Synod Cont. Ed Event
Pastors & Deacons
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Page Contents
  • Nominations for Clegy on Synod Council & Consultation Comm.
  • Recommend Someone for a Call
  • Recent Calls
  • Continuing Education
    • First Call Theol. Ed
  • Annual Report to Bishop
  • Compensation Guidelines
    • Leave Guidelines
  • Interested in serving?
  • Rostered Leader Debt Reduction

Nominations for Clergy Elections

There are three clergy seats on Synod Council up for election this year.

  • Ohio-Kanawha Valley Conference --- Theolbald-Rowlands is incumbent eligible for a second term
  • Potomac Conference --- Olson is terming off
  • Upper Ohio Valley Conference --- Smith is terming off

Also to be elected is a clergy seat on the Consultation Committee. Campbell's one-year vacancy election is ending, and she is eligible for election to a regular term.

Folks can commend themselves to the Nominations Committee during this public input phase. You can also nominate someone for a position even if you are not yourself in the conference slotted for that position.

More information about these positions (and the other positions) to be elected by the 2019 Synod Assembly as well as the online Nomination Public Input Form can be found on the Nominations Committee Page.

Recommend Someone for a Call

If you know someone that you would recommend for a call in this synod, contact +Riegel. At present, we have one active search: Grace, Petersburg, has been vacant since mid-June 2017. It is a full-time, solo, single-congregation call at low number of years compensation with parsonage.
Recent Calls
We have two new colleagues under call in the synod.

  • The Rev. James "Jim" Wicker has been issued a term-call (with possibility of regular call) by Cross of Grace Lutheran Church, Hurricane, WV. Wicker has actually been on the territory for over two years, being on-leave from call on the roster of the NW Ohio Synod. Wicker has been doing supply work since summer 2017 and has been interim at Cross of Grace (with possibility of call) since early fall 2018. Wicker's installation will be 17 March 2019, 4:00 PM.
  • The Rev. Susan Claytor has accepted a call to serve the newly yoked St. Luke's-St. Stephen's ecumenical ministry in Beckley, WV. Claytor (TEC) began duties 1 March 2019. She joins us from her previous call in Hershey, PA.

Synod Clergy Continuing Education

The Fall 2019 Synod Clergy Continuing Ed event will be held at Chief Logan State Park (just north of Logan, WV), 8-10 October 2019. The Continuing Ed Committee is still working on the topic. We'll post it here once we have the topic and speaker(s) confirmed. This will be a three day event, projected to start after lunch on Tuesday and wrap up before lunch on Thursday.

Blackwater Falls SP, the site of our last event, received such positive reviews that the committee decided to look into other state parks. Chief Logan SP was selected because of its cost and amenities plus to have a location in the southern tier of our territory.

Continuing Ed Committee
Pr. Casey Leineman (MVMC)
Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC)
Pr. Christine Olson (PC)
Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC)

At the Winter 2018 Synod Clergy Continuing 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. It is worth noting that CA97.2.7(a)(1)(a) encourages "a minimum of 50 contact hours per year of intentional continuing education, or 150 contact hours each three-year period." Synod Cont. Ed, as we currently have it configured, only provides 8-10 per year.

Serving on the the Continuing Ed Committee we have Pr. Christine Olson (PC), Pr. Kevin Mackey (OKVC), Pr. Casey Leineman (MVMC), and Pr. Sherri Schafer (UOVC), 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.

                2017LARCUM 2019: Christianity & Civil Government

The WV Lutheran-Anglican-Roman Catholic-United Methodist Dialogue will be held 9-12 September 2019 at the John XXIII Pastoral Center, Charleston, WV, under the "Christianity & Civil Government: History, Theology, Implications." This event usually provides 10-12 contact hours. Scholarships are available for first time participants. Registration info is not yet online, but (if you have a facebook account) you can follow develops for this specific LARCUM (2019) at Remember, the fbEvent is not a registration for the event, but, by RSVPing there, you will get updates on registration and related matters. So, RSVP today. If you would like to join the WV LARCUM conversation on facebook, click

SELA Opioid

SELA: The Opioid Crisis: Seeking a Faithful Response

SELA is planning a two-day symposium on the opioid crisis to be held in Gettysburg, PA, 8-9 November 2019. A mix of plenary presentations and concurrent workshops are planned. The concurrent workshops will be arranged in three tracks: social ministry, pastoral care, and theology. A facebook event has already been created. RSVP on facebook to get updates and converse with symposium planners.

