event at Martinsburg

Education for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(17 January 2022)

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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 continuing education.

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.

Some educational events are recorded and availble for viewing at a later date. Beneath the education event matrix, you find the archives matrix.

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).

Upcoming Events Date
Ignite the Church: "SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where do we go from here?" 8-10 Feb 2022 Hybrid
Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Event
15-17 Feb 2022
LARCUM: Evangelism? (tentative) May 2023 TBA

Don't forget to check out the offerings from the other synods of Region 8

Recorded Past Events Date
WVCC: Dementia-Friendly Worshiping Communities Webinar
8 Dec 2021
Zoom & Facebook
ELCA: Anger Webniar
30 Nov 2021

Clergy Continuing Ed
Page Map

In General

WV-WMD typically holds two main clergy cont. ed events each year, one in fall, the other in winter. More about that below.

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.

Who would go to a doctor or a lawyer who did not engage in continuing education? Arguably, the stakes are higher when it comes the the clergy. Congregations should, therefore, not think of continuing education as a reward or a benefit but as an investment. Mutual ministry committees should discuss continuing education plans with their clergy and support education that will advance the professional develop their clergy and, in turn, advance the ministry.


Clergy, 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.


Since 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.

Region 8Regional Continuing Ed Sharing

There has been lots of new postings on the Region 8 fb page. It's good to see this much activity, and it is especially good to see us all moving beyond our synodical silos.

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.

4 of 8

NWPA, Allegheny, USS, and WV-WMD are teaming upon a variety of projects that are of specific interest to those of us with small cities, towns, and rural territory. These projects include some continuing education offerings.

First Call Theological Education

CA95.6.55 ...To require, by the fall of 1997, that all newly rostered pastors and lay leaders participate, throughout their first three years of ministry under call, in structured programs of theological education, designed and supervised by their synods, according to churchwide standards;....

The 1995 ELCA Churchwide Assembly mandated continuing education for the first three years of called ministry. The synods of Region 8, compacting, even during the preceding two-year pilot phase, to establish a region-wide approach, developed a program featuring an annual plenary retreat and regular geographical cohort groups. The annual 3-day retreat is held in early November not far from Gettysburg, PA. The geographical cohort is currently run on a synodical basis with the bishop having direct oversight. The cohort has begun meeting on a nearly monthly basis. All new first-call pastors and deacons and their respective congregations or agencies will be contacted by the bishop with details related to FCTE. The national policy document can be downloaded here.

FCTE Region 8 Plenary

The next FCTE Region 8 Plenary is scheduled for 14-16 November 2022. The plan is to hold the event in-person.

The Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event

Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC), Chair
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Daniel Warntz (PC)
  Pr. Ben Erzkus (MVMC)

The Planning Team

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), Kevin Mackey (OKVC), Sherri Schafer (UOVC), and Ben Erzkus (MVMC), with Bp. Riegel as an advisory member. Synod clergy should feel free to talk to their conference's team about ideas and concerns related to continuing ed.

Thanks are owed to Prs. Christine Olson (past chair), Paul Schafer, Casey Linemann, Ryan Heycock. and Ruth Bullwinkle for their, now concluded, service on the team.

Winter 2022: Grief with Sr. Carol Riley

Update: In response to requests from synod clergy, the Winter 2022 event will be offered in a hybrid format. Sr. Riley will be teaching by Zoom, but those WV-WMD clergy and seminarians who want to gather at John XXIII are invited to do so. Details were sent to synod clergy via email. If you did not get an email, contact The Rev. Sherri Schafer.

The online instruction is available to clergy from all judicatories. More information to come on how to register.

In consultation with our presenter, Sr. Carol Riley, the continuing education team has made the difficult decision to move the in-person event scheduled for Feb. 15-17 in Charleston to an online event. There will be more details on presentation times and a Zoom link soon. This event is open to clergy and synod seminarians.

