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West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Headline News
(4 March 2021)

Web UpdateSynod Website Updates

We've moved the list of updates to the to a page of its own. Click here (or on the pic at right) to find out what has been recently updated.

Third Round of PPP Loans

Applications are now being taken for a third round of Payroll Protection Program loans. There is a narrow window for application. Visit our COVID-19 page for more information.

Big Freeze in Texas (and Adjacent States)

Unusual winter weather slammed the American south in February. A first hand account and information on how to help can be found on the new Social Ministry page.

Social Ministry Page Launched

Hunger programs, housing & shelter ministries, disaster response, orphanages and foster care, nursing homes and hospitals, and immigrant and refugee services are all social ministries engaged in by church's, agencies, and individuals. The boundaries can be expansive, including advocacy and community organizing, or they can narrow, referring only to Social Ministry Organizations (e.g., Community Lutheran Partners, Inc.). At present, "social ministry" will be broadly defined for our purposes. Check it out.

Community Lutheran Partners, Inc., Has New Website

Community Lutheran Partners, Inc., has set up a new website at Check it out.

Clergy in Motion

February saw three pastors leave the synod to take new calls. If you would like to see who's coming and going among the synod clergy, click here.

RONR-CBCRUpdating Your Congregation Constitution

Do you need to update your congregational constitution? A Saturday morning session, 6 March 21, will be offered for lay leaders attempting to navigate what can be a time-consuming and complicated process. For more information, visit our Education for Clergy & Laity page.

Bishop's Roadshow: Time to Resubscribe

We are rebuilding the mailing list for the Bishop's Roadshow from scratch. Even if you were subscribed, you will have to subscribe again. More information and subscription links here.

ArndtLenten Book Study: True Christianity

Bishop Riegel will be leading an on-line Lenten book study of Johann Arndt's True Christianity. Click here for details.

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

Webinar with WV COVID-19 Task Force

West Virginia Council of Churches hosted a webinar with the WV COVID-19 Task Force on Feb. 16. The recording is accessible on our Synod COVID-19 page.

Synod Council Synopsis

Synod Council met Saturday, 6 February. For a synopsis of actions, click here.

Supply Preachers

An addendum to the compensation schedule for supply preaching has been added; the addendum covers remote and hybrid services. Supply preachers also come and go. If you are responsible for coordinating supply in your congregation, be sure to check this page out. Also be sure to refresh/reload the page to make sure that you have the most recent version (and not something dredged up from your cache). Here's the link: Supply Preachers webpage.

Mission Support Forms Updated

Both the mission support request letter from the synod and the MS Commitment Form have been updated. You can access them from our Congregations page. Mission Support Remittance Form has also been updated.

New Contact Info & Communications Page

We've put all the contact information and communications links in one place. Check out the the Contact Info & Communications page. There you will find phone, email, and mailing info as well as Facebook and other links.

Congregation Meeting in Time of Pandemic

Two installments are up of a three-part series addressing the holding the Congregation Meeting during the pandemic. Click here for more.


We've had a page dedicated to COVID-19 since mid-March. You will find there a variety of resources and information, including material related to reopening churches and worship. Click Here.

Pastoral Transition & Vacancy Page Uploaded

A page addressing pastoral transition and vacancy has been added. The vacancy section includes information on the conduct of ministry during a time of pastoral vacancy, e.g., securing supply preachers, covering emergencies and regular visitation, maintaining basic polity functions, etc.. There are two transition sections. One of them covers the search process and calling a new pastor. The other covers the many steps required in managing the departure of a currently serving pastor. Click here to explore this material.

DEM News

The Rev. Sherri Schafer was hired as Director of Evangelical Mission (DEM) on a six-month contract under the auspices of the ELCA's Domestic Mission Unit. We are pleased to announce that the contract has been formally extended to the end of the 2020 fiscal year (31 January 2021) and informally to be cotermin0us with the bishop's call. Congrats, Pr. Schafer, and huzzah for the synod!

Schafer came to this position with an intimate knowledge of the synod. Born in Pendleton County, Schafer has held membership in four synod congregations: St. Luke’s (Dry Run), Faith (Franklin), Good Shepherd (New Martinsville), and St. Mark’s (Wheeling). Schafer served her first-call pastorate with Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Bridgeport, OH. Schafer began her work with Community Lutheran Partners, Inc., the primary social ministry organization affiliate of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, as Program Director before promotion to Executive Director, a position she has held for the past eleven years. Schafer has preached in over half of the synod’s fifty-nine congregations and has traveled most of the territory in connection with her disaster relief work

The DEM position is half-time, and Schafer will continue in her current half-time position with Community Lutheran Partners. The DEM position is funded by the ELCA's Domestic Mission Unit, which also provides a grant underwriting associated programming: Your mission support at work.

Facebook Page

Our DEM, The Rev. Sherri Schafer has established a Facebook Page for items related to evangelism and stewardship. It is a place to share your ideas and get new ones. Like the page and discover what is possible.

Bishop Riegel's Letter on Evangelism during Pandemic

Bishop Riegel posted a letter in the early morning of 16 April 2020, calling for the synod to double worship attendance. He contends that the sudden and broad adoption of media by pastors and congregations across the synod provides new opportunities for lay-point invitational evangelism. Go to the COVID-19 page and scroll down.

If you haven't checked out the members portal...

Don't forget to take a peek of the members portal (click the button at right near the top of this page). It's not password protected. We only call it the "members portal" because it's mostly stuff that deals with the internal workings of the synod. Visitors looking for more general information about the synod, will probably find the "guest portal" more interesting.

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