at 7 p.m. The church and the nearby Windsor Hills United Methodist will join for an Easter Sunrise service at 7 on the lawn of the nearby Allstate office building.


At Christ Episcopal Church in Old Southwest Roanoke, the 7 p.m. Maundy Thursday liturgy will be led by the Rev. Connor Gwinn of the diocesan staff. Optional Foot Washing is part of the Communion service. At noon on Good Friday, Stations of the Cross will be the observance, and at 7 p.m. the Rev. Martin Jeffrey, who has been a Lenten speaker from the African-American community, will lead the worship. For the Great Vigil of Easter starting on Saturday night at 8 the Rev. Jan Fuller, chaplain, will preside. Easter Day worship starts at 8 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.


First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Salem will have a member of the Messianic Christian Hope of Israel congregation to lead a Passover meal ritual on Maundy Thursday night from 6 to 7:30. Tony Mardian, who is active in the Penn Forest area congregation of those of Jewish heritage who believe Jesus has come, will display the manner in which Jews partake of the bread and wine. This year the Jewish Passover–deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from Egyptian oppression–began on Tuesday, April 11, and will conclude on Tuesday, April 18. At First Christian the Good Friday service will be led by youth of the church and starts at 8 p.m. Worship on Easter Sunday will begin on the lawn at 8 a.m. and is followed by a breakfast and the main service at 10:45.


Members of Unity of Roanoke Valley will open the Easter celebration with a sunrise service at 7 on the hilltop grounds at 2200 Green Ridge road north of Salem. A breakfast will follow before a Communion at 9 and further food before the 11 a.m. Celebrative Service.