- Winter/Spring 2021
- Fall 2020
- LARCUM 2019
We've started posting AARs (After Action Reports) during
the pandemic as a way to let folks know what we have been
doing. Well, that started clutering up the Education for Laity & Clergy
page, suggesting that those AARs needed a page of their
own, and here it is. Wander through and review what we've
been up to. Not everything is here, but these are some of
We want to make sure to thank those clergy who have
completed their service on the Synod Clergy Cont. Ed
Events Team: The Revs. Christine Olson, R. Paul Schafer,
adn Ryan Heycock.
Updating Your Congregation Constitution (Jan. 25)
The "Updating Your Congregation Constitution" session
was held on January 25 with attendance from four different
synods. Despite one Zoom glitch---we'll not make that
mistake again---the session went well with both clergy and
lay attendees. Bishop Riegel, who has an unnatural
affection for parliamentary law, led the session.
When some of our counterparts on the other side of the
synod borders heard about it, they asked that it be
reprised as an event for the "Rural 8s" (NWPA, Allegheny,
USS, and WV-WMD Synods). This session was held on 6
February 2021. After the formal part was completed,
attendees were free to stay for what could be described as
more of a workshop in which items of relevance to specific
congregations were discussed.
True Christianity: A Weekly Lenten Book Study of Arndt's
Qui Jesum vidit, qui mundum et daemona vicit,
Arndius in scriptis vivit ovatque suis.
Arndt, who saw Jesus, and conquered the world and the
lives and triumphs in his writings.
If Philipp Jakob Spener is the Father of Pietism, Johann
Arndt is the Grandfather. His Wahres Christentum (True
Christianity), published in stages with revisions,
1605-1609, served as the formative text for generations of
Lutheran clergy and laity. So, even if we think of Arndt
as a Proto-Pietist, the movement cannot be adequately
understood apart from his influence.
This weekly study explored this seminal work. With a
grand vision of getting through the entire work, it was
quickly agreed that just Book I would be enough to tackle.
The energy and depth of the in-session conversations,
however, just as quickly impressed upon the participants
of an even more modest goal. While only the preface and
first twenty-nine chapters were completed, it was
generally agreed that the time was well spent and that not
rushing the conversation was the best option.
Each Monday in Lent 2021, Bishop Riegel facilitated the
seminary. Fortunately, the work is in public domain
and several free editions were available on-line, among
them the one found at CCEL.org. Session met for usually
seventy-five minutes, and the option was given for morning
and evening sessions each Monday via Zoom.
Some members of the seminar stated that they wanted to
continue, and this is an option (though all agree that
waiting until the Easter Octave is past is a good idea. If
you are interested in participating in a continuation of
this (even if you did not join for the first round, contact
+Riegel by email or, better yet, join thr the Johann Arndt Reading Group on
Discipline, Spiritual & Temporal (March 25)
In response to the question, "Where's excommunication in the
Constitution of the ELCA?" Bishop Riegel offered a Zoom
presentation that explored the two domains of discipline in
the church. The Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing
Resolutions of the ELCA (along with other supporting
documents) include provisions for discipline; these may be
thought of under the category "temporal disciplines" (or
polity/political discipline). Excommunication, on the other
hand, may be thought of under the category "spiritual
discipline." During the session, +Riegel explored the
differences, the respective ends, the sources of their
authority, manner of employment, and resolution. The
two-hour session was held by Zoom on Thursday, 25 March
and Early Christianity (April 12)
On April 12, The Rev. Dr. Mark Vitalis-Hoffman presented
via Zoom on "St. Paul and early Christianity" with a
Q&A following. Vitalis-Hoffman focused on the
Greco-Roman context of the church of Paul's day.
Vitalis-Hoffman is the Glatfelter Professor of Biblical
Studies at United Lutheran Seminary. He earned his Ph.D.
from Yale, his dissertation being titled, Psalm 22 and
the Crucifixion of Jesus.
Hybrid Church with The Rev. Dave Daubert (May 18)
Announcing the event, D.E.M. Sherri Schafer wrote,
"What's next for the church?" I hear this
question a lot when talking with church members and
pastors. I am teaming up with Pastor Daubert on Tuesday,
May 18 at 1:30 PM to offer this workshop based on his
latest book [Becoming a Hybrid Church]. You do not
have to read the book prior to the discussion. I'm hoping
that the workshop and/or book will be the launch point for
discussion in your congregations and your conference.
The book is available from Day 8 Strategies. There is also a Kindle version.
This event was open to clergy and seminarians of all
We split up our fall offerings across several weeks,
holding our sessions by Zoom but also spacing them out so
as to mitigate zoombiefication, Here's what happened.
Best Practices for Live Streaming (Sept. 24)
Matt Day kicked us off with "Worship Streaming without
Breaking Your Back or Your Bank." Held the morning of
September 24, Matt Day demonstrated some methods and
resources for making a congregation's online worship
presence easier and better without breaking either you
back or your bank. The session lasted two hours. The
session was recorded and is available on the Synod Youtube Channel.
Best Practices for Pandemical Worship (Oct. 6)
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.
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 fulfilled 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, Inc.
Creative Christian Education and Empowering Families in
Times of Covid (Nov. 4)
The event was held on 4 November 2020 via Zoom under the
If you missed it, you're still in luck. The session
was recorded (available on Youtube) and Pr. Felici has
also provided a Google
Docs link the resources she discussed. You can also
find these items on the facebook
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.
Bishop's Time (Dec. 8)
"Bishop's Time" is a long-standing element of the synod
clergy cont. ed events. As in past years, we heard updates
from various affiliates and agencies. The bishops also
reviewed changed in the assignment process, development of
the Synodical Lay Worship Leaders Program, Future Church
redesign taking place in the Churchwide Structure, roster
changes, vacancy status, the disposition of property of
congregation, and plans for Synod Assembly. The Synod
Clergy Continuing Education Committee also reported and
An AAR was emailed to synod clergy and seminarians the
day after the event. Included with the AAR was a Portico
document on Portico mental health services and a document
on Lutheran Scouting. If you did not receive the AAR etc.,
contact the bishop.
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
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 same time.
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
- 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 XXII.