March 23, 2017        Issue 95
Quickly go to the articles listed by clicking on the title below.

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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

pray4churchesPrayer List For Churches

Week 13 - March 26
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 2
First Presbyterian Church, Oak Hill
Rome Presbyterian Church, Proctorville, Ohio
In Kenya: Gura (GOO'rah) Parish

Week 15 - April 9
First Presbyterian Church, South Charleston
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Charleston
In Kenya:  Gathaith ( Gah-thah-EE'thee) Presbyterian Church
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edthompsonA Word from our General Presbyter
Ed Thompson
     Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, "I really wish I enjoyed basketball. As much as I love watching my friends' excitement, I'm always sad that much of March is a mystery to me." I can't say that I was appalled. But I was certainly surprised. Who doesn't love March Madness? 
     I  started to think about how you might convince someone that March Madness was fun, that this was something to pay attention to, that this was something that they might really enjoy.
     Then it occurred to me that there are probably more parallels to life in the church than I would like to admit. If you replace "basketball" with "church" and "March" with "what they do on Sunday morning," you end up with the statement, "I really wish I enjoyed church. As much as I love watching my friends' excitement, I'm always sad that much of what they do on Sunday morning is a mystery to me." Click here to read full piece
Attention Clerks of Session and Church Treasurers session
     Clerks of Session are annually invited to participate in one of the Session Record Reviews in order to fulfill the Book of Order requirement as outlined in G-3.0108a. The review sessions are a time to meet other Clerks of Session and share best practices, ideas and questions, as well as enjoy fellowship. Stated Clerk Maureen Wright is available to answer questions and work with Clerks to best serve their church.
     This year, church treasurers are also invited to attend! Presbytery Financial Administrator and Treasurer Rocky Poole will join church treasurers for Treasurer Talks. These talks will be a time to share best practices, discuss educational and informational resources available to church treasurers and work through issues with which treasurers may be dealing.
     Churches are strongly encouraged to send their Clerk of Session (or another member of Session) and their treasurer in a "two for one deal." The dates and locations of the remaining four events are listed below. (Note: The Festival of Faith review and treasurer offerings are outlined in the registration materials for that event.)
* March 26 at 3 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Vienna
* April 1 at Festival of Faith, First Presbyterian Church, Charleston
* April 23 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Buckhannon
* April 30 at 3 p.m. at Salem Presbyterian Church, Ronceverte
Sympathy to the family of Arden D. "Art" Ashley, who passed away March 13 in Candor, N.C. Ashley was a former Ruling Elder and Clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Nitro, as well as a former chair of the Presbytery's Personnel & Administration Committee.  Additionally, he was a former mayor of Nitro and member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, as well as a two-term Kanawha County sheriff. A memorial service for Ashley will be held in the Nitro High School auditorium on Saturday, March 25, with doors opening at 11 a.m. 
susannewsNews from the Associate for Educational Ministry 
Susan Sharp Campbell

Montreat Youth Conference
Spaces still available
     Montreat is a special place for youth (those entering 9th grade through graduated seniors) to explore their faith with 1,000 other youth from all over the country. This summer, the presbytery is providing a trip to Montreat Youth Conference IV,  July 15-22.
     This is a great way to connect with other youth in the presbytery, particularly if you're in a church that doesn't have many youth; it might also provide an opportunity for children or grandchildren to grow in their faith, even though they may not be overly involved in the church. We will spend time as we travel and arrive to get to know one another.  
     The cost per person is $350, which includes registration, housing, meals and transportation. The registration deadline is  April 15. Registration information can be found here. You can find an overview of the conference here
     Question? Contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-667-9428 (cell), 304-645-4568 (work/home)
Synod of the Trinity Anniversary Grantsgrants
In honor of the Synod of the Trinity's 300th anniversary celebration, two grants have been created that are available to those serving in the region. The first is the Freedom Grant, which is in response to the General Assembly's priority around the plight of the African American male and assists seed projects that relate to this concern. The second is Sowing the Future: Gifts of Abundance Grants, which offer every presbytery in the region the opportunity for a matching grant of $3,000 towards a world mission project or partnership of their choice, as well as an additional $1,000 grant for presbyteries that partner together for world mission projects or undertake a new partnership. Application deadlines are June 30 for the Freedom Grant and Dec. 1 for Sowing the Future. Click here for more information. 
Clergy Consultation on Substance Use Disorder consultation
Thursday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon  
This is the program our General Presbyter wrote of in the March 9 newsletter. It will include remarks from Sen. Joe Manchin, as well as regional small groups to discuss what churches can do to address this issue in their area and 12 Practical Steps, which will help participants know what they can do if someone come to them wanting help battling an addiction. 
Elementary students raise food for Eleanor Presbyterian weekend snak-pak programsnacks
     Putnam County kids in need of supplemental weekend food are benefiting from the efforts of a local church and their own classmates. On Friday, March 24, between 12:30-2:30 p.m., a two-week food drive at George Washington Elementary School will culminate with a food weigh-in to determine which classroom brought in the most food. Nutritionist Katherine Clark will oversee the weigh-in.
     Back in 2011, Eleanor Presbyterian Church started a weekend "snak-pak" program, which now serves 40 children in need at GWE. Seeing the efforts of the church inspired the children, who came up with the idea to start a food drive to supplement the church's program. Click here to read more
NEXT Church 2017 National Conferencenextchurch
Presbytery of West Virginia members (from left) Anna Pinckney Straight, David Bower, Karen Kinney and Peter Vial at the NEXT Church 2017 National Conference, held March 13-15 in Kansas City, MS. On April 1, NEXT Church Director Rev. Jessica Tate will present the keynote address and a workshop at the Festival of Faith, held at First Presbyterian Church in Charleston.
Good Friday Tenebrae Servicetenebrae
A Tenebrae Service will be held at 7 p.m. Good Friday (April 14) at Riverlawn Presbyterian Church, 2008 Pennsylvania Ave., St. Albans. Tenebrae services are distinctive for their gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms are chanted or recited.  This service is sponsored by Riverlawn, Highlawn and First Presbyterian churches in St. Albans and First Presbyterian Church, Nitro. If you are near the area and are not having a Good Friday service at your church, you are invited to join them for this service. 
Montreat's Assembly Inn Dedicates Room for Dean and Rebecca Thompsonmontreat

