November 9, 2017        Issue 111
Quickly go to the articles listed by clicking on the title below.

Use the QUICK LINKS at the bottom of this column to be easily directed to additional news.

Email Presbytery staff using the directory below.

When's the last time 
you checked 
out the 
Presbytery website?

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
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 46 November 12
Bream Memorial Presbyterian, Charleston
Church of the Covenant, Grafton
First Presbyterian Church, Dunbar
In Kenya: Githakwa (Git-AH'kwah) Presbyterian Church

Week 47 - November 19
First Presbyterian Church, Hinton
Kuhn Memorial Presbyterian, Barboursville
In Kenya: Kagio-ini (Kahg-ee-oh-EE'nay) Presbyterian Church

Week 48 - November 26
Marlinton Presbyterian Church
McElhenney Presbyterian, Grassy Meadows
In Kenya: Kigogoini (Kay-go-go-EE'nay) Presbyterian Church
Quick Links



Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     Preach hope. That was the advice given by the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, J. Herbert Nelson, when asked what we should tell our people to do. At least that's how I remember it. My notes from that session of the Mid Council Leader's Gathering, held last month in St. Louis, are unclear.
     Preach hope. Maybe the economy is doing well, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average near record highs, but many financial experts seem wary since this bull market has lasted longer than most. Gas prices are down, but political unrest in Saudi Arabia and damage to refineries in Texas from Hurricane Harvey suggest higher prices in the future. Even when something sounds good, there's always another negative side to the story. Some group always seems offended. Maybe it's because we live in a 24-hour news cycle that constantly bombards us with reports of crises and potential crises. It doesn't help that almost every other TV commercial promotes a drug that's supposed to help treat some disease, yet has side effects that seem worse than the original condition. 
      Preach hope. We can be discouraged by all this,  by the political divisions within our state and nation, as well as within our families.
meetingDon't forget to register for next Thursday's Presbytery Meeting!
     Advance registration, which guarantees a lunch and childcare, ends this evening, but walk-in registration will be accepted. Click here to register. Click here for the meeting packet.
     The meeting, at Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, will feature the morning educational focus "Post-Christendom Missionaries" by John Vest of Union Presbyterian Seminary, in addition to the afternoon's business. 
     Please remember that the presbytery no longer prints meeting packets, except upon request. You are encouraged to print a copy at home or download the packet in advance to view on your phone or tablet. If you wish to request a printed packet from the presbytery, please contact us by Tuesday.
treasurerFrom the Presbytery's Treasurer
      As the year comes to an end, I want to encourage our churches to remit any amount remaining in Shared Mission pledge, Per Capita, or other benevolence payments for 2017. The General Assembly is allowing us a little extra time to submit payments for this fiscal year, so please forward  all remaining 2017 contributions  to the Presbytery office by  Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 , and those contributions will be included in 2017 records.

      A reminder from the Board of Pensions:
     The annual enrollment period for all those enrolled in the Board of Pensions' benefits coverage to review and coverage for 2018 runs through  Friday, Nov. 17. Don't miss this opportunity to make sure you have the benefits coverage you need for 2018. Be sure to log on to Benefits Connect by  Nov. 17 to make your elections for 2018 benefits. For more information, read  Annual Enrollment Is Here! and visit
suicideSuicide Prevention and Recovery: Training for Church Leaders workshop
By Beth Stone
      Blindsided. That is the only word to describe our grief and shock when our daughter, Erin, attempted suicide at 17. She was not, as far as anyone could see, at risk. Close family, lots of friends, lots of community in church, school, activities, etc., and yet she downed more than 100 OTCs and our direction in life, our narrative, changed drastically.
     We found ourselves in a new category - a family directly impacted by suicide - and we also found that there were not a lot of faith-based answers for the many new questions we had. My call in Christ now included a new mission to do two things: start the conversations about suicide that need to happen in church, with churchy people, including giving people a safe place to talk about their questions and experiences; and secondly, compile and develop resources for the church to have a response in place before they confront suicidal depression or, God forbid, have a suicide completed in their community of faith.
     My research has me attending specialized seminars and classes provided by secular and Christian agencies; reading books and online sources from state, national, and international sources; engaging in dialogues about the subject with counseling and clergy professionals; and then sharing what I have learned with churches, retreats, community groups, and special events. Why? I want Christians to be knowledgeable and prepared to prevent suicide and recover from the depths of this death wish. And I never want any family, any congregation, to ever again be blindsided. 
     Join me from 9:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 30 at WVU Tech's Carter Hall Auditorium in Beckley to start the conversation. This workshop is sponsored by West Virginia Living Stone Ministries and Bradley Presbyterian Church. Click here to register and for more information, here for an event flyer, and here for more about West Virginia Living Stone Ministries, the Stone family's suicide prevention ministry. 
     Please note: this event is being held in place of the Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Depression workshop originally scheduled for this day, which has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. 
hurricaneHurricane Missions
     The Mission Committee of the Presbytery of WV is interested in your congregations mission efforts to the hurricane-affected areas of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. To help give some guidance and opportunity, here is one congregation's efforts to that end. This is an interview with Sue Webster, Director of Mission at First Presbyterian Church of Charleston (FPC).
     What is the church you are joining with in Texas to concentrate your mission there, and why?
Immediately following Hurricane Harvey, Pastor Kathy Sebring and First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX had to worship outside due to flood damage.

