May 25, 2017        Issue 100
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Presbytery Staff

Ed Thompson
General Presbyter
Maureen Wright
Stated Clerk, Associate for Congregational Support

Rocky Poole
Financial Administration/Treasurer

Barbara Chalfant
Associate Presbyter for Mission

Susan Sharp Campbell
Associate for Educational Ministry

Nellie Howard
Resource Center Director

Mark Miller
Bluestone Camp Director

Amy Robinson
Office Administrator/Communications

Save the Date: Small Church Conferencesmallchurch

The fourth annual Small Church Conference will take place Saturday, September 23, 2017. This will be a 
time of joyful reunions and learning ways that God empowers our ministries, as well as gaining a renewed and strengthening sense of what it means to be the people of God, growing stronger together as a presbytery ready for an exciting, meaningful and confident future in faith, hope and love. Save the date magnets are available at the Presbytery office and will also be distributed at the next Presbytery Meeting.
Prayer List for Churchesprayforchurch
Week 22 - May 28
Church of Our Savior, Clarksburg
Clothier Presbyterian Church
Enslow Park Presbyterian, Huntington
In Kenya:  Muruguru ( Moh-roh-GOR'OH) Presbyterian Church

Week 23 - June 4
Keller Presbyterian Church, Pence Springs
Falls View Presbyterian, Charlton Heights
In Kenya: Riamukurwe (RAY-eh-moh-KOH'ROHeh) Parish

Week 24 - June 11
Mingo Presbyterian Church
Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Pinch
In Kenya: Gatitu (Gah-TEE'TOE) Presbyterian Church
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edthompsonA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     "No more pencils. No more books. No more teachers' dirty looks." Perhaps like me, you chanted that little ditty at the end of the school year. I liked school, but I also looked forward to summer vacation. There was an incredible sense of freedom. You could sleep in. You could stay up late. You could watch TV. But perhaps more importantly, you could read for fun - whatever you wanted, not just what was assigned in class. It was heaven.
     As adults, we may still look forward to vacation, but summer no longer holds the same thrill it once did. For many, there will be grass to mow and perhaps gardens to weed. And, unfortunately, the meetings don't stop. Nor do the emails.
     So what can we do to recover the freedom and joy of summer? Here are some ideas. Click here to read more
Presbytery phone numbers changing!phones
The presbytery office phones are getting a makeover, and as such, we have lost the direct dial numbers that some staff members had. Now, the only number you need to call to reach anyone in the office is the main number, 304-744-7634.
GW Elementary students pay it forward at Eleanor Presbyterianeleanor
     On May 19, students from George Washington Elementary in Eleanor paid it forward by planting flowers at Eleanor Presbyterian Church. This collaboration started when the church began a weekend "Snak Bag" program for kids in need about six years ago. 
     In March, student leaders from the Lighthouse Team organized a two-week food drive that brought in more than 4,000 food items weighing more than 1,000 pounds. Debbie Yeager, who helps organize the church's program, said the 12 students planted flowers "as a demonstration of their gratitude for what the church has done for them over the years."
     Gritt's Midway Greenhouse donated two flats of flowers for the students to plant.  
Caring for God's Earthvbs
Vacation Bible School and Summer Study, Part II 
By Nellie Howard, Resource
Center Director 
    In our last newsletter, I gave you some ideas for stewardship-centered children's Bible School. What about if you want to plan a stewardship study for adults? Is there anything good out  there?
     YES, there is!  The resources in the link provide challenging, inspirational and informational studies for adults who would like to learn how to better take care of our Earth and why we should want to be good Earth stewards. Click here to read more
Resources for the May 18 Presbytery Meeting's Reformation celebration 

2. Skit - Adapted from "Luther, Calvin, and the Pope Meet: A Reformation Day Reader's Theater" by James C. Decker. From Reformed Worship, volume 57
3. Quiz Bowl questions - Amy Parker,
4. "Reformation Polka" - to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" -
5. Another, longer video that we chose not to use but might be helpful is Crash Course Reformation -

