December 10, 2015         Issue #67


PWV Office Holiday Hours

OPEN: Dec. 21st 9:00AM - 3:30PM

Closed: Dec. 22nd - Dec. 24th 

OPEN: Dec. 28th 9:00AM - 3:30PM

Closed: Dec. 29th - Jan. 1st

Nurturing Faith Ideas
December 13:  Shop for a gift to contribute to a charity that helps those in need.
December 20:  Have each member of the family write notes to each other telling them how special they are and leave the notes in their stockings to be opened on Christmas morning.
December 27:  Continue the giving spirit this Christmas season.  Bake cookies and deliver them to your local fire station.

Prayer List For Churches

Week 50 - December 13
 Presbytery of West Virginia
 Summerlee Presbyterian Church
 First Presbyterian Church, Nitro
 First Pres. Church, Williamstown
Nyeri Presbytery
Church:  Philip Nganatha Memorial
Pronun:  GAHN'ah-thah

Week 51 - December 20
 Presbytery of West Virginia
 First Presbyterian Church, Bluefield
 Highlawn Pres. Church, St. Albans
 First Pres. Church, Whitesville
Nyeri Presbytery
Church:  Wandumbi Special School

Week 52 - December 27
 Presbytery of West Virginia
 Bridgeport Presbyterian Church
Belle Presbyterian Church
Nyeri Presbytery
Church:  Gatumbiro
Pronun:  Gah-toe BAY-'roh




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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


Featured Article
A Christmas Greeting From the Presbytery of WV Staff
A Christmas Greeting From the Presbytery of WV Staff

We hope you have a very merry and blessed holiday season!

PWV Office Holiday Hours OfficeHours
The Presbytery of WV Office will 
have altered  business hours during the Christmas & New Year holidays. 
There will be a decreased staff presence on December 21st and December 28thOur regular 8:30 - 5:30 office hours will resume on Monday January 4th.

OPEN: December 21st 9:00AM - 3:30PM
Closed: December 22nd - December 24th 
OPEN: December 28th 9:00AM - 3:30PM
Closed: December 29th - January 1st
Congratulations! Baby
Sharon and Jim Rowe are new grandparents! Palmer Rowe Litman was born on December 10, 2015 to Mike and Mary Rennie "MR" Litman, members of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston.

Sharon is the chair of the PWV Administration Committee and a member of the Leadership Team.  Jim most recently served as commissioner to the 221st General Assembly, is a former PWV Moderator, among his other service to the presbytery.
A Note From Forrest Palmer Upon Retirement Forrest
Dear friends and colleagues in the Presbytery of WV:
My heart is filled with gratitude for the opportunity to serve with you in this presbytery.  The outpouring of appreciation at the December 3 Presbytery meeting shall remain with me as a wonderful remembrance always.   I am grateful for the gift this presbytery is giving in my honor to Union Presbyterian Seminary, for the Sara Little Chair of Christian Education and the Bannerman/Gephardt Chair of Christian Education.  The Gephart/Bannerman Chair has a tie with this presbytery in that this chair also honors Homer Gephardt, who was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Huntington, WV, who donated his estate to Union Presbyterian Seminary because of his lifelong commitment to Christian education.  I had the fortune of having both Sara Little and Glenn Bannerman as professors.
As I move into retirement, I will continue to pray for this presbytery, and I ask you to be supportive of Ed Thompson, who will be your General Presbyter.  May God bless you and keep you.  Continue to be faithful witnesses to God's love.
Blessings to you all,
A Note From Craig Butler Upon Retirement CraigButler
Wow!  Four years seems like a long time when you are at the beginning, but, in retrospect, the last four years seems to have flown by.  I will be retiring on Dec. 31, and I want to say a few things about my time on the staff of the Presbytery of West Virginia.
I want to thank all the congregations and sessions that I have had the opportunity to work with. One thing I have looked for in my 40+ years of ministry has been passion for Jesus Christ.  I have seen that in the commitment to Christ's mission in each congregation I have worked with.  Organizations like WVMAW and the many food pantries, community ministries, and outreach activities speak to the way you love Jesus and seek to share his love.  Please keep it up.

I want to lift up to you the Small Church Conference which will be coming up on April 30th.  We have 135 congregations in the presbytery.  There are about 85 or so of them which have fewer than 50 members!  We are a presbytery of small churches.  The Small Church Conference is an opportunity for churches to gather.  Mike Burton and his team are planning an exciting event for this year...

Bluestone Year-End Updates Bluestone
We're not far from closing out another year at Bluestone.  The majority of camp is winterized, except for two of our recently remodeled cabins which we will keep open through the winter... which means... Bluestone is now officially a year-round retreat center!  We encourage small groups of up to 20 people to consider coming to Bluestone this winter for a weekend retreat...

To follow up on Send-A-Kid to Camp news, I had announced to presbytery back in August that we hoped to recover about $2,200 in outstanding balances for 8 campers we invited to camp.  Since then we have received $1,160... thank you so much!  We are still hopeful to recover another $1,000 by December 31...

Keep in mind that your church will soon receive letter inviting your participation in Send-A-Kid to Camp in 2016.  We hope you will consider this opportunity for outreach and evangelism that is "close to home" as your involvement will most definitely impact the life of a child in deep and meaningful ways...

