Issue 178 | October 9, 2020
Click on an underlined title to go to the full article or link
I can recall very few, if any, books that have changed my mind. White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones is one of them. In some ways, the book could have used some better editing, or perhaps some parts of it could have been rewritten. (...) Despite the weaknesses, I found the book compelling in its overall argument: American Christianity has condoned and continues to support white supremacy. I didn’t want to believe that. Now I do. Jones has the data to back up that claim. More frequent church attendance does not make someone less racist. I would have thought and I would have argued otherwise. Based on Jones’ research, I was wrong.
Announcements from the Stated Clerk
The coronavirus pandemic prompted the cancellation of the scheduled spring 2020 Session Record Review events. They have been redesigned as online events. All Clerks of Session shall attend one of these 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
Last week, all Pastoral Leaders and Clerks of Session received information on pastoral covenant renewals and Commissioned Pastor annual reports. Due to the disruption of many regular meeting schedules because of the pandemic, this information is included in the title link. All churches served by Commissioned Pastors, Lay Supply Pastors, and Stated Supply Pastors submit an updated covenant annually. Sessions are encouraged to review, update, approve terms, and submit a 2021 covenant no later than Friday, Jan. 15, 2021PLEASE use the updated 2021 forms, which you can find in the link. If you need a copy of a covenant, please contact the Presbytery office or Maureen Wright.
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 OCTOBER newsletter in color or grayscale.
  • 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
  • Special Offering calendar & news
Register by Monday. Cost is $50, due at the time of registration.
On Saturday, Oct. 17, Thomas G. Long will lead this Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox course on Zoom. It will be an opportunity to look at ways “for preachers to plumb the depths and discover the riches of biblical texts” as they prepare sermons. This is a virtual course from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 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 by Monday. Contact Susan Sharp Campbell at susan_sharp_campbell@hotmail.com or 304-645-4568 for more information or if you have questions.
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7
The final 2020 Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox course, “Becoming an Intergenerational Church,” led by Presbyterian Mission Agency Associate Coordinator for Christian Formation Stephanie Fritz, will be held on Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 7. Intergenerational ministry occurs when two or more generations are engaged together, and sometimes if not often in our presbytery, those generations are all adults. The focus will be on how we might engage all generations in our churches. Cost is $15. The registration deadline is Oct. 22, with materials snail mailed to participants in advance and the Zoom login shared on Nov. 4. Click here for an event flyer.
Next year’s Festival of Faith, a day of learning, worship, and fellowship, will be Saturday, March 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Zoom. Diana Butler Bass, an award-winning author and internationally-known public speaker and thought leader on issues of spirituality, religion, culture, and politics, will be our keynote presenter. Committee chairs, presbytery staff, and others interested in presenting a workshop should submit their workshop application by the deadline of Monday, Nov. 16, so the Planning Team, at its meeting in late November, can review them and select those to be offered in March.
Click the image for more information
PWV Presbyterian Women want to connect with church PW participants
Sheila Brownfield, moderator of the Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery of West Virginia, wants to get more church PW circles involved with the PWV Presbyterian Women. If you participate in your church's Presbyterian Women, especially as moderator, please contact Sheila at 304-654-2924 (preferred method) or sbrownfi@aol.com.
The presbytery has a responsibility for “authorizing and training specific ruling elders to administer or preside at the Lord’s Supper when it deems it necessary to meet the needs for the administration of the Sacrament.”(G-3.0301b) One way the presbytery seeks to fulfill this responsibility, is with training events. This year’s training event will be 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8 on Zoom. The registration deadline is Monday, Nov. 2. Click here for an event flyer with registration details.
Many congregations elect ruling elders and deacons towards the end of the year. The Book of Order says, “When persons have been elected to the ordered ministry of ruling elder or deacon, the session shall provide a period of study and preparation, after which the session shall examine them as to their personal faith; knowledge of the doctrine, government, and discipline contained in the Constitution of the church; and the duties of the ministry." (G-2.0402) To assist pastors and Session moderators with this period of study and preparation, Susan Sharp Campbell, Associate for Educational Ministry, will be offering Officer Training that focuses on the above topics over two Sunday afternoons, Nov. 15 & 22, from 2 to 5 p.m. on Zoom. The registration deadline is Monday, Nov. 9. Click here for an event flyer with registration details.
Upcoming PWV events that have been cancelled
In light of continued concern over Covid-19, some upcoming Nurture Committee-sponsored events have been cancelled.
  • The Older Youth Retreat was scheduled for November 20-22. The hope is to get keynote presenter David LaMotte at a future retreat.

  • The 2021 Intergenerational Day of Service (previously Youth Day of Service would have been held in early February. The hope is to have it back in 2022. 
As most graduation ceremonies went virtual this year, one small liberal arts college in West Virginia made good on its promise to give the Class of 2020 an in-person commencement. The ceremony for Davis & Elkins College graduates took place in the fall instead of spring, it wasn’t on campus, and the whole class didn’t share one single stage. What did occur was the week-long, 11-stop “D&E Journey Tour,” where administrators took the ceremonies to the road.
The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program's International Peacemaker Symposium features 16 peacemakers from 2012-2019 speaking on topics ranging from healthcare and human rights to justice issues and world mission. The PPP has been releasing one program a day on their Facebook page, which we have been sharing on ours, but the title link features all 13 programs in one place.
For those seeking to become a Commissioned Pastor, Union Presbyterian Seminary has two remaining 2020 Pathways Online Courses this fall that would be of help. Both the Reformed Theology/Church History and Teaching the Bible courses begin next week and meet 7-9 p.m. for five weeks - Tuesdays for the first and Thursdays for the latter. Additionally, the Reformed Theology/Church History course is seeking interested participants for a second section to begin Oct. 19.
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 wshamilton@yahoo.com or Sarah Specht, Huntington, at sarahb43215@yahoo.com. There are also books for many other areas of the US, including Pittsburgh; these are useful for family and friends not in West Virginia.
From the Resource Center
The 139th West Virginia Council of Churches' Annual Assembly has spread to a month-long series of weekly programs at noon Thursdays on Zoom. Remaining topics are Faith, Scouting, and Foster Care on Oct. 15; Reinhold Neibuhr and the Nature of Evil on Oct. 22, and Dismantling Racism and the Church on Oct. 29. Register here for any or all of them.
The Synod of the Trinity has four sessions left in 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. They focus on The Pandemic (Oct. 18 with Laurie Kraus), Hyperpartisanship (Oct. 25 with John Welch), Technology (Nov. 8 with Bruce Reyes-Chow), and Racism & White Privilege (Nov. 15 with a speaker to be announced). Register here for one or more of the programs. Click here for a flyer on the entire series.
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.
The new website ReopeningYourChurch.com is a resource from Christianity Today and several of its sub-sites: CT Pastors, Church Law & Tax, Preaching Today, Church Salary, and SmallGroups.com. 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.
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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.