February 8, 2018        Issue 116
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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

Sarah Specht
Bluestone Program Director

Amy Robinson
Office Administrator/Communications
Prayer List for Churchesprayforchurch

Week 6 - February 11
Alexander Memorial, Stony Bottom
Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, Shinnston
Pres. Church of the Covenant, Hurricane

In Kenya: Mutathini (Moh-tah-THEE' nay) Presbyterian Church

Week 7 - February 18
First Presbyterian Church, Huntington*
Cabwaylingo Chapel **
(*denotes sponsoring church and
** denotes chapel of that church)
In Kenya: Giakanja (Gie-uh-KAH'juh) Parish

Week 8 - February 25
Lakeview Presbyterian Church, Lakebottom
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, Hillsboro
In Kenya: Giaichamwenge (GAY-shah-MWEN'gay) Presbyterian Church

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Ed Thompson
      Toward the Better Country is one of the best books I've read in the last few years. Written by L. Gail Irwin, it flows out of her experience as a pastor and things she learned during a sabbatical, as well as more than 30 interviews with pastors and various church leaders from eight denominations. It was not an easy journey. She had served as the pastor of a Presbyterian Church for 11 years before she was asked to resign. The church closed about a year after she left.
     A phrase she repeats several times throughout the book is "You are not alone, your church's decline is not your fault, and your church is not a 'failure.'"(pg. 6) The reality is lots of churches close every year. She mentions that research shows that churches typically have a lifespan of 80 years. I had never heard that before, but I have no reason to doubt it's true.
     The book helps churches to look at themselves honestly and encourages them to imagine the future in light of the resurrection. Click here to read more
     You are invited to join the Presbytery of West Virginia for its Stated Meeting on February 24 at First Presbyterian Church in Huntington. The Leadership Team will present its work to date on a vision and plan for the Presbytery for the next five years. In addition, Presbytery will join together in worship, fellowship and the work of the presbytery. 
     The deadline for advanced registration and childcare is February 14. Each congregation of the presbytery is asked to send a voting, ruling elder commissioner to all presbytery meetings. Those ministers and churches seeking to be excused should contact the presbytery office at 304-744-7634 or office@wvpresbytery.org. 
     Clerks of Session are reminded that the deadline for completing the annual Statistical Report is next Thursday, February 15.  Both the instructions and the report are online here. (You can also find the  link to this on the Presbytery's website under Documents - Statistical Report Information & End of Year Reports.) You may wish to download the worksheets to assist you as you put your data together. Once the form is finished, you can then enter it online. The user IDs and passwords have not changed; if you need your ID and password, please contact the office. Ministers serving as Moderators in other congregations are expected to assist in getting reports completed for these congregations. You do not need to send an electronic or paper copy of the Statistical Report to the office, as I am able to access these online. I am here to help if you have difficulties.
     Please note that membership numbers are based on the successful completion of this report . Churches are responsible for completing the annual statistical report. The membership numbers reported to the General Assembly are the basis for each church's Per Capita Assessment; the membership numbers reported for 2017 are the basis for the 2019 Per Capita Assessment.
     This coming Sunday, February 11, is Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Camp and Conference Ministries Sunday - a day for congregations to celebrate camp and conference ministries, like our Bluestone Camp and Retreat. Every year, the Presbyterian Mission Agency prepares materials to help pastoral and church leaders as they plan celebrations; click here  for the 2018 resources. For more on Bluestone,  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. 
March 2-4. Register by Feb. 15.
