Issue 258 | April 11, 2024

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A Word from our Transitional General Presbyter

I often hear from pastors who are new to the Presbytery of West Virginia (PWV) that they find PWV a very welcoming place. That was my experience when I moved here; I was invited to the Christian Educators’ group. The members of the group were quick to help me forge relationships. My husband Todd and I, along with our children, were invited by his predecessor, Frank Mansell, and Frank’s spouse, Joan, to join them at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream in Charleston. The relationship that we formed with the Mansells has supported our family and opened the doors that allowed me to become the Transitional General Presbyter. Relationships are important in the Presbytery of West Virginia. The Presbytery’s mission statement includes relationships. “The Presbytery of West Virginia is a baptized, covenant people called by God to reflect Christ’s love through mission, ministry, and relationships.” We value relationships.

This quarter's Session Record Reviews coming up soon

This year, the Session Record Reviews are being offered twice per quarter (one in person and one online) instead of all at once. The reviews for the second quarter of the year are going to be 3 PM Sunday (April 14) on Zoom and 3 PM April 21 at Bridgeport Presbyterian Church. Remaining events are Aug. 18 in Lewisburg, Aug. 19 on Zoom, Oct. 13 on Zoom, and Oct. 20 in Huntington. Clerks of Session (or a ruling elder representative of the session) need to attend one of the events by October 2024.

Communion Training for Ruling Elders

3-5 PM April 28 on Zoom

All sessions, particularly those whose churches do not have pastoral leadership, are invited to send ruling elders (they don’t have to be on the session currently) to this event. Participants must be approved by the session of their church of membership to be authorized. Note that there is an advance assignment that includes reading sections of the 2023-2025 Book of Order. There is no cost to participate. The registration deadline is Monday, April 15. Register by submitting your name, church, email, phone number, and date of session approval to attend this training to If you have any questions, you may contact Susan at this email address or 304-667-9428.

Youth summer mission opportunity with WVMAW

July 14-20 in Colcord

Do you know youth in your congregation who might enjoy a week of serving others this summer? Are you or do you know an adult who enjoys working with youth and helping them serve others who would like to participate in this service opportunity? If so, the Presbytery’s Nurture Committee is offering an opportunity for those currently in grades 8-12 to work with a Project Manager from West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Workcamps this summer. The work to be done will be based on the skills of the group, but could include building ramps, repairing porches, flooring, and roofing, as we seek to assist with the needs in the community. The cost per youth is $300, all of which will go directly to WVMAW. Presbytery will cover the costs for adults, food, and transportation. Participants will be housed in the manse at Colcord First Presbyterian Church. There is a limit of 20 people. The registration deadline is Monday, April 22. Complete information has been sent to church leaders; please post the flyer where youth and adults can see it and share the information page and registration forms with youth, parents, and any adults that might be interested.

Grants & loans for post-secondary education

The Presbytery, through its Nurture Committee, has $1,000 loans available for those seeking post-secondary education; there are also some grant monies in amounts that vary each year available. Click here for information and application forms. Please share this information with those in your church, especially high school seniors and parents, although these are not limited to those graduating this year. The application deadline, including the return of reference letters, is April 30. Those who have received loans/grants in the past and wish to renew them should submit a written request, including a brief description of their past year, to or Presbytery of WV, Attn: Nurture Committee, P.O. Box 11720, Charleston, WV 25339. They do not have to resubmit the entire application. Questions? Please contact Susan Sharp Campbell at 304-667-9428 or the above email. 

Youth Council applications now being accepted

In a time when there are fewer youth in our congregations, the presbytery’s Youth Council offers a place for youth to find support, develop leadership skills, and grow in their faith. Do you know youth who are currently in grades 8-11 who might enjoy participating and serving on the Youth Council? If so, please share this information with them. There is also a need for adults who enjoy working with youth to serve in partnership with the youth. If that’s you or someone you know, please consider applying or sharing the information with them. Each session is invited to nominate youth and/or adults to serve on youth council, realizing that we are committed to involving people from as many churches as possible. The deadline to apply is May 1.

Expanding Your Ministry Toolbox: Being Vital Today

9:30-4:30 May 4 on Zoom

We live in a new post-Christendom world in which the church is no longer the center of our society. This new world is unlike any world the church has ever existed in before. Thus, we need to be ready to answer a new set of questions; we cannot assume our new world understands what we do anymore. This course, for which you will find an introductory video at the title link, will explore the “7 Marks of Vital Congregations” that the Office of Vital Congregations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency has identified to help us live more fully as disciples of Christ and to identify talking points to share with those who are seeking to believe. It will be taught by Brian Coulter, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, TX, and a consultant with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Office of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism. Cost is $40. Register by April 29. Contact Susan Sharp Campbell for more information.

