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West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Headline News
(7 October 2022)

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.

Clergy Compensation Kit for 2023

The clergy compensation kit for 2023 is now available on line. Click here to access that and other clergy compensation items.

Incorporation of Churches or Religious Denominations Amendment

West Virginians will be asked on 8 October 2022 whether they support amendment of the Constitution of West Virginia to permit the incorporation of churches and denominations. The bishop has been asked about this, and his response is now published. Click here for the Responsum ad propositum dubium.

Mt. Hope
                225Mt. Hope 225

Mt. Hope Lutheran Church, Upper Tract, WV, celebrated its 225th anniversary on Sunday, 25 September 2022, with a joint service of the parish. A packed church joined in hymns and a service that included elements from liturgies spanning the congregation's history. Prs. Jason & Jess Felici were joined by past pastors, The Rev. Neal Weltzin and The Rev. Mary Poston, daughter of the congregation, The Rev. Sherri Schafer, and son of the congregation (and son of past pastor, The Rev. Chuck Erzkus), The Rev. Ben Erzkus. Bishop Riegel preached. The glorious morning was marred by rain that began just as the cookout was starting, though it did not appear to dampen spirits.

CWA 1989

Requiescat in pace

The Most Rev. L. Alexander Black

updateThe Most Rev. Loyal Alexander Black, Bishop Emeritus, died peacefully on Tuesday, 26 July 2022. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, 29 October 2022. Link for memorial service information, streaming, full obituary, information on memorial gifts is on our our clergy page.

Mission Support

Numbers for 2023 mission support were posted on 6 August 2022 on our website with notices going out by The Bishop's Roadshow (several issues in a row) and also by one round of direct email to clergy. Of course, we know that it is easy to miss that sort of stuff unless you are looking for it. So, here are the links to the info you may be seeking to assist you in your budgeting work.


Miller to be installed at Martinsburg

The Rev. Sherri Miller's installation is scheduled for 16 October 2022. Details on our Clergy page.

Knol installed at Bittinger

The Rev. Nancy Knol was installed as pastor of Emmanuel, Bittinger, on 14 September 2022. Details on our Clergy page.

Bullwinkle on bellsWomen of the ELCA: Synod Convention

The WV-WMD Women of the ELCA wrap up their three-day convention 20 September 2022. Held at Canaan Valley Resort, this has been the first full in-person convention since the start of the pandemic. Featured presentations during the convention covered a wide range of topics, including abuse, equity & inclusion, and the state of the synod. Of course, there was the typical business associated with a convention, but there was also worship, fellowship, and recreation, including a bell performance by The Rev. Ruth Bullwinkle.

To learn more about the Women of the ELCA in WV-WMD, visit their facebook page.

Melanchthon Reading Group: Loci communes (1521)

A fall book study on Melanchthon's 1521 Loci communes kicked off 19 September 2022, but it is not too late to join. For more information, visit our Education for Clergy & Laity page.

If you haven't checked out the latest updates to the Education for Clergy & Laity page, do so. The page lists a wide variety of educational offerings. Click on the link to explore.

CWA 2022
                DelegationChurchwide Assembly 2022

Churchwide Assembly 2022 was in session 9-12 August 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. Voting members from the WV-WMD Synod included (as pictured at right) The Rt. Rev. Matthew Riegel, Dr. Bruce Dalton, Ms. Grace Riegel, Ms. Norma Gensler, The Rev. Linda Muhly, and The Rev. Ben Erzkus. During the course of the week, voting members engaged in the legislative process, attended worship, attended a lecture, and reviewed reports. There were also opportunities to learn more about various ministries of the church through special presentations at times outside of business sessions.

A summary of actions by the Churchwide Assemby is available in PDF (download here). For those interested in the blow-by-blow of assembly action—a close analysis of the various amendments offered (whether passed or failed) can tell you more about what's going on than the final wording of an action—study the Legislative Updates are posted here in one file or by individual days:

For videos of Churchwide Assembly 2022, visit the ELCA Youtube site.

Background materials for Churchwide Assembly 2022 are found on the CWA2022 Resources page.

Synod Council Actions, 6 August 2022

Synod Council, at its 6 August 2022 meeting, took the following actions:

  • Invocation of S13.24 in connection to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Peru, and appointment of trustees;
  • Contingent appointment of an acting bishop and a back-up acting bishop should +Riegel fall ill, test positive for COVID, or otherwise become unable to fulfill his duties during the Churchwide Assembly;
  • Appointment of the The Rev. Nancy Knol as interim pastor of Emmanuel, Bittinger, with possibility for regularization of call;
  • Adoption of clergy compensation guidelines for 2023—click here;
  • Adjustment of compensation rate for SLWL Licensed Readers—click here;
  • Setting of Synod Assembly 2023 for the weekend of 3 June 2023—click here; and
  • Setting the mission support request for 2023—click here.

KY FloodKY Flooding

Flooding has devastated portions of Appalachian Kentucky, destroying homes and taking lives. Learn more and make your gift for disaster recovery on our Social Ministry page.

Query: What Do Congregational Officers Need?

A congregation is more like a small town than a small business. That's not to say that there are no business-like aspects to a congregation. It's just an observation about the decision-making processes involved. With an eye to offering some workshops (and other resources) for [vice] presidents, secretaries, and treasurers, we're asking you what you might find helpful and where you are finding particular challenges. If you are a congregational lay leader, please take this very short survey so that we can offer what's of potential use.

Mutual Ministry Committee and the Driesen Manual

In partial fulfillment of an order from Synod Assembly 2021, information about the Driesen Manual has been uploaded to the website on a new page, Mutual Ministry Committee and the Driesen Manual. You will find there an explanation an a link to the manual.

4-H ShowRingSynod Assembly 2022 Synopsis

The synopsis of Synod Assembly 2022 is now online. Visit the Synod Assembly 2022 to find out what happened.

SLWL: Licensed Readers

On-Line Reader's Sermon Library

The fourth edition of the sermon library for Synodical Lay Worship Leaders is now online, adding sermons for the start of the Pentecost season up to the last weeks of August. To learn more about the SLWL program and the first level license, the "reader," click here. You'll also find there a link to the library.

Licensed Readers Page Uploaded

A page dedicated to explaining the Licensed Readers aspect of the Synodical Lay Worship Leaders program has been uploaded. You'll also find an application for licensure on the page.

Apply To Be a Reader (Supply Preacher)

The Synodical Lay Worship Leaders Program is now online, and applications are being accepted for the reader license. A reader does not write his/her own sermon but reads a sermon and leads worship. This is the first of the licenses available under the SLWL program. To learn more, visit the Synodical Lay Worship Leaders page.

Worship Aids for Pulpit Vacancy

The constellation of pages to assist congregations in pulpit vacancy with worship planning continues to evolve. Originally uploaded on 14 May 2022, updates have been added daily, and pages dedicated to Pentecost, Holy Trinity, and Ordinary Time (following Pentecost) have been uploaded. These pages provide advice on liturgical form and the managing church appointments. Check out our Worship Aids for Pastoral Vacancy page.

Call Openings

Three congregations just activated their MSPs. With several clergy vacancies across the territory, there are opportunities for clergy interested in serving in the WV-WMD Synod. Visit the clergy page to find out whats available (or will be available once the MSP is completed).

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.

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
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