     The registration deadline for the Younger Youth Retreat is Thursday, February 15. This is a great opportunity for youth in grades 6-8 to join with others for a time to consider some of the building blocks of our faith that help us get through times of doubt, struggle and uncertainty. Our Presbytery Youth Council will provide leadership for this event, which will be held at Cedar Lakes Conference Center.
     The cost per person is $75, and the registration deadline is Thursday, February 15. Complete registration information can be found here For more information or questions, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568.
March 16. Register by Feb. 15.
     On Friday, March 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Ray Jones, the Acting Director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism for the PC(USA), will lead this first course in the 2018  Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox series.  The workshop is designed to help people live into the fullest expression of the gospel. It is designed for pastors, Commissioned Ruling Elders, Authorized Lay Preachers, Christian Educators and chairs of Evangelism (or whatever your church calls it) Committees to explore their own faith stories and what it means to join God in what God is doing in their communities, to consider who they are as "sent" people, and to get to know their neighborhoods.
     Cost per person is $75. Participants are encouraged to read "Engage the Gospel, the Participant's Book" which can be ordered here For more information and to register, click here
     On Saturday, March 10, the Presbytery will host a free workshop in Charleston on how to create and manage a church website, led by former PWV minister Frank Cunningham, representing Union Presbyterian Seminary. The workshop will teach participants how to use Wordpress to set up and manage a free website for their church or organization. 
      To help us gauge the interest level and determine the size of the location required, please contact Amy Robinson at 304-744-7634 or office@wvpresbytery.com by February 22 if anyone from your church plans to attend. 
March 19 at the Presbytery office
     The next Educators' Gathering will be Monday, March 19, at the presbytery office, beginning at 10 a.m. This is an opportunity for anyone involved in leadership in the educational ministry of their church, whether as paid staff or a volunteer, to share ideas, resources, concerns and support. We will end at approximately 1:30 p.m., following lunch together at a nearby restaurant for those who can stay. For more information, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568.
April 17. Register by March 19.
     On Tuesday, April 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the presbytery office, Kathy Dale McNair will lead the second 2018 Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox Course, about mental health concerns and how they affect individuals, their families and your congregations. Experience a new model for adult education that links faith and hope to loss, loneliness, anxiety, depression and grief. Kathy serves in the Presbytery of Chicago, specializing in mental health ministries. 
     Suggested reading are the following books, though Kathy wants participants to know these are not requirements and no one should hesitate to come because they haven't read anything. Resurrecting the Person: Friendship and the Care of People with Mental Health Problems, John Swinton, 2000; Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness, Kathryn Greene-McCreight, 2006; Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission, Amy Simpson, 2014; and In the Shadow of God's Wings; Grace in the Midst of Depression, Susan Gregg-Schroeder, 1997.
     This workshop is designed for pastors, Commissioned Ruling Elders, Authorized Lay Preachers, Christian Educators and others who would like to know more about mental health issues that affect those we love and with whom we live and serve. For more information and a registration form, click here.
April 7. Early bird registration through March 12.
      This year's Festival of Faith, a day of learning opportunities, fellowship and worship, will be held Saturday, April 7 at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston. Registration will begin at 9 a.m., and things kick off at 9:30 a.m. with worship and a keynote by Jan Edmiston, Co-Moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the PC(USA), who will speak on "The State of the PC(USA): The Good, the Bad, the Ugly," giving us an update on what's happening within our denomination.
