West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The clergy compensation guideline for 2023 has been approved by Synod Council. The Clergy Compensation Kit for 2023 is now online; it reflects major revisions and, hopefully, represents a significant improvement over the kit template used for many decades. We have posted the actions of Synod Council on the Clergy Compensation page. The new kit is also linked there. For details on the compensation guideline, including family leave, sabbatical, and Rostered Leader Debt Reduction visit the Clergy Compensation page.
Continuing education offerings are varied...very varied. We can't track them all, but we do try to collect and advertise all those sponsored by the synod and our major partners. You can review these at our Education for Clergy & Laity page.
Query: What Do Congregational Officers Need?A congregation is more like a small town than a small business. That's not to say that there are no business-like aspects to a congregation. It's just an observation about the decision-making processes involved. With an eye to offering some workshops (and other resources) for [vice] presidents, secretaries, and treasurers, we're asking you what you might find helpful and where you are finding particular challenges. Please take this very short survey and pass on the link to your congregational leaders so that we can offer what's of potential use.
Gathering 17-20 July 2023, in Phoenix, under the theme, "Rekindle the Gift within You," the ordained ministers of the ELCA will enjoy worship, Bible study, speakers, and more. Intended as a time of time of rest, renewal, and inspiration, the gathering invites all ELCA deacons, pastors, and bishops (under call, on leave or disability, retired, or an approved candidate for call) to come to the desert---a place where God has a habit of renewing weary leaders. Each day of the gathering will begin in worship as we center ourselves around our theme, "Rekindle the Gift Within You." The days will begin with Bible studies and keynote speakers. The afternoon hours will offer a variety of individual options from activity in the Interaction Center to workshops and caucus times. You can track developments by visiting ELCA.org/RMG.
Looking for a supply preacher?
If you need coverage, you will find a list supply
preachers (and ordained presbyters for Eucharistic
services) on our Supply
Preaching & Presiding page.
Are you listed as a supply preacher?
If you are clergy available for supply
preaching/presiding does +Riegel know? With the pandemic
and pandemical conditions changing from week to week,
preachers identifying themselves as available (or not) for
supply work has been a moving target. If your availability
changes, let +Riegel
know. To check and see how you are listed, visit the Supply page.
The Revs. Amelia & Daniel Collins were ordained, 26
November 2022, to the presbyteral office of the public
ministry at Salem Ev.
Lutheran Church, Catonsville, MD. Amelia &
Daniel are serving as the pastors of Trinity Lutheran
Church (Arden), Martinsburg, and St. Thomas Lutheran
Church, Charles Town, the call being issued 13 November
2022. Amelia hails from Long Island and was a candidate of
the Metro New York Synod. Daniel hails from the
Each congregation will hold an installation for the
Clergy are invited to process, vesting in white (as the
first is the commemoration of St. Ambrose and the second
is the commemorations of John of the Cross and Teresa of
Avila, the color both evenings is white). The
installations will be set within the vespers service,
therefore cassock and surplice are appropriate, but albs
are also fine.
The Most Rev. Loyal Alexander Black, Bishop Emeritus,
died peacefully on Tuesday, 26 July 2022. Bishop Black was
the first bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland
Synod. At right is a picture from the 1989 Churchwide
Assembly; it feels appropriate to depict him heading up
A memorial service was held at Grace Lutheran Church,
Fairmont, WV, on Saturday, 29 October 2022, with The Rt.
Rev. Donald McCoid, Bishop Emeritus of the Southwestern
Pennsylvania Synod preaching. A video of the
memorial service is posted on the Grace Lutheran
Church facebook page.
A private committal was held on 9 September 2022 with The
Rev. Matt Holbert and The Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel
presiding. We are taking the the first steps toward a
requiem. Please return for updates.
Bishop Black, as the first bishop of the newly formed
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the ELCA, a body
that incorporated congregations taken from four
predecessor judicatories, worked tirelessly to create a
sense of synodical identity and unity and to make the
synod known in the broader ELCA.
The family has asked that memorial gifts be directed to
the synod that he loved and served so well. Memorial gifts
may be mailed to the synod office
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
You may also make your memorial gift online by clicking here or on the button at right.
For full obituary, click here.
Letters and cards of condolence my be sent to the family
at 885 Ashley Rd., Gibsonia, PA 15044.
A new Pastoral Transition
& Vacancy page has been uploaded. You will find
there guidance related to transition (coming and going) as
well as multiple forms that should be completed as part of
a transition process. The "going" (i.e., the pastor is
leaving the call) has been completed in the upload. The
"coming" (i.e., a pastor is moving into a new call) is
still being formatted; the old information is here until
formatting on the new page is complete.
Pastors looking to enter mobility (whether intrasynodical
or extrasynodical) should contact the bishop.
The Rostered Ministers Profile (quondam "Roster Leader
Profile" and "mobility form"), other forms, and supporting
instructions are available at ELCA.org's
Rostered Ministers page. Click on the link you will
find there, and it will take you to your login screen. If
for any reason, you need your Rostered Leader Number, contact the bishop.
Are you a member of the clergy of the ELCA (or
full-communion partner) interested in learning more about
WV-WMD (or do you know someone who might be? Drop us a
line. You can email the +Riegel at
Bishop@WV-WMD.org or call the office (304-363-4030). There
is plenty to commend service and life in our mountains and
in our valleys. Like Nebraska, it's not for everyone, but,
for those who aren't afraid of an adventure, we have a
great mix of challenge and gift. A list of openings
reviewed by visiting our Pulpit Vacancies
page (or click on the table at right). You will find there
opportunities for congregational ministry and also any
specialized ministries that might be open at the moment.
Over $4000 in debt reduction grants were awarded to
pastors of the WV-WMD synod for the FY 2021-2022 cycle.
The WV-WMD Synod has conducted a rostered leader debt reduction program since 2002. Through this program, pastors and deacons with educational debt can be assisted with payment on the principal. The Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Fund is supported by voluntary contributions from individuals, congregations, church-related auxiliaries, and a line item in the synod budget. The amount in the fund is expended each fiscal year as direct payments to lending agencies. Guidelines for the Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Program can be downloaded here.
Apply for RLDR Grant
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
304-363-4030 + Porter@WV-WMD.org