November 30, 2017        Issue 112
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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 49 - December 3
Pickens Presbyterian Church
Riverlawn Presbyterian Church, St. Albans
The Staff of the Presbytery of West Virginia
In Kenya:  Muthuaini (Moh-THO-uh-EE'nay) Presbyterian Church

Week 50 - December 10
Summerlee Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church, Nitro
First Presbyterian Church, Williamstown
In Kenya:  Philip Nganatha (GAHN'ah-thah) Memorial

Week 51 - December 17
First Presbyterian Church, Bluefield
Highlawn Presbyterian Church, St. Albans
First Presbyterian Church, Whitesville

In Kenya: Wandumbi Special School
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genpresbyterA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     Michael Anderson passed away on November 19. David Pettry passed away on October 24. Michael served as the pastor of St. Mary's Presbyterian Church. David was the pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Colcord; Marsh Fork United Presbyterian Church, Dry Creek; and Clear Creek Presbyterian Church. The first time their names appeared in the Presbytery directory was 1998, so as far as I can tell, they both had been serving those congregations for about 20 years.
     I had the chance to visit with each of them one time before they died.  I had tried to visit David on several occasions while he was doing chemotherapy at Thomas Hospital in South Charleston, but I was only able to get the timing right once. Sometimes, I'd get there after he had left. Other times, I'd get his schedule mixed up and get there on the wrong day. I made a trip to visit Michael back in February and then stopped by to see him another time in August when I was up that way; I didn't think to call ahead, though, and he wasn't at home when I got there. In each case, I could have done more but I didn't. I thought I had more time, but I was wrong.
     So this is a story of regret and priorities, as well as hindsight. It serves as...Click here to read more
     At its August Meeting, the Presbytery approved the recommendation of the Ministry Committee for no increase in minimum compensation for Ministers of Word & Sacrament and Certified Christian Educators for 2018. The Presbytery did support the Ministry Committee's recommendation that church sessions consider a 1.2% salary increase for 2018.
     Clerks of Session have received email notification of the annual Clerk's Questionnaire from the Presbyterian Church (USA). The deadline for this survey is December 12; responses to the survey help inform and guide the work of the denomination. If you did not receive the survey, please contact Maureen Wright, Stated Clerk.
     All Clerks of Session and pastoral leaders will receive a year-end mailing early in December. The mailing will contain the relevant information for the annual Statistical Report, Pastor Compensation Report, Necrology Report, and the Session Record Reviews. Please use the forms found in this mailing. The documents on the website will be updated next week. The deadline for year-end reports is January 31. The Statistical Report deadline is February 9. Additional copies of this mailing will be available in the presbytery office.       
      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.
progdirWe're hiring!
     The Presbytery is seeking a part-time Bluestone program director. The Program Director will provide leadership, direction and management of Presbytery summer camps, programs and retreats at Bluestone Camp & Conference Center. The position will also coordinate all marketing, communications and merchandising efforts for the camp.
     A bachelor's degree or the equivalent in experience and at least one year in a camp leadership position is required. Submit cover letter and resume to by December 9.
     Sympathy to the family of Catherine Joyce (Pinkston) Peck, who was in the Presbytery's CLP/CRE program from 2004-2006. Peck, who briefly served as CLP at Barlow Presbyterian Church in Ohio, passed away Nov. 21 in Parkersburg. A memorial service was held Monday, Nov. 27, with Pastor Bill Dunfee officiating. Click here to read her obituary. Please keep her family in your prayers.

     Sympathy to Alma Shaffer on the death of her aunt, Lydia Neal, who passed away Nov 23. Please keep Alma, her husband David and their family in your prayers. 

