Issue 206 | January 13, 2022
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We had about 10 inches of snow on the ground here last Friday, so I ended up working from home. It was no big deal. I had my work computer and my calendar with me, as well as internet access, so I was good to go. I had worked from home for several months during the ongoing pandemic, and when we sell the presbytery office building, I’ll be doing that again. I recognize that there are advantages as well as disadvantages to working from home. (...) Working from home, though, saves time... And the reality is that I’m basically as well connected at home as I am at the office.
God’s word says, “Behold I am doing a new thing…” Right now, the new thing for West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps, Inc. is a new addition to staff. WVMAW would like to welcome Vic Morris as the Intern for the Executive Director! Vic has a passion for mission and experience in workcamp ministry through the Nazarene Church. In 2021, groups he led collaborated with WVMAW to help families in Nicholas County. Vic’s vision is to expand workcamp ministry in the state, so he is a great fit for WVMAW.
Clerks of Session should have received a letter in December outlining year-end report information, as well as covenant renewal reminders. The deadline for submitting covenant renewal forms was Jan. 7, so if you have not, please submit your forms as soon as possible. The deadline for Pastor Compensation and Necrology Report forms is Jan. 26, and the deadline for completing the annual PCUSA Statistical Report is Feb. 17.
A note from Bluestone
Are you interested in learning more about what it means to be Presbyterian – what we believe, why we do things the way we do? Are you interested in the possibility of becoming a Commissioned Pastor? Then Presby Prep is for you! Join in as, from the Presbyterian perspective, we explore Biblical Interpretation, Reformed Theology, Church History, Presbyterian Polity, Worship, Christian Education, Stewardship and Mission, one course a month January-May and September-November. Presby Prep will take place on Zoom with a 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday night option or a 9 a.m.-noon Saturday morning option; participants can choose which works best for them each month. Register online, or full information, including a snail mail registration, is here. If you have questions or need more information, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-667-9428.
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 January newsletter in color or grayscale.
An Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox course
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 on Zoom
Each Sunday, those who step into a pulpit to preach are expected to bring a word, the Word, to God’s people. Some Sundays that is harder to do than others. It can be a struggle when what we’ve always done doesn’t seem to be working, when other obligations seem to get in the way and drain us, when we’re still trying to find what works for us. Whether you’ve been preaching for months, years, or decades, Reverend Jennifer L. Lord, Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, will guide participants in this Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox course in reviewing common methods of sermon preparation and exploring what can be learned from artists about the creative process so that our preaching conveys the Good News of Jesus with clarity, relevance and imagination. Register by Monday, Jan. 24.
Some congregation may have held their elections of ruling elders and deacons too late to participate in Zoom Officer Training in November, so here is another chance. To assist Pastors and Session Moderators with the period of study and preparation referenced in G-2.0402, Susan Sharp Campbell, Associate for Educational Ministry, will offer Officer Training 2-5 p.m. Sundays, Feb. 20 and 27 on Zoom. Participants are expected to attend both sessions; they will need a copy of the PCUSA Book of Order. Register by Friday, Feb. 4. People may register as individuals or register a group. To register, send an email with your name, church, email address, and phone number to susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com. If registering more than one person, please include email addresses for everyone.
  • 2021 Year-End Benevolence Processing
  • 2022 Important Tax Filing Dates
  • 2022 Per Capita
  • 2022 Shared Mission Pledge Request
  • 2022 Benevolence Remittance Form
  • Board of Pensions news
  • Time to look at 2022 budgets & review insurance coverage
  • Year-end checklist
  • 2022 Special Offerings
Feb. 28-March 1 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center
“Father Abraham’s Many Children” is the focus of this retreat with Tyler Mayfield, A.B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. It will explore religious difference by seeing parallels between reading Genesis expansively and engaging our contemporary religious landscape generously. The fuller story of Genesis, especially those figures we do not commonly consider blessed or chosen, the other brothers of Genesis – Cain, Ishmael, and Esau – will be the focal point. Each of these three characters has been derided, overlooked, and dismissed from discussions about Genesis and God’s ways in the world. Likewise, we pay attention to people in other faith traditions who are not regularly deemed faithful and blessed. Overnight rate is $120 per person, with a reduced rate for additional people from the same church; commuter rate, which includes all meals, is $80. Register by Thursday, Feb. 17.
July 24-27, Indianapolis, IN
It's almost time for another Presbyterian Youth Triennium! The 2022 PYT will be held Sunday, July 24 through Wednesday, July 27 in Indianapolis. Our delegation will spend the night together in Charleston on July 23 after having met to get to know one another in late May/early June; then, we'll travel by charter bus to Indianapolis. Do you have youth in grades 8-12 who are involved in the life of your church who you think would be interested in joining our delegation, or are you an adult advisor who would like to participate? If so, visit the title link for registration information related to this exciting event. You can find out more about the event itself, including the schedule and leadership, here.
At 6:30 p.m. Jan. 27, the Synod will present "Called Out to Serve: Living Out Our Missional Identity in Christ – YES, Even During Covid" with Rev. Dr. Alonzo Johnson of the PCUSA's Self-Development of People program. This two-hour webinar is for all interested congregations. Register here.
The Reverend Annie McMillan began her ministry with the First Presbyterian Church of Parkersburg on May 3. That means that she and the pastor nominating committee were going through the call process during a pandemic and around the high holy day of Easter. In spite of that, the call process went smoothly and quickly. God is good! She came to the church in Parkersburg between Sundays and preached her “neutral pulpit” sermon there. It was recorded for the PNC, and this same recording was played later for the congregation. Through the advances of technology, she was thus able to lead First Church in worship the day of the congregational vote.
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, two silver plate offering plates, and a variety of church 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.
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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.