Issue 159 | December 19, 2019
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article
2019 was an outstanding year. For me personally, the high point came on March 2 when my granddaughter, Felicity Genevieve Johnson, was born. Then, in August, my wife and I celebrated our 40 th  wedding anniversary with a trip to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. For the presbytery, we welcomed several new pastors into the fold. Unfortunately, there were also some retirements and a few deaths over the past 12 months, but while things weren’t completely upbeat here in PWV, I’d say that, overall, it was a very good year. Continuing a tradition I started back in Northern Kansas, as my last newsletter article of the year, I offer up my personal Top 10 list.
The PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly is now receiving overtures to the 224 th  General Assembly, June 20-27, 2020. The Presbytery’s policy defines an overture as “an item of business that has been approved by a presbytery or synod that requests the General Assembly to take a particular action or approve or endorse a particular statement or resolution.” In accordance with our policy, a link to overtures filed with the General Assembly is now available on our home page, or  click here  to access it directly.
Clerks of Session should have received a letter outlining year-end information in early December, as well as a summary flyer included in the year-end Presbytery mailing. The letter included information on covenant renewals and the Statistical Report, as updated Pastor’s Compensation and Necrology Report forms. Covenant renewals are due Jan. 17, Pastor Compensation and Necrology reports are due Jan. 27, and Statistical Reports must be completed by Feb. 20. Additionally, information was included about the 2020 Listening Events, which include Session Record Reviews. Be sure to click the underlined title for more information on all of these things.
Feb. 17-18 at John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston
The focus of this retreat will be on how a more literary understanding of the Bible can enrich the life of faith communities. Sarah Ruden, a poet, translator, essayist, and popularizer of Biblical linguistics, will be the presenter. Open to all Christian Educators, Pastors, Commissioned Pastors, Authorized Lay Preachers and their spouses. C0st $80-$200 depending on rooming preference.
  • Now's the time to designate housing allowances
  • 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 JANUARY newsletter in color or black-and-white.
Large donation a Thanksgiving blessing at North Fayette Food Pantry
The North Fayette Food Pantry in Falls View is open the third Wednesday of each month, and normally gives out 200-225 bags of groceries. On Nov. 20, they gave out 259 bags, which wiped out their food supplies. The next day, Fred Mays, a member at Falls View Presbyterian Church and a regular pantry volunteer, received a call from Grant’s Supermarket in Smithers. They had food that needed to be picked up. Fred and two other volunteers (pictured with a Grant's employee) took their pickup trucks, and the donations filled all three trucks. The donation from Grant’s totaled more than $3,100. Truly a Thanksgiving blessing!
Better Than Average Training, for staff and volunteers who work with children and youth, came about when Pittsburgh Presbytery leaders decided they had resources to create a “better than average” training for folks unable to travel to national events. It takes place Jan. 16 at Sewickley Presbyterian Church. Click here for more.
Are you ready for 2020?
The Presbytery still has available 24 2019-2020 Presbyterian Planning Calendars, which run through December 2020. Besides dates, they contain helpful resources and planning aids. If you need one for the new year, they're $10 each, plus shipping costs if mailing is required.
Richard Lanning Krajeski
Dick Krajeski passed away peacefully at his home in Gray, LA, on Dec. 9 after a short battle with a rare and very aggressive form of liver cancer. In West Virginia, he served at Bethlehem and Mannington First United Presbyterian Churches. Click here to read his obituary. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the First Presbyterian Church of Bayou Blue, 3200 Hwy 316, or the Lowland Center, 106 Sandalwood Dr., both in Gray, LA 70359.

Charles S. McChesney
Charles McChesney passed away Dec. 11 in Briston, VA. In West Virginia, he served at both Smithers and Falls View Presbyterian Churches, as well as the Westminster Foundation. Click here to read his obituary. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the James M. and Lula McChesney Memorial Scholarship Fund at King College, 1350 King College Rd., Bristol, TN 37620, or Central Presbyterian Church, 301 Euclid Ave., Bristol, VA 24201. 

Robert Lyman Yoder
Robert Yoder passed away Nov. 12 in Durham, NC. In West Virginia, he served as pastor at Alderson, McElhenny and Pineville Presbyterian Churches, briefly as Alderson Federal Prison Camp's chaplain, and as a part-time Presbytery of WV staff member. Click here to read his obituary. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., Durham, NC 27701 or a charitable agency of your choice.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Presbytery office. Register by Jan. 6.
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.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 1
Formerly the Youth Day of Service, this 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.
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.
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.
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
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. 
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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.