Issue 169 | May 28, 2020
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
Order your 2020-2021 Presbyterian Planning Calendar
PC(USA) has raised the price for the Presbyterian Planning Calendars, which run from September through next December, so our cost will also increase, making calendars $11 each this year. This cost is for pickup at the Presbytery office; mailed orders will incur an additional postage fee, calculated according to shipment size.

Order here or by emailing or calling 304-206-6173 and leaving a message with the number of calendars you'd like to order, plus your name and church. All orders must be received by the Presbytery office by June 12.
Maybe you remember this song from church camp or perhaps Vacation Bible School: “The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple. The church is not a resting place. The church is a people. I am the church. You are the church. We are the church together. All who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes, we’re the church together.” It was written by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh back in 1972. The words came to mind during the recent kerfuffle about churches supposedly needing to reopen. While some church buildings have been and maybe still are closed for in-person worship, that doesn’t mean the church is closed. Because as Avery & Marsh put it, “The church is not a building. (…) The church is a people.”
From our Stated Clerk: Save the dates
New Pastor Orientation
9:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, June 11 online
All newly-ordained and/or new to the Presbytery pastors are invited to attend a virtual New Pastor Orientation, as are any pastors who have not attend a previous New Pastor Orientation. The event, which runs 9:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday, June 11, will include members of the PWV staff and the Committee on Ministry. Register by emailing Maureen Wright ( or Cyndi Taylor (

Rescheduled Healthy Boundary Training
9 a.m. to noon Monday, Aug. 24 at the PWV office
All pastoral leaders – Ministers of Word and Sacrament (including Honorably Retired ministers serving congregations), Certified Christian Educators, Commissioned Pastors, ministers of other denominations serving our congregations, lay pastors, and those on the Pulpit Supply list – are required to complete a Healthy Boundary Training Workshop every five years. The one scheduled for March 31 that was cancelled due to the governor's stay-at-home orders has been rescheduled for Monday, August 24. Currently, it is planned to be held at the PWV office, but if that is not possible, it will be held online.

Anyone who has not completed a Healthy Boundary Training workshop after 2015 needs to attend. The workshop will be led by Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center Executive Director Sky Kershner. There is no cost to participate. Register by emailing Maureen Wright at
By Sarah Specht, Bluestone Program Director
As many of you could have guessed, we had to make the hard choice to cancel summer camp this year. We had many meetings over Zoom to try to figure out a way to do camp the way we always have, but it was just not a reality that could happen due to COVID-19. Everything has been turned upside down in the last three months, and camp is included in the craziness. Kids had to move from school in the classroom to school on the computer, church moved out of the sanctuary and into our living rooms, and now Bluestone must find a new way to reach the youth in our Presbytery and beyond.Two of the ways we want to reach out this summer are by building a kid-friendly summer camp website and increasing our presence on social media. We want to use this summer to really learn how to use audio-visual equipment, social media platforms, and new ways of communicating, so we can reach campers of every generation. We are pretty good at the in-person side of camp, but we need to get a lot better at the “virtual” side of camp.
Enslow Park Presbyterian Church, Huntington
Enslow Park is searching for a part-time Music Director to play the organ or piano for Sunday worship. The preference is for an organist, but pianists will be considered. If interested, the Music Director may also conduct the Chancel Choir on a regular basis or perhaps only on special occasions. For more information, contact Harry Faulk at or 304 894-4838.
News from the Presbyterian Historical Society
PHS Live: Exploring the Pearl Digital Archive
2-3 p.m. Thursday, June 4
Next week sees the launch of PHS Live, a series of virtual programs hosted on Zoom. This first session focuses on the Pearl digital archive and will cover searching and navigating within it, while also giving a glimpse of the most interesting and unusual digital collections. To vote on potential future topics, click here.

By John C.B. Webster for the Presbyterian Historical Society blog
These guidelines, which I hope will help others working on congregation histories, are offered after completing three very different projects: two Baptist congregation histories and one Presbyterian congregation history. One was for a 250th anniversary, the second a 175th anniversary, and the third a 50th anniversary. These experiences have shown me that while there is no one easy formula that applies to all such histories, there are certain guidelines worth following.
By Matthew J. Skolnik for The Presbyterian Outlook
Whether your congregation is about to return to your church building with attentive safety measures or your elders have decided that now is not the time to open your doors, it is important to stop and carefully consider the meaning of the now ubiquitous phrase, the new normal. As people of faith, when we consider what it means to have a new normal, we are not just talking about public health and personal safety practices. Neither are we solely focused on COVID-19 and its effects on systems far and near. Rather, as we recall long-past eras when God was unfolding a new normal – such as the Reformation, the Babylonian Exile and the life of Jesus – we remember that God does not  do something new  in a vacuum.
By The Millennial Pastor (Rev. Erik Parker)
It’s been months of isolation, months of mostly staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19. But active cases are going down (or maybe not), and politicians and business leaders are worried about the economic impact of social distancing. And so, for a few weeks now, things have been opening up. Things seem to be going well enough, so the government announces the next phase of opening, which includes increased gathering sizes. 
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.
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 (
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.
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 .
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!
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 or 304-481-7239

Barbara Chalfant, Associate for Mission or 434-944-0137

Susan Sharp Campbell, Associate for Educational Ministry

Amy Robinson, Office Manager/Communications Director or 304-206-6173

Nellie Howard, Resource Center Director

Mark Miller, Bluestone Facilities Director or 304-466-0660

Sarah Specht, Bluestone Program Director or 304-690-6667
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.