Issue 211 | March 24, 2022
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
I will somewhat sheepishly admit that one of the best days of the year for me, almost like a holiday, is the day I get to see the results of the Annual Statistical Reports filled out by each church. It doesn’t rank up there with Christmas or Easter, but I’m more excited about that day than I am St. Patrick’s Day or Groundhog Day. Those may be legitimate holidays, but while I mark them, I don’t really get excited about them. I do get excited to see the number of members each church has.
Are there youth currently in grades 9-11 in your congregation that might be interested in serving on the Presbytery's Youth Council? If so, please share the information linked above with them so that they may apply by MARCH 31. There is also a need for adults who enjoy working with youth to serve in partnership with the youth.
Idea for calling attention to the situation in the Ukraine
Have an office supply store print an outline of a map of the Ukraine on a poster size piece of paper. Using paint, markers, or even construction paper, color the top half of the paper (outside the borders of the country) blue and the bottom half yellow to represent the flag of the Ukraine. You can then ask people to bring in pictures of the people of Ukraine to place on the paper within the borders of the country. This will be a visual reminder of what the people of the Ukraine are experiencing. You might place this in a church hallway or perhaps on an easel outside of or just inside the sanctuary. Seeing it will serve as a reminder of that situation and a reminder to pray for peace and for the people of the Ukraine.  
Questionnaire from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Through the West Virginia Council of Churches, Bishop Mark Brennan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston has invited us to participate in discussions "to consider our experience of following Jesus Christ together in the Body of Christ" that has been initiated by Pope Francis. We, and Christians in other denominations throughout the state, have been asked to respond to 7 questions. The Leadership Team established a task force at its last meeting to consider how we as a presbytery might best participate in this opportunity. Meeting on March 23, the task force came up with the following ways:
  1. We invite each session to consider these questions based on the experience their congregation has had with local Roman Catholic churches or groups such as schools, retreat houses, etc.
  2. We invite interested individuals to participate in a Zoom meeting on Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. when we will discuss these questions.
  3. We invite interested individuals not able to participate at that time or who would like to offer their ideas individually to respond to these questions in writing.
Since Bishop Brennan has asked that we submit our responses to him through the West Virginia Council of Churches by April 30, we are asking you to send your responses to us at office@wvpresbytery.org by April 22 so that they can be compiled by that deadline. The Pastoral Leaders Gathering on April 27 will then be given an opportunity to review the report before it is submitted. Click for Bishop Brennan’s invitation and the 7 questions.   
News from the Resource Center
With grateful hearts, we celebrate the recent retirement of Nellie Howard and her work staffing the Resource Center, particularly the connections she made serving our churches across the Presbytery, assisting and guiding in every area of ministry. As we enter this new season, the Nurture Committee, recognizing what a valuable service the Resource Center provides to pastors, educators, and Sunday school teachers throughout the Presbytery, wants you to know that the Resource Center is still here to assist you. It is open whenever the building is open (8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday) and currently staffed by volunteers 3-5 p.m. Mondays and 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays. And remember, the online catalog is available 24/7. We are looking for other volunteers to help; if you are interested in serving the Presbytery in this way, please contact Nurture Committee Chair Claire Butler at revcbutlerwv@outlook.com.
Request a hard copy of the 2022 PWV Directory
The Presbytery will soon print hard copies of the 2022 directory. If you or your church would like one, please email office@wvpresbytery.org or call 304-744-7634 by next Thursday, March 31. Remember, the directory is also on our website; if you need the password to access it there, use the contact information above.
By Leslie Scanlon, The Presbyterian Outlook
One of the lessons the COVID-19 pandemic has taught churches is this: For many Presbyterians, receiving communion is a powerful, precious part of worship, something they don’t want to give up. So, congregations have learned to improvise how they offer communion — buying single serve cups to use for socially distanced, in-person worship, reminding folks to get their juice and donuts ready for virtual worship at home. Another innovation in recent years: some congregations and presbyteries are training elders to celebrate communion...
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 April newsletter in color or grayscale.