New Publication!  Older Adult Ministry Newsletter for the Presbytery of WVolderadult
We invite you to print and include the newsletter in your bulletins, give it to your congregation and distribute widely. We hope it is helpful for your congregation and community. If you would like to add your name to the free subscription list, please email
Chaplain Sought at Davis & Elkinschaplain
     Davis & Elkins College invites applications for the position of Benfield-Vick Chaplain with a starting date prior to the beginning of the Fall 2017 semester. The Chaplain will report directly to the President and will serve on the College Management Team. 
     The successful candidate will serve in a highly collaborative role across academic affairs, enrollment management, and student life to provide vision and leadership for spiritual development on campus. In addition, this person must be qualified to teach at least one course per semester in the academic study of religion and philosophy. This position requires passion, excellent campus ministry skills, diligent management of budgets, and some weekend/evening work. Requirements include a master's degree and affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  Click here to read the full job posting
Talking about Addiction in Churchaddiction
By Mike Givler, Presbyterians Today
     Lee McDermott is concerned. Opioid addiction is rapidly sweeping out of control in his neighborhood. And while the Presbyterian pastor in a rural southwestern Pennsylvania community is not only worried for those who are struggling with these habits, he's also troubled by the fact that many religious leaders refuse to face the problem. And many congregants don't want to talk about it. As a result, families end up living in fear and shame. 
     McDermott knows all too well about addiction. For 20 years prior to entering the ministry field, he was a counselor in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in West Virginia. 
Clergy Survey on Substance Addictionsurvey
The  West Virginia Council of Churches & Community Impact Coalition have a 7-question online survey for clergy regarding their beliefs on drugs, alcohol and addiction in advance of the 2017 WV Day of Hope (Sept. 17), which is a day for the faith community to support and encourage substance abuse prevention and recovery. Click here to take it
Nominating Committee Accepting General Assembly Commissioner Applicationscommissioner
     The General Assembly will meet June 16-23, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Nominating Committee is now accepting applications for Ruling Elder and Teaching Elder/Minister of Word and Sacrament Commissioner and Young Adult Advisory Delegates. Applications will be accepted through June 15, 2017. 
     The Nominating Committee will be guided in its work by the leading of the Holy Spirit and the appropriate provisions of the Book of Order, particularly F-1.03, F-1.04 and G-3.0302a. Applicants should demonstrate activity in the life of the Church, especially within their congregation and the Presbytery of West Virginia. Commissioners need to have the ability to interpret and communicate the actions of the GA back to the Presbytery and should be prepared to present a brief report at the August 2018 Presbytery Meeting and at other events around the presbytery, as requested. Ruling Elder Commissioners and Young Adult Advisory Delegates must be endorsed by their Session. 
     Click here to download an application.  (Page 2 is for Teaching Elders, page 3 for Ruling Elders and page 4 for Young Adult Advisory Delegates.)  If you have questions or need more information, please contact General Presbyter Ed Thompson or Stated Clerk Maureen Wright at 304-744-7634.
Regarding Ruling Eldersruling
Finding a Closer Walk with God
By Rev. Dr. Diana Nishita Cheifetz
     There is something so compelling about a thoughtful ninety-year-old asking you questions about God. I was intrigued.       Her name was Marion, and she had invited me, the new pastor's wife, over for tea and cookies. As we chatted, she pointed to a tall stack of books under her coffee table, mostly theology books. Previous pastors had recommended them to her and she had read all of them. 
     I scanned the titles, and felt a mixture of sadness and frustration. As interesting as the books were, I could see that they did not address what Marion was seeking. Though she had an avid mind and was interested in theology, what she wanted was something even more personally profound. She wanted a closer relationship with God. Click here to read more
Sympathy to Marcia Leitch on the death of her father, Leroy Brandt, who fell ill while visiting her earlier this month and passed away May 6 in Roanoke, VA. Leitch, a member of Old Stone Presbyterian, is a Certified Christian Educator and a member of the Nominating Committee. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. 
Webinar: Unveiling the Invisible Community - Welcoming People with Disabilities into Christ's Churchwebinar

