Issue 177 | September 24, 2020
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If your county moves into the red or orange zone in the state’s color-coded map for schools, it’s time to suspend in-person worship. If it’s not considered safe for children as well as teachers to be in school, why would it be safe for church members to gather for in-person worship? If anything, our members will be at much greater risk for contracting Covid-19 than school children because most of our members will be of an age that puts them at greater risk for this disease and/or will have health issues that make them more susceptible to infection. Granted, this is not a perfect system. The map keeps getting tweaked in order to allow more high schools to play sports. Nevertheless, despite its shortcomings, the map does give us some sense of how fast the coronavirus is spreading in our communities, which is important.
From the Resource Center
It's been a hard year for camps across the country, and Bluestone is no exception. Friends of Bluestone is working hard to create income to maintain the camp this year, and you can help, thanks to SaveAround Coupon Books, a win-win fundraiser where you pay $20 for a coupon book (good now through the end of 2021), and half goes to Bluestone. After you use 3-5 coupons, you've paid yourself back that $20 investment, and from there on, it's pure savings. Plus, you have the pleasure of knowing you also provided needed capital for Bluestone! What's not to love about that? If you are interested in buying books or you want to help sell them, please email Scott Hamilton, Charleston, at or Sarah Specht, Huntington, at There are also books for many other areas of the US, including Pittsburgh; these are useful for family and friends not in West Virginia.
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.
  • 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
Enslow Park and Highlawn Presbyterian churches in Huntington are joining forces for a National Day of Prayer "under the tent" outdoor service from 3-5 p.m. Saturday at Enslow Park, 1338 Enslow Blvd. It will be broken into four half-hour segments, all with music (including Hillary Herold and Rodrigo Almeida of Enslow Park and Commissioned Pastor Jim Johnston of Huntington Second Presbyterian), speakers (including Rev. Chris Bailey of Marshall UKIRK and Dr. Pat Collier of Kenova First Presbyterian), and prayer. Reservations are requested here.

Presented by The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, this series began in August and will continue through December. The remaining sessions take place on the first Thursday of the month, running 4-6:30 p.m. October focuses on Health with keynote speaker Camara Jones, November on Education & Employment with keynote speaker Michael Eric Dyson, and December on Housing & Wealth with a keynote speaker yet to be announced. Programs are free to attend, though registration is required.

Mission Committee member Melody Simpson participated in the first two, plus part of an additional one in September, and said, "They are a wealth of information, with impressive keynote speakers followed by equally impressive panel discussions (which are often comprised of a combination of local and national folks). Attendees are able to submit questions in the chat feature, and the speakers and panelists often pull from those questions in their discussions.
“Jesus Christ and the Dividing Wall: Race and God’s Mission” is the theme for this year’s World Mission Initiative Conference/Month of Mission Series, which is moving online October 7, 14, 21, and 28. Noted authors and educators Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Brenda Salter McNeil and David Campt will headline the event, which includes four lectures and five pre-recorded workshops, as well as Q&A sessions and facilitated discussions.

A number of congregations plan to use the series for their Wednesday evening programming; if you would like to do that, visit the link in the headline for the downloadable materials, How to Host a Virtual Watch Party and Pre-Conference Resource List, and request a leader's guide of study questions for each evening, plus the follow-up materials, including five 40-minute video presentations.

Each night begins at 7:30 p.m., with the nationwide portions ending by 8:30; however, your congregation can hold its own conversation on the plenary following that. The conference is free, but registration is required, though you only have to register once. Click here for an event PDF that highlights the presenter and topic for each week.
West Virginia Council of Churches 139th Annual Assembly
Noon, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Public Policy Forum, 2 p.m. Oct. 13
The West Virginia Council of Churches' Annual Assembly will be online this year, and it will span a month's worth of afternoon sessions instead of one full day. Each Thursday in October will feature a different topic: worship, Oct. 1; Community Reentry in the Midst of Coronavirus, Oct, 8; Faith, Scouting, and Foster Care, Oct. 15; Reinhold Neibuhr and the Nature of Evil, Oct. 22, and Dismantling Racism and the Church, Oct. 29. In addition, the Public Policy Forum, which is usually held in conjunction with the Annual Assembly, will be held on Zoom at 2 p.m. Oct. 13. Register here for any or all of the Annual Assembly sessions and/or the Public Policy Forum. This year's event is free, but if you would like to donate to the West Virginia Council of Churches, you can on the registration form.
Oct. 12-14 (evening Oct. 12, 11-3:15 Oct. 13 & 14)
Presented by Montreat and the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Theology, Formation & Evangelism office, this three-day event is for church leaders and congregation members to reconsider what effective evangelism might look like in their neighborhood/community. It will seek the wisdom of 1,001 New Worshiping Communities and the Vital Congregations initiative to create a platform for sharing the practices and lifestyles, individual and corporate, that allow people to effectively share the good news. Key leaders are Ray Jones and Jerry Cannon, with a dozen panelists and more. Cost is $100 per person; some subsidies available. Register here.
1-3 p.m. Oct. 27 and 1-4 p.m. Oct. 28.
Like so many others, this year's Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network conference is going virtual. It will bring together leaders and experts on aging, spirituality, and pastoral care, as well as leaders from communities of faith, seminaries, academia, and community organizations. Keynote speakers are Cynthia Rigby and Sally Wright; worship leader is Dianna Wright. Register here. The conference is free, but a suggested donation of $25, to be given to the PDA, is requested. Click here for an event flyer.
On Sunday, 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, like racism, white privilege, hyper partisanship, and the pandemic. The first speaker, on Sunday, is Dr. James Calvin Davis, author of Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church. Registration is mandatory for this first session; registration for the remaining sessions will be available as topics and speakers are finalized.
The new website is a resource from Christianity Today and several of its sub-sites: CT Pastors, Church Law & Tax, Preaching Today, Church Salary, and It features articles in three main topics: Welcome People Back, Manage Your Space, and Adapt Your Services, plus Leadership Roundtable videos and a free weekly newsletter that you can sign up for.
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. 
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. Contact Marcia Leitch at
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.