  • BOP tax resources
  • Festival of Faith
  • Board of Pensions news
  • Employment Guidance for Sessions and Session Personnel Committees
  • 2022 IRS Standard Mileage
  • 2022 Per Capita
  • 2022 Special Offerings
9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at Charleston First Presbyterian
Are you a session member, pastor, educator, pew sitter, choir member or someone who just likes to sing? You’ll find a variety of workshops for a variety of people at Festival of Faith, plus the keynote “Just Creation: Shalom for our Common Home,” by Columbia Theological Seminary William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament William P. Brown (who will also lead a workshop on God comforting Job within the wildness of creation). Cost is $30, with lunch ordering no longer available. Register online or by mail. Contact Susan Sharp Campbell (susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-667-9428) with questions or for more information.
9:30-4:30 Saturday, April 30 on Zoom
As we are continuing to move forward out of the pandemic of the past two years, things have changed in our lives, our communities, and our churches, and we are still, and may be for a time, trying to figure out what’s next. Rev. Victoria Curtiss, author of “Guidelines for Communal Discernment,” will teach a discernment process and prayerful approach for congregational leaders to assist their churches in discovering who God calls them to be and do in the present and into the future. Registration deadline is April 25.
The Presbytery, through its Nurture Committee, has $1,000 loans available for those seeking post-secondary education; there are also some grant monies in amounts that vary each year available. You will find an informational flyer and the application form on the Youth Ministries & Events page of the Presbytery website. Please share this information with those in your church, especially high school seniors and parents, although these are not limited to those graduating this year. The deadline is April 30; this is both for new applications (including the return of reference letters) and renewal requests.
Handle with Care Mandated Reporter online course
In West Virginia, anyone who works with children in any context has “the ethical responsibility and the legal obligation to act when they suspect a child is being abused or neglected” (http://www.handlewithcarewv.org/mandated-reporter-course.php). The West Virginia Center for Children’s Justice is offering a free online course, which can be found at the link above, on Mandated Reporting that explores how to recognize and respond appropriately and legally when one encounters suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Topics covered include: why report; who must report; know the signs of abuse or neglect; the reporting process; and what happens after a report is made. The course can be completed in a few hours at one time or spread out. Once completed you will receive a certificate of completion. Those who are ruling elders, deacons, ministers of Word and Sacrament, and Certified Christian Educators are mandated reports according to our Book of Order (G-4.0302), but all adults, whether working directly with children or not, could benefit from this training as we seek to protect all children.
West Virginia was not even on The Rev. Dr. William C. Myers’ radar when he started looking for a new call, but then, he was computer matched with First Charleston by the Louisville office. (Sometimes God works through computers.) When he took a look at their Ministry Information Form, he was immediately drawn to the church by the gracious love of the people and their vision for the future. Bill believes that ministry is about helping people find hope and worth, and that is in the tagline for First Charleston: “Bringing hope to the heart of Charleston and beyond.”
If you know a Presbyterian high school student thinking about college, consider suggesting Davis & Elkins, which is a private Presbyterian-related liberal arts institution with small classes that's dedicated to academic success. The school has two Presbyterian scholarships available, including the Presbyterian Scholars Program, which is an annual $5,000 scholarship based solely on active membership in a PCUSA congregation.
EAPCE Spring Event, April 25-27
The East Region of the Association of Partners in Christian Education (EAPCE) will hold this event at the Rhodes Grove Conference Center in Chambersburg, PA. The Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust will be the keynote presenter on the topic of children’s spirituality. In addition, there will be workshops, worship, fellowship, a spirituality center, a book exchange, and the recognition of the EAPCE Educator of the Year (retired PWV Resource Center Director Nellie Howard) and Retired Saints. Register by April 1. Scholarship are available. Masks and proof of COVID vaccination required. For more information, contact Susan Sharp Campbell (susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-667-9428).
Stand with the Synod for Ukraine
The Synod of the Trinity will match up to $50,000 from any congregation or presbytery in its bounds that donates to the PCUSA's humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine through the Synod's Presbyterian Mission Exchange giving platform. Click here for more, including a link to send funds to match.
Click the image for news on the Synod's regional gathering and more from PWV's
Considering a call to seminary? Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA is a PCUSA seminary with a diverse and inclusive community that offers a robust education and full scholarship programs for all masters-level degree students. A seminary education can lead to careers in congregational ministry, chaplaincy, nonprofit leadership, education, and more. All of our students share one essential characteristic: God has called each one to faithful discipleship and leadership in Christ’s Church. If you’re interested in more information or a discernment conversation, please contact Sarah Kate Bumgarner at BumgarnerS@ctsnet.edu. See more at www.ctsnet.edu.
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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.