The topic for the event is grief. Sr. Riley will address the following:

  • God image and trauma
  • Grieving developmental wounds
  • Anger as movement toward healing
  • Prayer style and somatic wounds

After Action Reports

Summer 2021: After Action Reports

We've moved the older AARs (After Action Reports) on our past continuing education offerings to a page of their own. If you would like to get a feel for continuing education in WV-WMD, click here for the AARs. More recent AARs are right here...

AAR: All Are Welcome: Understanding the Autism Spectrum

A workshop designed to help us better understand those on the autism spectrum was held 29 July 2021 via Zoom. Organized by our DEM, it was available at no cost to participants through the Mental Health First Aid Grant received from ELCA Disabilities Unit. Erin McFarland led the workshop. Erin is a Licensed Counselor, working for the past 10 years in the Catholic Schools in Wheeling and Weirton in the School Based Health Program. She has a Masters in Community Counseling and is Licensed in the State of West Virginia and Ohio. Prior to working in the schools, Erin practiced counseling at Hillcrest Psychiatric Unit on the youth and adolescent unit as well as doing outpatient counseling at Wellsprings Family Services and Hillcrest Outpatient Services. Before that, Erin worked at Fox Run Psychiatric Hospital and Harmony House Child Advocacy Center for Children. Erin began her career as a Counselor at The Children's Home of Wheeling, working with abused and neglected young men.

AAR: Bishop's Time Summer 2021

"Bishop's Time" ran about an hour, with synod clergy gathering on 27 July 2021 via Zoom. Reports from Camp Luther, Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU, Community Lutheran Partners, Inc., our Youth Gathering lead, our DEM, our Madagascar lead, and the Nominating Committee chair joining that of the bishop. The bishop covered roster changes, congregational vacancies, matters related to Synod Assembly, and some liturgical items. A synopsis is being prepared for synod clergy.


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....

LARCUM: Fall 2021

In light of the pandemic, planning for a some sort of fall 2021 LARCUM event(s) has been scrubbed. The LARCUM planning team will meet again in January to continue planning for the spring 2023 event. You can follow LARCUM on facebook to get the latest information.

                2019 Michelbach, Crump, Felici, Smith

LARCUM Spring 2023: Evangelism? (Tentative)

Postponement (again)

LARCUM 2020 was initially postponed until May 2021 by the planning team because of the pandemic. Unsure of what COVID-19 restrictions would be in place in September (affecting both venue and travel for both participants and presenters) coupled with the fact that a good number of LARCUMites would classify as vulnerable, postponement seemed reasonable this past summer. Our caution proved warranted.

Now we're shooting for May 2023, at John XXIII. Once we have dates worked out, we'll let you know. In the meantime, mark it down as tentative on your calendar. The topic will be "Evangelism?" the focus not being on the how but rather on the why. The planning committee will post updates as plans evolve.

Old Info

The next WV Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic-United Methodist Tetralogue will be held 14-16 September 2020 at the John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston, WV. The topic will be evangelism, and we are using the working title, "Evangelism?" until things take more shape. That working title should give you a clue as to the current direction. Based upon conversation with attendees at the conclusion of LARCUM 2019, the focus is to be on the why of evangelism (and the other theoretical concepts that relate to it) rather than the how. +Riegel, responding to a question on line wrote, "We have no shortage of techniques, but we do seem to have a motivation." He also pointed out that the mainline churches already share many of the same resources related to the how of evangelism, but whether they share the same rationale between them or even within their own histories is something to be explored. Mark you calendars. For those with facebook, an event has already been created: https://www.facebook.com/events/962456230758841/. RSVP with either "going" or "interested" to stay connected for updates over the course of the year.

LARCUM 2019, held under the "Christianity & Civil Government: History, Theology, Implications (for Citizens, Pastors, and Institutions)," was very well attended with 49 registered. The Lutherans were there in force---and the envy of all the other denominations. If you would like to check out some pics and posts from LARCUM 2019, click here.

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.

(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.

Hadaway SCALD ISCALD 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.

SCALD papers...

