Issue 156 | October 31, 2019
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The Presbyterian Church encourages its congregations to identify themselves as Matthew 25 churches. That means they willingly embrace one or more of these three focuses: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty. I’ve been hearing more and more about the Matthew 25 initiative. We already have one of our congregations accept this challenge: First Presbyterian Church, Dunbar.
Rock Lake snack bag program
This is the first in a series of visits to mission-related programs that the Presbytery chooses to support. 
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 the NOVEMBER newsletter in the format of your choice:
Festival of Faith 2020
Hopes and Dreams: God’s Church in the World
Next year’s Festival of Faith, a day of learning, worship, and fellowship will be 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28 at First Presbyterian Church, Charleston. Jill Duffield, editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, will be the keynote presenter. Committee chairs and presbytery staff have been asked to submit workshop applications by Nov. 14; others who wish to submit workshop applications also need to do so by then. The Festival of Faith Planning Team will review all workshop applications at its next meeting and select those to be offered in March. If you would like to submit a workshop proposal, click here.
Light of the World: A Beginner’s Guide to Advent by Amy-Jill Levine explores the Nativity stories in the gospels of Luke and Matthew, looking at the historical contexts and literary connections in each story. This an easy to read, insightful book that provides background for the stories of Jesus’ birth in the gospels of Matthew and Luke.
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It is with much sorrow that Trinity Presbyterian Church in Shady Spring announces the passing of David Martin Astle Jr. on Oct. 20. Dave was a faithful member of Trinity, Trustee, Elder of 9+ years, chef, and greeter on Sunday mornings. He was known for his wit and the ability to make others laugh. He was also known for his famous hot dog recipe, which he made for yard/bake/hot dog sale fundraisers at Trinity, as well as the cooking classes he conducted for the congregation and friends, which were fun for all who attended. Read Dave's obituary here . Please keep his family and friends in your prayers.

Congratulations to Fayetteville Presbyterian member Emma Ellis, who was crowned Marshall University Homecoming Queen/Miss Marshall on Oct. 26. Emma plans to pursue a medical degree after graduation.
Help fill the WV State University campus food pantry!
St. Albans First Presbyterian is a ministry partner with West Virginia State University's UKirk program, and they're helping stock the school's food pantry with shelf-stable items like pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, granola bars, cereal bars, crackers, canned fruit, cereal and ramen noodles. You can assist them by donating food or a check made out to WVSU Foundation, indicating in the memo line that it's for the campus pantry. The contact at the school is Kellie Toledo, Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services, West Virginia State University, 125 Sullivan Hall East, P.O. Box 1000, Institute, WV 25112; you can also contact her at 304-766-3262 or
In less than a month, Charleston First Presbyterian will open its annual holiday fair trade boutique, Hope Village, which offers unique items from around the world produced by organizations that employ and sustain refugees, women and children brought out of sex trafficking and international artisans living in poverty. Every purchase directly affects the
lives of the artisans and their families by providing food, clothing, shelter and education. Hope Village, located on the first floor of the church, 16 Leon Sullivan Way, will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (except Thanksgiving) and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday beginning on Nov. 21. Call 304-343-8961 for more information.
The General Assembly Nominating Committee will bring to the 224th General Assembly nominations for nearly 30 entities — boards, committees, and commission. The Committee’s process of discernment and nomination is dependent upon a diverse and deep pool of people who are willing to share their gifts, talents, expertise, and time in service to the larger church. Please consider whether God may be calling you to service on a General Assembly level entity. Click the link above for the nominations portal, which is accepting applications through Dec. 6.
Learn about John Yeager's "Called to Love" book series, which follows the Revised Common Lectionary with brief essays connecting the scripture to real life. 
Free to a good home!
South Charleston First Presbyterian has 50 copies of the blue Presbyterian Hymnal and at least 100 of the old red Hymnbook they’d be happy to donate to any church in need. Contact the church office at 304-744-2333 or

Nitro First Presbyterian has 34 maroon choir robes with white stoles they would like to give away. Contact the church office at 304-755-3242 from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday.

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 office at 304-744-7634 or
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 $15, 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.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.