Issue 158 | December 6, 2019
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article
Christmas is coming! Although we may enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, the shorter amount of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year probably ramps up the pressure we feel to get gifts for everyone on our list.

What can we get for someone who has everything or who tells you that they don’t need anything? Rather than a tie, sweater, or candle, you might consider giving a gift to a particular cause or organization in their name. While your mailbox may be inundated with requests from various groups, let me suggest three options that you might not have considered. 
Presbytery will place another Book of Order order soon
On Dec. 16, the Presbytery is submitting an order for 2019-2021 Books of Order for any individuals or churches who need one, but particularly for any churches who may have new officer training coming up in the new year. The price will either be $8.50 or $9 each, depending on how many we order. To be included in the order, contact Amy Robinson at or 304-744-7634 by 5 p.m. Dec. 16.
By Brendan Stump for the Synod of the Trinity
On Nov. 21, members of the  Presbytery of West Virginia  gathered at  Teays Valley Presbyterian Church  for a presbytery meeting where 34 churches were represented by 123 participants at the event. Not only did the representatives travel in to vote on presbytery matters, but they also took part in a program known as  Rise Against Hunger , a non-profit with the goal of eliminating world hunger by the year 2030. The attendees packaged 15,120 meals, enough to feed 70 children for 220 days, according to Rise Against Hunger.
“We had an average number of people here,” said Troy Henson, the Community Engagement Manager for the Lynchburg warehouse of Rise Against Hunger. “They were really fast, though.”
Our Co-Moderators of the 223 General Assembly, the Reverend Cindy Kohlmann and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintron-Olivieri, chose Neighborhood Church for this year's PC(USA)-wide book study. If your congregation isn’t going to get its study in by the end of 2019, why not make a resolution to study it early in 2020? This suggested book study has sparked conversation across our denomination.
Nurturing Faith Ideas are weekly suggestions and activities from the Presbytery’s Nurture Committee to link worship and home and to nurture faith development in persons of all ages and family types. You are encouraged to share them with your congregation each week/month in bulletins, newsletters, email blasts or Facebook posts. Please feel free to edit them as desired. Ideas for the entire year are also on the Presbytery homepage and found at the bottom of each edition of the newsletter. 
As 2020 draws quickly near, this article shares some Presbytery event dates to keep in mind. You will find more information on the first three events throughout this newsletter; information on the rest will be available in January. Now’s a good time to mark your calendars for the new year.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 1 in Charleston, Clarksburg and Huntington
The Intergenerational Day of Service (formerly the Youth Day of Service) is a day of service on Saturday, Feb. 1, that will be based in different parts of the presbytery: Bream Memorial, Charleston; First, Clarksburg; and Highlawn, Huntington. People ages 10 through adults are encouraged to join together at the sites to participate in local mission in a variety of forms. Registration required by Jan. 23 to help event coordinators at the various sites plan.

