February 26, 2015                          ISSUE #49


Feasting on the Word Guide to Chirdren's Sermons

David L. Bartlett & Carol Bartlett

Learn why we should have children's time in our worship, how children use language as well as how to choose what Bible stories should be told to children. We are also given examples of stories to tell for children's time.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

David Gambrell

The latest of our Being Reformed curriculum studies the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving,  a way for worshipping congregations to praise God, proclaim the mystery of salvation in Christ and pray the Holy Spirit to be with the church.


Jesus Christ: A Guide for 

Study and Devotion

David E. McGrath

This, the 3rd in the "heart of Christian Faith" series explains how may understand Jesus Christ using analogies, illustrations and stories.  It illustrates the difference our belief in God makes in how we think about ourselves

and our world.



Save the date!

The favorite getaway for the men - The Guys' Weekend 2015! Mark your calendar for the Presbytery of WV's annual men's retreat at Bluestone Camp & Retreat, April 24-26. Watch for more information.




  Save the date!
Small Church Conference will be held on April 18, 2015 at Fayetteville Presbyterian Church with Joan Stewart at keynote speaker.


Session Records Reviews

Sat. March 14th - Beckley Cluster @ Oak Hill Presbyterian Church 3:00pm


Sun. March 15th - Greenbrier Valley Cluster @ Ronceverte Presbyterian Church  3:00pm


Sat. March 21st - Mountain Valley Cluster @ First Presby Church in Buckhannon  3:00pm


Sun. March 22nd - Clarksburg Cluster @ Bridgeport Presbyterian Church  3:00pm


Sat. March 28th - Charleston Cluster @ Festival of Faith in First Presby Church in Charleston 


Sun. April 12th - Logan Cluster @ First Presby., Williamson 3:00pm




PWV Resource Center


Westminster Foundation

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Forrest Palmer
Interim Executive Presbyter

Craig Butler
Transitional Associate for Congregational Support

Maureen Wright
Stated Clerk

Rocky Poole
Financial Admin./Treasurer

Barbara Chalfant
Associate for Mission

Susan Sharp Campbell
Associate for Educational Min.

Nellie Howard
Resource Center Director

Leslie Curtis
Office Administrator

Mark Miller
Bluestone Camp Director


Dear Friends & Colleagues in the Presbytery: LETTER

The Leadership Team for the Presbytery of West Virginia called us to be in a season of prayer.  A commitment was made by the members of Leadership Team to follow the 40 days of prayer that are outlined in Joan Gray's book, Sailboat Church.  It is within that context that I pastorally write to you, calling us to be in the spirit of prayer, suitable for this season of Lent.


As I listen to our presbytery staff, I hear, even from veteran, long-standing staff, that we are extremely busy - maybe even more so than in previous years.  We are busy in that our committees are taking their responsibilities seriously.  We are busy because the rate of change and transition in our churches seems to be increasing.  We are busy responding to the pastoral needs that we experience.  We are busy programmatically, planning and promoting presbytery functions.  We are busy with our own presbytery transitions and desires to perhaps change or tweak the Jeremiah 29:11 mission plan adopted by our presbytery.  We have just held the presbytery meeting in which we discussed, debated and voted on the proposed amendments to the Book of Order, our votes being one of the 171 presbyteries in the PC(USA).  


As one called to listen, pray and serve among you, I occasionally hear unkind comments made about elected committee leadership, staff persons, or pastoral leaders within this presbytery. Sheldon Sorge, Executive Presbytery for Pittsburgh Presbytery - who also was a former member of the Presbytery of West Virginia - recently wrote a reflection in that presbytery's newsletter, he offers a word of caution, when out of our anxiety or busyness, we fall to human frailties and bring into question the integrity of persons called to serve within this presbytery.  Sheldon writes: "Dearly beloved, I urge us to beware of speaking ill of others, especially of those who declare their trust in the same Lord and Savior in whom we place our own trust. We need not call into question the integrity of others in order to establish our own. The grace of God in whose grip lies our sure hope is as much a lifeline for others as it is for us. Our readiness to dismiss others betrays the grace of God that has persevered toward us."