     FPC was lead to the First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson (1stPCD) through a series of Charleston/Houston connections and, ultimately, prayer. We felt called to engage in some way to help those who had been affected by the horrible aftermath of both Hurricane Harvey and Irma. We saw first-hand how people from so many different states showed up to help with last year's flooding in W.V., and we knew it was our time to reach out to our brothers and sisters in another state that had been affected by this same type of destruction. 
     What is the contact information?
     Our contact at 1stPCD is Kathy Sebring. Kathy is an 8 hour per week pastor at 1stPCD, but ever since the flood, she has been working night and day at the church. Her spirit is infectious and uplifting. Click here to read more
gilbertGilbert Presbyterian forges new connection
     The Gilbert Presbyterian Church has been looking for a new minister for some time, and as with a lot of churches in our presbytery, they cannot currently afford a full-time minister. While looking for a part-time person, they heard through the grapevine of a member at First Presbyterian Church of Logan who was interested in going to seminary.
     Jay Nunley preached for the first time at the church in Logan and did a remarkable job. Then, he was asked to come preach at Gilbert. A connection was formed, and they wanted him to preach more often.
     This is all very unusual. Jay has not gone through CRE training. He is very new to this. Having sensed his call to ministry, the Committee on Ministry and other presbytery committees decided to try something new. With supervision from Bill Hudson of First Presbyterian, Williamson; myself of First Presbyterian, Logan, and Jim Musgrave, a CRE who also serves at Gilbert, this new partnership has emerged.
     Jim moderates the session at Gilbert and officiates the sacraments one Sunday a month. The other Sundays, Jay leads worship. Weekly, Bill, Jay and I have a lectionary study together. We also talk a lot of shop and go through pastoral situations that Jay has and will encounter. It has been a pleasure to work with Jay and Bill to become closer as a church cluster here in our corner of WV.
     This all culminated with a service of affirmation for Jay and the Gilbert Church on Oct. 29. There, we celebrated Jay, and he offered vows to the church just like in an installation service. Jay and church members remarked on how powerful and call affirming the service was. New life was breathed into Gilbert Presbyterian Church on that Sunday, with members from Williamson, Logan and Gilbert all there to celebrate. Thanks be to God for this new connection!
backpackChurches sought to help with Community Re-Entry Backpack Drive
     The West Virginia Council of Churches is looking to partner with churches in the state to host collections for adult backpacks and hygiene kits to give to those re-entering society. Items suggested for the backpacks are hand towels, washcloths, toothbrushes and toothpaste, body wash, shampoo, lip balm, combs, nail clippers, gallon-size resealable plastic bags, notebooks and pens. 
     According to a 2008 Urban Institute report, most recently-released ex-offenders have health problems, and those with health problems fared worse in terms of housing and employment compared to other ex-offenders. These individuals are released to society with nothing; they need resources to build their lives. 
     For more information on assisting with this project, email or call 304-344-3141.
yeager"Called to Love" by Eleanor pastor John Yeager now available
     " Called to Love: Connecting the Lectionary to Real Life" by John Yeager, pastor of Eleanor Presbyterian Church in Putnam County, has recently been released to tie to the upcoming Lectionary Year B, which begins on the first Sunday of Advent (Dec. 3). The book  follows the Revised Common Lectionary with brief essays connecting the scripture to real life. I t is ideal for small group discussion, with a  ready-to-go  format including challenging questions  for reflection after each of the 54 sections.  It can also be used for individual devotions or as a sermon starter.
waverlybethelCongratulations to Waverly-Bethel
     Waverly-Bethel Presbyterian Church was one of three congregations the Synod of the Trinity selected as recipients of $500 grants at the Synod Assembly Meeting in late October. The church participated in the synod's Sept. 17 anniversary celebration and was chosen for the grant after submitting photos of the celebration. 
resourcesIntroducing New Resources
ebookFree Growing in Grace & Gratitude e-book
      Growing in Grace and Gratitude, our denominational curriculum for children, offers a free e-book, published quarterly. This resources is intended for families to use at home, with colorful illustrations and Bible stories (in written and audio form) used in weekly sessions, along with activities for families to do together. 
     If you have children's Sunday school, or even if you don't, this would be a good way to share stories of our faith with young people. For more information or to get this e-book, click here.
singSeeking Sing the Faith hymnal edition for accompanists  
     Summersville Presbyterian Church is looking to purchase the accompaniment edition of Sing the Faith. If your church has but no longer uses that hymnal, would you be willing to part with the accompaniment? If so, please contact Joan Stewart or Joan Toler at 304-872-2371. 

