for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(23 February 2021)
We've moved all the continuing education to this new page
because continuing education is not just for clergy. Both
laity and clergy will find offerings here. Some are for
laity only. Some are for clergy only. Some are for both.
That said, there is denominational encouragement for
clergy (and even requirements for certain classes of
clergy). If you are clergy (or a congregational mutual
ministry committee member), please review the general introduction for clergy
The education event matrix below is a quick way to skim
our offerings. Click on the linked text to learn about
each. Check beck periodically to find out what new thing
is being offered.
We've had a lot of events that are now behind us and have
begun work on the next series. Check back again and do be
sure to take a look at the offerings from our colleagues
across Region 8. Those are posted separately on Facebook (click here for more info).
Don't forget to check out the
offerings from the other synods of Region 8
Miscellaneous Offerings for Everyone
Qui Jesum vidit, qui mundum et daemona vicit,
Arndius in scriptis vivit ovatque suis.
Arndt, who saw Jesus, and conquered the world and the devil,
lives and triumphs in his writings.
If Philipp Jakob Spener is the Father of Pietism, Johann
Arndt is the Grandfather. His Wahres Christentum,
published in stages with revisions, 1605-1609, served as
the formative text for generations of Lutheran clergy and
laity. So, even if we think of Arndt as a Proto-Pietist,
the movement cannot be adequately understood apart from
his influence. This weekly study will explore this seminal
Each Monday in Lent, beginning Feb. 22 and ending March
29, Bishop Riegel will lead participants through the
text---we're focusing on Book I, so don't be scared off by
the 600-page length of all four books together.
Participants will be expected to read in preparation for
each session. Fortunately, it's also free. While you can
buy a copy on line, CCEL provides public domain editions
you can download to your computer or device. Session will
be one hour. There will be two offered each day, meaning
you have a choice between a late morning session (10:30
AM) or an evening session (7:30 PM). Sessions will be held
by Zoom. RSVP is required. You can RSVP by contacting
+Riegel by email, individual facebook events are
created for each session, but all are accessible through
the Johann Arndt Reading Group on
Updating a congregation's constitution can be a complicated process, especially if the constitution is several years old. This session aims to help lay leaders navigate that process.
The session will be divided into two parts. The first
part will cover
The second part will be more of a workshop in which participants can ask questions about their local circumstances and what options might be most appropriate.
The event is scheduled for Monday, March 6, 10:00 AM EST.
We're shooting for a total length of 90 minutes. There
will be a break between the two parts, and participants
are free to leave at the conclusion of the first part.
Bishop Riegel will be conducting the session.
You may RSPV by contacting +Riegel by email or
through the Facebook event. To those RSVPing by
Friday evening (March 5), +Riegel will send you Zoom login
info. Additionally, those those using Facebook have the
option of posting questions in advance on the discussion.
For syllabus, visit http://wv-wmd.org/CBCR/UpdatingCongCon.html.
WV-WMD typically holds two main clergy cont. ed events
each year, one in fall, the other in winter. More about
It is worth noting that CA97.2.7(a)(1)(a), an action of
the Churchwide Assembly, encourages "a minimum of 50
contact hours per year of intentional continuing
education, or 150 contact hours each three-year period." N.B.,
a contact hour is defined (as found on the rostered
leader's annual report to bishop) as 50 minutes of class
time or the equivalent. Time in worship, at meals, etc.
does not count as contact hours.
CEUs & COVID-19Clergy, if you have been attending webinars, zoom conferences, etc., related to COVID-19 (e.g., the synodical one organized by DEM Sherri Schafer and held April 30) where the purpose is education, training, or information sharing (and not planning or mutual support), you can count the hours as contact hours for purposes of continuing education. N.B. the definition of contact hours supra.
SabbaticalSince 2000, the WV-WMD Synod has recommended sabbaticals for clergy every seventh year of service in place. Mutual ministry committees and call committees should review the Synod's recommendation. It can be found linked on the Clergy Compensation page.
Synods across Region 8 hold continuing education events, and, on occasion, the Region sponsors an event jointly. It is often, though not always, possible to join another synod for its event. Be sure to check with the appropriate sponsor. If, however, the event is listed on the Region 8 Facebook Page, you may assume that it is open to clergy from across the Region. Check it out.
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Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Daniel Warntz (PC)
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC)
Pr. Ryan Heycock (MVMC)
At the Winter 2018 Synod Clergy Cont. Education Event, the presbyteral college elected to establish a committee for the design, planning, and management of synod sponsored clergy continuing education with one representative from each of the four conferences. Synod Clergy Cont. Ed, as we currently have it configured, provides approximately 12-17 per year, assuming attendance at both events.
Serving on the the Continuing Ed Committee we have The
Revs. Daniel Warntz (PC), Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC), Pr.
Sherri Schafer (UOVC), and Pr. Ryan Heycock (MVMC), with
Bp. Riegel as an advisory member. Synod clergy should feel
free to talk to their conference's committee member about
ideas and concerns related to continuing ed..