May we call ourselves to continued prayer for all within the portion of the body of Christ we call the Presbytery of West Virginia.  May we call ourselves to prayer and self-examination in this season of Lent, as we look forward to the resurrection of our Lord, celebrating God's amazing grace in our lives.


Forrest Palmer, Interim Executive Presbyter

The Relations Committee is Recruiting RelationsCommittee

The Relations Committee has 2 invitations to extend to each person in the presbytery. 


We are looking for 2 new committee members. Simply put, the Relations Committee are the folks in charge of making sure that everyone in this presbytery feels connected to others in this presbytery. If you know someone who's great at forming and nurturing connections, then being a part of the Relations Committee might be just the thing for them! Contact Nancy Tissue at [email protected].


The Tech Affinity group of the Relations Committee is a brand new entity. This informal (and yet-unformed) group will be in charge of helping ministries around the Presbytery create websites, helping churches get into the 1st Century if desired, teaching churches how to incorporate social media into their ministry, and offering overall tech support.


If you know someone who might be a good addition to this new adventure, please contact Patrick Ryan at [email protected] or call him at 304-963-6509.

Inspiration From Your Resource CenterResource

Melting snow and breezes tinged with warmth remind us that Spring is arriving!  While we are splattered with rain and washed in sunshine we must remember the renewing message of Easter and Pentecost. The resurrection of the Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit shows us that Death, like winter cannot hold us.


How will your congregation witness its renewal? These older selections from your Resource Center may help. Witness may be as simple as teaching our children the Pentecost Alphabet by Phyllis Vos Wezeman is one of our older resources that should not yet be forgotten.  "A is for Acts . . .B is for Breath."  In this book you may guide children and adults through action or rhythm stories, breath prayers using waxed paper and rubber bands...


So be aware of the changing season. Enjoy the warming winds and the breath of the Holy Spirit.  Let them restore and renew you inviting you to remove your coat and step into the day with open arms to announce your faith!



A Note From Mission Mission

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of visiting First Presbyterian St. Albans for worship.  It was two cents a meal Sunday.  During the children's time the pastor spoke about having an opportunity to serve someone in a special way.  He them offered the children each a brightly colored bucket and invited them to walk among the congregation and gather the "Cents-ability offering" for those who are hungry so that they may have food to eat.  Quickly the children were up and moving among the pews.  There was one tiny girl named Olivia for whom this was a very new experience.  She could not have been more than 3 years old. She took the bright bucket and stared at it for a moment.  Then with some encouragement from the pastor and the direction of the other children, she too was off wandering the isles... 


What a gift!  To grow up in a congregation that loves children like that, that gives them the opportunity to make a difference, to be a part of the larger mission of the church. How does your congregation collect your "Two Cents A Meal" offering?  Let me know!


Barbara Chalfant, Associate for Mission

[email protected]


Pi Day of the CenturyPiDay

This Saturday is the Pi Day of the Century: 3.14.15.  To celebrate this literally once-in-a-lifetime event, McKinnon Church in Tyler Mt. will host a "Pi Day of the Century Pie Breakfast."  Pie eating will commence precisely at 9:26:53, which places the event on 3.14.15 9:26:53 which are, of course, the first ten digits of the mathematically irrational number "pi."  EVERYONE is invited to participate; attendees are asked, if possible, to bring a pie to share-sweet or savory-and $3.14 to help support McKinnon's free Community Lunch ministry.  However, neither pie nor dollars are required to partake of this centennial pie-fest.  Please join us a little before the special moment this Saturday, March 14, 2015 to be ready to plunge your fork on the exact stroke of 9:26:53 AM.


