Issue 155 | October 17, 2019
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article
I attended the Wee Kirk conference in Laurelville, PA last week and had the opportunity to present a workshop on “Church Vitality and Resilience.” While I don’t consider myself an expert on the topic, I have been thinking about it quite a bit, trying to understand what makes a church healthy and what leads a church to make the decision to close. Vitality doesn’t seem to depend on a church’s size, its average worship attendance, or the size of its budget. Bigger isn’t necessarily better; smaller isn’t necessarily a death sentence. An important, although not critical, factor in a church’s vitality seems to be transparency. More often than not, that has to do with money.
Needs three more registrants in order to take place
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at Presbytery office
We have seen changes in our culture, our world and our church over the years. Pastors and other congregational leaders are encouraged to attend this event for tools and insights from leader Ken McFayden for moving your congregation into the future. Cost: $60. Register at the link above or here.
Need a smart, simple way to get everyone on the same page with an emergency plan? Just start with this document. Fill in the blanks, then add your congregation's own custom plan. Do it before you need it!

In an emergency or disaster, how can the Presbytery assist your congregation?
Relations Committee news
Collaborative Ministry grant applications due
The Relations Committee will meet on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 30 to review applications for Collaborative Ministry/Cluster Support grants. Interested in requesting funds? Fill out the grant form ASAP and email it to committee chair Elizabeth Campbell-Maleke at Questions? Call 304-893-4517.
International peacemaker Rev. Moon-Sook Lee speaks at First Presbyterian in Buckhannon on Sept. 29 as part of her recent tour through the state. (Photo by Steve Hornbeck.)
South Sudan mission pair to visit West Virginia
Bob and Kristi Rice, PC(USA) Mission Co-Workers to the South Sudan, will appear in West Virginia this coming week. On Sunday, Oct. 20, they will speak to an adult Sunday school class held in the dining room at First Presbyterian in Charleston. The next night, they will give a presentation about their work at 7 p.m. at Fleming Memorial in Fairmont. For more on the Rices, click here
Nov. 15-17 at Bluestone
Shelly Barrick Parsons, former Presbyterian Campus Minister at WVU and current Director of Children and Family Ministries at River Road Presbyterian Church in Richmond, VA, will be the Keynote Presenter for this retreat for those in grades 9-12 and their adult leaders. During the weekend, we will consider how as children of God, made in God’s image, we have value and worth as we are, despite messages from the media and other people that say if we don’t look, dress, act or believe a certain way we aren’t good enough. Complete details have been sent to church leaders. For more information or a Word document of the link above, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at or 304-645-4568. Register by Monday, Nov. 4.
On Oct. 6, Beckley Presbyterian celebrated four decades of its Noack Organ with a special program. Click the title link to read Rev. Monte Mitchell's article on the organ and the church's acquisition of it, as well as to view pictures.

The church's Service of Memories in Ministry will take place at 3 p.m. Oct. 26. Former and current pastors, pastors' families, employees, congregants, community members and friends of the church are invited to share their memories of Ruffner and its programs.

On Oct. 26-27, the First Presbyterian Church of Buckhannon will celebrate its 170th anniversary. On Saturday evening, there will be a program on the history of the church, complete with local music; then, on Sunday morning, General Presbyter Ed Thompson will be in the pulpit at the 11 a.m. service, which is followed by a covered dish lunch. Click the title link for more information, including a brief history of the church.
Nov. 8-9 at First Presbyterian, Charleston
This workshop uses the insights of family systems theory to help church leaders and all members become more effective stewards of their congregation’s health. Registration is $10 through Oct. 31 and $15 after, which includes lunch and a manual. Email and scan your form to or print and mail to Vannessa King, Programs Coordinator, First Presbyterian Church, 16 Leon Sullivan Way, Charleston, WV 25301.
It is with much sorrow that Eleanor Presbyterian shares the unexpected passing of 12-year-old Colten Dale Luikart, grandson of Clerk of Session Beverly Luikart and her husband, Ronnie, on Sept. 29. A student at Marlinton Middle School in Pocahontas County, where he played football for the Warriors, Colten was a frequent presence at Eleanor Presbyterian, helping out and attending services whenever he visited his grandparents. In addition to football, Colten loved the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing. He was known for his big heart and kindness and was a friend to many; the family asks for others to help keep his memory alive by doing acts of kindness for others and saying, “This is for you, Colten.” Please visit Acts of Kindness for Colten Luikart on Facebook to see some of the acts that have already been performed, then help pass it on with your own.
Lay Academy continues Perspectives on Peace Studies
4 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian, Charleston
This week, Karen and Roger Wise, members of the Charleston Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends are organizing a presentation on Quaker beliefs and peace-building. It will be in the chapel, with a reception to follow. Everyone is welcome, and lively discussions are encouraged. Call the church office at 304-343-8961 or Bob Newman at 304-345-0225.
By Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
A complete revamping of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s two main websites as they merge into one site will take about two years and will come about only with significant input from the Presbyterians who use them.
Young Presbyterian Scholars is a partnership between Westminster College and Presbyterian churches. Each congregation can nominate two students each year. In addition to membership in a Presbyterian congregation, students must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and be nominated by a member of the pastoral staff or a Westminster alumni belonging to the church. Pastor/alumni nominations due Nov. 1; student applications for admission to Westminster due Nov. 15.
Free to a good home!
Nitro First Presbyterian has more than 100 copies of the blue Presbyterian Hymnal to donate to a church or ministry in need. Contact the church office at 304-755-3242 or .

Following its closing, Richwood Presbyterian has 46 red hymnals, plus choir robes, choir music and various paraments free to any interested church. Contact the Presbytery at 304-744-7634 or
Job opening!
Keyboard accompanist (part-time)
Teays Valley Presbyterian Church
Teays Valley Presbyterian is looking for a gifted musician who loves Jesus and wants to use their musical gifts in worship! Responsibilities include playing hymns, accompanying the choir and playing with Praise Team. Other occasional responsibilities may include playing for special services, weddings, funerals, etc. Ability to play organ is preferred, but other experienced keyboard accompanists will be equally considered. Salary based on experience. Contact Kyle Key at 304-757-6071 or
Shoes for schoolchildren
Recently, Ripley First Presbyterian donated more than 200 pairs of shoes and socks for children at Ripley Elementary, Middle and High School. From left, church members Diane Hamric and Frances O'Connell with Ripley Elementary counselor Tina Contrill and Principal Janet Postlethwaite.
We invite you to print and include this newsletter in your bulletins or church newsletters, share it with your members and distribute it widely in your community. Click for OCTOBER news in the format of your choice: color two side, black-and-white two side, color booklet or black-and-white booklet.
By Elizabeth Campbell-Maleke
I recently read an  article  that suggested that rather than complaining about how other activities creep in and interrupt Sunday morning worship schedules, we need to make sure that what we are doing in the life of our churches and faith communities is so meaningful and appealing that people who come to worship, looking for their spiritual hunger and longings to be stoked, as well as challenged and filled, have just that take place. The worst thing that can happen is people come to church and get bored! But how do we do this, we good Presbyterians might ask? What are some potential ways we might enhance the experience of worship in the life of our church – especially if we are perhaps part of a smaller congregation, which is true for most of us in the presbytery, and to keep things fresh and new might feel a little overwhelming or even, dare I say it, impossible? (Artwork by Amy Parker)
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.