September 14, 2017        Issue 107
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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 38 - September 17
First Presbyterian Church, Kingwood
Mount Hope Presbyterian Church
In Kenya:  Gathuthi ( GAH-THO-THEE ) Presbyterian Church

Week 39 - September 24
Parsons Presbyterian Church
Smithers Presbyterian Church
St. Marys Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: Hubuini (Hobo-ENN'nay) Presbyterian Church

Week 40 - October 1
Spring Valley Presbyterian, Huntington
Upperglade Presbyterian Church
Whittico Memorial Presbyterian, Keystone

In Kenya: Ihithe (Ee-HITH'they) Presbyterian Church
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genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     There are three questions every church needs to be able to answer: 1) Who are we?, 2) Who are our neighbors?, and 3) What is God calling us to do? The questions come from New Beginnings, a program offered through the Presbyterian Church that helps congregations to make meaningful decisions about their future. It's a good program, and it may be helpful to your church. But I think working on these questions will be helpful whether you use the program or not.
     W ho are we? A lot of congregations will describe themselves as a family. That can mean that they care for one another. While that seems like a good thing, not all families are healthy. Sometimes, they keep secrets. Sometimes, they bully one another. Depending on the individual, describing your congregation as a family may be a red flag. It may actually encourage people to turn away because their experience of family growing up was so abusive.  
     The idea of the congregation as a family may also... Click here to read more
SCCOnly 9 days 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 
familysystemsFamily (Church Family) Systems workshop
Oct. 27-28 at Westminster Presbyterian, Charleston
     The final course in this year's Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox will be on Family Systems on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Charleston. These courses are particularly designed for Commissioned Ruling Elders, Authorized Lay Preachers, Christian Educators, Pastors and others in leadership in our congregations, especially those with limited continuing education funds.
     Families and congregations are connected by many emotional systems. We speak of church as "the family of God" or the "family of faith," as we worship, play and work together. This workshop will enable participants to understand a system, identify systems within their congregation and address the impact of systems on anxiety, conflict and relationships in ways that lead a congregation to a healthier and effective life together.
     The workshop leader is Elaine Barnett, a Ruling Elder and Certified Christian Educator who works with congregations in the areas of staff development, long-range planning, conflict management and understanding family systems. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Sarasota, Florida.
     For those needing housing on Friday night, the WV Institute for Spirituality and John XXIII Pastoral Center offer very reasonably priced accommodations. 
     Registration deadline is Monday, Sept. 25, though late registrations will be accepted. Upon registration, the advance assignment will be sent to participants. Click here for more information and to register.
youthretreatOlder Youth Retreat: Climbing Mountains
Nov. 17-19 at Bluestone. Register by Nov. 2.
     Youth in grades 9-12 and their adult advisors are encouraged to join together at the Older Youth Retreat at Bluestone Conference Center Nov. 17-19. Seth Lovell, the Associate Pastor for Youth and Family Ministry at Olivet Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA, will be the keynote presenter. Through keynote and small group discussion, participants will explore together the paths we walk throughout our lives - paths with times of struggle and times of ease, along with those with whom we share these paths. 
     NEW FOR THIS RETREAT - We are sending the information regarding this retreat to pastoral leaders, educators, clerks of sessions and youth ministry and Christian education contacts by EMAIL. Please look for it in your inbox soon, and share it with youth, parents, grandparents and youth advisors in your congregations. 
     For more information, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at or 304-645-4568. Complete registration information can be found here.

educatorsEducator Gatherings
      One Monday of most months, Christian educators in the presbytery gather for a time of sharing ideas, resources, concerns and support at the presbytery office. Anyone involved in leadership in the educational ministry of their churches is invited to take part in these. The gatherings begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with lunch at a nearby restaurant, finishing at approximately 1:30 p.m. Participants are welcome to come for these gatherings as their schedules allow.

     Upcoming dates for Educators Gatherings are:
     Monday, September 18
     Monday, November 13
     Monday, December 11
     If you would like to be on the email reminder list, have any questions or would like more information, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-645-4568 or
soulshopSoul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation workshop
Nov. 30 at WVU Tech, Beckley
     Soul Shop is an event that trains faith community leaders to equip their congregations to minister to those impacted by suicidal desperation. The Soul Shop Movement was born out of the need to equip pastors, religious leaders, youth workers, chaplains and faith-based counselors to cope with the growing incidence and impact of suicide on our congregations and on society. The goal of the Soul Shop Movement is to have 20,000 Soul Safe congregations by the year 2020. With a combination of teaching and interactive engagement, leaders will leave Soul Shop feeling equipped and empowered to engage in this very important ministry.
     The presenter for this events is Michelle Snyder, MSW University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work; MDiv, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; Soul Shop Director; co-author of Life, Death, and Reinvention: The Gift of the Impossibly Messed-Up Life.  An experienced mental health therapist, Snyder has served as the executive director of the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute.
     For more information, visit  or call Rev. Elizabeth Stone at 304-228- 3990. Register for this event here 
eleanorEleanor Presbyterian Church honors longtime choir member

