March 22, 2018        Issue 119
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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 12 - March 25
Clear Creek Presbyterian Church
Eleanor Presbyterian Church
Gilbert Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: Kihora (Kay-HOR'Rah) Presbyterian Church

Week 13 - April 1
Second Presbyterian Church, Huntington
Liberty Presbyterian Church, Green Bank
Mill Creek Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: 
Wamagana (wha-MAH'gahNAH) Presbyterian Church and Nursery School

Week 14 - April 8
First Presbyterian Church, Oak Hill
Rome Presbyterian, Proctorville, Ohio
In Kenya: Gura (GOO-rah) Parish
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Ed Thompson
      Recently, I was at a meeting where the question was asked, "What would your hope or goal be for your church five years from now?" The first answer was "Survival." I didn't exactly stop listening at that point, but I kept thinking about that answer for the rest of the meeting and on my drive home.
     In some ways, I understand the answer and the thinking behind it. Or at least I think I do. I know churches go through ups and downs. They'll go through periods when they lose members, when money dries up, when things are tight. The very survival of the church seems threatened. If churches can just survive these downturns, they may well experience an upturn. 
Listening to Our Churches, Strengthening Our Partnership l istening events, including Session Record Review & Treasurer Talks
  • April 8 at 3 p.m. - Gilbert Presbyterian Church
  • April 15 at 3 p.m. - Spring Creek Presbyterian, Renick
  • April 22 at 3 p.m. - Church of the Covenant, Grafton
  • May 2 at 6:30 p.m. - Beulah Humble Presbyterian, Elizabeth
  • May 6 at 3 p.m. - First Presbyterian Church, Oak Hill
  • May 9 at 6:30 p.m. - Beverly Presbyterian Church
     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. 
      Click here for more information, including a list of suggested (not required) reading. Click here for a registration form/flyer. 

      The  Festival of Faith will begin with registration at 9 a.m. April 7. Early registration has ended, so the fee is now $20 and can be paid on arrival that day. Lunch also can no longer be ordered. 
     In addition to the keynote, there will also be worship, a wide variety of workshops to choose from (including Earthcare Congregations, Children in Worship, Viable Volunteers and Finding Faith in the Fabric), several of our mission/ministry partners to hear from, a bookstore and fair trade coffee and other items for sale. 
        Click here for complete information and registration, which is also on the website. If you need a copy by email or snail mail, please let the presbytery office know.
Introducing New Resources

Youth Council nominations & applications
Due no later than April 30
    The Youth Council is a very important part of our presbytery's work with youth as it plans and leads two youth retreats each year and assists in promoting other events for the youth of our presbytery. There are openings for 6 youth and 4 adults. 
     Nomination/application forms have been emailed to all pastoral leaders, clerks of session, youth ministry and Christian education contacts. Click here to read more. Click here for nomination/application forms.
     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. There are three formats to choose from: two-sided letter size, color booklet and black-and-white booklet.
     Click for the April editions: two-sided, color, black-and-white
Post-secondary scholarship information
Applications due by April 30
     There are loan and grant monies available through the Nurture Committee to assist with academic or vocational study beyond high school. Information has been sent to all pastors, Christian education and youth ministry contacts and Clerks of Session; it can also be found on the homepage of the presbytery's website or by contacting Susan Sharp Campbell. Application deadline is April 30.
     In addition, please note that those who have received loans in previous years are eligible to renew them.  To do so, they are asked to send a statement updating the committee on their past years and their progress toward a degree to the presbytery office, 520 Second Ave., South Charleston, WV 25303, or 
Tell us how your congregation is engaged in Global Mission
     The Presbytery has a long standing relationship with the Presbytery of Nyeri. Many of our congregations engage in Global Mission by supporting mission co-workers around the world. Others do mission trips and pray weekly for a congregations they have connected with in Nyeri.
     How does your congregation connect? We are hoping to get a sense of how we are as whole are making a difference in the world. Please email and let us know what you are doing, so we can add it to our map. Thanks!

Don't know what the three initiatives PCUSA Mission is focusing on are?  
     Find out here!
Bluestone Summer Camp News
Summer camp dates
     The four weeks of summer camp at Bluestone are listed below. Camp brochures have been distributed to churches, so you can check with your church for information, or you may register online through the Bluestone website.
     There is a non-refundable registration fee of $75 for mailed registrations or 20 percent of the total cost for online registrations. The total cost varies, so please consult the website or brochure. Save $25 when you register by Saturday. 
  • Week 1: June 10-16
  • Week 2: June 17-23
  • Week 3: June 24-30
  • Week 4: July 1-7
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
     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 
Students' food drive through the teachers' strike supports Eleanor Presbyterian
     Putnam County kids in need of supplemental weekend food have benefited from the efforts of Eleanor Presbyterian and their own classmates, who even worked through the teachers' strike. On March 13, a two-week food drive at George Washington Elementary School culminated with a food weigh-in, overseen by nutritionist Katherine Clark, to determine which classroom brought in the most food. Last year, students collected 4,119 food items, weighing nearly 1,000 pounds. Click here to read more