Issue 197 | August 12, 2021
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I think for the first time since 1956 I watched less than a half hour of the Olympic Games on television. (...) What I will remember about these Olympic Games, though, and what will stay with me far longer than the ones where I spent way too many hours in front of the tube mesmerized by sports in which I have no real interest, is Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from most of the gymnastics competition. (...) She stepped away for her mental health. No one would have blamed her if she had kept going. Some, of course, have blamed her for withdrawing. I have to believe she did the right thing and, in doing so, Simone Biles serves as an example for all of us. Considering what we have been through over the past year and a half, we all need to pay more attention, or at least better attention, to our mental health.
Saturday, Sept. 18 at Clarksburg First Presbyterian
The Small Church Conference has returned after its forced hiatus last year due to the pandemic. The theme is Saved to Serve...Thy Kingdom Come on Earth." Held in-person, it will run 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 18. Rev. Dr. Judi Slater (pictured), who was with us at the 2019 conference, will present the keynote, as well as a workshop on racial justice. The other two workshops to choose from are Becoming a Matthew 25 Church and Congregational Vitality & the Christian Education Associate Process. Registration details and more information for this free event are here.
From the Stated Clerk:
Incorporation of Churches - Learning Together
The Presbytery learned earlier this year that the incorporation of churches is legal in West Virginia. Therefore, all churches in the Presbytery should begin the incorporation process as soon as possible to comply with the Book of Order (G-4.0101). Presbytery leaders and staff continue to learn more about this process. We are not lawyers, so we are unable to provide legal advice; however, we can forward general questions whose answers will assist most churches for legal opinion. Specific situational advice requires a particular church to engage legal counsel. Additionally, a number of churches have asked about annual reports. They will be required for incorporated churches, with the first one due by July 1 of the calendar year after the corporation is formed. Information on annual reports can be found here. Click here to read the entire article, plus previous information.
  • Board of Pensions (BOP) 2022 benefits
  • Checking your benefits accounts
  • American Rescue Plan Act
  • Post-Pandemic Church Technology Trends
  • Free information from Church Law & Tax
  • Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2021
  • Staying on budget during the summer giving slump
  • Church financial leadership grants available
  • News from the BOP Connections newsletter
  • 2021 Special Offerings
Next mission lunchtime speaker is WVMAW Executive Director Joan Stewart on Aug. 26
The next Mission Committee lunchtime speaker will be WVMAW Executive Director Rev. Joan Stewart, who is also the pastor of Summersville Presbyterian Church. She will discuss what is happening with this ministry of advocacy and workcamps, now in its 20th year, as groups have returned to this mission work in 2021 after the pandemic forced a year off. Joan's presentation will begin at noon Aug. 26 on Zoom. Register here.
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 August newsletter in color or grayscale.
Bream Memorial offers showers, supplies to those in need
In the fall of 2019, Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church became a Matthew 25 church, taking a bold stance to embrace all three focuses: Building Congregation Vitality, Dismantling Structural Racism, and Eradicating Systemic Poverty. The area in which Bream is located, the heart of Charleston’s West Side, is home to many struggling with drug addiction and a large houseless population. Bream was built to be a beacon of hope and strength for the downtrodden of the West Side. In point, the last line of Bream’s mission statement reads, “Welcoming all without partiality or discrimination, being God’s helping hands in our neighborhood.” So when the need for showers in the city occurred, it was an easy decision to step up to fill that void. Many other organizations help in this effort, including Manna Meal, United Way, Kanawha Valley Collective, and AmeriCorps, to not only provide showers but also new clothing, toiletries, a mobile health clinic, and food. These services are
now offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1-4p.m. until the need ends. Click here for news coverage of this ministry outreach. Click here to donate to Bream’s outreach, writing “outreach” in the note.
Belington Presbyterian celebrates member Lennie Poling's Points of Light volunteer service award
Lennie Poling (second from left, with Rev. Dr. Danny L. Franke and fellow volunteers Don Phillips and Ed Corey) was named the Daily Point of Light Award winner on July 12 for his work with Mountain Hospice's We Honor Veterans program, in which he and other veterans host events and visit with terminally ill veterans in the community. On July 25, he was celebrated for the award during Belington's worship service and with a reception afterward. Points of Light is an international nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen volunteerism efforts and was named from a sentence in President George H. W. Bush's 1989 inaugural address: "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good."
Congratulations, Lennie!
Part of the February 20 Presbytery meeting was an inspiring talk by Presbyterian Mission Agency President and Executive Director Dianne Moffett about the PCUSA's Matthew 25 initiative. It has three foci - building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty - and Edgewood has been and still is doing a lot of work in these three areas, so at its May session meeting, a motion was approved for the church to become a Matthew 25 church. Later that month, the PCUSA made it official, so congratulations to Edgewood, the fourth Matthew 25 church in the presbytery and the second in Greenbrier County.
On July 11, Enslow Park Presbyterian in Huntington held a community-wide COVID-19 memorial service with the goal of bringing closure to the suffering that many have experienced as a result of the pandemic. Photo by Ryan Fischer for the Herald-Dispatch. Click the title link for more photos.
By Michael Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Bill Likens has spent the majority of his life in the Dunlow, WV, area of Wayne County. He knows the people, the traditions and the culture of this very rural area that sits as the westernmost county in the state. That’s what makes him the perfect person to lead Cabwaylingo Presbyterian Chapel, which he has done as the chapel’s outreach director for the last 19 years.
This year, 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 wvpresbytery.org 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.
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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.