August 24, 2017        Issue 106
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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
Prayer List for Churchesprayforchurch
Week 35 - August 29
Spring Creek Presbyterian Church, Renick
Union Presbyterian Church
Comfort Presbyterian Church
In Kenya:  Nyamachaki (Nya-mah-chah-KEY') Memorial Presbyterian Church 

Week 36 - September 3
Beechwood Presbyterian, Parkersburg
Bradley Presbyterian Church
Centerville Presbyterian Church, Greenville
In Kenya: St. Cuthbert's Presbyterian

Week 37 - September 10
Davis Memorial Presbyterian, Elkins
Highlawn Presbyterian Church, Huntington
In Kenya: Thegenge (They-GEN'gay) Parish
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genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     Let me recommend a book. Actually, the book was first recommended to me and to all of us who are Presbyterian by the co-moderators of our General Assembly, Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston. I guess that happened early on, following their election at Portland in 2016. It's possible we were caught up in responding to the floods, but I'm not sure how many of us noticed that or did anything about it.
     Anyway, the book is called Waking Up White, and it's written by Debby Irving. I think I first heard about it at the Fall Polity Conference last year.  I attended a workshop on the book, where it was suggested that you could study it with your session or your church staff. Click here to read more
prayersPrayer Concerns
Kate Fife,  wife of former Presbytery Moderator Randy Fife, suffered a brain aneurysm and continues to recover. The family welcomes the prayers and support of the Presbytery. 
Bruce Macbeth,  the pastor at Clarksburg's Church of Our Savior and Weston's First Presbyterian Church, is  now at home recovering from a heart procedure. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. 
SCCOnly one month until the Small Church Conference!
     The fourth annual Small Church Conference will take place 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Summersville Presbyterian Church. The theme is  "Where Two or Three are Gathered: Rethinking Worship for Small Churches," and Mark Parsons is the keynote speaker.
     The conference is free, but registration is requested to help with food preparation and space planning. To register, contact Amy Robinson at 304-744-7634 or 
      Check out this exciting mission news in the links!
  • International Peacemaker visit
  • 2018 trip to Nyeri
  • Mission & Hunger Action Grant deadlines
  • 2017 Hunger Grants so far
  • Older Adult Ministry Newsletter 
  •     Click here for this information in a bulletin insert. 
         Click here for a placemat with this information that you can use at events between now and when the peacemaker leaves Oct. 4. 
    stewardshipTip for Stewardship
         One of the responsibilities of the Stewardship Committee is to provide training and support in the areas of stewardship to pastors, sessions and congregations. We often think of stewardship as being strictly about money, but it is much more than that. 
         In the Book of Order section on offering (W-3.0411), it says, "Christian life is an offering of one's self to God. In the Lord's Supper, we are presented with the costly self-offering of Jesus Christ for the life of the world. As those who have been claimed and set free by his grace, we respond with gratitude, offering him our lives, our spiritual gifts, and our material goods. Every service of worship shall include an opportunity to respond to Christ's call to discipleship through self-offering. The gifts we offer express our stewardship of creation, demonstrate our care for one another, support the ministries of the church, and provide for the needs of the poor."
    A team from Mebane, NC helps with flood recovery in Birch River. 
         In stewardship, we offer our whole selves to God - our time, our talent and our treasure. This past Presbytery meeting, the Stewardship Committee used as our story the way in which donations of individuals, churches and other organizations have assisted flood recovery efforts from the June 23, 2016 floods. We offered a visual depiction of the stewardship of many - their time, their talent and their treasure - to tell that story. Click here to see it.
          We can tell that story in our churches, no matter our size. What is the story of time, talent and treasure that you want to tell? How do you want to tell it?
          We will provide these tips for stewardship on a periodic basis in the newsletter and have a Minute for Stewardship at the Presbytery meetings. If you have a tip or a minute you want to share, please let Karen Kinney know at 304-462-7239 or . We look forward to hearing from you.
    treasurerFrom the PWV Treasurer
         Last week, we received our quarterly donation from the AmazonSmile program, which makes the total received this year more than $70. On behalf of the Presbytery of WV, thank you to those who support us through this program. For those who haven't signed up, it is easy to do; there is a link in the left-hand column here and on the bottom left of the presbytery's homepage. All you have to do is designate the Presbytery of WV as the charitable organization you wish to support, and the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases on Amazon to the presbytery.
