December 20, 2018        Issue 136
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Presbytery Staff

Ed Thompson
General Presbyter
Maureen Wright
Stated Clerk, Associate for
Congregational Support

Rocky Poole
Financial Administration/Treasurer

Barbara Chalfant
Associate Presbyter for Mission

Susan Sharp Campbell
Associate for Educational Ministry

Nellie Howard
Resource Center Director

Mark Miller
Bluestone Facilities Director

Sarah Specht
Bluestone Program Director

Amy Robinson
Office Administrator/Communications
Prayer List for Churches
Week 51 - December 23
First Presbyterian Church, Bluefield
Highlawn Presbyterian, St. Albans
First Presbyterian Church, Whitesville

In Kenya: Wandumbi Special School

Week 52 - December 30
Bridgeport Presbyterian Church
Belle Presbyterian Church
In Kenya: Gatumbiro (Gah-toe BAY-'roh)  Presbyterian Church

2019 Week 1 - January 6
Alderson Presbyterian Church
Waverly-Bethel Presbyterian Church

In Kenya: Kangaita (KAHN'gigh-TAB") Presbyterian Church + Youth Polytech

Nurturing Faith Ideas
Nurturing Faith Ideas are weekly suggestions and activities from the Presbytery's Nurture Committee to link worship and home and to nurture faith development in the family. They are intended for all ages and family types. Add one to your bulletin each week or put them in your monthly newsletter. They could also be sent via email or added to a Facebook page. In 2019, they are organized around a common theme each month. Ideas for the entire year can be found  here.

December 23
Luke 1:39-46 tells the story of the angel Gabriel telling the girl Mary that God had chosen her to be the mother of God's Son. Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word." God chose Mary, in a particular time and place, to give birth to God's Son in the world. What would you have said to God if God had chosen you? How might you "bear" God's Son in the world today, even if you don't actually give birth to a baby to do so?

December 30
This week, we celebrate the beginning of a new year in the secular, non-church calendar. Many people make New Year's resolutions to change a behavior, reach a goal or improve their life; it may be they decide to exercise, go on a diet, keep their room/office cleaner or study/work harder. Colossians 3:12-17 says, "Put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience... be tolerant...forgive one another...put on love... let the peace of Christ control your hearts...and be thankful...and sing to God with gratitude in your hearts" (CEB). What about adopting these as your New Year's resolutions? What would your list of resolutions be? List specific things you can do throughout the year.

January 6, 2019
(January's common theme is Epiphany.) The heaven proclaims a birth in Bethlehem. Following a star, Magi, or Wise Ones, journeyed to see what has occurred. They carry with them gifts. Upon arrival, they see God's heavenly glory on earth. Proclaiming God's praise, they fall down and worship. May we follow their example in our lives.
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You will find located on the Home page of the website (scroll down past the banner, introduction and grant buttons) direct links to recent newsletters, the Pray For church list and Nurturing Faith Ideas for the year and more. Please let us know how we can improve the website and whenever you encounter any problem with it. Thank you.

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Ed Thompson
I have a lot of great memories as I look back on 2018. In no particular order, here are what I would consider the top 10 highlights of my year, including the dedication of the solar panels at the Spencer Presbyterian Church (pictured below). 

The annual year-end letter to Clerks of Session is in the mail. It includes information on covenant renewal for Temporary Supply Pastors, Commissioned Pastors and Lay Supply Pastors (including annual reports for Commissioned Pastors); the Statistical Report; Session Records Review dates; and more. Please check your mail for this important information.
Deadline for 2018 benevolences
As year-end approaches, I want to encourage our church treasurers to remit any amount remaining in your church's Shared Mission pledge, Per Capita, or other benevolence payments for 2018. 