Prayer Concern
     Craig Butler, an Honorably Retired member of the Presbytery, has been hospitalized in Marietta. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. 
     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. 
resourcenewsResource Center News
Winter choices for adult study
By Nellie Howard, Resource Center Director
      Winter is almost here, and with it comes a new season of study for our adult classes. Many of us are currently focusing on Advent and Christmas, but what do you plan on offering your adults beyond January 1? Here are some choices that might be good for your adult class or for your personal study; some are also good for youth. I'll have a few more choices in the December 14 newsletter. Contact information for the Resource Center is at the bottom of the article. 
     Embracing Spiritual Awakening: Diana Butler Bass on the Dynamics of Experiential Faith (Morehouse Education Resources, 2013) 
     This five-session study includes a study book and a DVD with opening questions and a closing litany. The five sessions are titled: 1) Waking Up; 2) Believing; 3) Behaving; 4) Belonging; and 5) Awakening. Participants will examine and work toward understanding the changing cultural landscape in North America. Bass leads a discussion on what it means to be "spiritual" or "religious" and how Christians might be grace-filled witnesses to what we know and experience. Good for older youth and adult classes; each participant needs a book which functions as a workbook. Click here to read more
resourcesIntroducing New Resources
Cents-ability Hunger offering help needed
     Out of your gifts to the Cents-ability offering, we are able to fill hunger-related grant requests. Each year, there are more grant requests. We would like to fill them all, but currently, there are more than $15,000 in grant requests unfilled. Please consider making a special gift to the Presbytery to be used for hunger needs in WV. Make checks payable to the Presbytery of WV, 520 2nd Ave., South Charleston, WV, 25301 and mark them "Cents-ability."
nurtureMark your calendar! 
2018 Nurture Committee events
  • February 10: Youth Day of Service: Mission Possible (see more information below)
  • February 19-20: Educator, Clergy, CRE Retreat (see more information below)
  • March 2-4: Younger Youth Retreat
  • April 7: Festival of Faith
  • June 9-16: Montreat Youth Conference II
  • August 25: Playology
  • November 16-18:  Older Youth Retreat
ydos2018 Youth Day of Service Service: MISSION POSSIBLE
February 10 in three locations in WV
      February will be here before we know it and, with it, the 2018 Youth Day of Service. This event for youth in grades 6-12 and their adult advisors will be held in three different locations across the presbytery - Bridgeport Presbyterian Church; Old Stone Presbyterian Church, Lewisburg; and Village Chapel Presbyterian Church, Charleston (with South Park Presbyterian Church assisting). This will be an opportunity to join with other youth across the presbytery in a time of service and mission at a variety of sites. 
     Information and registration forms, along with covenants and medical forms, were sent out November 29 and can also be found here. Please contact Susan Sharp Campbell (304-645-4568 or ) with any questions. 
retreat2018 Educator, Clergy, CRE Retreat
February 19-20 at Hawk's Nest State Park
     The 2018 Educator, Clergy, CRE Retreat will be held Monday, February 19-Tuesday, February 20 at Hawks Nest State Park. The focus will be "New, New Ways to Tell the Old, Old Story" with presenter Tracy Radosevic, a professional biblical storyteller. Christian educators, Ministers and Commissioned Ruling Elders are encouraged to attend, along with their spouses. Click here for more information. Please note this event has a limited audience.
toolboxAnnouncing the 2018 Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox courses
     These courses are provided through the Presbytery's Leadership Development Coordinating Team for church leaders who may have limited resources for continuing education. Each course, led by a leader in the field, is an independent opportunity to gain skills in particular areas of ministry. 
     Dates and courses for 2018 are as follows: 
  • Thursday, February 8: Evangelism
  • Tuesday, April 17: Mental Illness Awareness and Response
  • Saturday, June 2: Leading Congregations through Change
  • Saturday, September 8: Biblical Storytelling
  • Saturday, October 27: Preaching (specific focus yet to be determined)
     Complete information and registration forms will be sent out approximately 10 weeks in advance of these courses. There will usually be an assignment to be completed prior to the course. For more information, click here and watch your inbox.
kupcKanawha United to host organ and vocal concert Dec. 10
     At 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Kanawha United Presbyterian Church will host an organ and vocal concert serving as the debut community performance of new organist/music director Chris Engel. The church is located at  1009 Virginia St. E., Charleston.  
     The first part of the concert will feature Engel performing classical organ pieces, including Wagner's Tannhauser Overture, as well as vocalist Betsy Bare Dodd, viola player Sandra Groce and pianist Vicki Cavendish performing two Brahms pieces. After a short intermission, Sounds of the Season begins, which features a variety of stylized and traditional Christmas music by the KUPC choir and individual musicians. 
     A wine-and-cheese reception with the musicians follows. Donations will be accepted to benefit the KUPC Choral Scholars program,  which introduces local youth musicians to classical and sacred music. For more information, call 304-342-6558 or email
bissellDavis Stuart welcomes Dr. Mark C. Bissell as new executive director
      The  Davis Stuart Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark C. Bissell to the role of Executive Director. Dr. Bissell comes to Davis Stuart with a multitude of experience working with adolescents. 
     In 1982, Dr. Bissell earned an associate's degree in Criminal Justice from Greenfield Community College in Massachusetts. He went on to earn a B.S. in Adolescent Counseling from the University of Massachusetts in 1986. After completing his undergraduate degrees, he earned his first master's degree in Human Services from Keene State College. In 1993, he received a Certificate of Advanced Graduated Studies. In 1998, he earned his second master's degree in Organizational Studies from Fielding Institute in CA. He earned his Ph.D. in Human & Organizational Development from Fielding Institute in 2002.
     Dr. Bissell moved to the Greenbrier Valley 6 months ago but has had ties to West Virginia since 1976. At Davis Stuart, he enjoys working with the children and staff and appreciates the diversity of both. He believes Davis Stuart's Culinary Arts Program, Equine Assisted Therapy Program, and the picturesque campus in Lewisburg set the agency apart from others. 
     Along with improving communication between all stakeholders, Dr. Bissell looks forward to utilizing Davis Stuart's 574 acres of farmland to build a strong agriculture program for the residents in order to teach many of the youth a trade and skill they can use in their future endeavors.
     He says, "I love West Virginia. The people are wonderful, and I feel fortunate to be here and working with such amazing individuals. The long-standing tenure of so many employees really speaks to the greater service Davis Stuart provides."
oldstoneJob opening!
Old Stone Presbyterian music director
      Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg is looking for a new music director.  This position has a great deal of flexibility, but at its core, the music director nurtures Old Stone's worship and ministry through directing the adult choir, leading a program for an after-school children's choir, working with a handbell choir director, and coordinating organists.
     This position welcomes imagination and creativity. We know how we've done it in the past, but we want to see how a new director will lead our choirs and congregation to  a more profound alleluia.
     If you are interested, please contact Anna Pinckney Straight at for more information.
adventOnline Advent Devotional from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
     Again this year, the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will ob serve Advent with an online devotional, where you can read and listen to daily messages written by students in PTS' Doctor of Ministry program. Access the devotions by reading or listening online here (where you can also download additional Advent resources), signing up for daily emails, following on Facebook or Twitter, downloading a free app or requesting a printed copy from

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 Montreat Youth Conference II: Lift Every Voice. I t will be Saturday, June 9-Saturday, June 16, 2018 f or youth currently in grades 8-12.
     Registration information will be sent to church leaders soon. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served 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,  click here.

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. 
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. 
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 them 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!
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.
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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