earthcareCare of the Earth that Feeds Us
Saturday in Amesville, OH
     This program in Ohio by Faith Communities Together (FaCT) for a Sustainable Future is recommended by the Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team. Featuring Green Edge Organic Farm owner/operator Kip Rondy, it begins at noon at The Grange, 16 State St. There is no cost to attend, but RSVPs are requested to 
     FaCT welcomes people of all faith traditions, as well as those not affiliated with one; it works from a moral perspective to preserve the web of life that sustains us all. 
apceDeep & Wide: Boundless Hospitality
2018 Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event in Louisville, KY
     Leadership for this event, held Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at The Galt House, includes J. Herbert Nelson, Sandra Van Opstal, Alison Harrington, Teresa Waggner, Henry G. Brinton, Rebecca Davis, Jan Edmiston, Carol Jones, Ellen Vellenga, Rodger Nishioka and Carl Horton.
     Anyone involved in any facet of the church's educational ministry is encouraged to attend. T here are partial scholarships (up to 1/3 of the total cost) available from the Nurture Committee. For more information about scholarships, contact Nurture Committee Chair Kari Preslar at 304-541-7222 or
     For more information on the event, click here. You can also contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-645-4568 or about it or the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators in general.  
montreatLooking ahead:
Montreat Youth Conference II
     It's not too early to begin looking ahead to next summer's Montreat Youth Conference II: Lift Every Voice. The dates for this event for youth currently in grades 8-12 are Saturday, June 9-Saturday, June 16, 2018. 
     Registration information will be sent to church leaders in late November/early December. Registration will be on a first-come, first-registered basis and will continue until our spaces are full or March 31. The cost per person will be $350, with a deposit of $175 due at the time of registration.  
     For an overview of a Montreat Youth Conference, which many have found to be a life-changing event, click here.

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. 
scmtNews from the Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team 
Earth Care Congregations
     Both Glenville Presbyterian Church and Riverlawn Presbyterian Church in St. Albans have achieved the status of Earth Care Congregation . Earth Care Congregations have  committed to the "Earth Care Pledge" and accomplished a specific number of actions toward caring for God's earth in four categories: worship, education, facilities, and outreach. 
     Additionally, Huntington's Highlawn Presbyterian Church established a Green Team to work towards becoming an Earth Care Congregation. If your congregation is interested in exploring how to become an Earth Care Congregation, click here

Sustainable Development Goals
    From the PC(USA)'s Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry, here are the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for 17 different categories. Click on each numbered icon for information on how to achieve sustainability worldwide in that category. Environmental categories include clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consupmtion and production, climate action, life below water and life on land. 
     Thank you to all the congregations and organizations that participated in hosting our International Peacemaker, Ebun James-DeKam from Sierra Leone. It was a gift to have her for 10 days and to find our vision of the world widened by her story.  
     If your congregation is interested in participating in the hosting of another International Peacemaker in the fall of 2018, please contact the Presbytery office today. 
Ebun James-DeKam with Kari Preslar and Derek Hudson
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 banner and grant buttons) direct links to recent newsletters, the Pray-For church list and Nurturing Faith Ideas for 2017 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 
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), 
or change the piece in some way so that the news stays 
fresh and interesting. 

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