for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(28 June 2022)
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.
Some educational events are recorded and available 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).
Don't forget to check out the offerings from the other synods of Region 8
Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC), Chair
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Ben Erzkus (MVMC)
Pr. Sally Bartling (PC)
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 Kevin
Mackey (OKVC), Sherri Schafer (UOVC), and Ben Erzkus
(MVMC), and Sally Bartling 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
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.
Because of the shift to a hybrid event and the intensity
of sessions with Sr. Riley, Bishop's Time was not held as
part of the Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event. Instead, it
was held by Zoom on 29 March 2022 at 1:45 p.m.. Any synod
clergy wanting an outline should contact +Riegel.
In response to requests from synod clergy, the Winter
2022 Was offered in a hybrid format, with eight synod
clergy attending at the John XXIII Center and several
others joining by Zoom. Sr. Carole Riley, CDP, lead an
intense and information packed program on grief,
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...
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.
"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.
Sometimes we through in a continuing ed offering
specifically for clergy that is beyond our usual biannual
event. What's coming up?
The Rev Dr. JT Miller, pastor of Zion Lutheran, McGregor,
TX, will be spending a week on the Mountaintop, providing
pastoral services to the Aurora-Redhouse Parish. While
among us, he has consented to provide a presentation on
the Book of Job, the topic his doctoral research. In the
midst of much turmoil and consternation, diving into this
piece of wisdom literature may prove salutary.
The presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, 27 July
2022, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Davis, WV. We begin
at 10:30 a.m., will break for lunch, taking advantage of
local eateries, and then reconvene for further
conversation, quitting before the afternoon gets away from
us. There is no charge for the event, but lunch is on your
It is recommended that attendees take a look at Job (and
maybe glance at a commentary or an online article or your
choice) to prep. Click here to
RSVP; though not required, it would be much
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....
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.
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
SCALDers had been thinking about holding SCALD III
in the spring of 2020, but the pandemic came. Well,
we're thinking about it again. No definite time and
place has been selected, but late mid to summer is
looking like a real possibility. So, it's time to start
dusting off paper ideas. This is be an in-person event.
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.
This summer’s Theological Education with Adults looks at
some specific ways worship and music have been influenced
by the pandemic. The week features a series of interactive
workshops that attend to both the theology and practice of
Lutheran worship, including:
Theological Education with Adults is sponsored by United
Lutheran Seminary. It will be held on the Gettysburg
Seminary Campus, 10-15 July 2022. For more information, download
the flyer here. The registration deadline has been
extended to 20 June 2022.
The Annual Assembly of the West Virginia Council of
Churches is scheduled to open Sunday evening, 23 October
2022 and run through the early afternoon of 24 October
2022. John XXIII, Charleston, WV, will host. The Faith
& Order Commission is working on the agenda, but, like
the previous in-person Annual Assembly, a mix of plenary
and concurrent sessions (the latter split between a Faith
& Order track and a Life & Works tack) is planned.
The 2023 Parliament of World Religions will convene in
Chicago, 14-18 August 2023, under the theme, "A Call to
Conscience: Defending Freedom & Human Rights." This
conference is open to anyone. There is a lot more
information than we can put on this page, so, click
here, to visit the Parliament of World Religions
website. If registered by 30 June 2022, you can save $325
($225 compared to $550 at the gate the day the conference
The Parliament of World Religions is the biggest and most
diverse religious conference in the world. It first
convened in 1893, in connection with the Chicago World's
Fair. The Parliament travels the world, and the last time
it was in North America was Toronto 2018. The last time
before that was Chicago 21993. So, if you are interested,
you may want to jump on this opportunity because it may
not be back within easy striking distance in the near
future, and Chicago is a very easy trip by train from our
Last year, we explored Johann Arndt's master work, True
Christianity. This year, we fast forwarded a few
centuries and dove into Action in Waiting by
Christoph Blumhardt. The Rev. Grant Eckhart, chaplain of
Jacob's Porch, moderated sessions that were held every
Tuesday in Lent via Zoom. Clergy and laity from several
Christoph Blumhardt has a fascinating biography. He was
born about the same time as his father, Johann Blumhardt,
exorcised a demon from a certain Gottliebin Dittus. After
the exorcism, a revival swept through the parish.
Christoph followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a
renown evangelist and healer, and also continuing the work
begun by his father at Bad Boll, a thermal spa that the
senior Blumhardt had converted into a Christian retreat.
Though the healing ministry would have been considered
successful in terms of the numbers of people drawn to Bad
Boll, Blumhardt saw something of greater significance,
I do not want to suggest that it is of little importance for God to heal the sick; actually, it now is happening more and more often—although very much in quiet. However, things should not be promoted as though God’s kingdom consists in the healing of sick people. To be cleansed is more important than to be healed. It is more important to have a heart for God’s cause, not to be chained to the world but be able to move for the kingdom of God.
Eventually, Christoph Blumhardt entered the world of politics, serving in the Württemberg legislature, but he ultimately become disillusioned, refusing to stand for a second term.
Although the book study has wrapped up, you still engage
engage in conversation on the Christoph
Blumhardt Reading Group (facebook).
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
A recording of the webinar can be watched on the WVCC Facebook page.
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.