  • 2020 Per Capita
  • 2020 Shared Mission Pledge Request
  • 2019 Year-End Benevolence Processing
  • New Overtime Rules
  • Change to IRS W-4 Form
  • Christmas Joy Offering
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 DECEMBER newsletter in color two sided or black-and-white two sided format.
A note on background check requests
As we prepare for a new year, if your church has new staff members or volunteers you need background checked before they start, please click here for the most current background check request form. Check your church’s Child Protection Policy to see how long volunteers’ background checks are good. (The Presbytery’s policy is every two years, while Bluestone requires a new one annually.) Finally, if you have a time-sensitive request, please let us know when it is sent the date by which you need the results. 
Eco-friendly, kid-friendly
and creative
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Presbytery office
Are you a lectionary preacher who at times wonders about other preaching possibilities but isn’t sure where to start? Are you a non-lectionary preacher who struggles for new ideas? Are you wanting to learn more about preaching possibilities? Are you just interested in reflecting with colleagues on preaching? If so, then this toolbox course might be helpful to you. It is open to anyone (commissioned pastors, authorized lay preachers, ministers of word and sacrament, educators, lay preachers, others) interested in learning more about preaching beyond the lectionary.
Educator, Clergy, CP, ALP Retreat
Feb. 17-18 at St. John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston
While details for this event are still being finalized, we can share that Sarah Ruden, a poet, translator, essayist, and popularizer of Biblical linguistics, will be the presenter. She has begun a new translation of the Gospels for The Modern Library, taking into account linguistic, literary, and historical research that has been poorly represented in standard translations. Complete information will be emailed to Christian Educators, Pastors, Commissioned Pastors and Authorized Lay Preachers later this month. 
The 2020 Montreat Youth Conference , July 11-18, will provide opportunities for youth in our churches to connect with hundreds of high school youth from across the country to engage in faith conversations exploring who God is and who we are. Youth currently in grades 8-12 are invited to participate, though space is limited as the Presbytery only has room for 14 people, including adults.
Eleanor Presbyterian celebrates pets with animal blessing
Eleanor Presbyterian's first Blessing of the Animals was held Nov. 10 with more than a dozen dogs present. Following an introduction by Pastor John Yeager (at right in both photos) and a reading by Clerk of Session Bev Luikart, each animal was blessed with myrrh oil and a prayer was said. Those animals who were not able to be there or who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge were also prayed for.
First Presbyterian Church of Morgantown is the second PWV church (behind Spencer) and the third in all of West Virginia (including Shepherdstown) to become a More Light Church. More Light Presbyterians mission is to empower and equip individuals and congregations to live into their welcome for LGBTQIA+ people. 
By Leslie Scanlon, Presbyterian Outlook
Look: Here we are in West Virginia, the heart of coal country. This is a place where Presbyterians could give some answers to the “What can we do?” question about climate change.
Eleanor pastor Called to Love for a third time
John Yeager released the third book of his Called to Love trilogy, for the lectionary's Year A, on Nov. 30. For more, visit or contact Yeager at 304-360-1198 or
Dick Krajeski, who was an associate pastor at First Presbyterian in Morgantown in the 1970s and ‘80s and later at First United Presbyterian in Mannington and Bethlehem in Shinnston, has been diagnosed with “aggressive liver cancer” and has chosen not to have treatment, according to reports from his daughters. Following the great flood of 1985, Dick led disaster recovery work through Church World Service and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. In recent years, he has served in the Bayou area of LA. For anyone who would like to send a card or note, his address is 106 Sandlewood Dr., Gray, LA 70359.
Jim Melkus, Elder and Treasurer at First United Presbyterian in Mannington, passed away at home on Nov. 30 after a short illness. Click here for his obituary. Memorial donations can be made to the Friends of the Mannington Library, the WV Elks State Major Project (camp for special needs campers) or the Elks National Foundation.

Jay Wilson Jr., the father of Presbytery of West Virginia minister member Rick Wilson, passed away on Nov. 20 in Spartanburg, SC. Click here for his obituary, and please keep Rick and his family in your prayers.
Spring Creek Presbyterian
Seeking pianist for weekly 10 a.m. worship services at small congregation in Renick. Salary open for discussion. Call 304-497-2574.

Administrative secretary
Rock Lake Presbyterian
Seeking a professional, self-motivated and confident person to perform clerical duties in church office. Successful candidate is Christ-centered, has people skills, is a problem solver and computer literate. A background check is required. Please send resume with references to RLPC, Attn: A&F Committee, 901 Village Dr., South Charleston, WV 25309 or Call 304-768-4141 with questions.

Keyboard accompanist
Teays Valley Presbyterian Church
Seeking 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 and events. Ability to play organ is preferred but not required. Salary based on experience. Contact Kyle Key at 304-757-6071 or
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News from PWV's
Free to a good home!
South Charleston First Presbyterian has 50 blue Presbyterian Hymnals and at least 75 of the old red Hymnbook they’d be happy to donate to any church in need. Contact the church at 304-744-2333 or
All invited to Rock Lake's new lectionary study group!
A newly formed lectionary study group meets at Rock Lake Presbyterian in South Charleston from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays. The time includes reviewing the lectionary passages or other passages of scripture that those attending may be using the following Sunday. For more information, call 304- 768-4141 between 8:45-12:15 weekdays.
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.