October 12, 2017        Issue 109
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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 42 - October 15
Davis Memorial Presbyterian, Gassaway
Fleming Memorial Presbyterian, Fairmont

In Kenya: Mathakwaini ( Mah-THAH-kwab-ENN'nay) Presbyterian Church

Week 43 - October 22
First Presbyterian Church, Mannington
Philippi Presbyterian Church
In Kenya:  Mathakwaini (Mah-THAH-kwab-ENN'nay) Church Dispensary

Week 44 - October 29
Rock Lake Presbyterian, South Charleston
Salem Presbyterian Church, Ronceverte
Sugar Grove Presbyterian, Morgantown
In Kenya: Ndugamano (Doh-gah-mah-NO') Presbyterian Church
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genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     During the last week of September, the West Virginia Council of Churches held a retreat for their Board of Directors that looked at the Spiritual State of Appalachia. That theme followed up on a conference they held in the spring on the State of Appalachia. Unfortunately, I missed that event because of my mother-in-law's funeral, but apparently it dealt more with the economy and the environment of our region.
     I was glad I was able to make this one. An insight, which may seem obvious, is that there are significant differences within Appalachia, as well as within our state. For example, Charleston is not Wheeling, Huntington is not Lewisburg, and Martinsburg is not Fairmont. Someone suggested that maybe what we needed to do is conduct a listening tour around the state to learn more about each locale and what's really going on in our area. Click here to read more
familysystemsFamily (Church Family) Systems workshop
Oct. 27-28 at Westminster Presbyterian, Charleston. Register by Friday.
     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 with Ruling Elder and Certified Christian Educator Elaine Barnett 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.
     Registration deadline is Friday, with registrants then sent the advance assignment.  Click here for more information and to register.
breamBream Memorial Homecoming Celebration
11 a.m. Sunday
     Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church on Charleston's West Side will host a Homecoming Celebration at 11 a.m. Sunday. A landmark on Washington Street West for more than 100 years, the church is at a crossroads as it prepares to call a new permanent pastor. 
     The church has a strong history of community involvement and social justice, which will be imperative to its mission moving forward. It has also served as a hub for children and youth, and it continues to provide space for learning and growth to its own preschool, Bream Center, as well as Charleston Montessori. 
     The Homecoming Celebration will bring together members, friends, attendees, and staff, as well as those who have been impacted by the church's preschool and community gymnasium.  A worship service and luncheon will allow people to remember where the church has been, reflect on where it is being called to mission today, and rejoice in its continued work in the future.
lgbtqWelcoming LGBTQ: The Joy of Inclusion 
Sunday at First Presbyterian, Morgantown & Monday at Davis Memorial, Gassaway
     First Presbyterian, Morgantown will host two sessions of this free program on inclusion. The first is 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, and the second is at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Davis Memorial, Gassaway .  
     The program demonstrates  how openness and inclusiveness in Christian communities strengthens and expands the faith. The keynote speaker is Dr. Michael Adee of the Global Faith and Justice Project, in Santa Fe, NM, a longtime advocate within the Christian community. 
westminsterJob opening!
Westminster Foundation coordinator
Part-time position at WVU Campus Ministry Center
      The Westminster Foundation of WV, a statewide non-profit campus ministry organization of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the University Christian Council, a Morgantown non-profit manager of the historic Rogers House/WVU Campus Ministry Center, seeks a part-time foundation coordinator.
      The foundation coordinator will provide support to the board of directors and staff of the of the Westminster Foundation ministries ( Harless Center, Westminster statewide ministries, WVU Presbyterian Student Fellowship ) and University Christian Council ministries ( Rogers House, Campus Ministry Center ) with a range of duties that are organizational, administrative, and property management.
     Reporting to the Presbyterian Campus Pastor, the successful candidate will back up the boards and ministries in the areas of general administration, board relations, fundraising, communications, and advocacy and support of campus ministry throughout the state. The successful candidate will be eager to learn the ins and outs of the ministries supported by the foundation, able to quickly respond to requests, possess strong administrative and organizational skills, and work to advocate for the work of the foundation as the first line of response in the main office.  
     Candidates apply should send a cover letter and resume with three references to westfoundwv@gmail.com by Sunday. No phone calls, please. Complete job descriptions are available upon request at westfoundwv@gmail.com.  