     As always, there will also be a wide variety of workshops to choose from, several of our mission/ministry partners to hear from, a bookstore and fair trade coffee and other items for sale. Some of the workshops include an Introduction to the 2018-2019 Horizos Bible Study, a Church Treasurer's Roundtable, The Joy of Inclusion and Our Pastor Left? What's Next?     
       Click here for complete information and registration, which is also on the website and has been sent to church leaders. If you or someone you know would like to receive a copy by snail mail, please let the presbytery office know.
June 9-16. Register by March 31.
PWV at Montreat Youth Conference 2017
     Montreat Youth Conferences provide opportunities for youth in our churches to connect with hundreds of high school youth from across the country to engage in faith conversations through keynote, worship, small groups, fellowship and recreation.
     Youth currently in grades 8-12 are encouraged to join the presbytery's delegation. The cost per person is $350, with $175 due at registration. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis until the deadline of March 31. Click here for information and a registration form. Please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-645-4568 or susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com with questions.
     This is the second in a series highlighting PWV's Authorized  Lay Preacher/Commissioned Ruling Elder Program. In September, we begin a new set of Presby Prep courses, which are prerequisites for this program. Click here f or more information about Presby Prep. Is God tugging at your heart to participate? Presby Prep is a great way to learn more. 
     I didn't know what to do with the papers my pastor gave to me about the ALP/CRE program.
     "It sounds like a good opportunity," she said. "Do you know anyone who might be interested?"
     "I'll ask around," I replied. 
     I carried those papers around in my purse for weeks, not sure why. Every once in a while, I would dig them out... 
     This year's Association of Presbyterian Church Educators' two highest awards were given to Christian Educators with roots and/or service in the Presbytery of West Virginia. The Educator of the Year (ENRICH) Award is given to educators in full-time professional service who "enrich all of our lives through their educational work and vocational outlook." The Lifetime Achievement (SUSTAIN) Award is given to retired educators "who leave behind a trail of services that will be long remembered and emulated." 
     The 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Forrest Palmer. Forrest has served the Presbyterian Church in a variety of ways throughout his professional career - as camp director, Christian Educator, Associate Presbyter and Interim Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of West Virginia for several years, as well as on a variety of presbytery, synod and General Assembly committees.  Though "officially" retired, Forrest continues to be active in ministry, particularly at First Presbyterian Church in Dunbar, where he assists by preaching, teaching and providing pastoral care. 
     The 2018 Educator of the Year is Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Davis, Associate Professor of Religion and Director of the Christian Education program at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. Becky grew up at Bates Memorial Presbyterian Church in Huntington, and, while a student at Marshall University, served as the Director of Christian Education at Enslow Park Presbyterian Church.  Becky has a passion for justice for children and, in the last several years, has spoken several times in our presbytery on the whys and hows of child protection policies. 
     Congratulations to Forrest and Becky, who have served and continue to serve Christ and Christ's church in a variety of ways, sharing their faith and skills with people of all ages, reminding us all in many ways that we are all beloved children of God. 
     Rev. William Ward Murray, an Honorably Retired member of Cascades Presbytery, passed away on February 4 in Albany, OR. In West Virginia, he served Bramwell Presbyterian Church.  Please keep his family and the Bramwell church in your prayers.
     Tommy Novak, stepfather of Riverlawn Presbyterian Church pastor Chris Kilbert,  passed away following complications from a house fire on  February 7  in Elizabethtown, KY. Arrangements are pending.  Please keep Chris, his mom Pansy Novak, and their family in your prayers.