2019 IRS Standard Mileage
On Dec. 14, IRS announced changes to the standard mileage rates for the use of cars, beginning Jan. 1. 
Registration deadline extended
Jan. 11-12 at Village Chapel, Charleston
Participants in this Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox course will explore the Revised Common Lectionary Texts for Lent in Year C with Christine Chakoian of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on Friday evening (7-9 p.m.) and on Saturday (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) consider how they might use those texts in preaching, music and/or visual arts. All who plan and lead worship are encouraged to participate. Registration deadline is Jan. 3.
By Sarah Specht
It's Christmastime: that time of year we're reminded that God loved us so much he sent his Son to save us. He sent us a baby, who grew into a boy, before he became a man. One of our goals at Bluestone is to help children learn about and feel the love of God before they become adults. Kids who know they're loved by God are the kind of kids who can change the world - and those are the kind of life-changing moments we try to have at Bluestone.  
11 a.m. Jan. 7
The Presbytery's own Rev. Dr. Dana W. Sutton will present this webinar, which will help participants r ecognize the symptoms and causes of compassion fatigue; consider ways our theology impacts our experience of compassion fatigue in ministry; hear three areas of potential change that can begin to break the cycle; learn about some specific practices you can start immediately, and more. Sign up  here  or email  for more information.
On Nov. 26, work began on the bridge at Keen Acres Farm in Sissonville, which had been destroyed in the 2016 flooding, leaving the family to access their home via a ladder laid across the stream. By early December, the new bridge was completed. 
Many thanks to Rebecca Mihm, who reports from the 90th birthday celebration of The Shack, one of our cherished mission partners here in WV. Read the great good news!
WVSU UKirk touches student lives across a broad spectrum of denominations, faith traditions and even non-believers. UKirk at WVSU is an all-volunteer ministry. The goal is to acknowledge the students by letting them know that we know they are there and that we care.
Several items are available at the Presbytery Office for ministers or churches who are interested. They include PC(USA) planning calendars, older editions of the Book of Common Worship, a congregational set of hymnals, a funeral pall and fellowship rolls. Additionally,  Richard Lamb, an Honorably Retired minister member of the Presbytery, has books and two filing cabinets he is offering to any ministers or churches who would like them.
The Westminster College Young Presbyterians Scholarship  is worth $19,000 annually for up to four years, for a total up to $76,000. PC(USA) congregations may nominate two qualifying graduating seniors. Nominations from pastoral staff or congregants due Feb. 1; student applications due Feb. 15. 
By George Hohmann | For the Gazette-Mail
     Early settlers of western Virginia brought their religious beliefs and practices with them, including Jesus' commandment to love your neighbor. Responses to that commandment can be seen and felt today throughout the Mountain State.
     "It's almost like we're part of an invisible economy," said Rev. Edward Thompson, head of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in West Virginia, which has 127 churches. "Even those of us who are intimately involved in the church don't think about and don't really notice the overall economic impact our churches have on our communities and our state."
The Peace Light is here
The Peace Light is a candle at a grotto in Bethlehem, which is the traditional birthplace of Jesus. It gets transported across the world and is then used in Christmas Eve services everywhere. Fleming Memorial pastor Rebecca Mihm got the light this year; if  you are near Fairmont and interested in obtaining this light, feel free to contact her at  or 304-612-7081.
Stewardship of Creation Ministry Team News 

These daylong programs are designed to provide continuing education opportunities for pastors, educators, elders, and other interested persons. Information on each course will appear in newsletters in advance of the registration date, but you can click above for the full five-course schedule for 2019. 
Feb. 6-9, 2019 in Galveston, TX
Want to learn more about educational ministry? Attend the APCE Annual Event! The 2019 Annual Event is Feb. 6-9 in Galveston, TX. Registration ends Jan. 4. The presbytery has two spots for anyone interested in attending without becoming a member, as well as funding assistance. 

We invite you to print and include this newsletter in your bulletins, give it to your congregation and distribute widely. We hope it is helpful for your congregation and community. Click for December news in the format of your choice:  two-sided colortwo-sided black-and-whitecolor booklet or  black-and-white booklet.
Want something to challenge your brain? Want to be inspired? Maybe you prefer to be entertained. See (and hear) what's new in our audio book collection.

In October, Spring Creek Presbyterian Church in Renick, packed 500 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, which will deliver them to children in foreign countries. Pastor Robert Lynn Randolph's cousin, Nelson, has brought this ministry to Spring Creek for 8 years.
Presbyterian Men's Network seeking representative from PWV 
The Synod of the Trinity's Presbyterian Men's Network directs vocational and spiritual gifts of the men of the church to projects of ministry, mission and community best suited for those gifts; it meets twice a year in Bedford, PA. The Presbytery has no representatives currently; anyone interested can contact Larry Ott of the Beaver-Butler Presbytery at or 724-630-5770.
2 p.m. January 15
Presbyterian Outlook presents this 90-minute webinar to help congregations and pastors address the challenging topic of privilege/social divisions; it's particularly useful for predominantly white congregations who want to explore the concept of privilege and consider whether a loving response is possible. Cost is $29.95, including on-demand replay. 
Background check consent form updated
The provider we use for background checks has updated their  consent form and reporting due to updated federal and state requirements. Our consent form, located in the Documents section of the website, has been updated. 
Editor's Note:
In order to keep the PWV Newsletter  fresh,  articles sent 
for publication will generally run for two consecutive issues.  
If you wish for a piece to continue to run, please update (with fresh content, new wording and/or a new or different photo) and resubmit,  so that news stays  fresh and interesting. 

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