Issue 168 | May 14, 2020
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
Due to the uncertainty about whether we will be able to gather safely, the May 21 Presbytery meeting has been canceled. It is important for us to gather for worship, education, and fellowship, but upon consideration, there appears to be no pressing business that we need to act upon at this time. If pressing business arises, such as an examination for ordination of a candidate who would be called to serve one of our churches, we will have a called presbytery meeting for that purpose.
I want to address three topics in this article: celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month now, in light of the current circumstances in which pastors are working; debating whether it's a better use of our time to try to have a worship service in person that will have many restrictions and may well put people at risk or to try to strengthen our online worship services that keep people safe and connects with people beyond our current membership; and the hacking of my email for phishing purposes.
2020 Small Church Conference
Saturday, Sept. 12 at Clarksburg First Presbyterian
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had us all focused in many other directions these past several weeks, the Small Church Conference planning team has made some progress on this year’s event. This includes choosing the conference theme – “Encouraging and Equipping” – as well as the keynote speaker – Rev. Dr. Judi Slater (pictured, the pastor of Duquesne (PA) First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Shared Ministry Team for Lincoln Place Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. In addition to her keynote presentation, she will also lead a workshop.
Regarding singing in worship
Earlier this month, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medical Association presented a webinar on the near future of public singing in America. Click for the video (approximately 2.5 hours) or a print summary . Additionally, the Wisconsin Council of Churches produced this resource on church music once congregations return to in-person worship.
Worship & Music Conference goes virtual this year
This year's Presbyterian Association of Musicians conference, its 50th, was scheduled to be held this summer at Montreat; instead, because of the pandemic, it will now be held online - participate live June 21-26, or watch the recordings any time after. Click the image below to go to the conference website for more information and to register.
Seeking print copy of Companion to the Constitution
If there is anyone no longer in need of their print copy of the 2000 edition of the resource book Companion to the Constitution, which provides helpful narrative descriptions and reflections in spite of its outdated citations to the old Form of Government, please contact the Stated Clerk ( statedclerk@wvpresbytery.org).
WVU research project on COVID-19 and the faith community seeking responses from clergy and laity
Dr. Angel Smothers of the WVU School of Nursing is conducting a survey of how clergy and laity are responding to the coronavirus epidemic. Should you decide to participate, it only takes about 10 minutes, and your involvement will be kept as confidential as legally possible. Click for the clergy survey and the lay survey.

  • Information from the Board of Pensions
  • CARES Act
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness
  • Maintaining church treasurer's operations
  • 2020 Special Offering Calendar
This highly regarded annual preaching conference, which will feature 28 presenters, is being offered in a FREE, ONLINE format this year. The 5-day event will focus on the fact that the world needs good preaching… now more than ever. The conference theme is Preaching a New Earth: Climate and Creation. Register here.
Festival of Faith has moved to August 29!
Festival of Faith, with keynote presenter Jill Duffield, editor of The Presbyterian Outlook, has been moved to Saturday, Aug. 29. More information will be coming in early summer. Please mark this date on your calendar!
Christian Educators' weekly Zoom
Christian educators are meeting weekly by Zoom from 1-2 p.m. Wednesdays at least through June. This is an opportunity to share what they are doing with faith formation at home, as well as check in with each other during this time of staying in place. Anyone who is involved in the educational ministry of their congregation is welcome to participate. To do so, contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568, so she can include you in the Zoom invitation.
For the first time in the history of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), General Assembly will be held online only. The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) voted unanimously to approve a plan for a reduced assembly gathering that will require everyone involved — commissioners, advisory delegates, corresponding members and staff — to participate in a digital assembly.
In this unique time, church leaders are experimenting with different technology and other resources to stay connected with their congregations and engage in vital ministry. In this short, five-question survey about your current service to your church in this time of pandemic, the Synod of the Trinity wants to know what is working for you, what is not, and how you are taking care of "you." Please share the survey with leaders within your congregation who didn't receive it.
Have you read "re: RE," the PC(USA)'s Regarding Ruling Elders article series?
In its news section, the Presbyterian Church (USA) website offers brief articles focused on ruling elders called Regarding Ruling Elders: a Monthly Series for Serving Faithfully. This month’s article, Ruling Elders in a Pandemic, focuses on the central question of how we will remain the church.
In our new reality of virtual worship, session meetings and more, Zoom video conferencing has become a regular part of life for many of us. Because of this increase of use, Zoom updated its system earlier this month in order to help prevent "Zoombombing," where an unwanted guest hacks into your worship service or meeting and displays unwanted content or creates unwanted noise. This includes a new Security icon, which is a quick one-stop location for many important security features, in the host's bottom toolbar during a meeting. Click on the article title for a document from Synod of the Trinity Communications Coordinator Mike Givler about keeping your Zoom gatherings safe.
The Presbyterian Mental Health Network offers resources for congregations, clergy, and communities in this unprecedented time. See tips for promoting your mental and spiritual well-being, as well as how to deal with stress, fear, and panic.
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Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is offering a pair of hour-long webinars designed to increase participants’ understanding of their own signs of stress and teach in-the-moment tools for body and mind relaxation. One is geared towards faith leaders, and the other is for general audiences. It is recommended that participants also download and print out the accompanying handout . Recordings of the two webinars can be viewed or downloaded, or PDA can offer groups a live webinar upon request.
Davis & Elkins College alumnus Ryan Mullennex ’18 enjoyed his internship through PC(USA)'s Young Adult Volunteer Program so much that he enthusiastically accepted a position with the organization, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, as his first full-time job. Little did the Elkins native know that just a few months into his career, his work would be more in demand than ever.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Presbytery office is closed. Staff is working remotely and available to help. Contact information is below.

Ed Thompson, General Presbyter

Maureen Wright, Stated Clerk/Associate for Congregational Ministry

Rocky Poole, Treasurer/Financial Administrator
treasurer@wvpresbytery.org or 304-481-7239

Barbara Chalfant, Associate for Mission
missions@wvpresbytery.org or 434-944-0137

Susan Sharp Campbell, Associate for Educational Ministry

Amy Robinson, Office Manager/Communications Director
office@wvpresbytery.org or 304-206-6173

Nellie Howard, Resource Center Director

Mark Miller, Bluestone Facilities Director
mark@bluestonecamp.com or 304-466-0660

Sarah Specht, Bluestone Program Director
sarah@bluestonecamp.com or 304-690-6667
QUICK LINKS
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.