Issue 254 | February 8, 2024

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Register here by Monday for the February 17 Virtual Stated Presbytery Meeting on Zoom.

A Word from our Transitional General Presbyter

Last Monday and Tuesday, I attended the Synod of the Trinity’s Executive Presbyter Forum, usually referred to as the EP Forum. It gathers three times each year, offering those serving the Presbyteries of the Synod in an executive role a space of support and a setting for discussion and for exchanging ideas, frustrations, and best practices. Forrest Claassen, Executive of the Synod of the Trinity, shared about a new grant for Presbyteries. While Presbytery of West Virginia Leadership Team members heard about the grant late in 2023, and our commissioner to the Synod, Jim Wilson, shared it with the Presbytery in his report to the November Stated Meeting, Rev. Claassen offered more details. The grants will be known as Fit for the Future Grants. Each of the 16 Presbyteries of the Synod will be able to apply for a $30,000 grant between now and the end of 2026. The grants will require that the Presbytery think about their identity and how the Presbytery can adapt structurally to be resilient and vital in the future. However, it is more than just “the Presbytery” as this grant opportunity challenges presbyteries to reflect on how they support their churches for resiliency and vitality. Rev. Claassen suggested that the grants are designed to allow Presbyteries to answer the questions, “What is this new, weird world?” and “What does it mean to bring the Gospel to this new, weird world?” How do we need to adapt and change our Presbytery and churches to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Your accuracy helps our accuracy! The importance of the Statistical Report for Per Capita assessment

The annual statistical report is a comprehensive document that provides essential data about our congregations to the PC(USA). It includes information such as membership numbers, baptisms, deaths, and financial contributions. This report is a crucial tool for maintaining accurate records and assessing the health and vitality of our congregations. The per capita assessment relies heavily on accurate membership numbers. By ensuring that our congregations' membership data is up-to-date and accurately reported in the annual statistical report, we contribute to the accuracy of the per capita assessment. This, in turn, ensures fair and equitable financial support for the wider church's mission and ministries. The rate is based on the membership of PC(USA) churches two years earlier from the Annual Statistical Report, which are the most recent figures available when General Assembly budgets are approved. So, for 2024, per capita is based off the 2022 membership numbers you submitted to the Statistical Report. 

We are connectional, and we count on you!

A note from Susan Sharp Campbell, Associate for Educational Ministry

For several years now, almost all of the information about events in the presbytery, including retreats, Festival of Faith, Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox courses, and more, is shared only electronically. Gone are the days of copying, collating, stapling, and stuffing more than 200 envelopes about these events. What that means is that we rely on those who receive the information about these events – Pastors, Clerks of Session, Christian Educators, Youth Ministers, and Youth Ministry and Christian Education contacts to spread the word to those who might be interested in being part of these events. When you receive these emails, please think about those who might participate and forward the emails to them. I appreciate your help in getting the word out.

Time is running out to register for the Educator, Clergy, Commissioned Pastor, Authorized Lay Preacher Retreat

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

Christian Educators, Pastors, and Authorized Lay Preachers, the deadline to register is tomorrow, FRIDAY, FEB. 9! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to look at biblical texts in a new way. If you have questions, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at [email protected] or 304-667-9428.         

2024 Presbytery Directory information due Monday

Church leaders, please send us your 2024 directory information by MONDAY, FEB. 12! You can fill out this form, then email it to [email protected] 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.

2024 Spring Youth Retreat: Crossing Paths

April 12-14 at Jackson's Mill, Weston

This retreat is for those in grades 6-12 and adults who work with them. Rev. Joseph Jumper, a recent seminary graduate and Resident Pastor at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, will be the keynote presenter. Throughout the weekend, the focus will be on the journeys that each of us are on and how God helps and guides us as we journey together, looking at the biblical stories of Joseph, David, and Jesus. The cost per person (youth and adults) is $65. The registration deadline is Monday, March 25. Emails with complete information will be sent to Pastors, Clerks of Session, Christian Educators, Youth Ministers and others early next week; please share this information with your youth.

Youth summer mission opportunity with WVMAW

July 14-20 in Colcord

This summer, the Presbytery’s Nurture Committee is offering an opportunity for those currently in grades 8-12 to work with a Project Manager from West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps. The work to be done will be based on the skills of the group, but could include building ramps, repairing porches, flooring, and roofing, as we seek to assist with the needs in the community. In addition to youth, at least three adults are needed to serve as advisors. If you are interested, please contact Susan Sharp Campbell, who will be coordinating and participating in this event. The cost per youth is $300, all of which will go directly to WVMAW. Presbytery will cover the costs for adults, food, and transportation. Participants will be housed in the manse at Colcord First Presbyterian Church. There is a limit of 20 people. The registration deadline is Monday, April 22. Complete information has been sent to church leaders; please post the flyer where youth and adults can see it and share the information page and registration forms with youth, parents, and any adults that might be interested.

