Synod Cont. Ed Event

Pastors & Deacons
West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Page Contents
  • Pastoral Compensation Guideline
  • Plan for Retirement Seminar
  • Continuing Education
    • Synod Clergy Continuing Ed
      • Winter 2020
        • Sharing the Gospel in an Age of the Spirit
        • Boundaries Training
      • Fall 2019: After Action Report
    • SCALD
    • LARCUM
    • First Call Theological Ed
  • Interested in serving?
  • Recommend Someone for a Call
  • Scout Jamboree
  • Rostered Leader Debt Reduction
  • Reports
    • Parochial Report
    • Minister's Report to Bishop

Time To Make the Donuts File My Reports

It's time for both parochial reports and rostered minister reports to the bishop. Click here for more information.

Plan for Retirement Seminar

Portico says,

Retirement takes planning. Whether it feels light years away or just around the corner, Portico’s Plan for Retirement Seminar can help you prepare. And it’s coming to Scholl Auditorium at Passavant Retirement Center in Zelienople, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. In the morning, learn how to balance investing for your future with your current financial goals. In the afternoon, discover ways to create a sustainable income in retirement. Portico will guide you through the topics to focus on, and when. Join for the morning, afternoon, or both.

Learn more and register by June 14 at

Pastoral Compensation Guideline etc.

The guideline for 2020 was approved at the September 21 meeting of the Synod Council, setting the minimum base salary for CY2020 at $35,651, representing a 2.8% increase to compensation consistent with the federal COLA is recommended. Recommended seniority adjustments were not changed from previous years. All other aspects for compensation remained the same.  New: You may now download the Clergy Compensation Kit for 2020.

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

Synod Clergy Continuing Education

WV-WMD typically holds two main clergy cont. events each year, one in fall, the other in winter. 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 8-12 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.

PetersonWinter 2020: Time to Register!

Our next event is has an option pre-event. Read everything so that you know about boundaries training as well as the main event. You can register for one, the other, or both. Registration deadline is close of Sunday, January 19! Also, n.b., lodging is separate from event registration. Read further down for that info.

Sharing the Gospel in the "Age of the Spirit"

Our next event will be held February 4-5 at Mary Help of Christians (quondam Bishop Hodges), Huttonsville, WV. The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson will present 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 will bring both her expertise as a scholar and an ecumenist to explore a range of pneumatological issues, including Charismaticism and Pentecostalism. Lunch on Tuesday is at 12:00 PM. We have scheduled "Bishop's Time" for 1:00 PM on Tuesday with Peterson's lectures beginning immediately following. Peterson's proposed outlines includes:

  • Living as Lutherans in the "Age of the Spirit" in a time of "religious decline"
  • What Lutherans can learn from the rise of the “Spiritual, but not religious”
  • What Lutherans can learn from the rise of Pentecostalism and charismatic movements
  • New directions for Lutheran pneumatology, ecclesiology, and mission

We'll wrap up Wednesday with lunch. N.B., there will be a pre-event on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning (see below), but it is possible to register for only the cont. ed event.

Clergy from other judicatories (Lutheran and non-Lutheran) are welcome.

Boundaries Training

The Revs. Sherri Schafer and Sarah Lee Faulkner will be providing boundaries training as a pre-event for the Winter 2020 Synod Clergy Continuing Ed Event. All synod clergy should double check the terms of their letters of call, the policies of their respective congregations, and the provisions of their respective insurers for any boundaries training requirements. It should also be noted that the Rostered Minister Profile (RMP) asks when the last boundaries training had been completed. Those interested in mobility are advised that many synods will not consider your RMP without boundaries training.

Boundaries training is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM on Monday, February 3---lunch will not be served on Monday so grab something on your way in. It will wrap up prior to lunch on Tuesday, February 4. Monday evening is currently expected to be free time. It is possible to register for only boundaries training.

Winter 2020 Event Costs and Registration

Event registration deadline (for the synod) is close of Sunday, January 19! The housing registration deadline (with Mary Help of Christians) is the next day, but you might as well do it right away.


