Issue 203 | November 18, 2021
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
The memory stands out clearly, although the circumstances remain rather murky. For some reason, I found myself at the last session of a mission study at one of the churches in the presbytery where I served. The interim pastor was doing a good job summing up the findings of their previous meetings and asking questions that got people thinking about the future of the church and that generated good conversation among the members present. She divided them into small groups and assigned each one a particular area of church life to address. (...) I thought about that experience in reflecting on the work of the Financial Sustainability Task Force. 
May 30, 2019 was a day of flooding in Harman, WV, in Randolph County. Governor Justice declared a state of emergency for Randolph, Preston, Tucker, Pendleton and Grant counties to recover from the flooding damage. Two of the larger bridges destroyed in the flood were the Molly Street Bridge and the Blizzard Gate Bridge. The rebuilding of the Molly Street and Blizzard Gate bridges, which was completed with Presbytery of WV and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance funds, will transform and reconnect the lives of 30 families affected by the flooding on May 30, 2019.
Rev. William “Evan” Walker began his ministry with the First Presbyterian Church of Fairmont in August 2020. His call to the Fairmont church was a bit different in that his wife, Jennifer, had already accepted the position of Associate Professor of Musicology with the West Virginia University School of Music, which started in August 2020, so Rev. Walker was looking for a church in the area. God moves in mysterious ways in that Rev. Walker was quickly drawn to information about First Fairmont. Rev. Walker says that he was attracted to the church because of their open and affirming stance. He was also very impressed by their outreach to and involvement in the community. 

  • 2022 Per Capita
  • 2022 Shared Mission Pledge Request
  • It's that time of year (to look at 2022 budget and review church's insurance coverage)
  • Minister & Staff appreciation/Christmas gifts
  • Church financial leadership grants available
  • Board of Pensions news
  • 2021 Special Offerings
Nellie misses you at the Resource Center. If you miss her, check out her Resource Center News.
Free to a good home
As the Presbytery partners with churches who have chosen to dissolve, small treasures are discovered. The treasures here - including paraments, Sing the Faith hymnals, a silver plate flower urn, and baptism certificates - are looking for a good home; if your church can offer that home, please contact the Stated Clerk (statedclerk@wvpresbytery.org). These items are offered on a first come, first served basis.
Kathryn Maddy retires at St. Albans First Presbyterian
After 15 years of service, Kathryn Maddy has retired as the Director of Christian Education at St. Albans First Presbyterian Church. This past Sunday, Nov. 14, was her last, with a reception following worship. Enjoy retirement, Kathryn; thanks for your years of service!
While Bluestone was open this year, it has been a challenging year. You can help! Friends of Bluestone is offering SaveAround Coupon Books again - a win-win fundraiser where you pay $25 for a coupon book (good now through the end of 2022) and half goes to Bluestone. After you use 3-5 coupons, you've paid back your $25 investment, and from there on, it's pure savings. Plus, you have the pleasure of knowing you also provided needed funds for Bluestone. If you are interested in buying books or you want to help sell them, please email Scott Hamilton (Charleston) at wshamilton@yahoo.com or Sarah Specht (Huntington) at sarahb43215@yahoo.com. There are also books for many other areas of the US that are useful for family and friends not in West Virginia.
By Michael Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Imagine being a pastor in 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic changing many aspects of how church is now done and creating more stress on congregational leaders. Imagine being a politician in this day when you are either loved or hated based simply on your political affiliation. For the Rev. Stephen Baldwin Jr., he doesn’t have to image either of these situations because he is living out both scenarios right now. Stephen is the pastor at Ronceverte Presbyterian Church (pronounced Ron-se-vert) in West Virginia as well as a Democratic state senator from Greenbrier County. Being able to meet both challenges is something Stephen has always aspired to do.
The Rev. Forrest Claassen, co-executive and stated clerk of the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, has been elected the next executive of the Synod of the Trinity, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Claassen was unanimously elected during the Synod’s recent Assembly, held virtually. He succeeds the Rev. Susan Faye Wonderland, whose contract is expiring after 13 years with the Synod, including the last seven-plus years as transitional executive.
Presby Prep consists of 8 courses on Zoom that will enable anyone to learn more about Biblical Interpretation, Reformed Theology, Church History, Presbyterian Polity, Worship, Christian Education, Stewardship and Mission in the PCUSA tradition. One course per month will be offered January-May and September-November on Zoom. All are welcome to register for individual courses or the whole program; remember, those wishing to continue in the ALP/CP program must complete all courses. Each month, you can attend on either a Thursday evening or a Saturday morning. Full information is here. Register for the whole program by Nov. 30, or deadlines for single courses are one month in advance. Cost is $10 per course or $50 for all. Contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-667-9428 or susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com.
Run or walk in any location from SATURDAY THROUGH NEXT FRIDAY! (That's Nov. 20-26.) Registration ends at 9 a.m. Saturday, so sign up now.
Hope Village, a fair trade shopping boutique, is back at Charleston First Presbyterian Church this holiday season. Featuring 18 artisans from around the world, it includes unique jewelry, carved olive wood from Bethlehem, African market baskets, handwoven items from Guatemala, Indian shawls, and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Saturday, Nov. 26-27, and Dec. 2-4, plus from the end of Sunday worship through 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, and Dec. 5. All proceeds go to the artisan vendors.
PCUSA’s Giving Tuesday campaign is a daylong virtual celebration of the collective power of Presbyterian generosity. With our gifts, we can accomplish far more together than any one of us can do alone. Join the PCUSA in responding to a world in need, and join them on their livestream between noon and 8 p.m. Nov. 30. The schedule includes several times of worship and numerous short segments related to PCUSA programs and topics, including the Matthew 25 initiative. At 5:30 p.m., there is a game show featuring current and former GA moderators.
By Richard Hong, Presbyterians Today
As I’ve watched various church livestreams, there are two recurring issues that I’ve noticed in the videos. These issues involve framing — the visual that fills the digital screen of the device a person is viewing from — and lighting. Let's talk about them.
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 November newsletter in color or grayscale.
As I have shared before, 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 a packet of information in late May. The packet included a template for Articles of Incorporation, a template for Bylaws, and a template for Board of Trustees Consent, and instructions for completing these documents. If your church’s session is beginning the conversation about incorporation, please read the articles from the June through September newsletters (listed within the article in reverse order) before you move forward.
Click image for more on this free webinar at noon Dec. 7.
The Rev. Dr. Agnes Brady started her ministry with the First Presbyterian Church of Nitro in May 2020. Rev. Brady was raised on a family farm in western Pennsylvania; this gave her an affinity for farming and rural life, which has served her well in ministry. She has served in a number of rural setting across this country, as well as a missionary in Zambia and as an agricultural and Theological Education by Extension instructor there.
By Jonathan Weaver, The Bridgeport News
Bridgeport Presbyterian Church Pastor Robin Ray has imposed blessings on the youngest children to the eldest local residents during her local tenure. She has led parishioners and community organizations through 18 months of a global pandemic, but even she couldn’t predict God’s plan for her. “I planned to be here until I retired unless God had a different plan,” Ray said. “I hit a bump in my life in June, so I took the advice from Carrie Underwood’s song ‘Jesus, Take the Wheel’ and said, ‘God, I have this bump. What would you like me to do?’ I felt like God was saying that it was time to go and leading me to New Jersey to be with my children and grandchildren.”
QUICK LINKS
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.