Finally, we anticipate the opening of registration for Summer Camp 2016 by January 1 via our online process. In the mean time, these are the dates for camp this coming summer: June 12 - June 18, June 19 - June 25, June 26 - July 2, July 3 - July 9

2016 Nurturing Faith Ideas NurturingFaith
Here you will find weekly suggestions 
and activities from the Presbytery's Nurture Committee to link worship and home and to nurture faith development in the family.  These are intended for all ages and all family types - with children or grandchildren or families with no children.  There is one for each Sunday of the first quarter of 2016; these will be available quarterly.  Add one to your bulletin each week or put in your monthly newsletter.  They could also be sent out via email or added to a Facebook page. 

A Note From the PWV Office Administrator, Leslie Curtis Leslie
It is with many mixed emotions that I announce to you that I will be leaving my position as the Office Administrator/Communications for the Presbytery of West Virginia. I have been given the opportunity to serve as the Grants Manager for nonprofit organization in Parkersburg, WV, where I live. My last day in the presbytery  office will be January 14th. 

I want to thank all of the members of the Presbytery of WV for giving me the opportunity to serve as  your Office Administrator. It has truly been a meaningful learning experience that I will take with me in all future endeavors. I will miss each and every one of you greatly!

If you know of someone who might be interested in applying for this position, please contact Sharon Rowe, chair of the administration committee, at [email protected]
Sojourners in God's Mission: Transforming the World Together SojournersInGodsMission
I don't know, but let's find out together." It's a phrase I have used for years at teacher training sessions. Having spent time over the years supporting mission trips and participating in discussions with congregations making difficult decisions about where and how to engage in mission, I have come to understand that this simple statement has traction.

"I don't know." We used to step into mission settings knowing just what we could do, how to help and what skills were needed to "fix" the situation. Now we step forward into mission being clear that we do not know all. We listen, walk alongside, serve and accompany one another.

Barbara Chalfant, PWV Associate for Mission, and featured in the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Mission Crossroads

The Fruit of the Spirit FruitoftheSpirit
Your 2015 Presbytery staff wanted to do something special for you this year, so we have this Christmas gift to share.  We wrote a set of meditations based on the characteristics scripture tells us are the fruit of the Spirit, characteristics present when we live,  "by the Spirit." Each staff person selected one of these characteristics and wrote a short meditation.  This booklet is the result.

While we usually say that the Presbytery staff works for you, the truth is that we work WITH you to do the work God calls us to do.  We work WITH you to bring about the Kingdom of God and we hope - we pray - that each time we answer that call we do it with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We hope that you enjoy your Fruit of the Spirit devotion booklet, take it home, use it, share it, and have a very merry and very blessed Christmas.

It Just Makes Cents Centsability
There are so many people in our state who are hungry.  You can and do help by participating in the centsability offering.  If you have not sent in your offering to the presbytery office ... please do so as soon as possible.  We have grants that are waiting to be filled!
If you need statistics to use to get your congregation to join the fight against hunger... click here for some concerning poverty and hunger in WV.
Seeking an Accompanist SeekingAccompanist
The First Presbyterian Church of Buckhannon is looking for an accompanist for Sunday morning worship.  Worship starts at 10 am.  We will consider pianists and organists.  Starting pay is $50 but we will consider negotiation based on experience.  Pleased contact Rev. Julie Sterling at [email protected]  or 681-533-8598 if interested.
Report From The Parkersburg Cluster ParkersburgCluster
The Parkersburg Area Cluster got creative when it came to Halloween this year, and the result was a sweet blessing for children and adults in the Parkersburg community.  A collaborative effort by members of the Beechwood and First Parkersburg Presbyterian Churches, they provided a safe and fun Trunk or Treat experience in the parking lot of First Presbyterian church on Sunday, October 24th for the community.  What moved this cluster shepherd with delight was the fact that, despite pouring down rain, there the children and parents were... and there were the church members, many who went to considerable length to decorate their trunks for the costumed children that arrived (Some showing up even 30 minutes before the start of the event!)...
What was also inspiring was that the next day (unbeknownst to our congregations), members from the Beechwood and Williamstown congregations met together at the corn maze at Sweet Apple Farm.  God indeed is bringing our churches together to collaborate in meaning and did I say fun... yes I did, fun ways!  Praise be!

2016 Presbytery of WV Directory Updates DirectoryUpdate
A few weeks ago each church was mailed 
2 copies of their entry in the current (2015) Presbytery of WV directory for updates. Please make sure your church updates that form and mails it back to the presbytery office. We want to make sure we get as accurate a directory as we can. The deadline to return the forms is Monday, January 25th. If you need another copy of your church's entry, please contact the Presbytery Office at (304) 744-7634 or [email protected]
Hope Village Shop Opens HopeVillage
First Presbyterian Church of Charleston is excited to announce the days and hours for Hope Village, a fair trade shop. Hope Village brings to Charleston a beautiful store filled with unique fair trade items from partners around the world. In time for the holiday shopping season, Hope Village offers unique items including soy candles, beautiful jewelry, scarves, clothing, carved olive wood from Bethlehem, African baskets, olive oil, home and children's items, and much more! By making a purchase from Hope village, you are directly and profoundly impacting the lives of each artisan and their family. Every purchase helps the artisans to support their family with food, clothing, shelter and education, enabling them to live a more just and sustainable life. Hope Village is located on the first floor of First Presbyterian Church, corner of Virginia Street and Leon Sullivan Way, in Charleston. November 11 through December 19, the shop will be open 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. For more information call: 304-343-8961.
Presbytery of West Virginia                   520 Second Avenue                   South Charleston, WV 25303
Phone (304) 744-7634                           Fax (304) 744-7649                    
Office Hours: Monday -Thursday  8:30AM-5:30PM