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. 
     Information regarding this retreat was emailed on Sept. 15 to pastoral leaders, educators, clerks of sessions and youth ministry and Christian education contacts. If you received it, please share it with youth in your congregation and the adults who live/work with them.  
      If you need this information or any additional information, including how we might include a youth with special needs, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568. Complete registration information can be found  here.

edgewoodSpotlight on: Edgewood Presbyterian
Church hosts International Peacemaker dinner

     On Oct. 2, Edgewood Presbyterian Church hosted an event featuring Sierra Leonne's Ebun James-DeKam, an International Peacemaker with the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. People from at least five churches in the Greenbrier Cluster attended the covered dish supper followed by her presentation, which included the response of churches of the world to the troubles in Sierra Leonne, including their civil war, famine, and the recent Ebola epidemic. Her description of the effects of the Ebola outbreak was heartbreaking. She told of the courage of the people working to contain it and help those affected.   
     Ebun James-DeKam lives with her family in Freetown, Sierra Leone. With her MA in Education, she taught in the classroom for a number of years. She served as the Director of the Human Rights and Social Services Department of the Council of Churches, and in 2011, she was appointed to the position of General Secretary for the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, leading them in the implementation of a variety of activities to counter and defeat the Ebola virus epidemic . Her trip to the United States began with a meeting in Louisville, KY, right before her visit to West Virginia. Her next stop will be in San Francisco.
     At the end of the evening's program, Pastor Larryetta Ellis brought everyone together in the center of the hall and led a prayer for Ebun James-DeKam and her work.     
foodweekFood Week of Action and World Food Day
     The global Food Week of Action (Monday-Oct. 22) is an opportunity for Christians around the world to act together for food justice and food sovereignty. It is a 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
apceDeep & Wide: Boundless Hospitality
2018 Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event at The Galt House, Louisville, KY
     The event's theme encourages you to open your heart, mind and doors. With 80 workshops, 6 mini-plenaries, imaginative worship, keynote presentations and a marketplace, there is something for anyone engaged in educational ministry who wants to learn more about being welcoming in their ministry and congregation.  
     The early registration deadline is Dec. 8, for which the cost is $350 for APCE members and $525 for non-members; after that, it goes up by $50 through Jan. 5 and another $50 after that. Joining APCE, even if only for a year, will help lower your cost. Also, please be aware that workshop sizes are limited, and some fill up quickly. 
      Click here for more information and to register.
     If you are interested but not sure about attending, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568. Several of our educators have already registered, and we would welcome more to join us. Also, the presbytery has some money available for scholarships, and APCE also offers some scholarship (for which you must apply by Sunday). Please be in touch if you need more information about this as well. 
WVCOCWV Council of Churches Annual Assembly
Sunday-Tuesday at Christ Church United Methodist, Charleston
     The 136th Annual Assembly of the West Virginia Council of Churches begins on Sunday evening with a worship service at 7 p.m., to which all are invited.  The Rev. Jim Winkler, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, is preaching and will also give the keynote address on Monday morning .
     Additionally, Monday morning  will feature an Ecumenical Breakfast, with Bishop Matthew Riegel speaking on "Arson, Arrest, War Bonds and Bandages: Reformation 400 in America ," as well as 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.
      Click here for more information and to register. Click here for a bulletin insert.
dent24th Annual Jim Dent Dinner for the Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center
Tuesday at Embassy Suites, Charleston
     Stand-up comedian John Crist will perform at the 24th Annual Jim Dent Dinner, which begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and Crist's performance at 8 p.m. 
     Crist is an Internet sensation with nearly 700,000 fans. Two of his popular videos are "Millennial International" and "Road Rage in the Church Parking Lot."
     The Dent Dinner is the only fundraising event for the KPCC, which provides more than $180,000 in uncompensated services annually. 
Click here for more information and tickets. 

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. 
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 
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.

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
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. 
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:
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