Issue 176 | September 10, 2020
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
The Bible doesn’t talk a lot about dreams, but they still show up - maybe not all the time, but often enough. In the Old Testament, Jacob has dreams as does his father-in-law, Laban. Joseph has a couple of dreams that indicate how his brothers and his parents will bow down to him. Later, when he is in prison, he is able to interpret the dreams of his fellow prisoners, as well as the dreams of Pharaoh. In the New Testament, Joseph has dreams. An angel tells him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, even though she is pregnant. The magi are warned in a dream not to return to Herod. An angel tells Joseph in dream to take Mary and Jesus and flee to Egypt to escape from Herod, and after Herod dies, another angel appears in a dream to tell him it’s safe to return to Israel. Perhaps the most famous modern dream was given to Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of a day when America will live up to the ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence that “all men [sic] are created equal…” so that one day “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” As the coronavirus pandemic stretches ahead of us, I think it’s time for us to dream, or perhaps to ask God for a dream, about the future. What would your dream be for your church?
Festival of Faith follow-up: see Jill Duffield's presentations
This year's Virtual Festival of Faith, with Keynote Presenter Jill Duffield of The Presbyterian Outlook, seemed to go very well on August 29. Several in attendance have asked about obtaining a recording of Jill’s keynote and workshop, and the links to those, as well as the Gathering, are available by contacting You do not have to have attended the event to request these recordings.
Announcements from the Stated Clerk
Session Record Review events
The coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of the scheduled spring 2020 Session Record Review events. They have been redesigned as online events and rescheduled for next month. Click here for more information.

All Clerks of Session shall attend one of these upcoming Session Record Review events on Zoom:
  • Tuesday, October 13 at 1 PM
  • Thursday, October 15 at 7 PM
  • Sunday, October 18 at 3 PM
  • Tuesday, October 20 at 7 PM
Update Manual of Operations now for electronic meetings
It is vital to add language to your Manual of Operations to permit electronic and/or conference call meetings of the congregation, session, and committees. This should be done by the session as soon as possible and shared with the congregation. If you do not add language to your manual (or create and adopt a Manual of Operations), all actions taken in these meetings must be ratified at your next in-person meeting or they are out of order and subject to ecclesiastical challenge. 
  • Information from the Board of Pensions
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness
  • Executive Order on Payroll Taxes
  • Stewardship & Budgeting in a Time of Uncertainty
  • PDA Covid-19 Relief
  • 2020 Special Offering Calendar
Upcoming events in September
2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday

Good White Racist? author Kerry Connelly leads this Presbyterian Outlook webinar in which participants will begin to understand and deconstruct white identity and how it operates in the world; understand how this deconstruction resembles the stages of grief; learn how to practice agency over embedded whiteness, unconscious bias and inherent racism; get practical tips on how to combat systemic racism; gain language tools to accompany others in their process of deconstructing whiteness/other systems of dominance; and learn how the church can be an agent of change and justice in the current racial divide. Register here.
3 p.m. Wednesday
This webinar is the third in an ongoing series around the Matthew 25 vision, though it is open to all who are interested. Like the other two, it will feature facilitated dialogue, guest speakers, and the sharing of resources as it explores the question: Where in your church can you take action to address systemic poverty? "A crucial part of our worship and mission as Christians is to ‘see’ people who are enmeshed in the throes of poverty and respond with compassion and a determination to uncover and eliminate the root causes of poverty,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. This webinar can help you and your church do that. Register here.
September 18-20

The theme for this year's Days of Hope, sponsored by the West Virginia Council of Churches, is "You Can Touch a Life," focusing on the many children in our state who have been affected by the opioid crisis, with the number of them in foster and kinship care rising exponentially each year. Click here for a copy of the Days of Hope brochure.
1-3 p.m. September 19 & 26

These Saturday afternoon workshops are designed to create a more diverse and inclusive denomination by helping individuals - both clergy and laity - connect and learn with intercultural leaders in the PC(USA) to work together to transform majority white churches into more inclusive congregations. There will also be plenaries and breakout groups. Advance registration is required.
On September 27, the Synod of the Trinity begins its Sunday night Zoom speaker series, "The Beloved Community," which will identify some values that characterize a Beloved Community and begin to make connections with specific challenges in our world right now. Topics include The Character of Beloved Community, Racism, White Privilege, Hyper Partisanship, The Pandemic, and Technology.

