Issue 218 | July 14, 2022
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I find it hard to rate General Assembly meetings. For in-person meetings, impressions get colored by the quality of the hotel room, the quality of the food, the friendliness – or perhaps the quality – of my roommate, the number of late night sessions, the number of “frequent fliers” (commissioners who make a nuisance of themselves by speaking repeatedly, often several times a day). The 225th General Assembly (2022) was harder to rate because while committee meetings were held in person, plenaries, for the most part, were held online. Because of this arrangement, I didn’t get to go to and really didn’t need to go to Louisville. Instead, I spent the time sitting mostly in my office, although for a few of the evening session I was at home, watching the livestream on the computer. Sometimes that meant I was sitting staring at a screen for more than 10 hours a day. That’s a lot. That got tiring. That has to affect my judgment. Yet, after a few days for rest and reflection, I’d have to rate the 225th General Assembly pretty highly. There were only a couple of “frequent fliers,” although they seemed to bother me more because I was watching them on my computer than they would have if we had been there in person. As I think back on it, the Assembly took some significant actions. There were probably 200 or more votes. (I could have gone back and counted them, but I didn’t.) These are the 12 that I think are the most significant.
By Haley Barker, Riley Farrell, and Marika Proctor, Religion News Service
At the Seven Loaves Food Pantry at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, volunteers have been serving 800 to 1,200 families a week since the COVID-19 pandemic began — about four times the weekly traffic in 2019.

At the ICNA Relief Food Pantry in Raytown, Missouri, just east of Kansas City, 100 new families have registered to receive the Muslim-led organization’s services in just the past month.

“We are busier than ever right now,” said Shannon Cameron, executive director of the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry in Aurora, Illinois, where, after a slight dip around tax return season, between 30 and 60 new families are registering every week.

The inflation that has loomed over the economy and restricted many Americans’ purchasing power of late has doubly affected low-income people who already struggle to get by. A recent survey by the anti-hunger organization Feeding America has shown that increased demand has affected nearly 80% of U.S. food banks, as higher prices cause more families to seek assistance.
(...) As economists prepare Americans for a possible recession, Beth Zarate, president and CEO of Catholic Charities West Virginia, expressed “anxiety” about the rural residents in her state and their ability to stay ahead of increased gas prices and food costs. At 15.1%, West Virginia has the highest percentage of households facing hunger, according to a 2020 USDA study.

Zarate is counting on West Virginians to come to their neighbors’ aid. “West Virginia is unique because we come out at the bottom of every chart in terms of chronic health issues, hunger and poverty,” Zarate said. “But we also have people who are good to each other.” (...)
Emmet Rogers grew up in Nicholas County thinking that he wanted to be a chemical engineer. God had other plans. In his junior year at Richwood High School, a Young Life group was started at the school. He was impressed that the leader of the program, Brian Shirak, would move to a backwater place like Nicholas County to tell teenagers about Jesus. That summer, Emmet went to the Young Life Summer Camp, and his life changed. He gave his life to the Lord, and he committed to following wherever God called him. He didn’t know where that would be, but he somehow knew that he would be called to go somewhere most people wouldn’t want to go in order to share the gospel with teenagers.
The Register-Herald, Beckley, WV
Rachel McNeel, a senior at West Virginia University majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology and business, will represent all West Virginia Presbyterian Young Adults at the National General Assembly in Louisville, Ky., June 20-24.

A member of the Presbyterian Student Fellowship, McNeel has excelled in blending her faith and major fields of study in chemistry and biology.

McNeel leads a busy life. She participates in weekly programs and worship services through the Campus Ministry Center at West Virginia University while serving as one of two interns through a special Eli Lilly Foundation Grant, according to a press release from the WVU Presbyterian campus minister. She is an active member at her Presbyterian Church in Beckley.
Enslow Park participates in pulpit exchange with fellow Huntington church Full Gospel Assembly
On Sunday, July 10, Enslow Park Presbyterian Church and Full Gospel Assembly hosted a pulpit exchange, with Enslow Park Commissioned Pastor John Yeager preaching at Full Gospel Assembly and its pastor, Bishop Samuel Moore, preaching at Enslow Park. After services, the two churches held a time of fellowship at Ritter Park. Though this was the first pulpit exchange between the churches, it was part of their ongoing collaboration, designed to solidify the relationship between the congregations.
Bishop Samuel Moore and Pastor John Yeager pose for a picture (above) while members of the two congregations enjoyed lunch and fellowship together (right).
Synod of the Trinity seeks next Stated Clerk
The Rev. Wayne Yost will retire from the position of Stated Clerk of the Synod of the Trinity at the end of the year. The search for the next person to serve as the Stated Clerk of the Synod is underway. Although a part-time position, the person fulfilling this role is important in ecclesiastical matters and in support of the ministry and mission of the Synod. Here is a link to the position description in CLC. Interested candidates should submit a PIF to the contact included.
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.
  • New 2022 IRS Standard Mileage
  • Adjusting Minister Housing Allowance
  • Are internal controls necessary?
  • PWV support of PDA's Ukraine humanitarian efforts
  • Credit card usage
  • Paying guest speakers
  • Board of Pensions news
  • Stewardship Kaleidoscope
  • 2022 Per Capita
  • 2022 Special Offerings
From the Stated Clerk
Clerks of Session are annually invited to participate in one of the Session Record Reviews in order to fulfill the Book of Order requirement as outlined in G-3.0108a. The review sessions are a time to meet other Clerks of Session and share best practices, ideas, and questions as well as enjoy fellowship. Stated Clerk Maureen Wright is available to answer questions and work with Clerks to best serve their church. The late summer events offer both in-person opportunities and an online opportunity on Zoom; all are at 3 p.m.
  • August 7 – Elk Hills Presbyterian Church, Charleston
  • August 14 – Frankford Presbyterian Church
  • August 21 –Fleming Memorial Presbyterian Church, Fairmont
  • August 28 – Milton Presbyterian Church
  • September 11 – Zoom
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.