    SCMTStewardship of Creation Ministry Team News: share your sustainability activities
         NASA says, "The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years, there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era - and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth's orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.
        "The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.
        "Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.
        "The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century. Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response."
        NASA further reports that "not only was 2016 the warmest year on record, but eight of the 12 months that make up the  year - from January through September, with the exception of June - were 
     the warmest on record for those respective months."
        We are all aware of the extreme weather patterns around the world that affect people's health, everyday lives, and ability to gain a living wage. Sometimes, whole communities are destroyed by disasters caused by climate change.
         Genesis, Psalms, and other books of the Bible extol the beauty of our earth and the obligation to care for it. As members of the Christian community, we all bear a responsibility to work towards a sustainable earth. Please let us know how you as churches, families, and individuals are lessening your carbon imprint. Please send us a description of your activities that promote sustainability to Robin Blakeman at  or Helen Gibbins at gibbins@frontier.comso we can share them with our church communities.
    Check out the Presbytery's September Older Adult Ministry Newsletter
    We invite you to print and include this 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 
    layLay Academy of Religion
    Begins Sept. 3
    Course textbook
        The Lay Academy of Religion begins a course on Comparative Religions on Sunday, Sept. 3. It's a journey through world religions to gain knowledge and understanding of beliefs. 
         The course, taught by Dr. Robert G. Newman, runs weekly through Dec. 10, with the exception of Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Nov. 26. Class starts at 4 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston's activities building dining room.
         Lay Academy classes are free for audit and open to the public. Additionally, this course is available for credit through the University of Charleston (call the Student Solutions Office at 304-357-4800 to sign up for that). 
          For more information, complete schedule, course syllabus or to register, please call First Presbyterian Church at 304-343-8961. For a program flyer, click here.
    educatorsUnion Presbyterian Seminary Christian Educators Certification 
    Sept. 5-Oct. 5
         Presbyterian Polity, Program and Mission is a hybrid course that begins with at-home work Sept. 5 and concludes with three days of classtime at Union Oct. 3-5. It earns 3 CE units.  Cost is $295. Click here for more information and to register. 
         Other Christian Educators Certifications this academic year are Worship and Sacraments, Jan. 8-Feb. 8 and Biblical Interpretation, April 16-May 17. 
    dubuqueUniv. of Dubuque Theological Seminary CLP/CRE program
    Sept. 5-Dec. 16
        The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary will offer eight online courses in its Christian Leadership Program for Commissioned Ruling Elders this fall. They are:  Introduction to Old Testament,  Introduction to New Testament,  Christian Education,  Pastoral Care,  Introduction to Preaching,  Presbyterian Polity,  Reformed Theology and  Reformed Worship & Sacraments.
         The fall term runs Sept. 5-Dec. 16. Tuition is $390. Register online here or contact Carla Gibbons at 1-888-207-8218 or Also at that link, find an application form, program information and details on the school's Certificate in Congregational Leadership.
    webinarPeace & Global Witness Offering webinar
    1 p.m. Sept. 7
         PC(USA) will host a webinar for congregations regarding the Peace & Global Witness Offering at 1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 7. Sign up for it here. Find additional information and resources here
    worshipartsWorship & The Arts Conference
    Sept. 25-29 at Montreat
         This year's conference focuses  on Advent Year B, with a theme of  Restoration: Righteousness, Justice, and Peace Shall Kiss, which is based on Psalm 80. There will be workshops on music, banner making, silk painting, worship flexibility, Children & Worship and more. Leaders are Rev. Dr. Brant Copeland, Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones and music director/organist Jeremy Roberts. Cost is $529.50 for a double occupancy room and $729.50 for a single occupancy room. Click here for more information and to register.
    healthy 3rd Annual Statewide Healthy Bodies/
    Healthy Spirits Conference
    Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017
    9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
    West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon

    Concerned about your congregation's health?  Then this is the perfect place to be on Oct. 7!  Learn how to start and keep a Health Ministry in your congregation.  Registration, which includes lunch, is $20 before Aug. 30. Click here for more information and to register.