The first speaker is Dr. James Calvin Davis, the author of Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church, which will be available for $18 from Hearts & Minds Books Sept. 26-28 when you use the promo code SYNODTRINITY. Registration is mandatory for this first session. Registration for the remaining sessions will be available as topics and speakers are finalized. Click here for the event PDF.
Katie joined the staff of Kanawha United this summer. She was introduced to ministry in West Virginia in 2017 as a Site Director in Logan for YouthWorks, a Christ-centered youth mission work organization. Now that she is in the Charleston area, she is working at the church part-time and is also a therapist at Highland Hospital. Joining Katie is her 2-year-old pitbull, Caleb, who has been helping her with her virtual lessons for children that she posts on the church's Facebook page.
By Michael Givler | Synod of the Trinity
Most congregations faced uncharted waters in mid-March when mandates from the coronavirus pandemic resulted in closed doors for communities of faith. Enslow Park Presbyterian Church in West Virginia was no different, but it also had a few other circumstances to deal with. A new pastor was scheduled to take the pulpit for the first time at the end of March, and the church’s preschool staff was laid off due to the pandemic.

Figuring out how to connect with a church body he was still getting to know became the top priority for Pastor John Yeager, C.P., who had served at nearby Eleanor Presbyterian Church for the previous five years. There were also some deferred maintenance problems with the Enslow Park Church building John found that needed immediate attention, and the situation with the preschool was another thing that required careful deliberation.
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 17 on Zoom
This fall, the Presbytery has the privilege of having Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology and author of The Witness of Preaching, lead an Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox Course on Preaching. This is a virtual course, with an hour off for lunch. Click the title link for more information and to register online, or click here for a PDF registration that you can print off and mail to the Presbytery Office.
FOR DONATION: 2019-2020 PW Bible study
The Presbyterian Women of Old Stone Church, in Lewisburg, really enjoyed the challenging lessons in last year's PW Bible study on the Ten Commandments. They would be happy to share their approximately 20 books and 2 DVDs with another church or organization that might be interested. For more information, contact Marcia Leitch at
“Jesus Christ and the Dividing Wall: Race and God’s Mission” is the theme for this year’s World Mission Initiative Conference, which is moving online October 7, 14, 21, and 28. Noted authors and educators Brenda Salter McNeil and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove will headline the event, which includes four lectures and six pre-recorded workshops, as well as Q&A sessions and facilitated discussions. The conference is free, but registration is required.
The comprehensive online Faith Practices Toolkits are designed to help faith leaders teach and guide their communities into becoming an intergenerational community of faith. Each kit explores a practice to celebrate Sabbath communally. The five faith practices featured are Hospitality, Prayer, Service, Storytelling, and Retreat. The toolkits are available for download on the office’s new toolkit webpage.
JOB OPENING: Music Director
Elk Hills Presbyterian Church, just north of Charleston is seeking a part-time Music Director, who will provide music appropriate for Sunday morning worship services (piano and/or organ) as well as seasonal services, and work closely with the choir and pastor in worship planning. For a position description or additional information, email
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 SEPTEMBER newsletter in color or grayscale.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way churches conduct worship. The Presbyterian Association of Musicians is assisting with that by offering $60 digital content packages for churches of all sizes, tailored to different congregational needs. The four content packs are:
  • Pack #1: For Children, Youth, and Their Leaders
  • Pack #2: Worship & Worship Reflections
  • Pack #3: Professional Development for Church Musicians
  • Pack #4: Christian Formation & Creative Discipleship
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.