Issue 195 | July 8, 2021
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The church is more like amateur sports than professional sports. I first got that idea from Chris Holmes, who led the coaching training I did a few years ago and who also did some workshops on coaching for folks from our synod earlier this year. I’m not sure if he thought that up or if he got the idea from someone else. The more I think about it, however, the more I’m convinced he’s right. In amateur sports, you play with whoever shows up. Professional sports teams get to draft people and sign free agents. Most of them have to work within a salary cap, as well as other financial limitations; nevertheless, they’re able to assemble the best team that money can buy. In the church, you think about who you have, who would be the best available person...
From the Stated Clerk:
The Presbytery recently learned that the incorporation of churches is legal in West Virginia. Per the Book of Order (G-4.0101), where permitted by state law, each congregation shall incorporate. Therefore, all churches in the Presbytery should begin the process of incorporation as soon as possible to comply with the Book of Order. To assist with this process, all pastoral leaders and Clerks of Session received an information packet following the May 20 Presbytery meeting that included template Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Board of Trustees Consent, plus instructions for completing these documents. As churches begin the work of incorporation, we are learning new things and wish to provide some clarifications to assist churches in the process.
  • Board of Pensions (BOP) 2022 benefits
  • American Rescue Plan Act
  • Staying on budget in the summer giving slump
  • Church financial leadership grants available
  • News from the BOP Connections newsletter
  • Ecumenical Stewardship Center closing
  • 2021 Special Offerings
PCUSA is offering free resources specifically selected to help households with younger children engage in Scripture and story books that highlight the vision of being a Matthew 25 faith community. While the offer is intended for smaller congregations, it is open to all. Apply by filling out the survey linked above; chosen congregations will receive an email that they've been selected, followed by shipment of the resources.
Faith and Family Night at WV Power Park on July 24
On Saturday, July 24, the WV Power will hold a Faith and Family Night promotion at the Charleston ballpark. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., with concerts both before and after the 7:05 p.m. baseball game, including Huntington Christian pop/rock group Render the Hearts. There will also be games and fireworks. General admission tickets are $4, and for groups of 20 or more, box seats are $6. A meal deal is $22 for all the food, water, and soda you desire. Call 304-344-2287 or visit
Sept. 26-29 at the Calvin Crest Conference Center, Fremont, NE
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation will host this event for women clergy and Christian educators. A time of renewal, prayer, skill sharing, and fellowship with other women in ministry, it will feature workshops on giving voice to the stress of the pandemic, sabbath and sabbath styles of rest, God care (not self-care), and prayer forms by Revs. Kathy Noble and Suzanne Gorhau, plus worship services led by Rev. Sara Tonje, a night of creativity, and time for story sharing, enjoying nature, and naps. Register by Aug. 31.
Mission speakers set through October for lunchtime talks
The next Mission Committee lunchtime speaker will be Dr. Theresa Poling, the Associate Professor of Nursing at West Virginia Wesleyan College, who will speak on Harm Reduction at noon July 22 on Zoom. Register here. Other announced speakers are Joan Stewart in August, who is the Executive Director of WVMAW and will discuss what is happening with the organization; Jessica Maudlin Phelps in September, who is the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns and will speak about how and why churches should become Earth Care Congregations; and Rev. Stephen Baldwin of Ronceverte Presbyterian Church in October, who is a State Senator and will give a statehouse update.
Looking ahead: Upcoming PWV & PWV-supported events
Older Youth Retreat
The Nurture Committee and Youth Council are already making plans for the 2021 Older Youth Retreat, for 9th-12th graders and the adults who work with them, at Bluestone Nov. 19-21. Adrian Pratt, former pastor at Fayetteville and Beckley, will be the keynote presenter. Please share the date with high schoolers in your congregation. It promises to be a great weekend!
Authorized Lay Preacher/Commissioned Pastor Preparation Program
A newly revised Authorized Lay Preacher/Commissioned Pastor (ALP/CP) Preparation Program will begin with Presby Prep in January 2022. Some of the changes include that Presby Prep courses will meet on Zoom rather than in person, for approximately 3 hours once a month on Saturdays (and potentially on a different day for those not available on Saturdays); computer literacy is required. These courses are also suitable for those who would just like to know more about our Presbyterian beliefs, history, worship, polity, and more. Complete information about this program will be available in early fall. If you are interested in participating or you have any questions, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at
2022 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
The Presbyterian Youth Triennium for those in grades 8-12 this fall will be held in Indianapolis July 24-27, 2022. The theme, When Did We See You?, is from Matthew 25:31-46. The presbytery is planning to take a delegation of youth, along with the required number of adults. More information will be available in the fall, but start considering how you might help the youth of your congregation attend this potentially life-altering event.
Click the image for more information.
Early bird registration through Aug. 6, then rates rise.
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 the July newsletter in color or grayscale.
PCUSA job opportunities
Jobs are available at the Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, and as a mission liaison in the Caribbean.
Calling All Preachers! Scriptures for Sermons discussion every Monday at 2:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Looking for new insights to the same old lectionary passages? Craving a pastoral community with which to read scripture? Join us each Monday for one hour of scripture and conversation about the scripture we all are preaching (both on & off lectionary). Questions? Contact Nancy Didway at 304-941-9659 or David Lee at 304-553-4969.
Meeting ID: 983 0846 5207..........Passcode: 2020
As we move post-pandemic, with most, if not all, congregations returning to the sanctuary and building, we may find ourselves asking questions such as: What’s next? Where do we go from here? What needs to be left behind? What new opportunities do we have? The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators in partnership with the PCUSA Office of Christian Formation has created “Post-Pandemic Pondering & Planning: A Resource for Faith Re-Formation” to assist sessions, committees, church leadership, individuals, and others to consider and evaluate the ministry of faith formation, including Christian education, worship, and mission, as we begin to move beyond the pandemic. There are opportunities for brainstorming, reflection, and action around the themes of Identity, People, What’s Next, Self-Reflection, Capacity, and Program.
By Michael Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Many congregations have established ministries surrounding congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Matthew 25 invitation in 2019 was created in part to celebrate those initiatives while also hoping other congregations will join in these efforts. But with the coronavirus pandemic that followed a year later, many churches had to halt their missions due to the protocols that limited gathering, also curbing momentum for their programs in a time when they were needed most. The First Presbyterian Church of Dunbar, WV, is one of those congregations that felt the brunt of the pandemic. Already having ministries in place related to the three foci of the Matthew 25 invitation, First Dunbar became the first church in the Presbytery of West Virginia to answer the denomination’s call in 2019.
In keeping its commitment to provide a high-quality education at an affordable price and remaining attentive to economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Davis & Elkins College will freeze student tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition, there will be more choices for academic fields of study available this fall, and there are scholarships specifically available to Presbyterian students from the state.
88 people vaccinated at St. Albans First pop-up clinic
A successful pop-up COVID Vaccine Clinic was held in the parking lot of St. Albans First Presbyterian Church on June 4. The clinic was sponsored by the St. Albans Ministry Alliance, First Presbyterian Church, and the City of St. Albans. Vice Mayor Walter Hall was on hand to pass out $20 gift certificates for various St. Albans merchants to everyone receiving a vaccine. Special thanks to church member Mark Curtis for setting the groundwork and bringing the clinic to fruition. Thanks to all volunteers and to the churches and agencies who publicized the event.
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.