    beautyRadical Beauty Conference
    Oct. 9-12 at Montreat
         This program will use a cyclical model of engagement to explore how we can use art to create and cultivate beauty. Each cycle will begin with an artistic experience (a concert, a film viewing, a poetry reading) followed by a facilitated conversation about how that experience, and others like it, can build community. Each experience will conclude with time for reflection and renewal in an innovative sacred space. Cost starts at $308.50 through Monday ($383.50 after), including room; register a group of two or more from your church or presbytery, and after the first full registration, others will be reduced by $25 each.  Click here for more information and to register.
    weekirkWee Kirk Conference
    Oct. 16-18 at Montreat
         A conference for leaders of small churches, Wee Kirk offers five tracks to choose from. They are Barnabas (for pastors, CRES and CLPs and their spouses serving their first call), Missional Clustering (the essential principles for partnering in mission), Spiritual Formation, Global Engagement and Retreat. Cost ranges from $180 (for a first-time participant from a congregation of 100 or less) to $380. Click here for more information and to register.
    womenWomen in Ministry Conference
    Oct. 23-25 at Princeton Theological Seminary
         This conference will connect women in diverse lay and ordained ministries from around the world. The theme is "Telling Our Stories: Breaking the Mold, Taking Risks, Paving the Way."  Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, the first African American woman ordained in the PC(USA), is the keynote speaker. Choose 3 of 12 workshops, plus there are panel discussions, special interest groups and a marketplace. 
         Registration is $225, which includes all conference programming, meals and a copy of the book "Faith of Our Mothers, Living Still."  Click here  for more information, including workshop themes and leaders. 
    opiodInto the Light: Pastor Responses to the Opiod Crisis
    Oct. 27 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
         This workshop will help attendees become effective allies to those impacted by addiction. It will familiarize faith leaders with the dynamics of addiction in those experiencing it as well as loved ones, equip them with basic skills and information to be pastorally present and provide them with liturgical and church strategies and resources for including addiction in the church conversation.  Cost is $25. Click here for more information and to register.
    interimInterim/Transitional Ministry Education
    Nov. 13-17 at Union Presbyterian Seminary
         This intensive, 30-hour course for pastors interested in interim ministry provides the basics for understanding interim ministry and transitional ministry. It earns 3 CE units. Registration is limited to 30 people. Cost is $395, which includes lunches. Click here for more information and to register.
    sistersSisters: Bible Study for Women 
         Are you looking for something new this fall? How about offering a bible study for women in your congregation or as a community ecumenical study class? Sisters: Knowing God, Making God the Main Thing in My Life by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman may be just what you are looking for. Sisters is a series of Bible studies for women by Reisman, with Knowing God as the first of the series. 
         In this study, Reisman leads participants on a six-week exploration of their relationship with God, asking "Who is this God we believe in?," "How has our relationship with God unfolded in our lives?" and "Who are we in relationship to God?" Click here to read more
    resources Introducing New Resources
    huntingtonReport from the Huntington Cluster
         Recently, the Huntington churches were asked, "What did you do this summer?" Cinda Harkless, pastor of Beverly Hills Presbyterian, noted the following:
    • First Presbyterian switched from their annual Peru mission trip to Greenbrier County, where they worked with WVMAW.
    • Highlawn and Bates Memorial volunteered together at the Cabell-Lincoln Work Camp.
    • Kuhn Memorial's Rev. Patrick and Karen Ryan took youth to Montreat's Youth Conference.
    • Kuhn and Highlawn shared Elder training responsibilities.
    • Second Presbyterian has partnered with Advocate House, a drug- and alcohol-free home that supports people recovering from addiction.
    • In addition, our Huntington churches responded to the Mayor's call for faith groups to gather and assess ways to address the drug epidemic in their area. Presbyterians Today interviewed pastors Cinda Harkless and David Richards (Second, Huntington). Find that interview here.
         According to Harkless, "We may be smaller in number, but there is no lack of faith."
    centsMaking Cents of Cents-Ability
         On Aug. 6 at Edgewood Presbyterian Church during a wonderful moment with the children of the church, we learned that some people in the world have far less than we do to eat and drink. The children invited everyone in the congregation to help feed people who are hungry by asking members to place all the change they had into coin cans. The plink of coins dropping into cans and the giggles of children filled the sanctuary.  They were doing important work, worshipping, giving and receiving and praying for the hungry in our community and around the world. 
         If your congregation has not joined us in participating in the Cents-Ability offering, please consider doing so. It makes all the difference! Click here to read more
    beechtree Sign up for The Beech Tree
    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
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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