Synod Cont. Ed Event
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Requiem for Bishop Black
(Click for information)
Page Contents
Clergy Compensation Update

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 Ed

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.

Rostered Ministers Gathering 2023

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

Trappe PulpitSupply Preaching

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.

Clergy Transitions

Collins x2Ordinations & Installations

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 Delaware-Maryland Synod.

Each congregation will hold an installation for the Collinses:

  • Installation at Trinity Lutheran Church (Arden), Martinsburg, will be 7 December 2022, 6:00 p.m..
  • Installation at St. Thomas, Charles Town, will be 14 December 2022, 6:00 p.m..

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.

Requiescat in pace

CWA 1998
Bishop Black is in the back row.

The Most Rev. L. Alexander Black

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 the synod.

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
℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church
309 Baldwin Street
Morgantown, WV 26505

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.

Processes and Opportunities

Guidance: Process for Leaving a Call

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'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.

vacancy tableOpportunities for Ordained Ministry in WV-WMD

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 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.

Rostered Leader Debt Reduction

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

Applications for a debt reduction grant for the FY2022-2023 cycle will open in December 2022.

Donate to RLDR Fund

Donations to the Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Fund can be routed through your congregation or sent directly to the Synod at the following address with a notation on the memo line indicating "Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Fund:"

West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod
℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church
309 Baldwin Street
Morgantown, WV 26505

WV-WMD Pastors' Letter on Racism

Thirty-seven pastors of the WV-WMD Synod, joined by two pastors from other judicatories, subscribed to a letter published 4 June 2021, addressing racism and stating, "we call home that racism has no place in our congregations or communities in which we live." For more information, click here.


A constellation of pages related to COVID-19 are available on the Synod website. You can access them all through the lead page by clicking here. Most importantly, a page dedicated to reopening recommendations is linked from that page.


Get them in even if late.

Parochial Report: Interface Reopens for Late Reports

*C9.12(b). The pastor of this congregation: shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod.

Parochial Reports were due 1 March 2022, and the interface closed 3 May 2022. That closure was for the Office for Research & Evaluation to crunch the numbers for the reports it has to generate. Now that those reports have been taken care of, the portal has reopened! You may now submit a late parochial report (Form A and Form C) for 2021 until December 2022. Click here for more information and be sure to share with key lay leaders assisting you in completing the report.

Rostered Minister's Report to Bishop: Due 6 March 2022

The governing documents of our church state the following:

S14.15. Each minister of Word and Sacrament on the roster of this synod shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.

*C9.13. The pastor(s) shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.

Now that Synod Council has set a date for Synod Assembly, we can announce the due date for clergy reports to the bishop. Many WV-WMD clergy have already submitted their reports. For those that were waiting, 18 July 2021 is the constitutionally dictated deadline. An acceptable report form may be downloaded from the ELCA Office of the Secretary Website, but you may submit a report of your own devising. The report form is in PDF. Be sure to save the report before exiting or you will lose your information. After completing, email to with the subject line, "Rostered Minister Report." If you have questions about how to complete the report, contact +Riegel. To download the ELCA form, click here.

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West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, ℅ St. Paul Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin Street, Morgantown, WV 26505
304-363-4030  +