McKinnon Church is located at 4278 Washington St. West, in Tyler Mt., WV (though the mailing address is Charleston, for GPS users).  Call Pastor Doug Minnerly at 304-549-5830 if you have any questions.  And, remember:  "Eat more pi; it'll make you smarter!"

Small Church Conference SCC

We are excited to share with you our plans for the second annual Small Church Conference, "Ministry Molded by Mountains"!  It will be happening on April 18, 2015 from 9:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. at the Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, 401 West Maple Avenue. In Fayetteville.  We would love to have at least two people from every small congregation in our presbytery attend. 


Small congregations are the flavorful powerhouses of our WV communities.  Their stories of how God has and is moving among us are transformational.  Like a dropping a peppermint into cup of hot coffee, their faithful service to God changes the community.  It is our hope that this conference will give us the time to share our stories together, the space to learn new skills and the resources to build new avenues of growth and service in our congregations. Please bring as many people as you desire to the conference!  There is something for everyone. 


The deadline for registrations is April 6th!



Workshop Descriptions

Registration Form

GA Dialogue at Festival of Faith FOFDIALOG

What good news came from the General Assembly?  Is supporting 14-F a threat to church unity and reconciliation?  Why did presbyteries not have the chance to vote on the Middle East Divestment issue?  How will passage of 14-F affect our relationship with mission and ecumenical partners?


Questions, questions, questions!  Even though the Presbytery of West Virginia has voted on the amendments, some still have questions about the issues that came out of the 221st General Assembly.  In the evaluations from the February 28th Presbytery meeting, it was asked if there would be a way or a place to have further dialogue, to have questions answered.


The answer to that question is "YES!"  A workshop at Festival of Faith has been planned to provide time for more dialogue and discussion.  General Assembly commissioners Amy Wallace Parker and Robin Ray will be leading workshop A7: Let's Talk about Hot Topics in the PC (USA). The workshop will begin with an update on the voting on General Assembly overtures across the denomination, then be opened for discussion of issues of interest to participants.

Bruce Stevens - Synod Executive EmeritusBruceStevens

Former Synod of the Trinity Executive 

the Rev. Dr.  Bruce Stevens was honored with Executive Emeritus status for "his long and faithful years of service to the Synod" during the Presbytery of West Virginia meeting on Feb. 28. Pictured with Bruce are, from left, Synod Transitional Executive Susan Faye Wonderland, 2014 Synod Moderator Jim Robinson and former Synod Executive Tom Johnston. Ideally a presentation like this would take place at a Synod Assembly meeting, but in this case Susan asked, with a smile, if those in attendance would stand in for the rest of the Synod of the Trinity! The back of the framed certificate was signed by the Synod's Executive Presbyters.

Planning Calendar OrdersCalendars

Reserve you calendars now by contacting 

the Presbytery office at (304) 744-7634 or email: [email protected].


Cost per calendar will be $10. Payment is expected at time of order (please mail checks to the presbytery office).

An announcement will be made when the calendars arrive, so that you may pick them up at the Presbytery office. The office will hold calendars for pick-up until May 26th. Following that date all remaining calendar orders will be mailed to you with an invoice for shipping costs.
The deadline to place you order is May 4th!
Prayer Concerns & Sympathy Prayer

Craig Butler (Teaching Elder, Presbytery staff), who has been in the hospital.


Rick Wilson (Teaching Elder, Highlawn, Huntington), who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease


Tom Hastie (Commissioned Ruling Elder, Milton) who is recovering from heart bypass surgery


Nellie Howard (Educator, Presbytery staff) whose father-in-law - Warden Howard - passed away. Please keep Nellie's husband Jeff and their family on your hearts and in your prayers.


For those impacted by flooding in the state, including Mingo, Wayne, Lincoln and Cabell Counties

Presbytery of West Virginia                   520 Second Avenue                   South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone (304) 744-7634                           Fax (304) 744-7649                              www.wvpresbytery.org
Office Hours: Monday -Thursday  8:30AM-5:30PM