You may register for both boundaries training and the "Age of the Spirit" event as a combo, or you may register for either one by itself. Lodging is not included in the cost of registration; see instructions below. To register, click here. N.B., if there are two coming together (e.g., spouses), each should register separately. Here are the prices:

Combo: "Age of the Spirit" & Boundaries Training
Monday (1:00 PM)-Wednesday (1:00 PM), Feb 3-5
All meals Monday dinner through Wednesday lunch. Social hours Monday and Tuesday.
N.B., no lunch on Monday.
Boundaries Training (only)
Monday (1:00 PM)-Tuesday (1:00 PM), Feb 3-4
All meals Monday dinner through Tuesday lunch. Social hour Monday.
N.B., no lunch on Monday.
Cont. Ed: "Age of the Spirit" (only)
Tuesday (12:00 PM) - Wednesday (1:00 PM), Feb 4-5
All meals Tuesday lunch through Wednesday lunch. Social hour Tuesday.


Lodging arrangements should be made directly with Mary Help of Christians (304-335-2165---corrected phone number)---if you get an answering machine, leave you name, contact number, and request, calling back if you do not receive a confirmation. You have a choice of three housing levels: double, single, or suite. You may also opt for one-night (if you are not attending both the cont. ed event and the boundaries training) or for two nights. In theory, if you wanted a little extra time away, you can always check with Mary Help of Christians to see if they have openings on either side of our stuff. Here are the rates:

One night
Two nights
Two beds, private bath. N.B., this price is for one person in a double. Line up your roommate and save yourself (or your congregation some money). Total cost for the double is $90 for one night and $180 for two; so, this represents sharing the room.
One bed, private bath
One bed, private bath, sitting area

Again, get your lodging arrangements made directly with Mary Help of Christians by January 20.

You are not obligated to stay at Mary Help of Christians. There are, however, limited lodging options in the immediate area (one motel and two B&Bs of which we are aware), unless one wants to drive to Snowshoe or Elkins.

RiveraFall 2019: After Action Report

The Fall 2019 Synod Clergy Continuing Ed event was held at Chief Logan State Park, 8-10 October 2019. The Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera presented on "The Holy Spirit and the Church." In addition to excellent lectures by Dr. Rivera, there was time for synod business, and review of Churchwide Assembly, worship (led by Prs. Diane and Matt Day), fellowship (with special evening hospitality by Reid & Smith in Cottage 1), and an optional tour of the WV Mine Wars Museum.


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.

LARCUM 2020: Evangelism?

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: RSVP with either "going" or "interested" to stay connected for updates over the course of the year.

LARCUM 2019 Michelbach, Crump, Felici, SmithLARCUM 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:

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.

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.

Recommend Someone for a Call

If you know someone that you would recommend for a call in this synod, contact +Riegel. At present, the Capon-North River Parish is the only parish that is expected to enter an active search; the MSP, however, is not yet complete. Still, if you know someone you would recommend for a 4-point parish in the Potomac Highland's Ridge-Valley region.

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Scout Jamboree

Pr. Rick Egtvedt is recruiting Lutheran chaplains for the Scout Jamboree to be held in 2021. Talk to Egtvedt for more details.

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 from 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 grant cycle for FY2019-2020 is now closed. Applications are being processed, and checks will be cut before the end of the month.


Parochial Report

*C9.12(b). The pastor of this congregation: shall submit a summary of such statistics annually to the synod.

Parochial reports are important for strategic planning and the call process. The report for 2019 will also determine the number of seats allocated to WV-WMD in Churchwide Assembly 2021. For more information on the parochial report and how to file, visit the synod's Congregation Page. SECELCA would like to have the reports by 15 February 2020.

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 7 March 2020. An acceptable report form may be downloaded from the ELCA Office of the Secretary Website, but you may submit a report of your own devising. 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. To download the ELCA form, click here.

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