September 28, 2017        Issue 108
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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 40 - October 1
Spring Valley Presbyterian, Huntington
Upperglade Presbyterian Church
Whittico Memorial Presbyterian, Keystone

In Kenya: Ihithe (Ee-HITH'they) Presbyterian Church

Week 41 - October 8
Belington Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church, Charleston
Bramwell Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: Kiamutiga (
Kay-ah-MOOT'ee-gah) Presbyterian Church

Week 42 - October 15
Davis Memorial Presbyterian, Gassaway
Fleming Memorial Presbyterian, Fairmont

In Kenya: Mathakwaini ( Mah-THAH-kwab-ENN'nay) Presbyterian Church
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genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     What are the advantages of being a Presbyterian church? Or maybe another way to put it is how does it help a church to be a part of the Presbytery of West Virginia?
     One way is we have a system/process for helping churches find a pastor. You don't have to put an ad in the newspaper or ask your friends who they know or might recommend. The Church Leadership Connection provides a nationwide database of pastors who are looking for or are at least open to a new call. It gives you a form with basic information on those pastors: their education, experience, present call and accomplishments, the type of church they'd like to serve, leadership style, and what they see as the key theological issues facing the church and how that shapes their ministry. Sometimes search committees get frustrated by the process, but the search for a new pastor would be a lot more difficult without it.
     Some of our smaller churches aren't able to take advantage of this system because it doesn't really work for part-time positions. Even then, there's an advantage to being a Presbyterian and part of this presbytery because we provide training for Commissioned Ruling Elders, most of whom are open to serving smaller churches. Click here to read more
fallgetaway
older
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. 
WVCOCWV Council of Churches Annual Assembly
Oct. 15-17 at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston
     The 136th Annual Assembly of the West Virginia Council of Churches begins on Sunday evening, Oct. 15. The Rev. Jim Winkler, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, is preaching and will also give the keynote address the next morning.
     Also on Monday morning, there will be a presentation by Rabbi Victor Urecki on Tikkum Olam (Repair of the World) and a Muslim-Christian dialogue. In the afternoon, there are workshops on Community Reentry for Ex-Offenders, Becoming a Child Advocate, Disaster Response 101 and the Three Streams of Organizing.
     The Assembly concludes on Tuesday with an Ecumenical Prayer Service for Peace, a Dialogue on Dismantling Racism in West Virginia and a Public Policy Forum.
     This is a great opportunity to hear from one of the national leaders in the ecumenical movement as well as a great opportunity to learn from our Jewish and Muslim neighbors and to engage in important topics affecting all West Virginians. It's worth the trip to Charleston. It's worth far more than the $30 registration fee. It's worth it simply to support the West Virginia Council of Churches, which is doing important work in and for our state.
     Click here for more information and to register.
lgbtq

resourcecenterFrom the Resource Center
     An often overlooked resource for Presbyterians is the website  https://www.thethoughtfulchristian.com, which is part of the Presbyterian Publishing Inc. and has resources for just about any subject for which you might be looking. 
     Besides many books on theology, religion and Christian living, it also offers studies that you may instantly download for a small cost. For instance, right now, there is an interesting looking downloadable study titled Christmas Accounts in the Gospels, which is a four-session study. In it, we are asked to consider what each Gospel writer's house might have looked like at Christmas based on the writer's description of Jesus' birth. The study includes participant handouts, leader's guides and illustrations of each imagined Gospel house. 
     If you are researching studies for a variety of classes throughout the year, you might consider a subscription to The Thoughtful Christian. For just $125 a year, you have access to all their downloadable studies, though each may be bought individually without a subscription.  
     Some other downloadable studies for adults to take us through the Advent and Christmas season are... Click here to read more 
mission
Peace & Global Witness Offering
     The Peace & Global Witness Offering is received during the Season of Peace, which ends on Sunday, which is World Communion Sunday. However, you can help sustain the important PC(USA) ministries and programs that are supported by this important Offering by making a gift online at any time throughout the year. Checks can be mailed in  care of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

Food Week of Action and World Food Day
     We are called to work for a world where everyone has sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food, and where those who produce and prepare the food are fairly compensated, respected and celebrated!
     The global Food Week of Action (October 15-22) is an opportunity for Christians and others around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a special time to raise awareness about approaches that help individuals and communities develop resiliency and combat poverty. Beyond examining our food choices, we must also recognize the lingering roots of racism embedded in our food system, which was founded on slavery and plantation agriculture, and still exploits the environment and workers in the food chain. We call for societal and policy changes that bring us closer to realizing the right to food for everyone and positive transformation of the dominant system.
     The Food Week of Action includes  International Day for Rural Women (Oct. 15), World Food Day (Oct. 16), and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17).   Click here to read more and

Christmas Joy Offering Supplies
     Have you ordered your Christmas Joy Offering Supplies? Now is the time!  Each year during the Advent and Christmas season, we turn our eyes to Bethlehem and celebrate the wondrous gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior. By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, you honor this gift by providing assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need and developing our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.
reRERegarding Ruling Elders
Meetings as God's leading
By Rev. Dr. Diana Nishita Cheifetz

     I dread meetings. As a lifelong Presbyterian, I am embarrassed to admit this. Meetings can feel tedious, frustrating, confusing, and so unspiritual.
     Meetings are a significant part of how we, as people of faith, discern, organize, and execute decisions and actions. They are how we get things done. But most importantly, it is through meetings that together we listen to and act upon God's leading. 
     I've been reflecting on what makes meetings challenging for me. I am asking myself questions and looking at what I can do about it. While your experiences and context are different than mine, perhaps one, or more, will strike a chord for you.  Click here to read more
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, October 9
     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 susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com .
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. 
     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 Friday, Oct. 13. 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 sent the information regarding this retreat to pastoral leaders, educators, clerks of sessions and youth ministry and Christian education contacts by EMAIL. If you did not receive it, please contact us, and we can send it again for you to share with youth, parents, grandparents and youth advisors in your congregation. 
     For more information, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568. Complete registration information can be found  here.

xmastreeChristmas Tree Seeking New Home
     First Presbyterian Church in Oak Hill has a 15-foot, unlighted Christmas tree available free to anyone who needs it. If interested, contact Kathy Moss, the Clerk of Session, at 304-465-8522 or kbmoss@suddenlink.net to arrange pickup. 
 
healthy3rd Annual Statewide Healthy Bodies/
Healthy Spirits Conference
Oct. 7 at West Virginia Wesleyan College
     Learn how to start and keep a Health Ministry in your congregation. The conference runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration 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
gospelsingSinging in the Valley Gospel Sing 
Oct. 12 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Hurricane
     Now in its 21st year, this annual event featuring the Singing Cookes of Church Hill, TN begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 12. It is  relocating this year, as its longtime home of Valley Park Community Center is currently being rebuilt. Mount Vernon Baptist is located at 2150 Mount Vernon Road. A love offering will be taken for the performers. 
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.

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 society. With a combination of teaching and interactive engagement, leaders will leave Soul Shop feeling equipped and empowered to engage in this 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 www.soulshopmovement.org  or call Rev. Elizabeth Stone at 304-228- 3990.   
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. 
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
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.
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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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If you wish for a piece to continue to run, please resubmit. 
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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