February 22, 2018        Issue 117
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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 Facilities Director

Sarah Specht
Bluestone Program Director

Amy Robinson
Office Administrator/Communications
Prayer List for Churchesprayforchurch

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

Week 9 - March 4
Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church, Ripley
Richwood Presbyterian Church
In Kenya:  Githunguri (Gay-thoh-GOH'REE) New  Church Development

Week 10 - March 11
Teays Valley Presbyterian, Scott Depot
First Presbyterian Church, Welch
Edgewood Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: Kagwathi (Kah-GOWAH'thee) Presbyterian Church
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Ed Thompson
      Prayers That Sing & Stir the Heart is a collection of prayers by W. Sibley Towner, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Interpretation at Union Presbyterian Seminary. The seminary is sending out excerpts from his book every Monday and Wednesday during Lent. Sib Towner was one of my professors, and while I could have told you that he offered a prayer at the beginning of every class, to be honest I don't remember his prayers being all that great. Apparently, I should have been paying better attention.
     The prayer that was sent the other day really caught my eye. It begins, "O God, the elector, who chooses aged women and ruddy faced shepherd boys to enact great chapters in the history of our salvation and who decided upon a peasant girl of Nazareth to be the Mother of God, we praise you for your choices....O God, choose us, too - unlikely as we may be."
     Somehow, we are a part of God's plan. To me, that is...Click here to read more
Let Jerry Can teach your congregation's children about natural disasters and what they can do to help
     This is part of 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 took the ALP/CRE classes from 2004 to 2006. I was hesitant to take the classes and commit the time that would be involved. I was working at the post office around 50 hours a week, filling in as a temporary pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Vienna and still had my youngest two sons in school. I didn't see how I had time to handle all of that. At my wife's urging, I entered the program. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did.
     The classes were interesting and fulfilling. The two years flew by. The friendships that I made were wonderful. Click here to read more
Bluestone Summer Camp News
Summer camp scholarships available
     Scholarships (registration fee assistance grants) are available for Bluestone summer campers, thanks to support from the Molly Grant Scholarship Fund. Candidates must apply through their local church; find applications here. Funds will be distributed at the discretion of the Presbytery's Bluestone Committee.

Volunteer at the camp
Weeks available:  6/10-6/16, 6/17-6/23, 6/24-6/30, 7/1-7/7
     Bluestone is seeking individuals who would like to help out for a week of camp. Volunteer opportunities include camp nurse (1 per week), key leaders (3 per week, to lead curriculum studies), craft leaders (3 per week) and general support staff (drivers, kitchen help, grounds and maintenance help, photo/media techs and extra counselor support). If interested, contact Sarah Specht at 304-690-6667 or sarah@bluestonecamp.com. 
What has PDA given back to WV?
2016 West Virginia - $78,000 (Presbytery of West Virginia)
June 2016 - 44 of 51 counties severe flood event
November 2016 - Greater Greenbrier Valley Long-Term Recovery support (June flood)
2017 West Virginia - $99,590 (Presbytery of West Virginia)
January 2017 - Summersville, volunteer work team host site (June 2016 flooding) -  Long-Term Recovery - West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy & Workcamps
September 2017 - Long-Term Recovery - WV VOAD Bridge Project

     In 2016 and 2017, PDA sent 14 National Volunteers, who walked flood zones, prayed with homeowners, made contacts, did assessments, made suggestions, shared resources and supported our recovery process.
     They also sent a team of two national members to lead three respite retreats for long-term flood response workers and volunteers.
They have attended daily and weekly state-wide calls as scheduled, updating the progress on flood response and recovery.
     They send one National team member to attend WVVOAD quarterly meetings and walk alongside WVVOAD director Jenny Gannaway, to travel with her and assist in organizational strategies.
     Most recently, Forrest Palmer has been trained and commissioned to be one of our PDA National Volunteers, committing to spend at least four weeks a year serving the church in this vital capacity.

