Issue 252 | January 11, 2024

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A Word from our Transitional General Presbyter

I am fascinated with New Year’s resolutions. The leaving behind of one year and the start of a new year offer endless possibilities, like an empty canvas or a blank slate. It seems natural that many people choose to make New Year’s resolutions. According to an online article from The History Channel (post by Sarah Pruitt on December 19, 2023), the forerunners of modern New Year’s resolutions were part of a 12-day pagan festival in Babylon known as Akitu. The Babylonians “crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed.” In ancient Rome a similar practice existed. The reforms of Julius Caesar grounded the practice in the god Janus who looked “backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future.” For Christians, John Wesley, created the Covenant Renewal Service held on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. These services focused on scripture, hymn singing, and prayer and included making resolutions for the coming year. Today the practice of New Year’s resolutions is mostly a secular practice. Regardless of the history of New Year’s resolutions, I am fascinated; I love the endless possibilities, the blank slate. I find the anticipation and invitation to answer and live out what comes next to be energizing – offering endless opportunities to be creative. The theological context is closely related to the invitation from Christ to live a new life as one who confesses Christ as Lord and Savior.

2024 Presbytery Directory information due Feb. 12

Has your church sent in its 2024 directory information to the Presbytery office? If not, please do so by MONDAY, FEB. 12! You can fill out this form, then email it to or mail it to Presbytery of WV, PO Box 11720, Charleston, WV 25339. If your information has not changed from 2023, please let us know that, so we can confirm it is correct. It is important that we get this information, so we can keep the directory up-to-date. Thank you!

News from the Presbytery's Treasurer

  • 2024 IRS Standard Mileage
  • Year-end checklist
  • Board of Pensions: New Benefits Connect website coming soon
  • Mastering 17 end-of-year financial tasks
  • Feds roll out new Form I-9
  • 2024 Pastor Minimum Compensation
  • 2024 Per Capita
  • 2024 Shared Mission Pledge Request
  • 2024 PWV Budget
  • Board of Pensions: New Medicare Advantage plan
  • 2024 Special Offerings

Church Officer Training to repeat in February 2024

Are you a newly elected ruling elder or deacon? Are you currently on the session or re-elected to serve on the session or as a deacon? Would you like to know more about the polity (government) of the church, the theology that guides our work, the responsibilities of elders and deacons? Then, join us for Officer Training on Feb. 11 and 18 from 2-5 PM on Zoom; this is a repeat of the November offering. These two sessions will build on and connect with each other, so participants are strongly encouraged to participate in both. There is no cost for this training, but you do need to sign up in order to receive the Zoom link and advance assignment. Participants will need a current copy of the Book of Order for the assignment and classes. Register by Feb. 1 by completing this form or sending the information requested to

2023 Session Record Reviews

The Session Record Reviews will be different in 2024. They will be conducted quarterly, both in person and online. Clerks of Session (or a ruling elder representative of the session) need to attend one of the events listed below by October 2024.

  • Feb. 4 – Charleston area in-person event, 3 PM
  • Feb. 5 – Zoom event, 7 PM
  • April 14 – Zoom event, 3 PM
  • April 21 – Bridgeport/Clarksburg area in-person event, 3 PM
  • Aug. 18 – Lewisburg area in-person event, 3 PM
  • Aug. 19 – Zoom event, 7 PM
  • Oct. 13 - Zoom event, 3 PM
  • Oct. 20 – Huntington area in-person event, 3 PM

Soul Space is the theme for the 2024 Educator, Clergy, Commissioned Pastor, Authorized Lay Preacher Retreat

Feb. 19-20 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston

This year’s ECCA Retreat - for Christian Educators, Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Commissioned Pastors, Authorized Lay Preachers, and their spouses - will explore a way of looking at the biblical text through the lens of Soul Space and our own gifts of creativity. It will run from lunch Monday through lunch Tuesday, with content sessions Monday afternoon and evening and Tuesday morning. The registration deadline is Feb. 9. Cost, including housing and meals, is $120/person, with a discount for the second person from the same church. There is also a commuter rate of $90/person, which includes the retreat and 3 meals. If you have questions, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at or 304-667-9428.         

News from our Congregations & Partners

Backpacks image

Backpacks for the Homeless project returns to Upshur Co.

The second annual “Presby Backpacks for the Homeless” project is underway at the First Presbyterian Church of Buckhannon. The relatively new endeavor to help individuals experiencing homelessness in Upshur County began last year with 25 backpacks and was so well received that organizers doubled the size of the project to 50 backpacks this year.

Five free and discounted digital services for churches

By Julie Raffety, The Presbyterian Outlook

As a pastor who also builds and maintains websites, I frequently come across churches paying for services they could be receiving for free. Religious groups, considered non-profits, have access to many free or discounted services in the digital marketing space. Here are my top recommendations for (mostly) free digital services for churches.

Protect ministry buildings from freezing temperatures

Freezing weather is a major cause of property claims, especially for churches because they are not occupied all throughout the week. Loss control specialists have seen the damage from when water freezes and expands in pipes, which leads to cracks and leaks. They’ve also seen what happens when water freezes in sprinkler heads - they can break under the pressure, resulting in hundreds of gallons of water raining down from the ceiling, waterlogging sanctuaries, and education wings. Take time now to develop a freezing weather routine to help prevent as much damage as possible. This article from Brotherhood Mutual will help get you started. You’ll learn what steps to take each time a freeze event is predicted for your area, as well as things to do when the weather is warm. 


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