    • The Rev. Matt Day --- Suicide and the Church's Answer: A Theological Primer on the Theology of Suicide and How the Church Should Respond
    • The Rev. Elizabeth Leigh Hadaway --- The Babylonian Captivity of the Clergy Spouse
    • The Rev. Brian McClinton --- My Church Council President Is a Montanist: Is That a Problem? -- Brian McClinton
    • The Rev. Mike Hadaway --- Holding Fast: Ecumenism, the Answer to the Saviors Prayer or a Betrayal of Dogma?
    • The Rev. Jerry Kliner --- The 95 Theses 500 Years On: What's Settled, What Is Still in Dispute?
    • The Rev. Christine Olson --- Ask, Search, Knock. Opened? A Case for a Theology of Prayer in a "Just Do It" World
    • The Rev. Brian McClinton --- "You mean we can't sing Pass it on in Church": Hymnody and the theological importance in Christian education
    • The Rev. Jonathon Jenkins --- A (More) Trinitarian Baptism
    • Vr. James Demmel --- On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Kierkegaard
    • Dr. Eric Crump --- Shameless - and Mindless: A Proposed ‘Sexual Reformation’ in Need of Enlightenment

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.

BTW, in the photo at right is The Rev. Elizabeth Hadaway, at SCALD I, delivering her paper, "The Babylonian Captivity of the Clergy Spouse," a very interesting critique of commonly held ideas about the role of the clergy spouse in light of Augustana XIV, XVI, and XXIII.

Other Opportunities

Ignite the Church Conference 2022

"SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where do we go from here?" is the theme for the 2022 Ignite the Church Conference to be held 8-10 February 2022. We are told that this conference will be featured in the November edition of Seeds Monthly. In the meantime, here's their press release:

Since February 2020, the Church has been enduring unprecedented seismic shifts. In response, a new Hybrid version of the grassroots Ignite the Church Conference will gather next February…In-Person in sunny Orlando AND Online…to reflect on the theme: SEISMIC SHIFTS: Where Do We Go From Here? The theme is grounded in the witness of Psalm 46:1-2 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and the mountains shake." Four large group sessions will focus on the following shifts: Public Church (Robin Steinke and Winston Persaud), Hybrid Church (Joe and Jess Liles), Adaptive Church (Tod Bolsinger), Thriving Church (Stephanie Spellers). Ten 90-minute workshops will dig deeper into these shifts to offer encouragement, inspiration, and challenge for church leaders.
To register and learn more about the presenters, workshop options, and other details go to www.IgniteTheChurch.net.  Register by November 30 to access the lowest $99 In-Person rate. The Online option will provide live and recorded access to each large group session and the post-conference Resource Page. The Online option is FREE…with a suggested donation $30 to the ELCA Fund for Leaders invited. All proceeds continue to benefit the ELCA Fund for Leaders which has received $13,000 from the Conference in just the past two years.


WVCCDementia-Friendly Worshiping Communities

The West Virginia Council of Churches held a webinar on Dementia-Friendly Worshiping communities on December 8 with The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry. Berry wrote the book When Words Fail: Practical Ministry to People with Dementia and Their Caregivers and co-authored, Dementia Friendly Worship: A Multifaith Handbook for Chaplains, Clergy, and Faith Communities.

The Rev. Kathy Fogg Berry received a Masters of Religious Education from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a Masters in Patient Counseling and a postgraduate certificate in aging studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. During Kathy’s tenure at Westminster Canterbury Richmond, she provided spiritual care for residents with dementia diagnoses, their families, and the staff who care for them. For the last five years, Rev. Berry has offered the “When Words Fail” seminar for clergy and lay leaders throughout Virginia and she speaks regionally and nationally about spirituality and dementia.

A recording of the webinar can be watched on the WVCC Facebook page.

Anger Webinar

Barb Keller offered a webinar for clergy on anger for ELCA clergy, via Zoom, on 30 November 2021. A recording is available. Contact the bishop r the D.E.M. for access.

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