Planning has begun for the Winter 2021 Synod Clergy
Continuing Education Event, and, like this past Fall 2020,
the event will really be events (n.b., the
plural)---and most won't be in the winter. As it is very
early in the planning, final plans are being made for a
presentation by The Rev. Dr. Mark Vitalis-Hoffman to be
held sometime after Easter. The bishop will be preparing
things aimed primarily for lay leaders, but clergy are
welcome to join in. The focus has shifted to the
late-spring and early summer for clergy cont. ed.. As
plans firm up, we'll post on this page. In the meantime,
should you have ideas for topic (or format), contact your
conference's member on the planning
That said, there has been a request from the field for
help with updating constitutions. So, the bishop has set
The "Updating Your Congregation Constitution" session was held on January 25 with attendance from four different synods. Despite one Zoom glitch---we'll not make that mistake again---the session went well, and we believe that we can make improvements. So, for all those congregational lay leaders and bylaws committee members out there, if yuo would like to join a session designed for you, click here.
We split up our fall offerings across several weeks,
holding our sessions by Zoom but also spacing them out so
as to mitigate zoombification, Here's what happened.
Matt Day kicked us off with "Worship Streaming without Breaking Your Back or Your Bank." Held the morning of September 24, Matt Day demonstrated some methods and resources for making a congregation's online worship presence easier and better without breaking either you back or your bank. The session lasted two hours. The session was recorded and is available on the Synod Youtube Channel.
The "Pandemical Worship Panel" was held by Zoom on Oct.
6. A wide range of topics were discussed with four of our
clergy leading the way:
Each has had to figure
out what works in their own context (and for two of them
it is contexts). Different sizes of congregations,
different community settings, different status quo
worship practices, different ecclesiastical politics, and
a even a different denomination all make for challenges,
suggesting that one size does not fit all.
Some of the answers to questions from the floor might be
of interest to you. We posted those to the fb event for
the panel. You'll find there links for
Feel free to visit this event on facebook.
The event was held on 4 November 2020 via Zoom under the
If you missed it, you're still in luck. The session was recorded (available on Youtube) and Pr. Felici has also provided a Google Docs link the resources she discussed. You can also find these items on the facebook event.
Clergy are called to preach and teach and administer the sacraments. Parents and congregations make promises at the baptism of our young people to place into their hands the holy scriptures, to teach them the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, and to nurture them in faith and prayer. Now more than ever, families are struggling to get through the grind of daily life with enormous changes all around them. This workshop is intended to explore creative solutions to equip families and congregations to engage in Christian Education. Pastor Jess Felici will share some of the things the Mountain Lutheran Parish has done and will help brainstorm and share resources for some ideas on engaging households for Advent. The presentation is scheduled to last about an hour with time following for resource sharing and exploring ideas for Christian Education in Coronatide.
"Bishop's Time" is a long-standing element of the synod
clergy cont. ed events. As in past years, we heard updates
from various affiliates and agencies. The bishops also
reviewed changed in the assignment process, development of
the Synodical Lay Worship Leaders Program, Future Church
redesign taking place in the Churchwide Structure, roster
changes, vacancy status, the disposition of property of
congregation, and plans for Synod Assembly. The Synod
Clergy Continuing Education Committee also reported and
An AAR was emailed to synod clergy and seminarians the
day after the event. Included with the AAR was a Portico
document on Portico mental health services and a document
on Lutheran Scouting. If you did not receive the AAR etc.,
contact the bishop.
The pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc with our LARCUM
plans. The planning team has been meeting and adjusting
matters as conditions warrant. Here's what's happening....
The planning team, tentatively pushing "LARCUM:
Evangelism?" to May 2022, is exploring a LARCUM event for
Fall 2021. If vaccination programs are successful by that
point, an in-person gathering will be reasonable (and much
needed, we suspect). No topic has been set, but ideas are
being bounced around. Stay tuned. You can follow LARCUM
on facebook to get the latest information.
Lutherans interested in LARCUM may want to consider joining Team Wittenberg, our very own LARCUM fb group for Lutherans. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2828820697146887
The SCALDers started thinking about SCALD III, but
the pandemic has put such thinking on hold until we have
some sense of when we can return to in-person events.
SCALD (Symposium for Central Appalachian Lutheran Dogmatics) is designed as a day of theological discussion, employing the symposium model. Presenters give papers with discussion of those papers open to all participants. It is about providing an intellectually engaging and profitable opportunity for rank and file pastors and lay theologians (amateur and professional) to test their all too often private ruminations among those capable of being critical and convivial at the same time.
SCALD II, meeting in Keyser, WV, on 21 Feb
2019, saw a doubling of attendance over SCALD I, with 30
participating, representing 6 ELCA judicatories (WV-WMD,
LSS, Allegheny, MNYS, NC, and Del-MD). There were 2
non-ELCA folks there (TEC and UCC). There were 6 laity
and 24 clergy. One of the lay participants, a seminarian
from LSTC, even road the train overnight to attend.
Until the SCALDers get a proper page set up, you
can indicate your interest in SCALD III by visiting
SCALD II's facebook event and posting in the
comments thread. That way the SCALDers will know to let
you know about SCALD III.