Preaching Pentecost and the Long Road After

9:30 AM to 4:30 PM March 2 at Village Chapel and on Zoom

Is there more to preaching Pentecost than wearing red and having a birthday cake for the church? And what about the long season after Pentecost – how do we preach to keep people engaged and growing in this time? Our time together will explore the contours of preaching on the day of Pentecost and strategies for preaching during the summer months after Pentecost. Led by Union Presbyterian Seminary Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship Richard Voelz, our work together will be based on the Revised Common Lectionary texts for Year B. The cost per person is $40, and the registration deadline is Thursday, Feb. 29. You may register and pay online or send the registration form and check by snail mail.

2024 Festival of Faith: All the Light We Can See

April 6 at Charleston First Presbyterian Church

Shannon Craigo-Snell, Professor of Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, who grew up in the Teays Valley Presbyterian Church, will be the Keynote Presenter for this year’s Festival of Faith. Her keynote, "Understanding the Roots of Racism,” will explore how we can live out our Christian commitments to love and justice in the current context of racial tensions and how we might create space for new ways forward. Shannon will also be leading a workshop on “Christian Understandings of Evil.” One other workshop to highlight: Emily Chudy, the Board of Pensions’ Church Consultant for our region, will also be with us to share an update on the Board of Pensions’ Season of Rebuilding/Benefits Plan Initiative. There will also be limited opportunities for interested persons to meet with her individually with their questions and concerns. As always, Festival of Faith will be an excellent opportunity for learning, worship, fellowship, and food for congregational leaders. There will be a wide variety of workshops available for those in large and small churches. This year, we are also bringing back the childcare option. The deadline for early registration, lunch orders, and childcare registration is Friday, March 15. 

Communion Training for Ruling Elders

3-5 PM April 28 on Zoom

All sessions, particularly those whose churches do not have pastoral leadership, are invited to send ruling elders (they don’t have to be on the session currently) to this event. Participants must be approved by the session of their church of membership to be authorized. Note that there is an advance assignment that includes reading sections of the 2023-2025 Book of Order. There is no cost to participate. The registration deadline is Friday, April 19. Register by submitting your name, church, email, phone number, and date of session approval to attend this training to [email protected]. If you have any questions, you may contact Susan at this email address or 304-667-9428.

News from the Presbytery's Treasurer

  • Church treasurers and finance committees
  • Board of Pensions news: Register for the new Benefits Connect
  • Board of Pensions webinar: Tax Tips - 2023 Tax Update & Federal Tax Return
  • 2024 IRS Standard Mileage
  • Feds roll out new Form I-9
  • Year-end checklist
  • 2024 Pastor Minimum Compensation
  • 2024 Per Capita
  • Board of Pensions: New Medicare Advantage plan
  • 2024 Special Offerings
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Kathryn Ann Hickman McCrary

May 1, 1931 - January 31, 2024

Kathryn Ann Hickman McCrary, 92, passed away peacefully on January 31, 2024 at her home in Colfax, NC. She served the Presbytery of West Virginia as Director of Christian Education, and before that, she was on staff at the Greenbrier Presbytery, focusing on education. Click here for her obituary.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Village Chapel Presbyterian Church, 3818 Venable Avenue, Charleston, WV 25304, or Montreat Conference Center, Box 969, Montreat, NC, 28757. A celebration of her life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at River Landing on Sandy Ridge, 1675 John Knox Drive, Colfax, NC (Main Building, Multipurpose Room). A memorial at Village Chapel in Charleston, WV will be held at a later date.

News from our Congregations & Partners

PC(USA) launches Lenten resource webpage

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has created a new online landing page that offers a wide variety of devotional and worship resources for Lent from across the agencies of the PC(USA). The resources, many of which are free and downloadable, are suitable for use by individuals, congregations and mid councils.

"Leading with Good News in Difficult Times: Preaching & Teaching at Easter" free webinar Feb. 20

At 7 p.m. Feb. 20, join this free webinar with a panel of renowned PC(USA) preachers and educators. Each panelist - Brian Blount, Elizabeth Caldwell, Cynthia Campbell, and Thomas Long - will reflect on the theme “Leading with Good News in Difficult Times: Preaching and Teaching at Easter” to help inspire and encourage you during this Lenten season. Though the event is free, registration is required.

Faith & Community in Appalachia Conference

This conference, which runs March 14-16 at Twin Falls State Park, is a gathering of Appalachians envisioning our future together in the ecumenical Christian community. With workshops, immersion opportunities, speakers, and discussions with people and organizations from across the region, it is an opportunity for community and faith groups to be educated and share experiences on issues facing Appalachia, explore the possibility of new ways of working together, have the opportunity to pass on generational wisdom infused by the perspective of young activists, and share where God is at work in our communities. Registration is $150 and does not include lodging. Register here.


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