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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
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.
Don't forget to check out the
offerings from the other synods of Region 8
- Clergy Continuing Ed (in General)
- CEUs and COVID-19
- Regional Cont. Ed Sharing
- First Call Theological Education
- Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event
- The Team
- Fall 2020
- Anti-Racism Training
- Creative Christian Ed and Empowering
Families during COVD-19
- Fall 2020 After Action Report
- Streaming Worship
- Pandemical Worship
- Winter 2020 AAR
- WVCC Annual Assembly
- Adolescent Mental Health
- LARCUM: Evangelism?
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
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.
CEUs & COVID-19
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.
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
First Call Theological Education
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.
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 Biannual Synod Clergy Continuing
Clergy Cont. Ed Events Team
Pr. Christine Olson (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 Pr.
Christine Olson (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..
Fall 2020 Events...n.b. the plural
There will be no in-person Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Event
this fall (2020). After reviewing the situation, the
Continuing Education Committee determined that it was both
unwise to proceed and the COVID-19 restrictions militated
against the quality of the event. Instead, we've been
offering multiple events of shorter duration spaced out
over several weeks. Read on to learn about those planned
and those already held.
Also in planning is "Bishop's Time," that long-standing
element of the synod clergy cont. ed events. More
information to come. This is a heads up for any clergy or
agencies that have something they need to share with the
synod's presbyteral college.
Attendance in all of our Zoom-based Cont. Ed sessions
fall 2020 are FREE. Your Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Team
has decided to cover associated costs from the reserves in
the Synod Clergy Cont. Ed Fund.
EVENT: Creative Christian Education and
Empowering Families in Times of Covid (Nov. 4)
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.
The event will be held by Zoom on 4 November 2020, 10:30
am-12:00 noon. Details on logging in to come. You can also
RSVP and follow this event on facebook.
Fall 2020 After Action Report
Because we are splitting up our fall offerings across
several weeks, we're in this strange place of being
partially done and not done at the same time. Here's what
we've done so far.
EVENT: 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 fulfills 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,
EVENT: Best Practices for Pandemical Worship
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,
- 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
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
- messaging programs/aps,
- unlicensed, low-power FM transmitter use, and
- a video "switcher" program to amp up your
Feel free to visit this event on facebook.
Practices for Live Streaming
"Worship Streaming without Breaking Your Back or Your
Bank" was held the morning of September 24 with Matt Day
demonstrating some methods and resources we can use to
make a congregation's online worship presence easier and
better without breaking either you back or your bank. The
session lasted two hours and was held by Zoom. The session
was recorded and will be available on the Synod Youtube Channel soon, allowing
all to review the material.
Winter 2020 After Action Report
Our winter events was held February 4-5 at Mary
Help of Christians (quondam Bishop Hodges),
Huttonsville, WV. The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson
presented on the theme, "Sharing the Gospel in the 'Age of
the Spirit.'" Peterson serves as Professor of Theology and
also as Associate Dean for Academics, Trinity Lutheran
Seminary, Capitol University. She also serves on the
International Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue. Peterson
brought her expertise as a scholar and an ecumenist to
explore a range of pneumatological issues, including
Charismaticism and Pentecostalism. Several clergy from
other judicatories (Lutheran and non-Lutheran) joined is
for the event.
A well-attended pre-event boundaries training was
conducted by The Revs. Sherri Schafer and Sarah Lee
Faulkner. If you missed your chance for synodical
boundaries training, fear not. Talk with the Bishop about
appropriate training options to be found in other
Virginia Council of Churches, adjusting to COVID-19,
will hold its 139th Annual Assembly by Zoom,
spacing its sessions out over the course of a month with
weekly presentations on a variety of subjects.
- October 1 - Opening Worship
- October 8 - Community Reentry in the Midst of
Coronavirus: Bev Sharp, the West Virginia Council
of Churches Reentry Director, will lead a session on the
difficulties restored citizens face as they leave the
correctional system during the COVID pandemic. In the
best of times, the transition from corrections to
community can be difficult. With the added weight of the
pandemic, issues such as housing, transportation,
skilled nursing for elderly persons completing their
sentences, emotional support, and employment become even
more challenging. Learn about the needs and what you can
do to help by attending this session.
- October 15 - Faith, Scouting, and Foster Care:
West Virginia has seen a huge increase in the number of
children in foster and kinship care with the attendant
risks for those children to encounter trauma, homeless,
and incarceration. Through an initiative of the Claude
Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Black Diamond
Council of the Girl Scouts, the Buckskin Council of the
Boy Scouts, and the West Virginia Council of Churches
have partnered to help build resiliency by providing
financial support for foster and kinship children to
participate in scouting, establishing new troops and
units, and by providing training.
- October 22 - Reinhold Niebuhr and the Nature of
Evil: Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service
Committee will lead a session on Reinhold Niebuhr and
the Nature of Evil. Niebuhr, one of the preeminent and
most influential theologians of the 20th
Century, was concerned about the interplay of good and
evil in human life and how humility could go a long way
toward bringing out our better natures. With the 2020
election season upon us, this session will provide a
thoughtful excursion into the nature of good, evil, and
the body politic.
- October 29 - Dismantling Racism and the Church:
Our final session for the 139th Annual Assembly focuses
on how the Church has dealt with dismantling racism. To
help us look at that issue, we are inviting comments
about what the Church has done well to dismantling
racism, where it has fallen short, and what it needs to
be doing in today's world. Please help us by filling out
this short survey, the results of which will be shared
on October 29 at 12:00 p.m. To take the survey, please click
All sessions will be by Zoom starting at 12:00 PM. To
register, please click here. You will need to
register for an event in advance in order to get the Zoom
Center: Bringing the World to Wittenberg and Wittenberg to
You are invited to a 3-seminar series on The Freedom of a
Christian. The dates are as follows:
- Session 1: Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT,
on "Luther’s The Freedom of a Christian
from Neuroscience and Liberation Theology Perspectives;"
- Session 2: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT, on
"The Freedom of a Christian: Living in Christ and
Loving our Neighbors;" and
- Session 3: Friday, October 30, 2020, 1:00 PM EDT, on "The
Freedom of a Christian: When Faith Gets Political"
The presenters are, respectively,
- The Rev. Dr. Carmelo Santos, Ph.D., Director for
Theological Diversity and Ecumenical &
Interreligious Engagement, Office of the Presiding
- The Rev. Dr. Moses Paul Peter Penumaka, Lecturer and
Director of Theological Education for Emerging
Ministries (TEEM) at Pacific Lutheran Theological
Seminary of California Lutheran University; and
- The Rev. Nicolette Maria Peñaranda, Pastor, First
Lutheran Church of the Trinity Metropolitan Chicago
Preregistration is required; click
here to register. After registering, you will
receive a confirmation email containing the Zoom link to
join all 3 sessions.
Want to prepare and review before the sessions? Click to
Freedom of a Christian and here for a study
guide for The Freedom of a Christian – Short
on time? Jump to pages 50-53 for a synopsis. You can also
a poster for your church to assist in advertising.
LARCUM 2020: Evangelism?
LARCUM 2020 postponed until May 2021 (tentatively): LARCUM
planning team met today and decided to attempt postponement
until May. We don't know what COVID-19 restrictions will be
in place in September (affecting both venue and travel for
both participants and presenters) plus a good number of
LARCUMites would classify as vulnerable. The planning
committee will post updates as plans evolve.
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.
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
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.
- SCALD I
- 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? --
- 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?
- SCALD II
- 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)
- 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
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.