     Members of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston and friends recently honored Dean and Rebecca Thompson by dedicating a guest room in their honor at the historic Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center's iconic hotel located in Montreat, NC.
     Dean and Rebecca were much loved in Charleston, where they served at First Presbyterian Church from 1996 until 2004. Friends of Dean and Rebecca, in recognition of their lifelong service to First Presbyterian in Charleston and the church at large, decided to raise the $25,000 to dedicate a room in Montreat Conference Center's recently renovated Assembly Inn. Dean and Rebecca moved to the Montreat area in 2010, where they continued to serve the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a variety of capacities. Click here to read more
Resource Center News 
Most of us don't have VCRs anymore, and if you are under 30, you might not even know what a VCR is. Here in the Resource Center, I am phasing out our VHS collection. In some cases, the publisher has upgraded to the DVD format. When that happens with a popular video, I am replacing the VHS with a DVD. 
Here are the most recent upgrades:  Click here to read more
Stewardship of Creation Newscreation
     The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is significantly expanding its commitment to environmentally responsible investing by retaining Impax Asset Management Group, a London-based investment manager that specializes in resource efficiency markets.
     The Investment Committee of the Board of Directors of the Board of Pensions voted March 10 to commit $100 million to the Impax Leaders Strategy. The Leaders Strategy is a fossil fuel-free portfolio that invests worldwide in resource efficiency and environmental markets.  Click here to read more
Workshop in Weirtonweirton
Upcoming National Eventsconferences
Church Growth Leadership Summit
April 24-25 in Lincoln, NE
The Growth Project of the Quad Presbytery Consortium is hosting the 2017 Church Growth Leadership Summit at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, NE as a way for participants to discover practical strategies to grow their churches. Featured speakers are Dr. Susan Forshey, Ross Thompson, Patrice McMahon and Richard Brown. The cost is $90 until April 16, then increases to $110. Learn more and register here

Generosity NOW
April 25-27 in Washington, D.C.
This stewardship conference ( formerly the North American Conference on Christian Philanthropy helps participants 
increase their knowledge about spiritual principles and best practices relating to faithful stewardship and generous giving through plenary sessions, workshops and worship.  The cost is $299. Learn more and register here  by April 18.

Big Tent 2017
July 6-8 in St. Louis
Big Tent is a biennial gathering for Presbyterians from across the country. The 2017 event will take place at Washington University in St. Louis and have a theme of Race, Reconciliation and Reformation, which will emphasize the hope of the gospel and its power to transform society in our current cultural context marked by anxiety, racial division, political animosity and economic inequality. The cost is $395 (includes accommodations). Read more about Big Tent 2017 and register for it here

Stewardship Kaleidoscope
Sept. 25-27 in St. Pete Beach, FL
This stewardship conference at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort on the beach  includes four plenary sessions and your choice of four workshops from a series of more than 30. Keynote speakers are Cynthia Rigby from the Austin Seminary and Adam Copeland from the Luther Seminary, with Shannon Kershner from Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, as the worship leader.  The cost is $250 by Aug. 1 and $275 after. Learn more and register here
     In addition to the conference, there is a free webinar on June 13 with Karl Travis, the pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth and a 2016 Stewardship Kaleidoscope keynote speaker. It runs 1-2:30 p.m. Central. Watch it here
Free Webinar: Reaching the Millennial Generationwebinar
Covenant Bible Study will host the free 45-minute webinar "Reaching the Millennial Generation and a Role for Group Bible Study" at 1 p.m. Eastern/noon Central Wednesday, April 5. Dr. Jaco Hamman, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology and Culture at Vanderbilt Divinity School, will share his research about Millennials and how to reach them.  Covenant is a comprehensive 24-week, video-based study that helps participants apply the Bible to their personal stories. Click here to register for and watch the webinar.
Bluestone Summer Camp Scholarshipscamp

Scholarships 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.
Small church folks from throughout the presbytery are invited to  celebrate the goodness of God as small churches full of big-hearted Presbyterian Christians, eager to "blossom 'n bless 'em" in the Lord. The fourth annual Small Church Conference will take place Saturday, September 23, 2017. This will be a time of joyful reunions and learning ways that God empowers our ministries, as well as gaining a renewed and strengthening sense of what it means to be the people of God, growing stronger together as a presbytery ready for an exciting, meaningful and confident future in faith, hope and love. Save the date magnets are available at the Presbytery office and will also be distributed at the May meeting of Presbytery.
Sign up for The Beech Treebeech
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 photo) direct links to recent newsletters, Equipping Disciples events, Ministry Toolbox events, the Pray-For church list and Nurturing Faith Ideas for 2017, e-news Archives 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:
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Presbytery of West Virginia, 520 Second Avenue,  South Charleston, WV 25303
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Office Hours: Monday -Thursday  8:30AM-5:30PM