News from the Presbytery's Treasurer

  • Board of Pensions news: Directors approve redesigned Benefits Plan
  • Church treasurers and finance committees
  • Board of Pensions: Register for the new Benefits Connect

  • 2024 IRS Standard Mileage
  • New Form I-9
  • 2024 Per Capita
  • 2024 Special Offerings

Presbytery has copies of 2024 PCUSA planning calendar

The Presbytery has come into possession of nine extra 2023-2024 PCUSA planning calendars. If you need one to get you through this year, please contact Amy Robinson at 304-744-7634 or They are $11 each, plus shipping.

News from our Congregations & Partners

Presbyterian Outlook hosting Small is Beautiful webinar on small church vitality at 7 PM Tuesday

In January, the Outlook published a magazine dedicated to small church vitality, and this 90-minute webinar will continue the conversation. It will feature Catherine Neelly Burton, Warren Lesane, Shavon Starling-Louis, and Philip Blackburn, who all contributed to the magazine. They will discuss some of the troubles facing small churches, the strengths of these worshipping communities, and practical examples of small churches thinking in creative ways to continue their ministry. This conversation will be followed by a Q&A with audience members. On-demand replay will be available for all who register. There is a "pay what you can" cost associated with the webinar, with a suggested donation of $15.

Music Director sought at Nitro First Presbyterian

Nitro First Presbyterian Church is in need of a music director to conduct choir practice once a week (with additional practices for special occasions), direct the choir for Sunday morning worship and special services, direct the handbell choir in rehearsals and performances, coordinate music selection with the pastor and worship committee, care for and organize choir robes, equipment and any other choir-related items as well as handbell equipment, coordinate and direct the choir in special performances such as weddings and funerals conducted within the church when possible (additional compensation as agreed upon in advance), and provide replacements for services or rehearsals when absent or when key musical persons must be absent. Contact the church at 304-755-3242 or if interested or with questions.

D&E professor, concert choir to participate in worship at Bream Memorial in Charleston on May 5

Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor for Religion and Philosophy and Co-Director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy Dr. C. Brantley Craig, the Davis & Elkins College Concert Choir, and Coordinator of Foundation and Church Relations Tina Vial will participate in worship at the 11 a.m. May 5 service at Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charleston. The choir will perform several selections, Vial will serve as liturgist, and Craig will deliver the sermon. 

Registration open for 2024 Wee Kirk small church conference

Oct. 14-16 at Laurelville Retreat Center, Mount Pleasant, PA

Wee Kirk is an annual conference and retreat for small church leaders (pastors, commissioned pastors, and ruling elders). It offers both learning and renewal, with speakers and worship leaders this year including Roger Owens, Byron Borger, Colleen Molinaro, Edith Ophardt, and Matt Camblin. Registration is $175 for churches up to 150 members, $200 for churches of 151-200 members, or $300 for larger churches; save $25 with registration before Aug. 1.

WV Flood Resiliency Survey seeking respondents

A research team from West Virginia University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is seeking insights from West Virginians on their experiences with past floods and preparation for future floods. The team is conducting an online survey on the topic and any West Virginia resident 18-years or older is encouraged to participate. The survey, which closes on May 1, should take 20-30 minutes to complete, and insights will help the research team create an online resource to help increase flood resiliency for West Virginia communities. Anyone who takes the survey can choose to be entered into a raffle for one of eight $250 gift cards.

Mountain State community health survey

MATCH, the Mountain State Assessment of Trends in Community Health, is a statewide survey designed to understand the health of West Virginia adults and to match community health needs with resources specifically designed to meet those needs. It is a project of WVU's Health Affairs Institute and the WV Dept. of Health & Human Resources. They are asking for help in promoting the survey to the broader community, so we are sharing this information and ask that you share it with your congregation. At least 88,000 surveys will be mailed to randomly selected households in West Virginia, and if you are selected to participate, you will receive an invitation with a choice on how you would like to complete the survey: online, by mail, or by phone. The survey, which is confidential and non-identifiable, should only take 30 minutes, and participants will be compensated for their time. The information received from the survey will help funding, programming and services to go directly to the areas of the Mountain State that need them most. It can help improve the overall health and well-being of West Virginians, especially folks who are vulnerable, members of a minority community, or folks who live in areas of high poverty. 


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