Issue 184 | January 28, 2021
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They say, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I think it creeps during Zoom meetings, but maybe that’s just me. The end of this month marks five full years of my ministry as the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of West Virginia. I must be having fun because the years have flown by. In some ways, it doesn’t seem like I’ve been back five years, but to be honest, in some ways, it doesn’t seem like I ever left.
Reminder to clerks: important due dates approaching
Updated Pastor’s Compensation and Necrology Report forms are due tomorrow, Jan. 29. The Statistical Report must be completed by Feb. 18.
The 2021 Festival of Faith, a day of learning, worship, and fellowship, will be Saturday, March 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Zoom. Diana Butler Bass, an award-winning author and internationally-known public speaker and thought leader on issues of spirituality, religion, culture, and politics, will be our keynote presenter. In addition to her keynote, "Telling Stories of Jesus," and workshop, "Deeper Dive with Diana Butler Bass," there will be a number of other workshops offered. Register by March 11 to make sure you receive your top workshop choices. Cost is $20/person or $30/household.
The Festival of Faith Planning Team will offer a 4-week book discussion in February on the keynote presenter's Grounded: Finding God in the World - A Spiritual Revolution to introduce people to her work and provide an opportunity for community with others across the presbytery. Weekly discussions will be offered 10-11 a.m. Mondays and 4-5 p.m. Sundays on Zoom. Register today by emailing with your name and whether you plan to participate on Mondays or Sundays.
Critical need for volunteers
Do you have time to help with COVID vaccine shot distribution? West Virginia VOAD is looking for volunteers to help with everything from parking to paperwork, phone calls to people herding. Interested? Just fill out the volunteer form here, and then a coordinator will call you about your availability and special skills. Counties are organizing now and will likely need volunteers for the next several months.
We need your favorite church jokes/funny stories!
One of the workshops at this year's Festival of Faith on March 20 is "Keep That Sense of Humor; It's Critical!" It will consist of people from the Presbytery of West Virginia sharing their favorite church-appropriate jokes and funny stories. The best way for us to do this is to have each person video themselves telling their joke/story, and then send it to Don Parker, who will put all of the content together. If you have a favorite joke or story you'd like to share, please make a short video of yourself telling it and send the video to Don Parker at or 304-545-0666 no later than Feb. 28.
  • New round of PPP loans
  • 2021 IRS Standard Mileage
  • 2021 Minister Housing Allowance
  • 202 Tax and Withholding reporting
  • 2021 Per Capita
  • 2021 Shared Mission Pledge Request
  • Presbyterian Foundation Day of Learning
  • Special Offerings calendar
The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone: individuals, families, congregations. It has been especially difficult for hospitalized patients separated from their loved ones. Cell phones and Facetime do provide a link, but patients want to see loved ones in person, to be touched and hugged. Families also have to cope with this separation, fearful they will never see their loved ones again. This is nowhere more true than on Critical Care units, where nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and other support staff care for families from a distance while caring for critically ill patients.
Scholarships available at Davis & Elkins
Click here for information on the Presbyterian Scholars Program, open to students who are active in a PCUSA congregation, and the Covenant Scholarship for children of ordained PCUSA clergy.

Click here for the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy scholarship. Renewable worth up to $40,000, it is open to Christians of all denominations. (Additional qualifications required.)
By Mike Ferguson, Presbyterian News Service
What started off as an initiative of the adult Sunday school class at First Presbyterian Church in Morgantown, West Virginia, has grown to a wider community-based effort now called Dismantling Racism Together. During a session this month, a group of about 30 people, including several from the church, heard from someone who dismantles racism as part of his work — J. Spenser Darden, director of Diversity Initiatives and Community Engagement at West Virginia University.
This year for the season of Lent, you are invited to reflect upon the gift of shalom, the Hebrew word for peace. In the Bible, shalom can be translated not only as peace, but also as tranquility, security, well-being, health, welfare, completeness and safety. How can we receive this gift of shalom and, in turn, bestow it upon the world?
