event at Martinsburg

Education for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(23 February 2021)

Page Contents

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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.

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).

Event Date
NWPA: Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions
20 Feb - 3 April 2021
True Christianity: A Weekly Lenten Book Study of Arndt's Wahres Christentum Mondays, 22 Feb- 29 March 2021
Updating Your Congregation Constitution
6 March 2021
St. Paul and Early Christianity (tentative) 12 April 2021
LARCUM: TBA (tentative) Fall 2021
LARCUM: Evangelism? (tentative) May 2022 TBA

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

Page Contents
  • Intro
    • Cont. Ed Offering Matrix
  • Miscellaneous Offerings for Everyone
    • True Christianity
    • Updating Your Congregation Constitution
  • Clergy Continuing Ed (in General)
    • CEUs and COVID-19
    • Sabbatical
    • Regional Cont. Ed Sharing
      • 4 of 8
        • Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions
    • First Call Theological Education
  • Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event
    • The Team
    • Winter 2021
    • Fall 2020 After Action Report
    • LARCUM Fall 2021
    • LARCUM May 2022: Evangelism?

Miscellaneous Offerings for Everyone

ArndtTrue Christianity: A Weekly Lenten Book Study of Arndt's Wahres Christentum

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.
---Tombstone inscription

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 work.

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 Facebook.

RONR-CBCRUpdating Your Congregation Constitution

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

  • hierarchies of authority,
  • nomenclature and codification,
  • the difference between required provisions, recommended provisions, and local provisions,
  • the difference between an amendment and a general revision, and
  • parliamentary form for consideration and adoption.

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.

Clergy Continuing Ed (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.

+LozanoEVENT(S): Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions

This course will delve into the writings of Martin Luther and the early reformers. Audio, video and written materials will be used to introduce Lutheran history and theological concepts. Conversation, lecture and the adult learning model will facilitate individual and group synthesis of the materials. Weekly questions and small projects will assist individuals in discovering the application of Lutheran theology for application for the authorized lay worship leader instructional program. Although designed for the NWPA authorized lay worship leader instructional program, others are welcome to attend. This course will be held in six sessions, 20 February - 3 April 2021, and led by Bishop Lozano of the NWPA Synod. If you are interested, you need to register with the NWPA Synod. Course details and requirements are downloadable here.

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.

The Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event

Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Daniel Warntz (PC)
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC)
Pr. Ryan Heycock (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), 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..

Winter 2021

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 team.

That said, there has been a request from the field for help with updating constitutions. So, the bishop has set something up.

EVENT AAR: Updating Your Congregation Constitution

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.

Matt Day
                demonatrating camera set up

Fall 2020 After Action Report

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.

Best Practices for Live Streaming (Sept. 24)

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.

                      Claytor Linda
                      Muhly Ian Reid Michael

Best Practices for Pandemical Worship (Oct. 6)

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:

  • The Rev. Susan Claytor, St. Stephen's Episcopal and St. Luke's Lutheran, Beckley, WV
  • The Rev. Linda Muhly, St. Mark's Lutheran, Clarksburg, WV
  • The Rev. Ian Reid, First Lutheran, Parkersburg, WV
  • The Rev. Michael Wright, St. Paul's Lutheran, Aurora, WV, and St. John's Lutheran, Redhouse, MD

                  eventEach 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

  • messaging programs/aps,
  • unlicensed, low-power FM transmitter use, and
  • a video "switcher" program to amp up your videography/streaming. 

Feel free to visit this event on facebook.

Racial Sensitivity raining (Oct. 19)

Monday, 19 October 2020, the clergy of the synod met via Zoom for racial sensitivity training with Ron Scott of Wheeling. This training fulfilled Churchwide Assembly action CA16.05.22. The event was sponsored by Community Lutheran Partners, Inc., with the associated costs covered by an ELCA grant issued to Community Lutheran Partners, Inc.


Creative Christian Education and Empowering Families in Times of Covid (Nov. 4)

The event was held on 4 November 2020 via Zoom under the description,

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.

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.

Wright sitting in Bishop's chair

Bishop's Time

"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 solicited feedback.

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....

LARCUM: Fall 2021 (Tentative)

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.

                2019 Michelbach, Crump, Felici, Smith

LARCUM Spring 2022: Evangalism? (Tentative)


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 9-11 May 2022, at John XXIII. We'll be confirming with John XXIII that those dates are good. In the meantime, mark it down as tentative on your calendar. The topic will be "Evanglism?" 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.

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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