Remember every time you give to One Great Hour of Sharing or directly to PDA, you are making a different in the world and in our own state.
     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. 
     On Saturday, March 10, the Presbytery will host a free workshop at the Presbytery office 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. It will begin at 10 a.m. and last approximately four hours.
     Please contact Amy Robinson at 304-744-7634 or office@wvpresbytery.com by Monday, February 26 if anyone from your church plans to attend. 
     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 course 
designed to help people live into the fullest expression of the gospel. It is for pastors, Commissioned Ruling Elders, Authorized Lay Preachers, Christian Educators and Evangelism Committee chairs 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
Sarah Specht looking to continue Bluestone Camp's 'sense of community'
By Mike Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Sarah Specht, lower right, with Bluestone counselors after a community trash pickup.
Sarah Specht knows the struggles teenagers are facing these days. A substance abuse epidemic is plaguing communities everywhere, and the new program director at  Bluestone Camp and Retreat  in Hinton, WV, is making it her goal to provide a space where kids can thrive without the everyday pressures they are encountering.
     "There's a lot of heroin here right now," Sarah said of her hometown of Huntington, WV. "It's heartbreaking how many kids we see from divorced families, being raised by a grandparent or just overly stressed for being a teenager. It just feels like it's my goal to give them these safe places to just be a kid again."
     Sarah began her new role at Bluestone Camp on Jan. 8, but she is no stranger to the facility. Click here to read more
     Beth Stone had surgery for breast cancer on Tuesday, February 13. Her recovery is going well, and we are grateful for that. She shared with us a blog post  she wrote about her cancer experience, and we share it in the hope that it might be helpful to someone else.
     A great idea has come to us via James Potts, Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, FL. He has networked with churches across the nation to begin a Children's Letter Writing Campaign to the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
     If you would like to have your children or youth ministries participate, please begin the campaign as soon as you can, gather the letters and send them to the Presbytery of Tropical Florida, Attn: Sandra Figueredo, 1919 SE 5th St., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 , without envelopes (one envelope for all is fine).
     Rev. Willy Figueredo will hand deliver them to a guidance counselor at the school. There is no time frame for this project in frequency or duration; however immediate response will be beneficial for the students as they are currently in shock and in grief.
     Contact Sandra Figueredo at  954-785-2220  or  sandra@tfpby.org with questions .
     Frank Blankinship, husband of former Ministry Committee member Jackie Blankinship of Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, passed away on February 17. At the church, Frank was an elder for many years and also sang in the choir and served as treasurer. 
     Click here for his obituary. Service details are unavailable at this time. Donations in Frank's memory can be made  to Hospice of Southern WV, P.O. Box 1472, Beckley, WV 25802-1472; Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 338, Fayetteville, WV 25840; or the charity of your choice. Please keep Jackie and her family in your prayers.

     Ethel Price, mother of Smithers Presbyterian Church pastor Jim Dempsey, passed away following a recent illness. She had been living with Jim and his wife, Patty. Please keep them in your prayers.

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 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.
     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.
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.
Presbyterian Women Annual Gathering
April 14 at Highlawn Presbyterian, Huntington
     The PWV Presbyterian Women's Annual Spring Gathering will begin with registration and coffee at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 14 at Highlawn Presbyterian Church, 2814 Collis Ave., Huntington, WV 25702. It will include a business meeting, speakers, worship, communion and the installation of officers (including new moderator Sheila Brownfield) before concluding with lunch.
     Registration is $5, due by April 9, to Connie Musgrave, 127 Wyngate Dr., Barboursville, WV 25504. Contact her at 304-736-3241 for more information. 
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.
March 4 at Kanawha United
     The Kirkin' o' the Tartan is a special worship service celebrating Celtic heritage. It begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 4 at Kanawha United Presbyterian Church, 1009 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301. 
     A celebratory reception will follow. Wear your family tartan or bring a small piece to be blessed. Click here for more information on this event, which is part of Charleston's Celtic Calling. 
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.
Step by Step: A Retreat for Leaders of Small Congregations
April 12-13 in Richmond, VA
     If you serve in, work with, or hail from a small congregation and are committed to centering in God and living fully in your community, this retreat, presented by Ashland (VA) Presbyterian Church, is for you.  It seeks to broaden the conversation and reflect on what it means to be people of faith in today's changing context.
     This retreat will introduce you to praying the Labyrinth, challenge you to find your center and know your strengths in God, encourage your efforts to extend hospitality throughout your community, connect you with congregations of similar size and scope, and more.
     The location is Richmond Hill Retreat Center, 2209 East Grace St., Richmond, VA 23223. The retreat runs 4 p.m. April 12-4 p.m. April 13. Cost is $150, which includes lodging and meals. Click here for more information and to register. Contact Kerra Becker English at 
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.
Aug. 2-5 in Louisville
     This year's Gathering celebrates 30 years of Presbyterian Women. Held at The Galt House in Louisville, it includes deep community and worship, mission opportunities, workshops, Bible study and more.
     Registration is $425 for the weekend or $125 for a single day. Early bird registrants (by May 1) receive a special incentive.
     Additionally, our Presbyterian Women coordinating team has voted to pay for the registration of any PWV woman who would like to attend. To receive your scholarship, mail a copy of your completed registration form and check to Treasurer Connie Musgrave, 127 Wyngate Dr., Barboursville, WV 25504 for reimbursement. 
     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. 
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Editor's Note:
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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