     Do you see people with disabilities in your community, but aren't sure how to truly make them feel welcome and supported? Do your church leaders and volunteers understand the needs - and gifts - of people with varying intellectual abilities? Has your church built inclusive relationships?
     In this webinar, we will talk about stages of changing attitudes. We will hear the story of a church making small changes that have made a big difference in the life of a family. We will see how making one church ministry more inclusive can become a gateway for people to experience the gospel. We will begin the conversation for you to continue that practice of invitation in your church and community.
     This webinar was recorded May 23, but there is on-demand replay for $29.95 for 1-6 participants from the same church/ministry. 
Rev. Stephen Baldwin, with his wife, Kerry, and son, Harrison, in the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber at the state Capitol.
     The trust that the congregation of the Ronceverte Presbyterian Church has for their minister of 10 years, Stephen Baldwin, is shared by many other people of Greenbrier, Monroe, Summers and other West Virginia counties. As a new member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, he has been busy in the church in Ronceverte and in the Capitol building in Charleston. 
     Stephen is originally from Pinehurst, NC, but he grew up with the Clifton Presbyterian  Church congregation in Maxwelton. He returned to North Carolina to earn a B.A. in Political Science at Queens College and went to Tennessee for an M.Div. at Vanderbilt University. He has served as the moderator of the Presbytery and a member of the Greenbrier County Board of Education.
     His background in the ministry is serving him well as he faces the trial
Rev. Baldwin shakes hands with Lois Cole, mother of church musician Leah Trent, at Ronceverte Presbyterian. 
s of serving in the state legislature. As recounted in a mid-March Beckley Register-Herald articleStephen delivered an inspired message to the delegates in session. It was about treating each other with more respect and working for the good of all, not merely their party or themselves. He spoke of seeing and hearing the mother and father of a family in the church vehemently arguing in the presence of their young daughter; he said that the little girl looked her parents in the eye and said, "It's not all about you." Legislators must look beyond their own interests and focus on the needs of the people.  
Flood response: how you can help now
     In concert with an ecumenical group, we are working on bringing Camp Noah ( to Rainelle and Spencer for children affected by the June 2016 flood. 
     Camp Noah is a 5-day camp that focuses on resiliency and preparedness for children (K-6) in communities that have been affected by a disaster. They partner with the community in order to help the children process through their experiences while equipping them with resiliency skill that can be utilized the next time a disaster or trauma occurs in their life. The curriculum includes 30 hours of therapeutic play-focused activities for up to 50 children. Camp Noah is free for participants, and they rely on volunteers to run the program.
Bluestone Summer Camp Scholarshipscamp

Scholarships are available for Bluestone summer campers, thanks to support from the Molly Grant Scholarship Fund. Candidates must apply through their local church; find applications here . Funds will be distributed at the discretion of the Presbytery's Bluestone Committee.
Sign up for The Beech Treebeech
The Beech Tree, the Friends of Bluestone newsletter, is now electronic. If you wish to receive it, go here   to sign up!

*Also on the webpage
You will find located on the Home page of the website (scroll down past the photo) direct links to recent newsletters, Equipping Disciples events, Ministry Toolbox events, the Pray-For church list and Nurturing Faith Ideas for 2017, e-news Archives and more. Please let us know how we can improve the website and whenever you encounter any problem with it. Thank you.
Editor's Note:
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for publication will generally run for two consecutive issues.  
If you wish for a piece to continue to run, please resubmit. 
We encourage you to reword, add a photo (or different photo), 
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Presbytery of West Virginia, 520 Second Avenue,  South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone (304) 744-7634, Fax (304) 744-7649, 

Office Hours: Monday -Thursday  8:30AM-5:30PM