PWV staff-led worship videos to continue
Presbytery staff will continue to record one worship service per month for congregations to use for worship at least through the first seven months of 2021. These are intended as a way for pastors to have time off when worship is online and/or it is not easy to find pulpit supply, or whenever else a session wants to use them. With the exception of the Sunday after Easter, they are non-lectionary/church year-based. Videos and the accompanying worship bulletins will be sent to pastors and clerks of session on the following dates: February 1, March 1, March 26 (for the/a Sunday after Easter), May 1, June 1, June 24.
Rabbi Victor Ureki of B’nai Jacob Synagogue in Charleston will be the presenter for this retreat, which will be held on Zoom. Complete information on this event was sent in mid-December to those for whom it is planned. The registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 8.
SAVE THE DATE: Healthy Boundary Training
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10 on Zoom
All pastoral leaders – Ministers of Word and Sacrament (including those who are Honorably Retired ministers serving congregations), Certified Christian Educators, Commissioned Pastors, ministers of other denominations serving our congregations, lay pastors, and persons on the Pulpit Supply list – are required to complete a Healthy Boundary Training workshop every five years. All pastoral leaders who have not completed a Healthy Boundary Training workshop in or after 2016 need to attend. There is no cost. Register by emailing Maureen Wright at
In a world of disaster, hunger, and oppression, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People - all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope. Please join us in receiving this offering. If you haven't received a standing order of materials, you can order them now.
Edgewood Presbyterian debuts Blessing Box
Edgewood Presbyterian now has a Blessing Box, located in the east parking lot of the church on Harper and Brush roads, north of Lewisburg. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Women, the box is stocked with non-perishable food items. It is in memory of Dorothy Napier, who was instrumental in the operation of Edgewood's food pantry for may years, and Betty Arbaugh, who was a faithful volunteer with Gwen’s Meals. Upon Betty’s death, contributions were made in her memory to create the initial funding for the purchase of food for the box. An official dedication will be made at a later date.
Over the past few months, emails falsely claiming to be from General Presbyter Ed Thompson have increased in frequency. These emails, called spoofs, are a favorite trick of scammers since they appear to come from someone you know and trust. They will show some variation of Ed's name as the sender, but the attached email address is not his official one. If you receive a suspicious email claiming to be from Ed (or, really, anyone from the Presbytery), do not respond. If you are concerned, you can forward it to the alleged sender, and they can reply to verify the request's authenticity.
Need a PWV directory before the 2021 version comes out?
As the Presbytery is preparing the 2021 directory, we still have approximately two dozen hard copies of the 2020 directory at the office. If you or your church would like a copy before the 2021 directory is printed this spring (perhaps you've lost your copy or you need fresher information than the directory you have on hand), contact Office Administrator Amy Robinson at or 304-744-7634.
Synod of the Trinity Communications Coordinator Mike Givler recently shared some helpful information on the Zoom video conferencing platform‘s latest update. As Zoom continues to make adjustments to its program, which many of us have been relying on to host meetings and worship during the pandemic, Mike noted a few things to be aware of.
We invite you to print and include this newsletter in your bulletin or church newsletter, share it with members, and/or distribute it in your community. Click for JANUARY newsletter in color or grayscale.
By John Yeager, Pastor, Enslow Park Presbyterian
With so much news surrounding the aftermath of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, we won't hear about this profile in courage in the mainline news media. On that fateful day, Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben, the first female Chaplain of the House of Representatives, was excited to witness the peaceful transfer of power as the U.S. Congress formally approved the election of Joe Biden. Rev. Kibben is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). It was her third day on the job.
Editor's Note: In order to keep PWV News fresh, articles will generally run for two consecutive issues. If you would like a piece to run longer, please update (with refreshed content, new wording and/or a different photo) and resubmit.