event at Martinsburg

Education for Clergy & Laity
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(9 September 2021)

Page Contents

For a map of the page contents: click here.

Hit the refresh button just in case an older version of this page has been retrieved up from your browser's cache.

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
ULS: A Theology of Belonging: Native and Lutheran Approaches and Perspectives with Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin
22 Sept 2021
Online (TBA)
WVCC Assembly: The Church in the Beloved Community: An Interrogation of The Rev. Jeffrey Allen
11 Oct 2021
WVCC Assembly: Digital Worship
14 Oct 2021
Luther Colloquy 2021: Lutheran Spirituality
20 Oct 2021
Gettysburg Seminary
WVCC Assembly
21 Oct 2021
WVCC Assembly: Dementia 101
28 Oct 2021
WVCC Assembly: Bible Study on Matthew 22:37-40
4 Nov 2021
FCTE Region 8 Plenary
16-18 Nov 2021
Zoom FCTE Clergy
Region 8
LARCUM: Evangelism? (tentative) May 2022 TBA

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

Page Contents

Synodical Offerings

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.

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

After a year hiatus taken because of the pandemic, the annual FCTE Region 8 Plenary resumes 16-18 November 2021. Originally planned for a three-day retreat, the event has now been moved online. Mark your calendars now.

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. Ruth Bullwinkle (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 Ruth Bullwinkle, 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, and Ryan Heycock for their, now concluded, service on the team.

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 2022 event. You can follow LARCUM on facebook to get the latest information.

                2019 Michelbach, Crump, Felici, Smith

LARCUM Spring 2022: Evangelism? (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 "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

ErwinA Theology of Belonging: Native and Lutheran Approaches and Perspectives with Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin.

Being part of something larger than ourselves, of a narrative that extends beyond our lifespan, and of a community that sustains us in this life, are all essential aspects of meaning-giving identity. How do these ideas shape our sense of self and determine our relationship with others? Why does “belonging” matter so much to us? Join us in a time of theological reflection and wonder at the interconnectedness of God, nature, and human experience.

Dr. Erwin will use historical, autobiographical, and theological approaches to explore the question of what it means “to belong”—to a place, to a culture, to a faith, and to a church. What is the nature of our connectedness to the natural world? How do we understand ourselves as being part of a family, a community, or a culture? How does Scripture use the idea of belonging, and how has Christian tradition shaped its own understanding?

The event will be held by online, 22 Sept. 2021, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.. More information on how to access President Erwin's lecture forthcoming on the ULS Facebook event. Click here to RSVP and follow the event.

                LogoWVCC Assembly

The West Virginia Council of Churches is well into planning the next WVCC Annual Assembly. As with the 2020 Assembly, sessions will be held by Zoom and spread out over a four week period an opening day of conversation and worship and conversation on Oct. 11 and webinars on Oct. 14, 21, and 28, and on Nov. 4. The current line up includes

  • The Rev. Roberta Smith preaching at worship on the first day;
  • The Church in the Beloved Community: An Interrogation of The Rev. Jeffrey Allen by The Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel;
  • Digital Worship with The Rev. Deborah Coble;
  • Dementia 101 with Dr. Ann Marie Murray; and
  • Bible Study on Matthew 22:37-40 with The Rev. Thad Allen

As other webinars are firmed up, we'll announce them. We'll also post the registration link when it becomes available.

Luther Colloquy

Luther Colloquy 2021 will gather under the title, "Lutheran Spirituality," on the Gettysburg Seminary campus on Oct. 20. The seminary website issues this invitation:

Join us for Luther Colloquy 2021 as we explore the spirituality of Lutheranism.  What is Lutheran spirituality, what are its roots, and how has it changed over time?  How does the church today meet those who yearn for spirituality but assume it cannot be found in “institutional religion”?  How does spirituality shape the life of the church and inspire a commitment to justice, liberation, and care for the natural world?

Here's the lecture lineup:

  • Vincent Evener, “The Passion and Spirituality in Sixteenth Century Lutheranism”
  • Jonathan Strom, “The Complex and Controversial Spirituality of Pietist Conversion Narratives”
  • Lisa Dahill, “Rewilding Life Together: Bonhoeffer, Spirituality, and Interspecies Community”
  • Carmelo Santos, “Decolonizing Emotions: Musings on a Lutheran Liberation Theology of the Brain”

You can find out more at Luther Colloquy.

[ Go to Homepage ]

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