     Rev. Robert Rasmussen, an Honorably Retired member of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan, passed away on January 25 in Kalamazoo, MI. In West Virginia, he served the Colcord and Clear Creek Presbyterian churches. Memorials may be sent to  Presbyterian Church USA, PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700, designated to the Malawi mission.  
     The Presbyterian Mission Agency's  Lent 2018 daily reflection-action calendar, "Tread Lightly for Lent," is  now available here. It  was created by the Presbyterian Hunger Program's Environmental Ministries and Enough for Everyone offices.
     In Lent, we reflect on Christ's ministry, death, and resurrection. We slow down, take time, and examine our internal spiritual lives and the way we live out our Christian faith in the world around us. This Lenten calendar begins with ways to prepare ourselves for the Lent and Easter season and then moves to weekly foci of women, creation, water, consumption, and social justice. Ideas for action can be used by congregations as well as individuals.

Feb. 23, streaming locally at Riverlawn
     This one-day retreat, where influential leaders and pastors will discuss what it looks like to connect faith and work, is being web-streamed live on February 23 to more than 2,000 churches nationally, including Riverlawn Presbyterian Church in St. Albans.  The event runs 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and includes lunch. 
     Speakers include author   Patrick Lencioni, VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer, pastors Matt Chandler and Christopher Brooks and business leaders like   SeaWorld president/CEO Joel Manby and Auntie Anne's founder Anne Beiler.
     Click here for more information on the event; click here   to register. Cost is $25. Contact Riverlawn pastor Chris Kilbert at  rpc.pastor@suddenlink.net with questions. 
Have a Heart for Mission dinner
Feb. 23 at Highlawn Presbyterian, Huntington
     Huntington's Highlawn Presbyterian Church will hold its Have a Heart for Mission dinner a t 6 p.m. Friday, February 23 in Fellowship Hall. (That's  the evening before the Presbytery meeting at First Presbyterian, Huntington, for those who might be coming the night before.) The church is located at 2814 Collis Ave., Huntington, WV 25702. 
     The dinner benefits Lily's Place, which p rovides medical care to infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure and offers non-judgmental support, education and counseling to families. The meal consists of chicken marbella, cheesy potatoes, green beans with pearl onions, a vegetable cup and sherbet with a cookie.
     Suggested donation $10. RSVP to 304-522-1676 by February 16. 
State of Appalachia Conference
March 23-24 at Pipestem Resort State Park
     Looking for a good opportunity for a retreat in a beautiful part of our state with some very good people? The Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team invites you to join them in attending the second annual State of Appalachia Conference at Pipestem Resort State Park on March 23-24. The conference will focus on the spiritual, economic and ecological state of the Appalachian region and ways to restore it. Click here for more information and to register.
Seed: A Place for Faith to Grow
April 20-21 at Teays Valley Presbyterian Church
     Teays Valley Presbyterian Church  in Scott Depot is hosting this women's conference on  April 20-21 . The keynote speaker is international missionary and author Jennifer Hand of  Coming Alive Ministries.   
      Join your girlfriends for a time of spiritual renewal, which begins 7-9 p.m. Friday with a time of worship and a message and continues with more 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday. 
     Tickets for both days are $20 in advance (by April 13) or $30 at the door. Click here for more information and to register.
The Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry
April 24-27 at Princeton Theological Seminary
      The Forum gathers youth ministers, Christian educators, pastors, ministry innovators and emerging scholars who are passionate about young people and the church for an annual event on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. This year's theme is IMAGE, exploring what it means to practice youth ministry in a visual age. Speakers include Matthew Milliner, Brian Bantum, Aqueelah Ligonde and Katie Douglass. 
     Early bird registration is $319 and ends March 1; after that, it is $349. A group rate is available for $280 per person. This includes meals, snacks and shuttle service from hotel to campus. Click here for more information and to register.

Presbyterian Women anniversary survey
      The PC(USA)'s Presbyterian Women is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and as part of the observance, they are conducting a survey for members and friends to reflect on the highlights of their involvement. If you wish to participate, click here to take the survey. 
Gilbert Presbyterian Church answers Jay Nunley's call
By Mike Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Jay Nunley during Children's Time at Gilbert Presbyterian
     Many pastors have taken round-about ways to reach their calling. However, Jay Nunley may have one of the more unique paths to the pulpit, a journey that has happened quickly and that has also occurred in a rather unorthodox way.
     Jay is currently the lay pastor at  Gilbert Presbyterian Church in Gilbert, WV. He has been preaching most Sundays there since his service of affirmation in late October. Jay does not preach on Sundays when there is communion because he's not ordained. In fact, Jay has not spent one day in seminary (he's not even a college graduate), nor has he completed CRE training. But despite the holes in his pastoral resume, Jay has made a strong connection with the people at Gilbert. Click here to read more
Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team News: Cost-Effective Solar Streetlights
     As prices for solar energy systems go down, communities and individuals are finding cost-effective ways to add solar to augment their current fossil fuel-based systems. Solar lights are a good example.  Many people add small solar lights along their outdoor paths to provide low-cost lighting that is not powered by fossil fuel.  Click here to read more
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), 
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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