The Symposium of Evangelical Lutheranism in Appalachia (SELA) is an outgrowth of the Appalachian Consultation, the process which followed the dissolution of ELCMA.


The SCALDers haven't started thinking about SCALD III, but they know there is going to be a SCALD III.

(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 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 II's papers...

  • 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.

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 will be contacted by the bishop with details related to this FCTE.

Rostered Minister's Report to Bishop

The governing documents of our church state the following:

S14.15. Each minister of Word and Sacrament on the roster of this synod shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.

*C9.13. The pastor(s) shall submit a report of his or her ministry to the bishop of the synod at least 90 days prior to each regular meeting of the Synod Assembly.

Pursuant to these provisions, all rostered leaders (under call or not) are required to submit said report by 2 March 2019. An accepted report form may be downloaded from the ELCA Office of the Secretary Website. The report form is in PDF. Be sure to save the report before exiting or you will lose your information. After completing, email to with the subject line, "Rostered Minister Report." If you have questions about how to complete the report, contact +Riegel. Here are the links. Select the report that is appropriate to you.

Please note, WV-WMD Synod does not currently have any Ministers of Word & Service on the roster. Omission of these forms is not intended as an insult. As soon as WV-WMD has deacons, the forms will go up. Until then, we wish to avoid people filling out the wrong form unnecessarily.

Oh, though the reports are late, at this point, +Riegel will still take them.

Pastoral Compensation Guidelines etc.

The guidelines for 2019 pastoral compensation are posted here.

The form, Definition of Compensation, Benefits, And Responsibilities for Ministers of Word and Sacrament Under Call, can be downloaded from the ELCA resource cache (by clicking the linked title). This form should be completed as part of the call process. From time to time, it should be reviewed by both the pastor and the congregation.

Sabbatical & Family Leave

Synod Assembly 2000 adopted sabbatical guidelines, amending them in 2001. These guidelines are under review, but, in the meantime, they provide a basis for a congregation and its pastor to discuss the granting of a sabbatical. As guidelines, they may be modified to meet local conditions. Any sabbatical represents a mutual understanding between the congregation and its pastor. Contact the bishop if you would like assistance navigating the issues connected to sabbatical. To download the WV-WMD Sabbatical Guidelines, click here.

The Synod also adopted guidelines for family leave. This guideline covers maternity/paternity and the care of ill family members when the providing of such care requires extended absence from pastoral duties. To download the WV-WMD Family Leave Guidelines, click here.

Interested in Serving in WV-WMD

Are you a pastor of the ELCA (or full-communion partner) interested in learning more about WV-WMD? Drop us a line. You can email the +Riegel at or call the office (304-363-4030). There is plenty to commend service and life in our mountains and in our valleys. Like Nebraska, it's not for everyone, but, for those who aren't afraid of an adventure, we have a great mix of challenge and gift.

Rostered Leader Debt Reduction

The WV-WMD Synod has conducted a rostered leader debt reduction program since 2002. Through this program, pastors and deacons with educational debt can be assisted with payment on the principal. The Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Fund is supported by voluntary contributions by individuals, congregations, church-related auxiliaries, and a line item in the synod budget. The amount in the fund is expended each fiscal year as direct payments to lending agencies. Guidelines for the Rostered Leader Debt Reduction Program can be downloaded here. The next grant cycle will open in December 2019.

West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, 412 Fairmont Avenue, Suite #3, Fairmont, WV 26554
304-363-4030  +