On Aug. 27, Eleanor Presbyterian Church held a luncheon for Ann Elliott, who retired from the church choir after 65 years. They thanked Elliott, who began singing with the choir when she was 6, for her years of faithfulness. 
sept11Bridgeport pastor recalls experiences of Sept. 11
By Brittany Murray, WV MetroNews, Sept. 11, 2017
     Monday marks 16 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and many are still impacted by the events of that day.
     Pastor Robin Ray of Bridgeport Presbyterian Church is one of those individuals. The events of that day have influenced her both in her person life and as a pastor.
     Ray was serving at her home church, First Presbyterian of Hamilton Square, outside of Trenton, New Jersey, at the time of 9/11, and she recalls a different atmosphere in the church that following Sunday.
     "I remember the churches being packed that Sunday; people that hadn't been in church for years. I had in my Sunday School class, kids who were still in shock," she said. "None of us could imagine that this could happen on our home soil."
     Ray worked mostly with the children of the church at that time, in a day when young American children were not yet familiar with terroristic attacks.
     "We didn't have that many school shootings at that point, so they really didn't know anything like this," she said.  Click here to read more
     Betsy Morgan, the wife of the late Rev. Norman Morgan, who was the pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Logan from 1961-1988, passed away Sept. 4 at Brightwater Senior Living in Myrtle Beach, SC. Click here for her obituary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 70127, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572-0127 or First Presbyterian Church, 622 Stratton St., Logan, WV 25601. Please keep Betsy's family in your prayers. 

     William Patrick McGhee, the brother of Rev, Susan McGhee, who has previously served in the presbytery (including as pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown and interim pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clarksburg), passed away on Sept. 6. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Highland Avenue Baptist Church, 319 Highland Ave., Mullens, WV 25882, with Susan and the Rev. Shelly Barrick Parsons presiding; visitation is one hour before the service.  Click here for his obituary. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Highland Avenue Baptist Church, 319 Highland Ave., Mullens, WV 25882, or any cause or charity that seeks to work for the good of the human family. Please keep Susan and her family in your prayers. 
SCMTStewardship of Creation Ministry Team News: Climate Change & Fuel Efficiency
     2016 was the hottest year on record. Additionally, greenhouse gases surpassed 400 parts per million, the highest in nearly one million years. Some of the effects of climate change have been much higher melting of ice across the earth, sea waters warming and accounting for higher sea levels and surges, and an increased number of droughts and forest fires. Although we cannot pinpoint individual storms to climate change, the trend has been for hurricanes and other storms to become more intense during the period scientists have been tracking weather records.
     Here is how the PCUSA views the issue of climate change: "The Presbyterian Church (USA) declares its serious concern, in concert with ecumenical partners, that the global atmospheric warming trend (the greenhouse effect) represents one of the most serious global environmental challenges to the health, security, and stability of human life and natural ecosystems."
     Burning fossil fuels in personal vehicles accounts for nearly one-fifth of all US greenhouse gases (one fifth of that from extraction, production and delivery of the fuel; four-fifths from our tailpipes). Although the federal government's fuel economy standards have been useful in controlling greenhouse gases from vehicles, consumers have tended to buy more gas-guzzling vehicles. More restrictive standards were set to take place in the period of 2017-2025, but now, federal agencies have decided to review these standards. While the arguments among climate change deniers, governmental employees, scientists, manufacturers, producers and consumers play out across the country, we as individuals can take measures to decrease the carbon footprint from our own vehicles.  Click here for some suggestions
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 
      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. 
    dayofhopeDay of Hope: A Celebration of Prevention and Recovery
         Presented by the WV Council of Churches and Community Impact Coalition, this is a day to promote the drug-free lifestyle to folks in the state. Suggested activities include Reinforcing Drug- and Alcohol-Free Youth, Providing Parent Tips, Empowering Folks in Recover, Guiding Those Struggling with Substance Abuse, Supporting Families or Friends of Alcoholics & Addicts, Talking about Community Solutions, Healing for Children of Alcoholics & Addicts, Remembering Those Lost to Addiction, Creating Learning Opportunities and Finding Help & Resources. Click here for more information, including a flyer, bulletin insert and litany. 
    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.
    healthy3rd Annual Statewide Healthy Bodies/
    Healthy Spirits Conference
    Oct. 7 at West Virginia Wesleyan College
         Concerned about your congregation's health? Learn how to start and keep a Health Ministry in your congregation. The conference runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration, which includes lunch, is $30. Click here for more information and to register.
    gardeningGardening in Your Congregation workshop
    Oct. 9 at Berea Gardens Training Center, Mimnora 
         This afternoon class (1-4 p.m.) will train you to prepare your soil to grow a garden. It is free. Class size limited to 30. Register here
    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.
    WVCOCWV Council of Churches Annual Assembly
    Oct. 15-16 at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston
         The 136th Annual Assembly will feature Rev. Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, will be the guest preacher and keynote speaker. There will also be a plenary on Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World) and workshops on child advocacy, Disaster Response 101 and organizing.  Click here  for more information; click here 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.
    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.
    APCE2018 APCE Annual Event
    Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2018 in Louisville, KY.
    Scholarship deadline: Oct. 15
         The event's theme is "Deep & Wide: Boundless Hospitality," and it includes plenary sessions, mini-plenaries, workshops, worship and a marketplace. Scholarships include the Val Murphy Scholarship (which assists with lodging, meals, registration and travel),  regional scholarships for first-time attendees, small church scholarships (with preference given to first-time attendees), current member scholarships (with preference given to part-time educators), retired educators scholarship (preference given to APCE members for 10+ years and those in the conference location's region) and certification course scholarships, which cover $150 of the course's cost.  Cost by Dec. 8 is $350 for APCE members and $525 for non-members. Click here for more information and to register.

    treasurerFrom the PWV Treasurer
         In August, 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.
    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.
    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
    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:
    In order to keep the PWV Newsletter  fresh,  articles sent 
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    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